Aby-a-Day – 9 Juni: Sunday at the Cat Show (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Today at the cat show was…well, not as exciting as yesterday.

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Lorelai was the first up again, and she had the same judge, Thea Friskovec, that Izaak had yesterday.

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Lorelai charmed her, but ultimately lost the Nomination to a friend’s Cornish Rex.

This is what her judging looked like…so different from CFA!

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Next up was Izaak.

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Like yesterday, since there were three Singapuras entered, he was up for Best in Variety, but today he lost out to IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (on the far right). That’s cat shows: one day, you’re top of the world, another day…not so much. You can’t win them all.

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After the BIV, Zak had to compete for the Nomination, against the Burmilla from yesterday and a snow Bengal.

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The competition was stiff…

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But today, Zak lost to the Burmilla. Ultimately, no Singapuras were Nominated to Panel, where yesterday we had two (who both won Best in Show). But that’s okay; with neither cat Nominated, we were able to leave the show early! That’s always a bonus.

Here is a video of Zak being judged. I think I like FIFe’s style better than CFA, to be honest; not only do you get an honest conversation about your cat’s strengths and weaknesses, but you also get a written copy to save in your cat’s show book. Only being judged by one person a day vs. the CFA method of a cat getting several judges’ opinions in a day is…different, and admittedly, a little hard to get used to. But the fact that you get the judges’ notes to keep for posterity is pretty awesome and makes the shift a little easier to handle. Plus, it’s nice having a written record of what a judge thought about your cat.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Juni: Double play! (Cat Show Saturday)

Today we are at our first cat show since Örebro in January – four and a half months is a long time to not go to a cat show! We were supposed to go to a show in Falköping last month…but someone missed some kittens’ vaccination boosters, so we couldn’t go. So here we are in Gislaved at the DackeKatten show.

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And what a great show it is! Lorelai was first up, and the first thing that happened when she got onto the table was…another judge brought a cat over to our judge’s table for a second opinion on the cat’s colour.

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Even though a strange cat was just inches away from her, Rory didn’t even notice. This is why Jacoby didn’t like FIFe…he didn’t like having to see other cats. Being close to them was right out. But that happens in FIFe. Luckily, Rory and Izaak, having grown up in FIFe, don’t mind being held out in the open with other cats.

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Rory’s judge today was Alexey Shchukin from the Netherlands.

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He had a judge-in-training, Hannah Jensen, with him, so he spent a lot of time explaining what he was doing as he went along.

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He explained what he saw in Rory as she listened intently.

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Then Hannah looked at Rory herself, trying to see what Alexey saw.

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During her judging, Rory decided Alexey need a hug. He kept explaining things to Hannah despite the schmoozing.

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Rory supervised as Alexey wrote down his judging notes.

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Then it was Zak’s turn on the judge’s table.

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His judge was Thea Friskovec, from Switzerland.

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I didn’t know it until the end of the day, but she actually breeds Singapuras herself.

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Zak sat nicely whilst Thea wrote her notes on the judging sheet.

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Our friends Stellan and Hans Owe from S*Kustens were at the show, too, with their two girls, SW GIC S*Kustens Chi Sarà Con Te and IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. We’ve seen these two girls at shows many times before.

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Because there were three Singapuras in the show, we got to compete for Best in Variety (BIV).

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It was a very close competition. Stellan and Hans Owe breed amazing Singas. But, to our shock…

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Our Zak was named BIV!

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And whilst I was watching that happen…Lorelai got a Nomination in her class (Unspayed Females)!

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Then Zak was up for his Nomination, and his competition was stiff: He was up against a sweet Egyptian Mau and a stunning Bengal.

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But the Singapura was the one Nominated to the panel! Both Rory and Zak have gotten one Nom each…but this is the first time both our cats were Nommed in the same show.

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Not only that…but Rory became a Champion today.

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After lunch, it was time for the panels. Rory went up first.

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For Best in Show, Category 4, Unspayed Female, Rory was up against a very nice Cornish Rex.

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And she won!

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This is Rory’s very first Best in Show win.

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Next up was Zak.

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I mean, we were still over the moon about Zak getting his BIV. And now he was going to the panel!

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Zak was up against a very nice Burmilla in Category 3 Unneutered Males.

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And the judges’ choice was…

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Our Zak!

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Both of our cats were Nominated, and both were named Best in Show. AND one got BIV! We were stunned…

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We had a really good day at the show today…probably the best since we showed Jake.

 

Aby-a-Day – 7 Juni: “A stove is just a source of heat” (Friday Flashback)

Last year, I mentioned how much Jacoby loved to sit in our cast-iron frying pan.

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He also enjoyed lying on the stove itself, especially in winter when the oven was on.

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It’s funny I never really noticed it before, but none of the other cats really hangs out on top of the stove. The younger cats prefer to sit in front of the microwave on the counter opposite the stove, and Angel stays on the floor.

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But the stove was Jake’s domain. He liked the stove back in Boston, too, but since it was a gas stove with uncomfortable grills, he couldn’t really lie on it.

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Our stove in Sweden is a smooth, glass-top electric stove. I’m not sure why no cat has claimed it in Jake’s absence. Perhaps it will become more popular again in winter.

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But for now, the stove remains Jake’s place…and I miss him every time I go into the kitchen and see the empty stove.

Happy Gotcha Day, Alfred! (Thursday Things)

Two years ago today, we met Karin at Stockholm Centralen and collected Alfred on our way back from a cat show in Tallinn.

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But I haven’t ever posted how Freddy coped once he got to our apartment.

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And the short answer is…he was completely unfazed.

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No mum? No littermates?

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No problem!

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I think Freddy was the easiest kitten we’ve integrated into our family, but then none of our kittens have been that hard to introduce to the others.

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But Freddy is just so laid back and easy-going…He integrated himself. Of course, five days later, we got Logan, and he had a built-in best friend, but even without Logan, Freddy would have done just fine.

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And here’s our Freddy, almost two years later, on the same sofa with Izaak. He’s our genius philosopher, and I love him.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Juni: Wordless Wednesday (Singas in camera are closer than they appear)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 Juni: “Forget about style; worry about results” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals was yesterday, and the series is split 2-2, with Boston and St. Louis winning a game each home and away. Last week, I posted a drawing of Jacoby as the iconic “flying Bobby Orr”. This week, it’s finished!

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But apart from sharing the final drawing, I thought I would also share the layers that create it. This is the “Uniform” layer, which I coloured using the incredibly useful NHL Uniform Database to make certain I got the colours and stripes right.

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This is Jake’s colouring. It’s actually three different layers merged together to get the depth of colour in his fur. The whiskers and eyeshine are on a separate layer.

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This is the finished Jake and his shadow. Then, for the background, I ran the original photo of Bobby Orr through the “cutout” filter.

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I am particularly proud of the way his head turned out. Aby markings are deceptively complex to render realistically.

Hopefully this will give Boston a little luck in the next two or three games…GO BRUINS!

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juni: “Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive health” (Medical Monday)

As I posted on Thursday, we all took a trip to the vet last week to get check-ups and vaccinations. As soon as I parked the stroller in the exam room and unzipped it, all four of the cats jumped right out to investigate.

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Lorelai and Izaak, not having had as many vet visits as Alfred and Angel have had, explored the room fearlessly.

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As I’ve posted before, Angel becomes very brave in veterinary exam rooms.

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Zak was the first to jump up on something.

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Then he took it to the next level.

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Rory is turning into quite the little princess of posing…

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…except when her curiosity gets the better of her.

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Whilst the cats explored the exam room, I got all their passports organised with the relevant vaccination pages opened. Everycat needed their FVRCP vaccines, and Zak also needed his rabies vaccine.

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Freddy, of course, had to sit on the passports…

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For some reason (and I honestly have no earthly idea why), the sink was of particular interest. And not only to Rory and Zak…

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…but Freddy, too. They see sinks every day…I have no clue what was so fascinating about this one.

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When Dr. Birgitta came in, the younger cats all rushed to greet her.

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Angel, having had more experience in this situation, hid in the corner behind the cabinet.

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Nurse Camilla and I weighed everyone.

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Freddy could stand to lose a bit…but otherwise, we’re all good. In fact, the doctor commented on how solid and muscular Rory and especially Zak are. I told her how they eat (raw and Bozita, and a daily chicken neck) and how they regularly go outside to run. She was quite impressed with their condition.

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After they all got their jabs (no photos of that, since I was helping to hold them), Camilla carefully updated all of their passports. Freddy helped.

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One last note about our Freddy…

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…when he wasn’t exploring the room, helping the nurse, or getting injected, he was trying to break into this cabinet. He worked at it from both the top and the bottom of the tambour door, but he couldn’t manage it.
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He even checked the trash can! He is relentless in his quest for food. It’s no wonder he could stand to lose a few.