Aby-a-Day- 19 Mars: Kalle’s birthday card from Emma (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week I posted the birthday card Emma drew for Björn. Turns out, she also drew one for Kalle! (Björn and Kalle’s birthdays are three days apart.) And, like Björn’s card, Kalle’s card features cats that look especially Abyssinian-like. And, even though she’s coloured brown, she has a bow on her head, so I think she’s meant to be Lorelai.

I find the drawing on the inside of the card particularly hilarious. The first side says, “Congratulations you are now 16 years old!” but the other side…it says, “That was not me.” Even though she doesn’t live with cats 24/7, Emma clearly understands cats. I suspect this is meant to be Jacoby.

Emma added another drawing on the back of the card. It’s a black and white version of the cat on the front…perhaps it was meant for Kalle to colour in?

Aby-a-Day – 16 Mars: Bear necessities (Swedish Saturday)

In Sweden, we have a thing called REKO-Ring. REKO means “Real Consumption” (Konsumtion in Swedish) and is a way to shop for locally produced food, without intermediaries. Consumers and producers merge and start a REKO ring where locally produced products are sold directly from producer to consumer. In Skövde, our local REKO-Ring has a Facebook page where the producers post what they have available, and then people who want to buy something comment on the post saying what they want to get. Then, on alternate Wednesdays, we meet in a parking lot at a hockey arena two stops on the bus line from our house.

bearmeatC05749

Well, just as I despairing of finding a really great birthday present for Björn, I happened to check the REKO-Ring Skövde Facebook page. And I found a post from Lilla Spännefalla, and they had all kinds of game for sale. Including bear meat from Jämtland in the north of Sweden.

zakfreddybearmeatC05786

I ordered a “Bear Box” and got steaks, ground bear meat, and chunks.
I have only had bear a couple of times, and it is delicious. The first time was in 2000, when I found it for sale in an Asian grocery store in Boston. I then had it again when we canned bear meat for sale in the duty-free on the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Then I got to eat it again when we went to a medieval restaurant in Taillinn. But the thing is…The name Björn is the same as the Swedish word for bear. So when I found bear meat available for sale just before Björn’s birthday, I knew I had the perfect gift.

zakfreddybearmeatC05788

Bear meat is delicious. You have to make sure all the fat is removed, because it can add a slightly rancid flavour to the meat. The basic rule of thumb is, “Season like beef, cook like pork.” This is because like pigs, bears and raccoons are omnivores, and their meat can cause Trichinosis if it is not cooked well.

zakfreddybearmeatC05761

So, sorry guys…you don’t get to try it raw.

everyonebearmeatC05834

Despite not getting to try it raw, the bear meat attracted quite a crowd.

rorybearmeatC05843

Lorelai, of course, had to get on Björn’s shoulder to supervise.

zakbearmeatC05851

Izaak made sure Björn cooked it thoroughly.

bearmeatC05859

bearmeatC05872

And he did.

bearmeatC05878

Served with plain potato wedges and mushrooms, it was a delicious birthday dinner…

angeljakebearmeatC05879

…which some people in the house were eager to sample.

zakbearmeatC05883

zakbearmeatC05892

Zak was the first to taste bear meat whilst the plates were still on the coffee table.

rorybearmeatC05905

Everyone else got their tastes in the kitchen. Rory LOVED it.

roryjakeC05906

jakerorybearmeatC05910

Jacoby tried to steal her piece, but she managed to keep it for herself. But don’t worry, Jake got a couple of pieces of the bear meat.

freddybearmeatC05914

Alfred took his piece so quickly…

freddybearmeatC05915

…I couldn’t even capture it with my camera. Fast Freddy!

angeljakebearmeatC05920

Angel took her sample gingerly…

angelbearmeatC05927

…and ran away from all the other cats to eat it in peace.

angelbearmeatC05933

It took her a little longer to finish it, because of her three teeth, so she wanted to eat it someplace safe.

jakerorybearmeatC05947

I guess we can add bear meat to the things Abyssinians (and Singapuras) will eat.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Mars: Björn’s birthday card from Emma (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn’s birthday was on Sunday, and Emma came for the weekend to celebrate his and Kalle’s birthdays. She made him a birthday card which we are fairly certain is meant to be Jacoby. It definitely looks like a ruddy Abyssinian!

Here is the inside of the card. On the left it says “Congratulations for 54 years life! Meow! Meow! Meow!” On the right it says, “A stupid cat has eaten up my sauce!” And that stick toy the bottom cat is playing with looks a lot like the stick toy Emma and Lorelai played with last summer…

Aby-a-Day – 8 Mars: Logan’s only birthday (Friday Flashback)

Tomorrow would have been Logan’s second birthday. Sadly, he only had one birthday, just like Gun-Hee.

gunhee-bday01

This was me and Gun-Hee with his first birthday “cake,” twelve years ago. My, how things have changed since then!

logan1stbdayC01846

Unlike Izaak, Logan had no fear of his lit candle.

logan1stbdayC01850

Logan looks so much smaller than Zak, too.

logan1stbdayC01898

Logan’s birthday toy was a little ladybug that still sits atop our microwave. Unlike Zak and his furry mousies, Logan liked shiny toys.

bjornkalleloganbirthdayC02133

Kalle’s birthday is on the 7th, and Björn’s is on the 10th of March, so Logan having his birthday on the 9th meant we had a “birthday bunch” and we saw it as one of the signs that we were meant to get Logan. Whilst I am happy we have Zak, who makes me laugh every day, I still miss the first Singapura I loved.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Februari: Happy Birthday, Lorelai!

Suddenly, we seem to have a lot of cat birthdays in January and February.

First, Izaak had his birthday at a cat show and then Alfred had his birthday last week. Today was Lorelai’s turn.

rorybdaycakeC05224

rorybdaycakeC05226

Of course, I made her the traditional cat food cake.

rorybdayC05234

Untraditionally, instead of me giving Rory her “cake,” Björn did.

rorybdayC05241

After all, she is Daddy’s little girl.

rorybdayC05236

Unlike Jacoby and Angel, Rory seemed intimidated by the candle flame on her cake.

rorybdayC05244

rorybdayC05245

Even after Björn blew out her candle, Rory was still leery of her birthday cake…despite having watched this ceremony twice in three weeks.

rorybdayC05251

rorybdayC05254

rorybdayC05294

rorybdayC05282

Once the candle was removed, it still took some convincing before Rory would eat her “cake.”

rorybdayC05267

rorybdayC05277

Finally, Rory tucked into her cake properly.

rorybdayC05281

Happy first birthday, Rory!

Aby-a-Day – 7 Februari: The possible inspiration of Emma’s drawing (Thursday Things)

Emma’s birthday is at the end of July, and she came to celebrate with us and the cats. As you saw yesterday, she also fell in love with Lorelai (and The Lego Movie).

emma8thbdayC00355

Björn always makes her a cake when she comes for her birthday, but this year she wanted to decorate it herself. She was pretty proud of her handiwork.

emmabjornC00536

Björn loves it when Emma comes to visit.

emmabjorn00532

You don’t need a DNA test to tell that she is his daughter!

emmaroryC00363

emmaroryC00366

Emma loves coming to see her dad, and Kalle, and me…but we come in second to her excitement at getting to see the cats! She loves Jacoby, and Angel and Alfred…but I think she really fell in love with Rory. It’s no wonder, really…they have a lot in common, personality-wise.

zakemmaoutsideC00407

emmaroryC00408

emmaroryC00409

Emma and Rory had a lot of fun with the stick toy.

emmazakroryC00373

emmazakroryC00376

She also played with both Izaak and Rory on the rug beating rack.

emmazakC00376

Of course, Emma loved Zak, too…little girls especially seem to love that little guy.

emmazakC00379

He seemed to like her, too. He followed her around outside the same way he follows me. It was so cute.

zakroryoutsideC00508

Like I said on Tuesday when I posted Emma’s cartoon, the cat she drew could be either Rory or Zak, right down to the curly tail.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Februari: Entering the Terrible Twos

Today is Alfred’s second birthday!

I made Freddy a cake just like last year, but this time nobody ATE the candle.

freddy2ndBdayC05151

freddy2ndBdayC05152

Here is the uneaten candle being lit.

freddy2ndBdayC05158

Whilst Jacoby and Angel will eat their cakes with no concern for the fire on top…Freddy was not so sure.

freddy2ndBdayC05166

He actually seemed a bit intimidated by the flickering flame.

freddy2ndBdayC05171

I tried to coax him into trusting it. But he never did.

freddy2ndBdayC05177

In fact, he wouldn’t even eat his cake once the candle was blown out and removed.

freddy2ndBdayC05179

Since he didn’t want to eat his cake, I gave him his birthday present: a raw chicken neck.

freddy2ndBdayC05191<

That was what he wanted! He took it under our extra chair, which, judging by the spare rib bone that was already there, is his place to drag his trophies.

freddy2ndBdayC05189

Well, happy second birthday regardless, Alfred!