Depending on where you are in the world, a black cat may still inspire a superstitious reaction (both good and bad). In Japan black cats are considered lucky; this is the case in Scotland, where they also symobolise prosperity. In the rest of the UK and some parts of Europe, black cats are deemed lucky if they cross your path from left to right; however, beware if they pass from right to left as this is a terrible omen. Others took it even further, saying that a black cat walking towards or away from you, or entering and then leaving a ship all carried their own meanings.
Some British soldiers used black cat amulets as good luck charms during the First World War as they were considered by some to provide good luck and protection against illness and danger. Many soldiers were based on the Western Front, where conditions in the trenches could seem hopeless. The men had seen friends killed in action, been close to death themselves and felt they had little control over their survival. Spanish soldiers in the late 1800s wore more literal amulets with the inscription ‘Détente, bala!’ – ‘Stop, bullet!’