Aby-a-Day – 14 Juli: “I’d seriously contemplated a real collar” (Serious Sunday)

The other day, I noticed Lorelai had lost her collar somewhere in the apartment.

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This happens from time to time…the collars I have been using for almost ten years, made by Etsy seller Hi Tide Creations, are wonderful, light and…just one piece.

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Most people would recommend against a non-breakaway collar for a cat, but I have always had collars on my cats. The Tag Collars are the best because they are lightweight…and escapable.

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I finally found Rory’s collar…caught in the cat-proof netting on our balcony. And that’s why these collars are so wonderful. Rory got her collar caught in something, but she was able to get out of it. Collars don’t need to be breakaway…they just need to be escapable in case of emergency.

Aby-a-Day – 30 December: The cat burglar (Serious Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Alfred is an evil genius. He is also incredibly food-oriented.

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And by “incredibly,” I mean he has figured out how to open the cabinet where the cat food is kept…

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…to the point that we started finding this on an all-too-frequent basis.

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He has different methods for eating the food out of the wet packets…

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…and the dry ones.

The latch on the cabinet was a bit weak, but it had never been a problem before. Now, this is a problem, clearly…so we replaced it with a 4kg magnetic cabinet latch. You would think that would work.

And it did. For a while. Then we had to jam this rubber cat’s paw doorstop.

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Which helped. Until it didn’t.

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The problem is, he’s too stealthy for us to catch in the act. And he’s quiet. By the time we happen to go in the kitchen, he’s finished his share, and only the others are left eating.

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Of course, we know it isn’t Angel or Jacoby opening the cabinet. If it was, it wouldn’t have been a problem two years ago, not just within the past two months! Nice frame-job attempt, Freddy.

Aby-a-Day – 11 November: On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month…(Serious Sunday)

Today is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of the Great War To End All Wars. As I recalled a few years ago, this holiday is observed somewhat differently in Canada than it is in the United States.

Apparently, the 100th anniversary observance of this occasion is handled VERY differently by Canada and the US, as evidenced by the two countries’ respective leaders. I’ve never been prouder to hold Canadian citizenship.

Aby-a-Day- 28 October: Here we go again…(Series-us Sunday)

And we’re here again. Up 3-1 after two epic games in Los Angeles. Tonight could be the night, but if not, we go back to Fenway where we will win at home. Just as we did five years ago, we all put on our Red Sox gear to cheer the Sox on. I posed everyone with BallGuy™, my Red Sox mascot I got in 2004, and who went to the “Who’s your daddy game at Yankee Stadium.

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When I got the kitty Red Sox things out and dressed Jacoby, he was all, “Oh, this again? Right, okay.”

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“Just put me where you want me, and tell me where to look. I got this.”

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He is so awesome. I won’t ever have a cat quite like him.

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Jersey, socks, hat…no prob.

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Alfred…not so much.

You may remember that Alfred doesn’t like wearing clothes, even if they keep him warm.

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You think the jacket is bad? Freddy absolutely hated the hat.

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The fact that I got him to pose at all is a miracle.

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Lorelai, on the other hand, was fine with wearing a shirt.

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The hat, however…

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…not so much.

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I think she looks intent on getting an errant foul ball, though.

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The Red Sox fleece jacket was the best I could manage with Angel.

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Still, she posed well with BallGuy.

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Then we have Izaak.

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He didn’t mind the T-shirt, but he hated the hat.

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I managed to get a few shots before he got rid of it.

GO RED SOX! BEAT LA!

Aby-a-Day – 15 April: A post I never thought I’d be making this soon (Serious Sunday)

Logan joined StarClan yesterday around 17:20 in Jönköping. Alfred and I were with him at the end. He was killed by FIP, ten years after my first Abyssinian, Gun-Hee, was murdered by the same virus. Ten years of research, and we still lose our cats to this horrible disease.

I have a lot to process (and not just photos)…but I will tell the whole story over the next few days. But to summarise, after the judge at the Winners Show said she thought Logan was thin, I weighed him as soon as we got home. And yes, Logan had lost weight since the last time he’d been weighed (I weigh all the cats every other week, when I clip claws), so I took him to our vet here in Skövde. I called on Tuesday, and the first appointment we could get was on Friday. They ran blood tests, but we didn’t get any results until very late Monday night, and the rest of the results came in Tuesday afternoon. They said he needed to go to the nearest big animal hospital, which is in Jönköping, an hour train ride from Skövde. So on Wednesday, Logan was admitted for more tests, feeding and hydration, and a possible biopsy. For a while, we thought it might not be FIP, since he had enlarged lymph nodes and anemia, and didn’t show the classic signs of FIP, like the swollen belly that Gun-Hee had. But on Friday the 13th, after they opened his abdomen up to surgically biopsy his mesenteric lymph nodes, they found the tell-tale fluid in his abdomen. It was a jelly rather than free fluid, which is why is wasn’t so obviously FIP.

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So on Saturday, Freddy and I took the train to Jönköping to say goodbye to our friend. Phillippa the vet tech brought him into the room and Freddy went right over to him.

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Then I got to hold him. I wore my Porg shirt because they always remind me of Logan.

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He didn’t like being held on his back, so I turned him over and Freddy was back to check on him.

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Freddy went back into the carrier, and the sweetest thing happened. Logan started squirming in my hands. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but the tech exclaimed, “Oh! He wants to go into the carrier with Freddy!” And he did. I made a short video of the two of them (click the above image to view); Freddy hissed a little at Logan’s funny smell, but they cuddled together like they always have.

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Up until that moment, I thought I brought Freddy to say goodbye to help Freddy deal with the loss of his Brother From Another Mother. But bringing Freddy was as much – if not more – for Logan.

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Turn up the volume…Logan was so happy to see Freddy and me he was purring! (Click image to play.) The tech was called away for an emergency, so we had a little more time together. Logan was so tired, though.

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Finally, the tech returned and the sedation and final injection process began. We stayed with him until they confirmed he was really gone.

My heart has joined The Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today.

Goodbye, my little dollbaby. May StarClan light your path. May you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep. There will soon be a new star in the night sky.

SE*Melur Vide “Logan” – 9 March 2017-14 April 2018

Aby-a-Day – 18 February: Up to scratch (Serious Sunday)

Claws are serious business. Even if they are clipped.

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I clip claws and do other grooming on all five cats every other week, usually on Sunday. Back in October after I clipped Angel’s claws, she rolled off my lap awkwardly and scratched my leg. It was an accident – she tried to grab onto something when she fell off my lap and my leg was within reach. When clipping claws and doing their general grooming (ears, teeeth, bum, etc.), I tend to wear shorts. This photo was taken a week after Angel scratched me.

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And this is the scratch today, just over four months later. It didn’t get infected or anything, but four months later, I still have these very clear scratch marks on my leg. And these were made by clipped claws. So keep that in mind when taking care of your cats. Even when clipped, claws are serious business.

Aby-a-Day – August 30: Would you like chips with that?

Bringing a domestic cat (or dog or ferret) into Sweden as a permanent resident seems to be a lot easier than importing a human. At least some things about this will be easy!

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The regulations are intended to prevent the spread of rabies in Sweden, but the rules are acutally set by the European Union. Dogs, cats and ferrets that travel within the EU must be identity marked with a microchip and vaccinated against rabies.

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Well, since Massachusetts also requires cats and dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, that’s not a problem.

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The microchip was a bit more problematic. The EU requires a 15-digit ISO microchip. Angel’s was already the correct type, but Jacoby had a domestic, 9-digit chip. Not only that, but his chip had migrated to the front of one shoulder, where his collarbone would be if he had one.

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So Jake had to have a new microchip implanted.

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In case you’ve never seen an actual microchip, this is what it looks like. And it’s tiny – literally the size of a grain of basmati rice.

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Both Jake and Angel also needed to get their blood drawn to test their rabies titres. This is the level of rabies antibodies present in their systems. Because I keep them up to date on their shots, they’re both fine and can go to Sweden at any time.

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I wish it were that easy for humans. I mean, I have had my rabies shots, too!