Aby-a-Day – 22 August: Alfred the mighty hunter (Thursday Things)

Ever since Alfred found that dead bird, he has been obsessed with birds when we go outside.

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Freddy’s figured out that birds are in bushes. So he rushes at every set of bushes in the område. It makes him easy to find, though. Just follow the angry chirping.

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After rushing the bushes, Freddy sits and stares at the bushes, looking for birds.

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The funny part is, the birds were all up in the tree behind him, watching him.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Augusti: Two words you never want to hear at a cat show: “Cat out!” (Thursday Things)

Especially when it’s your cat.

Sunday at the show, after Izaak had been judged and we were waiting for the Nominations, Lorelai was called up for her Nomination at the same time. So Björn had Rory and I had Zak. Then I dropped my phone and it came out of its case. I needed two hands to put it back in, so I handed Zak over to Björn. Then Zak started to cough up a hairball.

I raced over to the Secretary’s table and grabbed a piece of scratch paper, and got Zak to puke on it. Björn was right next to us, so I asked him to grab Zak whilst I dealt with the barf. In the time between me letting him go and Björn grabbing him…

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…he decided this space under the folded-up bleachers (the show hall’s day job is a basketball arena). And he. Would not. Come. OUT. When he doesn’t want to be caught, he is a master. They announced that a cat was loose and to close all the doors, but I was like, “Yeah, no. The doors are the least of our worries!” He’s roaming around underneath the bleachers, and he’s up for Nomination like NOW

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Finally, a woman with Siamese working the Secretary’s table called to me. She saw Zak in the corner, near her stroller. They asked me if I had any food that would lure him out. I said, “No…he won’t eat anything but raw and chicken necks. Does anyone have a raw chicken neck?” Yeah, nobody did. I had grabbed Chirpy Mouse and Zak’s favourite wand toy (a fishing lure blue crab I picked up in Baltimore), so we tried those. Chirpy Mouse had no effect, but Blue Crab got his attention. I almost grabbed him…but then he backed away. He wandered around a little more, and then came back to that corner, and, with the help of Blue Crab, I was able to grab him. The judge he was up for Nomination with, Glenn Sjöbom, asked me if I was okay and patted me on the back, telling me not to worry and not feel like I needed to rush. When he actually got nominated, I held him up, and, during the applause, I said to him, “You. Do. NOT. Deserve. This!”

I repeated that when he was declared Best In Show.

I don’t have any photos of the actual events…I was too busy trying to catch the little asshole.

But here’s the punchline to the whole escapade: Just after it happened my friend Kinsey posted on Facebook that Zak’s brother, Paolo had escaped that morning and led her on a merry chase around the neighbourhood before she managed to catch him again. He wears a tracker on his collar that she can track on her mobile.

One of her friends commented that it could only happen to Kinsey, and I chimed in, “Nope, not just Kinsey. Today at the cat show, Izaak, Paolo and Keiko’s younger brother, escaped and went exploring under the bleachers!”. To which Kinsey explained, “Must be in their genes. Paolo did that at a cat show once and I was on my hands and knees under the benches trying to get him.”

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They ARE full brothers, perhaps not littermate brothers, but brothers nonetheless. Kinsey’s always posting about Paolo’s adventures…and by the smug, “sorry, not sorry” look on Zak’s face, I suspect I will be, too.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Augusti: Catch the birdie (Thursday Things)

One of the comments on Monday’s post was, “Well, I’m waiting for the day when one of them has a whole bird!”

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Well, the other day, Alfred came out of the bushes with…a dead bird!

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After a little examination, it was a young thrush. I am not entirely sure if he caught it himself; I did hear some squawking and a couple of adult birds flew out from the bushes.

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But the fact that it didn’t have a head, and he didn’t try at all to eat it. He just sniffed it and played with it a little.

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And…

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…he was pretty protective of it when Lorelai and Izaak wanted to look at it.

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Eventually, he either got bored or went to see if he could find another one, and Rory got a chance to investigate it. But she didn’t try to eat it, either.

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Cats don’t eat spoiled meat or carrion…and it wasn’t warm, so I’m pretty certain Freddy just found it. She just sniffed it. She didn’t even touch it the way Freddy did.

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Zak was the least interested in the bird of the three.

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I wonder if the bird flew into one of the apartments’ windows. It happens around here; a couple of years ago, a jackdaw flew into our living room window – wicked hard. We were sitting right there and the bang was so loud it scared the crap out of us. That could explain the head.

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After I took the above close-up of the bird, Rory’s interest was rekindled.

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It may look like Rory’s making a “tasty-tasty yum-yum” face, but I think a feather tickled her nose.

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I tried to toss the bird’s body back into the bushes, but that made Freddy go back to try to find it.

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So I went and fished it back out, mainly to get Freddy out of the bushes (it had landed in the top branches). He wanted to look at it again.

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This time, he studied it like a scientist. Eventually, when he wasn’t looking, I took the bird farther away and left it a ways down the hill. Maybe the fox will find the little snack.

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It was a bad day for birds, though. In another spot in the grass, we discovered the aftermath of another bird-predator encounter. This time, I think the bird was eaten.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Juli: It’s official – Lorelai likes dogs (Thursday Things)

As I have posted before, Lorelai has never minded seeing dogs on trains. She has also always been rather fond of our neighbours’ dog, Bruno. And then there was that time that Rory chased the Papillion

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The other day, Lorelai, Izaak and Alfred were outside exploring when we met a new black dog. At first, Freddy tried to do the big brother thing, protecting the younger cats.

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But, rebelling against Freddy’s protectiveness, Rory decided she was going to meet this new dog.

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She marched right out and went to touch noses with this new dog.

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The dog was actually a little thrown off by this very forward, very outgoing, little cat.

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Emboldened by Rory, Zak also came to meet the dog.

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He wasn’t as sure about the dog as Rory was…but he at least managed to stay calm in the dog’s presence. That’s at least progress, right?

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juli: Fuzzy Tongue Flicker (Thursday Things)

One of the supermarkets I shop at has old-school, red-painted metal and glass Beaver vending machines with toys and candy in them.

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A few weeks ago, one of the machines was filled with Fuzzy Tongue Flickers (which, amazingly enough, is actually a safe set of words to Google). Little fuzzy balls with googly eyes and a red tongue that sticks out when you squeeze them. Yup, looks like a cat toy to me.

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So, when I got home, I showed it to Izaak.

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He definitely found it interesting.

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Okay, get a room.

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Then the batting commenced.

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Apparently, the Fuzzy Tongue Flicker is an excellent toy for batting.

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Oooops…

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…And was the last time I saw Fuzzy Tongue Flicker. I think he’s somewhere under the sofa. I think I need to go and find him.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Juli: Ashes to ashes (Thursday Things)

When I got Jacoby’s ashes back from the vet, I knew I wanted to get ash jewellery made by Etsy seller Sugar Oh Honey Honey, the same as I had made with Logan’s ashes. Meg also sent me some of Taz’s ashes, so Jake and Taz would be together forever. I ordered two bracelets, one for me and one for Meg.

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The box came today.

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I couldn’t wait to open it!

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In the box was a card from Vicky.

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And tea. I love that the tea is from Waitrose.

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This is everything that was in the box. The flowered bags contain the leftover ashes. The ash charms are in small boxes, and there are cards commemorating trees planted in Jake’s and Taz’s names.

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Vicky also included silver bonus bangle bracelets with Jake and Taz’s names on them. Two of them, one for me and one for Meg. I love that so much. Vicky also sent two replacements of the Logan photo charm she sent me earlier, which broke. I am overwhelmed.

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This is what the bracelet looks like. The orange charm is Taz’s ashes, the green charm is Jake’s ashes, and the one in the middle, the half-orange, half-green charm, is Jake’s and Taz’s ashes mixed together…so they will be together forever. Considering they were such good friends, it’s only fitting.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Juli: The rain in Spain stays mainly on the Fred (Thursday Things)

Our part of Sweden and New England have a lot in common, including summer weather. We can have many rainy days in a row in the middle of summer, both here and there. Of course, the cats don’t realise this; to them, outside is outside, regardless of weather.

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Until they actually go outside and find out it’s raining. This was a couple of weeks ago. Lorelai had gone out to run, despite the rain. I went back to grab my camera in order to capture the silly girl running in the rain…but she had had enough of the water falling out of the sky and ran back in when I opened the door…but Alfred ran out as she was running in.

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It didn’t take him long to understand why Rory actually wanted to come back inside.

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Nope, nope, nope, nope…

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NOPE!