Aby-a-Day – 2 Februari: “We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt” (Swedish Sunday)

Today we had a day outside, playing in the snow. As I posted yesterday, we finally got a bit of snow.

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So today, Lorelai and I built a snowcat!

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(Okay, it was mostly me. Rory just ran around in the snow most of the time.)

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I haven’t made a snow-thing in forever. I think it was when I was living in Somerville in the early 2000’s.

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It’s harder to do than I remembered!

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Especially the muzzle with whiskers. It’s hard to put sticks into snow!

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All in all, though, I was pleased with my sculpture. Several neighbours complimented it.

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Before I got the gravel eyes set, Rory came to assess my work.

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Not sure she approved…

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…But hey, it looks like a cat, and that’s what’s important!

Aby-a-Day – 12 Januari: A moment in the sun (Swedish Saturday)

These are photos from the backlog, from May 2017.

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Angel loves the balcony and always has. She loves to sit in the sunshine out there.

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And I know Angel doesn’t get as much attention on this blog as the more outgoing Jacoby, the sillier Alfred, the stout Izaak, and the wild free spirited Lorelai…but she’s the oldest member of our cat family, and whilst she may not seek out the spotlight the way the others do…she’s important.

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We love you, Angel!

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“Great. Now can I enjoy my sunshine in peace?”

Aby-a-Day – 5 Januari: Decorating with cats (Swedish Saturday)

We have this Victorian-style Christmas cat garland as part of our Jul decorations. It looks great with our kitchen curtains…

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…but getting them up there in the first place was quite the challenge.

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Mainly because Lorelai insisted with helping Björn with them.

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And as you can see…she was very helpful.

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Although, I am not sure she was as helpful as she thought she was.

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Still…at the end of the day, we got the kitty garland up, so we won? Or something?

Aby-a-Day – 22 December: Julljusstaken (Swedish Saturday)

A huge holiday tradition in Sweden is putting up Julljusstaker in every window.

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Jacoby, unsurprisingly, is a master at posing with the Jul candles.

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He’s got the contemplative gaze and the slight smile down pat.

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Somewhat more surprisingly, Angel is pretty good at it, too.

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I mean, who knew, right?

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“What? Don’t look so surprised…I AM an Abyssinian, you know!”

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Alfred is also pretty good at it…

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…when he can keep his focus and not get distracted.

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I wasn’t sure how well Lorelai would pose with the candles (she flitters about almost as quickly as her caffeinated namesake), but she did really well.

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She’s a natural!

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For about a minute. Then she gets bored and goes off to do something else.

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Izaak did pretty well, too, for his first time.

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He’s got the “looking into the candles thoughtfully” thing down cold, for sure.

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Until he, like Rory, gets bored. Kittens these days…no attention span whatsoever!

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Even Pyret was pretty good at the candle-posing thing!

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I never did get a photo of Logan with the Jul candles…but I did get one of him with this Jul Äppel!

Aby-a-Day – 15 December: Jólakötturinn (Swedish Cat Show Saturday)

There’s an interesting holiday custom in Iceland: the Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn). According to legend, the Yule Cat eats people who don’t get new clothes for Christmas.

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It’s actually kind of hilarious. When I went to Sweden for Christmas in 2015, I had a stopover in Reykjavik and I saw him for myself. It’s like happy little santas and elves, pretty white angels, sparkly snowflakes and snowmen…and then, WHAM! ANGRY BLACK CAT!

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The Yule cat is associated with the Yule Lads, thirteen troll-imp brothers who show up starting 12 December and don’t leave until 6 January. They harass livestock, steal random objects, and generally do bad things. It’s so different from any other holiday tradition I know of. I absolutely love it.

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Drinking is also a significant part of Scandinavian Jul celebrations…so naturally, Yule Cat bottle covers are a thing.

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Of course, I had to buy some Yule Cats whilst I was there!

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Since seeing the Yule Cat for myself in Iceland, those ornaments have become a part of my holiday tradition. He plays a prominent part of our decorations. And to that end, I made my own Yule Cat. When I discovered the Japanese Scratch cats, plushies with scowly faces and extended claws who generally look pissed at the world who were designed by artist Tamiho Maita, I knew the black one would make a marvelous Yule Cat. So I took one of Jacoby’s Santa hats and scarves, and voilà! One Yule Cat plushie!

On a whim, I brought him along to the cat show last weekend. He attracted a bit of attention, and one of the club’s members even posted his photo on the club’s Facebook event page!

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I tried to get Lorelai and Izaak to pose with him in their show cage…it didn’t go as well as I hoped.

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Look at Zak’s face! He looks like he’s trying to out-anger Angry Black Cat!

Aby-a-Day – 17 November: Collecting Alfred (Swedish Saturday)

Jacoby, Björn, Kalle and I had spent a long weekend in Tallinn for a cat show. On the way back, on 6 June, we met Karin at Stockholm’s Centralstation to collect Alfred.

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We got there a little early, so we had lunch in the food court.

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Jacoby was his usual well-behaved self, as always.

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Titti and Emma also met us at the station so they could see Jake and Kalle, and also meet Freddy. Tittl and Kalle stayed at the table with the luggage whilst Björn, Emma, Jake and I went to the parking lot to meet Karin with Freddy.

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We walked to Karin’s little yellow car excitedly.

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Karin brought Freddy out and introduced him to Jake.

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Which went…

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…about as well as could be expected.

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Karin, Freddy and I sat in the car whilst we dealt with Freddy’s paperwork.

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Emma helped keep Freddy amused.

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We didn’t think Jake was ready to share his stroller, so we put Freddy into a carrier, said goodby to Karin, and went to rejoin Kalle and Titti.

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Back in the station, we all got acquainted whilst waiting for train back to Skövde.

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Having gotten his hissing out of the way, Jake was very curious about the newcomer.

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This time, Freddy was the one hissing. Which I found a bit surprising, since Freddy had four littermates and grew up with three adult cats. I didn’t expect him to be so defensive.

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I think Jake was a little taken aback by Freddy’s reaction, too. They had words.

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Jake broke the spell with a nose-lick.

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By that time, our train was ready to depart, so we packed Freddy into the carrier with his baby blanket and headed out to the platform, homeward bound.

Aby-a-Day – 10 November: “I haven’t taken my Christmas lights down. They look so nice on the pumpkin” (Silly Saturday)

In Sweden, Winter time starts a week before Daylight Savings ends in the States. Additionally, not having a late November holiday like Thanksgiving to mark the beginning of the “Holiday season,” Swedes tend to start thinking about Jul lights as soon as it starts getting dark early.

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To that end, Björn found some pretty coloured ball lights on sale last month.

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Izaak was born on 26 January, and so has never seen Christmas lights before…

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…And he was fascinated by them.

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Just mesmerised.

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It was so cute the way he played with them.

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Alfred, of course, has celebrated one Christmas already, but he was curious about the lights, too.

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Somehow, he managed to get sort of entangled in them.

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Only Freddy…