Aby-a-Day – 30 Maj: Stroller Rage (Thursday Things)

Yesterday, I had an appointment to take everycat to the vet for a check-up and jabs. Björn didn’t have the day off, so I had to manage on my own. Naturally, I took them all in our new stroller. Our appointment was in the middle of the afternoon (not that Skövde really has a “rush hour,” unless you count when all the kids get out of school), so the bus wasn’t crowded at all.

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We have to take two buses to get to our vet, and the first leg of our journey was uneventful.

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The buses we have in Västra Gotalands have a dedicated space for strollers, with room for two (theoretically, as we will see).

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This isn’t the first time we’ve taken all four in this stroller (we had a trip to DjurMagazinet in April), and it was vastly easier than trying to do it with Jacoby’s old stroller! Still, I did feel a bit like that man in Tokyo who takes his nine Persians out in a stroller.

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As you can see, everyone fit very comfortably in the stroller. We also got lucky with the weather. It was sunny and warm. Today it’s grey and rainy.

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On the second bus (also empty), we started out comfortably.

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And then…it happened. Another stroller wanted to get on the bus.

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Of course, I instantly shifted over as much as I could, but she wasn’t very good at manoeuvering her stroller (it was one of those awkward raised car seat/stroller combo things).

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In fact, she was having so much trouble getting on the bus, the driver got up to see what was taking so long. And he glared at me like it was my fault and told me to let her on, like I was deliberately blocking her. As you can see, I was jammed in as much as I could possibly be.

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And then, on the way home, it happened AGAIN! This time, it was one of those awful double stroller, with one kid who looked about five…isn’t that a little old to be needing a stroller? Again, I shifted over and jammed in, but this woman was a LOT better at managing her stroller, and her older boy (the one not in the stroller, behind me) seemed to really love the cats.

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I understand that people with little kids need strollers, because I need a stroller to schlep multiple cats around. I couldn’t even imagine what it would have been like trying to manage three (we have one that’s a double) cat carriers on my own! And believe me, I am no stranger to controversy about cat strollers. My resentment and annoyance is not anything against parents or children. It’s the attitude I get from people (like the driver, and sometimes the other stroller owner) that somehow their strollers are somehow more important than mine. I have as much of a right to bring my stroller full of cats on the bus as they do with their stroller full of baby or child(ren), especially if I am running an errand that requires multiple cats to be with me. And I always shift as much as I possibly can. Yet, in these situations, the person with the non-humans in the stroller is always the “bad guy” taking the space away from “the person who NEEEEEEEDS it”. (Sidenote, it’s even more fun when we’re on a bus back from a cat show with other cats in strollers and a baby stroller comes on. The entitlement on the baby people and the shade thrown doubles.) Basically, it’s a case of “All strollers are equal, but some strollers are more equal than others,” which really isn’t fair at all.

To that end, I posted a couple of these photos to Facebook as events unfolded, and made a flippant comment that 4 > 1, and then added “Cats Before Brats.” A friend said, “That should be a bumper sticker!” So…

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…I made one. It’s available on Zazzle, and at the moment, you can get 15% off with code ZSWEETTREATS.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Maj: Thanks, Facebook…(Travel Thursday)

Love it or hate it, Facebook is a reality. It’s annoying as hell, but it’s also a great way to stay in touch with friends and family (like friends from second grade and several of my cousins in Canada). And then there’s the “Memories” it likes to show you.

This photo was today’s memory, four years ago. Jacoby and I were on our way to the Seacoast show in New Hampshire, one of our favourites. We’re riding the T on our way to meet the friend I was staying with. Interestingly enough, I never included this photo in a blog post about the show (and I made several posts about it, too)!

So bittersweet…a happy memory, to be sure, but I miss that way he gazed at me.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Januari: Jacoby explores Göteborg’s future

Time to explain yesterday’s post. Last year we were at a cat show in Göteborg that was held in a venue behind Central Station. Walking over to it, we discovered a 3D map of the projected growth of the city in the next 15-20 years, including the renovation of the transportation hub and surrounding area. Called Västlänken (the West Link), the project is basically Göteborg’s version of Boston’s Big Dig.

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The map shows the existing city, the changes made by Västlänken, and then an imaginative projection of what Future Göteborg might look like.

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I call it a map, but it’s is actually more like an ironwork sculpture. It’s really cool to look at…and interestingly cat proportioned.

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It kind of reminded me of the chase scenes in Zootopia/Zootropolis when Judy and Nick chase the weasel.

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Jacoby seemed to really enjoy exploring it.

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Included on the map is the Hisingsbron Bridge, currently under construction and planned for completion in 2022. It will replace the existing Göta älv Bridge, which is falling into disrepair…again, very similar to Boston!

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Jake’s been over the Zakim Bridge in Boston…I wonder if he recognised the similarity?

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Erm…Jake? You do realise you’re standing in the harbour, right?

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I really like the little model of the Barken Viking. It’s actually a hotel now!

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I love how the model even has little trees along the waterfront.

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And here we have Jake bridging the bridge!

Aby-a-Day – 13 December: Strangers on a Train (Travel Thursday)

Travelling in the pet car on a Swedish train is always interesting.

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You never know with whom you’ll be sharing the car.

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I love how Izaak and Lorelai are not at all fazed by other animals, especially dogs.

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At most, they’re just curious.

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On the train to the show on Friday, we shared the car with a woman and her lovely Japanese Spitz.

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He looked like a fox! It was so much fun watching the cats look at him, completely unafraid and only curious.

Aby-a-Day – 29 March: “Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport” (Travel Thursday)

Back in 2015, I posted about the EU regulations about microchipping and importing domestic animals. So I thought my non-EU readers would like to see what the pet passports look like. The LunaTicks all have leather passport covers to protect them, made by the same woman who made their harnesses, Arja’s Art, and they are not only gorgeous, but they match each cat’s harness, and the icons on the cover match those on each cat’s silver nametag.

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Here is Alfred’s passport as an example. On the outside, the pet passports look a lot like a passport for humans, but they are slightly larger, and the cardboard is much thinner. There’s also no RIFD chip.

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All the rabies shots are recorded in the passport. Jake’s and Angel’s passports also have their vaccination records and rabies blood titres since they were imported from the States.

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The passports also have a space for an optional photograph of the named cat, so of course I had to make sure that everyone had a proper passport photo. We started with Jacoby. Björn held him up while I took the photos. We used the plain white background of our balcony wall.

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First he was very squirmy. If I wanted a photo of his toes, it would have been awesome.

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Okay, slouching is worse. You look like you have no neck!

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But finally Jake started to get his act together, and we were able to get a decent photo.

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Next it was Angel’s turn.

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Seriously, Angel? Seriously? You only have one eye as it is. Don’t close it!

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But eventually she, too, settled down and we got a decent shot.

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A year later, when Logan and Freddy joined our household and got their passports, it was passport photo time again.

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Even though he was just a kitten, Logan was as “good” at posing as the big Abys were.

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But finally, he too managed to give me a decent pose.

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Surprisingly, Freddy was a natural.

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I actually got a few usable shots, all without having to be held.

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Of course, while I was taking the kittens’ passport photos, Jake came and showed them how to pose properly…Not that he did that when we were actually taking his passport photo!

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These are the four photos we ended up using.

And here they are in the passports themselves.

All the entries are covered in clear self-adhesive plastic to prevent alterations. I put some over the photos and “signatures” as well.

I wasn’t sure about using kitten photos on the passport they’ll use for the rest of their lives…but I guess it will be okay.

I have rubber stamps for Angel’s and Jake’s pawprints, but Freddy and Logan haven’t gotten theirs yet…so these are their actual paws! I guess that makes up for using kitten photos.

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But at the end of the day, this is what matters. A cat and his passport, riding the rails on the way to Finland for his first international show.

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(And in case you’re wondering…yes, they really do check them when you cross a border!)