Aby-a-Day – 8 Juli: Phrenology Cat (Miniature Monday)

One of our stops in London was to visit Forbidden Planet, the world’s largest comic, science fiction and fantasy book and toy store.

phrenologycatFreddyC08665

Both Björn and I found some good things, but literally the last thing I saw as we were leaving was this porcelain Phrenology Cat.

phrenologycatBoxC08667

It wasn’t even that expensive…

phrenologycatBoxC08669

…and, even better, it was a pound off!

phrenologycatFreddy08670

Alfred was very interested it the little cat head.

phrenologycatBookFreddyC08680

phrenologycatBookC08683

Included in the box is a small, well-bound 32-page book about cat phrenology. Really a nice little package, and a lovely find.

phrenologycatBackFreddyC08673

There’s just one thing I didn’t notice until I unboxed it…all the writing on the back of the head is mirror-image.

phrenologycatBackC08676

I’m not really sure if it’s meant to be like this or not. Maybe Phrenology Cat is printed backwards on the other side on purpose, and it’s meant to be placed in front of a mirror? I don’t know…so I emailed the company just to be sure. Or, maybe that’s why it was discounted. I have no idea. But it’s still a cool little figure.

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.

freddyrainC08262

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.

freddyrainC08263

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

freddyrainC08264

Nope, nope, nope, nope…

freddyrainC08266

NOPE!

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni: “Have you ever held a snake? They are so strong. You can see why there are so many myths about them: they are unlike any other creature” (Silly Singapura Cinema Sunday)

You may recall a few months ago, I had bought some catnip snakes on Etsy. I gave one to “everybody,” which Izaak promptly claimed, and then put one away for Jacoby’s birthday…which never happened.

zaksnake_7501

The other day, whilst tidying up my clothes cupboard, I happened to find Jake’s green birthday snake. I had forgotten about it.

zakrorysnake_7502

So, I called Zak to come and play with it.

zakrorysnake_7503

He was all over that action.

zakrorysnake_7504

Lorelai wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

zakrorysnake_7505

zakrorysnake_7508

Zak was not about to share his new toy.

zaksnake_7509

One of Zak’s little quirks is, he loves to roll around on the entryway rugs. I have no idea why, but he does it almost every day…I just haven’t captured it on camera yet.

zaksnake_7510

zaksnake_7511

zaksnake_7512

Apparently, rolling about on the rug is much improved with a catnip snake.

zaksnake_7513

He really likes this snake!

When I posted about the first snake, I lamented not catching it on video. So this time, I made sure to sort that. Here’s Zak in action with Jake’s snake.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juni: Who wore it best? (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Glad Midsommar, allihopa! It’s all downhill from here…

jakemidsommerIMG_5363

Today is the greatest Swedish holiday apart from Jul, the day when we get the longest day and the latest sunset, and in a country known for winter, this is a big deal. When I posted about Midsommar last year, I included photos of Jacoby wearing the traditional flower crown.

angelmidsommarC08386

I recently found the floral crown again (it had fallen behind some books) this spring. I was thinking Jake could model it again, perhaps outside…but obviously that can’t happen. So I decided to try it on everyone else, and see who, potentially, could be my next hat model. I started with Angel.

angelmidsommarC08388

After all, Angel does have hat wearing experience.

angelmidsommarC08390

She wasn’t in the mood today…

angelmidsommarC08401<

…this is the best I could get from her.

freddymidsommarC08360

So, Alfred, how are you at wearing a flower crown? You are a native born Swede, after all…this should be natural for you!

freddymidsommarC08362

Er…Where are you going?

freddyangelmidsommarC08365

Oh, you think the top of the balcony tree is a better background?

freddymidsommarC08368

You may be right. Okay, give me looking off into the distance.

freddymidsommarC08377

Great! Now give me sensitive and thoughtful.

freddymidsommarC08375

Awesome! And now…give me the money shot!

freddymidsommarC08379

Perfect!

rorymidsommarC08304

Okay. Let’s try the other Swedish Aby. Lorelai, your turn.

rorymidsommarC08313

Once again, without the crazy eyes?

rorymidsommarC08311

Okay…better. But let’s keep going…

rorymidsommarC08315

Demure…demure is good…or it would be if you weren’t so frowny.

rorymidsommarC08320<

There you go! That’s perfect!

zakmidsommarC08321

And, now…let’s see how the Polish contestant does. Here you go, Izaak.

zakmidsommarC08325

Oooookay…could you sit up, please?

zakmidsommarC08326

And could you lose the attitude?

zakmidsommarC08331

That’s a little better…keep going…

zakmidsommarC08335

…better…

zakmidsommarC08338

Okay Zak, now you just look like a Tribble with flowers.

zakmidsommarC08347

And…yeah, I think that’s the best we’re gonna get from you today. Thank you!

So, who wore the Midsommer flower crown best?

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juni: More Pub Quiz Sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

Our friend Roger joined Björn and me at the Bishop’s Arms for the pub quiz last week…and of course, I had to decorate our answer sheet. My first doodle is Izaak with his chirpy mouse.

rorypubsketch_E7474

Next, Lorelai…just looking cute.

freddypubsketch_E7478

And then, Alfred…looking innocent (or trying to).

angelpubsketch_E7477

And, finally, Angel, just trotting by.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.

zakrorybee_173212

Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.

zakrorybee_173208

They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.

zakrorybee_173136

When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.

rorybee

Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!

roryzakbee2

roryzakbee

Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Juni: The Incatibles (Cartoon Tuesday)

Our new kitten, Dashiell, is named after the author of The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett. When I lived in San Francisco, I lived a block away from the apartment building Dashiell Hammett lived in at 891 Post Street). But our kitten isn’t the only one named after him: Dash, the older son of The Incredibles is named Dash, too (full name: Dashiell Robert Parr). And I got to thinking…okay, Dash…we’ll have five cats…two girls and three boys…hmmmmmm….

incatibles-sketch

So, using this image of the Incredible family, I came up with this. Alfred, our biggest cat, is Mr. Incredible; Angel, of course, is Elastigirl; Lorelai is perfect as Violet, Izaak is Jack-Jack (or, if you prefer, Zak-Zak)…and Dash is, well…Dash. Now I just need to colour it in!