Aby-a-Day – 17 Juli: A curious series of events (Serious Saturday)

Okay. Today was…weird. Strange. Mysterious. And not a little bit scary. It has many layers to it. It starts earlier this week, when I bought a used tricycle.

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Since Covid, my balance is a bit off and my Dutch bike is getting harder to ride, especially when I am carrying things. But good tricycles are expensive, and cheap ones are…unpredictable. I’d been looking on a Swedish used item selling website, but there was nothing. Then, on Wednesday, I happened to check it again…and there was one listed, in Skövde, for only 2900 kr (about $300 USD – wicked cheap). The trike had been put up the day before, so it really was serendipity. He delivered it Thursday. It’s going to take a bit of practice to get the hand of riding it (bicycles and tricycles handle very differently) and it needs some lights and reflectors.

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Another point: Björn is away on a weekend gaming trip, since everyone is vaccinated. Last night, I was on my own, so I ordered those lights and reflectors on Amazon.se. As part of this shopping, I went out twice after sunset to look at the trike to see what I needed and where I could mount things. When I went out, I got a lot of mosquito bites. I also ran into my upstairs neighbours, who told me they were going on a trip in the morning (this becomes important later). I fell asleep watching Hamilton, woke up at 4am, and went to bed. Woke up at 10, itching like crazy, and took some Benedryl. I was reading in the bedroom (it’s cooler there during the day than in the living room) and the Benedryl made me doze off. When I woke up, it was almost 4pm.

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Which meant the cats’ breakfast was late. I immediately went to feed them. Izaak and Lorelai weren’t around, but that’s actually kind of normal for them; Zak has been hiding from me when I feed him, especially in the morning because he doesn’t want to be shut up in the bedroom, and Rory likes to hang out on the balcony and eats later.

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But it was bothering me. Afternoons, Rory sleeps on the end of the sofa, and Zak eventually comes out of hiding. Kalle and I searched the house; I had started a load of laundry and thought they might be shut in there, but they weren’t. Now I was getting worried. I started thinking they might be outside, but how? They didn’t get out when I went outside last night, because they were here for dinner. Around 5:30pm, I went outside, both to look for them and also to see if I could put the tail light back on the trike. As soon as I got to the trike, Zak appeared, yelling a blue streak!

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“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!? WHY WAS I OUTSIDE? WHERE WERE YOU!?” And I couldn’t answer that, because I have no idea. But that means Rory was probably outside, too. I put Zak back inside and Kalle and I scoured the område. Kalle suggested we check with the Anderssons, and I told him they’d gone on a trip this morning. We looked everywhere, but couldn’t find her…but it occurred to me that late afternoon is Rory’s nap time. WHen I messaged Björn about it, he thought she might be napping under some bushes in one of her favourite spots, like near the sandbox. So, we decided to wait for an hour and try again. Kalle mentioned that the door wasn’t locked when he went shopping; he had forgotten that until after we searched. Alfred, as you know, can open the front door if it’s not locked, and when the Anderssons load their car, they block the door open. Kalle and I started theorising: The door somehow was left unlocked (I don’t remember NOT locking it, but I don’t remember actually locking it, either) and Freddy opened it. Zak, Rory and Freddy go out in the hallway, and the front door is open because of the neighbours’ trip. The Anderssons see Freddy and put him inside, but they don’t see the other two. I also knew no one had found her; she’s pretty well known in the område and all the children know her by name. She has two ID tags and nobody had called or checked the Blanket ID site.

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Kalle suggested taking Zak with us when we went out to look for Rory, and I had been thinking the same thing. So, Zak and I go out to find Rory and Kalle was still getting ready…but there Rory was, right at the door, waiting to be let in! I have no idea when they got out, how long they’d been out, where they went…nothing. Just our theory of events, at least until the Anderssons get home. But, this shows that taking them outside often and in all seasons is a VERY good thing, because they know where they live. A lot of indoor cats don’t learn that, so if they do escape, they are easily disoriented and don’t know how to get home.

Epilouge: The Anderssons didn’t see the cats this morning. I just messaged Oksana, and she didn’t see Freddy, Zak or Rory this morning. The mystery continues. So much for all that CSI I’ve watched in my life.

Aby-a-Day – 10 September 2020: Runaway Rory (Thursday Things)

As I posted on Sunday, we took Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai out to the recycling bins.

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But what I didn’t tell you about is that Rory ran away.

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Like, away away.

Here’s a satellite shot of our område. At the top of the photo is our apartment building. At the lower right is the recycling bins. And at mid-lower left is where she ran…and where I lost her. We actually had her back at our apartment, the boys were ready to go in…and she ran all the way back to where that arrow is. And the sun was setting, and it was getting dark.

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We had no idea where she could be (I suspected she’d doubled back, since every time we lost track of her, she was heading back towards our building), and apart from the darkness, it was also getting cold and we had to have our dinner (pot roast, which was in danger of overcooking).

Shout out to BlanketID, here: their poster generating feature is wonderful. I created one in English and Björn translated it into Swedish. Kalle offered to go out and look for her, and at almost 11 PM, he texted me and told me he’d spotted her in the small parking lot near the tvättstugen (laundry building). Björn went out to help him lure her in with some treats and a laser pointer, and when they called her, she finally came out. Kalle caught her, and they put her on her harness and leash. She did walk back like a good girl, but she didn’t get her chicken neck that night.

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I knew she was in heat…but I also know there aren’t any whole tomcats in the area. Still, I thought that her training would kick in. I think I underestimated the power of hormones and instinct just a little bit. Welp…until she gets knocked up, she’s only going outside on her harness and leash.

Abys are Everywhere: Blanket ID’s Member of the Month

Guess who is Blanket ID‘s member of the month for November?

Yep! None other than our very own Jacoby! He will grace Blanket ID’s Facebook page all this month!

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love Blanket ID’s tags. All of our cats have them, along with their microchips. They also make wonderful holiday gifts (because you know what comes after November), especially when paired with one of HiTide Creations’ collars.

Hurrah for Jake!

Aby-a-Day – September 13: Ring around the collar (Fashion Friday)

I just wanted to give a little shoutout to my friend Sally at Hi Tide Creations.

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Sally makes the wonderful leather collars that all our cats wear that you see in all the photos I post.

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What I love about these collars is that they are so narrow and light; they don’t really interfere with the cat’s looks or give them “collar fur” dents. They don’t have buckles, just a solid ring, and they slip on and off over the cat’s head. They aren’t breakaway collars, but if a cat gets their collar caught on something (which I’ve only had happen twice in all my years of cat owning) they can get out of it easily.

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Each collar is hand-braided from kangaroo leather (Kangaroo leather is lighter and stronger than cow or goat leather. It has 10 times the tensile strength of cowhide and is 50% stronger than goatskin, which means it’s lightweight but very strong) in any combination of four colours you wish. Angel’s is various purples and burgundies.

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Tessie’s is red and blue.

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And Kylie’s is pink, natural and white.

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Jake actually has two sets of collars with their own colour schemes. His everyday collar is a blend of light and dark green…

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…while his therapy collar, his leash and his harnesses are the two greens plus turquoise. I think we thought that would be a bit more “medical.”

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I really love his therapy leash. It’s long with a swivel in the middle as well as clips at both ends and two extra O-rings. This makes it adjustable; on visits I clip it around my waist so I don’t ever have to worry about dropping his leash. It’s also 100lb tested, so it won’t break. The collars are 100lb test, too.

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He also has a little short leash she made, which is basically a handle that attaches to his collar. We use it in the hallway sometimes.

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Sally’s also made Jake a couple of harnesses, too, which I helped design: A figure-8 style harness with a criss-cross back, and

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a step-in style harness.

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I don’t use the harnesses most of the time because Jake has actually managed to get out of them a few times, but I love the way they look in photos because they’re so minimal the cat looks more “natural” – almost like no harness at all!

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Coming home from a therapy visit one evening, it occurred to me how many things I have that Sally made.

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Let’s see…grooming noose (being used as a bottle leash here), camera straps (long and short), my ID badge lanyard, Jake’s leash, Jake’s harness, and even my keychain!

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Yeah, we love our HiTide Creations around here!

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One thing I have always loved about the collars is the way they match their BlanketID tags…which leads me to a bit of very cool news.

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Sally is based in Victoria, BC, and Blanket is based in Vancouver…and they are going to start working together on a collar-and-tag combination! All because of a bunch of kitty fashionistas who live 3.000 miles away!

Other People’s Abys – Somali Sighting

Cate at Blanket ID found this great German cat furniture site…and some great Somali models!

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I see ruddies/usuals, red/sorrels, and a really adorable little blue Somali kitten…not to mention some really sweet furniture.