Aby-a-Day – 13 Juni: Here’s looking at you, Lorelai (Selfie Sunday)

The other day when we took the cats outside, Björn got the idea to use his phone’s front camera to take some photos of Lorelai from a different angle.

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Rory was standing on the rug frame, so Björn took photos of her from underneath.

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I’ve got to admit…I never really thought about taking photos from below like this. Pretty brilliant, I think.

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Rory seemed to like it, too.

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Björn managed to get himself into a couple of the shots as well. I think they’re cute.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Juni: Daddy’s little girl (Swedish Saturday)

Sometimes, after being outside for a while, the cats slow down. That’s when we know it’s almost time to go back in the house.

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Lorelai often gets up on Björn’s shoulder. She’s a very accomplished shoulder rider.

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Izaak usually wants to stand or sit on me…but this time, he really looked like he wanted to be on Björn’s shoulder, too.

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And Zak seems pretty put out that he can’t get up there, too.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juni: How I spent my birthday (Thursday Things)

Björn asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. I said, “go to the second-hand store and to eat at Max (Sweden’s best burgers)“. And so we did.

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Björn gave me a Schleich Bengal (I collect Schleich cats)…

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…a paint-by-numbers kit and some vintage cat books.

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At the second-hand store I scored a beautiful Egyptian cat statue (which Lorelai was quite taken with)…

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…and a Rosa Ljung ceramic cat.

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But the BEST thing we found was when we checked out a new pet store in town, Dogman. There I found FREEZE-DRIED Vaisto cat food (I have been wanting to give Angel freeze-dried instead of raw, but couldn’t find it in Sweden), some dried chicken treats, and an interesting duck “cat sausage” that I am hoping Izaak will eat, because it will be easier to travel with that than with frozen raw food.

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AND we found 1kg bags of frozen chicken necks! We had been buying Vaisto Mush necks in 800g bags, but they’ve been in short supply lately, and these are much better (and cheaper). Zak, as you know, LOVES his necks! All in all, not a bad birthday.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Maj: A bird in the paw (Swedish Saturday)

Because of Covid, I have not had the energy to clip the cats’ claws on our regular schedule (it takes a LOT of energy to clip five cats’ claws and do all the other necessary grooming).

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That turned out to be a good thing when we took the cats out for the first time in forever last Thursday.

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Because Lorelai ran right up a tree with the intent to catch a wood pigeon!

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She actually got wicked close, too.

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She was also fearless and überconfident up in the tree.

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Rory was in complete control up in that tree.

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And when she decided to come down out of the tree, even that was deliberate and measured.

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I mean, look at the focus on that face. She’s in complete control.

Aby-a-Day – 16 April: This wasn’t the way I wanted to go viral (Photoshop Friday)

So, since I posted last week, Björn is still in the hospital (he may get out tomorrow), and I have tested positive for Covid. Despite having asthma, my lungs and breathing are remarkably all right; my biggest reaction has been in my gut. Nausea, a metallic taste in my mouth, and zero appetite. Since the last time I weighed myself (the last time I weighed the cats), I have lost 5kg (11lbs). Hey, every cloud has a silver lining, right? Anyway, the other night at about 4am, I had this brilliant idea for a 1950’s-style weight-loss ad…it doesn’t include a cat, but it’s a pretty decent Photoshop if I do say so myself.

Aby-a-Day – 11 April: A sad anniversary and an update (Serious Sunday)

I haven’t posted since Thursday, because…Björn and I have been sick. Björn is actually in the hospital with Covid, and I have a wicked cough but no fever yet. It’s also the second anniversary of Jacoby’s death, so with all that going on I haven’t felt very inspired. Kalle and I will get tested for Covid on Tuesday, and hopefully Björn will be home soon. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Aby-a-Day – 4 April: Dashiell meets Jacoby (Silly Sunday)

Yesterday, Dashiell was lying in a bright, warm sun puddle, and I commented that, in that light, Dash really reminded me of Jacoby in the sun. So Björn got the idea to introduce Dash to Pancake Jake.

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Dash was actually a little afraid of Flat Jake.

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He actually backed away from Flat Jake.

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Lorelai came to see what was going on. Flat Jake sits in a window that Rory frequents, so she’s more familiar with him than Dash is.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Mars: Cats are such brats sometimes (Hipstamatic Monday=

Björn bought some really nice bratwurst and had it for breakfast yesterday.

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A certain little girl was very interested in the brat on Björn’s fork.

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This was actually pretty unusual for Lorelai; she’s big on raw meat when we’re cutting it up for cooking, but she’s not usually so grabby when it comes to cooked food.

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It was so funny to watch her!

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It smelled good to me, but it must have smelled amazing to Rory for her to act this way.

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But Rory had competition for that brat, though. Someone else wanted it, too, and look at the daggers she’s staring at him.

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I know you probably thought it was going to Alfred…but it was Izaak!

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And for Zak to try to steal food is even more unusual that Rory doing it. He is strictly a raw meat kind of guy.

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And he wanted it even more than Rory, too.

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Björn said Zak was really pulling down on his hand. For a little dude, Zak is strong for his size!

Aby-a-Day – 16 Mars: Vintage Swedish postcard cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

This isn’t really a cartoon, but it’s pretty cool. Björn’s sister mailed him some old postcards which arrived today. They had been sent to him back in the 1960’s, and, interestingly, they all featured cats.

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I guess even back then, Björn was a cat guy.

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This card is my favourite. This cat is completely done with your nonsense. And no, it’s not at all creepy to think about these cards are over fifty years old, and the cats are…well, you know.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Mars: No means no! (Medical Monday)

As I mentioned , Lorelai’s most recent “boyfriend” has been neutered…but she’s in heat again. And we don’t have a new boy for her arranged yet.

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So Rory has been accosting…erm…Alfred, for some reason. Björn captured this the other day.

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Rory, who weighs 2.6 kg (barely six lbs), decided to tackle Freddy, who weighs 5.2 kg (11½ lbs of not entirely muscle).

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And she got him in a pretty decent headlock, too. Do not underestimate the power of a female.

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When he tried to escape, Rory bit him in the back leg.

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Rory..? Maybe try hitting on the one boy who isn’t permanently castrated?

Aby-a-Day – 27 Februari: Heart and soles (Singapura Saturday)

Singapuras love to sleep under blankets, and Izaak is no different. He also likes to sleep touching skin, and most nights he sleeps either on my legs or next to my feet.

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Björn captured this scene last night when he came to bed. Thank goodness I recently got a pedicure!

Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari: The second day at the Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Sunday)

The second day of that Swedish CFA show was as much fun as the first, both for us and for Jacoby.

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We had a lot of judges come over from the US. At this point, I had only been in Sweden for six months, so it was fun to see some familiar faces and hear some familiar accents.

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This judge, Albert Kurkowski, was one of the few non-American, non-CFA judges; he was from Poland, and he was a guest judge from the World Cat Federation.

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I really enjoyed watching him handle Jake.

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There was a really pretty little Burmilla girl who was frequently benched next to us during judging.

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She reminded me a bit of Tessie.

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This judge, Inga Balciuniene, was also a WCF guest judge from Latvia.

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Pam DeLaBar is a CFA judge who lives in Finland. I actually hadn’t ever seen her at a show in the States. It’s nice having another ex-pat in the cat fancy.

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And our friend Russell Webb was there, too. He was always Jake’s lucky charm.

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Jake was Second Best cat in Premiership in Russell’s ring.

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As we did Saturday, when Jake got a little antsy we went outside to play in the snow. This time, I didn’t bother with the harness and leash. I figured, how far is he going to get in that deep snow.

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Famous last words.

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He started making off towards a little house. He went pretty far really quickly, too! I was surprised how hard he was to catch.

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I finally caught him, though.

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The cats we have now are awesome, and a lot of fun to show…but I still miss going to shows with Jake.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Januari: Scenes from a Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Saturday)

I never did post the photos from the CFA show we went to in 2017 I was reminded of yesterday.

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Jacoby seemed delighted to be back at a CFA show after competing in a few FIFe shows.

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And our friend Teresa Keiger seemed delighted to see Jake on her judging table again.

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Many CFA judges enjoyed showing off Jake’s “hands off” style on the judging table, and Teresa is one of them.

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People never got over how he loved to just stand and pose on the table, with absolutely no desire to run off.

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Jake really loved CFA shows.

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Even so, later in the day Jake started getting a little antsy, so we took him outside to play in the snow.

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The snow was fresh and wicked deep.

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I think Jake was happy for a break outside…but a little taken aback by how much snow there was.

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That didn’t stop him from exploring, though.

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He even plowed his way to a chain link fence.

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When he got there, he gripped the links and looked out through the fence.

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It was strangely reminiscent of the way he loved to look through the chain link fence in our little park along the Harborwalk back in Boston.

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After the first day of showing was over, we settled into our hotel. Jake knew where his food was!

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Jake and Björn chilled on the bed watching TV.

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There happened to be a documentary about cats on TV that night!

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Jake was very interested in it and watched intently. It was so cute!

Aby-a-Day – 25 December 2020: God Jul, Allihopa! (Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of Christmas three years ago. We didn’t know it at the time, but it was our last Jul with Logan, and it was also our last Christmas at Björn’s mother’s house.

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We took the train to Jönköping Julafton morning. It was fairly chilly, so he wore Jacoby’s old snowflake hoody.

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Jake had a snazzy new sweater of his own.

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Jake had been to Björn’s mom’s house once before, but this was Logan’s first time.

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As I’ve said before, Björn&’s mom always made the perfect traditional Swedish Julbord, and it was marvellous. We had the cold courses (hard-boiled eggs with caviar, pickled herring, and smoked salmon)…

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…mustard-crusted ham, Jul cheese and red beet salad…

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…prinskorv and meatballs (before cooking, here)…

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…and sausage, cabbage rolls and Janssons frestelse, which is basically scalloped potatoes that are julienned instead, with anchovies added. It’s delicious, I promise.

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Anyway, I had found this special Jul apple at the grocery store, and brought it to Björn’s mom because I thought she’d like it.

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Christmas morning, Logan was sitting on a kitchen table chair, and he looked so cute I had to pose him with the apple. The rest is (Facebook) history.

Aby-a-Day – 19 December 2020: Getting better all the time (Singapura Saturday)

Even when she was a kitten, Lorelai has been a very skilled shoulder cat. She can jump from the ground to your shoulder in one easy leap and stick the landing, without sticking your shoulder.

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Izaak…not so much. But he really wants to be a shoulder cat. And he’s been practicing.

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“Aw yeah, I got this.”

Aby-a-Day – 13 December 2020: Nothing says waking up like kitties in your face (Sort of Selfie Sunday)

This is how I wake up most mornings. Izaak is usually involved, and then it’s either Alfred, Lorelai and/or Dashiell. I tried to take a selfie one morning…but it did not go well. The front camera, even on an iPhone 11 Pro, is really not that great.

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So I had Björn take the photos with the back camera.

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So, okay, not technically selfies…but credit for intent. And I absolutely adore the way Zak tries to hold my hand.

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Isn’t that adorable?

Aby-a-Day – 22 November 2020: Remember when we travelled? (Cat Show Sunday)

Today Björn posted a memory from this day last year, with the comment, “It’s a year since the last cat show we attended, and when we could travel like so many times before. How things can change in a year…”

This was the train to the ferry to a Turku, Finland, where Izaak and Lorelai earned their International Champion titles. We haven’t been to a show since then. A whole year without a cat show…hard to believe. And I haven’t been anywhere at all since July! Because of my asthma I stay in as much as possible, especially since the health officials in Sweden are still saying masks don’t help against the coronavirus…especially on public transportation.

“We don’t see that we are at a point where we might recommend general use of face masks on public transport,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Public Health Agency in Stockholm, told reporters on Thursday. “Face masks shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to keep a distance.” That’s a direct quote. Yeeeeaaahhhh…I’m not going anywhere by train for a while.

Aby-a-Day – 17 November 2020: Bruno Liljefors’ cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Saturday, Björn went to the second-hand store and discovered this amazing replica painting by Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors. It’s called “A Cat and a Chaffinch” and was painted in 1885. I was surprised to discover how old it is…it looks a lot more modern!

From Wikipedia: “Liljefors was a pioneer at a time when wildlife art was still emerging from its association with scientific depiction and taxidermy. He also set a standard of identification with the landscape that substantially influenced the development of wildlife art in the twentieth century.” Liljefors mainly painted wildlife and hunting scenes, but he also did a few cats.

Liljefors was a life-long hunter, and many of his works explored the predator-prey relationship. Interestingly, he also did sequential story paintings, and is considered one of Sweden’s earliest comics creators! So this post may not have any Abyssinians or Singapuras…but it is kind of a cartoon!

Aby-a-Day – 5 November 2020: Angel soft (Thursday Things)

Even though Angel has been with me for twelve years, she’s still quite skittish, due to her early life experiences. Sadly, twelve years of security can’t undo a year of trauma.

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But she has her cuddly moments. Sometimes, she’ll curl up on my pillow and purr while leaning on my head. She also gets super affectionate on the back of the sofa. As I am typing this, she’s purring and kneading the Icelandic sheepskin behind me.

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One night, she was doing the purr and knead routine behind Björn, and he used her as a pillow. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that at first. But then…

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That’s right, girly…just go with it.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Oktober 2020: My last NEMO show (Cat Show Saturday)

Facebook reminded me today that exactly five years ago, Jacoby and I were at our last NEMO show. Kind of interesting that in 2015, the 10th and 11th of October fell on Saturday and Sunday the same as this year. One nice thing about the show hall at Sturbridge is that it has WiFi, so I was able to FaceTime with Björn and virtually introduce him to my friends.

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It was funny…Jake never used to “pole dance” on the judge’s table, but for some reason, at that show, he did it quite a few times!

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He seemed as surprised as anyone.

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He got a catnip kick-stick from our friend Donna.

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He really liked it.

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We also got to meet our friend Kim’s famous Bobby, star of Netfix’s Catwalk. Yes, we can honestly say we knew him when.

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Jake’s mini-me was at the show, too.

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I had to show it to Carla Bizzell, who had once called Jake a posable action figure. She was quite amused.

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And let’s not forget the costume contest! Jake and I dressed as >a href=”target=#>Jake from State Farm and the woman on the phone.

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It was the best costume. I got to wear a bathrobe and pajamas all day. And I even had a phone.

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“What are you wearing, ‘Jake from State Farm‘?”

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That was one of the best shows I’ve ever been in. I’ll always remember it fondly.

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New England is beautiful in autumn…but our part of Sweden gets similar bright foliage, so I don’t miss it too much.