Aby-a-Day – 19 Juli: Another trip to the veternarian (Medical Hipstamatic Monday)

Today, Angel had a follow-up visit to the vet to check on her eye

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This is Angel at the bus stop. It’s a two-bus, half hour trip to the vet…sigh. If I was still in Boston, my vet would be on the first floor. But I digress.

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Angel’s a pretty good traveler, except she tends to yell a lot.

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When we got to the exam room. Angel was not sure she wanted to leave her carrier.

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Angel had some spicy commentary about having to be at the vet at all.

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Still, overall, Angel was pretty calm. Until Dr. Brigetta came in. Then stuff got real.

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First, Angel got some eyedrops.

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Angel had had ENOUGH long before Dr. Brigitta was finished examining her. Angel got several eyetests, including one that measured how many tears she produced in a measured time period. That one was actually pretty cool.

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She still has vascularisation in her eye and will need another course of eyedrops. Awesome. Wow.

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When the examination was finished, Angel got treatos.

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Angel got all the treatos.

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Then, we were homeward bound.

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This is on the bus ride home.

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Angel walked part of the way home, but she kept wanting to go into the bushes.

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I am glad she was on a leash…Extracting cats from bushes is a pain.

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At the end of the day, Angel was more than ready to go home. And yes, she also knows where she lives.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Mars: No means no! (Medical Monday)

As I mentioned , Lorelai’s most recent “boyfriend” has been neutered…but she’s in heat again. And we don’t have a new boy for her arranged yet.

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So Rory has been accosting…erm…Alfred, for some reason. Björn captured this the other day.

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Rory, who weighs 2.6 kg (barely six lbs), decided to tackle Freddy, who weighs 5.2 kg (11½ lbs of not entirely muscle).

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And she got him in a pretty decent headlock, too. Do not underestimate the power of a female.

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When he tried to escape, Rory bit him in the back leg.

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Rory..? Maybe try hitting on the one boy who isn’t permanently castrated?

Aby-a-Day – 8 Mars: Here we go again…(Medical Monday)

So, we got a little bad news last week…Lorelai’s boyfriend Ritchie has been neutered.

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Because of snow, medical issues and other things in January and February, we weren’t able to organise another meeting with him in Stockholm.

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It’s really disappointing, especially since, this time, I absolutely saw it happen, more than once. And he was such a lovely, sweet boy. They would have made wonderful kittens. So now we need to find another boy for Rory. Siiiiighhh…who knew it was so hard to get a cat knocked up?

Aby-a-Day – 1 Februari: Third time’ll be the charm? (Medical Monday)

Well…as you might have noticed…Lorelai isn’t pregnant.

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We’re working out when she can rendez-vous with Ritchie again.

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We are definitely hoping the third time will be the charm!

Aby-a-Day – 21 December 2020: Is she or isn’t she redux (Medical Mystery Monday)

Well, yesterday was three weeks after I saw Lorelai and Ritchie actually mating.

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My friends and the books both say that, around the three-week mark, she should be “pinking up”…and, once again, I really cannot tell.

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Although, when we were taking these photos, her nipples did seem to be easier to find…so maybe?

Aby-a-Day – 2 November 2020: Some random trips to the vet (Medical Monday)

Going through some photos I haven’t edited yet, I found a few trips we took to the vet late last year and earlier this year. First we have a trip Dashiell and I took to see a vet in Göteborg.

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This was only Dash’s second train trip.

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He really seemed to like looking out the window.

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But unlike the other cats, he was happiest sitting in his carrier with the top open. Which makes sense; Dash and that carrier have been through a lot together!

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He wasn’t terribly keen on leaving it when we got to the vet’s office, either.

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While we had plenty of room on the ride to Göteborg, on the way back the only car that allowed pets was jam-packed and I had to hold Dash in his carrier on my lap in a cramped, non-table chair. This is because people without pets rudely take up space in the only space we’re allowed to have animals in. Pets don’t even get an entire car; usually it’s only a section of one car. Those people can sit anywhere. It just infuriates me.

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Looks like it made Dash a little salty, too.

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A couple of weeks later, Alfred needed to go in to be checked over. I think this was the very first time Freddy had one of his breathing attacks.

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Of course, just like when you take your car into the shop, he was perfectly fine when we were actually at the vet.

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Last but not least, Lorelai and I went for a quick check up back in January. You remember January…before we knew about Covid-19? Good times.

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We borrowed Dash’s carrier for the trip.

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Rory was her usual perky self.

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She had to explore and examine everything.

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Of course, the top shelf with the plant was a bit extra.

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That’s better, busy girl. Examine the radiator.

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Rory didn’t like the fact that I wouldn’t let her out of the carrier while we were waiting between buses. Guess Dash isn’t the only one who can get a little salty.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Oktober 2020: “I wanna live with a cinnamon girl” (Medical Mystery Monday)

When we were planning on breeding Lorelai with Io, I was wondering what the chances were that they might have a fawn kitten. I consulted the Abyssinian Database’s colour breeding chart.

These are the possible results. The males are on the top: Sorrel not carrying dilute (bbDD) and Sorrel carrying dilute (bbDd). The females are on the left: Blue not carrying cinnamon (BBdd) and Blue carrying cinnamon (Bbdd). Io had produced fawn kittens, so we knew he carries dilute. So…the big question: Does Rory carry cinnamon?

With the pandemic and all, I didn’t want to send the test all the way to UC Davis, so I found a European lab that offers a test for the Cinnamon gene. So I ordered a test and swabbed Rory’s cheeks.

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Izaak helped to make sure the paperwork was all in order before I mailed it off.

About a week later, the results came back…and, unfortunately, Rory is BB, so she doesn’t carry cinnamon. Depending on the male, she can only have ruddy or blue kittens…but her kittens could possibly have fawn kittens.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Augusti 2020: The one tooth (Medical Monday)

Remember back in March, when I discovered Angel was down to two teeth?

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Well, guess what?

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Yesterday was claw-clipping and general grooming day (where, among other things, I brush everyone’s teeth apart from Angel), and I got the idea to check Angel’s teeth: And, not entirely to my surprise, I found that Angel is now down to ONE tooth.

Sigh…I wish I could find one of them. I guess she’s just swallowing them.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Augusti 2020: Three years ago today…(Medical Monday Memory)

Three years ago today, my life changed: I was bitten through the finger while giving Pyret a pill.

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Being new to the Swedish medical system, I stupidly went to the local clinic (Vårdcentralen), even though I was well aware of how serious a cat bite is, especially on the hand. I just thought that’s what you were “supposed” to do. The doctor I saw was Spanish, and spoke little English. I tried to tell her it was serious, but she waved me off with just a prescription for penicillin.

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I didn’t know that I could go straight to the hospital. I thought, then, that you had to be referred by Vårdcentralen (although, to be honest, that worthless “doctor” should have known to send me there straightaway). Now I know I can go to the Akuten (emergency department) if I need to. Twenty-four hours later, I woke up screaming in pain so badly Björn almost called an ambulance.

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They bundled me into a room, pumped me full of antibiotics and morphine, and got me into surgery as quickly as they could.

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This is me just after the first surgery. Within a week, I would have two more operations to flush the bacteria out of my tendon sheath.

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I also had a lot of morphine. The pain involved with repeated hand surgeries is insane.

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The brightest part of my week in the hospital was the two evenings Björn smuggled Logan into my hospital room.

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One time when a nurse came in, we hid him under my blanket.

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He was good and held still; the nurse never knew he was there.

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After a week in hospital, I was released, but still had several wound checks and dressing changes. When I first got home, my hand was in a plaster cast. I was also still on penicillin and painkillers. It seemed to be healing nicely, but on my last wound check, 20 September (the same day Alfred was neutered), the nurse noticed my finger seemed red and hot. She sent me back to the hospital, and they determined that, despite still being on antibiotics, the infection had managed to return. They wanted me to have surgery immediately, but I had to go to pick up Freddy, who was literally at the other end of the bus line.

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It took a really long time to get him (I ended up taking a taxi for part of the return trip), gathered my things and got back to the hospital just before 17:00. Apparently, I took too long to get back and they weren’t able to do the surgery until the next morning.

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This last, fourth surgery was the most painful. They put more stitches on my palm than on the previous surgeries, and the skin seemed to have been stretched more than the other three.

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It also bled a lot more than the other three operations.

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A month after the first anniversary of my bite, we were at a cat show in Västra Feölunda and ran into Göran, the recovery nurse after my first surgery. His sambo breeds Cornish Rex, and we (used to) see them at shows frequently. He asked to take a look at my hand, and I made a comment about being lucky I still had a finger.

“You could have lost more than that,” Gören said. “I could have lost my hand?” I asked.

“You could have lost even more than that,” he responded. And that was how, a year later, I learned that I could have died from this bite! Even with as much as I know about cat bites, I never thought it could have been fatal.

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This is how it looks today. It’s still very stiff and it sometimes aches and feels crampy. I’ll never have a normal hand again.

So, again, the moral of the story is: If you are EVER bitten by a cat on your hand – and especially your finger – GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM as soon as you can!

Aby-a-Day – 17 Augusti 2020: Is she or isn’t she? (Medical Monday Mystery)

WARNING! This post features photographs of bare cat nipples!

Tomorrow will be a month since we brought Lorelai home from sleepaway sex camp. And…I still can’t tell if it worked.

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One of the main signs of pregnancy in cats is the “pinking up” of the cat’s nipples. Unfortunately, according to one of my cat breeding books. But it also says that some cats don’t pink up until later in their pregancies. Grrrreeeeaaaaat…

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This is her nipple on 26 July. Doesn’t seem any pinker, but stupid me, I never checked them before now. But one good sign is she hasn’t shown any signs of being in heat…and as you might remember, her heats are quiet, but not at all subtle.

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This was on 5 August. I still can’t tell.

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And this is on Thursday the 13th. Seems pinker? Maybe?

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These last two are from today. They seem pinker, and they were easier to find.

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Meg, Molly and Anne think she is pregnant, especially since she hasn’t gone back into heat at all.

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She hasn’t gained any weight yet, and she definitely isn’t showing…so I guess we’ll just have to wait a little longer.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Juni 2020: An exciting announcement (Medical Monday)

I have an exciting announcement to make…in two weeks, our Lorelai is going to meet a lovely gentleman called Io, who just happens to live with Alfred’s breeder, Karin.

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We don’t know if Rory carries Cinnamon or if Io carries dilute, but it looks like a very good match. Of course I will keep you posted…but our Rory is going to be a mom!

(Edit: Someone asked about Io. He is a year old, sorrel, and he LOVES kittens. Her Somali, Iris, got out while she was in heat and met a handsome black tom. Io helped her care for them.

He also loves to go outside on his harness and leash. Because kittens’ temperaments are influenced by their father, even if they never meet him, these are two of the reasons I chose him. And since we already have a relationship with Karin, it was kind of a no-brainer.)

Aby-a-Day – 8 Juni 2020: Our visit to the vet (Medical Monday)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about our upcoming annual check-up at our veterinarian.

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As always, getting there is half the “fun.” It was particularly difficult because people in Sweden have no sense of distance, so I had to stand most of the ride to avoid getting to close to people.

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I think this was Dashiell’s first time in the stroller. He kept trying to pop through the top.

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The vet is far away, but it’s an easy trip by bus (easy, but long). We just have to change buses downtown.

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Luckily, this time we didn’t have any competition from stupid human strollers.

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Angel was first up. She’s completely healthy, but Dr. Brigitte wants us to have her good eye checked because she thought it looked a little cloudy, more cloudy than usual. I need to remember to make an appointment with the eye specialist for an examination.

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Alfred is also healthy, and I was surprised I didn’t get a lecture on how he needs to lose weight. He got some vaccinations and a prescription for Prednisone to treat his asthma. This is him on the counter…trying to get into the treat jars on the counter (Freddy? Protip: they aren’t in the sharps bin). Lorelai came after Freddy; since there was a social distancing rule (rare for Sweden), only one of us could be in the examination room, so I have no photos of her. She got a vaccine, and we discussed her future kittens.

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Izaak also needed some jabs, and one of them was a new Suprelorin chip.

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Unlike last time, Zak was not very cooperative. We actually had to purrito him.

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When it was all over, we had to wait a bit to check out…and met a curious dog who looked a lot like our neighbour, Bruno.

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When we got home, we were so exhausted and stressed that we all crashed in the bedroom (myself included). Taking five cats to the vet during a pandemic is stressful!

Aby-a-Day – 25 Maj 2020: Anticipating the vet (Medical Monday)

Tomorrow is our annual vet visit. Luckily, I was able to schedule it for a day Björn is off from work this time, so hopefully I won’t have as many problems on the bus as I had last year.

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Mentally preparing for the visit, I’m trying to think of the things we’ll have to discuss tomorrow. I know that everyone needs at least one vaccination (either rabies or FVRCP). Nobody has any major issues; their weights are all good, their teeth and ears seem fine, and theire’s no diarrhea or anything like that. Angel, who will be 13 in a couple of weeks(ish), is pretty healthy for her age. Her weight has been stable and she’s quite active. Her eye seems to be the same as ever, and apart from her having lost that tooth, bringing her down to two, she seems to be in perfect health.

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Alfred is probably overweight. Last time I weighed everyone, he was 5.1 kg (11.25 lbs), and he looks heavy. He’s also been wheezing and coughing, so he may have asthma after all.

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Izaak and Lorelai are fine, but I have questions about their fertility and birth control. I am wondering if Zak’s Suprelorin chip is wearing off, and if he should get another one of if he needs to be neutered. I hope he can get another chip; I wanted to show him as long as I could as a Champion before going to Premiership…but the pandemic is making that difficult. As for Rory, she should not be on the pill too long, and she will be meeting a nice young boycat later this summer. Depending on how that litter goes, we may have one or two more, but it’s definitely something to discuss for with the vet.

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As for Dashiell, he’s a healthy horse of a year old cat. He’s a little goofy, and still a bit skittish; I would like them to check his teeth because he doesn’t let me get a really good look at them, but apart from that, I don’t think he’s going to need much attention tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Maj 2020: Mani-Pedis are supposed to be relaxing! (Medical Monday)

Okay…maybe claw clipping isn’t exactly “medical,” but it does contribute to a cat’s health and wellbeing.

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Our lot don’t exactly enjoy getting their biweekly claw trim, but they usually handle it well. After all, they have been getting their claws clipped every other week for as long as they’ve lived with me. Alfred, however…

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…is not a fan of getting his mani-pedi. Usually, he sits quietly and self-soothes with purring, but yesterday he decided to squirm and pull faces.

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It may have been the audience. Björn came in the bathroom to talk to me and captured Freddy in action.

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In case you’re wondering, I always sit on the edge of the tub facing in when I clip claws…that way, the end bits just go down the drain when I’m done.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Mars 2020: Two-fer (Medical Mystery Monday)

The last time I posted about Angel’s dental situation, she only had three canine teeth left.

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Last night, however, I needed to give her medication…and I noticed she’s lost another of her fangs!

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I have not seen any teeth lying about, so I have no idea when or where she lost it. I suspect she may have swallowed it.

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So now she’s down to two teeth…and one eye.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Februari 2020: Alfred and the vet…(Medical Monday)

Alfred and I have had to travel to Skultorp a few times since he got pneumonia.

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Last Wednesday, we went to Min Veterinär to get some blood tested.

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On the way home, I let him walk home alongside me. He loved it. I think he liked being outside despite his ailment.

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I mean…look at his determination!

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Of course, Freddy is lucky that we have had a ridiculously warm winter…hell, we have barely had any winter at all!

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It’s still February! We should not be having daisies this early!

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Today we had to go back to Min Veterinär to get new lung X-rays, so we could see if the antibiotics beat the pneumonia.

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But when I let him out of the carrier, I discovered this!

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WTF? I have no idea how it happened or who did it. It wasn’t there when I fed him last night.

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I asked him who he pissed off, but he didn’t tell me.

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Today, our visit was just about the X-rays (which they will email me soon), and a lot of chilling in his carrier.

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On our way home, we stopped off at DjurMagazinet to get more cat food. I also let Freddy choose a toy to make up for all the vet visits he’s had to endure lately.

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He quickly made his decision: A Yeowww catnip cigar.

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I checked to make sure he really wanted that cat toy.

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He did. He even checked our basket to make sure his cigar was in there.

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Then we checked out the cat trees.

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They were pretty awesome. Too bad we don’t need any more cat trees.

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Freddy loves going to DjurMagazinet.

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And then today, Freddy walked all the way home from DjurMagazinet. I am very proud of him…he had to deal with traffic, bicycles and a motorbike, and he was bulletproof. Not quite Jacoby-level, but still very admirable.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Februari 2020: What’s your type? (Medical Monday)

We want to breed Lorelai later this year, and the breeder who bred Alfred now has a lovely sorrel (red) male. But before we can mate them, we need to know Rory’s blood type to prevent Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (It’s kind of like the Rh factor in humans).

So, I figured I could do it myself. I mean, I’ve done my own blood type in high school, so how hard can it be? I found a test from Genomia, a Czech company, and bought a test kit.

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The kit arrived on Wednesday. I was excited to do the test!

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The instructions were fairly straightforward…except for how to get the blood out of the cat being tested.

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The only way I could think of to get blood from Rory was to clip one claw too short. I felt really bad about that, but it worked.

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The test only took a few minutes…

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…But the result was very clear: Rory is blood type A. Most cats are Type A, so that’s just one hurdle cleared for Rory to have kittens.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Januari 2020: Lorelai at the Vet (Medical Hipstamatic Monday)

Last week,Loreali went to the vet to have some sores on her ears and head checked out. This first photo is at the bus stop; you can see the general lack of winter we’ve had in the background.

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Rory rode the bus like the pro she is, and I didn’t need to let her out during the ride.

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We got to the vet early and were ushered into our exam room.

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While we waited for the doctor, Rory investigated Dashiell’s carrier, which we used for the trip today.

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Then the nurse came in and left the scale on the table. Of course, Rory had to investigate it, and it had some interesting smells.

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Apparently, they were VERY interesting smells!

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But at the end of the day, Rory’s skin issues were most likely related to her early, temporary, heat.

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So her issue was hormonal, and not contagious. GREAT to know!

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Of course, right at the end of the visit, Rory got a little naughty. What can you do?

Aby-a-Day – 13 Januari 2020: Never skip a dose (Medical Mishap Monday Movie)

As you may recall, Lorelai is on birth control pills. I give her her pills every Wednesday.

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But…I messed up. As you may also recall…Christmas was on a Wednesday.

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Björn’s brother, Örjan, came for Jul and stayed overnight til Christmas. I forgot it was Wednesday…because it was Christmas.

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I remembered to give her her pill the following Wednesday, New Years Day…but it was too late. I woke up on 2nd January to Rory trilling and Izaak yelling at Rory.

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Apparently, she was nagging and pestering Zak, since he’s the only whole male in the house. Not that she didn’t flirt with Dashiell and Alfred…but Zak was her main target.

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As you can see, he “assumed the position,” but his bits were nowhere near her bits. He was simply trying to get her to shut up and leave him alone! It’s all set now; I had the advice of my friend Anne, and got her to go out of heat, and all is well again. We do have a prospective suitor lined up for her later this year. All in all, my mistake was actually a good thing. I now know that it only takes a week for her pills to wear off and to get her into heat. I know that she knows what to do. And she doesn’t spray or yell her head off…she just trills. All of which is very useful information.

Here’s a little video of the little hussy.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Augusti: Dashiell’s first Swedish vet visit (Medical Monday)

Last Wednesday, we had to take Dashiell to see our veterinarian in Skultorp, not because there was anything wrong with him, but because we needed a health certificate to send to the insurance company to start his health insurance. We also needed to get him his EU passport.

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As he was on the ferry and the train, Dash was much happier in his carrier with the top open.

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Emma sat beside him and managed him on the bus ride.

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Dash rode the bus like a seasoned professional.

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It’s a long trip from our apartment to the vet, and we have to change buses in central Skövde. It’s not usually a long wait, and the weather was nice. Dash seemed happy enough.

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Look at this bus riding champion!

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When we arrived, we were put into the same examination room all the other cats were in when we went in for our annual checkup back in June.

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Like any good Abyssinian, the minute we let him loose in the room, he proceeded to explore it thoroughly.

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The first thing we did was put him on the scale and weigh him.

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2.85 kg (6.25 lbs). Exactly the same as Lorelai!

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Emma helped the vet with Dash’s exam.

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She’s definitely a natural when it comes to taking care of cats.

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This actually happened by accident, but we thought it was funny: I gave Emma one of the vet’s free magnets and it jumped from her hand onto his round tag!

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Waiting for the passport to be completed, Dash got sleepy and laid down on his show book. Well, he’d only been in Sweden two days after his long trip from the States, so I guess he deserves to be a little tired.

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After the visit was over, we got back on the bus and headed home.