Aby-a-Day – 14 August: Pining for the fjords (Cartoon Tuesday)

Whilst working on a new project for the upcoming NEMO show, I came across an old drawing I did for Iris five years ago for the National Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Club’s show catalogue (the show was around Columbus Day, as I recall). I’d forgotten all about it, but considering where I live now, it was too funny not to share.

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Seeing it again also reminded me that I had always wanted to colour it. So, it being a rainy Tuesday, I figured, what the heck?

Update on Jacoby

The vet just called me with a post-surgery update. Jacoby did well and I can pick him up tomorrow, most likely. They didn’t SEE anything wrong with him inside (ie, no visible tumours, enlarged organs or infection), so hopefully the samples they took will tell us what’s wrong with him. We’ll find out in a couple of weeks when they get the results back from the lab.

One thing I really love about Anicura is that they send you morning texts with a photo so you can see how your cat is doing. They did this with Logan, too. It’s just so thoughtful of them.

Aby-a-Day – 13 August: Exploratory surgery (Medical Monday)

Today I had to do the second hardest thing a cat parent has to do. Today I took Jacoby to Jönköping…and left him at the djursjukhuset there.

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I think he knew something was going on. When I woke up, he was lying on top of me. His biopsies are tomorrow morning, but because of the train schedules, it was easier to bring him in this afternoon.

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After breakfast, he stayed close to me on the sofa. I’m sure he knew something was up…even though I tried to remain calm.

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But the truth is, Jake is having surgery tomorrow. He is having different areas of his digestive tract biopsied so we can finally know what has been bothering him since February or March. And while it’s a routine procedure and everything should be fine…it’s still surgery.

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And that’s a hard thing to think about when it’s your best friend, your feline soulmate of nine years.

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And while most of your brain knows it’s just surgery and he’ll come through it with no problems…there’s always this evil little bit in the back of cerebellum that can’t stop thinking that this train ride, this time in the waiting room, this moment where he’s in the transfer cage and going back into the depths of the hospital you almost never get to see…this might be the last time I pet that head, hear that purr, tell him I love him. The odds of that happening are low, to be sure…but we’ve all heard stories of routine surgeries going wrong. You don’t want to think that way, but you do.

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I took a couple of awkward selfies of us on the train…

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…until I remembered about Incredibooth. Selfies are much better when they look like photobooth strips.

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On our journey to Anicura, I of course let him out of his carrier whilst we were on the train.

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Jake was his usual Strollercat self, riding the rails the way he has a thousand times before.

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Before we left, I packed one of his favourite spring toys along with his beloved catnip Jackson Pollock fish. This is one of his all-time favourite toys and he was even licking it in his carrier. I hope it gives him some comfort tomorrow when he wakes up from his operation.

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I let him walk from the bus stop to the hospital.

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He’s actually starting to recognise where he’s going when we come her, which is a sign we’ve come here too many times. But there was no way he would make that trip in his carrier, and who was I not to indulge him?

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We had a bit of a wait before a nurse came to collect him, so we sat in the special cats-only waiting room.

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There are shelves on the wall for people to set the cat carriers…

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…and they have two Feliway plug-ins installed!

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There were other people in the cat waiting room when we first got there, so I kept Jake in his carrier. Once they left, however, I let him out to walk around. He seemed to like the waiting room, but of course he’s never been afraid of going to the vet.

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He was very affectionate while we waited.

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In fact, he felt so happy and comfortable in the waiting room, he flopped down and started grooming himself.

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It kind of made me sad, because I could see how much his hair had grown back from the ultrasound he’d had a month ago…and that’s going to get shaved off again tomorrow morning.

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Finally we we called back to an exam room. He was weighed (4.02 kg, better than the 3.9 kg he was on 6 August, the last time I got his weight), and we talked a little about the procedure to come and what will happen after the operation.

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I had to take off his collar, which made me a little sad, but they let him have his toys, so when he wakes up in his hospital cage he’ll have something from home to help make him feel better.

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Finally, they wheeled him off to his hospital cage, and I went along home with my empty cat carrier.

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I had an hour to kill before my train home came, so I went to O’Leary’s (a favourite quasi-Boston hangout) and played a little of my favourite slot machine game, Wild Pride, and I won 845kr (about $92 USD)! That surely must be a good omen, right?

Tomorrow is going to be a long day, waiting for the phone to ring. I will go back to pick Jake up either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how quickly he recovers.

Aby-a-Day- 12 August: Cousins from another mother

When Izaak first arrived, Alfred was polite, but reserved.

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He didn’t seem to connect Zak to Logan at all, despite being only the second Singapura Freddy had ever seen in his life.

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But lately…

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…Freddy has taken a cuddly interest in little Zakky.

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While it is so reminiscent of Freddy and Logan, the “Brothers From Another Mother,” it is different, too.

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So maybe…”Cousins From Another Mother”? Is that a thing? I guess if we can have identical cousins, we can have that!

Aby-a-Day – 11 August: Thank heaven for little girls!

Yesterday was Lorelai’s six-month birthday!

When this little girl joined our family, she was like a beam of joyful sunshine piercing through dark stormclouds. We had intended her to be a show partner for Logan, and decided to get her before we realised he was sick. Her pickup day was a little less than a month after we lost Logan, and we did wonder if it was too soon. We know FIP isn’t contagious, but we cleaned everything anyway; we just wondered if it was too soon for us to deal with a new kitten so soon after dealing with two deaths.

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We should never have worried. From the moment we saw her in Eva’s motorhome, she loved us. She came into our home like she had always been there, purring and playing. She never had a litterbox issue, never hid or cried or seemed to miss her siblings or mother at all. She’s a happy, loving, active, fearless little cat, with a good-natured, sunny personality. She’s perfect.

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Happy half-birthday, little girl!

Aby-a-Day – 10 August: My humans went to Copenhagen and all I got was this lousy T-shirt (Fashion Friday)

Björn and I went to Copenhagen for a short holiday last week. We stayed in a nice (but HOT) hotel right next to Copenhagen’s Central Station. It was a perfect location, walking distance to everything, close to everything…including the famous Tivoli Gardens. It opened on 15 August 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world (the oldest is also in Denmark. Apart from having the oldest wooden roller coaster, it has shows, Halloween and Christmas festivals, fireworks, an adjacent hotel, and a number of restaurants and shops.

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Including the only Build-a-Bear store in Scandinavia.

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As you may recall, Jacoby loved going to the Build-a-Bear shop in Faneuil Hall, so when I saw souvenir T-shirts there, I knew I had to get him one.

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It’s been a while since Jake’s worn any of his outfits, but as you can see, he’s still got it!

Aby-a-Day – 9 August: Jacoby is such a ham (Thursday Things)

Despite not feeling well, Jacoby is still on the constant lookout for anything edible.

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The other night we made some pasta sauce using some short-dated roasted ham bits in it. We rinsed out the bag it came packaged in and set it on the draining board to dry out for recycling…the same as we do for any plastic meat packaging.

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And, usually, that’s not a problem. While Jake does chew on plastic shopping bags, the bags meat comes sealed in is apparently not the right consistency for eating. He’s never bothered that plastic before.

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But this particular evening…

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…Jake was after something other than plastic.

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Evidently, he just really thought there was some meat left in the bag, and he went for it.

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And then he couldn’t seem to shake the packet off his face.

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But he didn’t panic or freak out or anything. He just sat there. Jake seemed resigned to wearing ham-scented plastic on his head for the rest of his life.

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Alfred and Lorelai seemed quite concerned. Either that, or they wanted to make sure that Jake wasn’t actually eating any ham…

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…whichever it was, Freddy jumped up to see what he could do.

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I don’t think you’re helping there, Fred. I finally helped Jake shake off his plastic porcine mask. What I love about Jake is how when something like this happens, he never panics. He remains dead calm. Like that time he got stuck in a plastic shopping bag, he just waits…he knows he’ll either get out of it himself, or a human will come along and help him. No worries.