The other day I took Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak outside for a little romp.
I let Rory go out offleash, but I had it with me just in case she decided to be naughty. She was happy to jump into the tall grass on the hill.
Meanwhile, Zak investigated the big tree.
Later on, we made two discoveries: Markis, and catmip growing in the grilling area! Not sure how we never noticed it before. Maybe it’s new.
I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t been for Markis.
Zak is so funny…he really wants to be friends with Markis.
We also ran into the neighbour boy who loves Freddy. Freddy was sweet enough to let the boy pick him up, and the boy was thrilled. He knows all their names and calls out to them, it’s so cute.
Sometimes, after being outside for a while, the cats slow down. That’s when we know it’s almost time to go back in the house.
Lorelai often gets up on Björn’s shoulder. She’s a very accomplished shoulder rider.
Izaak usually wants to stand or sit on me…but this time, he really looked like he wanted to be on Björn’s shoulder, too.
And Zak seems pretty put out that he can’t get up there, too.
Our friend Kinsey posted this photo to the “This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED” facebook group and asked to have Paulo wearing a mask.
Welp. That was easy. Then I had an idea.
LOL why not, right?
But then I got the idea to put my Singapura mask on Paulo.
Pretty cute, eh? Then…Kinsey asked for Paulo to be dressed up in a tux for prom.
Considering I already have the perfect cat-sized tuxedo bib and tie, top hat, and cuffs with cufflinks…not a hard ask.
The shadows are already perfect, too. This was fun.
Björn asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. I said, “go to the second-hand store and to eat at Max (Sweden’s best burgers)“. And so we did.
Björn gave me a Schleich Bengal (I collect Schleich cats)…
…a paint-by-numbers kit and some vintage cat books.
At the second-hand store I scored a beautiful Egyptian cat statue (which Lorelai was quite taken with)…
…and a Rosa Ljung ceramic cat.
But the BEST thing we found was when we checked out a new pet store in town, Dogman. There I found FREEZE-DRIED Vaisto cat food (I have been wanting to give Angel freeze-dried instead of raw, but couldn’t find it in Sweden), some dried chicken treats, and an interesting duck “cat sausage” that I am hoping Izaak will eat, because it will be easier to travel with that than with frozen raw food.
AND we found 1kg bags of frozen chicken necks! We had been buying Vaisto Mush necks in 800g bags, but they’ve been in short supply lately, and these are much better (and cheaper). Zak, as you know, LOVES his necks! All in all, not a bad birthday.
Good news, everyone! Last Wednesday, I got my first Covid vaccination (#teampfizer)! However, it also kicked my butt for a few days; today is the first day my arm doesn’t feel like I was hit by a stick. So, here: have some random Hipstasnaps taken around the house. First we have Alfred and Izaak cuddled up next to Jacoby on my leg.
It’s interesting to see the pair-ups that occur amongst the cats. Dashiell and Alfred hang out together quite a bit.
So do Angel and Zak. Sometimes, it’s Angel’s choice…
…other times, not so much.
I wonder if I should be concerned about what Dash and Freddy are plotting…
Not quite sure what’s going on here. Moving on…
Lorelai looking at me hopefully. She always wants to go outside to run.
This was taken today. Zak was looking particularly smexy this afternoon.
The other day, we took the cats out. I was trying to capture the differences in their gaits.
I kind of managed to capture it on “film.”
Went we went out, I took the big camera with the long lens, and I captured all of them walking and running outside.
Here they are outside. I know, it’s 18 minutes long…but it’s interesting if you want to see their different movements outside
Our friend Kinsey shared some professional photos that were taken of Izaak’s brothers, Paulo and Keiko. I instantly knew what had to be done.
A family portrait, of course! Since all three boys came from Poland, I chose a Polish flag as my background.
Then I decided to set the scene…literally.
Finally, every portrait needs a frame, right? Can you tell who is who?
We have a daily ritual where we watch reruns of Chicago Med and Chicago Fire. This is how Izaak likes to sit on me.
For some reason, Zak prefers to sit on my bare legs. Especially my knees.
It really doesn’t seem that comfortable of a way to cuddle, but he likes it. And he’s sound asleep, in case you were wondering.
Remember back in January when I took I took those awesome winter photos of Izaak? Well, I was inspired when we were outside the other day; it was such a gorgeous, perfect spring day that I got an idea to put Zak in his tree and take some spring photos, and then take some more in the height of summer and autumn and make a four seasons thing.
Just one problem. On that outing, I was using my long lens, and the blossoms and sky were washed out and not nearly as bright as they actually were. I knew it when I took the photos. After I looked at them, I told Zak, “No worries. We can fix that in post.”
Because this is how the sky and blossoms really looked. But it’s a super-easy fix. Just cut out the washed out sky…
…add in the good background…
…brighten it up a bit, add a little blur, and…perfect! Stay tuned for summer!
I absolutely love watching Izaak run.
It’s so different from the way the Abys run.
It’s bouncier, somehow.
I’ve also noticed he has a tendency to curl up his tail as he runs, while the Abys’ tails are either straight up or straight out.
Zak’s got a swagger to his stride that the Abys just don’t have. They’re more about the speed.
And then Zak slows down to a businesslike trot.
He’s clearly a cat on a mission.
Earplane 1Z44K is taxiing down the runway after another successful flight.
After the successful landing, he is met by his faithful groundcrew.
The other day, a friend posted an infomeme about dandelions. I think it has some very important things to know.
We are lucky that our område’s lawn is a natural mix of grass, moss, yarrow, clover, and many different flowers including dandelions. They don’t mow it super-short or super-often, so it gets really nice and natural. There’s also no sprinkler system. If it doesn’t rain, the grass turns brown…c’est la vie. It’s so much nicer than those perfect, manicured lawns in the States.
Dandelions are also wicked fun to gallop through. Just ask Izaak.
Yesterday, I showed you our new neighbours, Randall and Beth, a pair of European Pied Flycatchers. They are very interesting little birds. And not only have we never seen them in our område before now, but we have had that little birdhouse up for three years and no bird has ever shown any interest in it until now.
But Beth and Randall have moved right in.
They appeared on Tuesday, so we named them after the characters on This is Us.
They rarely, if ever, land on the ground, so they are fairly safe from cats. But that didn’t stop Randall from doin’ a heckin’ concern when we went outside with the cats this afternoon.
The cats, however, were mostly oblivious to the bird couple above.
Izaak noticed their movement at some point whilst we were outside.
He watched them flying around for a bit.
But I think he knew there was no chance. We will have to be careful when we take them out after the fledglings emerge.
This was today. Izaak wedged himself into Angel’s bed…again.
Although, she seems to be getting kind of used to it.
She might even, dare I say it…actually like having the little guy around?
Zak seems to really love cuddling with her. It’s funny, but they don’t really ever associate apart from the afternoon cudddle sheshes.
Maybe she just enjoys the free grooming in the spot she can’t reach.
Here’s a short video of them together…what do you think? Friends?
So this happened today.
Angel was in her bed, and Izaak wanted to be in her bed. Look at her face. She knows she can’t do anything about it.
Although, Zak was in there very awkwardly. “Yes. I am very comfortable here. Why do you ask?”
I’m not sure which is funnier, the leg over Angel’s shoulders or the tail scarf.
They stayed this way for a long time, too. I think Angel doesn’t mind it as much as she pretends…
Yesterday in one of my Facebook cat groups, someone posted about an app, Cat Scanner, that claims to identify what breed your cat is from a photograph. So of course I had to try it out.
It worked great with the Abyssinians.
It even identified Angel correctly.
And it got Markis pretty well, too.
I was disappointed with how it did with Tessie. I was expecting perhaps a Burmilla…but I guess at least it could tell she’s a tortie?
And then…there was Izaak. Complete and utter fail. I was expecting a Singapura to be a fairly easy ID…at worst, maybe a Burmese or Aby…but a Bengal!? Seriously? Well, you know I clicked that “Am I right?” link to tell them they weren’t. And the explanation was…the app only really works with FIFe-recognised breeds.
Um….what!? Singas have been recognised in FIFe since 2014…SEVEN YEARS!
Which, naturally, I felt the need to tell them. Haven’t gotten a response yet, but I can’t wait to see what they say.
Last weekend, we watched an amazing movie called Isle of Dogs. It’s a Wes Anderson film, which I find rather hit-or-miss, but I did like his first stop-motion animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it looked intriguing, so we gave it a shot. And, oh, was it worth it!
For a movie with the word “dog” in the title, it was actually, surprisingly, quite focused on cats. It’s an interesting Japanese pastiche in which the cat-loving Mayor Kobayashi has banished all dogs to Trash Island. In the introduction to the film this is all explained with some beautiful illustrations and scenes. My favourite, which is only seen for a minute or so, is the incredibly elaborate Cat Temple (seriously, look at that link; they did an incredible amount of work to create something that’s basically only one scene)! Of course, I instantly noticed the five cat statues to the right of the temple doors…one large, one tiny, two medium-sized and one small. I had to pause it and point out how the five cats matched our own five!
And then…I had to draw it. This is the sketch…
And here’s the ink. Covid aftereffects have really been kicking my butt this week, so it took me a while. I know where I want to go with this, and how I want the colouring to look, but it’s taking me longer to actually do it than I planned.
If you want to see the time lapse video of the work in progress, click the image to open it in another window.