Cats are a group of mammals that are kept as pets by some Vikings.
Domestic Cats (Felis catus) are small mammals that are both efficient solitary predators and also prey for larger predators. They have a wide range of colors and color combinations from yellows/oranges/reds and white/greys/black, as well as cream and chocolate brown. For the most part they have long tails for balance and erect ears, though these may vary depending on breeding. Cats were domesticated from the African Wild Cats over 8,000 years ago. Unlike domestic dogs, cats for the most part retain many of their original and wild characteristics. Small mammals such as rodents are the primary prey of cats, but they will also hunt birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and other small creatures.
Cats are obligate carnivores and comsume a wide array of smaller animals. Small mammals such are the primary prey of cats, such as mice or rats. They will also hunt birds, reptiles such as small lizards, snakes, amphibians, fish, insects like butterflies or flies, and other small creatures. Cats are also opportunistic and may find edible things in garbage.
Cats are animals kept as pets and companions, but they also have an important function of keeping vermin away that might destroy human food stores, like mice and rats.
Cats in the Viking age were most likely rather large and robust, and sported a long thick coat to withstand the cold climate. The modern-day breed of the Norwegian Forest Cat is thought to approximate the cats Vikings may have had. With this in mind, cats figured in Norse Mythology. The most notable cats were the two that pulled a chariot for the Goddess Freya. Because of their association with Freya, kittens were a common gift to brides on their wedding day in hopes that their presence in the newlyweds' home will improve her fertility.
This children's activity book contains eight scenes for the reader to find hidden objects. In the third scene, there are various items around the house at the Haddock home, including a "Sabertooth cat tusk". Saber-toothed Cats are a large extinct group of felines. It is highly unlikely a Viking would have come across a fossil, but not impossible.
A tabby cat appears in this movie short. It sits in the woods near the house of Bork the Bold, watching his tribulations with Dragons, then takes advantage of what's leftover of a fish after Bork gets burned by a dragon. It is not clear if this cat is a pet cat to Bork.
As Gobber is slashing through a forest of what appears to be bamboo in an unnamed land with his egg-beater hand attachment, he says "I carved through that thick brush as fast as a jungle cat. Still, the Boneknapper was right behind!" There is actually a species of wild feline called the Jungle Cat (Felis chaus).
In the episode "Gruff Around the Edges", Tuffnut is holding Hiccup's shield when he accidentally opens the crossbow and shoots an arrow, after which a cat is heard yowling, and Tuff embarrassingly hands the shield back to Hiccup.
In the episode "Snuffnut", yet another cat is heard screaming in the background as something is thrown. Hiccup escorts an angry Astrid off-screen, after hearing that Throk has rather primitive views of women in marriage. She is heard hurling or breaking something, followed by a cat scream.
Tigers are mentioned in the description of Grim Whirlwaft.
|“||This Grim Dragon kidnaps tigers from the wild to keep as pets. He loves them so much he used ocher and henna dyes to change his scales to match the tiger's stripes. This ode does not prevent the tigers from escaping whenever the Shellfire comes close.||”|
|— Dragons: Rise of Berk|
Marooned Flambo's excitement for entering a fight is described as "the passion of a thousand hungry panthers."
This game only very minimally mentions a feline - the Lynx. There is a species of Lynx - the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) - native to Scandinavia. There is a Stable Quest called "Lynxes, Penguins, Oh My!" in which the player sends dragons to help Fishlegs catalogue the fauna of islands nearby.
A cat is also used in the brief rhyming description of turkey feathers in the Produce section of the Store.
|“||Put them in your hat or put them on your cat. They are spiffy and cool||”|
|— School of Dragons|
|“||Well, well. We're in a curious pickle! Two rival mice sneaking into the cat's lair, hoping to get a piece of cheese.||”|
The phrase Like a child in a puddle of kittens is used to describe how the Knavish Voltknapper like to surround itself with human companions.
The concepts of several of the Dragon species are in part based on the cat.
The development of Toothless (and by extension, Night Furies) has involved cats in many aspects. According to Dreamworks' Youtube Video Series, "The DreamWorks Download", Toothless' color is based on a Black Panther cat (Panthera sp.). His movements, which are very fluid and mammalian, are based on a cat, specifically one animator's black cat. Toothless' eyes are based on a mix of Wolf and Cat. Even his vocalizations are based in part on Cats and Tigers, among other animals.
|“||In particular, we found that a beautiful photo of a black panther with yellow arresting eyes. Its sleek, powerful body and black sheen seemed graceful, dangerous while looking like a giant pussy cat.||”|
|— Dean DeBlois in an interview with MovieWeb|
|“||It is based more on a Siamese cat combined with a devious snakelike quality.||”|
|— Dean DeBlois in an interview with USA Today|
|“||The Bewilderbeast is a cross between a mammoth, an otter and a regal lion.||”|
|— Communication from Simon Otto to Empire Online|
- In June of 2017, the School of Dragons Forum posted a Poll asking players what new animal they would like to see in game. Cat was one option, and won the poll. Cats had started appearing in the game after.
- Cat on Wikipedia
- How To Create Your Dragon: The Inspirations Behind The Creatures. Empire Online. (Published on July 10, 2014)
- 100 HTTYD Facts Only True Fans Know DreamworksTV, (Published on Aug 27, 2015). YouTube.
- Gallagher, Brian. Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois Talk How to Train Your Dragon. MovieWeb.
- Wloszczyna, Susan. (2010). Train yourself to spot a dragon. USA Today.