Aby-a-Day – 31 March: Scandinavian Winners Show (Cat Show Saturday)

Today we are entered in the 2018 Scandinavian Winners Show in Göteborg, Sweden.

SW18IMG_E2592

It’s kind of a big deal. Cats exhibited at the FIFe Scandinavian Winner Show must satisfy one of the requirements in the 13 month period prior to the Scandinavian Winner Show:
Adult cats in classes 7-10 must have achieved:
Best in Variety (BIV) or
Best in Show nomination (NOM) or
Each cat qualified in Class 12 or 11 within 13 months prior to Show

Luckily, Logan has qualified in Classes 12 and 11 (Kitten and Junior) and was NOM in his first class 7 (Open Champion) show.

SW18locationIMG_E2586

The show is conveniently located in Gothia Towers. This weekend (Easter weekend), Göteborg also hosts GothCon, a gaming convention Björn has attended regularly for 34 years. It’s rather nice that both big events fell on the same weekend. We booked a hotel in between the two venues, which is perfect.

SW18infoIMG_E0152

The Winners show is different from regular shows. The first day is a regular show, but the second day is a sort of “Best of the Best,” as I understand it. This is also a much larger show than most of the shows we go to. There are over 800 cats representing 37 different breeds and 14 different countries.

SW18openingIMG_2449

Before the show, there was an official opening ceremony. Stellan, one of Sweden’s Singapura breeders, lives in Göteborg and was the main emcee for the day.

SW18openingIMG_2454

After the introduction, there was a demonstration of typical Swedish “Bug” dancing. I don’t know from bugs, but it looked a lot like the swing and rockabilly dancing I did in the late 90’s. It looked like fun!

SW18openingIMG_2461

Then they had a second dance and invited the audience to join in. You can see Stellan cutting a rug there in the middle.

SW18openingIMG_2464

Then there was the Parade of Nations. Naturally, Sweden was the first, since they are the host country.

SW18openingIMG_2481

When the stewards carrying flags from all 14 participating countries were on the stage, it was pretty impressive. There are even cats here from as far away as Brazil!

SW18openingIMG_2483

After the Parade of Nations, the 14 judges were presented to the exhibitors.

SW18prizesIMG_2487

SW18prizesIMG_2488

SW18prizesIMG_2489

As you might imagine, there are a LOT of rosettes and prizes to be awarded to the top winners.

SW18decoSWIMG_2490

Many of the cages in the benching area are decorated in a nationalistic theme for this show.

SW18decoSWIMG_2491

Of course, most of the entries are Swedish.

SW18decoSWIMG_2499

SW18decoSWIMG_2500

This Oriental Shorthair breeder had a very Swedish-themed cage along with two really cute crocheted blå och gul crocheted Oriental dolls.

SW18chandelierIMG_2501

This cat has a lighted chandelier in his cage!

SW18decoDKIMG_2492

These are cats from Denmark.

SW18decoFI-IMG_2493

And these kitties are obviously from Finland.

SW18decoFIsomali-IMG_2494

But guess what? These Finnish entries aren’t just “cats”…they’re all Somalis!

SW18loganIMG_E2569

Logan’s cage wasn’t decorated to any theme apart from the regular one we always use at shows. It includes fake pussy willows, because his registered name is Vide, which is the Swedish word for pussy willow.

SW18loganIMG_E2568

If you’re thinking it looks a lot like Jacoby’s show curtains, well….you’re right. They are the same.

SW18loganIMG_E2560But that cool showcage table? That’s all Logan’s!

Aby-a-Day – 30 March: Alfred and his mother (part three)(Friday Flashback)

This is the third installment of posts about Alfred’s family. I was lucky enough to get to meet both of his parents, all of his littermates, and some other relations as well. Today we’ll see a little bit of Freddy’s relationship with his mother. Last week’s post is here.

freddymomC07796

While we were visiting Alfred and his littermates, Artemis, their mother, decided that Freddy needed to go upstairs to bed.

freddymomC07801

Although she’s had several litters, Artemis seems a little unclear on the whole “carrying kittens by their scruffs” concept.

freddymomC07805

She sort of carried him by his front neck.

freddymomC07825

freddymomC07826

Of course, it didn’t help that Freddy wasn’t sleepy and didn’t want to go to bed upstairs.

freddymomC07829

Okay, upstairs we go, little man.

freddymomC07833

…A slight readjustment of grip…and we’re carrying, we’re carrying…

freddymomC07834

freddymomC07835

Come on, you little brat…cooperate. Mommy needs…I mean, YOU need a nap!

freddymomC07837

freddymomC07844

Mother knows best, after all.

freddymomC07845

freddymomC07846

…And up the stairs she whisks him.

freddymomC07847

freddymomC07852

Say goodnight, Freddy.

But what’s funny is, when Freddy wants to grab Logan by the scruff…he usually grabs him by the throat, just like his mother did to him. The only difference is, Logan doesn’t put up with it.

Aby-a-Day – 29 March: “Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport” (Travel Thursday)

Back in 2015, I posted about the EU regulations about microchipping and importing domestic animals. So I thought my non-EU readers would like to see what the pet passports look like. The LunaTicks all have leather passport covers to protect them, made by the same woman who made their harnesses, Arja’s Art, and they are not only gorgeous, but they match each cat’s harness, and the icons on the cover match those on each cat’s silver nametag.

freddy-passport2

Here is Alfred’s passport as an example. On the outside, the pet passports look a lot like a passport for humans, but they are slightly larger, and the cardboard is much thinner. There’s also no RIFD chip.

freddy-passport1

All the rabies shots are recorded in the passport. Jake’s and Angel’s passports also have their vaccination records and rabies blood titres since they were imported from the States.

jakepassbacksceneC01954

The passports also have a space for an optional photograph of the named cat, so of course I had to make sure that everyone had a proper passport photo. We started with Jacoby. Björn held him up while I took the photos. We used the plain white background of our balcony wall.

jakepassbacksceneC01956

First he was very squirmy. If I wanted a photo of his toes, it would have been awesome.

jakepassbacksceneC01959

Okay, slouching is worse. You look like you have no neck!

jakepassbacksceneC01972

But finally Jake started to get his act together, and we were able to get a decent photo.

angelpassbacksceneC01946

Next it was Angel’s turn.

angelpassbacksceneC01951

Seriously, Angel? Seriously? You only have one eye as it is. Don’t close it!

angelpassbacksceneC01948

But eventually she, too, settled down and we got a decent shot.

loganpassbacksceneC02983

A year later, when Logan and Freddy joined our household and got their passports, it was passport photo time again.

loganpassbacksceneC02960

Even though he was just a kitten, Logan was as “good” at posing as the big Abys were.

loganpassbacksceneC02955

But finally, he too managed to give me a decent pose.

fredpassbacksceneC00732

Surprisingly, Freddy was a natural.

fredpassbacksceneC00722

I actually got a few usable shots, all without having to be held.

jakebalconytreeC02957

Of course, while I was taking the kittens’ passport photos, Jake came and showed them how to pose properly…Not that he did that when we were actually taking his passport photo!

catspassportpix

These are the four photos we ended up using.

And here they are in the passports themselves.

All the entries are covered in clear self-adhesive plastic to prevent alterations. I put some over the photos and “signatures” as well.

I wasn’t sure about using kitten photos on the passport they’ll use for the rest of their lives…but I guess it will be okay.

I have rubber stamps for Angel’s and Jake’s pawprints, but Freddy and Logan haven’t gotten theirs yet…so these are their actual paws! I guess that makes up for using kitten photos.

jakepassportfinlandIMG_6572

But at the end of the day, this is what matters. A cat and his passport, riding the rails on the way to Finland for his first international show.

jakepasscheck

(And in case you’re wondering…yes, they really do check them when you cross a border!)

Aby-a-Day- 27 March: Logistics of feeding (Cartoon Tuesday)

These go back to when I still lived in Boston. I was brainstorming ideas about all the hoops I had to go through to feed Jacoby, Angel, Tessie and Kylie. When Kylie was a tiny kitten, we made a box with a hole only she could fit through so the adult cats wouldn’t eat the higher-calorie kitten food. We did this with Logan, too, so he could have food whenever he needed it.

feedingsketch1

This was some kind of idea about the kitten box and the menacing big cats hovering around it. I still am not sure where I was going with this.

feedingsketch2

This was an idea about the logistics of feeding. At the time, Jake and Angel lived with Tessie and Kylie. Kylie was a slow and picky eater, while Jake scarfs down his food and looks for more. He had to eat UT food, and we didn’t want him eating regular food, so he ate in the spare bedroom. Angel ate in the bedroom, because she also needs UT food, and also because Tessie would bully her and keep her from eating. Tessie and Kylie could eat together, because Tessie wouldn’t try to steal her food.

We have a similar system here in Sweden, because of eating styles and special diets. Jake doesn’t like raw and still needs UT, and he eats in the bedroom. When Alfred and Logan were kittens and ate the same food, we fed them in the Kitten Room and Angel on the cat tree. Pyret used to need eat a renal/hepatic diet, and we fed her on her chair. Angel never tried to eat Pyret’s food, so that worked. When Logan was still eating kitten food after Freddy was neutered, we fed Logan in the Sturdi Shelter and Freddy ate alone in the Kitten Room, but now that the Suprelorin has kicked in, they are back to eating the same food. Between the voracious Aby appetite and the special diets, feeding our cats is a bit like that old riddle about the farmer and the fox, goose and bag of beans!

Aby-a-Day – 26 March: Re Ment Pose Skeleton Cat (Miniature Monday)

Personally, I think cat skeletons are kind of cool. You may remember
my roughly life-sized skeleton cat, Os-car I found at CVS one Halloween. So when Björn showed me a picture of Re-Ment’s Pose Skeleton Cat, I had to get one.

poseskeletonC02263

It’s one of those typical cool Japanese toys with tons of special touches. The cat comes with a litter box (I think…it might be a bed), a typical Japanese wand cat toy, and a belled collar. I added a Schleich cat tower and some food and water bowls I had from another set, and it seems that the scale on all of them is roughly the same.

poseskeletonC02274

The amount of detail on this little thing is incredible. The collar has stitching marks and a leather look, and the bell has a seam and the hole at the bottom to let the sound out.

jakeposeskeletonC02268

Of course, when he heard the camera, Jacoby had to come see what I was taking photos of…and why I wasn’t taking photos of him.

jakeposeskeletonC02276

Jake was very curious about the little cat skeleton and tried to pick it up.

jakeposeskeletonC02277

He only succeeded in knocking over the cat tree. Then he wandered off.

poseskeletonC02273

Thanks a lot, Jake!

poseskeletonC02283

It’s really a tiny figure (as you can see compared to Jake’s paw), but it has eight points of articulation (tail, both hips, mid-spine, both shoulders, neck and jaw)! I really adore this little thing.

Aby-a-Day – 25 March: The Case of the Buried Bowls (Cinematic Sunday)

When Alfred and Logan joined our family, they ate together in our guest room, also known as the Kitten Room. This was because I didn’t want the big Abys eating the high-calorie kitten food, and I wanted to give the older cats a little break from the rambunctious kittens.

toysinbowlsIMG_E0298

Every time I went to let them out and collect the bowls, I would find them covered in a pile of toys. Both of them will make the motions of burying old food by scraping the floor around the dishes, so I couldn’t be sure who was doing it.

logantoysinbowlsIMG_0283

Logan would usually follow me when I collected the bowls, but he seemed almost as mystified as I was. He didn’t give me any clues as to whether or not it was him. So finally, I set my camera up on a tripod, started it up, and left it running while they ate. The original video was 23 minutes long, so I edited out the times that no cats were in the shot and nothing was happening. Even after clipping the boring bits out, the video is still almost 6½ minutes long!

So, if you don’t want to watch it in realtime, here is a sped-up version that takes half the time.

Either way, mystery solved! It’s Freddy, although Logan helps. And Freddy still buries his bowls, even now that he’s over a year old. He’s been eating on his own in the Kitten Room, and when I come to collect his dish, I always have to dig it out from underneath a pile of toys.

Even funnier, it seems to be a family trait. Freddy’s older half-sister, Hera, also covers up her food bowls when she’s finished eating!