Dodge: My Norwegian Forest Cat?

by Bob
(Pennsylvania)

Dodge

Dodge

When I got Dodge, he had wandered onto my property from the woods out back. He seemed to take an interest in the cars and trucks I worked on, and was apparently living in the Dodge truck I had back there, hence his name.

He would always follow me around the yard, watching or "helping" while I worked. I noticed his intelligence early. He didn't mind noisy tools or equipment. But when I would use those that were potentially harmful (such as welders or grinders), he would walk away as soon as I picked them up... and return when I was finished. He didn't run, he wasn't afraid, he was simply smart enough to know not to be around them.

At this time, he was highly territorial and most likely feral. He wouldn't let anyone close to him, but came around me of his own accord. He also was not too fond of dogs, as one of my neighbors discovered when he attacked their Labrador. He was just a mean, ornery cat with knots in his fur and missing three of his smaller front teeth. But for some reason, he liked me.

So when another neighbor voiced his displeasure at Dodge roaming around his yard, I decided it would be in his best interest to retire from patrolling the grounds and come inside. He must have known my intentions, because he simply followed me into my finished basement. He lived there in his own apartment (the former owners of my house had rented the downstairs out) for a while as I slowly introduced him to my other cats.

He also showed no interest in going back to the outdoors. When I would enter my house from the downstairs, he would greet me at the door and make absolutely no attempt to go back out. He purred constantly when I was around him. His visits upstairs got longer over time until finally I was able to have him up here permanently. Now, he's like a completely different animal. Where he used to be combative with other animals, he gets along with my other cats. He rolls around on the floor and plays.

He has quickly adapted to his new surroundings and role as a house cat. I know it is said that a cat can't be called a NFC unless it has papers, but he must at least be part. He has the same personality traits, the green/gold almond shaped eyes, tufted ears, long fur between his fingers, "britches", and the coat with the coarse hairs and down undercoat.

I've given him a bath, and I had to use a brush to get the water through his fur. And while he may not have papers, he did come from the forest. If he could talk, he would say that he didn't need a pedigree to survive in the woods, so he doesn't need one now. He is living proof of the kind of strong, intelligent, and adaptable creatures that Norwegian Forest Cats are.

Bob

Dodge: My Norwegian Forest Cat? to Norwegian Forest Cats

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Dodge: My Norwegian Forest Cat?

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Feb 08, 2010
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Dodge's heritage
by: Bob

I think we can say with absolute certainty that Dodge isn't 100% anything as far as breed goes. I like the British term, moggie. As Michael said, he may have NFC genes and Maine Coon genes... and who knows what else! The town I live in is called North Versailles... so I think I'll call him a North Versailles Forest Cat! His history may be a mystery, but the effects it has had on him are apparent. Living in the wild has made him hardened, fearless, and able to take anything that comes his way. He is very intelligent and highly adaptable. He has settled into his new life with my other cats faster and better than I could have imagined. To go from a feral cat patrolling and guarding his territory to playing and living with other animals, especially so quickly, is almost unimaginable. I think he knew what he was doing all along and planned for me to take him in. Maybe he saw my other cats in the window and decided he wanted to come inside and be pampered as well!


Feb 06, 2010
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Impressive semi-longhair
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Bob. It's always hard to tell what's in a mix, but you are right that almond shaped eyes like those of Dodge is one of the characteristics of NFC. Usually the easiest way to tell the Norvegians from Maine Coons is by looking the shape of the face. MCs have a very square muzzle, whereas NFCs are triangular. But then again, with a mix anything can happen and this special trait might not surface.
I agree with Maggie though that you should also consider how common the NFC is around where you live. Here in Denmark it's one of the most popular breeds, but I understand it's very different in the States.
Anyway, your Dodge is a beautiful and very impressive semi-longhair with a great history already. The fact that he has chosen give up outdoor living and stay with you is the greatest compliment he can ever give you. 🙂


Feb 02, 2010
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NFC
by: Maggie Sharp

To start with, I'll say that I think his colour/pattern is called Blue and White bicolour, and yes, he does highly resemble a NFC. But NFC and DLH are often confused, I once had a DLH called Katie, he had every detail of a NFC, from her profile to her body build to her personality. I was convinced she was a NFC, so to confirm that I contacted a breeder, who told me I was infact wrong, because she was too old to be a NFC, they simply hadn't been in the country that long. And I was told that yes, DLH are always confused to be NFC, just like Tabby cats are somehow confused to be Abyssinians.

So, yes Dodge could be a NFC or have some in him, but in the US there aren't too many NFC breeders so it might not be likely. If I were you, I'd see if I could find any evidence of a breeder who is currently breeding our was previously breeding NFCs in your area. If there are/was there's a chance he is a NFC, they're a breed growing in popularity, one of which I'm quite fond of. And your Dodge does resemble one more than Katie did....


Feb 02, 2010
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Thanks
by: Michael

Hi Bob, thank you for an excellent article. I agree completely with what you say. Dodge is a forest cat of his own type and quite probably has Norwegian Forest Cat genes and possibly Maine Coon genes.

The Maine Coon goes back to the pilgrim settlers in the early 1600s (they were long haired European cats then) and the NFC in the USA may go back to when the Vikings discovered North America in AD 1001 or 1002. We don't know.

I could be argued that Dodge is a super NFC having some mixed genes which is considered healthy.

I kept a mixed breed NFC and she was a complete darling in every way. A sweet girl but also a magnificent athlete.

Thanks for sharing and showing us Dodge, he looks a fine cat.

Michael Avatar



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