Aby-a-Day – 24 May: Graceful, agile, elegant Abys (Thursday Things)

When we went to our local DjurMagazinet, Alfred checked out the cat trees.

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They have a really good selection, but here in Europe they seem to cover cat trees with sisal and faux fur fabric rather than carpeting.

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Freddy was just happily playtesting the trees when…

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…This happened. Not gonna lie, I laughed. He totally reminded me of this cartoon I did 5 years ago!

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But I mean, look at his feet (and hand)! I had to highlight them…because, well…look at them!

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Meanwhile, Lorelai was having trouble managing her new harness and leash.

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Then she decided she wanted to be up in my lap.

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Ambition and ability are, sadly, two very different things.

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She wasn’t fazed, though.

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Quite the opposite, in fact. She was gathering herself up for another attempt.

Aby-a-Day – 23 May: Wordless Wednesday (I am Rory, hear me roar!)

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Aby-a-Day – 22 May: Thinking about Lorelai in class (Cartoon Tuesday)

Class is kind of boring.

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Can’t stop thinking about Lorelai…

Aby-a-Day – 21 May: Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding (Miniature Monday)

I know Playmobil has kind of “Poor man’s Lego reputation, but they have got a lot more choices in the cat department. Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding set.

Not gonna lie; overall, I prefer Legos. But Playmobil has some interesting pieces, and I have been known to mix Legos and Playmobil pieces in the quest for the perfect Strollercat action figure.

It kind of started when Björn bought me the Playmobil Woman with Cat Family set as a surprise. After that, I dragged out all my other cat pieces and scoured eBay for more.

Then we saw this ad for a contest in Kattliv where the prize was this set. Well, I needed that shiny device! So we found one in a toy store.

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Alfred was eager to help me build it.

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It’s actually a pretty cool set.

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Hauspanther would be proud of all the catification going on up in here. And the detail is fun, too. There are stickers to put on little cans of cat food as labels and a sticker for the litter box that looks like (clean, unused) litter!

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Only one problem: not enough kitties! So I added all the random Playmobil cats I had collected and added them in.

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Like this small cat tree (with carpet stickers for the shelves).

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And these two iterations of Strollercats. The little grey one is, of course, Lorelai.

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This one is my absolute favourite, though. Somewhere along the line I picked up a veterinary set which included this patient, complete with Cone of Shame.

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But the best part is, she even has stitches! I’m not sure which set this goes with; I must have gotten it as a random cat piece on eBay. I can find the cat with stitches as a part of this set, but she hasn’t got the cone or the bed.

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Here’s the house again with the extra cats added in. Much better.

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Oh, wait! Here, let’s add two more cats…

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Suddenly, the poor cat boarding house was attacked by Roryzilla!

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She’s already using her grabby Aby hands to pick things up, as you can see.

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Oh well. At least Freddy didn’t sit on it…

Aby-a-Day – 20 May: Jakedaw (Swedish Sunday)

Well, this was not the weekend we were expecting to have, and these are not the posts I was expecting to write, but we managed to turn things around pretty well. We went down and had a beer in the lobby and fell asleep later than we would have done last night, because there wasn’t any reason to get up early in the morning. We had breakfast, packed leisurely, and left Alsingsås around noon. We took the scenic route home and stopped at a couple of rummage sales in the countryside. Jacoby seemed to enjoy his weekend away from the kittens. When we got home, I let Jake out on his leash while we unloaded the car and schlepped things back up to the apartment.

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While I was inside, Björn managed to snap these two shots of Jake and a jackdaw eyeing each other. Jackdaws are corvids between a crow and a magpie in size, and they are everywhere.

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Jackdaws love to hang around outside cafés and eating areas in summer and they are fearless in the face of food. This one came to sit at one of the chairs at our table.

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He certainly wasn’t afraid of humans!

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Jackdays are known for stealing food off tables and bussing stations and I have even seen them go inside garbage cans to grab a tasty snack. Is it any surprise that Björn and I call them JAKEdaws?

Aby-a-Day – 19 May: Show stopper (Cat Show Saturday)

Jacoby hasn’t been to a cat show since the first weekend of June last year. This was mainly his choice; he prefers CFA’s style of showing (four to six judges a day, going back and forth to the rings, lots of action and excitement and admiration) to FIFe’s slower pace (one judge a day, and then perhaps the final if you make it to the panel stage, lots of downtime in the benching cage). The biggest difference is in the way the cats are handled: in CFA, a lot of thought is put into keeping cats from seeing each other, whereas in FIFe, cats are held by their owners and the judge selects which cat or cats he wants to send to the final. So after he achieved the title of International Premier, I let him retire and started showing Logan.

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Logan had been entered into the Spinneriet show this weekend…but of course he wasn’t able to be shown, being deceased and all. But we were able to substitute Jake instead, and we also entered him in the Senior classes both days. When we got to the show hall, however, they wouldn’t let Jake in! According to the chairperson (who wouldn’t tell me her name), cats entered in Sverak shows have to get the combined FVRCP vaccine (against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Panleukopenia Virus) once a year. Jake has a three-year vaccine, given in 2016 and expiring next year. Despite my vet telling me that he didn’t need to be revaccinated yet, and the vaccination showing an expiry date of 2019 on his passport, they refused to let us into the show and we had to just take Jake home. I confess to having a bit of a sobbing meltdown, because it should have been Logan entered in the show in the first place…and that reopened some shallow wounds. I miss him so much, and this would have been such a fun show to do with him.

As soon as we got back to the hotel, Björn and I looked up FIFe’s rules for vaccinations both in the general, all-FIFe rules in English and Sweden’s branch of FIFe, Sverak’s, rules in Swedish, but we couldn’t find any mention of a one year rule for vaccinations, apart from a recommendation that cats used for breeding be vaccinated annually.

So I don’t know what to do. I paid 950kr (a little over $100 USD) to enter this show, only to be refused entry because of a rule we can’t seem to verify in either FIFe’s or Sverak’s online rulebooks (if anyone does happen to know where it is in either pdf, please let me know)! We asked our friend Anna, who was also at the show, for advice. Perhaps they will let us show Jake tomorrow, but I have little hope. Also, after the way I was treated by the “chairperson,” I am not sure I want to go back. Too bad, too. That was a fun show in a good location, but I don’t think I want to give this club any more of my money. Especially if I can’t get a refund for this show (nevermind the money we spent on the hotel and the rented car and everything else)…

I don’t normally post very much negativity in my blog, but this…I am upset. This wasn’t handled well at all by the club’s chairperson in my opinion. No one explained this rule (beyond saying, “show cats have to be vaccinated every year” – first time in two years I have heard mention of this) or showed us the citation in the rulebook (or told us where to find it ourselves); when I asked the chairperson about a the refund, she told me to ask my vet to state that since it was a three year vaccine I had been advised not to update it (or something like that, they didn’t really explain that either – I am still not sure what I am meant to ask my vet for, exactly) but she wouldn’t give me the email address to send it to. When I asked for clarification, a name or email address, she just got impatient and angry with me and snapped at me to “look it up on the website.” Considering the reason we even had this cat entered, it was pretty insensitive. We managed to salvage the (beautiful, sunny) day by going to Göteborg for shopping and such…but all day I kept tearing up thinking about Logan and Jake’s almost comeback, and I just kept wishing we were at the show where we were supposed to be. Doesn’t help that it was a really good shows for Abyssinians as a whole today.

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Jake’s happy to be back in a hotel room, though. Click on the image above to see his happy paws and hear his happy purring.

Aby-a-Day – 18 May: Splish splash, I was taking a bath (Fashion Friday)

One of the first things I do when bringing home a new kitten is to give them a bath. I know that may sound strange and a little non-intuitive, but it was actually something Sherry did when she brought us Jacoby (and which I wish I had taken photos of). She said it ensures that the new kitten doesn’t introduce anything to the resident cats from the cattery, it reduces the kitten’s “different” smell, and it distracts the kitten from being homesick at all. Ever since Jake, I have done that to every new kitten we’ve gotten, and it seems to work like a charm.

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So I introduced Lorelai to the cats and apartment, clipped her claws and popped her into the laundry room sink. I hadn’t gotten any Jerob Parisian Purple shampoo yet, so I had to make do with their Snowy Blue, which I use on Alfred and used on Logan. I certainly wasn’t going to wash her with Jake and Angel’s Mahogany Gold!

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First, I got her completely wet.

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Then I turn the water off and lather her up. Jerob shampoos should be diluted, and I usually add some of the De-greasing shampoo as well, to clean up the oils from hands petting their fur.

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Never put soap on a cat’s face though. I don’t lather beyond the ears.

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(Pause while all of you go Awwwwwwwww…)

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After she’s good and clean, it’s time for the rinse cycle.

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It is essential to make sure your cat’s fur is completely free of shampoo, or the fur will be dull and sticky.

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When you’re sure you’ve gotten out every last bit of soap, rinse one more time.

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After we’re all rinsed, it’s time to dry off.

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I use microfibre pet towels, and they really do suck up a lot of water.

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Finally, a little playtime with big brother Freddy…and the bath is forgotten.

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“Bath? What bath?”