Aby-a-Day – 24 May: Graceful, agile, elegant Abys (Thursday Things)

When we went to our local DjurMagazinet, Alfred checked out the cat trees.

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They have a really good selection, but here in Europe they seem to cover cat trees with sisal and faux fur fabric rather than carpeting.

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Freddy was just happily playtesting the trees when…

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…This happened. Not gonna lie, I laughed. He totally reminded me of this cartoon I did 5 years ago!

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But I mean, look at his feet (and hand)! I had to highlight them…because, well…look at them!

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Meanwhile, Lorelai was having trouble managing her new harness and leash.

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Then she decided she wanted to be up in my lap.

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Ambition and ability are, sadly, two very different things.

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She wasn’t fazed, though.

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Quite the opposite, in fact. She was gathering herself up for another attempt.

Aby-a-Day – 21 May: Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding (Miniature Monday)

I know Playmobil has kind of “Poor man’s Lego reputation, but they have got a lot more choices in the cat department. Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding set.

Not gonna lie; overall, I prefer Legos. But Playmobil has some interesting pieces, and I have been known to mix Legos and Playmobil pieces in the quest for the perfect Strollercat action figure.

It kind of started when Björn bought me the Playmobil Woman with Cat Family set as a surprise. After that, I dragged out all my other cat pieces and scoured eBay for more.

Then we saw this ad for a contest in Kattliv where the prize was this set. Well, I needed that shiny device! So we found one in a toy store.

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Alfred was eager to help me build it.

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It’s actually a pretty cool set.

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Hauspanther would be proud of all the catification going on up in here. And the detail is fun, too. There are stickers to put on little cans of cat food as labels and a sticker for the litter box that looks like (clean, unused) litter!

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Only one problem: not enough kitties! So I added all the random Playmobil cats I had collected and added them in.

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Like this small cat tree (with carpet stickers for the shelves).

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And these two iterations of Strollercats. The little grey one is, of course, Lorelai.

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This one is my absolute favourite, though. Somewhere along the line I picked up a veterinary set which included this patient, complete with Cone of Shame.

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But the best part is, she even has stitches! I’m not sure which set this goes with; I must have gotten it as a random cat piece on eBay. I can find the cat with stitches as a part of this set, but she hasn’t got the cone or the bed.

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Here’s the house again with the extra cats added in. Much better.

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Oh, wait! Here, let’s add two more cats…

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Suddenly, the poor cat boarding house was attacked by Roryzilla!

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She’s already using her grabby Aby hands to pick things up, as you can see.

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Oh well. At least Freddy didn’t sit on it…

Aby-a-Day – 18 May: Splish splash, I was taking a bath (Fashion Friday)

One of the first things I do when bringing home a new kitten is to give them a bath. I know that may sound strange and a little non-intuitive, but it was actually something Sherry did when she brought us Jacoby (and which I wish I had taken photos of). She said it ensures that the new kitten doesn’t introduce anything to the resident cats from the cattery, it reduces the kitten’s “different” smell, and it distracts the kitten from being homesick at all. Ever since Jake, I have done that to every new kitten we’ve gotten, and it seems to work like a charm.

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So I introduced Lorelai to the cats and apartment, clipped her claws and popped her into the laundry room sink. I hadn’t gotten any Jerob Parisian Purple shampoo yet, so I had to make do with their Snowy Blue, which I use on Alfred and used on Logan. I certainly wasn’t going to wash her with Jake and Angel’s Mahogany Gold!

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First, I got her completely wet.

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Then I turn the water off and lather her up. Jerob shampoos should be diluted, and I usually add some of the De-greasing shampoo as well, to clean up the oils from hands petting their fur.

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Never put soap on a cat’s face though. I don’t lather beyond the ears.

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(Pause while all of you go Awwwwwwwww…)

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After she’s good and clean, it’s time for the rinse cycle.

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It is essential to make sure your cat’s fur is completely free of shampoo, or the fur will be dull and sticky.

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When you’re sure you’ve gotten out every last bit of soap, rinse one more time.

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After we’re all rinsed, it’s time to dry off.

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I use microfibre pet towels, and they really do suck up a lot of water.

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Finally, a little playtime with big brother Freddy…and the bath is forgotten.

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“Bath? What bath?”

Aby-a-Day – 12 May: Secure in his masculinity (Silly Saturday)

At a cat show raffle, we won a very soft, very fluffy, very pink cat bed. We just saved it in its original plastic packaging until we knew we were getting Lorelai. Her colour is red (as Angel’s is purple, Jacoby’s is green, and Alfred’s is black), but pink is a variation of red, so it works. Finally! A reason to use this fluffy, girly, pink bed! Rory!

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Except…not so much. The cat who likes the fluffy, pink cat bed most of all? Is Freddy.

I guess he is secure in his masculinity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Aby-a-Day – 10 May: Alfred’s father

When we went to the cat show in Stockholm to collect Lorelai, we got a bit of a surprise.

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One of the Abys entered in the show was none other than Alfred’s father, Snus!

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It was great to see him again.

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But also, wow. Freddy looks SO much like his dad. Especially around the eyes.

Aby-a-Day – 7 May: Kittens!

This is another guest post by my husband Björn, describing what it’s like to have a new kitten.

With kittens, you never know what to expect but the unexpected. As followers of this blog know, we have lost two cats this year. My old Pyret gave in after 18½ years in early March. It was sad, but I knew that day would come. When Koshka suggested that we should get a new cat, bringing our total back up to five, and that she knew of a breeder with kittens to sell, I wasn’t just positive to the idea, but interested in getting a show quality cat. That kitten was to become Logan’s show buddy, giving us two cats to show and more to do at the shows. The deposit was paid. Then Logan got sick, and lost the fight to FIP after just a couple of weeks. Suddenly, we only had three cats, where we had had five just six weeks before.

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When the two of us took the train to Stockholm to pick up our new kitten, Lorelai (“Rory” for short), we both felt that it wasn’t like last year when we got Logan and Alfred. Sure, we were happy to get a new cat, but losing Logan still cast its shadow. We weren’t prepared for the force of nature in the form of a small, blue Aby girl…

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We met her breeder, Eva, at a cat show. She was to deliver two kittens to new forever homes. The cats were kept in a motor home, and we and the other family all squeezed in to meet the cats and sign papers. Little Rory was there along with her mother and sister, Maya. The first thing that struck us what how small she was. Then we saw how fearless and active she was… We were smitten.

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Rory’s sister, Maya, is larger and lighter in colour than she is. Maya will have a little boy to be her best friend in her new home!

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A twelve week old girl kitten, she became ours, and we brought her in a carrier to the railway station. Rory didn’t appear to mind leaving her family behind, or the busy surroundings of Stockholm Central Station. Other travelers who saw her were charmed by the tiny but perfect cat. We got on the train for the two-hour ride back. Rory was let out, and she began to explore her surroundings.

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Back in Skövde, we introduced her to the other cats. Jacoby hissed a little, but then he’s been grumpy recently. Angel seemed nonplussed. Alfred, on the other hand (paw?), perked up visibly. He had missed Logan, but when he saw Rory, he began to follow her and play with her. But it was the humans who were most affected by the little Aby…

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Last year, when we got Logan and Freddy, they became best buddies. Logan was bossy and underfoot, while Freddy was a good-natured goofball with a penchant for inadverently pushing things to the floor. Rory proved to be more like a fearless Energizer bunny. She stole our hearts in no time.

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Koshka and I share Rory, and it’s gratifying that she seems to like both of us equally. She has the makings of a shoulder rider, and she’s very social.

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The day after she came to our house, we took her to our local pet store in order to get a harness and collar that was small enough to fit her and to introduce her to the staff. She hadn’t ridden in a stroller before, but that didn’t faze her. Neither did walking on a leash, when she had adjusted to wearing a harness. For being a newbie at it, she walked really well – no, she walked like a pro.

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When I first saw an Aby many years ago, I fell in love with the breed. When Koshka moved here, bringing Jake and Angel, I got to see first hand what a great breed Abys are. Still, I wasn’t really prepared for Rory. All the traits of the breed packed into that little body – who can resist?

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Koshka says that she hasn’t had a kitten quite like Rory. Jake and Gun-Hee were active, charming kittens, but Rory is an Aby squared. For my part, she has won my heart. The first night, she curled up next to me in the bed and slept, displaying 100% trust. She is the perfect kitten, and we couldn’t be happier. After a depressing period of losing the oldest and the youngest cats, we feel joyous again. It’s sad that Rory and Logan never met or got to go to shows together, but our little blue girl brightens our lives and home.