The Pope Banned Cats And Inadvertently Caused An Epidemic

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.

cojs.org

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
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Every Panda In The World Is Owned By China

    No matter where the panda is or in what realm of the world he is wandering, one thing they all have in common is they are actually all owned by the Chinese government. And they make quite a hefty sum of money from leasing them out every year. The panda...

    Read More
  • Switzerland Has Accidentally Invaded Liechtenstein Three Times

    You may not have heard of the small country of Lichtenstein, a tiny country in central Europe which is landlocked by Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It is a microstate, and still has a constitutional monarchy with the Prince of Liechtenstein at the top. But that didn’t stop Switzerland accidentally invading...

    Read More
  • Prehistoric Frogs Show Us Life From 99 Million Years Ago

    Scientist and archeologists together have been able to shine a light into a lost world, finding frogs trapped in a sticky amber resin from over 99 million years ago. These frogs have been preserved in the resin and have most likely been there since the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs. [caption id="attachment_4700" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More
  • Walking Through A Door Can Cause A Loss In Memory

    It has happened to all of us, we think we know what we are looking for and suddenly you do not. As you enter the next room, you are left wondering why on earth did you walk through the door? You run upstairs to grab your phone before going out, and then when you get...

    Read More
  • When One Team Was Defending Both Nets

    When it comes to strange football matches there have been many, some point to the 31 goals Australia put passed American Samoa or the infamous AS Adema 149-0 win over SO l’Emyrne. But actually, the strangest match of football was between Barbados and Grenada during the 1994 Shell Caribbean Cup. ...

    Read More
  • Ball Lightning The Mysterious Glowing Phenomenon

    For years ball lightning has stumped scientists and caused panic all around the world. Many times it has been mistaken for UFOs and caused confusion, even causing damage to homes. And for many centuries it was a mystery, it made no sense when confronted with the norms of science. Was it something supernatural? [caption id="attachment_4691"...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Uranium Thief

    Whenever people debate about nuclear power plants, one thing comes up as a heated subject: nuclear materials are dangerous and having them in the area could mean they fall into the wrong hands. Well, that is exactly what happened in a power plant in North Carolina during the 70s, when two whole drums of enriched...

    Read More
  • Marine Snails Have The Strongest Teeth In The World

    When it comes to strong natural materials, you may think of diamonds or gold. Maybe if you are a scientist then you may think of the amazing spider silk from their webs, but you would all still be wrong. In fact, the answer may come as a big surprise: marine snail teeth are the strongest...

    Read More