Aby-a-Day – 15 Februari 2020: The weather, it’s a’changing (Swedish Saturday)

As I have mentioned previously, we’ve been having what can only be described as a crap winter. It’s only snowed four times all winter (if you can call it that), and the fourth time it didn’t even stick.

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This. This right here is what’s wrong with winter in Sweden. I took these photos on 11 February. Those are DAISIES.

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Daisies don’t usually pop up in February. There’s usually still snow on the ground in February. Daisies don’t usually pop up until late March, early April. And, yet, here they are.

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So, it’s wet and muddy…but it’s also green and warm. So, cats got to go outside.

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They weren’t as excited about being outside as usual…but it was muddy and wet.

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You could see them being picky about where they put their feet.

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Still, even though it was kind of sloshy outside, it was also 6-7° C (about 43-45°F) which, for February, is pretty damn warm, especially in Sweden. But, you know…climate change isn’t a real thing, right?

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Regardless, I think they enjoyed getting outside so early in the year.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Februari 2020: Finally, snow! (Swedish Sunday)

This has been a really crap winter…

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It’s been above 5°C more often than it hasn’t, and while Florida is freezing…it’s only snowed three times here in Sweden all winter. The third was yesterday.

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And it’s just now February, and the bulb plants are already sprouting!

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And the first two times it snowed, it lasted about a day. And the snow we got yesterday was, sadly, no different.

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But as long has we had the little snow we did get…I figured I had better take advantage of it while it lasted.

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And that means…I took the cats out! Of course, Lorelai bounded out the door and headed for the slope.

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She really seemed to miss running!

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But while Rory was running around, having a blast…

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…everyone else was pretty much sticking to the snowfree bits.

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I did get Izaak to venture out into the deepest part.

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(Okay, yeah, I carried him out into the middle of it…)

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But once he got used to it, he seemed to kind of enjoy it.

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I love cat pawprints in snow…

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Dashiell actually ventured out into it on his own!

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That’s pretty special, since it was the first time he’d ever seen snow!

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Okay, this…now, I know what it looks like he’s doing…but I promise you, it was not yellow when he stood up.

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But soon enough, he got tired of the wet feet and joined Zak and Angel on the concrete.

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Alfred was out there, too…he was just off doing Freddy things while I was taking all the photos.

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And, sadly, as I predicted…the snow is all gone today.

Aby-a-Day – 22 Juni: “Keep your eye on the prey” (Swedish Saturday)

On one of our outside adventures, Lorelai saw a pigeon perched in a tree.

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It’s kind of hard to see, so I’ve marked it in this photo.

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Rory was so intent on hunting it.

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(Here it is marked again)

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You could see her brain working out how to catch that fat bird.

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The pigeon was hard to see up in the branches, but Rory never lost her focus.

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At one point, I thought she was going to give up.

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The pigeon was still watching her, though.

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But suddenly, Rory climbed even higher in the tree!

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She was actually as high up in the tree as the pigeon!

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I think her idea was to get higher than the pigeon, and then drop down on it.

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I couldn’t believe how high Rory climbed!

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She really wanted to get that pigeon. I honestly don’t know why the pigeon stayed there so long. Maybe it was curious about the small predator.

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I think this may be the closest Rory’s ever gotten to a bird. Impressive.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juni: A birthday frame-up (Swedish Saturday)

Today is my birthday! Not a very eventful one (that’s next year), but a birthday nonetheless.

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Most of the “celebrating” will be done next week, as Björn has to work this weekend, but next weekend we’ll be at a cat show. But I did get a gift: Björn had my magpie print framed! It’s an unusual size, so he had to have it done custom.

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A bit of backstory, now, since apparently I never really posted about the magpie tattoo that was my introduction to my fabulous artist Linus. When I went in for the very first consultation, I was hopeful that the person I met with could really do magpies with Japanese maple leaves really well. Well, walking up to the house, the first thing I saw was a gorgeous red Japanese maple tree planted in the yard. Then, I went inside, and saw a trio of gorgeous prints, including the magpie at the top of this post. Then I met Linus, and when I mentioned that I loved the magpie print, he proudly told me that he had drawn it!

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Well, needless to say, I knew I had found my artist! Here is the finished tattoo…these are actually Yellow-Billed Magpies, which are only found in the Sacramento/San Joaquin valley of Northern California, where I grew up. Everywhere else, magpies have black beaks. This is similar to my Western Grey Fox tattoo, which is also a native California species.

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Whilst trying to capture my newly-framed print, of course somecat had to come investigate…

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Okay, I think the frame is Singapura approved!

Aby-a-Day – 25 Maj: This time last year…(Swedish Saturday)

I thought I would chip away at my massive backlog today…

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This time last year, we hadn’t gotten Izaak yet, and we were showing Lorelai the outside world on the end of a leash.

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Well, she was only three months old…but I think these early outings laid the foundation for her being so good offleash outside now.

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Look how little she was!

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Even though she was so small, she was still fearless.

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Of course, she had her big brothers with her to protect her. Not only Alfred…

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…but Jacoby as well.

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Rory was lucky to grow up with two protective big brothers.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Maj: “I think I’ll go for a walk outside now, the summer sun’s callin’ my name…” (Swedish Saturday)

In both New England and Sweden, a pleasant sunny day is like a special gift, not to be squandered. One must go out and enjoy the good weather while it lasts…because, in both places, wait five minutes and it’ll change.

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Take today, for example. It was raining so hard that it woke me up. Anyone who knows me, knows what a difficult thing that is to do.

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But a couple of weeks ago? It was gorgeous outside, and we absolutely needed to get outside and enjoy it.

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And oh, how Lorelai and Izaak enjoyed it.

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The way they interact outside is so different from the way they interact inside. They are best buds, the two who grew up together, the cat show team, the “kittens.”

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They play chase games in the house, but it’s taken to a whole other level when they’re outside. They are pretty evenly matched: Zak is older and heavier, but Rory is faster and sneakier.

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I know we don’t have a subway to ride, or a city to explore, but we can run around free outside…and that’s a fun option to have.

Aby-a-Day – 11 May: “Whenever I see a tree that is climbable, it must be climbed” (Swedish Saturday)

As I have posted before, Lorelai loves to climb trees.

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Unlike Izaak, she can actually shimmy up the on her own without human intervention.

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She also seems to feel very comfortable in trees. She routinely naps on the top of our floor-to-ceiling indoor cat tree, and she walks up the side of it without a second thought, so that makes sense.

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Not only does she feel at home in the branches…

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…she seems quite eager to see if she can go higher!

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Oh, wait…what does she see now?