Did Pope Gregory’s Order to Kill Cats Set Off the Bubonic Plague?

A popular myth is that Pope Gregory IX in the 1200s had a phobia against cats, issued an edict or papal bull ordering all the cats in Europe to be slaughtered. That eventually caused the bubonic plague, the theory goes, because the deaths of cats caused an infestation of rats, who brought disease and epidemics. “We accept this story—that we humans once crossed cats and it resulted in one in three of us dying—because it just feels right,” posted Alex Johnson on MuseumHack.com. But he goes on to cleverly deconstruct this myth and prove it untrue, or as he calls it, “fake mews.”

 

 

3 thoughts on “Did Pope Gregory’s Order to Kill Cats Set Off the Bubonic Plague?

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