Black Cats, The Rule of Three and Cracked Backs

Do you believe curses come in threes? That celebrity deaths happen in threes, that running around a building three times will remove a curse, that bad news knocks thrice?  

How about stepping on a crack will break your momma’s back? Never walk under a ladder?  Don’t let a black cat cross your path?  Rhea & Gypsy

C’mon, tell me.  Are there any superstitions you buy into?  

As much as I am into myth, legend and all things woo woo, I’ll admit, I’m really not superstitious.  I’ve almost always had black cats (pictured are two of my babies, Gypsy is the fluffy one and Rhea the tiny girl behind her).  The only time my walking habits have hurt my mother are when I’ve tripped and fell into her (not a rare thing).  And ladders? Well, I’ll admit the only ones I’ve been around are the kind that unfold, so walking between those legs would require some major limbo action.  I, as my comment about tripping might have hinted at, am not graceful enough for limbo.  

So here I am last week, not really believing in that superstition stuff .  Its a typical day, except I’ve got a vicious pain in my stomach.  I blamed it on exercise.  I’d dived in wholeheartedly, as I usually do, starting my exercise program at the same level I’d left off. in other words, totally out of shape for working that hard. So I figured the pain was my muscles protesting.  Until I couldn’t stand upright.  Then my husband figured the pain was my body’s way of asking for a ride to the ER.  

As I told the fabulous ER nurse, and the equally fabulous ER doctor, I was fine.  I had a lot to do, a deadline and a new book release coming up. I had all the Christmas decorations stacked around my living room, waiting to be packaged away for the year.  I had a new dog that needed training and has major separation anxiety issues, and homeschool had just started again so I couldn’t miss a day.  No, no, I was fine.  

The fabulous nurse and doctor decided otherwise, and wheeled me off to surgery.  The surgeon (also fabulous, btw) said it would be a simple appendectomy and such I was such a good (and frantic) patient, I’d likely get to go home the next day! Yay, right?  I only had time to text my kids (poor babies) and send my mom an email.  Just in case *g*  Yes, I am superstitious enough to believe that if I didn’t tell my mother I love her before I go into surgery, something bad could happen and she’d be mad at me forever.  

cat umbrella

So fast forward to the next day.  I’m fine, albeit appendix-less. I get to come home, albeit in a lot of pain.  And I call my mother (see, I should be getting good daughter points or something!)  She’s practically hyperventilating.  At first I thought it was because she was worried about the dog (my new dog with separation anxiety was one of her puppies. She breeds Yorkies and they are so freaking cute!). Nope. I was the third family member in the hospital that week.  My brother had back surgery the pervious thursday, which I knew about.  What I didn’t know is that he’d had complications. My grandmother was wheeled off in an ambulance (escorted by a couple of firetrucks.  Yowza) Sunday night for what turned out to be an ugly case of dehydration.  And then, after dealing with all of that, my poor mom gets up Tuesday morning to a note from her favorite (okay, I added that. She’d probably deny it.  In public) child, telling her she’s going into surgery.  Not a good week for my  mom. Or, I guess, for the rest of my family LOL. Then on Weds while on the phone with my other brother (not the one who’d had back surgery) he tells me he’s heading into the doctor because he’s afraid his lung has collapsed again.  I told him if it did, don’t tell mom. She can’t take one more. But here’s where the superstition thing comes in.  He went in, they said he was fine. HE had my pulled muscles!!! Okay, so he pulled his muscles, but he had the injury I claimed I was so sure I had.  


So we did the three hospital visits, and voila.  Curse broken.  


That’s all it takes, isn’t it? 

As you can probably tell from this post, the pain meds are still lurking in my system.  But I have to ask… do you believe in superstitions? Just a few? None at all? Every single one? What ones have you seen come true?  Chime in and make me feel less silly, and I’ll draw one name to win their choice of any of my backlist books (that I actually have *g*)  

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  • ki pha says:

    Aww Feel better Tawny.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Tawny,
    I’m a bit superstitious. I don’t walk under ladders, but I open umbrellas indoor to dry them. I like/believe in good luck charms.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Ooooh, see. This is so funny. I like to think (pre 3 family members in the hospital, that is) that I’m not superstitious. But I totally believe in good luck charms! I have crystals for focus on my desk and never fly without my worry stone.

      I never thought of that as superstitious before (paranoid, yes, but not superstitious) but now I’m seeing that maybe… hmmmm


  • flchen1 says:

    Aww… Tawny, hope you’re on the mend and getting good drugs in the meantime 😉 I’m not terribly superstitious, but I did go through a phase as a kid where I very carefully avoided sidewalk cracks and black cats…

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hugs and thanks, Fedora 🙂 I’m feeling really good (and am still on drugs after 8 since that seems to be when the pain hits these days *g*)

      Oooh, the cats and cracks 🙂 I think there is a time when we’re young that we are so open to those worries. I always wonder where these superstitions come from – when did a sidewalk crack equate to mom’s spine, you know? But as kids, we’re all in.

  • Helen says:


    I am glad you are on the mend I do believe that things do comin in threes LOL and one thing I never do is put new shoes on a table because it will bring bad luck funny I am not really superstitious but that was one thing my Mum always said and it has always stayed with me LOL.

    Have Fun and take it easy

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hi Helen and thank you so much!

      LOL the threes, that I am clearly buying into. But I have never heard about putting new shoes on the table. Is this in a box, or putting your feet while wearing the new shoes on the table? If it’s the latter, I can see how that’d be bad luck – my mom would have smacked me *g*

      I have a friend who throws salt over her shoulder when she spills any – she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it. She’d heard it so often growing up that its automatic 😀

      • Helen says:

        LOL Tawny yes in a box although I would have been in trouble with my feet up there as well 🙂 I have seen people do the salt over the shoulder as well but that is something I haven’t done

        Have Fun

        • Oooh, Oooh, I can explain the salt over the shoulder!!

          Salt used to be so expensive it was used as a commodity to buy other goods. (We’re talking ancient times here folks.) So if you spilled salt it was considered very bad luck. To prevent it from continuing, you throw a very small pinch over your LEFT shoulder!! (And yes, I do this in the kitchen.)

          • Tawny Weber says:

            Seee, seee, a reasonable explanation *g*

            Although I’m not sure how wasting more of an expensive commodity helps when you’re doing it because you just wasted an expensive commodity LOL. I always want to go sweep up behind the person tossing it, too.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Big, gentle hugs, my friend! So glad you’re on the mend – keep taking the pain killers and don’t overdo!

    Hmm, let’s see – in the UK black cats are considered lucky, so I’ve never bought into that bad luck thing. Plus, as many Banditas and BBs know, we’ve always adopted black/tuxedo cats because they’re the least likely to adopted.

    I also love magpies, so have never bought into the whole one for sorrow, two for joy thing – any time I see a magpie, i think of it as good luck – the more the merrier! Just before I sold, I saw 8(!) in a field!

    So, I guess I believe more in good luck charms than bad luck issues. That said – I don’t like the whole broken mirror one. I also don’t like to eat on two stacked plates – we were always told that ‘drowned a sailor’. And I’ve always done the throw salt over your shoulder.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      I am fascinated. Two stacked plates are bad? So those fancy chargers they put under plates is a no-no? I love the magpies foretelling awesome news. That’s a cool one!!

      thanks for the hugs, sweetie 🙂 I’m on the mend. Slower than I’d like, but mending all the same.

  • Tawny –

    Thank your handsome husband for me for not listening to you say that you were all right. Glad you’re on the mend.

    I’m not superstitious, but my husband is. He has superstitions I’ve never heard of. Something about knocking once or circling the block before leaving on a trip otherwise you’ll forget something? Well, I ALWAYS forget something whether we circle or not. 🙂

    I have a black cat. My eyesight is so bad I doubt I can even see the cracks. No lucky charms – but we do make sure we eat sauerkraut and pork on New Year’s Day to bring good luck. I think I’ve been pretty lucky in life so maybe that one works 🙂

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Thanks, Donna 🙂 I’ll pass on your appreciation, despite the fact that it’ll only add to his ‘I told you so’ trend *g*

      Oooh, I hadn’t ever heard the circling the block one. So, here’s the question… does he forget anything? *ggg*

      Oooh, sauerkraut and pork bring good luck, huh? I’m glad you’re eating them every new year then!

  • Laurie G says:

    Working as an RN I have to say that full moons bring out crazy people. The ER fills up as does the birthing room.

    I was never superstitious about the number 13. However, after last year’s continuous string of bad luck I’m now a believer. Anything that could break did: car broke down twice on the highway with no cell phone reception. AT&T has cut us out of their roaming areas. We are dropping them in July when our contract expires!
    We own 4 rental units we had to replace:
    2 refrigerators , 1 air conditioner, 2 hot water heaters, 1 furnace, 1 garage door and 1 range.
    We had flooding in a basement which caused over $6000 in damages just for drying out and re-landscaping!. Insurance did not cover it. We had 2 evictions. 1 tenant left voluntarily but owes us money. The other we had to evict via the Court system. We had to hire a lawyer as they counter-sued us for more than they owed us. We went through mediation and now they’ve reneged on that. We’ve lost over10 months of rent trying to get them out. Luckily we did not have to have the Sheriff’s Department move their stuff. They snuck out in the middle of the night.
    I’m so relieved they’re gone. Getting any compensation out of them will be expensive and tough to get as we don’t know where they moved to.
    Finally our daughter has been diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy. So we’ve moved back to Wisconsin to be available to assist as needed . Of course we’re having one of the coldest winters on record!

    I did have a rabbit’s foot when I was a young girl, maybe I better buy myself a new one!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      OMG Laurie!!!

      I’m so so sorry for the horrible luck you’ve been having. Yes, get a rabbit’s foot. Get a whole rabbit and carry it around with you. I would *g*

      I hope all the rental woes work out, and especially that your daughter and grand baby do wonderfully well!!

  • Shannon says:

    I’m just resigned to life happening, with good luck and bad luck. If I want to I can count 3 things that went wrong in both 2012 and 2013. In 2012, I had frozen shoulder which rehab fixed, having my landlord being foreclosed on and having to move in 3 weeks, followed by gallblader surgery. Before the surgery, I considered calling Mom but decided that since everything else had gone right after going tilt, it’d be best to tell her everything was on the mend.

    In 2014, I had a crop of medical issues the first half of the year, lost my beloved black cat Julia on the 4th of July, and my mother developed serious medical problems after being healthy for forever. Of course, everything turned out okay–doctors figured out how to fix the problems, I was catless and could go to Spokane and stay for 5 weeks, and Mom is now in assisted living and is getting stronger and fiestier.

    My good luck charm has been friends who have assured me that I will get through anything because I’m a strong woman. My other good luck charm is my two brothers who said we were family and would do the right thing. My other good luck charm is books–when the world seems too much, I can get away to a place where characters overcome challenges and discover happy endings.

    You’re a strong woman, and I hope you get better.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Oh, Shannon! Big hugs on the loss of your cat. i”m so glad your health issues and your mom’s are all better, though! And that the three string is broken. What great brothers, though 🙂 And that’s a special friend.
      I love that books are your good luck charm. That is such an amazing thing to hear 😀 I hope your 2014 is filled with lots of wonderful luck and great reads!

  • Debbie says:

    I’m can’t say that I’m superstitious but some seem to be common sense and some weird happenings . I do have to say things seem to come in 3, but I don’t believe that they have to come in 3. The full moon does seem to affect people, working in retail for many years, we seem to get quite the characters during full moon, some of the strangest questions. Walking under a ladder I don’t do because I’m afraid of something being up there and falling on my head. Black cats, my sisters had and nothing happened to them. I do have to say that it is fun though when you find a 4 leaf clover and say “Good Luck”.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      I have never found a 4 leaf clover -I’m so bummed. I think it’d be good luck if for no other reason than that they are so hard to find LOL

      I’m with you on the effects of the full moon. I truly believe in that and it’s power to influence moods, tides and pregnancies *g*

      How cool to hear it touches retail, too. That could make for such a fun story! hmmmm

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I am not a superstitious person although I have noticed the celebrity thing seems true at times.

  • Penney wilfort says:

    I hope you feel better Tawny,
    I believe in superstitions some of them, my husband is from England and they don’t believe in killing spiders so if I see a black widow in the house I will kill it then he gets mad because I did! I been bitten by them so many times I hate them. He thinks if I kill them we get bad lick but we never do. .
    I don’t believe in if you open a unbrella in the house it’s bad luck I open them if they are wet and put them in the bath tub. If you walk under a ladder it’s surpose to be bad luck now that I’m not sure? A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I was window shopping and she walk around one and I walked under one it was fine till a man on the ladder scream at me because he had a small box of nails on the sidewalk and I seen them and step over them but his screaming scared the daylights out of me so maybe that was the bad luck? LOL!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      HI Penney 🙂 Thanks, Im doing better this week than last for sure.

      Whoa. Superstition or not, no way would I live inside with Black Widows. Nope. I’d figure it’s bad luck to keep getting bitten by them 😀

      ROFL at your walking under the ladder story 🙂

  • Diana Huffer says:

    Hope you are feeling better! 🙂

    Superstitions — sometimes I believe, sometimes I don’t. It seems to depend on which side of my brain I’m using at the time — the creative side or the logical side. I have to admit that I’m a “gotta see it to believe it” gal… For instance, I do believe in ghosts… My grandmother came to me on the night of the day she died. She sat on the end of my bed and told me she was OK and in a better place. That’s just one of my many ghostly experiences… 🙂

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Diana, I love how you put that -creative or logical brain. You’re so right. When Im in creative mode, I believe anything and everything is possible. When I’m being logical, I can argue away whats right in front of my eyes.

      Great ghost story 🙂 I have a lot of similar ones in my family, from my grampa seeing his mother as she was passing to my dad seeing his high school coach. You’re going to have to share your other ghost stories sometime 😀

      • Diana Huffer says:

        Oh, ghost stories! I’ve had experiences with the supernatural since I was a young child. My first experience was when I was in elementary school. My friends and I were trying to do a seance. In the upper left corner of the room, I saw a disembodied head. It was of a man that was decidedly Middle Eastern — turban and all. In my teenage years, my dad and I were “playing” with an Ouija board. We asked if there was anyone out there and the board gave us the names of 7 Middle Eastern men. Again, I saw that same head in the living room window. The next day, the 7 men were listed in the paper as having been killed during a battle in the Middle East (I can’t remember where…). Pretty spooky, huh?

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Hope you are feeling better, Tawny! An infected appendix is not something to brush off!

    I come from a very superstitious family so try as I might it’s hard not to have some of that get ingrained in you! I do believe that things come in threes; I also believe (from experience) that I have good luck on Friday the 13th (after all, both my parents as well as my youngest son were born on the 13th) but bad luck on Saturday the 14th. I was a professional astrologer for a while and I do my tarot on a regular basis. In fact, I’m slightly concerned right now because when I did my tarot for the coming year, I do it three times and all three times the Death card came up for February. The last time I saw that card my husband had his stroke. So I’m getting my stuff in order, just in case!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Thanks 🙂 I’m feeling a lot better.

      I’m with you on the good luck on Friday the 13th. It’s always been stellar for me. So awesome that you’re an astrologer. I’ve been looking for an astrologer 🙂

      Oh man on your husband’s stroke at your previous Death card visit. I’d be concerned, too. But don’t forget that the Death card can also mean other types of endings. Jobs, relationships, health issues, that kind of thing. I hope it’s the end to a struggle and not any other kind of end 😀

  • Tawny, first can I say again how glad I am your hubby took you to the ER and how glad I am that the ER nurse and doctor were on the ball and DIDN’T listen to you? (Trust me, you think you hurt then and now…had you gone home and that thing burst…not good!!!)

    I do believe in deaths happening in 3’s and bad cases in the L&D department happening in threes, as well as sets of multiples. (Get one set of twins or triplets, and two more are bound to follow quickly!) And while I believe the tides and barometric pressure has a lot to do with increased # of babies born during the full moon…I do believe the “crazies” come out with it!!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Suz, that is so so cool that deliveries come in threes like that. That alone would make me a believer 😀

      I’m with you-the moon does crazy things to people. Since it’s effects on the earth are so clearly documentable, I logically am all in with the idea that it has equally strong influence over those of us on earth 😀

      I’m glad my hubby took me in, too. Now 😀 And i’m so grateful to all the awesome nurses and doctors out there.

  • catslady says:

    Glad you are feeling better. I’m not much for doctors so avoid them like the plague – a few misdiagnoses among other things did the trick lol. I think superstitions are just plain fun and don’t believe in them. I think it would be fun to find the basis for some of them.

  • Cassondra says:

    Tawny I don’t believe in superstition at all. Though I do believe in all kinds of woo woo stuff.

    I think maybe if a group of people gives something their attention–and believes in it for long enough, then maybe they can give it power…But I’ve never bought into watching myself when I walk down the sidewalk. Nah. Just not into it.

    I once wrote a song about it, called “Lucky’s Man.” Guy feels so lucky to be wtih this new girl that he’s walking under ladders, doing all that stuff. *grin* I ain’t skeerd.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Cassondra, my woo woo sister 🙂

      Yes, I do believe that what we focus on and think about becomes our reality. And the more people thinking and focusing, the bigger that reality. That’s simple physics, even without the added woo woo boost.

      Ohhh, what a great title for your song! You’re gonna have to perform it now, you know that, right?

  • Patty L. says:

    I hope you feel better and get back to your exercise routine quickly. Surgery sucks. Well wishes being sent . 🙂

    As for superstitions, I am a believer. Although, since my daughter was born on the 13th and she is one of the greatest things to happen to me I find all Friday the 13’s lucky. I believe everything bad happens in 3’s, including deaths, hospital visits and car accidents.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Oooh, what a wonderful 13th blessing!! That’d have me convinced the 13th was a lucky day, too 🙂

      Thanks for the wishes. Surgery definitely sucks, and is way not fun. But I’m on the mend. I don’t think I’ll be released to exercise for a few weeks yet, but I’m hoping 🙂

  • may says:

    I am not a big believer but I am not a disbeliever either. My mom is very big on ghosts though and all superstitions…

    • Tawny Weber says:

      There ya go, May 😀 Right in the middle of the road. Neither in or out, means you’re always pretty safe *g* Like Cassondra said, sometimes believing is all it takes to make things happen.

      Ghosts. Oh, yeah, I’m with your mom 🙂

  • Kim says:

    Hope you feel better soon. Isn’t it amazing how the mind always says it’s nothing while the body is shouting that something is wrong. My sister tried to endure a painful episode for several hours thinking it would pass only to be diagnosed with gallstones.

    I’m not superstitious, yet I must admit I always remember the old warnings about not walking under ladders or not stepping on the sidewalk cracks.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Thanks, Kim 🙂

      The mind is an amazing thing. Stubborn minds even more amazing LOL. And OMG a gall bladder is so painful. Im glad your sister finally got that taken care of.

  • Tawny, bad luck came in threes when I was growing up, and so I have a tendency to think it always does. The last time I had surgery, I made sure both the dh and the boy knew I loved them. There’s always a risk, however small, with general anesthesia, so why leave anything unsaid?

    I’m not especially superstitious, I don’t think. I don’t walk under ladders (safety issue there) or open umbrellas in the house (because why, unless they needed to dry in the bathroom), but I don’t worry about black cats in my path.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Nancy, I didn’t know I was the third in the family in the hospital but I still told my husband and kids (and mom) that I loved them 🙂 Of course, I am big on scrubbing the house clean before I fly, too, just in case my mom has to pack up my stuff LOL. Clearly I’m afraid of my mother.

      I’m feeling better, thanks! Well, at least until i decided to put away some holiday decorations today (its driving me nuts). I pulled or tugged or something wrong and am now curled up on the couch again. I need to learn to just ignore stuff LOL.

  • bn100 says:

    Not really

  • Kaelee says:

    Tawny ~ Hope you are fully recovered soon.

    I am semi-superstitious. I do the salt thing as a habit more than a belief. I do think things some in threes.

    My English granny was very superstitious. I can’t remember all the things she worried about. One that I do remember is the one about never seeing a new moon for the first time through glass. On the night of the new moon she would go outside to look at it. Then my older sister pointed out that she was defeating her method as she wore glasses. Thereafter she would go out without her glasses on. My mom was so mad at my sister for pointing this out. My sister was so glad that my granny never fell on these trips. If one of us was around we always helped her.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hi Kaelee 🙂 I am feeling better. Mostly.

      Oh wow, I hadn’t ever heard of the not looking at a new moon through glass – that is so cool. I’m trying not to giggle about your gramma and her glasses, though. I’d be worried about her falling, too. Heck, if it was me, I’d be worried LOL. I fall easily.

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    I hope you feel better soon, Tawny!

    I totally buy into the ‘bad things happen in threes’ scenario. Also that things get weird during a full moon. I worked over 20 years on a locked Psych unit and you could just tell when it was a full moon. Really.

  • Pat Cochran says:

    Hi, Tawny,

    (I’m baaaaack! Didn’t go anywhere, just was at
    home trying to recover from the madness also
    known as the holidays!)

    I’m so glad to hear that you are home and doing
    better after your visit to SurgeryLand. Thanks to
    all for their care of you!

    I definitely believe in the threes thing, we were a
    happy together family when boom!. We lost two
    siblings and a sister-in-law inside of 15 months in
    2012 and 2013. As for other superstitions, it is
    dependent on whether Mother “observed” those
    superstitions. Salt, umbrella, ladders, and black
    cats are all a yes. I’m definitely careful about the
    cracks in a sidewalk, the last one I stepped on had
    my face planted on said sidewalk! OUCH!

    Pat C.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Welcome back, Pat 🙂 yay for an end to the madness!!!

      Oh wow on the three losses. I’m so sorry! And OMG on the face plant into the sidewalk. That had to hurt!!! Wow, and ouch times two.

      Thanks for the get well wishes 🙂

  • Kimh says:

    I believe in some but then I knock on wood lol, get better

  • Mary Preston says:

    I’m not superstitious at all, but some make sense. You will not see me walking under a ladder any time soon.