Aby-a-Day – 23 August: After the vet visit

On the way home from the vet, when we changed buses, we took a detour through our downtown shopping mall Commerce. We stopped at Systembolaget (the state-run liquor store)…

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…and basically smuggled Dashiell in the store. As they say in The Paper,” “A clipboard and a confident wave will get you into any building in the world!” Which is, act like you belong there and you’re not doing anything questionable, bringing a cat into a shop is easy. Of course, I have a lot of practice with that and Jacoby.

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Dash seemed really interested in the wine…that’s my boy!

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After buying our wine, we stopped in at Björn’s work so his coworkers could meet Emma and Dash.

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Then we went to wait for our bus home. Emma wanted to carry Dash.

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She did an excellent job managing Dash in his carrier.

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On the walk from the bus stop to our apartment, we tried to walk Dash the way we walk home from the stop with the other cats. He wasn’t very enthusiastic about walking. But he does like trees.

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So Emma carried him instead.

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We ran into a mother and a small child who were interested in our kitten. Look at Emma introducing Dash to them!

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I was especially impressed at how Emma introduced Dash to the child.

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If therapy cats ever become a thing in Sweden, I think Emma would be a natural.

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I wish Emma lived closer to us…she and Dash make a great team.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Augusti: Dashiell’s first Swedish vet visit (Medical Monday)

Last Wednesday, we had to take Dashiell to see our veterinarian in Skultorp, not because there was anything wrong with him, but because we needed a health certificate to send to the insurance company to start his health insurance. We also needed to get him his EU passport.

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As he was on the ferry and the train, Dash was much happier in his carrier with the top open.

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Emma sat beside him and managed him on the bus ride.

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Dash rode the bus like a seasoned professional.

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It’s a long trip from our apartment to the vet, and we have to change buses in central Skövde. It’s not usually a long wait, and the weather was nice. Dash seemed happy enough.

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Look at this bus riding champion!

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When we arrived, we were put into the same examination room all the other cats were in when we went in for our annual checkup back in June.

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Like any good Abyssinian, the minute we let him loose in the room, he proceeded to explore it thoroughly.

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The first thing we did was put him on the scale and weigh him.

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2.85 kg (6.25 lbs). Exactly the same as Lorelai!

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Emma helped the vet with Dash’s exam.

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She’s definitely a natural when it comes to taking care of cats.

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This actually happened by accident, but we thought it was funny: I gave Emma one of the vet’s free magnets and it jumped from her hand onto his round tag!

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Waiting for the passport to be completed, Dash got sleepy and laid down on his show book. Well, he’d only been in Sweden two days after his long trip from the States, so I guess he deserves to be a little tired.

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After the visit was over, we got back on the bus and headed home.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Augusti: The train home to Skövde (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we got back to Sweden from the ferry from Helsinki, we met up with Björn’s ex to get Emma to spend a week with us and the cats.

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We got there a little ahead of them, so we had to chill out in Stockholm Centralen until they arrived.

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Emma loves cats. I am sad that she doesn’t get to live with any.

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If ever a girl deserved to live with a cat (or cats), it’s Emma.

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Emma was amazing with Dash. I think he’s going to miss her when she goes back home.

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Dash also looked out the window at the passing scenery, just like Jacoby and all the other cats who ride trains.

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Finally, the train arrived in Skövde. Emma wanted to carry Dash’s carrier.

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From the train station, a quick taxi ride home.

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Dash was quick to feel at home in our bedroom. And after the long, long, long journey…He was finally home.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Augusti: Two words you never want to hear at a cat show: “Cat out!” (Thursday Things)

Especially when it’s your cat.

Sunday at the show, after Izaak had been judged and we were waiting for the Nominations, Lorelai was called up for her Nomination at the same time. So Björn had Rory and I had Zak. Then I dropped my phone and it came out of its case. I needed two hands to put it back in, so I handed Zak over to Björn. Then Zak started to cough up a hairball.

I raced over to the Secretary’s table and grabbed a piece of scratch paper, and got Zak to puke on it. Björn was right next to us, so I asked him to grab Zak whilst I dealt with the barf. In the time between me letting him go and Björn grabbing him…

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…he decided this space under the folded-up bleachers (the show hall’s day job is a basketball arena). And he. Would not. Come. OUT. When he doesn’t want to be caught, he is a master. They announced that a cat was loose and to close all the doors, but I was like, “Yeah, no. The doors are the least of our worries!” He’s roaming around underneath the bleachers, and he’s up for Nomination like NOW

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Finally, a woman with Siamese working the Secretary’s table called to me. She saw Zak in the corner, near her stroller. They asked me if I had any food that would lure him out. I said, “No…he won’t eat anything but raw and chicken necks. Does anyone have a raw chicken neck?” Yeah, nobody did. I had grabbed Chirpy Mouse and Zak’s favourite wand toy (a fishing lure blue crab I picked up in Baltimore), so we tried those. Chirpy Mouse had no effect, but Blue Crab got his attention. I almost grabbed him…but then he backed away. He wandered around a little more, and then came back to that corner, and, with the help of Blue Crab, I was able to grab him. The judge he was up for Nomination with, Glenn Sjöbom, asked me if I was okay and patted me on the back, telling me not to worry and not feel like I needed to rush. When he actually got nominated, I held him up, and, during the applause, I said to him, “You. Do. NOT. Deserve. This!”

I repeated that when he was declared Best In Show.

I don’t have any photos of the actual events…I was too busy trying to catch the little asshole.

But here’s the punchline to the whole escapade: Just after it happened my friend Kinsey posted on Facebook that Zak’s brother, Paolo had escaped that morning and led her on a merry chase around the neighbourhood before she managed to catch him again. He wears a tracker on his collar that she can track on her mobile.

One of her friends commented that it could only happen to Kinsey, and I chimed in, “Nope, not just Kinsey. Today at the cat show, Izaak, Paolo and Keiko’s younger brother, escaped and went exploring under the bleachers!”. To which Kinsey explained, “Must be in their genes. Paolo did that at a cat show once and I was on my hands and knees under the benches trying to get him.”

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They ARE full brothers, perhaps not littermate brothers, but brothers nonetheless. Kinsey’s always posting about Paolo’s adventures…and by the smug, “sorry, not sorry” look on Zak’s face, I suspect I will be, too.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Augusti: “Railroad trains are such magnificent objects, we commonly mistake them for Destiny”

The thing about going to cat shows in Sweden is, you have to travel all over the country (and also to other countries). We sometimes rent a car, but usually the rail and bus system is good enough that we don’t have to. It’s tough sometimes because the luggage for cats and humans gets heavy, and if the elevators are broken it can be a struggle.

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But our new super stroller makes it a million times easier. We can put things on top of it, or inside with the cats, and it can be steered with one hand (that was a problem with the previous strollers).

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And we get to see a lot of interesting things. This is Södertälje Syd station, closest to the show and our hotel. The swoopy thing is just a shelter to wait for taxis or cars to pick people up.

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I just thought it was wicked cool. It could have been plain and boring, but instead they made it look interesting. I like that.

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Riding the train is nice. Sometimes it can be crowded, or there can be screaming children or annoying people having FaceTime conversations. Since we have to travel in the pet compartment, sometimes we share it with dogs.

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Usually the dogs are well-trained and polite, but on the trip to Södertälje, there was a Labradoodle who was not so nice. His human was seated across the aisle from us, and he was on the floor at my feet. Lorelai was chilling on Björn’s bag under the table, and Izaak was on my lap, closer to the dog. Zak’s okay with dogs, but he’s more used to small dogs. At one point the Labradoodle lunged at the cats with no warning! It even surprised the dog’s owner, it was that sudden. After that, Zak decided to sit on the table and shoot stinkeyes at the designer mutt. (I wanted to get a photo of it, but after the altercation I was afraid the woman would see me take the picture. But it looked almost exactly like this.)

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Even Rory, who likes dogs, decided that sitting on the seat next to Björn was a better idea after that.

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Sometimes Zak gets bored on the train and walks around. He likes to climb up the backs of the seats, too.

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This is from the trip home, which was blessedly canine-deficient. Rory was fascinated by the passing scenery.

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Zak also had to check it out. I love watching them crawl all over Björn…it just shows how comfortable they are riding the rails.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Juli: Remembering Jake’s man bun (Photoshop/Fashion Friday Flashback)

The other day, watching TV, a commercial for small loans came on, featuring “typical Swedes.” The man in the advert is meant to be Lars Johansson (the Swedish version of “Joe Average”), complete with manbun. I laughed and said, “Jeez…And of course he has a manbun! Manbuns are so 2016!”

Which reminded me of the time I Photoshopped a manbun on Jacoby. I’m still pretty proud of this one.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Juli: Wordless Wednesday (A walk in the summer sun)

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