Aby-a-Day – 31 May: Never too young to start a bad habit (Thursday Things)

When you read those breed descriptions of Abyssinians, they never tell you about the food obsession. They all have it, to varying degrees. Alfred chews through anything plastic because he’s learnt there’s food in plastic (except when there isn’t; he’s also chewed through a packet of ground black pepper and a bag of laundry detergent). Angel runs to the kitchen whenever you cut something up with a knife and cutting board, hoping for bits of raw meat (even if I am only chopping onions or cucumbers). And Jacoby, well, he’s the worst. He’ll steal food right under your nose if you aren’t careful!

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As go the older cats, so goes Lorelai.

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Bear in mind, nobody really taught her how to do this. No one needed to. Cats learn by observation, after all.

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I think she’s getting an A in this life lesson.

Aby-a-Day – 30 May: Wordless Wednesday (“Food is the ingredient that binds us together”)

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Aby-a-Day – 29 May: Lorelai by Kalle (Cartoon Tuesday)

Kalle told me he couldn’t think of what to do in art class last week, so he drew Lorelai using one of my sketches from a couple of weeks ago. I have got some serious competition, people!

Aby-a-Day – 28 May: Nothing butt the truth (Medical Monday)

Today’s post is…I’m not going to lie. Today’s post is kind of nasty.

Today’s post is about cats’ anal glands. Now, 99.9% of cat owners don’t even know their cats have anal glands. But if you completely ignore them, it’s (pardon the expression) a complete pain in the ass.

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It started with Jacoby, who has had a history of soft poops, which means that his anal glands don’t get expressed natually when he poops. When he started smelling “whiffy,” I would have my vet express them…but it was happening too often to make that a regular thing. He was young and trusting, and I used to have to do this with my old Siamese Harri, so I started expressing Jake’s anal glands the same way I used to do Harri’s. He let me…and now it’s routine. But almost every other week, I’m justified.

I know this is a completely disgusting topic. The stuff in your cat’s anal glands is related to the stuff that skunks spray when they feel threatened. There are two methods used to empty the anal gland sacs; I use the “squeezing a zit” method as opposed to the more invasive, “grab the rubber gloves and the lube” method. It works, and I can sleep at night.

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If you haven’t had the pleasure of dealing with cats’ anal glands.…well, it’s about as pleasant as the words “anal” and “glands” in the same sentence might lead you to believe. Tessie had a problem with hers that ultimately required an anaesthetised procedure, and when I helped my vet to hold her while she looked at the problem, Tessie nearly ripped my throat out. So it pays to get your kittens used to having their bums squoze before it becomes a problem.

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Because Jake needed his glands expressed on a regular basis, when we added Alfred and Logan, and later Lorelai, to our family I added “checking the bum” to the bi-weekly grooming routine of weighing, clipping claws, cleaning ears, scraping and brushing teeth (except Angel) and combing and rubbing with Bay Rum and a chamois cloth. I think it helps; at least, it should prevent any horrific issues.

The reason for this post is due to the fact that, this past weekend for the first time ever, I was able to express Angel’s glands. And believe me, she needed it done. It’s a not-so-nice aspect of cat parenting…but it’s an important one. As our friends at Cats Herd You say, why don’t we cat owners talk about these sorts of things more?

Edit: Our friend Summer suggested I post a tutorial on how to do this. Turns out there’s a Japanese YouTube video featuring an Abyssinian that shows pretty much how I do it (but not exactly). For more information on how I express the cats’ glands, read my reply to Summer in comments.

Aby-a-Day – 27 May: Typical Swedish breakfast (Swedish Sunday)

Swedes love kaviar in a tube. A paste of salted cod roe (Gadus morhua), sugar, canola oil and spices, the most famous brand is Kalle’s Kaviar, but Björn just buys the ICA brand kaviar; it tastes the same and costs less. It’s the standard condiment for hard boiled eggs.

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On her first morning with us, Lorelai investigated this fishy delight. She just needs to learn which end it comes out from.

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There you go, Rory! You’re getting warmer!

Aby-a-Day – 26 May: I have no teeth and I must chew (Silly Saturday)

You may recall my post a while back about Alfred’s obsession with chewing. A favourite is rawhide sticks covered with dried lamb or duck, but I also give him Matatabi sticks and dried turkey feet (our kitchen floor looks a bit interesting). Well, now it’s become a kind of fad amongst the LunaTicks. Jacoby doesn’t really get why Freddy likes it so much, but he’ll steal the chewsticks or rib bones and gnaw on them anyway.

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But there’s one cat I never thought would jump on the chewing bandwagon.

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Angel.

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I mean, she only has THREE TEETH! But there she was, the other day, carrying one of Freddy’s chewsticks around the apartment and chewing on it when she felt safe to do so.

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Teeth or no, nevertheless, she persists.

Singas are Super: Bruce Lee dials 999

(Photo from the Daily Mail)

It’s not often you find a news story about a Singapura, but back in 2013 a Singa kitten in London named Bruce Lee managed to dial 999 and summon the police.

Next they’ll be wanting their own iPhones.