“The cat lies by the door dead, and can eat neither butter nor bread.” So begins an old Faroese rhyme about a poor cat that is so in love that it has completely lost its appetite. Nobody knows when cats reached the Faroe Islands, or how many cats there are, as they aren’t registered. Cats don’t crop up much in Faroese historical records, though Clerk E.A. Bjørk writes in Færøsk bygderet (The Faroese Village) that a number of cats died in 1778 and 1779 as a result of cat plague.
Cats have lived around people for many thousands of years, and are the world’s most popular pets. They’re also the most popular pets on the Faroes. One reason that cats are so popular is that they fit in readily with a modern lifestyle. Cats don’t need much care, can be left on their own, and pretty much look after themselves.
A cat sat on the widow sill watching something or other with its large almond-shaped eyes for hours at a time is a familiar image. Cat owners have often speculated as to what the cat finds so interesting and what it is that only it can see outside. Puss in Boots is surely also a tale that’s familiar to many. By using his cunning, Puss in Boots does no less for his poor owner than help him to the kingdom and the princess’ hand.
The Faroese domestic cat is a small animal that is little different to wild cats. It’s happiest when eating, sleeping and playing. It can stand high temperatures, loves the sun and the night and is clean and agile, which it is why it is said that it always lands on its feet. The domestic cat is a mixed race. Its hair is short and often features several patterns and colours – normally including white. The most common colouration is black and white, although tabby cats and brown cats are also common. Plus, they can be any thing from one colour to many or be striped. The majority of pure-bred cats on the Faroes are long-haired, such as the Norwegian Forest Cat, Birman, Maine Coon and Persian.
Title: Cats – Faroe Islands
Date of Issue: 21 February 2011
Country: Faroe Islands
Denominations: 6,00 og 10,00 DKK
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