Aby-a-Day – 21 Augusti: Wordless Wednesday (Dashiell’s first outdoor adventures)

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Aby-a-Day: 20 Augusti: Jackpot! (Cartoon Tuesday)

This upcoming weekend is NEMO’s seventh annual show! You may remember that I did a drawing of Marlin playing craps, because the theme of the show this year is “Lucky 7’s” with a Vegas theme.

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I also made this spoof of the infamous Vegas sign for the club to use as incidental art. I don’t know if they used it, but it was fun to make.

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For the cover of the program, Iris and I brainstormed other Vegas gambling motifs, and I came up with Marlin winning cat food from a slot machine. And, even better, I was able to incorporate my Vegas NEMO sign. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out; Iris said she thought it was one of my best! I wonder what the theme will be next year?

Aby-a-Day – 19 Augusti: Dashiell’s first Swedish vet visit (Medical Monday)

Last Wednesday, we had to take Dashiell to see our veterinarian in Skultorp, not because there was anything wrong with him, but because we needed a health certificate to send to the insurance company to start his health insurance. We also needed to get him his EU passport.

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As he was on the ferry and the train, Dash was much happier in his carrier with the top open.

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Emma sat beside him and managed him on the bus ride.

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Dash rode the bus like a seasoned professional.

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It’s a long trip from our apartment to the vet, and we have to change buses in central Skövde. It’s not usually a long wait, and the weather was nice. Dash seemed happy enough.

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Look at this bus riding champion!

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When we arrived, we were put into the same examination room all the other cats were in when we went in for our annual checkup back in June.

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Like any good Abyssinian, the minute we let him loose in the room, he proceeded to explore it thoroughly.

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The first thing we did was put him on the scale and weigh him.

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2.85 kg (6.25 lbs). Exactly the same as Lorelai!

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Emma helped the vet with Dash’s exam.

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She’s definitely a natural when it comes to taking care of cats.

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This actually happened by accident, but we thought it was funny: I gave Emma one of the vet’s free magnets and it jumped from her hand onto his round tag!

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Waiting for the passport to be completed, Dash got sleepy and laid down on his show book. Well, he’d only been in Sweden two days after his long trip from the States, so I guess he deserves to be a little tired.

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After the visit was over, we got back on the bus and headed home.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Augusti: Welcome to the family!

After all the travelling, we finally brought Dashiell home and put his carrier down in the living room. Björn did the honours of unzipping the top whilst Emma looked on.

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Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai were on the scene as well, of course. And, much like when we introduced him to everyone when he was a kitten, Freddy was the first to hiss.

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Emma thought that perhaps a personal introduction between Zak and Dash might be a good idea.

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It wasn’t a bad idea; neither Zak or Dash hissed.

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And, in fact, Zak is the one cat Dash is closest to here.

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We also introduced Dash to the Trump cat toy.

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Like many of us, Dash didn’t know what to do with him. Join the club, Dash!

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Then Angel came to meet the newcomer, in typical Angel roundabout fashion.

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She skulked around the edges of the room, and then circled around the back of the couch to get a look at Dash.

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Then she lept off the sofa and ran right over Dash and out to the hallway.

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That made Dash hiss!

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He may be young and small, but he stands up for himself!

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“Yeah, big cat! Don’t do that again!”

Aby-a-Day – 17 Augusti: Dash on the Silja Line

At long last we boarded the Silja Symphony ferry to Stockholm. First we rode the elevator to our cabin to put our luggage away and set up Dashiell’s food and litter.

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Dash really seemed to enjoy the windowed lift.

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This is kind of a dark photo, but you can see the shopping promenade and the cabins with overlooking windows. We stayed in one of those cabins on the way to Helsinki and it was kind of fun do have that view. They don’t have pet rooms in that block of cabins, though.

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After we got our room set up, we went up to the deck to say goodbye to Helsinki.

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This is what the ferry looks like from Helsinki. We happened to be at the waterfront the day before when the ferry was leaving for Sweden.

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Here is me with Dash.

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I posed almost the exact same way with Jacoby in 2016.

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Björn posed with Dash as well.

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On the aft deck, there is a little sandbox for dog owners to let their dogs go to the toilet.

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I have to say, it was pretty amusingly decorated. I have seen dog toilet areas on other ferries, but none decorated like this.

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Dash was not impressed.

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He was more interesting in people-watching from the vantage of a deck chair.

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Just then, a dog passed by on his way to the toilet. I guess we took a look at it in the nick of time.

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Despite what it says on the website, the crew staff assured us that cats were allowed anywhere onboard the ship. We thought a nice refreshing beer would be nice before taking Dash back to the cabin and checking the duty-free store.

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Dash was happy to sit in his carrier and watch Björn pour his beer.

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Dash never even tried to get out of his carrier.

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After our drinks, we took the elevator back to our cabin.

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I think Dash was happy to go back to the cabin and take a nap after all the excitement of the cat show and boarding the ferry.

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Ferry rides are a lot of fun. They go overnight, and some people treat it as a party. On this trip, there was what looked like a stag do going on. Not sure which guy was the groom, but my money’s on the guy in the bell bottoms.

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We had seen them in the bar earlier. They were going around to people in the bar with a straw, asking if they could have a sip of their drink, taking photos of it. It was pretty funny.

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There was also a new machine in the ferry’s casino – Diamond Cats! It’s a bit like Kitty Glitter except with no Somali. It was not a bad game; at least the Siamese have blue eyes on this game. But it was fun to play and I ended up winning a little, which is always nice.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Augusti: Waiting to board the ferry

After the long drive from Lempäälä to Helsinki, Björn dropped Dashiell and I off at Olympia Terminal where we waited whilst he returned our rental car.

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This was Dash’s first time with a leash and harness, and he did really well.

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But mostly Dash wanted to be in his carrier. Despite having been in that thing for 30 some hours on the trip to Finland from Newark, it represents safety and security to him. Which makes sense; it’s just like Jacoby’s attachment to his stroller.

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He was happiest when the top was open, so he could look around.

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In some of these photos, he reminds me so much of Jake. Especially the one where he’s meowing!

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Björn was taking longer than expected to return from dropping off the car. I was starting to get worried that the gates would close before he got back.

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I don’t know what would have happened if we missed the ferry.

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Dash was a wonderfully patient little cat, which bodes well for future trips.

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He also charmed the employees at the terminal. They took turns coming over to where we were to meet him.

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They also were very reassuring and told me that the gates wouldn’t close until Björn came back. Whew!

Aby-a-Day – 15 Augusti: A quick visit to the cat show

On Sunday, we spent some time at the cat show in Lempäälä (near Tampere) that Russell and Carol, along with my friend Pam, were judging. Because we had to catch the ferry back to Sweden at 16:45, and it was a long drive from the show hall to the ferry terminal, we couldn’t enter Dashiell in the show – it didn’t matter, pointwise, because he’s still a kitten, and exhibitors aren’t allowed to leave until the show’s posted closing hour. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t drop by for a visit.

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It was a very small show, held in a shopping mall (which was actually rather cool). One-day shows in CFA aren’t common, but they happen; however, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show with only three rings!

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My friend Anne set us up with a small pop-up tent and a litter box for Dash. While in Sweden, people mostly use the metal show cages and spectators view the cats on the same side of the cage as the exhibitors, in Finland, people use SturdiShelters and pop-up tents with a clear back, and the spectators view the cats from the back whilst the exhibitiors sit with their cats by the cages’ doors. It feels a bit strange, not really being able to interact with the people coming to see the cats except over the top of your cage.

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Dash has been to shows before, so he knew what to do.

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He was very interested in this one little boy who stopped to see him.

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Dash wanted to make friends with the kid, but it’s hard when you’re behind plastic.

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If it had been a metal cage, Dash would have reaching out to touch the boy.

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I think both kitten and child were equally fascinated with each other. It was adorable.

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We were only able to stay for about an hour and a half (the show, being so small, didn’t start until 11), but it was nice to hang out with Meg and Anne a little bit more. I also managed to get a photo of Anne’s stunning tattoo…isn’t it lovely?