A Deal With The Devil
From Jennie Roussin DeClue: There was a story of Old Anthony DeClue (About 150 years ago, according to my Mother-in Law, Elma Cordia DeClue), who, for reasons unknown was supposed to have sold his soul to the Devil. He lived alone and was an eccentric, and neighbors saw him playing with snakes and doing other odd things. When he became mortally ill, the ladies of the community came in to care for him as was the custom. Of course, they immediately called the priest who came to shrive him. He said, "O! Father, you have come much too late, for I can feel the devil tearing me up inside" And at the hour of his passing, black cats were seen walking the beams in his house. Of course, this is a tale told by the old French Folk. To me, it harkens back to Mediaeval Europe, when there was a fear of black cats as Devil's instruments, and there were many witch burnings. Many of those families left France in the early 1600's and carried much of their culture with them. As they were taken up with surviving, they retained many of their folkways and more.