Aby-a-Day -18 March: “If you gaze long into an Abyssinian, the Abyssinian also gazes into you” (Swedish Sunday)

This is another post written by my husband, Björn. While Björn has had cats most of his life, he never lived with Abyssinians before…


Before Jake and Angel moved in, the most active cat I had lived with was Olivia (1999-2010), the small tortie shorthaired Norwegian Forest cat mix. She was pretty talkative and active, annoying and fun (usually at the same time). Still, she was nothing compared to cats like Jake, Angel, Alfred and Logan.


Other cats I had met, like those of friends, were pretty sedate, just like my own old cat, Pyret. Some hid under the sofa and refused to come out when I was visiting, others were just furry couch potatoes. I had met Jake and Angel in Boston in 2015, and had seen their antics during our FaceTime sessions before Koshka moved here. I thought I was prepared…


18 June 2016. Two cats are let out of their travel cage and explore their new surroundings. Soon I’ll learn what it means to live with Abys. While Angel is more like a regular cat as long as there’s no meat involved, my old Pyret was the opposite to Jake.


Active, attention-seeking and affectionate (usually), the claim that Abys are the most dog-like of cat breeds is proven true.

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Did I say dog-like? Abys aren’t really like dogs, at least not at the dinner table. Dogs are usually well behaved and just sit there, with sad puppy eyes and whining, hoping for a scrap. Abys, on the other hand… Or paw.

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Living up to the epithet “grabby Aby”. Any plate within the reach of an Aby is fair game, and that reach is considerable. Turn your head for a couple of seconds, and that piece of chicken is gone. Don’t think that just because you’ve stuck your fork in the meat that it is safe.


The Aby looks at it and says: “Is that meat you have on your fork? Mind if I insert my head between your hand and mouth and take it?”


It was rubbing off on my old cat, too. OK, she always had a thing for shrimp off my pizza, but she began to join the other four-legged (or rather two-armed) pests when we had a meal.


She wasn't as aggressive as the Abys, though. The young boys – at least Freddy – have adopted the bad habits of their elders, but that was just a matter of time…


Still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Living with Abys and a Singapura is a whole new experience, and I would never consider one of those decorative but passive breeds that might score first prizes at shows, but which are about as fun as a plushie. With Jake, Angel, Freddy and Logan around, there’s almost always something happening.

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Contrary to what uneducated people think, cats have personalities, and with their intelligence and activity, I would say that Abys are among the most personable of all breeds. That helps now, when my Pyret passed away two weeks ago. To have the other cats around have made the loss a little bit less painful. A home without a cat isn’t a real home.

Aby-a-Day – 17 March: My goodness, my Guinness (Silly Saturday)

At this local pub we go to for book club meetings and the occasional pub quiz was festooned with these silly Guinness pint glass St. Patrick’s Day floppy hats when we were there last Thursday. Of course, we had to snag one to show the LunaTicks. It turned out to be just the boys…Angel, sagely, made herself scarce.


Logan was in his favourite brown nest bed and I couldn’t drag him out just for some silly photos. So, I just put the hat on his bed. I think he liked it.


When Alfred came into the room, I moved the hat to our tree stump cat tree.



He was actually a little afraid of it.


He’s usually so brash and fearless, it was highly amusing to watch him be so wary of a new thing.


I tossed it on the floor, and I think for a second he wondered if it was alive.


He examined it thoroughly, inside…


…and out.


Then I did that slightly mean thing that all cat people do…I made the “Pssssst! sound and he jumped back.


Which actually might be a good thing. Maybe I can put it on places I don’t want him to go.


Jacoby, on the other hand, was unfazed…or should I say, unfezed?


This is Jake’s 8th St. Patrick’s Day, of course, and he used to live at Ground Zero for the legendary Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I guess it’s all old hat to him.


Meanwhile, Logan came out of his bed and joined us on the sofa. I came up for a different way for him to “wear” the hat.


I’m not sure if he liked it or not. With that face, it’s hard to tell sometimes.


Okay, then. Guess he didn’t like it. Well, St. Patty’s Day isn’t really a thing in Sweden anyway, apart from some bars.

Aby-a- Day – 16 March: Freddy then and now (part one) (Friday Flashback)

Alfred’s story actually started on 21 March 2016, when his mother, Artemis, had a litter of blue silver kittens. Sadly, only one survived, a little boy named Beaver.

Karin, his breeder, posted endless photos and videos of him as he grew up. He was a charming, sweet little survivor, growing up without kittens his own age, just his mother, father and older sister. I fell in love with him and would have adopted him in a heartbeat …but he was already spoken for.

But then, last year in February, Artemis had another litter. And this time, there were FIVE kittens, and every single one survived! There were three girls (Greta, Märta and Kerstin), two boys (Albert and Bertil), and four of them were black silver Abys while Märta, was Ruddy. They were all named after characters in Astrid Lindgren‘s books.


When he was five weeks old, Freddy met the love of his life…food!


Freddy at six weeks, showing off.


Freddy has always been a bit of a goofball.

It’s wonderful to watch your kitten grow up…I have seen photos of Jacoby’s littermates and siblings, and met his father, uncle and one brother, but I never got to see them all together. And I got to see Logan together with his sister and mother and several cousins, but I didn’t get to meet his father. Freddy’s the only one I’ve seen grow up from birth, met all his littermates (and also a half-sister) as well as his father and some cousins.




We went to Stockholm when Freddy and his siblings were just seven weeks old. We got to play with them and watch them interact with each other…something I didn’t get to do with the others.




Watching five kittens play in a house that’s basically set up as a kitten playground is a lot of fun!


Karin had a ton of interactive climbing play areas for the kittens…



…Like this hanging mesh tunnel from IKEA. I actually found one for our kitten room here…but Freddy pulled it out of the ceiling.


Freddy has always liked to be on a high perch.




It was so much fun watching the kittens play! I took so many photos…too many for just one Friday Flashback. So, come back next Friday for more of Freddy and his family!

Aby-a-Day – 14 March: Wordless Wednesday (Philadelphia)

















Aby-a-Day – 8 March: Bedtime rituals

A couple of weeks ago, our friend Summer posted about her bedtime rituals, and it looked like it would be a fun thing to post about, so here we go.


We don’t really have rituals, per se, but Jacoby always sleeps in bed with us. Sometimes Alfred joins us.


And before Logan became a man, as it were, he would sleep with us, too.


I think he really misses it. He is a great cuddler.


Jake may not always get along with Freddy and Logan, but the bed is his place, and he tolerates them when we’re all in bed. I’ve even caught Jake cuddling with Freddy!



But I think Jake is happiest when he has the bed all to himself. With or without me.


When he has to share, he has to be ON me.

Aby-a-Day – 3 March: “Some are born Abys, some achieve Abyness, and some have Abyssinians thrust upon them”

Shortly after Pyret was born, her mother disappeared, and her litter would have died if not rescued and bottle-fed. While Pyret had her littermates for a short while, she never had an adult cat to serve as teacher, mentor, and example. It wasn’t until Olivia arrived that Pyret learned any semblance of how to cat.


But then Olivia died in 2010, and Pyret was an only cat for six years before having her live invaded by two Abys.


Another year after that, another Aby and a Singapura were added into her household.


She hissed at them – a LOT – and she only cuddled or slept with Logan (because Logan never takes no for an answer), but I think part of her was happy to have other cats around. Maybe she would have preferred to have few cats sharing her home…


…but she clearly decided that they weren’t all bad.

And Björn noticed that the LunaTicks had a definite effect on Pyret.


Before she was invaded by the ticked horde, she never begged for food when Björn was eating or preparing a meal…unless he was eating a pizza with shrimp on it.


But after the Abys and Logan arrived…


…she started picking up their bad habits.


Cats learn by observation and example, and Pyret was quick to adopt the ways of the LunaTicks.


Who says you can’t teach an old cat new tricks?


Whenever any cat hears us cutting something in the kitchen, they come running in the hopes it may be meat.


We had a smoked lamb leg at New Year’s, and whenever we took it out to cut some meat off to eat we were swarmed by the LunaTicks…


…and also Pyret.


While she may not have been as proactive as the Abys and Logan in asking for bits of meat,


she was definitely a participant in the Hunger Games.


One fun thing we do with the cats is we play the “Hunt Crunchies” game. It’s simple to play: get some dry food and toss it, one piece at a time, and let the cats “catch” it.


The competition can get quite stiff.


The Abys, especially, are treacherous opponents, as they use their quick hands with impunity. That, and they are so food-oriented!


But even against the hungriest Abys on earth (Alfred and Jacoby), Pyret held her own. These last photos were only taken six months ago, and she was right there in the middle with the boys, catching crunchies!

Aby-a-Day – 1 March: StarClan is calling Pyret

As I am writing this, Pyret is still alive, but only just barely. She is dying. She is not suffering, and she is lying peacefully on one of Björn’s T-shirts in one of her favourite places.


She is not in pain, she’s just 18½ years old and she’s simply slowly shutting down. We think that taking her in to the vet would cause her more stress than she needs, and the vet agrees. It’s a long bus ride, and she seems content to be here with us.


The other cats seem to know that something is happening to her, and they have all come to see her during the day.


I think they know she’s dying. They have all been really gentle to her…which is amazing, considering that she hissed and growled at them whenever they came near her.


It was really touching to see each of them come and visit her.


Especially Logan. The youngest and the oldest.

As I say, she is still here with us, but I don’t think it will be much longer. May StarClan light your path, Pyret von Rosenöra-Rosennos. May you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep. There will soon be a new star in the night sky.