Mio, an Icelandic Cat with David Bowie Eyes

Our beloved and much-missed Míó

[Míó passed away, at 14 years old,  in late 2014, a grand animal to the very end :( ] This is Míó, our cat. He's big and beautiful and bold. But he's also a lover. When he's outside he's King of the Neighborhood, but when he comes in he's so affectionate it's almost spooky. He walks with me to the store and waits outside, then walks me home. Tourists love to take pix of him and he loves to pose. He's even been in the paper a couple of times! If you look closely at the photo you'll see that he has one blue eye and one yellow, making him even more special.

Reykjavik is a cat town. They're everywhere. Leash laws here are super strict for dogs, and licensing fees expensive, so dogs are not as common, though the smaller-size purebreed market is definitely picking up here. The Icelandic dog is a very good and popular breed but it needs lots of room and lots of work to do, so it's not too common in the city. When my father was a boy dogs were illegal in Reykjavik. His dog was picked up by the police after running loose downtown was shot in a burlap bag. My dad had to watch. We pretty much only had cats when I was growing up.

Quarrantine for imported animals is strict and long. They are kept on an island, Hrísey for, I think three or six months to ensure that no diseases are brought into Iceland. To protect the purity of our Icelandic horse breed, no other breeds are allowed into the country.

Pet culture is becoming more and more popular here, including birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, tropical fish, and reptiles. My friend Tommi told me last night that he had a couple of salamanders that he thought were dead, so he flushed them. He found out later they were just hibernating, so maybe we even have a giant lizard or two lurking in our sewage system...nahhhhh.

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