Björn had a wonderful Scottish bone china tea mug featuring men with dogs hunting quail made by Dunoon. Sadly, the mug was accidentally knocked off the counter and broken a month or so ago. It… More
Last week I posted the birthday card Emma drew for Björn. Turns out, she also drew one for Kalle! (Björn and Kalle’s birthdays are three days apart.) And, like Björn’s card, Kalle’s card features cats that look especially Abyssinian-like. And, even though she’s coloured brown, she has a bow on her head, so I think she’s meant to be Lorelai.
I find the drawing on the inside of the card particularly hilarious. The first side says, “Congratulations you are now 16 years old!” but the other side…it says, “That was not me.” Even though she doesn’t live with cats 24/7, Emma clearly understands cats. I suspect this is meant to be Jacoby.
Emma added another drawing on the back of the card. It’s a black and white version of the cat on the front…perhaps it was meant for Kalle to colour in?
You may have noticed, in the background of yesterday’s post, a pretty cool looking kitty gym. We won it in a raffle at a cat show last summer, but we had other cat toys set up in the living room, so I’ve only just set it up.
Even though it seems more like a toy for kittens, everyone but Jacoby has played with it. I actually caught Angel examining the tunnel this morning (sadly, I couldn’t grab a camera without her fleeing)!
The gym came as a set, with the actual gym and a smaller-than-usual crinkly tunnel. Here is Izaak adorably posing inside the tunnel.
The tunnel is fun…
…but the kitty gym is funner!
Zak was having so much fun with the gym…
…he didn’t even notice that Lorelai was watching him.
At first, she seemed a little perplexed at Zak’s fascination with the gym.
But eventually Rory became almost mesmerised waatching Zak playing with the kitty gym.
Here is a short movie so you can see what fascinated her so much.
You may remember that silly Guinness St. Patrick’s Day floppy hat I posed Alfred, Logan and Jacoby with last year?
Well, it’s baaaaaaaaack!
Freddy was a lot less intimidated by the hat this year than he was the first time.
…not impressed, shall we say.
…Izaak, on the other hand…
…Zak really seemed to have fun with it.
It actually has a lining in it so it will fit on a person’s head, but if that wasn’t there, Zak would have gone all the way inside it.
Zak playing with the hat renewed Rory’s interest in it…a little.
But ultimately she just left it to Zak and found something else to play with.
In Sweden, we have a thing called REKO-Ring. REKO means “Real Consumption” (Konsumtion in Swedish) and is a way to shop for locally produced food, without intermediaries. Consumers and producers merge and start a REKO ring where locally produced products are sold directly from producer to consumer. In Skövde, our local REKO-Ring has a Facebook page where the producers post what they have available, and then people who want to buy something comment on the post saying what they want to get. Then, on alternate Wednesdays, we meet in a parking lot at a hockey arena two stops on the bus line from our house.
Well, just as I despairing of finding a really great birthday present for Björn, I happened to check the REKO-Ring Skövde Facebook page. And I found a post from Lilla Spännefalla, and they had all kinds of game for sale. Including bear meat from Jämtland in the north of Sweden.
I ordered a “Bear Box” and got steaks, ground bear meat, and chunks.
I have only had bear a couple of times, and it is delicious. The first time was in 2000, when I found it for sale in an Asian grocery store in Boston. I then had it again when we canned bear meat for sale in the duty-free on the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Then I got to eat it again when we went to a medieval restaurant in Taillinn. But the thing is…The name Björn is the same as the Swedish word for bear. So when I found bear meat available for sale just before Björn’s birthday, I knew I had the perfect gift.
Bear meat is delicious. You have to make sure all the fat is removed, because it can add a slightly rancid flavour to the meat. The basic rule of thumb is, “Season like beef, cook like pork.” This is because like pigs, bears and raccoons are omnivores, and their meat can cause Trichinosis if it is not cooked well.
So, sorry guys…you don’t get to try it raw.
Despite not getting to try it raw, the bear meat attracted quite a crowd.
Lorelai, of course, had to get on Björn’s shoulder to supervise.
Izaak made sure Björn cooked it thoroughly.
And he did.
Served with plain potato wedges and mushrooms, it was a delicious birthday dinner…
…which some people in the house were eager to sample.
Zak was the first to taste bear meat whilst the plates were still on the coffee table.
Everyone else got their tastes in the kitchen. Rory LOVED it.
Jacoby tried to steal her piece, but she managed to keep it for herself. But don’t worry, Jake got a couple of pieces of the bear meat.
Alfred took his piece so quickly…
…I couldn’t even capture it with my camera. Fast Freddy!
Angel took her sample gingerly…
…and ran away from all the other cats to eat it in peace.
It took her a little longer to finish it, because of her three teeth, so she wanted to eat it someplace safe.
I guess we can add bear meat to the things Abyssinians (and Singapuras) will eat.
I have been thinking a lot about Logan recently. I suppose it’s only natural; his birthday was last Saturday, and this is the month before we found out about his FIP. I guess March is going to be hard for a while. But this is a memory that always makes me smile.
When we took Logan to Finland for a show, Logan discovered the heated bathroom floor.
He loved it!
He was always a little less stocky than Izaak is.
It was so funny to watch him rolling on the warm, but hard, floor. He was like, “What is this sorcery!?”
Have you ever seen a happier little cat?
He really loved it.
When we couldn’t find Logan anywhere else in the room, we knew he had to be there on the bathroom floor. He even slept in there instead of on the bed or the chair!
We haven’t stayed in a hotel with heated floor since then with any cat. I was looking forward to seeing what Logan would do when we encountered one again; now I’m just wondering if Lorelai and Zak will have the same reaction.
A friend of mine on Facebook posted this fascinating article about why cats feel the need to accompany us in the bathroom, and it was infinitely relatable. Because Izaak sits outside the bathroom when I’m in it and YELLS until I open the door.
And when I open it…this happens.