Inter Milan footballer Luis Figo was accused last week of killing a black cat that lived at the football club’s training ground, believing that it would turn the team’s luck around following a string of losses.
Vittorio Feltri, editor of the Libero newspaper, sparked the controversy when he alleged in an article that Figo had deliberately run over the “beautiful black cat” with his sports utility vehicle. Figo vehemently denied the charges, stating on his club’s website that it was “completely untrue.” Feltri, however, stands by his story, stating that he will bring out witnesses if the controversy goes to court.
Whatever the truth may be, Italian football fans are up in arms over the controversy, and the popular Portuguese star was booed by the crowd as he arrived for training last week, with one fan even holding up a banner that read “Figo, you’ve killed a black cat, the whole world is disgusted with you.”
Since the Middle Ages, black cats have been associated with witchcraft and bad luck. It was believed that if a black cat crossed your path it was a sign that a witch was around, or an indication that the devil was taking notice of you. Either way, they were creatures to be avoided.
Which brings us back to the Inter Milan cat: Since its demise, the club has continued its run of poor results, and Figo was injured in the match that followed the supposed SUV vs black cat incident. It is rumored that the team has since paid a visit to the Pope, a cat lover, in an attempt to rid themselves of the black cat’s curse.
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(Cat depicted in the above image was not harmed in any way. Photo ©2007 by Dino Quinzani)