Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni 2020: Hall of fame (Cartoon Tuesday)

I was so proud of my portrait of the Maltese Dashiell, I wanted to get an art print made with it. So, I went to Japan Photo‘s website (they’re a Swedish photo printing company, like Shutterfly) website and ordered something. I had to do it in Swedish, but I managed all right. One nifty feature they have is allowing you to see your artwork on a wall in a virtual room. That really helped me figure out what size to get. I thought about getting it printed on canvas, but ended up getting it printed on a metal plate.

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Today, Björn and I hung it in our entryhall, above the mirror.

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It works really well there, I think. It’s next to the 1965 print of an Abyssinian that bears a striking resemblance to Alfred.

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Finally, my vintage Australian Cat From Outer Space movie poster (that…apparently I have never posted about. Oops) completes our entry hall. I think Lorelai approves of our arrangement.

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I almost forgot! On the opposite wall, above the keybox, we have this small Abyssinian print I picked up years ago; it was done by Braldt Bralds, a Dutch artist. I’ve also seen this print as a greeting card.

I guess now I need to find a Singapura print to really complete the ensemble.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juni 2020: The Mighty Izaak (Singapura Sunday)

When the cats go outside, the Abyssinians bolt out the door and run as fast and as far as they can.

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But not Izaak. Zak…well, the best way to describe it is, Zak marches out the door and onto the grass.

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He also loves to hunt when he’s outside. Wonder what he sees?

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Oh! A honey bee! Zak, please leave that little guy alone…we need all the bees we can get!

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That’s not to say that Zak doesn’t run. He does.

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He’s usually chasing one of the other cats, but oh, he runs.

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He’s such a sturdy little man. As I mentioned before, someone compared him to Ron Swanson…and apart from the lack of mustache, it’s an apt comparison.

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I mean, look at him.

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Finally, I have this photo. In my opinion, this is Zak’s first iconic photo. Jacoby had a few: Sitting on the carousel, posing in his hat and boots, and the one of him wearing his parka in the snow, among others

Aby-a-Day – 27 Juni 2020: An Angel watching from on high (Swedish Saturday

On one of our forays outside, Angel was on the balcony, and, as I knew she was happy there, I didn’t bring her out with us.

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And I was right. She joined us, in her way.

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She perched on the balcony and watched the other cats below.

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She was perfectly happy to be with us, but by herself.

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I love this photo of Dashiell looking back up at her.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Juni 2020: More magpies (Thursday Things)

The other day when we went outside, poor Alfred was the target of magpie harrassment.

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He ran down the hill and the magpies were ON him.

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Look at this in close-up.

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I don’t think Freddy even noticed the angry birds attacking him.

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Here’s a close-up of the second magpie attack.

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After that second attack, they stood down, but remained watchful.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juni 2020: King of the Dustbowl (Thursday Things)

On one of our outside adventures, Izaak discovered a wicked awesome dustbowl at the base of a tree.

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It wasn’t in the sun, but oh, it was still perfect. And Zak was going to keep it all to himself, prepared to fight it with everything he had.

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First Lorelai came to check it out.

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Look at how Zak watches her.

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Alfred tried a sneakier method. He pretended he was scratching the tree…

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…and then tried to take it over.

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Zak was more than ready for him.

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Freddy wasn’t about to give up to a cat he outweighs by 70% after only one attempt.

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I am not sure what he was trying to accomplish with this move, but…

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…Zak was NOT falling for it.

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“Really Freddy? REALLY!?”

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“Okay, dude. Back off!”

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“Okay, that’s technically still my dust, but fine. But like a good neighbour, STAY OVER THERE.”

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“I can’t even with you right now, Freddy.”

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After his roll, Freddy made another siege on Zak’s dustbowl.

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Clearly, this attack is Freddy playing a long game.

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Obviously, it’s the old “yeah, keep your dumb dustbowl” trick.

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“Just how stupid does he think I am?”

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Freddy walked around the tree and was right back in Zak’s face. Clearly, Zak was expecting him.

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And then, adding insult to injury, Freddy had the nerve to do Zak a heckin’ blep! A BLEP! I loved this last photo so much, on Sunday I posted it to a wonderful Facebook group called this IS an airport, please announce your departure: aeroplane ear posting (as you can see in the top photo), and as of this writing, 1,130 people have reacted to it!

Some of the comments people made were brilliant, too. I laughed so hard at this thread.

I particularly love this comment thread, because indeed, this is a classic Singapura stink-eye.

(Editor’s note: Since this is a public Facebook group, I didn’t block out the names on the screenshots in this post. If you want your name blocked out on my post, please comment and I’ll edit the photo. But if you are here from the Earplane group…thanks for all the love this week! I really needed it!)

Aby-a-Day – 17 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (“Kill no more pigeons than you can eat”)

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Aby-a-Day – 15 Juni 2020: More Magpies (Movie Monday)

I know I posted about magpies just yesterday, but by sheer coincidence we had another magpie encounter this afternoon.

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Björn and I were outside with the cats, when the magpies started yelling. We looked over, and sure enough, they were yelling at Alfred.

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Freddy noped out, but Izaak was very interested in what was going on up in the branches.

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The magpies yelled at Zak, and Zak yelled right back at them.

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Lorelai, of course, was also interested in the screeching birds.

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She looked like she wanted to go up after them, but she didn’t go any higher in the tree.

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Zak, on the other hand…

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…I think even Rory was impressed with how high Zak was willing to climb.

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Zak is a deceptively good climber.

Here is a video of the entire encounter with the magpies. It’s sometimes hard to see them in the leaves, but you can certainly hear them!

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juni 2020: The Ministry of Silly Runs returns (Silly Sunday)

Cats. Graceful, elegant cats.

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Until you freeze their action in 1/30 of a second.

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Then, as Dashiell demonstrates, they can look a little…well, goofy.

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Izaak, too, has a fairly silly run.

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Lorelai can look like poetry in motion…

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…or, not.

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This is her impression of a dolphin…I think? Or an otter. Something aquatic.

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And then we have Alfred.

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It’s like he was re-enacting his run at that same corner when we had snow on the ground back in March.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Juni 2020: Freddy the cat burglar (Cartoon Tuesday)

I had an idea today that I just had to sketch out. I was musing that I draw a lot of cartoons witch feature Lorelai and Izaak (especially Zak), but not so many starring Alfred. And I had a lightbulb go off in my head. I started out with the above sketch and a sneaky walk animation sequence I found online.

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This is my final sketch. Freddy the cat burglar! He’s got keys and a crowbar because his specialty is breaking and entering.

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Because Procreate has a recording feature, and I did all this work on my iPad (unlike some other drawings that go back and forth between Procreate and Photoshop), I also have a video of the drawing developing. Click on the image to watch it in a new tab/window on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Juni 2020: Our visit to the vet (Medical Monday)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about our upcoming annual check-up at our veterinarian.

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As always, getting there is half the “fun.” It was particularly difficult because people in Sweden have no sense of distance, so I had to stand most of the ride to avoid getting to close to people.

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I think this was Dashiell’s first time in the stroller. He kept trying to pop through the top.

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The vet is far away, but it’s an easy trip by bus (easy, but long). We just have to change buses downtown.

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Luckily, this time we didn’t have any competition from stupid human strollers.

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Angel was first up. She’s completely healthy, but Dr. Brigitte wants us to have her good eye checked because she thought it looked a little cloudy, more cloudy than usual. I need to remember to make an appointment with the eye specialist for an examination.

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Alfred is also healthy, and I was surprised I didn’t get a lecture on how he needs to lose weight. He got some vaccinations and a prescription for Prednisone to treat his asthma. This is him on the counter…trying to get into the treat jars on the counter (Freddy? Protip: they aren’t in the sharps bin). Lorelai came after Freddy; since there was a social distancing rule (rare for Sweden), only one of us could be in the examination room, so I have no photos of her. She got a vaccine, and we discussed her future kittens.

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Izaak also needed some jabs, and one of them was a new Suprelorin chip.

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Unlike last time, Zak was not very cooperative. We actually had to purrito him.

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When it was all over, we had to wait a bit to check out…and met a curious dog who looked a lot like our neighbour, Bruno.

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When we got home, we were so exhausted and stressed that we all crashed in the bedroom (myself included). Taking five cats to the vet during a pandemic is stressful!

Aby-a-Day – 29 Maj 2020: The Frankentree (Fashion Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of the creation of the Frankentree that we keep on the balcony.

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Angel loves sunning herself on there.

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But then, she liked it before it was upgraded.

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Alfred and Jacoby were also ond of the Frankentree…

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…although it was a bit awkward when Freddy tried to nap in the cubby.

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Logan loved the Frankentree.

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But Angel and Lorelai continue to be the biggest fans of the Frankentree.

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Although Angel doesn’t seem to enjoy sharing it with anyone.

Aby-a-Day – 27 May 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Cats in spring)

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Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj 2020: Prints and sketches for the ‘rents (Cartoon Tuesday)

I had intended a better post for today, but we’re all well knackered from the trip to the vet…wrangling five cats on the bus is exhausting! But I had ordered some prints of my recent art projects to send to my mom and dad in the States, and they came today, so I got them ready to mail them tomorrow. My mom hasn’t got a computer (well, she has, but it’s on dial-up and is still running Netscape, so…), and I don’t know if my dad still has his since he’s in assisted living.

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Anyway, I put each set into a greeting card, and as always, I did a little cat sketch in each card. I had a certain cat in mind on each sketch…can you tell who I drew?

Aby-a-Day – 25 Maj 2020: Anticipating the vet (Medical Monday)

Tomorrow is our annual vet visit. Luckily, I was able to schedule it for a day Björn is off from work this time, so hopefully I won’t have as many problems on the bus as I had last year.

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Mentally preparing for the visit, I’m trying to think of the things we’ll have to discuss tomorrow. I know that everyone needs at least one vaccination (either rabies or FVRCP). Nobody has any major issues; their weights are all good, their teeth and ears seem fine, and theire’s no diarrhea or anything like that. Angel, who will be 13 in a couple of weeks(ish), is pretty healthy for her age. Her weight has been stable and she’s quite active. Her eye seems to be the same as ever, and apart from her having lost that tooth, bringing her down to two, she seems to be in perfect health.

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Alfred is probably overweight. Last time I weighed everyone, he was 5.1 kg (11.25 lbs), and he looks heavy. He’s also been wheezing and coughing, so he may have asthma after all.

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Izaak and Lorelai are fine, but I have questions about their fertility and birth control. I am wondering if Zak’s Suprelorin chip is wearing off, and if he should get another one of if he needs to be neutered. I hope he can get another chip; I wanted to show him as long as I could as a Champion before going to Premiership…but the pandemic is making that difficult. As for Rory, she should not be on the pill too long, and she will be meeting a nice young boycat later this summer. Depending on how that litter goes, we may have one or two more, but it’s definitely something to discuss for with the vet.

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As for Dashiell, he’s a healthy horse of a year old cat. He’s a little goofy, and still a bit skittish; I would like them to check his teeth because he doesn’t let me get a really good look at them, but apart from that, I don’t think he’s going to need much attention tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj 2020: Walking home after taking out the recyclables (Cinema Sunday)

We’ve trained Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak to come along with us when we take out the garbage and recyclables.

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And they know, when we let them out when we’re carrying bags, that we’re not just “going outside,” but we’re going out to the bins. These three all know how to walk home from the bus stop from vet visits, and the bins are just next to the bus stop.

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They love it…and they do know the difference. Dashiell hasn’t had enough practice outside to do this…and Angel is happier at home.

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Rory so loves to run free outside. I say she is the very embodiment of joy when she runs.

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Sometimes, she even climbs trees!

Here’s the video I made on the way back (note the Swedish social distancing).

Aby-a-Day – 23 May 2020: All hail HAIL! (Swedish Saturday)

This afternoon we had a freak hailstorm.

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Alfred was fascinated – he leapt to the top of the balcony door to watch it! I don’t think he’s ever seen hail before.

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It built up quite quickly on the balcony windowsill and railings.

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Lorelai also wanted to see the hail from the top of the door.

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I scooped up some of the hail so Freddy could look at it close up.

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“That…that’s what was falling from the sky? Little ice balls?”

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I am not sure why he was so puzzled by the hail. He’s seen snow plenty of time.

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Rory hopped down from the door to look at the hailstones.

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“Check this stuff out…it’s awesome!”

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Freddy still seemed amazed at the fact the hail came from the sky.

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Meanwhile, Rory examined the tiny ice balls.

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“What is this magical ice, Mom?”

Aby-a-Day – 21 Maj 2020: All we are is dust in the wind (Thursday Things)

When the cats go outside, one thing they love to do is take a dust bath.

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Look at Alfred luxuriating in the warm dust at the base of this tree.

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Lorelai found a different tree…but the same lovely warm dust.

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And finally….here we have Izaak, also rolling in the wonderful warm dust. They are so much fun to watch outside.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Maj 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Guess who barfed up the roast beef netting that he stole out of the food garbage when someone forgot to close the baby lock?)

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Aby-a-Day – 11 Maj 2020: Glam-o-Rama (Hipstamatic Monday)

The fun thing about Hipstamatic is that they’re always releasing new films and lenses. This weekend, they released the Glam-o-Rama SnapPak with the Disco Stu lens and Funktown film. The samples they showed in the email looked pretty cool, and I wanted to try it out.

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The problem with this film/lens combination (and I have no idea why) is that when you look through the viewfinder…all you see is a blur. This hasn’t ever happened with any other Hipstamatic combo before. Not being able to see what you’re taking a photo of is a bit challenging, to say the least.

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This film/lens combo is glamourous, though. It even makes an ordinary yawn look sparkletastic.

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I love the glow it added to these ordinary photos of Alfred.

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Izaak gave me this pose…but that’s just because it was time for his chicken neck.

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So we repaired to the kitchen.

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I love these photos of Dashiell. He looks like he should be on the cover of an 80’s compilation of soft rock ballads.

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Not being able to see what you’re photographing lends itself to some interesting compositions.

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Although I have to say, I really like this action shot of Freddy trying to grab his neck.

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Meanwhile, Angel waits patiently for her crunchies.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Maj 2020: Ribs for their pleasure (Thursday Things)

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Whenever we have spare ribs, we lock the cats out of the room. As a sort of reward, we let them chew the meat scraps and cartilage off of the bones. It’s very popular with the feline set.

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Of course Alfred is the first one to grab some bones, with Lorelai close behind.

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Freddy especially loves the cartilage bits.

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Rory may be the smallest cat in our family, but she’s feisty. She gets her share of the bones.

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But possibly the most enthusiastic bone-eater is Izaak.

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Look at him go! All that chicken neck practice is clearly paying off.

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I should have made a video. He’s making little growling noises as he gnaws.

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Angel even tries to join in the rib-gnawing fun.

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It’s kind of hard, though, since she only has two teeth left.

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So we gave her a corn cob instead.

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She was happy with that.

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Dashiell wanted to try corn, too. We may have another corn-eater in the house.