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The Norwegian Forest Cat

The Cohort Cat - Also known as the Butter Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat, known as a Skogkatt in its native Norway. With its fluffy tail and fluffy ruff around the neck, long clawed and large footed, she can climb rocks and trees - being one of the only cats who can come down a tree head first. The breed once lived in the woods of its native land, it almost became extinct during World War II, and owes its survival to Carl-Fredrik Nordane, a former president of the Norwegian Cat Association. Highly prized by Norwegian farmers for its superior hunting abilities. This cat loves the outdoors, and craves company, she loves to be handled and petted and returns this affection in full measure if not more - a very companionable and loyal cat.

The cat's ancestry still remains a mystery, some have likened it to the Maine Coon cat. The cat is known as a consummate hunter and if given the opportunity, will hunt exclusively for her own food.

In Scandinavia, the outdoor puss developed a wintry reputation for solitude and fireside meditations, and so became what is known as the butter cat. The butter cat turned into the unlikely guardian of the butter. The point being, whatever the cat was, or is, it is possessed of such charm that it could be the champion of anyone, or anything, even a blob of butter!

This is a funny kind of cat who likes to hang-out with other animals. This is the cohort cat who can get too doggy for her own good. As one writer put it: Oh, what a tangled web she weaves, this cat of sorts, this cat of sorties with animals not her kind.

Mythology identifies the Norwegian Forest Cat with the myths of Freya, the Nordic sun goddess whose chariot of fire was drawn skyward by a pair of cats. All farmers who put out milk for stray cats were blessed by Freya, who also blessed lovers and sanctified crops. Friday is Freya's day, and it was considered an auspicious day for weddings. Cats, it was thought, could foretell marriages, and if a cat appeared at a wedding, it meant good tidings.

It was also believed that the Norwegian Forest Cat could scare away trolls in Lapland and from Norway to the Netherlands. One tale tells how a certain farmer always had christmas super with a bunch of trolls. Once, a wanderer and his pet bear came to spend the night during the feast. A troll thinking the beast was the farmers cat, offered the sleeping animal some food, whereupon the sleeping beast let out a fearsome growl. As trolls are terrified of thunder, they all rushed out of the farmer's house - forever afraid of cats!

And that is why the cohort cat is so popular in folklore - anyone who can charm a troll into believing that it has thunder stored in its throat is a worthy friend indeed. And the friend of butter lets a little of this thunder out, whenever she is offered a lick of that golden treasure. Otherwise, as the legend says, she will guard it as long as she lives.

The Norwegian Forest Cat can wear nearly any coat colour (except for a pointed pattern), it always possesses distinctive greenish-gold eyes.

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