In the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling uses a lot of hidden references to the Latin language. You’ve probably read some of them. Like how Expecto Patronum (the spell to create a Patronus) literally means “I await a protector”. Or how Lupin’s name literally means ‘of a wolf’. She is very sneaky.
At the same time, I was musing about possible names for a stuffed white cat, because I can never think about just one thing. I jokingly said we should name it Albus because ‘alb-‘ is the latin root for white. Then I mentioned how the scientific name for a wild cat is Felis silvestris and two of the most famous cartoon cats are Felix and Sylvester. So the cartoonists took the scientific name of a cat and tweaked it to use as the name. SO SNEAKY!
Then, all of a sudden, I remembered the lucky potion Felix Felicis. If Felix is a nod to the Latin for cat, and Felicis (I looked this up to be sure) comes from the Latin root ‘felic’ which means favorable or lucky, is she referencing the lucky waving cats?!
For those of you who don’t know what the Lucky Cat is, you’ve probably seen it and haven’t known what it is.
There are several versions of the folklore, but the one that I heard goes like this:
The first emperor was riding his horse through the countryside to greet his people, when he saw a cat sitting up and waving. When he went over to investigate, he was drawn out of the way of an assassin’s arrow. Now it is said that anyone who sees a waving cat will have good fortune.
The whole idea, is that the Lucky Cat brings (duh) luck. And the potion Felix Felicis brings LUCK. Is JK Rowling being sneaky again???