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Yule Cat: the Giant Man-Eating Monster

Yule Cat: the Giant Man-Eating Monster

Yule Cat is not your usual cute and fuzzy house cat.

It’s a giant creature in Icelandic folklore that stalks the wintry landscape. The monster feline is Gryla the Troll-Witch and her 13 sons’ pet, and is just as nasty as its owners.

Yule Cat loves to prey on humans at Christmastime, and is more than twice a human’s size. If you’ve ever seen a fluffy little kitty “playing” with a mouse, this is a truly terrifying thought. 

The only way to avoid being torn apart and eaten by this ill-tempered tabby is to receive new clothes for Christmas. And there’s one more catch, at least in Icelandic tradition. Only well-behaved children who finish their chores are rewarded with new clothes. We're seeing a clever parenting angle in all this... 

On Christmas Eve, Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn in Icelandic) is said to come down from its mountain cave and search the streets or peer into people’s windows. If it sees you wearing new clothes or spies packages in your home that look like new clothes, Yule Cat hisses and moves on, searching for victims elsewhere. 

In any event, those new pajamas or socks you thought were lame might just be the difference between life and death. At least until next year… 

So the next time someone you know complains about getting clothes for Christmas, tell them it beats getting torn apart by a giant cat.