Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Black Cats

Black cat tail used in curing granulated eyelids – “The tail of a black cat, drawn across the eye everyday, is the prime remedy for granulated eyelids; some healers even claim to have cured cataract with this simple remedy, reinforced by a few ‘old sayin’s.’” ~Randolph OMF 138

Black cat killed and used to cure warts – “A group of old-timers in Phelps county, Missouri, contend that the best way to dispose of warts is to carry a black cat, freshly killed, into a graveyard at night. Some say that the dead cat must be placed on the grave of a person buried the same day, and if this person has led a wicked life, so much the better.” ~Randolph OMF 130-131

“Kill a black cat and put it in a gunny sack. Then take the sack and bury it someplace where you will never go back.” ~Parler FBA III 3658

Black cat killed to cure shingles – “Miss Jewell Perriman, of Jenkins, Missouri, reports that in her neighborhood a black cat is sacrificed to treat shingles. She knew a man whose shingles had ‘nearly gone around’ him, but the power doctors cured him by killing a black cat and applying the blood.” ~Randolph OMF 147

“Kill a black cat and cut off its tail and rub the blood out of its tail on the shingles and it will cure them.” ~Parler FBA III 3066

“Kill a black cat, skin it and put the skin on you before it gets cold and it will cure the shingles.” ~Parler FBA III 3067

Black cat used against consumption – “Kill a completely black cat…skin and lay on the chest while still warm. This will cure lung fever.” ~Parler FBA II 1921

Black cat oil used against fits – “If a child has ‘fits’ kill a black cat and render out the oil. Give oil to the patient daily. This is supposed to cure fits.” ~Parler FBA II 2246

Counteracting black cat bad luck – “If a black cat crosses your path tip your hat and say, ‘How do you do, mister cat’ three times or you will have bad luck.” ~Parler FBA VI 6571

“If a black cat crosses the road in front of you, stop and make a cross in the road in front of you and make a wish to prevent bad luck.” ~Parler FBA VI 6581

“If a black cat runs in front of you, spit out the car window several times and you will not have bad luck.” ~Parler FBA VI 6584

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)

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