Aby-a-Day – 21 July: Our “Extra” cat (Silly Saturday)

Alfred is our “extra” cat.

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He’s not a rescue, like Angel.

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He’s not a show cat; he’s too dark a black silver and he has barring on his forelegs.

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So, if he’s not the “special” rescue Aby, and he’s not the therapy cat-life-partner Aby, and he’s not the European showcat Aby (or Singapura)…

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…who, or what, is Freddy?

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That’s easy.

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Freddy is our pioneer.

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Our clown.

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Our explorer.

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Our good guy who’s always there to take care of a new kitten. Freddy may seem “extra,” but he’s as important as any other of the cats in our home.

Aby-a-Day – 15 July: Playtime for kitties! (Cinema Sunday)

It has been crazy hot here in Sweden this summer – like, Boston summer hot. We just aren’t used to this here; in Sweden, not only do most places not have air conditioning, but they don’t even have an air circulation system. It’s hotter indoors than outdoors during the heat of the day. So, we took Jacoby, Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak outside the first weekend Zak was with us. We took our Ferocious Friends cat toy with us (we met them at the Somerville CopyCat Festival five years ago). It’s really a great toy to take outside . it’s very sturdy and durable…and the cats love it!

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As you can see by Rory’s stalk-and-pounce.

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Freddy, too, was unable to resist its siren’s call.

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At one point, almost all the cats were playing with the toy…everyone except Jake.

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But really, it was mainly Zak and Rory…take a look at the video to watch them play with it.

Aby-a-Day – 13 July: Life imitates art (Fashion Friday Flashback)

An unsung hero of cat art history is Girard “Gig” Goodenow. I can’t even find a biography of him online, but a Google search of his name will give you plenty images of his art. I had a set of four of his “Pity Kitties” with huge, sad eyes in my bedroom when I was four years old. But a few years ago I found a print of one of the series of cat prints he did for Women’s Day…the Abyssinian, of course.

Well, I finally got around to finding a frame for it, and, after I unrolled it to look at it after years of it being packed away, both Björn and I were struck by how much it looked like a portrait of…Alfred. Eerily so, considering the print is 53 years old.

So we got Freddy to pose next to his two-dimensional doppleganger.

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Or, rather, I should say we tried to get him to pose. It didn’t start off well…

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This is one of the best photos of them together!

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At last Freddy took a good look at the portrait.

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“Wow! That really kinda does look like me!”

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“This is amazing..! It’s like looking in a mirror!”

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I think Freddy has a new-found appreciation for vintage cat art. I wonder if this Abyssinian was based on one of Freddy’s ancestors?

Aby-a-Day – 9 July: “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero” (Medical Monday)

The last time we all went to the vet, we encountered a gorgeous German Shepherd in the lobby. He was so huge compared to Lorelai!

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But Rory was her usual fearless self.

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In fact, she barely seemed to notice him at all. “Dog? What dog?”

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Alfred, on the other hand…

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…did not like the looks of that enormous predator at all.

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In fact, he put his body between the dog and Rory to protect her.

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The dog had the good sense to look appropriately intimidated.

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“Don’t worry, little sister. I won’t let this beast hurt you.” Not that Rory looks at all concerned.

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The Shepherd was actually a well-trained tracking and guard dog, and he and his human volunteer with the canine unit at their local Hemvärnet battalion. Hemvärnet dogs are very disciplined, and he wouldn’t have hurt a kitten.

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Freddy didn’t still didn’t trust him. The entire time we were there with that dog, he remained vigilant, protecting Rory from harm.

Aby-a-Day – 5 July: Alfred and Markis (Thursday Things)

Alfred is a very protective big brother. And free whatever reason, he has decided that Markis from upstairs was a threat to Lorelai.

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Of course, Markis was just outside minding his own business…

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…but when he heard Freddy growling he decided to let discretion be the better part of valour.

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He tried to hide amongst the bicycles, but Freddy followed him…

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…growling…

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…with his tail puffed and his hackles raised! When Jacoby and Markis meet, they just sniff each other and Markis will hiss and growl. I am not sure what Freddy sees that Jake doesn’t.

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This toddler, though. He kept wanting to pet the kitties. The snarling, growling, hissing, clearly angry and preoccupied kitties. I tried to get him to move away, but I don’t think he understands English or Swedish yet, and his mother was right there (you can see her in the background), so I thought her maternal instincts would kick in.

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…NOPE. So of course the kid gets too close, Markis hisses and lunges, kid sit-falls onto his bum and starts crying and only then does she intervene. He wasn’t hurt, but he could have been.

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After that, Markis was done. He trotted off across the grass.

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Freddy kept an eye on him for a while.

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Finally, he decided that Markis was far enough away and relaxed.

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A little later, however, Markis moved to the base of one of our trees.

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Freddy did not like this at all and started stalking Makis again even as Markis moved out into the field.

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Freddy kept walking towards Markis until he was what Freddy felt was a safe distance away.

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Poor Markis! All he wanted was to enjoy the sun and grass and maybe catch a mouse. It’s a good thing Freddy doesn’t go outside without a human on a leash!

Aby-a-Day- 27 June: Wordless Wednesday (Exploring the back of the apartment building)

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Aby-a-Day – 25 June: This is us (Hipstamatic Monday)

I haven’t done a Hipstamatic Monday in over two years. I’ve gotten a load of new films and lenses since then…so I figured, hey, why not?

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So let’s go from oldest to youngest…as much as we can. Starting with Angel.

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Lately, she’s been a big fan of the canoe bed that currently sits on the Danish modern chair that needs recovering.

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It’s one of those cat bed fads, I know…but she is so cute when she’s in the canoe.

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Next up is Jacoby.

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Good old reliable Jake.

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He’s been a Hipstamatic cat since the very beginning,

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As always, I love the randomness with Hipstamatic.

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Here’s Alfred.

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He’s shaping up to be as big a poser as Jake is!

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Izaak has shown us that he loves IKEA mice along with any largish plush toy. He even likes the Han Solo mousie!

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He’s not even here a week and he’s already showing a distinct personality.

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He’s very protective of his mousies.

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He stood his ground to protect it against Freddy…so brave!

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Last but not least we have Lorelai.

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She’s so much larger than Zak, it’s hard to remember that he’s older than she is.

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But yes, it’s been only five days, and they are already best friends!