Aby-a-Day – 15 July: Playtime for kitties! (Cinema Sunday)

It has been crazy hot here in Sweden this summer – like, Boston summer hot. We just aren’t used to this here; in Sweden, not only do most places not have air conditioning, but they don’t even have an air circulation system. It’s hotter indoors than outdoors during the heat of the day. So, we took Jacoby, Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak outside the first weekend Zak was with us. We took our Ferocious Friends cat toy with us (we met them at the Somerville CopyCat Festival five years ago). It’s really a great toy to take outside . it’s very sturdy and durable…and the cats love it!

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As you can see by Rory’s stalk-and-pounce.

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Freddy, too, was unable to resist its siren’s call.

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At one point, almost all the cats were playing with the toy…everyone except Jake.

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But really, it was mainly Zak and Rory…take a look at the video to watch them play with it.

Aby-a-Day – 14 July: “But that’s life. One long tunnel. ” (Silly Saturday)

Back in my old apartment in Somerville,I had this aswesome floor-to-ceiling cat tree from Drs Foster and Smith, and it was well-loved by Harri, Patrick, Tessie, and Gun-Hee…but especially Kylie.

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Specifically, the fleece tunnel that hangs from the first level platform.

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Most cats want to go high, and eschew the low-hanging tunnel, but not Kylie.

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At the time, Kylie had a “knitten,” a little kitten that looked like her. It was her favourite toy, and she, of course, took it with her into the tree-tunnel.

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“Hey! Come back here and enjoy this with me!”

But after Kylie was young, the tree went into storage, and no cat got to climb it until we moved to Sweden, but even once we set that old tree up in Björn’s apartment, literally no cat used that tunnel…until Lorelai showed up on the scene.

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Rory discovered that tunnel and she owned it.
I know it’s not in focus, but this photo captures Rory’s joy within the tunnel.

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“Yay! Tunnel!”

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It’s so cute watching her loll about in that thing.

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I wonder if it’s a kitten thing? An adult cat can easily fit in the tunnel, but none ever lie in it.

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When Izaak arrived, he tried to share the tunnel with Rory.

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It was a bit crowded in there for the pair of them (look at Rory’s back foot!), but they made it work.

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For a while.

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Then Zak started to sort of ooze out the backside of it.

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Pretty sure he was pushed…

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…because a certain little girl seemed awfully proud of herself once she had the tunnel all to herself again.

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“…What? I didn’t do anything. He wanted to get down!”

Aby-a-Day – 13 July: Life imitates art (Fashion Friday Flashback)

An unsung hero of cat art history is Girard “Gig” Goodenow. I can’t even find a biography of him online, but a Google search of his name will give you plenty images of his art. I had a set of four of his “Pity Kitties” with huge, sad eyes in my bedroom when I was four years old. But a few years ago I found a print of one of the series of cat prints he did for Women’s Day…the Abyssinian, of course.

Well, I finally got around to finding a frame for it, and, after I unrolled it to look at it after years of it being packed away, both Björn and I were struck by how much it looked like a portrait of…Alfred. Eerily so, considering the print is 53 years old.

So we got Freddy to pose next to his two-dimensional doppleganger.

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Or, rather, I should say we tried to get him to pose. It didn’t start off well…

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This is one of the best photos of them together!

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At last Freddy took a good look at the portrait.

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“Wow! That really kinda does look like me!”

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“This is amazing..! It’s like looking in a mirror!”

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I think Freddy has a new-found appreciation for vintage cat art. I wonder if this Abyssinian was based on one of Freddy’s ancestors?

Aby-a-Day – 12 July: Sleeping in Vimmerby (Thursday Things)

Our friend Summer commented on yesterday’s post that it was nice to see Angel in a post. I do try to mix it up as much as possible, but it’s not always easy since Angel tends to avoid the spotlight.

Kalle has a really awesome Vimmerby bed from Mio. It’s a modernised version of the traditional box bed that dates back to the Middle Ages, and let me tell you, I would have LOVED to have a bed like this in high school!

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Seems that Angel likes Kalle’s bed, too! She hardly ever sleeps on our beds, so when she decided to hang out on Kalle’s bed, it was pretty awesome, and we were lucky to get photos of the rare event.

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It’s great to see her branch out. It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve had her, and she still acts like she did when I first brought her home. So to see her do something like this is so special. Good girl, Angel!

Aby-a-Day – 11 July: Wordless Wednesday (Angel on the balcony)

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Aby-a-Day – 10 July: The Girl with the Aby and Singa Tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

You might recall a few weeks ago I was about to go in and get a magpie tattoo on my arm and plan my next tattoo with Linus, my new tattoo artist here in Slövde. Linus is amazing, and tomorrow I am going to get it coloured in. I can’t wait! Since the 21st, I’ve had a half-done, just black lines and shading. It’s going to be amazing to finally have it finished.

In the meantime, I have worked up two better-coloured versions of my original sketch. The one above was coloured in on my iPad Pro using pencil and an incredible app called Art Set which works well…except it hasn’t got layers. So I did more colouring using Photoshop…and the result is above.

Then I thought my rough-sketched maple leaves, pussy willows and cherry blossoms were kind of…lazy. So I found some Photoshop brushes and line art and created a better background. At least I have something to show Linus tomorrow during my appointment.

Aby-a-Day – 9 July: “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero” (Medical Monday)

The last time we all went to the vet, we encountered a gorgeous German Shepherd in the lobby. He was so huge compared to Lorelai!

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But Rory was her usual fearless self.

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In fact, she barely seemed to notice him at all. “Dog? What dog?”

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Alfred, on the other hand…

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…did not like the looks of that enormous predator at all.

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In fact, he put his body between the dog and Rory to protect her.

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The dog had the good sense to look appropriately intimidated.

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“Don’t worry, little sister. I won’t let this beast hurt you.” Not that Rory looks at all concerned.

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The Shepherd was actually a well-trained tracking and guard dog, and he and his human volunteer with the canine unit at their local Hemvärnet battalion. Hemvärnet dogs are very disciplined, and he wouldn’t have hurt a kitten.

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Freddy didn’t still didn’t trust him. The entire time we were there with that dog, he remained vigilant, protecting Rory from harm.