The Pope Banned Cats And Inadvertently Caused An Epidemic

Samuel Reason | June 3rd, 2018

Pope Gregory IX was not a fan of cats. In fact, he hated them, so much that he decided he had to use his power to get rid of them. Being a pope this was quite easy, just accuse cats of being devil worshippers.

Gregory lived from 1145 to 1241 and was actually called Ugolino di Conti. When he became Pope at the age of 80, he decided Gregory was a better name suited for a pope. Gregory IX is famous for starting the Papal Inquisition, he issued what is known as the Decretales. These were a statement of laws that reissued many Catholic laws at the time. He was responsible for causing a whole new wave of the Catholic faith, where people spoke out against heretics and demanded they become Christians.

New Catholic laws were propped into place, ones that demanded justice for anyone who spoke against the will of the Pope and the church. And in this document there also happened to be a decree that condemned cats, notably black cats.

By Gregory’s decree, black cats were an instrument of Satan and they had to be destroyed. He single handedly condemned cats all over Europe, nearly overnight they were hunted down and killed completely.

The black plague arrived a century later and killed millions, a rough estimate is 200 million. Most historians have actually forgiven rats for causing the disease, noting it was airborne. But there is another theory: that at the time there were two diseases. One that spread airborne and one that was spread by rats. These historians argue is the explanation for why it was such a deadly time, how could one disease cause all this? There must have been two.

And if that were the case, the main cause of why there were so many rats about was that the cat population had larger been reduced to zero. All thanks to Pope Gregory IX.

Next Article
  • In 1962 Maryland Declared Jousting Their Official State Sport

    One would have thought that jousting was reserved for a bygone time, the medieval ages. A time of knights, kings, and princesses; all galloping furiously on their noble steeds. Tipped from head to toy in ancient armor, jousting was a sport that was much loved for decades. Of course, as we entered the modern times...

    Read More
  • There Has Only Ever Been One Submarine VS Submarine Fight Ever!

    A famous film that dramatized underwater battle for the whole world to see is, of course, The Hunt For Red October, it portrayed a nerve-racking experience with crews deep under the ocean searching for their enemy with sonar. And though it is true that hunting undersea enemies is, of course,...

    Read More
  • Nuclear Pasta The Strongest Material In The Universe

    If you happen to be in the industry of creating the strongest materials in the universe, then you are in luck. We have the recipe and it only takes three easy steps: Find yourself one dying star and put into your favorite boiling pot, boil it until it goes supernova and explodes. Beware this could...

    Read More
  • Sometimes Little Galaxies Are Actually Cannibals

    Astronomers around the globe have long seen big galaxies like the Milkyway swallow up some of their little brothers and sisters. In fact, the sky is full of cannibals. They swallow up stars that are in their cosmic neighbors, and over time eat up whole galaxies. It seems only natural, that even in space, the...

    Read More
  • A 20 Min Extra Commute Is Worse On The Mind Than A Pay Cut

    A new study into what is seen as most negative when it comes to our daily work routines shows that being told you will need to commute an extra 20 mins to get home is just as bad as being informed about a pay cut. When it comes to job satisfaction it seems that commuting...

    Read More
  • The Oolichan Fish That Can Be Used As A Candle

    Oolichan fish is a type of fish that is so greasy it can actually be burnt and used as a candle. Hence it has the popular nickname the candlefish. The Oolichan is seen as a savior for many North Coast First Nations, the indigenous tribes of the Pacific northwest coast. This is because even though...

    Read More
  • Walt Disney’s Not So Happy Family

    You would think that growing up around animated series and seeing the creation of Disneyland first hand, would ensure that you would become a loving and happy family. In the case of Walt Disney’s grandchildren, this is just not the case, Michelle and her twin brother Brad Lund is far from being the happiest family...

    Read More