Aby-a-Day – 23 June: Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se (Swedish Saturday)

Yesterday, Sweden celebrated Midsommar, the second biggest holiday after Jul (Christmas), on par with the States’ Thanksgiving in terms of gathering together and feasting. The Nordic countries love their solstice celebrations.

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Swedish Midsommar is celebrated on the Friday nearest the Summer Solstice. It has varied origins, much like Christmas, but mainly comes from pagan rites. It has a lot to do with Freya and Freyr and the worshipping of fertility and a rich harvest during the Viking age (The fact that many Swedes, including both Björn and Kalle, have March birthdays may or may not have anything to do with all that fertility worshipping). Traditions include erecting a leaf-and-flower covered midsommarstång (or majstång – maypole), which Swedes dance around (this post’s title comes from the “Frog Dance” song, which involves hopping like a frog and croaking. There’s also a verse about pigs).

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Traditional foods eaten at Midsommar include lax (salmon), boiled new potatoes, sill (herring) and strawberries. People also have barbecues and dinner parties. And they drink (it’s best to get to the alcohol stores early before Midsommar, because the lines can get wicked long and they can run out of your favourites,

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Beer, wine and especially snaps (something like aquavit) are the beverages of choice. There are several nubbevisor (drinking songs) which are often based on popular tunes with the lyrics changed to booze- and food-related themes.

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Ironically for a summer celebration, the weather is almost always cloudy and/or rainy. My first Midsommar was sunny and bright, but the last two were grey. Yesterday was overcast all day…but of course today the sky is blue without a cloud to be seen. Perfect hangover weather.

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Another tradition is to wear a wreath of flowers on your head.

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Usually you see women wearing them, but men can wear a flower crown, too. The wreaths can be made using real wildflowers or silk flowers, and of course you can buy them ready-made in stores.

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I made this one for Jacoby for our first Midsommar, which happened about a week after we arrived here. As you can see, he rocked it.

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Treats may or may not have been involved in the making of this post.

Aby-a-Day – 13 May: Lorelai’s mother Kajza (Happy Aby Holidays)

While Sweden won’t celebrate Mother’s Day for another two weeks, today is Mother’s Day in North America, and since that’s where my mom is, today’s the day I think of.

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But my mom isn’t an Abyssinian (or a Singapura), so here is Lorelai’s mother, S*Primuz-Zezam Kajza.

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She is a very lovely blue Aby.

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Her half-sister (Rory’s aunt) was entered in the show, but Kajza was in the motorhome with Rory and her sister, Maya.

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Kajza was there to say goodbye to her two daughters.

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They were too busy playing to pay much attention to Mom, though.

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I wonder if Kajza misses her girls. I would say that Rory misses her mom…

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but, you know…she really doesn’t seem to miss her old life at all! She assimilated so quickly it’s like once she got into the carrier, she never looked back.

Happy Ticked Tabby Day!

Today is National Ticked Tabby Day ! A day to celebrate all the Abys, Somalis and Singas in the world!

…and that’s different from every other day, how, exactly?

Aby-a-Day – 3 April: My Three Abys (Cartoon Tuesday)

I really love old, classic television from the 50’s and 60’s. Shows like Get Smart, Dick Van Dyke, Dobie Gillis and Donna Reed are my catnip. I grew up watching them (some as they were aired, the older ones as reruns after school) and I miss the days when Nick at Night* would show them endlessly. I wish they would play them now, There’s a whole generation that’s missing out on these shows.

I also liked watching My Three Sons, because I was mesmerised by the opening credits. One day I said something about “my three Abys,” and, well…this happened.

*If you also watched Nick at Night in the late 80’s and early 90’s…you may remember the words to the My Three Sons theme song…

…You’re welcome.

Aby-a-Day – 1 April: “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory” (Cat Show Sunday)

I had wanted to do a bigger, longer post about the second day of the show…but now it is late and I am exhausted…so that post will have to wait for another day.

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So, instead…let me introduce one of FIFe’s newest Champions: SE*Melur Vide aka Logan.

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He is unimpressed.

Aby-a-Day – 17 March: My goodness, my Guinness (Silly Saturday)

At this local pub we go to for book club meetings and the occasional pub quiz was festooned with these silly Guinness pint glass St. Patrick’s Day floppy hats when we were there last Thursday. Of course, we had to snag one to show the LunaTicks. It turned out to be just the boys…Angel, sagely, made herself scarce.

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Logan was in his favourite brown nest bed and I couldn’t drag him out just for some silly photos. So, I just put the hat on his bed. I think he liked it.

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When Alfred came into the room, I moved the hat to our tree stump cat tree.

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He was actually a little afraid of it.

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He’s usually so brash and fearless, it was highly amusing to watch him be so wary of a new thing.

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I tossed it on the floor, and I think for a second he wondered if it was alive.

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He examined it thoroughly, inside…

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…and out.

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Then I did that slightly mean thing that all cat people do…I made the “Pssssst! sound and he jumped back.

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Which actually might be a good thing. Maybe I can put it on places I don’t want him to go.

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Jacoby, on the other hand, was unfazed…or should I say, unfezed?

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This is Jake’s 8th St. Patrick’s Day, of course, and he used to live at Ground Zero for the legendary Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I guess it’s all old hat to him.

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Meanwhile, Logan came out of his bed and joined us on the sofa. I came up for a different way for him to “wear” the hat.

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I’m not sure if he liked it or not. With that face, it’s hard to tell sometimes.

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Okay, then. Guess he didn’t like it. Well, St. Patty’s Day isn’t really a thing in Sweden anyway, apart from some bars.

Abys are Everywhere: “Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds”

The other day I came across a Facebook post (in a Bengal group, of all places) that caught my eye for a couple of reasons: one, the Somali, of course, and two, it was a warning about Easter lilies.

As I have posted before, lilies kill cats. Easter lilies are among the worst, but it’s safest to avoid any sort of bulb plants (remember, garlic and onions are also bad for cats, and they are also members of the lily family).