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 – 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 – 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 – 17 June: “I’m walkin’ here! I’m walkin’!” (Cinema Sunday)

Lorelai is a wonderful leash-walker. She may even have a better follow instinct than even Logan had.

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Rory has a slight “kitty cold,” so we went to the vet. When we got back, Rory walked all the way home from the bus stop!

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On the way, she found a pigeon feather.

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“Please, Mom, can we bring it home?” (Spoiler alert: yes, we brought it home and I dipped it in Virkon as soon as we got home.)

Below is a video of Rory’s impressive walk home…She is such a good walker!

Aby-a-Day – 3 June: “Toys are a caricature of reality” (Cinema Sunday)

I think we are in a golden age of cat toys right now. There is a lot more attention paid to the unique needs of cat toys vs dog toys these days, and toys are designed with an increased focus towards cats’ specific needs. But do the things we think are fun for cats to play with the same sorts of things that cats actually think are fun to play with?

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Back in the States a few years back, Petco came out with a collection of Star War toys and accessories. They have just arrived in Sweden, apparently, because I have seen them in several shops here. Most of the cat toys are along the lines of mice dressed like Luke and Leia or C-3PO and R2-D2, but this one really caught my eye: Han Solo mousie in carbonite crinkly cat toy! It’s basically a crinkle toy, with a mousie. Dressed as Han Solo.

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Mousie Han also can come out of the carbonite.

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Lorelai was…underwhelmed.

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Oh, she tried to make it be fun…

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But it kind of just wasn’t.

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So then I showed Rory the Grumpy Cat toy. This one is basically a furry rattle ball with a tail.

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Now, that’s what I’m talking about! says Rory.

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Rory freaking loves this toy!

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Awww…look at poor Mousie Han Solo over there. Does Rory feel bad about snubbing him?

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NOPE.

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Finally, I showed Rory what I thought would be the winner: the chirping bird toy.

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It’s definitely one of the prettiest cat toys I’ve seen. The tail feathers are lovely, and the fur used for the body looks feathery. When moved, it makes a variety of different, very realistic birdsong sounds.

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Alfred actually checked the bird out first, while Rory was still busy with Grumpy Cat.

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Finding that it wasn’t food, Freddy soon lost interest.

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Finally I got Rory’s attention and she came to investigate the bird.

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I think at first she was a little afraid of it.

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She played with it for a while…but eventually went back to her bestie, Grumpy Cat. Out of the three, that seems to be the favourite. The bird is great, too – it’s my favourite (as if that counts for something). As for Mousie Han Solo…yeah, I think that toy was made to appeal to the owners, not the cats.

Mere photos could not capture the hilarity of Rory playing with the bird, though. Here is a video of her playing with it that I dare you not to laugh at.

Aby-a-Day – 6 May: “Ok, let’s be organized. Make it fast, make it snappy, and if there’s any impulse buying, make it chocolate.” (Cinema Sunday)

Lorelai was too small for both the collar and harness I had for her, so we went to DjurMagazinet to get her something that fit.

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We’re regulars there, of course (we can see the store from outside our house), and they love it when we bring our cats in.

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So we got personal help in fitting a harness and collar to Rory.

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Unlike Alfred, who was leash-trained before we got him, this is the first time Rory had on a collar, harness, or leash.

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She was…mostly a natural.

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But Rory is also a quick learner.

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And she enjoyed checking out the cat trees in the store.

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Here’s a video of Rory and Freddy riding in the stroller. Click on the image to view it.

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.