We are often asked what the story of the black cat that can often be seen in the restaurant, Stollen 1930 or in the Träumerei #8 is.

Nobody could say later where the black cat that wandered into the rock tunnel of the Auracher Löchl inn sometime after 1870 came from. She wandered about for a while between the beer and wine casks that were stored there and then made herself comfortable on one of the wine casks, purring contentedly.

And there she stayed for the next few days. “There is a really weird cat in the cellar” one of the girls reported to the landlord. “She won't be chased away. As soon as I shoo her off, she's back again”. The old Auracher went with the girl to the cellar but when he saw where the cat was resting, he had to laugh: “The animal knows at least what's good: That's our best wine in that cask!

The landlord scratched the beautiful black cat gently behind the ears and told her jokingly: “You take good care of our best wine!” Then he had a bowl of milk brought from the kitchen for her and told the servants to leave the animal in peace.

One night however, a servant stole secretly into the cellar. He had a hammer with him, along with a wine syphon and an earthenware jug intending, as he had often done before, to help himself to a goodly portion of the wine set aside for special days. Swiftly, the man climbed onto the cask so as to hammer out the plug. He threw the black cat carelessly to the ground and snarled: “Get lost, you damned animal!” Hardly had the servant brought the hammer to bear, however, that the cat was upon him.

She attacked him tooth and nail in the face, and bit and scratched him so terribly that the servant shouted desperately for help. And so it was for decades: the black cat always stood guard diligently over the best cask of wine. She allowed wine to be drawn by the cup-bearer or the staff of the inn but attacked all others hissing in their faces. The regulars quickly learned about her affectations and when ordering, demanded “make sure you bring us the 'good one' from the black cat...

Later, around 1900, a particularly pious Auracher-Löchl Landlady didn't want to put up with the supposed “devil-beast”. The woman called a very learned Franciscan priest from Thierberg, who had already driven out many undesirable spirits or banished them to the Wilder Kaiser mountains. The priest entered the cellar with holy water, prayer book and a rosary and began with the exorcism. The black cat indeed miaowed unhappily at the spray of water but remained lying down. In the end the priest gave up and said to the landlady: “Either this is no spirit at all or it is a good spirit. An evil one would have to have moved long ago!” And so the black cat became part of the Auracher Löchl's history forever and later even became part of the coat of arms of the house.

Today, many people coming at a late hour from the Gin Gallery and the Stollen 1930 swear to have seen - either in the rock gallery or in the Römerhofgasse - no small white mice but a beautiful black cat!

Perhaps you too will come across the black cat if you stay at the freshly-renovated Boutique Hotel Träumerei #8, or during an evening meal in the Auracher Löchl or whilst enjoying a gin tonic in the Stollen 1930.

Family Richard Hirschhuber & the guest enchanter

written by Auracher-Löchl Hannes
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