Friday, June 18, 2010

Being chased around by the neighbor's cat

CATS AND COMMERCE:
The frequency of dominant white is also higher [in the islands off the northern and western coasts of Scotland and to a lesser extent in rural Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the Isle of Man] than almost anywhere else. Could it be that 1,000 years after they were introduced to these last outposts of European civilization cats still reflect what may have been aesthetic preferences of the Vikings?

The only other place where this combination of orange and dominant-white frequencies is known to occur is the re­mote district of Van in eastern Turkey [...] The evidence suggests that the Vikings selectively transported this profile of sex-linked orange and dominant white from their contacts on the Black Sea and planted it in the North Atlantic.
It is not generally known that the Vikings were great cat fanciers and that many of their incursions into the vulnerable coastal settlements around Europe were in fact well-intended offers to rehouse unwanted pets (especially members of exotic breeds) whose previous owners had died suddenly.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicLOST CAT
Alfonso Garibaldi Judah III, Somalian Red pedigree tom. Last seen boarding a longship in 875 CE in the company of viking raiders. If found, please return to Lindisfarne Abbey.
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Klaatu and Jeroboam did not enjoy the cold Trondheim winters and to the disappointment of their new owners they failed to produce issue.
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Chapter 77 of the Laxdæla Saga records Bolli Bollason's return to Iceland after serving in the Varangian Guard in Byzantium:
Bolli brought with him a great deal of money and many treasures that princes and men of rank had given him. [...] He was wearing clothes of gold-embroidered silk which the Byzantine Emperor had given him, and over them a scarlet cloak. He was girt with the sword 'Leg-Biter', its pommel now gold-embossed and the hilt bound with gold. He had a gilded helmet on his head and a red shield at his side on which a knight was traced in gold. He carried a lance in his hand, as is the custom in foreign lands. Wherever they took lodgings for the night, the womenfolk paid no heed to anything but to gaze at Bolli and his companions and all their finery, and the pure white cat that traveled with them, a breed that had never before been seen in these lands. Many thought it must be the gift of a fairy-cat from the Troll King under the mountain.
Pandemonium erupted when Bolli showed the cat at the Reykjavik Fancy-Breeds-Cat-Show-and-Althing in 1030 and his detractor Thorkel Eyjolfsson implied that its coat had been artificially whitened with pumice and eggshell. There were six deaths before the judges could intervene, and Helgi Hardbeinsson ended up condemned to outlawry for taking advantage of the confusion to switch a Second Prize rosette from the prize-winner's cage to that of his own entry.

BONUS Cat-colour commentary from Cats & Commerce:
It appears that the single-coloured coat, notably black, is favoured by the urban environment, perhaps because this mutation is linked through the hormonal system with a temperament that is less aggressive, less fearful and more tolerant of crowding than the wild type, that is, the agouti or striped tabby.
AK needs to inform Mrs Cat that she is not aggressive or fearful or intolerant of crowding.

UPDATE: In comments, M.Bouffant mentions the state of Maine where it is apparently so lonely.

I see your Maine Coon and raise you a Norwegian Forest Cat:

16 comments:

merc said...

Best eva.

sedac, to observe pot.

M. Bouffant said...

Well it's so lonely in the State of Maine.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

See!

I could tell Mrs. Cat has a heart of gold just by looking at her picture.
~

tigris said...

I could tell Mrs. Cat has a heart of gold just by looking at her picture.

Yes, but ripped from whose chest?

Also, dibs on Bolli's Leg-Biter as a cat name.

mikey said...

The evidence suggests that the Vikings selectively transported this profile of sex-linked orange and dominant white from their contacts on the Black Sea and planted it in the North Atlantic.

UR DOIN IT WORNG!!

Lessee here. I wonder how many cats they planted before it began to occur to them that the results were consistently disappointing? How did they become convinced that cats reproduced the same way turnips did?

But to make matters even more embarrassingly stoopid, it seems they planted them in the OCEAN. I wonder if they spent several quite hungry centuries trying that with turnips too? I'm gonna go ahead and blame the mead. They'd get hammered and plant a couple cats, then they'd wake up the next day with only the foggiest memory of the previous days toils.

In fact, while we're exploring the Viking's questionable methodologies, can we file a sword named "Leg Biter" in the "Damned with Faint Praise" file?

Substance McGravitas said...

How did they become convinced that cats reproduced the same way turnips did?

The mainstream media has completely eradicated all references to the cuddliness of turnips.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I am prepared to give Hardrada seven feet of English soil, and a bushel of catnip!

Smut Clyde said...

But to make matters even more embarrassingly stoopid, it seems they planted them in the OCEAN.

These are Lake Van Swimming Cats we're talking about, so the mistake is actually quite understandable.

Smut Clyde said...

Also, dibs on Bolli's Leg-Biter as a cat name.

Good luck with embossing the cat's pommel with gold and binding its hilt.

mikey said...

God DAMN I hate shit like that!

Y'got like seventeen tabs open, and one starts making all sorts of goddam noise and hell, it can't be fucking Riddled, right? So you go slamming down Chrome tabs and fuck ME if it isn't fucking Kiwis breaking every fucking intert00bz convention.

It's ON, mi amigo. Oh, yeah. It's SO on....

Smut Clyde said...

The Autostart parameter, she does not work with SWF movies.
The Loop parameter seems to help, anyway.

mikey said...

HTML 5 Video can NOT get here fast enough for me.

I'm gonna have a cup of tea and smoke some weed. I'll be back....

(Or not...)

Another Kiwi said...

Hah hah Rulez are for teh breaking, KEEEWEEES!!!

merc said...

Rules change, change rules.

epronqu, yeah yeah

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Their efforts to establish the Van as an official breed were hampered, however, by a conflict with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), the main legislative organization of the cat fancy in England. Lushington decided to use the name "Van" for both the breed and her cattery, which was prohibited by GCCF rules.

Effing rulez!
~

Another Kiwi said...

Viking cat