When I was very young – I believe I was seven or eight – my mother took me to a hairdresser that lived in the countryside of Sao Paulo. She took care of all the hairs of the whole family (I’m not really sure when we began to trust her with this task, but when I was little, we wouldn’t even think about going somewhere else). Her salon was an adjacent part of her home, which was something close to a small farm (big house with a very big garden, a lot of different kinds of pets and an unaccountable number of weird little beings that either crawled, buzzed or flew).
Anyway. On a particularly sunny Saturday, I found myself annoyed because I had to wait for my mother to get her nails painted, and those weird little beings that I just mentioned were kind of freaking me out because I couldn’t seem to be able to keep them away. Then I saw a black cat.
Maybe I should tell you: I used to be very superstitious at that time – well, ok, maybe I am a little to this day. I know nothing’s going to happen to me if I pass under a ladder. But why tempt the universe, right?
Ok, moving on. Or going back, actually. I saw the cat, and Chip ‘n Dale went into overdrive in my head for a minute. To be afraid of it, or not to be? Theoretically, black cats bring bad luck, at least that’s what I learned. But did they?
For the first time, I started questioning superstitions. Who was the first person who said that, anyway? (Legend tells, I gather, that in the middle ages they were suspected of being witch relatives.) I was thinking, that day, that they were also animals, and maybe it was not their fault if they brought back luck. I surely would feel very bad if people believed I bring bad luck.
In a matter of seconds, I realized something that literally made the world seem suddenly brighter: people decided what black cats represented (not the universe), and if any person had that prerogative, so did I.
It was a natural step for a born optimistic like me to make the choice. Black cats would represent, from that moment onwards, the best luck in the world.
And look at that. It turns out that that day in question was one of the best days of the year. I had wonderful surprises and laughed until I cried. Since then, every time I see a black cat I smile because I know that the odds are in my favor. So far, I have never been disappointed.