Aby-a- Day – 16 March: Freddy then and now (part one) (Friday Flashback)

Alfred’s story actually started on 21 March 2016, when his mother, Artemis, had a litter of blue silver kittens. Sadly, only one survived, a little boy named Beaver.

Karin, his breeder, posted endless photos and videos of him as he grew up. He was a charming, sweet little survivor, growing up without kittens his own age, just his mother, father and older sister. I fell in love with him and would have adopted him in a heartbeat …but he was already spoken for.

But then, last year in February, Artemis had another litter. And this time, there were FIVE kittens, and every single one survived! There were three girls (Greta, Märta and Kerstin), two boys (Albert and Bertil), and four of them were black silver Abys while Märta, was Ruddy. They were all named after characters in Astrid Lindgren‘s books.


When he was five weeks old, Freddy met the love of his life…food!


Freddy at six weeks, showing off.


Freddy has always been a bit of a goofball.

It’s wonderful to watch your kitten grow up…I have seen photos of Jacoby’s littermates and siblings, and met his father, uncle and one brother, but I never got to see them all together. And I got to see Logan together with his sister and mother and several cousins, but I didn’t get to meet his father. Freddy’s the only one I’ve seen grow up from birth, met all his littermates (and also a half-sister) as well as his father and some cousins.




We went to Stockholm when Freddy and his siblings were just seven weeks old. We got to play with them and watch them interact with each other…something I didn’t get to do with the others.




Watching five kittens play in a house that’s basically set up as a kitten playground is a lot of fun!


Karin had a ton of interactive climbing play areas for the kittens…



…Like this hanging mesh tunnel from IKEA. I actually found one for our kitten room here…but Freddy pulled it out of the ceiling.


Freddy has always liked to be on a high perch.




It was so much fun watching the kittens play! I took so many photos…too many for just one Friday Flashback. So, come back next Friday for more of Freddy and his family!

Happy Birthday, Molly!

One of my best friends in the Abyssinian world, Molly of Tigerflower Abyssinians, has a couple of major life events happening this month. At the end of the month, she is retiring…but today is her 80th birthday! Since Molly considers the CFA her extended family, I am trying to create a birthday greetings blitz with her friends. So…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!

Molly has been breeding Abyssinians under the cattery name Tigerflower for over thirty years. Mainly working with dilutes, she’s raised countless litters of beautiful, title-winning Abys. Besides her Abyssinians, Molly followed a long New York fashion career – on staff at Mademoiselle and Glamour Magazines, freelance writing for Town & Country, wardrobe and speech writing for the Miss America pageants…she even once met Jack Benny!



I met Molly at a show in Groton, CT back in 2011. It was a memorable show for many reasons: Jacoby achieved his Grand Premiership, I met Richard of Chanan for the first time, and Jake and I dressed up as ancient Egyptians because the second day of the show fell on Halloween. But among the most memorable things was meeting Molly and Red Ferne Moses2 of Tigerflower.


He was quite the little firecracker, little Mosey!


He did well at that show, too.

When I lived in Boston, Molly lived in Orlando, FL and then in New Jersey, so we didn’t get to see her very often…but she did come to a couple of NEMO shows. This is the group of my friends and I after the first day of the first NEMO show…Molly supplied the plastic wine sippy cups.


She and her young red boy, Nik, were enchanted by this spectator at that show.


Molly was one of the few people who came to Björn’s and my wedding…in fact, having guests at our wedding at all was Molly’s idea!


If it hadn’t been for her, we would not have had a wedding party.


She also gave us this incredible stained-glass Aby, which hangs in our front room window in our apartment where we can see it every day.

So…Molly…give your beloved Clawdius a hug from all of us here in Sweden…and have an absolutely marvelous birthday party! We wish we could be there to help you celebrate!

Aby-a-Day – 15 March: Flash in the pan (Thursday Things)

Cats go through fads. They’ll ignore a bed or napping spot for weeks or months, and then one day, suddenly – BAM! It’s the most popular thing in the house and everycat wants to sleep there.


Jacoby is very much the faddist. He’ll suddenly start sitting somewhere and it becomes his go-to place. So recently, his place in the kitchen is our red cast-iron frying pan that lives on our stovetop.


And I thought his other obsession with this pan – licking the grease residue on it when it’s cold – was bad!


Of course, we rinse it before we use it now, but seriously…the frying pan? I just hope he never tries to sit in it when it’s still hot!

Aby-a-Day – 14 March: Wordless Wednesday (Philadelphia)

















Abys are Everywhere – Player’s Cigarettes cat cards

My friend Marsha posted a photo of a reproduction cigarette card featuring an Abyssinian the other day on Facebook. I actually managed to find an image of it in the digital collection of the New York Public Library!

Cigarette cards were the precursor to collectible cards in bubble gum packets, and date back the 1890s, when cigarettes were wrapped in paper packets instead of boxes. Manufacturers began inserting pieces of card to protect the contents, quickly realising that these would be useful for advertising their products. Soon this evolved into sets of cards featuring various things of interest, in the hopes that smokers would want to “collect them all” and continue to buy that brand rather than another.

Usually, they were marketed to men, and so featured sports players, pretty actresses, trains and ships…but there were some animal-themed sets as well, including a 24-card set of different British breeds of cats printed in 1936 by Player’s Cigarettes.

The originals are not dated, but these were reproduced in both 1986 (with blue ink and the Imperial Tobacco Ltd. logo on the corners)…

…and in 1997 (this time with red ink). Therefore they are not hard at all to find, especially from UK sellers on eBay. I got this one for about 80kr (less than $10 USD) including shipping.

Aby-a-Day – 13 March: The Ides of Trump (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last year, on 15 March, there was a postcard campaign called “The Ides of Trump,” where citizens wrote letters to the person currently in the White House expressing their disdain of him and his polices.


Of course, I participated. And here is two of the cards I sent. One included a cartoon.

Aby-a-Day – 12 March: Takes a ticking and keeps on licking (Medical Monday)

Disclaimer: This post contains images of a disgusting, blood-sucking parasite…no, not the one currently occupying the White House…I am talking an actual arachnid. If you’re squeamish about creepy crawlies, you might want to scroll quickly.


The first summer we lived in Sweden, Jacoby went out on several outdoor expeditions in the tall grass on the slope near our apartment.


A day or two after one such outing, I petted Jake and felt…a lump. I inspected it more closely, and…EWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwww!


It was a tick! A big, nasty, swollen, blood-engorged tick! I don’t do exoskeletal, multi-legged things (except lobsters, crabs and shrimp), but Björn grew up next to a lake in Sweden and has dealt with ticks many times. He even had the appropriate extraction tool at the ready.


Between cringing and making “ew” noises, I wasn’t much help.


So I just held Jake still and took photos.


I am so glad that Björn knows how to handle these monsters. It was hard enough just taking and editing the photos!


All I know about ticks is what I’ve read in the Warriors books, and I was fresh out of moss and mouse bile.


Of course, I could have always looked online for instructions on tick removal…but there was still that whole “I don’t do bugs” thing, so…


…it’s a good thing I have Björn.


Because…Ew! Ew-ew-ew-ew! EWWW!