TIL cats were a common wedding gift among Vikings due to their association with the goddess of luck, Freyja. Men favored women who loved cats, believing that it increased the likelihood of a happy marriage.

  1. Ha, when they decide to get around to actually adding any fuckin' content. I love that game, I mean, it was insanely fun with my friends. But it's been like 2 years and it's had next to no content added.

  2. Long as yer fine neighbors have cats, yer in a good situation. My neighbors always had good security, and so did I.

  3. I'm allergic to cats. I have 3 of them. I just take a lot of allergy meds and bathe them every few weeks. Yes, that's right. I bathe my cats. No, they don't appreciate it. Yes, I get injured from time to time in the process. Still worth it.

  4. I believe I've read that orange tabby's were not in Europe untill the Vikings arrived. So apparently some badass cats went raiding with the boys and sewed their seed

  5. I'd watch a show from the pov of a Viking cat. Though maybe not if they make it parallel: few scenes of the human Vikings and then a focus of the cats doing the same thing except with other animals and they all talk.

  6. You can look to the Voluspá for the answer. And broadly it comes down to clear and distinct division of labour's, responsibilities, and duties within and without the household. Husbands were expected to provide food and protection determined by their abilities and the requirements set by the wife. Wives were expected to feed and clothe the whole household. Men held external power and represented the household in the community. Women held authority in domestic affairs. Men earned money. Women managed money. Men went raiding while waiting for the harvest, women raised and educated the children.

  7. If we consider specifically a viking, so a pillaging scandinavian, it meant "a mariage in which my harvest isn't destroyed by rodents during my absence", which relates to the cat lady : as Mr was not a home, busy raiding Northumbria or sailing back up the Seine, Miss would care for their turf and, to do this, a few cats are a good way to remove varmint from the fields.

  8. The first cat my wife and I had together was named Freyja. The poor baby got sick and passed away a few years back. We adopted a bonded pair and shortly after got engaged. We got married earlier this year around the same time we bought a house. With more space, we decided to adopt a six year old cat that had been in foster care for five years because no one wanted her (she's a small black cat who keeps to herself). She's been such a little sweetie and my wife pointed out this was basically her wedding gift from me since the timeline matches up. I didn't even like cats until we had Freyja, but now I see how loving and caring they really are once you nurture a bond with them.

  9. My last name means viking, and town with my last name was in the heart of the Danelaw, N. of York, UK. Vikkens.

  10. Never mind that cats kill the rats which spread the plague. Studies have shown that when cats are removed, the vermin population (mostly rats, mice, ground squirrels, etc.) rises by about 40-60%.

  11. Also, and this was a new thing that I learned fairly recently, cats are also revered in Islam. Mohammed had a beloved cat named Muezza:

  12. My indoor cat spotted a mouse in the house and caught it in seconds. There was a second one, it fled outdide and never came back.

  13. Freyja is not 'the goddess of luck'. Norse gods did not have set roles, they had associations and connotations which overlapped with each other. Freyja is associated with cats, but I have never seen any evidence linking her to luck, especially as a primary association.

  14. They also kill the vermin on your farm. These folk traditions always have symbolic backgrounds but there’s often a practical reason behind them

  15. I was about to say that the title is misleading, but skimmed through the article and realised that the title is on point; it's just that the author of the article isn't an expert in the field he's writing about.

  16. Also worth noting that Freyja's supposed cat chariot is only ever mentioned once in passing, one time, by Snorri Sturluson. No other source or poem ever mention it, and I always advise against taking everything Snorri writes at face value. He occasionally contradicts himself, and is often interpreting older sources as they make sense to him. In Gylfaginning Snorri writes,

  17. Interestingly enough, and in a sort-of similar idea, in my college there was a rumor that people who like cats, specifically people who enjoy petting cats, are the best at oral sex. The "rationale" was that enjoying giving something else pleasure, like petting a cat, was a personality trait and the indicator transferred from cat-petting to oral-sex-giving.

  18. Do you attend a tiny college? There were 30,000 people at mine, and it would be amazing for a cat rumor like this to take off to that degree haha.

  19. A lot of them were Norwegian Forest Cats and in Norse mythology they pull Freyja’s chariot. They were said to bring health and happiness to marriage because they’re amazing mousers but also very friendly and gentle with young children. They’re a very hearty breed with long life spans, Vikings brought them on their ships during their travels and they kept disease from breaking out during their voyage and boosted morale. Norwegian Forest Cats may actually be the ancestors of Maine Coons and we’re introduced to North America though these trips. I have a wegie and can attest to their greatness, he’s such a sweet robust big lad with virtually no health problems. Very different story from my little runt of a tortie who’s plagued with many genetic issues and a little club tail from being crushed in utero, she’s only 6 and her hips are already causing her trouble but she still has same crazy energy she had as kitten. I’m glad my wegie babies her and cleans the places she struggles to reach, we are blessed to have such a good little caretaker in the family.

  20. I am definitely much happier with my wife--who is very much a cat person (we currently have 7, down from 10)--than I was with the GF that had a pit bull. The dog was definitely better behaved and kinder than the GF was.

  21. Not trying to rain on anyone's parade but Wikipedia says Freyja was the goddess of "love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold, and seiðr (magic for seeing and influencing the future)." Which seems kinda random. But no mention of her being the goddess of luck.

  22. That's because people today often think of gods as beings governing a specific domain, as they were in south European religion. In Norse beliefs, gods did not have distinct specific domains. One god might be associated with love as they've a lot of connections to it, but this does not means that they govern it and do so exclusively.

  23. Man this post Is a bunch of bull and is such a meme of “Viking Facts” it’s annoying how you see so many of these articles that get so much attention yet it’s just reaches and stretches with no actual proof.

  24. Probably a correlation to increased survival rates due to reduced vermin in the house perceived through the eyes of religion

  25. Because if they loved non-communicative beasts that rub on you when they want attention or food they’re sure to love their husband /s

  26. Women with the infection have been found to be more attractive by other's while men with the infection tend to be more aggressive so it's a double whammy really. Aggressive Viking men were probably seen as being more attractive and more likely to have kids.

  27. Back then having a bunch of cats was useful for controlling the vermin population on the homestead and so was of significant economic value. Nowadays, unless you live on a farm, not so much.

  28. I tried telling my husband that gifting with me a cat for our anniversary each year would just keep increasing our happiness but he's not buying it. Happiness apparently stops at 3.

  29. How incredibly bizarre to think there were likely Viking barbarians who raped, pillaged, and murdered the English countryside, then sailed home to be reunited with their families and be wholesome cat dads.

  30. The Norse were also a largely agrarian society, so cats would've served as pest control around their homes and storages. Gifting someone a cat was the equivalent of a modern wedding guest gifting a home appliance.

  31. I am a cat dad. Not really interested in having kids, but if we are together we are having my cat and he is the one that is choosing you. If you don’t get along, you the one leaving.

  32. This is incorrect. Freyja was a goddess of love (and other things) but not specifically luck. Cats were sometimes wedding gifts, but because of their association with Freyja, in myth her chariot was pulled by cats

  33. There’s evidence to suggest the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii has effects on human sexuality, promiscuity and sexual behaviour.

  34. Doing a bit more reading, it seems vikings played an integral part in the spread of domesticated cats in Europe.

  35. In the Viking Poetic Edda it describes marriage to a woman as being like riding an unshod horse over a frozen lake…I’ve never been married so can’t validate this but I’ve always enjoyed the mental image.

  36. If you've got a good woman and a good cat, why would you need to pillage? You've got everything worth fighting for.

  37. It might have been mentioned, but Frøya was goddess of fertility and love, not luck. But that is a cool fact!

  38. pretty sure back then having a cat stick around implied the woman was a great caregiver, and stood as a proxy for a child, because of several reasons. Any cats were hunting to survive back then, and killed and ate the many rats/varmants to feet themselves. Like today they are fickle, so attracting a cat by you means you were well mannered enough to give it affection while observing and understanding it's boundaries, to have it like you, without having to bribe it with food (although I'm sure some did that).

  39. The article you refer to lost all credibility when it said Viking cats were bigger due to better feeding. It had the decency to cite a source… which said the exact opposite

  40. Actually its because Freyja is the goddess of fertility. Freyja was the goddess of love, fertility, battle, and death. Not luck.

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