Aby-a-Day – 22 Januari 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Dinner chez Hellqvist be like…)

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Aby-a-Day – 18 Januari 2020: Girls! Girls! Girls! (Swedish Saturday)

I have said, for many years, that cats work better in pairs. I am now kind of eating those words, since we have had five cats for a few years, now, and it’s a wonderful dynamic.

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They fall into some natural pairings: the two girls (Angel and Lorelai), the two (soon to be three) show cats (Izaak and Rory, plus Dashiell), the older two (used to be Jacoby and Angel; now it’s Angel and Alfred), the two neutered boys (Dash and Freddy), the two unneutered cats (Rory and Zak), the two youngsters (Rory and Dash), the two Americans (Angel and Dash), the two Swedes (Rory and Freddy)…it’s kind of fascinating to see how they align each other.

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Angel was always bullied by Tessie, and Kylie would join in when she heard Angel scream at Tessie. She was always a bit nervous around Pyret, but since Pyret has left us and Angel became the senior female, she’s really come into her own.

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Feeding five cats is tricky, but luckily, we have a lot of rooms. Freddy eats on his own, because he eats wicked fast and he’ll eat everyone’s food given half a chance. Dash and Zak eat together (in the winter, anyway) because Zak won’t steal Dash’s food, and Dash is preoccupied with his own bowl.

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That leaves the two girls to eat together. And they do eat very nicely together. They are very companionable, sometimes switching bowls, but there is never an argument over dinner. Angel still doesn’t really cuddle or sleep with anyone (unless Zak insists), but she does seem to have forged a friendship with Rory.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Januari 2020: Autumn leaves (Thursday Things)

Autumn in Skövde is beautiful.

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The trees are easily as lovely as the trees in New England.

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And the orange and yellow leaves carpet the lawn.

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By October, Dashiell was confident enough outside to go offleash.

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At first, he stayed close to the side of the building with Angel.

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But then he got brave and started to explore. It was so heartening to see!

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At one point, I was looking for Alfred and thought I saw him in the middle of the lawn.

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But it wasn’t Freddy. It was a hare!

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I tried to get both Dash and Freddy to notice it, to see what they’d do…but neither of them saw it. Too bad.

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I guess Dash was too busy exploring!

Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari 2020: Déjà vu (Friday Flashback)

We brought Dashiell home in mid-August, and we took him outside as much as we could before the weather turned too cold and the afternoons got too dark.

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At first, of course, we started him out on a leash.

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He soon learned to go outside without one.

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But it was so cute to see him interact with Angel outside.

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For several weeks after Dash joined our family, Angel looked at him like she’d seen a ghost.

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With good reason.

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Look at Angel with Jacoby, when he was the same age as Dash in these photos. No wonder she thought she was seeing a ghost!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Januari 2020: Wordless Wednesday (TFW you get meat stuck in your teeth…)

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Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year (and watch out for the Jólakötturinn!)

Hey there…remember us? Sorry it’s been a while…after we brought Dashiell home from Finland, I came down with, of all things, walking pneumonia! Björn and Kalle were sick with coughing, too…but of course, mine had to turn into pneumonia.

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After that, we had a couple of little veterinary issues with some of the cats. Nothing major…Dash had an ear infection, Lorelai had a runny eye, and Alfred had an odd coughing spell. All of them are fine…but it was a lot to deal with all at once. I also had some other health issues in that space of time – nothing major, but between me and the cats, it was mentally and physically exhausting. Oh, and I also got a new iPhone 11 Pro, and getting the hang of the fancy camera took some practice (it’s awesome, by the way, better even than my DSLR).

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Then, of course, we had some cat shows, including one in Turku, Finland. We had entered Dash, but the entry cut-off was in October, and I wasn’t sure his ear would be completely recovered in time. Also, the show didn’t really count for him, and I didn’t want to risk the round-trip ferry ride to cause a relapse. So it was just Izaak and Rory. But they both earned their International Championship titles, and Zak was Nominated on the first day, so it was an excellent show. The very next weekend, we had the mini-show at our DjurMagazinet on Saturday with Zak, Rory and Zak, and then another of the photo shoots on Sunday with everyone. That was a five-ring circus!

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One thing that came of spending all day at a pet shop was that Zak picked out his very own new favourite mousie – a Christmas one that jingles!

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This is the best shot I could get of him fetching it. Sorry. I’m actually sick again right now with a staph infection, on antibiotics that make me nauseous…GREAT fun at Christmas! Oh, well…at least I won’t gain much holiday weight. The cute thing is that Zak’s been bringing his mousie to me over and over to distract me from the nausea.

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Because of all that, Christmas really kind of snuck up on us. We put up our Swedish window candles, and our wreath on the front door, but it wasn’t until Monday night that we put up the stockings.

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Not having Jacoby here had a bigger impact on my holiday cheer than I ever expected. He was always such a big part of my Christmases…even the one I spent away from him, in Sweden. I just couldn’t summon the energy to put up the tree and all our decorations. Yes, we have Angel, and Freddy, and Zak, and Rory and wonderful, wonderful Dash (who is friends with everyone)…but Christmas without Jake seems…strange. I’m sure it will be better next year.

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Which is not to say our Christmas is sad – not at all! After we put all the presents in the stockings, Freddy noticed that some of them had treats in them, and tried to get them down! Click on the unfortunate black square above to see the video in a new tab…sorry for the vertical orientation, but it was a sort of vertical situation. Also be warned that there is some rather bad language in the background; Channel Six was showing Die Hard for Jul, and they don’t censor movies on TV here.

I’ll be back next week, and, hopefully, The Daily Abyssinian with actually be daily again!

Aby-a-Day – 18 Augusti: Welcome to the family!

After all the travelling, we finally brought Dashiell home and put his carrier down in the living room. Björn did the honours of unzipping the top whilst Emma looked on.

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Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai were on the scene as well, of course. And, much like when we introduced him to everyone when he was a kitten, Freddy was the first to hiss.

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Emma thought that perhaps a personal introduction between Zak and Dash might be a good idea.

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It wasn’t a bad idea; neither Zak or Dash hissed.

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And, in fact, Zak is the one cat Dash is closest to here.

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We also introduced Dash to the Trump cat toy.

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Like many of us, Dash didn’t know what to do with him. Join the club, Dash!

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Then Angel came to meet the newcomer, in typical Angel roundabout fashion.

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She skulked around the edges of the room, and then circled around the back of the couch to get a look at Dash.

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Then she lept off the sofa and ran right over Dash and out to the hallway.

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That made Dash hiss!

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He may be young and small, but he stands up for himself!

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“Yeah, big cat! Don’t do that again!”