Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj 2020: Izaak in the Duvet Cover (Silly Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The funniest, cutest thing happened this morning.

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Izaak got inside Björn’s duvet cover and was trying to get to me for a cuddle. He got his head through the hand hole…and then got stuck.

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Which is funny, because I always thought that if a cat could get his head through a hole, the rest of the body would fit, too. Apparently, not so much.

I had to make a video of him for Björn, who was making his breakfast and couldn’t come to see Zak in the duvet. I thought you all would like to see it, too.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj 2020: Walking home after taking out the recyclables (Cinema Sunday)

We’ve trained Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak to come along with us when we take out the garbage and recyclables.

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And they know, when we let them out when we’re carrying bags, that we’re not just “going outside,” but we’re going out to the bins. These three all know how to walk home from the bus stop from vet visits, and the bins are just next to the bus stop.

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They love it…and they do know the difference. Dashiell hasn’t had enough practice outside to do this…and Angel is happier at home.

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Rory so loves to run free outside. I say she is the very embodiment of joy when she runs.

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Sometimes, she even climbs trees!

Here’s the video I made on the way back (note the Swedish social distancing).

Aby-a-Day – 10 Maj 2020: Remember when we used to go to cat shows..? (Cat Show Cinema Singapura Sunday)

A friend on Facebook posted a photo of her cats today with the caption: “Is this really all we do now? We can’t leave?! When is the next cat show?! We’re tired of sitting home!!!!”

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Dude…I so know that feel.

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Because we weren’t able to go to our favourite show in Örebro this year, we haven’t been to a show since November, when we went with Lorelai and Izaak to Turku. It’s the one thing I really miss since the pandemic started.

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So, I went back in my backlog of photos and found this set of Zak at the Turku show, after our collection of show wand toys fell over.

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He was so cute, playing with the toys. We mainly only ever play with wand toys at shows, so this was a treat.

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I even made a short video of it (click on the image to view it on another tab in Flickr).

Aby-a-Day – 3 Maj 2020: Just some cats outside in springtime…(Cinema Sunday)

Yesterday, we took the cats outside for some exercise. We’ve had some days of rain, but even though it was a bit cloudy yesterday, the cats wanted to go out, so out we let them…

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Lorelai, of course, LOVED it.

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As did Alfred.

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Dashiell, as I posted yesterday, had his own kind of fun outside.

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When Izaak wasn’t striking poses…

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…he was exploring the great outdoors with Rory.

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I wish I could be as joyful as Freddy running outside in the daisies.

Here’s a short video of the four of them outside.

Aby-a-Day – 26 April 2020: Lorelai REALLY loves sand (Cinema Sunday)

As I posted last week, Lorelai loves the sand in the play areas in our apartment område.

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The other day, Rory and Izaak helped me take out some recyclables (they love doing that, and they always know what we’re doing when they see the bags), and on the way back, we had to stop at the sand at the bottom of the slide near our building.

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Once again, Rory rolled around in her beloved sand.

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Zak…seemed perplexed.

I made a little video of her rolling about so you could see her in action.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Mars 2020: Izaak and Angel outside (Cinema Sunday)

It seems like an odd pairing, but when we go outside, Izaak and Angel pair up together.

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It’s actually pretty adorable, because they generally weigh almost exactly the same, around 3.4kg (7.5lbs), which makes them roughly the same size. Alfred and Dashiell are the big boys, and Lorelai is our tiny little girl.

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You can see how much bigger Dash is compared to the two of them.

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But look how cute this is! They’re almost holding tails!

Here’s a video of the two of them. It’s accidentally slow motion, but you can see how they make a sweet, if strange, couple.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Mars 2020: A little time capsule (Cinema Sunday)

I am not sure where it came from, exactly, but a while ago I discovered a short little video my ex took with his iPhone. It’s just Angel being cute, kneading a blanket on the sofa in our old (tiny) apartment, with a cameo by Jacoby.

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It seems to have been taken around the same time as the other photos in this post, sometime between January and March 2011.

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Jake would have still been recovering from his escalator incident when these were taken; he and Angel were getting along fairly companionably, too.

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Here they are on Valentine’s Day 2011. Two weeks later, Jake would be going to his first cat show…where I met my friend Meg, as it happens.

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In any case, here’s the little blast from the past I found on a random jump drive. Click on the image to view it in another tab.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Februari 2020: Singapuras don’t share (Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The other day, a little drama unfolded right on our living room sofa.

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Dashiell was happily napping in the corner closest to the television, which also happens to get the best sunshine in the early afternoon.

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But Izaak wanted to nap there.

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So he pulled out the super-stealth licking manoeuver. You start out with just a little friendly licking on the top of the head.

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Then, when the target is lulled into docility…

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…Zak starts to make his move.

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And there you go: Singapuras always get the best napping spot in the house. Regardless if someone is already napping there.

Here’s a little video of Zak assimilating Dash’s napping spot. Resistance is futile!

Aby-a-Day – 16 Februari 2020: iPhone 11 Pro Live Photos

One feature of the new iPhone 11 Pro is that when you take a regular photo, the camera also takes what Apple calls a “LivePhoto,” which is the photo you took time-lapsed for three or four seconds with a little motion. It’s kind of like those moving pictures in Harry Potter.

I thought it would be interesting to string a bunch of these LivePhotos together into a movie. So…here is what a string of iPhone LivePhotos looks like, put together into a movie.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Februari 2020: “That’s when they come for your whole neck” (Cinema Sunday)

I’ve written before about how much Izaak enjoys his raw chicken necks.

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I mean, he REALLY loves them. Here he is, trying to grab a neck from the bowl.

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He actually did manage to snag one!

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But then Lorelai happened.

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The funny thing is, Dashiell is just as mad for chicken necks as Zak is. He just expresses it differently.

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Bone appetit!

Here’s the full video showing what happens when it’s neck o’clock.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Januari 2020: The Great Escape artist (Cinema Sunday)

So, this is fun. Alfred learned a new trick.

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You may recall how clever Freddy is at opening cabinet doors, especially when he knows there’s food on the other side.

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Lately, however, he has been focusing on a new, non-food-related target.

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The front door.

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So now, we have to make sure we always lock the front door without fail, or he’ll open it and let everyone into the stairwell. He tests it all the time, several times a day. And if we forget…we discover the door is open and all the cats are playing on the stairs.

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Click on the image above to see a video of the evil genius in action in a new tab…Spoiler alert, the door is locked in this video. FREDDY! (Sorry, gotta run…just heard a crash in the kitchen…)

Aby-a-Day – 11 Augusti: Finally meeting Dashiell (Cinema Sunday)

As I posted yesterday, Meg, Russell and Dashiell arrived far too late for us to be able to meet them at the airport and collect Dash on Friday. So he stayed in Meg and Russell’s in the hotel near the airport.

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I awoke to some smexy photos of Dash lounging in bed. Everyone slept in, and rightly so.

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We had a day in Helsinki planned for Meg, Russell and Carol Fogarty, another judge, so Dash spent the day at Anne’s house.

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There, he bonded with Anne’s teenaged daughter. He’s very good with kids.

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After a day of walking around Helsinki, we had dinner at a great Finnish restaurant we’ve eaten at before on previous trips to Helsinki. Here’s Meg and me after dinner.

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On our way back to our hotel in Tampere, we stopped by Anne’s and collected Dash. This is the grand opening of the carrier when we finally got him into our hotel room (click on the image to watch the video in another tab in Flickr).

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We had a wonderfully spacious room, with places to put the food bowl, the water bowl…

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…and the litter box house.

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In anticipation of Dash’s arrival, my friend Molly sent him a welcome home present. It was even addressed to him.

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I saved it to open when we finally were together.

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He wasn’t entirely sure about it…but it will be his for the rest of his life.

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Next, Dash explored our room.

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And that was how we finally got Dash…

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli: “Just like birds, hunters know no borders” (Cinema Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Lorelai is our little huntress. She especially likes to hunt birds when we’re outside.

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But she also likes to hunt birds when we’re inside. We have these bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups, and Rory in particular really loves to “watch the birdies.”

I wanted to capture her banging into the window on video, but I failed. You can hear her fearsome chatter, though…

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juli: Singapura Stubborn (Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The other day, Izaak found a stick toy in Kalle’s room. It was a fuzzy green ball with a bell and a leather “tail” attached to an elastic cord, with the stick stuck in a crate.

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He really wanted to play with that toy, but I was in the middle of doing laundry, so I didn’t move the stick for him. But that wasn’t really what he wanted; he just wanted to play with the soft toy on its own, not as a stick toy.

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Singapuras are very…focused little cats. When they want something, they don’t give up easily.

You can watch Zak’s determination in this video…it went on a lot longer than just this, though. There’s stubborn…and then there’s Singapura stubborn!

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni: A memory of Jacoby (Cinema Sunday)

Today’s photos and video were not really ever going to be posted. I didn’t think that they were really good enough. But time changes photos, did you know that? What seems like a crap photo today can turn into a treasured memory with time. This is back from February, when Meg sent me a package that included some pretty superb catnip toys.

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Jacoby took an interest in the paper the toys were wrapped in. Izaak came to see what was so interesting…he didn’t see it.

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And when I say Jake was “interested”…

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…I mean, he was really interested in it.

It was so funny that I made a video to show Meg. But now, I want to share it with everyone. Jake was such a goof.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni: “Have you ever held a snake? They are so strong. You can see why there are so many myths about them: they are unlike any other creature” (Silly Singapura Cinema Sunday)

You may recall a few months ago, I had bought some catnip snakes on Etsy. I gave one to “everybody,” which Izaak promptly claimed, and then put one away for Jacoby’s birthday…which never happened.

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The other day, whilst tidying up my clothes cupboard, I happened to find Jake’s green birthday snake. I had forgotten about it.

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So, I called Zak to come and play with it.

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He was all over that action.

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Lorelai wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

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Zak was not about to share his new toy.

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One of Zak’s little quirks is, he loves to roll around on the entryway rugs. I have no idea why, but he does it almost every day…I just haven’t captured it on camera yet.

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Apparently, rolling about on the rug is much improved with a catnip snake.

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He really likes this snake!

When I posted about the first snake, I lamented not catching it on video. So this time, I made sure to sort that. Here’s Zak in action with Jake’s snake.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.

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Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.

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They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.

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When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.

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Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!

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Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Juni: Sunday at the Cat Show (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Today at the cat show was…well, not as exciting as yesterday.

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Lorelai was the first up again, and she had the same judge, Thea Friskovec, that Izaak had yesterday.

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Lorelai charmed her, but ultimately lost the Nomination to a friend’s Cornish Rex.

This is what her judging looked like…so different from CFA!

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Next up was Izaak.

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Like yesterday, since there were three Singapuras entered, he was up for Best in Variety, but today he lost out to IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (on the far right). That’s cat shows: one day, you’re top of the world, another day…not so much. You can’t win them all.

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After the BIV, Zak had to compete for the Nomination, against the Burmilla from yesterday and a snow Bengal.

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The competition was stiff…

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But today, Zak lost to the Burmilla. Ultimately, no Singapuras were Nominated to Panel, where yesterday we had two (who both won Best in Show). But that’s okay; with neither cat Nominated, we were able to leave the show early! That’s always a bonus.

Here is a video of Zak being judged. I think I like FIFe’s style better than CFA, to be honest; not only do you get an honest conversation about your cat’s strengths and weaknesses, but you also get a written copy to save in your cat’s show book. Only being judged by one person a day vs. the CFA method of a cat getting several judges’ opinions in a day is…different, and admittedly, a little hard to get used to. But the fact that you get the judges’ notes to keep for posterity is pretty awesome and makes the shift a little easier to handle. Plus, it’s nice having a written record of what a judge thought about your cat.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj: Outside with Alfred (Cinema Sunday)

When I share the photos of Lorelai and Izaak running around outside, people ask why we don’t let Alfred run free, too.

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The reason for that is he was never trained to go outside offleash. We worked on leash training with him and Logan, not offleash training. It’s something I never thought to do again until I met Rory. My Siamese Harri was the last cat I trained to stay close offleash. It helped that he hated me to be out of his sight, so all I had to do was hide behind a tree, and he’d yowl and come running.

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Zak is the same way Harri was. Rory is a little more free-spirited; she knows when we want to go in, but she tries to stretch her time outside as long as she can. If I go back into the building, though, she always comes up to the doorstep trying to find me.

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But if Freddy gets out off leash, he runs off to explore on his own. This is partly because I never trained him to be off leash, and because, being the evil genius he is, when he was young he managed to open the kitchen window and the balcony sliders a couple of times without our knowing and roamed around alone for hours until we noticed him missing. Jacoby also did this; the first time he escaped, he was gone for over an hour!

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So, sorry, Freddy…you need to stay on your leash.

But really, he doesn’t seem to begrudge the kittens their offleash time. He’s perfectly happy to be outside at all, even if it’s on his leash.

Aby a Day – 19 May: Little Cat on the Prairie (Singapura Cinema Sunday)

Since I moved to Sweden, I have absolutely fallen in love with Family Guy. Something about the razor-sharp New England sense of humour and the pitch perfect spoofs of pop culture…what’s not to love?

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Recently, we happened to see Seth MacFarlane’s spoof of the iconic closing credits of the classic 1970’s television show Little House on the Prairie. Then a couple of days ago, whilst outside with Lorelai and Izaak…I got inspired.

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It’s been rainy and grey the past few days, but today it was sunny and not windy and just…perfect for what I had in mind. It took us a while to get it just right…but at the end of the day, I am pretty proud of myself.