Saturday, 14 April 2012

Viking Cats and Kittens III

A little booklet I picked up on the Isle of Man provides five different popular 'myths' about the origins of the tailless, or nearly so, Manx cat, known as a Manxie. One of these is that 'mother cats bit off the tails of their kittens when the Isle of Man was invaded by Scandinavians to stop the invaders taking their tails to decorate their helmets'... Hmm. You'll have spotted this as a tall tale or urban myth (the helmets are the clue) even before learning that the breed is the result of a genetic mutation only 200-300 years ago. But I can't help wondering how old this popular misconception is, it certainly is an odd one.

3 comments:

  1. Surely it's more likely that the Vikings bit off the kittens' tails themselves?

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  2. Victoria, there speaks the Anglo-Saxonist!

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  3. :-)
    We're looking forward to your talk on Thursday.

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