Aby-a-Day – 16 September: Dogs on a train (Cat Show Sunday)

Still processing everything from the show. On Sunday, neither Lorelai nor Izaak were nominated, so it was a fairly peaceful show day. We just sat and talked to people. I got to talk to Göran, my one-time nurse, and found out an interesting fact that no one bothered to mention before: Not only could I have lost my finger or hand from the infection caused by the cat bite…I could have lost my life! So, everyone reading, please remember: If you are bitten in the hand or finger by a cat and it becomes at all swollen…go to an ER immediately. Don’t waste time at a local urgent care.

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Our train ride home was interesting, though. On Swedish trains, there are special pet compartments that are the only places animals are allowed. In this particular pet car, there were only nine seats…and we had two cats and four dogs! We boarded the train in Göteborg with a very well behaved rescue dog from Greece. He lived with cats and was not at all fazed by Zak and Rory. When a Border Collie got on a few stations later, though, the dog reacted. The Border Collie and his human sat in the doorway. Then in Falköping, we were joined by a Bedlington Terrier and a Chinese Crested!

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Their human was delighted to see a Singapura in person and had to have a photo. She said her friend, who had a Somali, would be so jealous that she had met a Singa.

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Rory in particular was fascinated by the Chinese Crested. She never puffed up, growled or hissed, and she actually got up the nerve to touch the dog’s ear with her nose!

Aby-a-Day – 19 August: Cat Show Wrap-up (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Okay, first off I need to apologise for today’s post. We are all four of us exhausted after a long, hot day at the show and what ended up being a nearly six-hour trip home with the kittens’ stroller and two wicked heavy bags. But I also know how much you want to know what happened.

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It was a very interesting Abyssinian class this show. Six ruddies, eight blues, four reds and a fawn! I don’t think I have been to a show when the blues dominated the breed.

On Saturday, Lorelai competed against her littermates Maya and Manne. Rory took Ex2, Maya Ex1 and Manne was Best in Variety (BIV).

This was Izaak’s first show day, and he was up against a Bengal and an Ocicat in Class 12 (Kittens 4-6 months). He got an Ex1, but wasn’t nominated. However, our friend Jenny’s Singapura, S*Kustens Follia d’Amore aka Skilla, was nominated and won Best in Show (BIS)!

On Sunday, Rory again competed against her brother and sister, but this time, she was Ex1 and her sister Maya was Ex2. However, brother Manne still took BIV. He also got the NOM, but ultimately lost to a pretty Siamese.

Zak got another Ex1, and he was up against a Bengal for the Nomination. He lost to the Bengal, but it was a close decision.

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However, how Zak and Rory did in the show is nothing compared to how they did during the long trip involving regional trains, light rail trains, cabs and buses. It was hard on me and Björn, so I don’t know what two six month old kittens thought of all that.

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Zak and Rory were awesome throughout it all. They almost never meowed, they stayed on the table or in our laps on the train, they were unfazed by loud noises or dogs (there were two large dogs in our car), and other people barely noticed them – they were surprised to see kittens in out stroller instead of a child! And they did marvellously at the show itself, being unfazed by the noise or the other cats.

The other exciting part of the show was the Litter class. CFA doesn’t have this, but in FIFe, three or more kittens (under 7 months) are judged together as part of a litter and compete against other litters! On both days, there were no other Cat. 4 litters entered, so Kajza’s kittens were BIS. The littermates are also ranked within the litter, and on the first day, the ranking was Manne, then Maya, and finally Rory…but on the second day with a different judge, the ranking was Rory first, then Maya, and finally Manne. So it just goes to show how a different day and a different judge can change everthing.

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Here is a little movie that Eva made showing her star kittens (click image to see video).

Aby-a-Day – 22 July: “I have one speed, I have one gear: go!” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

In a couple of weeks, Lorelai and Izaak will be going to their first show together, held by the Järva Kattklubb in Stockholm. This was Logan’s first show last year.

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It was a fun show, and it was held as part of a larger animal fair called Djurens Helg, with dogs, horses, small mammals, birds, reptiles and even insects! There was a lot to do and see during the show downtimes. Sadly, though, this year Djurens Helg is the weekend before the cat show.

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But the best thing of all about this show was that they had cat agility set up! I hadn’t seen that since I was back n the States.

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Now, you may remember that Jacoby absolutely sucks at agility. But Gun-Hee was really good at it, and came in fourth place as a kitten at our first Seacoast show. So when I saw the agility set up, I had to give Logan a go.

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And, after getting himself oriented in the cage…

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…he did really, really well!

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But at the end of the day, he had come in third place! Unfortunately, there were only trophies for first and second places, but still, he ran the course in 4 seconds!

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It wasn’t a circle, like the one in New Hampshire; it was just a straight line, but he did it perfectly. We are hoping it will be back again this year, because we cannot wait to show it to Zak and Rory!

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Oddly, as with Gun-Hee, we didn’t manage to get a very good video of Logan running it. This is the best we could manage.

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So, here is a video of Logan playing in his benching cage. (Click on the images to see the videos on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – 8 July: “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Last Saturday, as I posted, Lorelai made her first show appearance.

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What was interesting, though, was that her half brother Lord was being judged at the same time on the judging table next to ours. The ruddies and the blues were judged separately on Saturday, and together on Sunday.

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It was fun to watch him be judged while Rory was being judged.

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Rory is a cat show natural! She was fearless, playful, and utterly charming.

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The judge, Marie Westerlund, actually breeds Abys (her cattery name is S*Rackarkattens) and she fell in love with Rory.

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In FIFe, the owner displays the cat to the judge, and the judge talks to the owner and explains what she’s looking for and how the cat meets the standard. It’s a bit different from CFA, where of course the judges know who the owners are, but there’s a sort of invisible wall of tacit anonymity. A show judge is not supposed to see or even know what cat is entered in the show. After the cat is judged, it’s okay to hang out with the judge. Also, in CFA, judges dress up. Men wear ties, and women wear nice suits and dresses. In FIFe, the judges seem to wear whatever they want. Men wearing jeans and a polo shirt is not uncommon.

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Marie seemed to examine Rory for ages

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Meanwhile, Rory’s half-brother was still on his judging table.

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Then something odd happened. Rory’s judge went over to talk to Lord’s judge! I hadn’t ever seen that happen before. Not sure what they were talking about, but it was cool to see them close together!

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As you can see, Rory is a natural star. And you can see how smitten Marie was by her.

I also shot a movie of her being judged. As I said, she was on the table a really long time!

Aby-a-Day – 1 July: Go Team Aby! (Cat Show Sunday)

This post is late, and short…because coming home from a show is hard. Almost more work than the show itself. So I am afraid there’s not much more than the basics tonight…

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Lorelai’s judge today was Ulrika Eriksson. She was the judge who thought Logan was too thin; she also judged Jacoby in the Senior class at one show. Yesterday, the blue Abys and the ruddy Abys were seen by different judges, but today all the Abys were judged by the same judge. Which meant the ruddies and the blues had to compete against each other.

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Rory was her playful self on the table…

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…not that the judge was paying much attention.

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When it came down to the Kat. 4 nominations, it was Rory and Classy, the birthday doppelgangers…

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…and a squirmy seal Balinese. The final decision was painfully close…

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…Rory had colour and type, and Classy had eyes and ears. In the end, Classy took the day.

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We stopped by her cage to pay our respects.

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Any day an Aby wins anything at a show is a good day (And, really…having two cats regard each other from a small distance at a show without any hostility whatsoever is refreshing, to say the least)!

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Classy was in the final against a Cornish Rex, and that Russian Blue I mentioned yesterday.
I think we all were surprised when Classy, and not the Russian Blue, was named Best in Show, Class 12, Kat. 4.

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Of course, in the end, we’re all cat-geek friends.

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Classy admired her winnings from her benching cage.

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Her breeder, Susanna, took photos of her with her trophy.

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“Any food in this bowl-shaped thingy?”

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Congrats, Classy and Susanna…Until we meet again!

Aby-a-Day – 29 April: Logan’s show cage escape (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

When Logan was at shows, he liked it when the door was open.

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He just felt happier when the door was open. Logan, like Jacoby at shows, was perfectly happy to sit in his cage; he just preferred keeping the door open.

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When the door to his cage was closed, it really bothered him.

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“Ah, yes, that’s much better.”

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It’s not that he wanted to escape…

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…Yes, Logan, we know you’re showing in the non-alter class, thank you…

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…he just wanted to be closer to his humans. That’s all. In fact, Logan decided he was so against the closed-door policy, he worked out how to open the bloody thing! (Click on image to watch video)

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…Let’s see that last bit again in slow motion (again, click on the image to see the video)…

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Yep. Clearly a criminal mind behind those big round eyes.

Aby-a-Day – 8 April: “I would rather sleep in a bathroom than in another hotel” (Silly Cinema Cat Show Sunday)

Back in November, Björn and I went to a show in Finland with Logan. A lot happened on that trip, about which I will post more later, but the funniest thing was Logan’s reaction to the hotel bathroom in Helsinki.

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Specifically, the heated bathroom floor.

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He loved it!

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He could not believe the floor was warm. He rolled and rolled on it endlessly.

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Best thing ever!

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When we couldn’t find Logan anywhere else in the room, we knew he had to be there on the bathroom floor. He even slept in there instead of on the bed or the chair!

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Oops, time for a groom!

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And here are a couple of videos I took of Logan enjoying the bathroom as well (just click on them to view them in a new window).

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We haven’t been to a hotel with a heated floor again since then, but it’s always the first thing Logan looks for when we go to a new hotel.