It’s an age-old superstition: If a black cat crosses your path, you’re in for some bad luck… I did a little digging to find out just where that superstition began, and I learned that back in the day, at the height of hysteria surrounding witches practicing black magic, suspected witches often had feline companions. When these women were found “guilty” of being witches, their cats were guilty by association. That’s not where it ends though. From TodayIFoundOut.com:
This belief was taken up a notch when a folklore involving a father and son in Lincolnshire in the 1560’s started making the rounds. The pair were said to have been traveling one moonless night when a black cat crossed their path and dove into a crawl space. Naturally, they did what any guys would do, they threw rocks at the furry feline until the helpless injured creature scurried out into a woman’s house, who at the time was suspected of being a witch. The next day, the father and son came across the same woman and noticed she was limping and bruised and believed that to be more than just a coincidence. From that day on in Lincolnshire, it was thought that witches could turn into black cats at night.
So yeah, the idea that a black cat is bad luck is certainly not a new concept, but the San Jose Sharks are working to change that notion. You see, the Sharks are currently locked in battle with the Nashville Predators in their Western Conference Final series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Before Game 1 got underway, a little black cat ran out on the ice, and a whole bunch of people thought that spelled disaster for the Sharks, who have been known to struggle in the playoffs.
As it turns out, this feline was the total opposite – the Sharks came back in Game 1 to win it 5-2, and the cat became a mascot of sorts, a good luck charm for the team.
But the cat is lucky for more than one reason. I mean, think about it – in a building that size, there are plenty of places that cat could get lost or trapped. From Yahoo! Sports:
San Jose Sharks COO John Tortora did not see the cat run off the Predators bench onto the ice. But when word caught up to him it was clear to him the team needed to quickly and safely procure their new feline friend and then figure out the next steps to ensure the cat’s well-being.
“The most important thing, and the greatest sense of relief we had, was making sure the cat was found and safe,” said Tortora, who owns a dog. “The cat was safe and we wanted to take immediate steps to make sure it was checked out from a health perspective.”
After running onto the ice, the animal then hid underneath the bleachers of SAP Center for the rest of the game. Following the contest, SAP Center’s engineering staff found the cat and turned her over to the Sharks, who then started to try to find an owner and/or home for the cat.
On Saturday, the Sharks called Humane Society Silicon Valley to get the ball rolling.
There, veterinarians checked for diseases, did a blood test and found out the cat wasn’t a boy kitten, but a girl. Originally the Sharks called the cat ‘Joe PAW-velski’ but are now calling her ‘Jo PAW-velski.’
Humane Society Silicon Valley also checked the cat for a microchip to determine if she had an owner. Jo will stay there until Thursday so the organization can comb through lost-and-founds and give a potential owner time to come forward. If that doesn’t happen she’ll be put up for adoption.
In her time at the Humane Society, Jo Paw-velski has been treated quite well, and has even had a few visitors.
— Jim Sparaco (@JimSparaco) May 2, 2016
— Jim Sparaco (@JimSparaco) May 3, 2016
If you want to see a live feed of the furry good luck charm, you can HERE.
And Jo has more or less solidified her place as one of the team’s mascots.
And now, either the team are travelliing with another black cat… Or someone’s just good with photoshop – and looking at the shadows, I’m tempted to say that’s the case… Also, who would let a cat run around on what looks to be an airport runway?
Good luck charm in tow. pic.twitter.com/F9a7EKoRqI
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) May 2, 2016
The Nashville Predators obviously saw the luck that the cat brought them, so before Game 3 (the first of the series in Nashville), they had their own cat do the same thing.
And it worked for them as they came away with a 4-1 victory, and cut the Sharks’ series lead to 2-1.
Game 4 goes tomorrow night, and we’ll see if Jo Paw-velski can continue to bring luck the Sharks’ way, or if the Predators, with Peterborough’s own Mike Fisher can battle back to even the series up!