“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them. Cats rules the world.” – Jim Davis
It certainly was not mere coincidence that a black cat ran onto the pitch at Goodison Park on Groundhog Day, a silly but cute tradition in the United States that attempts to predict the level of miserable weather in the next six weeks but also a classic movie about a cynical person reliving the same day over and over again.
Everton fans seem to be living their own version of Groundhog Day, which starts out with the “It’s a Grand Old Team” song, and ends in yet another defeat.
Every year since the Blues finished in 5th place in 2014 has started out with optimism and then devolved into disappointment. Despite tons of money and high quality players, Everton can’t break into the top 6.
Three years ago, a black and white cat invaded the pitch during an Everton FA cup game and goalkeeper/cat lover Joel Robles was unafraid as he helped to coax the kitty away. Everton won that game 2-0.
After Saturday’s game, Wolves manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, stated that he is not a Cat Person:
“Where I come from in Portugal, the black cat is bad luck so I never want to see cats again. I don’t like black cats.”
Some cultures believe that black cats are bad luck but did you know that back in the day in the United Kingdom, they actually viewed them as good luck? The 17th century English monarch, Charles I, considered his black cat to be a good luck charm and after his pet died, he was arrested for treason the very next day.
Some people believed that if a black cat walks towards them, it will bring them good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes its good luck with it. By that measure, Cenk Tosun will have bad luck but Wolves goalkeeper, Rui Patricio, will have good luck.
When the Park Black Cat made a pitch-long dash towards the opposite goal, Jordan Pickford was nowhere to be found, having wandered closer to the halfway line. Perhaps he is superstitious or maybe he just needs more help from his defense during setpieces?
Groundhog Day stems from a tradition that took place in parts of Europe called Candlemas, a halfway point of winter where wolves emerge from hibernation and inspect the weather to either return to their lairs or come out and play.
This Candlemas, the Wolves came out and played while Everton saw a black cat run away from them and fans are feeling let down. In the Groundhog Day movie, the loop was broken by escaping cynicism towards results and embracing love and acceptance. That type of ending is looking very difficult for Everton fans right about now but because we love our team, we continue to watch and hope for a new day to come.
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” – Terry Pratchett
What does the rest of this season hold for the Blues?