Historically, black cats were symbolically associated with witchcraft and evil. In Hebrew and Babylonian folklore, cats are compared to serpents, coiled on a hearth. Originally in Britain and Europe, a black cat crossing one's path was considered good luck; however they were also seen by the church as associated with witches. It was the church, who considered them unholy and pagan, who altered their reputation. The black cat was still usually seen as good luck, however in the USA and parts of Europe which were affected by the witch hunts the association with witches caused them to be considered as bad luck. In places which weren't affected particularly by witch hunts, they retained their status as good luck, and are still considered as such in Japan, Britain and Egypt. However in Romanian culture and most of all in Moldavia historical region, even if this region was never affected by witch hunts or anti-paganism, one of the strongest superstitions, still feared by many people, say that black cats crossing ones path represent bad luck.
Ralph Chaplin created the image of a black cat in a fighting stance, the IWW's symbol of sabotage.
Since the 1880s, the color black has been associated with anarchism. The black cat, in an alert, fighting stance was later adopted as an anarchist symbol. More specifically, the black cat - often called the "sab cat" or "sabo-tabby" is associated with anarcho-syndicalism, a branch of anarchism that focuses on workers' rights. Anarchists, Situationists and Revolutionary Industrial Unionists such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) believe that a general strike could be the spark for revolution. (Mainstream unions in the United States of America do not support the general strike.) But it is the spontaneous surprise strike, which invariably occurs without union authorization, that is referred to as the wildcat strike.
In testimony before the court in a 1918 trial of IWW leaders, Ralph Chaplin, who is generally credited with creating the IWW's black cat symbol, stated that the black cat "was commonly used by the boys as representing the idea of sabotage. The idea being to frighten the employer by the mention of the name sabotage, or by putting a black cat somewhere around. You know if you saw a black cat go across your path you would think, if you were superstitious, you are going to have a little bad luck. The idea of sabotage is to use a little black cat on the boss.