Aby-a-Day- 4 November: The Ministry of Silly Runs (Silly Swedish Sunday)

Izaak is so much fun to watch outside.

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He loves to run so much…but he looks so goofy doing it.

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He’s maturing – he’s just turned nine months old – but he has not yet shown any signs of being an entire male cat except one: he’s getting all burly and jowly. But that’s it. There’s no inappropriate play-mounting, no parading around the house, and, best of all: NO SPRAYING OR RANDOM PEEING! Even his proper litterbox pee doesn’t smell like a tomcat.

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Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Mostly I am just waiting for penny to finally drop, so to speak. After all, Alfred was neutered when he was seven months old, and Logan was in diapers because he was peeing in odd places when he was about this same age. So let’s just say we’re on high alert but enjoying every pee-free day.

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He has a funny bouncy run, though, and it really is amusing.

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I hope he never outgrows it.

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Awww…Zakky! Don’t look at me like that! We love you and your silly running. We giggle because you’re so adorable when you do it.

Aby-a-Day – 21 October: Another outside adventure…with an audience (Swedish Cinema Sunday)

Last weekend we enjoyed gorgeous weather, so I took Izaak and Lorelai out for some “being offleash” practice.

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The main reason was, I wanted to check what that flash of red I could see out our window.

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Turns out, someone had dumped their windowbox geraniums out onto the hill, and they were managing to survive on the dirt they were planted in.

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They’re actually really pretty out there, and I hope they can survive, but I have a feeling that they won’t live past the first snow.

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Rory especially loves to explore the outside world…to the point that it’s really hard for us to get out of our front door.

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Rory also has to check out the rugbeater. Every. Single. Time. We go outside. She loves that thing.

After the rugbeater, we visited the sandbox/swings area that we visited before. But whilst we were there, we heard plaintive meowing.

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Turns out, it was Alfred. He wanted to be out there, too…but after the last time we tried to let Freddy out off-leash, that was pretty much a non-starter.

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Jacoby was just out there because he heard my voice.

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Rory and Zak knew Jake and Freddy were up there…but I don’t think they cared, because they were running around outside.

Aby-a-Day – 23 September: Sand cats (Cinema Swedish Sunday)

Continuing yesterday’s post…After we hunted pigeons, we went to the swingset to play in the sand.

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Lorelai loved digging in the sand.

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Meanwhile, Izaak appreciated the camouflage properties of the sand.

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It was hilarious to watch them play in the sand.

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Watch Zak “hunt” Rory…

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…And…BOOM!

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Severe lack of follow-through, though.

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More clever stalking on Zak’s part…but no more spectacular ambushes.

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It was just so much fun watching them play in that sand! I made a movie of it, here:

You can see for yourself how much fun they had in that sand around the swingset.

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But the saddest part of the afternoon is, whilst we were playing around the swings, we kept hearing this plaintful meowing. It turned out to be Alfred, watching us from the kitchen. Poor Freddy! But there’s a reason Freddy doesn’t get to go out with us on leash-free training…

Aby-a-Day – 9 September: Into the woods (Part 2) (Swedish Sunday)

As you’ll remember from yesterday’s post, two years ago last August, Jacoby, Angel, Kalle and I went out for an adventure around the lake near our apartment. We found a nice place to park, and Jake couldn’t wait to get out into the forest.

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We unhooked him from the stroller, and he couldn’t wait to get out and explore. Angel, on the other hand, was perfectly content to sit in the stroller.

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The forest behind the lake was like a fairy tale, so lush and green, with moss-covered boulders and lots of ferns.

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It was so beautiful out there.

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And, naturally, the photographer in me was stunned by the way Jake’s gorgeous ruddy coat looked against the lush greenery.

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Could you ask for anything more picturesque?

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Jake was fascinated by the wilderness.

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He and Kalle walked all over, exploring.

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They made quite a pair.

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I think Jake was a little frustrated by the length of his leash, however.

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Who knows how far into the woods he would have gone had it not been for that cord of braided leather?

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Finally, it was time to get moving again.

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Jake was a little cranky at having to get back into the stroller after getting to feel like a warrior for once.

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So I appeased him by letting him peruse the bird menu.

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After that, we got drenched in a random thunderstorm. I managed to keep the cats relatively dry, but Kalle and I were pretty soaked. On the way back, Kalle went to investigate a pond.

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Jake and Angel watched him with interest.

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It was a pretty impressive pond, though.

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Even though we’re living in the 20th largest city in Sweden, we still get views like we’re in the middle of nowhere.

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You can see the rainfall on the pavement as we head home.

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When we got close to home, Jake and Angel recognised where we were and hopped out of the stroller.

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Oh, now Angel wants to explore!

Aby-a-Day – 29 July: There’s cat proof…and then there’s Abyssinian proof (Swedish Sunday)

I have been regaling you with tales of our balcony/catio. It took a while to make sure it was cat-proof…wait, I mean, Aby-proof. Because protecting something from Abyssinians is a huge step up from protecting a thing from a regular cat. Trust me on this. You would think that a pot of plain pasta left on the stove is of no interest to cats, right? And you would be correct. It is of no interest to a cat. But leave that pot of plain pasta on the stove with Abys around? Yeah…have fun cleaning that pasta up off the floor. Oh, and enjoy your broken pot.

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So testing the cat-netting from the inside was only a starting point. The real test came a few days later.

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We were outside with Lorelai and Izaak. We’re trying to teach them to stick to us outside off leash, so we go out, they run around, but when we call them, they come right to us. It’s the sort of thing I couldn’t teach Jacoby, living in Boston.

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But when Jake heard our voices outside, he ran to join us.

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And he really tried to join us. But thankfully, the netting and chicken wire held.

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Then Angel came to help.

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So now we had two adult Abys actively trying to breach the netting.

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Oh, sure, they pretend to not get along. But they are totally in cahoots. Don’t let them fool you.

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Angel seemed content to simply be near us…Jake, not so much.

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He was still testing the netting, searching for a weak spot.

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And he was trying really hard to find that weakness.

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Angel and Jake tried each end of the cat-netting to see if they could escape.

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Seeing Zak just below only made Jake and Angel try to break through the screen even harder.

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And then, Alfred decided to join the party.

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“Hey, what’re you guys doing?”

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“Oh, breaking through the netting? Did you try gnawing on it?

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Here’s a side view of the big cats on the balcony. That netting is really doing its job!

Aby-a-Day – 10 June: Bus stops, bus goes (Swedish Sunday)

Alfred arrived at our home and was almost immediately whisked off to the vet for his first visit.

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I mean, it was three days after we brought him home. We had to take the big cats in for their annuals, and we brought him along for an introduction and quick once-over.

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It was also Freddy’s first experience with a bus stop.

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“How long is it gonna taaaaaaakke? We’ve been waiting aaaaaages!”

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OMG YAY! It’s finally coming!

Aby-a-Day – 27 May: Typical Swedish breakfast (Swedish Sunday)

Swedes love kaviar in a tube. A paste of salted cod roe (Gadus morhua), sugar, canola oil and spices, the most famous brand is Kalle’s Kaviar, but Björn just buys the ICA brand kaviar; it tastes the same and costs less. It’s the standard condiment for hard boiled eggs.

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On her first morning with us, Lorelai investigated this fishy delight. She just needs to learn which end it comes out from.

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There you go, Rory! You’re getting warmer!