Some people believe that if a cat follows you home it’s bad luck, but it’s the opposite in case of a stray dog. The notion implies homeowners are granted with good luck should a stray dog come to their home. However, the family will suffer from disasters if a stray cat comes into their house. Because of this belief, people tend to welcome dogs and shun cats.
The question of what leads dogs and cats to our home and whether they bring good or bad luck is discussed in the following article based on the explanation of Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh.
The origin of the notion “Should a cat follow you home it’s bad luck, but a stray dog brings good fortune”
Though many people believe in the notion, not all acknowledge the underlying reasons why it exists. To clarify this, let’s look into three factors as follows:
#1 According to folk belief
Since ancient times, there’s existed a Vietnamese saying “should a cat follow you home it’s bad luck, but a stray dog brings good fortune”. In the past, dogs were wild animals, but they were gradually tamed into pets by humans. Dogs are loyal, they protect their owners and their assets. Dogs are treasured by everyone, and many families train their dogs to look after children as this animal is affectionate, intelligent and devoted to humans. Therefore, stone dog statues are often seen at the entrance to a house or a temple guarding these places. Dogs are often mentioned in Buddhist scriptures. There existed intelligent dogs which guided monks on alms round and guided them back to the monastery. Dogs have good intuition, so people tend to have a favorable impression of dogs. Cats are also lovable, but they are not as affectionate and loyal as dogs. If given food, cats will stay, otherwise they will leave. As a result, people favor dogs over cats as they believe dogs would bring luck while cats would spell disasters.
#2 From a scientific point of view
Humans, animals and plants all have biofield. Regarding cats and dogs, Thay said: “Dogs are attracted to where there is positive energy and they feel comfortable lying there. Cats often dwell in places where biofield is good for themselves but not good for humans. The view has been approved by several scientists. Hence, people tend to consider cats visiting their home as bad luck.”
#3 In the perspective of Buddhism
As what Thay explained, we acknowledge that from the Buddhist point of view it is not animals that cause misfortune or bring wealth to the household. Whether we encounter difficulties or possess wealth depends on ourselves. The arrival of a stray dog or cat is not accidental; it may be an omen. So what are the reasons for this circumstance?
Thay addressed: “If misfortune is about to strike or there’s a negative/bad magnetic field in where we live, a cat will come because they can sense bad energy. Cats don’t bring bad luck; it’s people that bring bad luck to themselves.” Following this, Thay explained: “We are the owner of our own karma, from which our living conditions result. If we have blessings, we will have good living conditions and live in a peaceful country; however, if the blessings run out, we will suffer from misfortune, causing bad magnetic fields or attracting evil spirits which bring negative energy that cats can sense. Therefore, everything happening depends on ourselves, not cats or dogs. These animals just can sense the energy. “
Like if we were magnets, we would attract nails and iron filings wherever we go. So if we are good people, we will attract goodness. Otherwise, if bad luck is about to come, we will attract bad omens. From Thay’s teachings, we are made aware that animals don’t bring bad or good luck, it is created by ourselves.
A stray cat coming to people’s home is taken as a bad omen, how to resolve it?
Having explained the reasons for cats’ visits to home, Thay continued: “When a stray cat comes to our home, suggesting upcoming misfortune, we should immediately practise Buddhism, exhort our family to take refuge in the Three Jewels, observe the Buddha’s precepts, cultivate ourselves together in a Dharma Club to earn blessings. I believe that your blessings will pile up on every retreat at the Pagoda. When your blessings increase, you’re less likely to encounter difficulties.”
In conclusion, we can rest assured if a stray cat visits our home. Insteading of shunning or blaming cats (for our misfortune), we should practise the Dharma diligently and rely on the Three Jewels to increase our blessings and eliminate calamities. “To increase our blessings to have fortune, we must start on self cultivation.” said Thay.
Hopefully, this article would help readers understand the underlying reason of the notion “should a cat follow you home it’s bad luck, but a stray dog brings good fortune” and more importantly, acknowledge the value and benefits of practising Buddhism. May you always diligently practise the Buddha’s teachings to attract more blessings, thus living a peaceful and fulfilled life.