Monday, March 22, 2010

Norsejenta Belju Devegge

Norsejenta Belju Devegge or Bella was the second kitten born into the B-litter. She is a black/silver mackeral torbie with white, just like her sister. Bella has more white than Tutta. She is a sweet girl. Somewhat more reserved and quieter that her sister Tutta. But she is all kitten, wrestling with her brothers, playing, and doing all kinds of kitten things.

I suppose you wonder why she has such a strange name. I didn't originally intend to name the girls these long names. When I told my youngest daughter that the kittens names had to start with the letter B, she wanted to name a girl Bella. Bella is a common girl name currently, and I have heard of many pets named Bella. My daughter was reading the Twilight series of books, and wanted to name her after one of the characters in the book. But Bella didn't sound very Scandinavian. The kitten is a Norwegian Forest Cat, our cattery name translated means norse girl. I try to use Scandinavian names. It is not like these kittens are going to get picked on at the playground. We can have fun naming the kittens. This isn't that serious. Then I remembered the story of Belju Devegge. Belju Devegge is an ancestor of ours. I first heard about her and the legend of how she came to Hallingdal, Norway at a family reunion many years ago.

Belju Devegge was born Mary MacLeod in the 1400's at Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, in the Hebrides, Scotland. Her husband was Klement Devegge, who was born Robert Argyll the oldest son of the Earl of Argyll. Klement was a member of clan Campbell. Robert(Klement) murdered a Fraser in a duel. He ran away to the Isle of Skye, met Mary(Belju), fell in love. They were forbidden to marry because Mary's(Belju) mother was a member of clan Fraser. Robert(Klement) went to Norway, went back to Dunvegan and Mary(Belju). They were married and ran off to Norway. At that time Nesbyen, Hallingdal, Norway was in a remote valley in eastern Norway. They went over the mountains and settled there because they did not want to be found. Many Scots settled in western Norway at that time. The Black Death left parts of Norway sparsely populated, with land available. So they established a farm, named it Devegge after Dunvegan Castle. Robert took the name of his patron saint Klement, and Mary became Belju or Bella derived from the name Campbell. What a story. My paternal grandfather is descended from Klement and Belju. His parents and grandparents emigrated to Clayton County Iowa from Nesbyen in Hallingdal Norway. Here are some links to the story

Bella will be going to her new mom's home when she is twelve weeks old. Her new mom has researched Norwegian Forest Cats. She wants one for the same reason I wanted one, because it is part of our heritage. And we both love cats of course. Her friends are going to have a kitten shower for her and Bella. I just keep smiling about that idea. I know Bella will be loved. I am so blessed to have found wonderful homes for Dille's and Thor's kittens.

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