A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to author Roby Sweet. Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Friday, December 12, 2014

What Kind of Cat Would Santa Claus Have? Part 1



Cartoon image of Santa Claus with Reindeer
Sure, Santa has reindeer, but you can't have a
reindeer sit on your lap (at least not
comfortably). Obviously, Santa
needs a cat...but what kind of cat?
Stock image by BluedarkArt, vie Adobe Stock.
Santa Claus has reindeer. Santa Claus has elves. Santa Claus has Mrs. Claus. But to my knowledge, Santa Claus does not have a cat, and that leads me to ask,

If Santa had a cat, what kind of cat would he have?

I have thought long and hard about this, and I am prepared to speculate that Santa might choose a Norwegian Forest Cat, for reasons outlined below. But first, a little background.

Who is this Santa Claus?

We got the jolly old elf otherwise known as Santa Claus from the Dutch character Sinterklaas, who was based on Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was a fourth-century bishop who was known for giving secret gifts, often by placing coins in people’s shoes. Sinterklaas may also have picked up influences from the Norse god Odin, who was associated with the midwinter pagan festival of Yule and who led the so-called Wild Hunt (a mysterious and foreboding procession of hunters across the sky). 

According to popular lore, Santa lives at the North Pole, which is not a warm place, as I’m sure you know. Also according to popular lore, Santa is … well, let’s call him large. Better yet, let’s call him substantial

The Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian forest cat in the snow

Norwegian Forest Cat in the snow.
Photo by Pieter Lanser [CC-BY-2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons.
Not coincidentally, the first word used to describe the Norwegian Forest Cat in the book The Elegance of the Cat is “substantial.” The Cat Fancier’s Association calls this cat “a large, sturdy cat, well-muscled.” That is our first clue that this could be the cat for Santa.

What other clues do we have?

Well, there is the fact that Norwegian Forest Cats originated in Norway, where they are called skogkatt (“forest cat”). This brings us right back to Sinterklaas and the Norse god Odin.

Then there is the Norwegian Forest Cat’s thick coat to keep him warm and dry in winter conditions, as well as her tufted paws—perfect for life at the wintry North Pole.

And let’s not forget this breed’s reputation for intelligence, gregariousness, and calm adaptability—perfect for life with elves (I have a feeling elves are hard to live with).

To sum up, here we have a substantial, intelligent cat adapted for life in a cold climate and able (probably) to live with elves. In other words, the perfect cat for Santa Claus: the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Norwegian Forest Cat wearing a Christmas ribbon

Is this the perfect cat for Santa, or what?
This Norwegian Forest Cat is already dressed for Christmas.
Norwegian Forest Cat Wearing A Christmas Scarf, Photo
Want to meet another cat that would be perfect for Santa? Be sure to check out Part 2 of "What Kind of Cat Would Santa Claus Have?"!

Sources

The Cat Fancier’s Association, “Norwegian Forest Cat,” http://www.cfa.org/Breeds/BreedsKthruR/NorwegianForestCat.aspx

Pickeral, Tamsin. The Elegance of the Cat: An Illustrated History. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s, 2013.

Wikipedia, “Santa Claus,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus

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