Blog #2 – Quarantine adventures: cat or lynx?

Sunset in Longyearbyen: 22:31h. Sunrise: 03:23h

After 10 days of quarantine, we arrived today well in Longyearbyen, the capital city of Spitsbergen. Those 10 days of quarantine were not that bad, allowing us to even experience some Norwegian wildlife. Not only did we have the pleasure of meeting a moose, I also came across another creature. Read carefully.

Last week I thought I just entered the last minutes of my life. While jogging close by my quarantine hotel close to Oslo, a HUGE cat suddenly crossed the street. “A lynx”, I thought. “Can lynxes attack?” „Aren’t they quite seldom?“ „Do lynxes exist in Norway?” „Shall I ask for help?” The feline positioned itself next to a house while looking the whole time at me. Behind the large hedge next to me I heard happy voices speaking Norwegian from a backyard. I stood still and thought of an Instagram video showing a man being (almost) attacked by a puma. Shall I as a stranger, now shout in English through the hedge like: „Sorry for disturbing, but there is a gigantic feline standing in front of me and I don’t know whether it is a lynx, an overgrown house cat or some other creature and I am also not sure about the chances of me being attacked by this huge Garfield as soon as I come closer. Could you tell me whether this potential lynx is here more often or do I have to get the hell out of here? Takk.”

I decided not to ask them.

However, to be sure I did some smartphone research -while keeping an eye on the gigantic Hello Kitty- and searched for “big feline Oslo” and “lynx Europe dangerous”. The first search did not show anything special, the second that no lynx-attacks on humans have been reported so far. I decided it was safe and walked calmly passed the cat-like being. It stayed seated, turned its head and followed me with its eyes, but then quickly decided I am not interesting enough anymore. Pfuh.

Back in my hotel room I did again some research and searched on “big feline Oslo” and “big feline Norway”. In fact. I think indeed I just encountered a huge-ass house cat and nothing more than that. The Norwegian forest cat is a huge cat breed, mostly popular in Scandinavian countries. Some homework for you: search for “Norwegian forest cat size” in your favourite browser and you know what I mean.

Who said quarantine is boring?

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