The Black Plague, as most of us know, decimated Western Europe and killed about 1/3rd of the population in the 1300’s. “How could such a tragedy prove that white people suck?” you may be asking yourself. Well, allow me to elaborate.
The Black Plague (or Bubonic Plague) is a nasty little disease that usually affects rats, but can be spread to humans via fleas. Once you got the plague, most people around you were screwed since we weren’t great at the whole “not spreading disease” thing yet. Now, seeing as rats were the carriers (though to be fair to the rats, it’s the fleas that are the real douches in this scenario), most people with an understanding of cause and effect would go “hey,you know how we have those massive stores of grain and all those rats hang out there and Greg the grain guy was the first person to get sick? Then, like, you know that family that just left their food and shit EVERYWHERE so there were a bunch of rats and then THEY got sick too? Maybe we should kill all those rats*!”
“No, wait, never mind. I’m not a monster.”
But no. They didn’t identify the rats as the cause of all their gross, bubonic distress. Instead the pinpointed the true enemy:
“I’m praying to the dark lord Beelzebub!”
Cats were already regarded with a lot of suspicion in Europe because, you know, witches. Also, have you met cats? They’re so hard to read! Why they gotta be so moody? Like one minute they’re all “yeah, this petting is hella rad” and then the next they’re biting the shit out of you and escaping your apartment so you have to go searching for them for three hours so your roommate doesn’t flip.
They also tend to hang out where rats live because cats kill rats. It’s kind of their jam – it’s also why cats started hanging around humans. We store food, stored food = vermin, and cats love to eat them some vermin.
But being the geniuses we were back in the “we live in our own shit and throw corpses into drinking water and burn people at the stake for pointing out that this might be stupid” times, we decided that since CATS were around whenever people fell victim to the plague, obviously cats were the cause because cats were “consorts of satan.”
Yep. Cats love the devil, so kill the cats or whatever! It makes sense!
It got so bad that we almost wiped out cats in Europe and, as you can guess, this cat murdering spree caused a spike in black plague rat babies which only made shit worse but did Europeans pay that any mind? Nope. Because… Satan.
Luckily people finally got a bit wise since the cat genocide resulted in a bunch more people dying and they somehow avoided getting called a witch for more than 5 minutes to pinpoint that rats might be the real enemy. People were allowed the have cats again (yes, they were even outlawed at one point because this was an age before the internet) and this helped decrease rat populations.
Of course, we were still dumbasses who didn’t get why throwing dead bodies in our drinking water was stupid but baby steps.
*the author does not endorse killing rats