Aby-a-Day – 28 November 2020: No one else was in the room where it (hopefully) happened (Special Saturday)

Yesterday, we drove to Stockholm so Lorelai could have a “date” with her new beau, S*Cat’s Claw Rock Star Ritchie.

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Ritchie looked pretty keen to meet her when he was still in his carrier.

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Rory was pretty interested in him, too.

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So we opened Ritchie’s carrier’s door so they could meet face to face.

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It didn’t go great…Rory growled and hissed at him.

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So, not exactly love at first sight.

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Ritchie, ever the gentleman, withdrew to the shower.

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Where he proceeded to try to woo Rory with his cuteness.

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He really went all out, too.

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From her perch on the counter, Rory watched everything Ritchie did. But did it work? Was Rory impressed?

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Since we left them alone together in the bathroom to interact without human intervention, only time will tell.

Aby-a-Day – 18 & 19 Juli 2020: Bringing Lorelai back home (Special Swedish Saturday and Cinema Sunday)

Yesterday, we drove back to Överum to collect Lorelai from her sleepover with Io. When we got there, everyone was outside; Rory in her car cage and Io on his leash.

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Look at how handome Io is in the sunshine!

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We aren’t sure if they actually mated during the past week

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As soon as we got there, we put her harness and leash on so she could say farewell to her beau.

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They weren’t unfriendly towards each other…

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…But Rory wasn’t all googly-eyes over Io, either.

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Rory was super happy to see us again. I wonder if she thought we’d left her and gone forever?

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Rory was VERY happy to go for a little walk around Karin’s yard.

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Rory said her goodbyes to Io and we were back on the road. If Rory hasn’t gotten pregnant from this visit, we’ll make the trip again in a few weeks. I hope she is knocked up, though; we didn’t get home til after 10pm, which is why this is another two-day post!

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On the way back, we stopped at Björn’s brother Örjan’s house.

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Looks like someone really missed her daddy!

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When we got home, we brought Rory into the apartment still in her car carrier. Izaak and Alfred were the first to greet her. I think Zak missed her!

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After her evening chicken neck, Rory was acting like she hadn’t been away for a week. We just need to wait and see if anything developed between her and Io.

I guess the LivePhoto function on my iPhone got switched on again, because all the photos I took of Rory’s journey were also saved as LivePhotos. I compiled them into one video, so take a look at what just might be the origin story of Rory’s kittens.

Aby-a-Day – 11 & 12 Juli 2020: Sleepaway sex camp (Special Swedish Saturday and Sunday)

The reason for this special, two-day post is that yesterday we drove the above route in a round-trip around the middle of Sweden. The distance we travelled is roughly the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Boston to Baltimore, or Montréal to Toronto.

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The reason for such a trip? We were taking Lorelai…

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…to meet this handsome man in Överum.

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We rented a car and left around 10am Saturday, settling Rory comfortably in a carrier in the back seat.

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She isn’t showing any signs of being in heat yet, but she is doing some…odd…things, like attacking my ankles.

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Based on past experienceprevious experience, she should go into obvious heat by this Wednesday, since she had her last pill on the first of the month. Also, being around a male can speed up the process.

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We stopped for a snack at a Burger King, because there wasn’t a Max anywhere nearby. Rory was so happy to be out of the car for a while!

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Look how she tangled up her leash going around in circles!

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And she expected a share of our food, too.

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Which…she got, of course.

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I’m not sure how much of his burger Björn actually got to eat!

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Finally, around 5pm, we got to Karin’s house in Överum (we stopped at IKEA in Jönköping on the way).

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We got Rory settled in her love nest, and went for a little fika.

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While we drank tea and ate cake, Io watched us from an upstairs window.

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Then the magic moment arrived! We introduced the happy couple.

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It went pretty well.

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In case you’re wondering, Io weighs 4.5kg (between Alfred and Dashiell), and Rory weighs 2.6kg.

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Until…

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…Io used her litterbox.

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Io was interested in her, but also very cordial. He never hissed or swatted at her.

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The same could not be said of Rory.

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They spent a lot of time on the bench in the room, her underneath, him above.

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At one point, Io pooped…and stepped in it. Karin put him in the shower to rinse his feet off with the hand shower. Please note: This was Io’s first time in a shower. And just look at him. He has the best personality.

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Since the father’s personality influences the kittens, this is a great sign!

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And Karin was impressed with Rory’s fearlessness and confidence in an entirely new environment. This bodes well for the kittens they might have together.

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We also got to see Hera again. She is Freddy’s big sister, and we met her when we visited Freddy’s litter.

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When Karin saw Rory, she thought she looked like a Mini-Hera, and one time Hera walked up to us and I did a double-take, thinking Rory had gotten out!

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Just putting two fertile cats together doesn’t generally guarantee kittens, but on the drive home, we saw this rainbow (it was actually a double rainbow), so let’s hope that’s a good omen! We go back to pick her up on Friday. Let’s hope some magic happens!

Karin sent this video update to me this afternoon. Well…at least they aren’t fighting, right?

Aby-a-Day – 20 Juni 2020: Happy Gotcha Day! (Special Saturday)

Two years ago today, I travelled to Stockholm to collect our little Izaak.

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His harness was almost too big for him, even adjusted to the smallest size..

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He was so tiny…

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Zak and Lorelai bonded over leftovers. This is the day after he arrived.

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Two days after that, he had his first outside adventure.

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He quickly discovered his favourite, IKEA mice. This was his fifth day with us.

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The day after that…

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…we had our first trip to the vet…

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…our first visit to DjurMagazinet…

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…and our first walk home. Little Zak did a LOT in his first week with us!

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But it isn’t just Zak’s Gotcha Day. Fifteen years ago today, we answered a Craigslist ad and brought Kylie home from Quincy. We had to stop at Petco on the way home to buy a carrier!

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This is her and Tessie today, back in Boston. I can’t believe she is 15! And, in a month and a half, Tessie will be 17!

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But wait, there’s more! 29 years ago, today, I got Harri, my very first Siamese. We were on our way to an SCA event, and we picked him up on the way.

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He camped with us for his first several days with us before we got him home. That’s probably why he was such a good traveller.

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He was 14 years old when we got Kylie…but he was very fond of her. Seems that 20 June is a good day to get a kitten!

Aby-a-Day – 11 April 2020: A terrible anniversary (Special Saturday)

This is a terrible, terrible day.

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Last year on the 11th of April, my heart-cat Jacoby died whilst I was getting a pedicure and talking to his vet on the phone. My feet in warm swirly water, while he was dying in Jönköping. I was planning on going to visit him the next day, but there wasn’t any time. I didn’t know that the last time I saw him, when we left him at the animal hospital, that it would be the last time I would see him alive.

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We were such a team.

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We had adventures.

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He was bulletproof. I could put him somewhere and he would just pose for me.

We became minor celebrities…in Boston!

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He was the Westchester Cat Club’s Cat of the Year.

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He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

I miss him every day.

Aby-a-Day: 10 Augusti: Comedy of Errors

Yesterday was…interesting. We were supposed to meet Meg, Russell and Dashiell at Helsinki International Airport at 17:15.

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That…did not happen. Their flight from Newark was delayed, and they ended up missing their connection in Frankfurt to Helsinki.

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This is the photo Meg sent me when she finally got to Frankfurt.

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And here is Russell with Dash (under the banana), waiting for the connecting flight.

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Above is the Facebook Messenger conversation we had about meeting up and collecting Dash. FINALLY I got the bright idea to include my friend Anne, an Aby breeder who happens to live in Helsinki near the airport. We had booked a hotel in Tampere, two hours away from Helsinki, which was supposed to be the show hotel, but it got overbooked because of a German heavy metal band who were having concerts nearby. Turns out, we might have been able to cancel our “non-refundable” reservation…but, yeah. 20/20 hindsight.

But we had to drive to our hotel, so there was no way we could be at the airport to meet them and collect Dash on Friday.

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So my hero friend Anne met them at the airport instead.

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They landed sometime after midnight, and my friend Anne was there to meet them.

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This is all of them, taken by Anne, at sometime around 1am. At this point, Dash had been in his carrier for 30-something hours.

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Meanwhile, our hotel had been notified that we would be arriving with a cat, so they prepared a little gift for us: a packet of wet food in the cutest little bag.

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Look how cute the print is on the bag, all little kitty faces! I just wish we had had Dash that first night.

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But here he is on Meg’s bed, happy to finally be out of that carrier!

Aby-a-Day – 6 July: Poetry in Paris (Special Saturday)

On one day of our trip to London, we took a daytrip to Paris on the Eurostar.

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We were only in Paris for nine hours. Not long; just enough time to see some sights, grab a bite (about which more later), and wander the streets looking for adventure. At one point, we came upon Shakespeare and Company, the famed English bookstore and sister store to San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore (you can see a tribute to the SF store above the door). I used to walk down Jack Kerouac Alley, alongside City Lights, when I was living in SF and swing dancing almost every night. So seeing this bookstore kind of resonated with me.

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They have interesting snippets from news articles written on chalkboards on either side of the storefront. This was my favourite.

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But the best thing about the bookstore was this guy outside with his manual portable Remington typewriter. His name is Leo, and as you can see, he would write you a poem upon request. Leo only asked that you decide to pay what you think it’s worth only after you’ve read the poem. So I asked him to write a poem based on my tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan. He was impressed with the concept, and only asked what the breeds of the cats were, and confirmed that the plants were maple leaves and pussywillows. Then he thought a moment and started typing.

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This is what he wrote:

singapore, abyssinia
maple leaf and pussy willow

meeeeeoooooow

stare into these eyes
deeper than the wisdom
collected through the course of
nine lives
wider than the stream of
time into which so much is
washed away

meeeeeeoooooow

we are they who traverse
the limits you imagine

we are they who were once
worshipped and are glorified
still, have you discovered
why, in the course
of your one
life?

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Leo signs the back of every poem he types.

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Of course I loved it, and I paid him 10€ for his work. I also explained the story behind the tattoo, how these two boys died ten years apart from the same awful disease. About a year or so ago, I found an awesome antique glass frame that I’ve been saving for the perfect thing to put into it. I think I finally found what the frame has been needing.