Reykjavik Cat

If you’re a cat person, Reykjavík is your town. I remember on our first trip to Iceland sitting in the dining room of the hotel having breakfast, looking out at the streets filled with snow on a late-December morning…and seeing a cat just walking around like it was nothing. I think he gave a car a dirty look as it slid along the icy street. I guess everything that has managed to survive on that island for the past 1000 years has had to become tough, even the cats 🙂 Heck, just last September there was a blizzard in northern Iceland that buried hundreds of sheep in the snow, and they were still finding them – alive – after several weeks and months. So yeah, the sheep too…

From RÚV, we learn of Snati the Icelandic wonder cat, who survived a fall from a 6th floor window…

“Kötturinn Snati þarf að ganga með spelkur næstu vikurnar eftir að hann datt út um glugga, niður sex hæðir og á steypta gangstétt. Dýralæknar sögðu ótrúlegt að hann skyldi lifa fallið af.”

“Snati the cat will need to walk with splints the next few weeks after he fell out of a window, and down six stories onto a concrete stairway. Veterinarians said it was unbelievable that he survived the fall.”

Some vocabulary from the story:

köttur m (kattar, kettir)	cat
spelkur f pl			splint
dett/a v (datt, duttu, dottið)	fall, drop
steypta gangstétt		concrete stairway
lifa af				survive
innvortis blæðingar		internal bleeding
bein n (-s, -)			bone
bragg/ast v refl (-aðist)	recover, get better

The declension of köttur is all over the place 🙂

köttur (m) – cat
singular plural
nom köttur kettir
acc kött ketti
dat ketti köttum
gen kattar katta

The most obvious verb to take away is:

dett/a – fall, drop
present past
ég dett datt
þú dettur dast
það dettur datt
við dettum duttum
þið dettið duttuð
þau detta duttu

One phrase that is pretty common with detta is detta í hug (to occur to someone, to think of something, get the idea in one’s head), an impersonal expression which takes the dative:

Þetta datt mér ekki í hug. – That didn’t occur to me. / I didn’t think of that.

JakiAnd this is Mary holding Jaki, the coolest cat in Heimaey, whom we met on a trip to Vestmannaeyjar. Jaki was following some girl to school it seemed, but I don’t think she was his owner as she wasn’t really paying him much attention, and then muttered something in Icelandic that I didn’t understand. 🙂 We spent the rest of the day in Heimaey, and I swear as we were leaving for the airport we saw him again on the street somewhere else!

And just one final cat reference – if you happen to be wandering down Austurstræti there’s a vintage clothing store called Gyllti kötturinn. My wife found a great pair of boots there 🙂