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.


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


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


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


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

Aby-a-Day – 21 September: Arrrrrrgh! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Friday Fashion Flashback)

Wednesday was Talk Like a Pirate Day. But as you know, Angel has always been our pirate.


She has had her pirate dress, hat and eyepatch for over five years now!


That’s kind of mind-boggling to me. It feels like we just got everything yesterday!


But in fact, last year I had to replace the feathers on Angel’s hat because they were just starting to disintegrate.



However, I think the new feathers look a lot better than the old ones! Feathers are a big part of the Swedish Easter celebration; they are used to make Påskris, birch twigs decorated with colourful feathers. So every spring I will be able to easily find replacement feathers for Angel…


…as long as I can remember in October where I put them when I bought them in April!

Aby-a-Day – 9 September: Into the woods (Part 2) (Swedish Sunday)

As you’ll remember from yesterday’s post, two years ago last August, Jacoby, Angel, Kalle and I went out for an adventure around the lake near our apartment. We found a nice place to park, and Jake couldn’t wait to get out into the forest.


We unhooked him from the stroller, and he couldn’t wait to get out and explore. Angel, on the other hand, was perfectly content to sit in the stroller.


The forest behind the lake was like a fairy tale, so lush and green, with moss-covered boulders and lots of ferns.


It was so beautiful out there.


And, naturally, the photographer in me was stunned by the way Jake’s gorgeous ruddy coat looked against the lush greenery.



Could you ask for anything more picturesque?



Jake was fascinated by the wilderness.


He and Kalle walked all over, exploring.



They made quite a pair.



I think Jake was a little frustrated by the length of his leash, however.


Who knows how far into the woods he would have gone had it not been for that cord of braided leather?


Finally, it was time to get moving again.


Jake was a little cranky at having to get back into the stroller after getting to feel like a warrior for once.


So I appeased him by letting him peruse the bird menu.


After that, we got drenched in a random thunderstorm. I managed to keep the cats relatively dry, but Kalle and I were pretty soaked. On the way back, Kalle went to investigate a pond.


Jake and Angel watched him with interest.


It was a pretty impressive pond, though.


Even though we’re living in the 20th largest city in Sweden, we still get views like we’re in the middle of nowhere.



You can see the rainfall on the pavement as we head home.


When we got close to home, Jake and Angel recognised where we were and hopped out of the stroller.


Oh, now Angel wants to explore!

Aby-a-Day – 8 September: Into the woods (Part 1) (Swedish Saturday)

These are some more photos from August 2016, a couple of months after I moved here.


One day, Kalle was home during summer vacation, and he said we should take the cats out for a walk around the small lake near our house.


So, we got the stroller out…


…and we headed towards the lake.


Jacoby and Angel seemed happy to be going out on an adventure.


The lake is not at all far from our apartment buildings.


Even so, I hadn’t been down there yet, so Kalle lead the way.


Around the lake there are signs showing the kinds of birds and other wildlife that can be found in the area. I laughingly joked that they were “cat menus.”



Jake was, perhaps, a bit more excited about going exploring than Angel was…


Around all lakes of a certain size in Sweden, live preservers are posted at the ready in case of emergency.


Even if it’s not a lake that anyone might possibly swim in on a whim, at least in summertime (and who would want to swim any other time), because look at these reeds!


Here’s the stroller for comparison.


The forest is a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees. For being so close to two apartment complexes, it’s all the more impressive.




At least, Jake and Angel were impressed.



Kalle showed me this wicked cool spot under the trees…and oh, it was awesome!


We parked the stroller and prepared to explore…what we saw will be posted tomorrow.

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 – 11 February: More cats who really know how to swing (Cinema Sunday)

Two weeks ago, I posted photos and video of Björn pushing Jacoby on a swing


Well, turns out Jake isn’t the only swinging cat in our family. About a month after that first outing, Kalle and I took both Jake and Angel out for a walk. There is this one big, flat, basket-like swing in one play area in our apartment area, so we took Jake and Angel over to it to see what they thought of it.


Angel stayed in it! That was the first hurdle.


Then Kalle started pushing.


Of course, Jake was totes fine with that.


Angel was…less fine with it. But she tried.


She really tried.


But she could only take so much swinging.


So finally she bailed from the swing.


Jake was perfectly happy to keep on swinging, though.


Happy? He loved it!


I mean, look at him!


Here’s a short video (click on the image to see it…and apologies for the non-landscape orientation; I forgot) of Jake and Angel on the swing with Kalle.

Aby-a-Day – 20 March: Who doesn’t love a parade? Angel.

Hey! It’s the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s Day!

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You know what that means, right?

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Right!! There’s a world-class parade happening right outside our building.

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We are so lucky to live here!

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Right, Angel?

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Don’t you love living in South Boston when the St. Patrick’s Day parade is going on?

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Yeah, there’s a reason there’s an “Angel’s okay with Jake getting more attention really” tag on this blog.

Aby-a-Day – December 11: Angel’s third Christmas (Friday Fashion Flashback)

Last week, I shared Angel’s second Christmas, where she modelled her first Christmas outfit.


However, that year, we put up a tree and a few little things, but it wasn’t as festive as it could have been.


Angel’s third Christmas, however…


That was very Christmassy, and I pulled out all my decorations.


Some of which Angel probably liked more than others…


Still, despite having a somewhat difficult start, Angel is still all Aby when it comes to modelling outfits. Not as good as Jacoby, perhaps, but she’s a good sport.

Aby-a-Day – December 4: Angel’s second Christmas (Friday Fashion Flashback)

Angel’s first Christmas with us was actually pretty much her first real Christmas ever, since her original cattery contacted the rescue at a cat show around 20 December, so all the stuff that happened to her, including her being taken to a regular kill shelter where she stayed for 72 hours was all going on around Christmastime. She had toys and a stocking for the very first time.


Her second Christmas, I had found a cute little Christmas cape at Build-a-Bear.


She wore it very well, and even seemed to like it.


Jacoby, on the other hand…


…Yeah, Jake was happy to wear whatever I gave him, and he rocked this Christmas Tree outfit.

Aby-a-Day – August 30: Would you like chips with that?

Bringing a domestic cat (or dog or ferret) into Sweden as a permanent resident seems to be a lot easier than importing a human. At least some things about this will be easy!


The regulations are intended to prevent the spread of rabies in Sweden, but the rules are acutally set by the European Union. Dogs, cats and ferrets that travel within the EU must be identity marked with a microchip and vaccinated against rabies.


Well, since Massachusetts also requires cats and dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, that’s not a problem.


The microchip was a bit more problematic. The EU requires a 15-digit ISO microchip. Angel’s was already the correct type, but Jacoby had a domestic, 9-digit chip. Not only that, but his chip had migrated to the front of one shoulder, where his collarbone would be if he had one.


So Jake had to have a new microchip implanted.


In case you’ve never seen an actual microchip, this is what it looks like. And it’s tiny – literally the size of a grain of basmati rice.



Both Jake and Angel also needed to get their blood drawn to test their rabies titres. This is the level of rabies antibodies present in their systems. Because I keep them up to date on their shots, they’re both fine and can go to Sweden at any time.


I wish it were that easy for humans. I mean, I have had my rabies shots, too!

Aby-a-Day – August 20: The tooth and nothing but the tooth

Angel has the worst teeth of any cat I have ever owned. She is only 8 years old, but already she has had more dental work than all the other cats combined.


While Abyssinians are notorious for being prone to dental problems, this isn’t just an Aby thing with her. Jacoby, only two years younger, has amazing teeth. He’s never even needed a cleaning! According to both Sherry and Chris, his grandparents had good teeth, too.


Since I know very little about Angel’s ancestry (and what I do know is based on speculation and theory), I have no idea about her genetic history.


All I know is, she has had several FORLs (Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions).


As a result, she has lost nearly all her teeth. Besides her four canine teeth, she has only a few teeth left.


She has lost every single one of her tiny incisors, both top…


…and bottom.


She’s lost more of her upper teeth than her lower.


One lower jaw only has two teeth left!



The other side sports a few more teeth…


…But I’m not sure I like the looks of that big one in the back. Hopefully it’s just a shadow?

Aby-a-Day – August 10: Pay no attention to the cat behind the curtain (Hipstamatic Monday)

Angel doesn’t get as much of the spotlight as Jacoby does in this blog, I know.

hipsta-angel curtains

However, I’m not sure if that’s part of her master plan…It may very well be.

Aby-a-Day – May 1: Warm and Wonderful Feline Fashions (Fashion Friday)

I actually got a chance to try out Angel’s new purple parka in some actual snow before it all melted away.


I took these photos in our courtyard the day before Easter.


We still had a good amount of snow on the ground then, as you can see. We actually still had snow in our courtyard as late as April 17.


I took Angel out into the little snow patch so we could see how her coat stands up to real outdoor use. She meowed a LOT while we were out there…I am not sure if she missed Jacoby or if she was just especially chatty about being outside.


It was a quick outing, so I didn’t bother with her harness and leash. I did put on her undershirt though.


The sleeves seem to be about the right length. I like the way the faux fur ruff frames her face. It really is a perfect coat for her.


Here’s how it looks from the back. It seems like it’s a good length and covers her back well.


And she can walk in it with no problems.


She may not like walking, but the coat doesn’t hinder her. Next step: boots!


That should be interesting…

Speaking of fashionable Abys, I also wanted to share these photos of our friends Sanna and Sketsi strolling about on a spring day in Helsinki.

Aren’t they adorable?

Sketsi is modeling his bomber jacket and knit cap that Jake and I sent him in one of our box exchanges.

Sketsi’s a boy. He just likes pink, but he’s secure in his neutered manhood. Sanna says that Sketsi is one of those males who can rock pink.

He was seagull watching on this outing.

There goes one now, apparently.

He really likes his pink knitted cap from our friend Sara at ScooterKnits. And, speaking of Sara and her infamous cat hats…she’s written a how-to book with patterns to knit or crochet your own cat hats! How awesome is that?

Also, please note that
her book‘s cover model is none other than Vivi, a red silver Abyssinian!

The book has patterns for the Pom-Pom and the Elf hats that Jake and Angel have…but the infamous Mistletoe hat is not included.


I’m still hoping she makes the Hanukkah Hat someday…

Aby-a-Day – April 22: Wordless Wednesday (Whattaya mean, there’s still snow on the ground!?)




Aby-a-Day – April 5: Here comes Jacoby Cottontail!

I was in our local grocery store the other day and I happened upon a Lindt Gold Bunny gift set.


Well, once I saw those ears, I knew I had to buy it.


And you know what I had in store for those ears, too.


Well, seriously. Brown bunny ears? I’m surprised more Aby people didn’t snap these up!





We had a little trouble getting the ears to stay on properly at first, being that they headband wasn’t sized for a cat’s head.


But Jacoby’s a pro at wearing things on his head, so eventually we got it to work.


Oh, yeah, Jake got the ears to work, all right.


Work it, Jake.


My husband commented that he though the ears were more Angel’s colour than Jake’s.


All right, let’s find out.


So…who wore it better?

Aby-a-Day – March 23: Snow Angel (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we went out on our snow adventure, I tried to take some Hipstamatic shots with my iPhone.


However, my iPhone is getting old, and it’s been doing this thing lately where it gets to between 40% and 60% charged and then it just…dies…saying it needs to be charged! When two seconds earlier it was showing it had plenty of remaining battery life.


Apparently, this phenomenon is exacerbated by cold weather.


It’s really a pain. I need a new iPhone. But we’re waiting for the 6s to come out. That and I’m not crazy about the iPhones becoming bigger and bigger.


Talk about reverse evolution! Cellphones started out as enormous bricks, and as they improved on them, phones gradually became smaller and smaller…until they became “smart.” Then they started getting huge again. Thin…but huge. Pretty soon we’re all going to be walking around talking into our iPads.


I’m also kind of annoyed that Apple doesn’t make a yellow leather case for the 6 or the 6 plus. My 5 has a yellow leather case to match my iPad’s yellow leather case (which, apparently, they also no longer make.)


I love the leather cases for iPhones and iPads, by the way. There’s something kind of awesome about puttting something so modern and high tech into a case made of something so primal and natrual. Leather is a truly amazing material. It can be made as soft as a piece of silk or as hard as armour. Humans may have invented the iPhone, but they haven’t invented anything quite like leather.


If only humans could invent a damn iPhone battery that would hold a charge…

Aby-a-Day – March 19: California girl in the snow

Angel and I have one thing in common: we’re both native Northern Californians.


Of course it does snow in California; they once even hosted the Winter Olympics. But it only rarely snows in the Sacramento Valley or the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where both Angel and I were born.


I absolutely love the snow. After 15 years, I still haven’t gotten over the thrill of seeing a white-coated landscape.


Angel, on the other hand…not so much, I think.



At the very least, she has a lot to say about the snow.


And I don’t think very much of it is G-rated.


She was actually sitting on my lap, here.


She did go off an explore the snow, though.



It was deep, and there were many interesting holes.


While Angel isn’t as outgoing and gregarious as Jacoby is, I do think she enjoys the occasional outing.



Despite what she may tell you!


After all, Abys are busy, curious and full of energy. It’s good for all cats to get a change of scenery and a little fresh air once in a while, and I think it’s especially good for Abyssinians.

Aby-a-Day – March 1: Snow fall

When I took Jacoby and Angel out in the snow for some pictures, I had a hard time finding a place to take photos that had good lighting and clean, untouched snow.


One of the best places I found was on top of a solar trash can and recycling bin that’s right in front of our building.


It was admittedly a bit awkward up there…



…but the snow was really deep, and it hadn’t been disturbed, so it was white and fluffy.



Angel had a little trouble getting herself situated on the trash can…but then, she was barefoot in that snow!



I will say this for Angel…she’s not afraid of buses and trucks, just like Jake!


Angel may hiss at Jake when they’re inside the house…


…but when they’re outside together, Angel seems to really appreciate him being nearby!

Aby-a-Day – February 27: The importance of being layered (Fashion Friday)

Before you can go outside in cold weather, it’s essential to dress properly for the weather.


Layers are the key to keeping your core temperature up and trapping heat to keep warm.


When we went out into the snow, Jacoby wore his green leopard print shirt since it works so well with his coat.


I put his harness on over his undershirt, but under his warm coat. This helps to keep the warmth in, especially since his Fishtail Parka hasn’t got a hole for a leash.


Angel had never been in the snow, so I used her purple Pirate Kitty T-shirt to keep her warm.


Like Jake, she wore her harness over the T-shirt.


Despite her early socialisation issues, in some ways, Angel is 100% Abyssinian.


Wearing a T-shirt doesn’t faze her at all.


Once we had the undergarments on, we put on our coats and headed outside. Angel wore Gun-Hee’s old parka, which not only fit her wonderfully, but also has a hole for the leash which lines up perfectly with her harness.


That helped to keep her a little warmer, since the leash wasn’t pulling up the back of her coat the way Jake’s leash pulled his parka up. You can see his undershirt in this photo.


Of course, his feet were warmer than Angel’s, because he will wear boots, so it probably evened out. I had boots for Angel but…I didn’t try to put them on her feet. I think the parka was enough for her! I think they stayed fairly warm. We weren’t outside very long, but neither of them was shivering or seemed uncomfortable. When we came back inside, the tips of their ears were a little chilled, but they both seemed perfectly happy. I do want to take them both out again for some more photos once we can get into the courtyard.

Aby-a-Day – February 26: A short walk in some deep snow

Usually, when I take photos of Jacoby in the snow, we go into our enclosed courtyard. There are many reasons for this: it’s easy, it’s sheltered, it’s pretty, and it’s nice, clean, unadulterated snow. However, as you saw yesterday, going out in the courtyard wasn’t exactly an option.


So we had to go out front.


Since Jake is used to wearing coats and going out in show, and because he was also wearing his boots, he and I went out first to scout a good location while Angel waited in a carrier in the lobby.


The biggest problem I had was with the lighting. I could not get the “automatic” settings on the camera to work with the snow…and the manual settings were even more problematic. I ended up fixing them majorly in Photoshop after the fact.


Part of the problem was the time of day, I think. The building blocked a lot of the sun, but at the same time I didn’t want to go too far away in the cold. I tried a couple on a crossing median…


…the light was really great there, but…


…it was a pretty precarious place to take photos.


Also, I couldn’t really put both Jake and Angel on the island and take good photos.


A+ for lighting…D- for location.


So we came up closer to the building and I went in to get Angel.


As I said last week, Angel refused to wear any boots.


I made sure the rest of her was bundled up well.


Gun-Hee’s old parka fit her perfectly.


For being out in the snow for the first time in her like – and barefoot – she handled it amazingly well.


She walked around a little and was very interested in all the white stuff.


She had a lot to say about it!


I really do want to go back into the courtyard with her at some point. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out there after the snow has melted somewhat…but not completely!