Aby-a-Day – 22 April: Where the boys are (Hipstamatic Monday)

I needed to fix a couple of things on my bicycle, so I let Lorelai and Izaak come outside with me whilst I was working.

hipstazakoutside3012

In Sweden, however much it may seem like New England, we haven’t really got a spring. We go from winter to full-blown summer. And so it is this year. We went from freezing cold to OMG where are my shorts and sandals!? Björn says that Sweden is in the BiPolar Zone.

hipstarorykids2541

The kids who live in our apartment complex love our cats and love to play with them.

hipstazakkids0286

Usually, it’s the girls who go nuts over the kittens running around outside.

hipstarorykids6064

But today, it was the boys. One of them told me his friend had a cat with kittens, and he got to hold them when they were one week old. Later, he told me he was going to get one of those kittens.

hipstarorykids3882

We had told them that Zak will fetch his mousies and bring them back, so they wanted to see that. Of course, outside, Zak had zero interest in playing with IKEA toys.

hipstarorykids4991

hipstarorykids9565

The boys didn’t listen to us, and tried Zak’s favourite toy on Rory. It was, I think, disappointment.

hipstazakrorykids6428

But watching them play and interact with the kittens was adorable.

hipstazakrorykids0796

The boys went between romping with Rory and Zak like they would with puppies (and which Rory and Zak were totallly down with)…

hipstazakkids8482

…to the sweetest one-on-one play you have ever seen.

hipstazakkids5213

hipstazakkids4926

hipstazakkids0286

hipstazakkids8882

It really warmed my heart, watching boys running around playing with cats.

hipstarorykids9482

I hope we are fostering our next generation of cat daddies.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Mars: “I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring…I do, don’t you? Course you do!” (Hipstamatic Monday)

It’s finally spring here in midwestern Sweden.

hipstaswansoutsideGFFK1180

We can tell because there’s no snow, the temperature is getting up above 5°C, and the swans have returned to our little lake (See those two little white dots in that photo up there? Those are our swans).

hipstaroryoutsideMJXU4028

Even though it was still a little chilly, I took Lorelai and Izaak outside to run around. It has been ages since they really got to run around, and run around they did.

hipstazakroryoutsideMHSF9335

Rory got out the door and immediately started bounding down the hill, with Zak in hot pursuit.

hipstazakroryoutsideCFZL5833

It is amazing how far they can get in such a short time. They are almost down to the road at the bottom of our hill.

hipstazakroryoutsideCHTN4269

hipstazakroryoutsideKBFU0673

Rory was fascinated by something in those sticks…

hipstazakroryoutsideGHXB3234

hipstazakoutsideEYOY6314

hipstazakoutsideFHYB0591

…Whilst Zak was more interested in trees.

hipstazakoutsideOQVO6115

Finally I got them back up the hill…

hipstacrowoutsideTDMF5111

…and into the open area behind our apartment.

hipstazakroryoutsideEOEU0865

They’re very familiar with the back of our apartment.

hipstaothercatoutsideSWAG7795

We had an audience…apparently that other cat we saw on the balcony last summer has a roommate.

hipstaroryoutsideNDYH4004

hipstazakoutsideOLYM7477

As much as they enjoyed running around on the back lawn, it was pretty clear that there was only one ultimate goal…

hipstazakroryoutsideRHFS2362

hipstaroryoutsideWESO8618

hipstazakoutsideQGRT1756

hipstaroryoutsideFMQR5982

the sandbox!

hipstaroryoutsideLJIY2803

hipstaroryoutsideQJRX5436

Rory did her usual digging holes in the sand and then running away from them.

hipstazakroryoutsideDUXF3487

Finally we all got cold enough to go back in the apartment. But we had 45 minutes of fun and bonding before we went back in.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Februari: In memory of Walter Hutzler (Hipstamatic Monday)

Sad news…CFA judge Walter Hutzler has passed away. He was a great cat judge and person. I didn’t know him well, but he lived in Region 1 and I was lucky to have seen him judge and have Jacoby judged by him a few times.

hipstajakeIMG_5467

The thing I remember about Walter is his flamboyant style of dressing. He also often wore scarves, which I thought was cool, and a nice change from the usual ties CFA judges wear.

hipstajakeIMG_5466

He was even featured in the 2006 PBS documentary Standard of Perfection: Show Cats. It’s always fun to see judges you know on TV shows.

hipstajakeIMG_5464

Walter was a really fun judge to watch.

hipstajakeIMG_5463

He really interacted with the cats as he judged them.

hipstajakeIMG_5465

Since it was Monday, I remembered I had taken some Hipstamatic photos of Walter judging Jake at a show in Groton, CT in October 2011 (the same weekend I met Molly and Mosey and Jake Gbecame a Grand).

hipstajakeIMG_5462

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, Walter.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Februari: Presidential Photography (Hipstamatic Monday)

Back in the States, today is President’s day. Of course, there’s not much to celebrate lately, but in honour of the holiday, Hipstamatic released a special free Hipstapak with the Lincoln lens and TR Roosevelt 26 film, a subtle reminder of two good Republican presidents.

hipsta-angelKOQH3116

Well, I didn’t have an idea for a Monday post, so I figured I’d try it out. Usually, I use Hipstamatic on random, mixing and matching lenses and films, but today I only used the new lens and film. Not sure what I think of the results…but here is Angel.

hipstazakTPHK4757

It does do a great job on Izaak, though.

hipstazakQZPZ9892

Of course, it’s hard to take a bad photo of Zak.

hipstajakeroryjakeJRXW7955

Recently all the cats have taken to sleeping in our bedroom. Most of them like our bed, but Angel, as you see above, prefers to sleep in a cat bed that’s on our clothing hamper. But it’s not uncommon to find everyone else on our bed, especially Jacoby and Lorelai, who like to burrow under the comforters.

hipstajakeroryOLCO3394

Now that she’s no longer a super crazy kitten, Jake has become more tolerant of Rory…

hipstajakeroryWZLJ4382

…Well, mostly.

hipstafreddyTLPA5933

When I was taking these photos, Alfred was sitting right outside our bedroom and next to the kitchen, hopefully awaiting a snack.

hipstafreddyBTHR0295

Good ol’ Freddy.

Aby-a-Day – 31 December: Happy New Year’s! (Hipstamatic

For the past three years, Björn and I have hosted the New Year’s party for our friends. This year, due to a number of random circumstances (ours and our friends), we ended up being a party of seven – us and the cats.

hipstaturkey2693

Of course, we didn’t know it was going to be just us when we were preparing everything in the run-up to Jul and New Year’s, so I managed to find the largest turkey I could to cook for the party.

hipstaturkeyX7755

At 8.5kg (almost 19lbs!) it’s the largest turkey I have been able to find since I moved to Sweden.

hipstaturkey8340

Oh, how I have missed the monster, American super-sized turkeys! Okay, so we’ll have lots of leftovers.

hipstafreddyzakroryturkey5076

I think we’re going to have lots of help finishing those leftovers, too.

hipstafreddyzakroryturkey1539

Combined, Alfred, Lorelai and Zak weigh 10.6kg…so the turkey weighs more than any two of them put together.

hipstafreddyzakroryturkey6008

The size difference didn’t stop them from investigating its edibility.

hipstafreddyzakturkey8387

hipstafreddyzakturkey4686

Zak was especially interested in the big bird.

hipstaroryturkey7731

Rory, without the boys flanking her, did seem a little more intimidated by it.

hipstaroryturkey5802

She is our smallest cat. The last time I weighed them all, she clocked in at 2.6kg.

hipstaroryturkey4466

I think she thought it wasn’t really dead!

hipstaroryturkey3621

hipstaroryturkey0790

She tentatively approached the bird. I’m sure she’ll be a lot less tentative once it comes out of the oven!

hipstaroryzakturkey6402

I love the randomness of Hipstamatic…

hipstazakNYE5118

Even though we ended up not having any guests, everyone got dressed up. The boys all wore their leather bow ties.

hipstaroryjakefreddyNYE6340

Rory wore a festive red bow.

hipstaroryfreddyNYE7043

Freddy can’t ever keep his tie on straight.

hipstaangelNYE3111

Angel wore her sparkly sequin collar I got ages ago at a Seacoast show. Next year, I want to see if Arja can make the girls feminine festive collars, perhaps with flowers instead of bows.

hipstaturkey4957

Regardless, when the turkey came out of the oven it. Was. AWESOME.

hipstaturkey1262

Easily the best turkey I have ever cooked. And, ironically, I have been cooking them since 1999.

hipstaturkey4957

But yeah, in 20 years of cooking turkeys, this was one of my best.

hipstazakturkey5268

Someone else thought so, too.

hipstazakturkey0175<

Of course, his opinion is slightly biased…he's never had a whole cooked turkey before in his life.

hipstazakturkey6432

Izaak tried so hard to eat off that big turkey…but it was too hot.

hipstazakturkey8612

Since it was too hot to eat, Zak tried smacking it with his paw instead.

hipstaeveryoneNYE0591

It was still too hot…but it wasn’t too hot when I put it on a tray for everyone to share.

hipstaeveryoneNYE8608

hipstaeveryoneNYE3757

Everyone seemed to enjoy their bits of turkey.

hipstaeveryoneNYE1895

As you could probably tell by the general swarming going on.

hipstacocobjörnNYE

Björn and I also did some Incredibooth selfies…enjoy!

Aby-a-Day – 17 December: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (Hipstamatic Monday)

We finally have our tree up.

hipstarorybjorntree8476

This is absolutely the latest I have ever set up my Christmas tree (except for the years I didn’t put one up at all, of course).

hipstarorybjorntree5776

hipstarorybjorntree7625

Björn says that Swedes usually put their trees up later than in the States…even later than this. But given the ordeal that is putting up all the decorations, I would rather put them up as early as possible – the day after Thanksgiving. Maximum result for maximum work, if you know what I mean.

hipstafreddybjorntree1817

But whatever. The tree is up. And it’s Lorelai’s and Izaak’s first tree ever. And it’s Alfred’s second.

hipstaroryfreddybjorntree3881

You would think, based on all the memes about cats and Christmas trees, there would be no way on Earth that a tree would survive with four Abyssinians and a Singapura.

hipstafreddybjorntree5255

hipstafreddybjorntree9940

But the truth is, the cats are, generally, unimpressed by the Christmas tree.

hipstaroryfreddybjorntree5467

(Gotta love the randomness of Hipstamatic…)

hipstaroryfreddybjorntree1320

hipstaroryfreddybjorntree9396

Björn was trying so hard to get Freddy and Rory interested in the tree, he was plying them with ornaments…glass ones, no less!

hipstaroryfreddybjorntree2330

hipstaroryfreddytree3605

The ornaments were still more interesting than the tree itself.

hipstaroryfreddybjorntree8081

hipstaroryfreddytree2349

One Björn stopped swinging the ornaments around enticingly and hung them on the tree, Rory and Freddy’s interest was gone.

hipstajaketree9314

Jacoby couldn’t even be enticed to pose with the tree. This ain’t his first Christmas tree rodeo.

hipstazaktree2468

Izaak, however, was at least a little impressed by the tree.

hipstazaktree8530

hipstazaktree0026

But even he respected the tree and merely posed for me next to it.

hipstazaktree7674

He was interested in the tree…but at the end of the day…

hipstazaktree9908

…He was more interested in posing next to the electric window candles.

Aby-a-Day – 10 December: Evening commute (Hipstamatic Monday)

On the train ride to Göteborg for this past weekend’s show, Lorelai and Izaak were being extra cuddly with Björn.

hipstazakrorybjorntrainPSDC7688

hipstazakrorybjorntrainNNBY1658

Zak insisted on being against Björn’s chest, and Rory…

hipstarorybjorntrainDECY0628

…Rory wanted to hug Daddy’s arm.

hipstazakrorybjorntrainHVIJ7612

hipstazakrorybjorntrainGSLE4931

Björn was trying to read something on his phone. They were making it as difficult as they could.

hipstazakrorybjorntrainMCUJ5716

In the cutest possible way, of course.