Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj: “Scattered pictures…of the smiles we left behind” (Friday Flashback)

As I posted earlier this month, the Memories that Facebook shows you can be bittersweet. Lately, they’ve been showing me a lot of Jacoby memories. It started with this one, of Strollercat on the way to a cat show in Göteborg in 2017.

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I never actually posted these photos here, as this was during the blog’s hiatus.

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This is another photo that popped up, I think as one of Björn’s Memories. I called it “Conversations on a train.”

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Then there is this one I posted whilst we were at that cat show.

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I found this photo of Jake crashed out in the hotel room after the first day of the show was over whilst I was looking for the other ones from this week’s Memories. I had forgotten it…but it is SO Jake.

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This is the Memory that came up yesterday…

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…another one I forgot about that is such a classic Jake moment. I found Angel sunning herself in a little square of sunshine in the kitchen.

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The square was just the right size for one little cat loaf.

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And then…along came Jake.

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And he decided that he wanted the sun square. I wasn’t able to capture what happened next.

And this last one is the most bittersweet of all, from five years ago Wednesday. Jake loved riding on the front of his stroller on our way home from our therapy visits. I posted the photos here in the blog at the time, but I only posted the video to Facebook. Apologies for the vertical video…I forgot to turn the camera sideways.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Maj: It’s not as easy to make a 29 second video of a cat running down a hill as it looks…(Movie Monday)

So I am pretty proud of my Little House on the Prairie spoof with Izaak running down the hill that I posted yesterday. Mainly because it looks so perfect…but it wasn’t as easy as it looked.

Someone on Facebook asked me why I put Zak in Slo-Mo. Well…the reason is…he runs too fast when he gets going. This is the first part of what I ended up using…a whopping five seconds.

Here’s the ending bit. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. So yeah, you can see why it was slowed down.

But it really took a lot more work than it looked. We had Lorelai and Alfred out there, too…my original thought was to have Rory and Zak running together down the hill. That just didn’t work out. Here are all the takes we did…with the original sound.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Maj: “The only time I can really relax is up a tree or somewhere outside” (Thursday Things)

Unlike Lorelai, Izaak doesn’t seem to be able to climb trees on his own. He tries…oh, how he tries. He runs up to the trees at full speed, but where Rory uses that momentum to go up the side of the tree…Zak just stops short.

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So, I decided to help him out.

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I put Zak up in the tree.

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He really loved being in the tree. It was as if his every wish had been granted.

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He may not be able to get up in the tree on his own…but once he’s up there, he knows what to do.

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First: Pose.

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Second: Try to climb higher.

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Third: Pose some more.

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In case you were worried, Zak wasn’t that high up…and Björn and I were right there in case anything went sideways.

Aby-a-Day – 27 April: “You can’t put your feet on the ground until you’ve touched the sky” (Swedish Sunday)

Lorelai loves to be outside where she can run free. At times, she very nearly becomes airborne!

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Part of the reason we’ve been training Rory and Izaak to go outside offleash but stay close to us is because we would like to take them out with us when we run simple errands, like taking out the trash.

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That way, they get to go outside and run around, we get to take out trash and have fun with our kitties. Win-win, really.

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Especially for Rory. When she runs, joy radiates off of her.

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She truly is happiest when she is galloping at full tilt.

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She really does almost become airborne when she runs!

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This is one case where youth is not wasted on the young. Rory is savouring every second of her age and abilities.

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Zak, whilst being a little more earth-bound than Rory, still has his moments…as you will see tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 13 April: Remembering Jacoby

Today’s post was written by my husband, Björn…

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Our Jacoby is dead. He died in the prime of his life. We had hoped that he would be with us for at least another five or six years, but that wasn’t to be. Following first the announcement of his illness, then his passing, the outpouring of love, sadness and sympathy from people, many who had never met him, was amazing. If a cat can make that kind of impression, it is a very special cat.

I saw my first Abyssinians back in 1992 at a local cat show. My then partner and I went there, as she had grown up with cats. According to her, I fell for the Abys then and there, and I had said something along the lines of that we should get one eventually.

In 1999, we got two cats: Pyret, a housecat, and Olivia, a mixed breed. An Aby was something in the distant future, if at all.

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Fast forward to 2015. Koshka and I were chatting on Messenger. I knew about Gun-Hee, Angel and Jake, having followed her LiveJournal and seen them on her Christmas cards. Our old friendship took an unexpected turn, and suddenly we were a couple. I went to Boston and met her for the first time in 15 years. I was introduced to Jake and Angel, and Jake and I got along great from the start.

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In 2016, Koshka and the cats moved to Sweden. Jake decided he liked the apartment. My aging cat Pyret wasn’t convinced that the newcomers were welcome, but the apartment is big and they didn’t have to rub shoulders.

Soon, we began taking Jake to shows, and the second part of his show career started. That meant going to hotels, usually by train, but a couple of times it was by overnight ferry. Jake loved to travel and see new places.

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Going places meant going in his stroller. One might think that a grown man would feel self-conscious pushing a cat around in a stroller, but that didn’t bother me – I felt pride! Wherever we brought Jake, he drew attention. Strangers would smile, snap photos, ask questions, and pet him. Jake loved the attention. Many people hadn’t heard about Abyssinians, and thus he became an excellent ambassador for the breed and for cats in general.

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Jake was an extremely handsome cat. His vibrant coloring, elegant body, and alert expression won him many prizes, but other people than cat show judges found him striking. But his beauty went deeper than his ticking. He was an affectionate, intelligent and social cat, who made visitors feel welcome.

Sure, he had his quirks, like sitting in the cast-iron frying pan, rolling around on beds kicking himself in the head, and eating any and all plastic bags. Traveling by car meant that one would have to endure his meowing every fourth second for an hour or more.

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When we drove to the animal hospital in Jönköping a week ago, his meowing was barely audible. How I wanted it to be as loud as it used to be! We brought his carrier inside, and he explored the examination room on shaky legs. Koshka and I said goodbye to him, not expecting that it would be the last time we saw him alive. Then followed days filled with worry, and then came the news that Jake, that most excellent cat, had left us. I cried.

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The last year has seen so much death. My mother passed away, and Pyret and Logan died. We didn’t expect to lose Jake, who seemed almost indestructible, but fate wanted otherwise. I got to be his dad for 34 months, which was way too short, but he will stay in my memory until my own time is up. Jake, you made our lives richer, and you were loved by people on two continents. We are all made from stardust, but some shine stronger than others.

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Goodbye, Jake. I miss you.

Also, Jake’s GoFundMe campaign is closing tomorrow, Sunday 14 April on Jake’s 10th birthday. We don’t know how much over the insurance cap his bills are, but we still believe there will be something to donate to New England Abyssinian Rescue.

Aby-a-Day – 6 April: “And Rory has wings to fly…” (Swedish Saturday)

Lorelai and Izaak love to go outside with us. As I’ve mentioned in the past, we have been training them to go outside off-leash with us and come back when we call them.

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When we open the front door, Rory is out like a flash.

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Zak’s out the door pretty quickly, too, but as for exploring the great outdoors…

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…he more wades in slowly from the steps in the shallow end as opposed to Rory’s diving head-first from the deep end.

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Once he gets used to it, though, he really does get going.

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But Rory…

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…there are times I think she’s actually flying, not running!

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But remember what I said about Zak, though, once he’s gotten used to being outside?

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He certainly has his own flying moments, too!

Aby-a-Day – 5 April: “The mobile’s life is hanging by a thread” (Fashion Friday)

When we went to Denmark last summer, one of the best souvenirs I brought home was an amazing cat mobile from the famous Flensted Mobiles of Copenhagen.

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Mostly, the cats pay it no mind, because, generally, no one ever looks up.

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But when they do look up, they find it fascinating.

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Especially Lorelai.

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When she notices it, though, she cannot get enough of it. She’ll jump up on Björn’s shoulders to get a closer look.

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It’s kind of cute…two of the cats actually look just like Rory reaching for the mobile.

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Of all the things I brought back from that trip, this mobile is one of the best things I got. I love looking at it every day. I also got a similar kitten mobile by Flensted that I donated to the NEMO show raffle. I hope whoever won it enjoys it as much as we enjoy ours!