Aby-a-Day – 21 October: Another outside adventure…with an audience (Swedish Cinema Sunday)

Last weekend we enjoyed gorgeous weather, so I took Izaak and Lorelai out for some “being offleash” practice.

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The main reason was, I wanted to check what that flash of red I could see out our window.

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Turns out, someone had dumped their windowbox geraniums out onto the hill, and they were managing to survive on the dirt they were planted in.

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They’re actually really pretty out there, and I hope they can survive, but I have a feeling that they won’t live past the first snow.

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Rory especially loves to explore the outside world…to the point that it’s really hard for us to get out of our front door.

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Rory also has to check out the rugbeater. Every. Single. Time. We go outside. She loves that thing.

After the rugbeater, we visited the sandbox/swings area that we visited before. But whilst we were there, we heard plaintive meowing.

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Turns out, it was Alfred. He wanted to be out there, too…but after the last time we tried to let Freddy out off-leash, that was pretty much a non-starter.

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Jacoby was just out there because he heard my voice.

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Rory and Zak knew Jake and Freddy were up there…but I don’t think they cared, because they were running around outside.

Aby-a-Day – 1 September: You’re why we can’t have nice things (Silly Saturday)

Alfred is an evil genius, an avid hunter…and a klutz. Not a good combination.

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This is Freddy in the laundry room. Once upon a time, we stored bags of dry cat food on the shelves of a tall shelf just out of frame, the top of which you can see Freddy speculatively eying.

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Now all the bags have been chewed through, re-bagged, and stuffed into sealed, plastic bins.

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Not that he never stops trying to get at them. “There was food there before, there will be again” is his motto.

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I mean, look at him sizing up the shelving! We have had to put a latch on the door because if it’s not shut properly he can shoulder it open.

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Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the house…

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…I think he’s chasing flying insects. I have no idea. All I know is things from the top of the bookcases and the liquor cabinet are ending up on the floor. Sometimes they’re repairable things. Sometimes…like the Hagen-Renaker 1950’s California ceramic Siamese cat “Seated Sookie” last night…not so much.

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But the most worrisome habit he’s recently picked up is…he has cracked the mystery of the catio netting! He has discovered a loose spot on one side of the netting that he can get through – no one else has discovered it, yet, thank goodness – but we are back to having to keep the balcony locked up the way it was before we had any netting at all until we can work out a way to fix the loophole.

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Sometimes, I wish Abys weren’t quite so smart.

(Edit: As I was writing this post, despite our best efforts, Freddy actually got out through the balcony AGAIN! Third time today!)

Aby-a-Day – 29 July: There’s cat proof…and then there’s Abyssinian proof (Swedish Sunday)

I have been regaling you with tales of our balcony/catio. It took a while to make sure it was cat-proof…wait, I mean, Aby-proof. Because protecting something from Abyssinians is a huge step up from protecting a thing from a regular cat. Trust me on this. You would think that a pot of plain pasta left on the stove is of no interest to cats, right? And you would be correct. It is of no interest to a cat. But leave that pot of plain pasta on the stove with Abys around? Yeah…have fun cleaning that pasta up off the floor. Oh, and enjoy your broken pot.

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So testing the cat-netting from the inside was only a starting point. The real test came a few days later.

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We were outside with Lorelai and Izaak. We’re trying to teach them to stick to us outside off leash, so we go out, they run around, but when we call them, they come right to us. It’s the sort of thing I couldn’t teach Jacoby, living in Boston.

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But when Jake heard our voices outside, he ran to join us.

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And he really tried to join us. But thankfully, the netting and chicken wire held.

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Then Angel came to help.

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So now we had two adult Abys actively trying to breach the netting.

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Oh, sure, they pretend to not get along. But they are totally in cahoots. Don’t let them fool you.

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Angel seemed content to simply be near us…Jake, not so much.

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He was still testing the netting, searching for a weak spot.

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And he was trying really hard to find that weakness.

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Angel and Jake tried each end of the cat-netting to see if they could escape.

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Seeing Zak just below only made Jake and Angel try to break through the screen even harder.

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And then, Alfred decided to join the party.

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“Hey, what’re you guys doing?”

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“Oh, breaking through the netting? Did you try gnawing on it?

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Here’s a side view of the big cats on the balcony. That netting is really doing its job!

Aby-a-Day – 27 July: Evolution of a Catio (Fashion Friday)

When I first moved here in 2016, Björn’s balcony was a rather Spartan affair.

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There was only a wooden bench, a makeshift cat tree made from natural tree parts, a basket and…not much else.

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It was pretty barren. Once my things came from the States, we put my redwood burl table out there, and my floor-to-ceiling cat tree bumped Björn’s old cat tree out there as well. The balcony was open to the elements, so we couldn’t keep much else out there, but we put a tarp over the table, and it was fine out there. And so were the cats…until Jacoby taught himself to jump off the balcony. After that, we had to keep the balcony door closed until we could get it glassed in.

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Finally, May last year, we got the balcony glassed in. Jake was out there in a heartbeat.

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So was Pyret. The basket on the bench was her favourite spot…

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…which is one reason we kept her body there until we could get her cremated.

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For a while after it was glassed in, we used it as storage for the chairs until we could get it organised.

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Angel didn’t mind. She had sun and a cushy place to nap. She was good.

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Even now, you can usually find her in one of the chairs on the balcony.

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Either a chair, or the cubby in the cat tree.

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Alfred…well, he tries to fit in there sometimes, too.

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Logan also really loved the cubby.

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Logan loved the balcony.

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He spent a lot of time out there in the sun before he died.

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Jake and Freddy love being out there, too…but they’re usually trying to work out a way to escape.

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We got the basic layout of the balcony done last summer after the glass was installed, and we hung curtains and icicle and fairy lights, which actually give enough light to read by, but this year we have been focusing on really getting it set up to be a catio. I fell in love with this artificial pine tree at IKEA, and I found a reindeer hide for 125kr (around $14, about 1/10 what they should cost) which I love…but which sheds too much to live in the apartment. It looks great out on the balcony, though!

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One of the biggest things we did this year is lay down wooden tiles.

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Those tiles made a HUGE difference in the overall feel of the balcony. It feels warmer and more homey – more like a part of the house rather than “outside.” There was just one more thing we needed to do…and you’ll see what we did tomorrow!

Aby-a-Day – 23 July: Just another manic Monday (Hipstamatic Monday)

Last month, I did my first Hipstamatic Monday post in two years. So I thought I would it again, this time youngest to oldest.

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It’s hard to remember that Lorelai is the youngest sometimes, because she is bigger and heavier than Izaak, but he was born 26 January and she was born on 10 February.

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Hi, Rory!

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Rory has two speeds: Full and Stop. This is Stop.

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Rory sleeps like she plays: hard.

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She’s a very entertaining sleeper, to say the least.

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Next we have Izaak.

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Funny thing about Zak. He is a Singapura, and he looks so much like Logan. But he is so different from Logan. Except…

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…Oddly, he does some things that only Logan did, like sleep on the cable box, scratch on the rubber litter mat, and sleep in this bed on a regular basis. It’s a bit surreal.

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He’s 98% different from Logan…and then he does things only Logan did. So you see what I mean.

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Next is our stalwart Alfred.

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Good old Freddy.

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What would we do without Freddy?

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These photos were taken whilst we were waiting for Jacoby’s vet appointment in Jönköping, so we had his smaller stroller upstairs in preparation.

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As long as that thing was upstairs, Jake was in it.

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It’s his flimsy travel stroller and not his yellow therapy stroller, but he loves it all the same.

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I think he spent most of his time napping in his stroller as long as we had it upstairs.

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Okay, Jake…go back to sleep.

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Last but not least, we have Angel.

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In her canoe.

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Exactly where she was the last time I did a Hipstamatic Monday post.

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Oh, well…at least she’s consistent.

Aby-a-Day – 11 July: Wordless Wednesday (Angel on the balcony)

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Aby-a-Day – 25 May: Angel, Rory and the Frankentree (Fashion Friday)

Before I moved to Sweden, Björn had an old, beat-up, second-hand cat tree for Pyret. It was one of the first things Angel discovered when we let her out of the carrier. When my things arrived from the States, my big floor-to-ceiling tree was among them, and it was installed in the corner where the old tree had occupied. The old tree was moved to the balcony, which was scheduled to be glassed in for the cats to enjoy.

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Angel was quick to claim it out there, too. But it was a little short, and I wanted the cats to be able to sit up high on the balcony, too, so I ordered this new cat tree by Dogman, a Swedish pet supply company. But when I assembled the new tree, it seemed a little sad without the cubby section, especially since it was Angel’s favourite part, and it was still perfectly good…so I got an idea.

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I combined them! I took the non-worn parts of the old tree (which was probably also a Dogman tree) – the cubby, the platform and the ladder, and put them together with the new tree and created…the FrankenTree! It worked surprisingly well, and the colours combined well, too.

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Angel loved it.

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Logan and Alfred came along and loved it, too…and of course so does Lorelai.

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(Despite the silly tongue…)

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Angel didn’t really mind sharing the tree with Logan and Freddy, but what does Angel think about sharing her tree with another girl?

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These Millennial kittens these days…no sense of boundaries.

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Angel is not above defending her territory. Although, to be honest, I don’t think Rory even noticed that Angel took a swipe at her.

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“Damn kids, get off of my tree!”