Black Cat Tattoos
Originally associated with witchcraft and the occult, black cats have been viewed as an ominous symbol. Superstition has marked them as a sign of bad luck, an omen of misfortune to come because of the belief that the black cat, as well as other small nocturnal creatures, was a familiar used by witches in their trickery. In more recent years, cat images, regardless of color, are more a symbol of an admiration of the feline rather than the mystical. Black cats are most generally a representation of the reclusive and introverted, a spirited individual whose animated character is kept more secretive than that of others.
When an ominous black cat image is desired, the feline is generally rendered more realistically, allowing the reflective eyes to highlight the mystery of the unknown. Black or greyscale roses, often designed with long stems and thorns, add an element of the occult to the image, as well as moon and star imagery, a representation of the dark of night. The black cat becomes a Halloween-esque portrayal of the occult when pictured with an arching back and raised hair, symbolizing fear and foreboding. Designing the black cat in a cartoonish style reduces the superstitious qualities of the feline and creates a lighthearted and more cheerful image.
A black cat silhouette is more open to interpretation and often rendered as a very small but bold image. It creates a delicate appearance while still maintaining a strong symbol. The addition of butterflies, floral patterns or other minute details feminizes the design and adds a whimsical element. The cat rendered in simple black lines, another simple image, highlights a similar symbol of mystery without appearing so solid and bold.
Black cats can also be an Egyptian symbol because of their status as demi-gods. In this case, the cat is generally portrayed sitting or lying with a straight back to portray regality and adorned with gold jewelry like heavy collars and necklaces.