Name(s): Matagot, mandagot, chat d’argent, money cat
Origin: Southern France
Appearance: A black cat.
Lore: The matagot or money cat is a creature said to be in service of a sorcerer or witch, like a familiar. It brings health and wealth to the master so long as it is cared for and respected. They should be fed the first mouthful of food and drink at every meal and should have a suitable box to sleep in. According to the lore they will bring misfortune to the master if not given away if the master is dying.
In some legends they are fairy creatures and bring good luck, as well as being spirit creatures that protect the home. In other stories they can walk between worlds and venture into the mysterious places of the night.
In general the matagot is a creature that looks like a black cat and brings good fortune. It would seem that the image of black cats being unlucky stems from their connection with sorcerers and witches, not on the legends of the creatures themselves.
As an interesting tidbit, it would seem the “Puss in Boots” is about a matagot. He went out at night and brought back food and riches to his master. Think about that next time you turn your nose up at a black cat.