According to North Carolina’s Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, around 900 million dollars is lost each year on Friday the 13th, due to people choosing not to travel or otherwise conduct business on this day. It’s estimated that some 21 million people suffer from some form of Friday the 13th phobia.

Listen as one woman describes a related superstition, often associated with Friday the 13th:

I bet many of you reading now may change your path when you encounter a black cat, even if you would never admit to believing in this superstition.

According to “The People’s Almanac,” here is why we seem to be stuck with the ridiculous myth:

“The Egyptians worshiped the cat and punished anyone who dared to kill

one. In the Middle Ages, however, the black cat was linked to witches

and Satan. Since it was believed that a witch had the power to

transform herself into a cat, it was thought likely that a cat who

crossed one’s path was a witch in disguise.”

The anti-witch movement, in turn, provided a reason to persecute many women, strip them of their money and social standing. I hate to think who benefited from their convenient disappearance.

To this day, black, as well as black & white, cats remain among the most un-adopted at animal shelters. I worked for a California shelter, and noticed this pattern. Cats in general are often overlooked versus dogs. So if you have room in your heart and home for a cat, please consider adopting one or more. They are such loyal and affectionate pets.

Another myth is that cats are antisocial. Every cat I’ve ever shared digs with—and we’re talking a lot of cats over the years—has almost never left my side, at least willingly. Cats raised in a loving environment will crave your company, and give you tremendous affection back in return.

Many romances begin over a shared love of pets, so that’s the “magic” I prefer to believe in.