Well, here is a popular story about superstitions...
Long back there was a Bramhin house hold who were indulging in all the practices as specified in the books or vedhas. They had many animals as part of the house hold including a cat, some mouse, hens, cows et all.
The elder bramhin had to perform the annual cermoney ( death day rememberence) of his father and for this, they had to cook food, offer to other bramhins and only after seeking their blessings would they eat the food. The meschivoius cat used to try and sample the wonderfull smelly food which irritated the elder bramhin. So he used to take a big onake – a heavy wodden stake and tie up the cat untill everybody was served food including the cat.
The elder bramhins practice year over year was witnessed by the younger siblings. After the death of the father, the younger started performing his fathers annual rites. Here he would religiously go and get a onake, search for a cat as they coudnt afford to have one and tie it up till end of cermony.
Many generations later, the bramhin son is still cribbing that the cermonies are ok but tieing up the cat, getting the onake is troublesome not to talk about the irritating,wailing cat!!
So – this is how we can build, develop and deploy superstitions which are irralavent when basic things change!!