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A tale from the Kattholt

This saucy Icelandic lad is Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson. The cat is Örvar. Seven years ago, Birkir got a puppy, and Örvar said, “see ya!” and boogered off.

Reykjavík is a smallish place, Örvar was microchipped, so Birkir checked with the shelter regularly hoping to get him back. No joy.

But here they are, reunited, seven years later. It would have been sooner, but when Örvar turned up at the shelter, all his microchip info was outdated and they had to Google for Birkir. Cat is skinny but otherwise well.

A pretty ordinary story, I realize, but it does give a small glimpse into the feline brain. The cat reacted strongly to the first sight of Birkier, apparently — lept to his shoulder and obsessively sniffed his hair and beard. If you scroll down this Icelandic version of the story, you’ll see pictures of the cat burying his face in the man’s hair.

Be careful if you translate the page, though. You’ll get a bit more information and a bit more weirdness.

For example, Google Translate tells me Kattholt is Icelandic for shelter. But Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson means Green Helen Foster Hematology. And, you know, I’m not sure that’s entirely right.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 24, 2014, 10:36 pm

Lovely, Stoatie! There’s something about stories of long-lost pets showing up that is just plain life-enhancing. *happy*sigh*

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 24, 2014, 10:48 pm

Cat weirdness happened in my own family during WW II, when my grandfather moved the sett out of central London (they soon went back again – bombs held little terror compared with the threat of fresh air, apparently).

Anyway, the family moggy (clearly in advance of Grandpa Badger in having decided he didn’t fancy life in the country) hopped out of the van, many miles from home, and yet managed to find its way back to base, distance, bombs and chaos notwithstanding.

Strange creatures, cats. I am in awe of them.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: April 24, 2014, 11:26 pm

Kind of nice-looking, both of ’em.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: April 25, 2014, 12:51 am

I sometimes wonder if cats that wandered off ever returned to the house years later to find us gone. I guess I’ll never know.

Comment from MikeW
Time: April 25, 2014, 1:51 pm

Cats. Pffft. He was far better off with the dog. 🙂

Now for something a bit more interesting… Before there was Photoshop and their ilk, there was the paintbrush and a good eye:

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 25, 2014, 2:02 pm

I love those, MikeW. Gil Elvgren was awesome (yeah, I don’t know why cheesecake tickles me, but it does).

For my money, though, it’s Art Frahm. He wasn’t as good an artist, but he’s hilarious and there’s always celery.

Comment from MikeW
Time: April 25, 2014, 4:49 pm

Hmm, I can recall how crappy elastic clothing bands were back in the ’60s. I can only imagine how much worse they must have been back in the 40s and 50s. Well, I guess I don’t have to imagine it any more, eh?
Thanks for posting that link. I wasn’t aware of the properties of celery before, but I’ve added it to the shopping list.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: April 25, 2014, 5:18 pm

Truly…until Lileks utilized Frahm’s work to point it out, I’d no thoughts whatsoever about how subtly-but-profoundly erotic celery could really be…

Meanwhile, back (mostly) on-topic: Back when we still lived up in MI, we had a somewhat-vagabond part-Maine Coon (quite clear markings and color, with the distinctive chirruping voice, but also quite undersized for the breed) who went walkabout for a number of months each on two separate occasions, both times when we (late-wife and I) were away from the homeplace for somewhat-extended periods – he wandered back in on his own both times, on the second occurrence after a nearly eight months stretch and just in time for Spring flowers. He later made the transition with us to Southeast NC in ’97 (but sadly succumbed about two years later to severe, ongoing urinary-tract problems plus some other complicating conditions) – but I often wondered (and sometimes still do) a) precisely what it was that triggered his treks and the returns and b) where he went and what adventures he scraped through (he was a mostly-bold, curious sort of fella, that one) whilst on said sabbaticals.

Very strange animals, cats are – you can look into those eyes all you wish, but do NOT imagine that you fathom the processes of thought going on behind them…

Comment from Mike James
Time: April 25, 2014, 7:09 pm

I hope it was worth it, you dumb cat.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 25, 2014, 8:08 pm

Dude, that doesn’t even make sense.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 25, 2014, 8:28 pm

I am somewhat vexed that Her Stoatliness had discovered this Frahm person and I had not.

And no, the usual get-out of “‘cos I’m a nartist!” will not wash this time. What other porn has The Weasel been perusing? Runny babbits frolicking in the grass????

Comment from Mike James
Time: April 26, 2014, 5:20 pm

My comment wasn’t very clear, SWeasel, apologies. I had Örvar, the subject of your post in mind when I wrote that. Something like “I hope it was worth it, Örvar”, might have been better.

Me stupid.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: April 26, 2014, 6:20 pm

That Art Frahm page is how I discovered Lileks. Back in 1999-ish, it just kept turning up in searches, & I eventually gave in & looked. Spent the next 4 hours doubled over from laughter.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 26, 2014, 7:55 pm

Ah, I thought maybe you were one o’ them cat-hating varmints, Mike.

Lileks’ blog is the only one I sat down and read from the beginning. That was a few years ago now, but it was still some years of accumulated content.

Weird experience, like reading someone’s diary in realtime. Probably worth doing once in your life.

Don’t pick my blog, though. It starts off bad, gets weepy when my cat disappears then whiny when I’m trying to sell my house arrange for my visas. After that, it’s Limey all the way.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: April 27, 2014, 8:50 pm

I didn’t start reading the Bleat until years later. I understand why he writes like he does, I just don’t enjoy the “every single day on-line diary because I have to force myself to write every day” format. His daughter is going to spend her whole life meeting people who know her childhood better than she does.

Comment from Kokomaro
Time: February 22, 2015, 1:13 am

And I thought I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me stritgha.

Comment from Peter
Time: March 27, 2015, 2:58 am

14 years, don’t even get started there Yes, I admit it, I have what some might call a trhpoy wife.I’d be more like a booby prize tho. She’s light years out of my league but has poor vision in one eye, ergo, my advantage See? obviously of legal age And in a hardware store no less ahhhh yes. My kinda woman.

Comment from Dawid
Time: April 30, 2015, 3:36 am

You were the toughest ball peyalr I ever saw. It was Elmer Layden. He was one of the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame. He said they played baseball against them in some tournament in South Bend. My Grandfather was so humble with himself. He didn’t even know who the man was. He just did his job. Imagine that.

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