Aby-a-Day – 8 January: The Jólakötturinn (Fashion Friday)

I know this isn’t, technically, an Abyssinian, but I had to share the awesomeness that is the Jólakötturinn. I first learned about the Icelandic Jul Cat from Scandinavia and the World, but it was really amazing to see it in person.

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I flew IcelandAir when I went to Sweden, and changed planes in Reykjavik. And while changing planes, of course, I had to check out the shops. It was hilarious. There were these charming, festive holiday displays full of little red and white tomten (Santa-like creatures), snowflakes, snowmen, angels…

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…and then this big angry black cat. A CHRISTMASSY big angry black cat.

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The legend says that the Jólakötturinn will eat anyone who does not get new clothes for Christmas. Suddenly, Santa stalking you and watching you while you’re sleeping and knowing about you being naughty or nice doesn’t seem so creepy, does it?

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And despite being a ravenous, child-devouring feline, he seems pretty popular. This is a wine bottle coozy in the shape of a Jul Cat.

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There’s also a set of Yule Lads figures that includes the Jólakötturinn. The Yule Lads are sort of elves who leave rewards and punishments (depending on whether you’ve been naughty or nice) in your shoes in the days leading up to Christmas.

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And then, if you didn’t get new clothes, you’re cat chow.

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I suspect the Jólakötturinn tradition was started by a parent who was tired of hearing his kids whine when they got socks and underwear on Christmas morning.

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Don’t get any ideas, Jacoby!