The Norwegian Forest Cat, with its long claws and large paws, can climb rocks and is one of the few cats that can come down a tree head first. With two coats to protect against cold, wet weather, it is well adapted to roam outside. It will hunt exclusively for its own food and is prized by Norwegian farmers for its superior hunting abilities. This breed craves company, loves to be handled and petted, and enjoys hanging out with other animals.
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 huge, white 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. One tale tells how a certain farmer always had to share Christmas supper 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 farmer’s cat, offered the sleeping animal some food, whereupon the 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! Anyone who can charm a troll into believing that it has thunder in its throat is a worthy friend indeed.
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