Aby-a-Day – 19 Januari 2020: Where the Boys Are (Swedish Sunday)

In my last post, I wrote about how all our cats interact, and all the different alliances they form with each other cat. Yesterday, it was our two girls; today it’s the boys’ turn.

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It is not at all unusual to see the three boys, Dashiell, Izaak, and Alfred, together in a sort of pack.

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They seem to gravitate to the same napping spots.

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I usually wake up to all three of them in bed with me. Zak is usually under the covers, Dash is against my right side, and Freddy is either on my chest or under my right arm, next to Dash.

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And then, Zak and Dash have a special bond…after all, Zak was Dash’s first friend.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Januari 2020: Girls! Girls! Girls! (Swedish Saturday)

I have said, for many years, that cats work better in pairs. I am now kind of eating those words, since we have had five cats for a few years, now, and it’s a wonderful dynamic.

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They fall into some natural pairings: the two girls (Angel and Lorelai), the two (soon to be three) show cats (Izaak and Rory, plus Dashiell), the older two (used to be Jacoby and Angel; now it’s Angel and Alfred), the two neutered boys (Dash and Freddy), the two unneutered cats (Rory and Zak), the two youngsters (Rory and Dash), the two Americans (Angel and Dash), the two Swedes (Rory and Freddy)…it’s kind of fascinating to see how they align each other.

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Angel was always bullied by Tessie, and Kylie would join in when she heard Angel scream at Tessie. She was always a bit nervous around Pyret, but since Pyret has left us and Angel became the senior female, she’s really come into her own.

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Feeding five cats is tricky, but luckily, we have a lot of rooms. Freddy eats on his own, because he eats wicked fast and he’ll eat everyone’s food given half a chance. Dash and Zak eat together (in the winter, anyway) because Zak won’t steal Dash’s food, and Dash is preoccupied with his own bowl.

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That leaves the two girls to eat together. And they do eat very nicely together. They are very companionable, sometimes switching bowls, but there is never an argument over dinner. Angel still doesn’t really cuddle or sleep with anyone (unless Zak insists), but she does seem to have forged a friendship with Rory.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Mars: Some are born Singapura, some achieve Singapuraness… (Cinema Singapura Sunday)

Not to make a generalisation about Singapuras, but both Logan and Izaak decided they wanted to be friends with Angel and Jacoby…no matter what.

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In Angel’s case, it means Zak gets in her favourite bed with her.

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And then he grooms her.

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He’s quite serious about it, too.

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With Jake, Zak just sleeps with him wherever he is, be it our bed or the sofa.

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Does Jake want Zak’s company? I have no idea. But I also don’t think he has much of a say in the matter.

Because still photos can’t quite capture that lovin’ feeling, here’s a video of Zak forcing his affection on Jake and Angel.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Mars: Where the boys are (Swedish Singapura Saturday)

Lately, in the evenings when we watch our TV shows, we are joined on the sofa by all three boys.

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Before Izaak joined our family, Jacoby would never cuddle or sleep with Alfred. He seemed to resent Freddy’s (and Logan’s) presence in his household. Zak changed all that. He is the social glue that connects the older Abys.

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Zak often cuddles with Jake on our bed or wherever Jake happens to be sleeping. Singapuras are like that…they wear you down. And Zak and Freddy are friends who sleep together on the sofa often.

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So if Zak is napping with one of them, it’s okay for the other to join them, apparently.

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It’s almost like a bad ethnic joke: “A Pole, a Swede and a Canadian walk into a bar…”

Aby-a-Day – 29 August: Wordless Wednesday (The Blazing Star)

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Aby-a-Day – 19 August: Cat Show Wrap-up (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Okay, first off I need to apologise for today’s post. We are all four of us exhausted after a long, hot day at the show and what ended up being a nearly six-hour trip home with the kittens’ stroller and two wicked heavy bags. But I also know how much you want to know what happened.

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It was a very interesting Abyssinian class this show. Six ruddies, eight blues, four reds and a fawn! I don’t think I have been to a show when the blues dominated the breed.

On Saturday, Lorelai competed against her littermates Maya and Manne. Rory took Ex2, Maya Ex1 and Manne was Best in Variety (BIV).

This was Izaak’s first show day, and he was up against a Bengal and an Ocicat in Class 12 (Kittens 4-6 months). He got an Ex1, but wasn’t nominated. However, our friend Jenny’s Singapura, S*Kustens Follia d’Amore aka Skilla, was nominated and won Best in Show (BIS)!

On Sunday, Rory again competed against her brother and sister, but this time, she was Ex1 and her sister Maya was Ex2. However, brother Manne still took BIV. He also got the NOM, but ultimately lost to a pretty Siamese.

Zak got another Ex1, and he was up against a Bengal for the Nomination. He lost to the Bengal, but it was a close decision.

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However, how Zak and Rory did in the show is nothing compared to how they did during the long trip involving regional trains, light rail trains, cabs and buses. It was hard on me and Björn, so I don’t know what two six month old kittens thought of all that.

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Zak and Rory were awesome throughout it all. They almost never meowed, they stayed on the table or in our laps on the train, they were unfazed by loud noises or dogs (there were two large dogs in our car), and other people barely noticed them – they were surprised to see kittens in out stroller instead of a child! And they did marvellously at the show itself, being unfazed by the noise or the other cats.

The other exciting part of the show was the Litter class. CFA doesn’t have this, but in FIFe, three or more kittens (under 7 months) are judged together as part of a litter and compete against other litters! On both days, there were no other Cat. 4 litters entered, so Kajza’s kittens were BIS. The littermates are also ranked within the litter, and on the first day, the ranking was Manne, then Maya, and finally Rory…but on the second day with a different judge, the ranking was Rory first, then Maya, and finally Manne. So it just goes to show how a different day and a different judge can change everthing.

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Here is a little movie that Eva made showing her star kittens (click image to see video).

Aby-a-Day – 16 August: “Scars are simply modern battle wounds. Sometimes the enemy happens to be inside us.”

As you saw from yesterday’s post, Jacoby came home from his exploratory surgery with no problems.

When I came to collect him, the first thing that happened was that I was handed a folder with Jake’s aftercare instructions.

They were detailed, but completely manageable.

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However, as you saw yesterday, AniCura sent him home with a hard plastic “Cone of Shame*.” Nobody wants to wear that, least of all our Jake. So on our way back to the bus stop, we stopped off at a conveniently located pet shop, but they didn’t have any soft cones, so I ended up buying him a Trixie Surgery Suit. We dressed him at the shop, but, sadly, I didn’t take any photos when we tried the onesie on Jake.

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But, as you saw yesterday, Jake had zero issues with wearing his onesie. In fact, he probably had fewer issues with it than he would have had with the hard cone!

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This morning, I woke up to…this. Jake was in a cuddle puddle on our bed with Alfred and Izaak!

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I think Jake was as surprised about that as I was. I blame his (prescribed) post-op opioid painkillers.

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But it wasn’t just Freddy and Zak. Angel was on the bed, too!

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She didn’t join the boys’ cuddle puddle, but she clearly approved of it.

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Okay, Angel. Back off…

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Meanwhile, on my stomach…we had Lorelai. Which means all five cats were on our bed at the same time!

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It may be Jake’s medication, but I’m taking it as a solid win!

* Or “Cone of Courage,” as one friend called it.

Aby-a-Day – 19 July – “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing” (Thursday

Lorelai is the kind of cat we have always wanted.

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Oh! There she is now!

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Yes, Rory is that rarest of cats…

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…the kind of cat I have only had twice before…

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…Yes, Rory is…

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…a shoulder cat! And she will jump from a high surface down onto your shoulder, or she will climb up to your shoulder from the ground. Suddenly. And without warning. Especially on the day before claw-clipping day.

Aby-a-Day – 24 February: Wordless Wednesday (This just happened…)

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Aby-a-Day – 19 February: Jake and Tessie (Friday Flashback)

Jacoby and Tessie have always had a special bond.

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These photos were taken on 9 August 2009, a little more than a week after Jake came to live with us.

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As you can see, Tessie quickly became fond of the little boycat.

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And even today, almost seven years later, they’re still best friends.

Aby-a-Day – 17 February: Wordless Wednesday (I knead you)

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Aby-a-Day – 7 January: Chilling with Mom

I returned to Boston yesterday after a wonderful time with Björn in Sweden.

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I didn’t want to leave, and I’m not going back to work until Monday, because I know that I’ll need a few days to mope and cry recover.

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Jacoby is thrilled that I am home.

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He’s been cuddling with me nonstop.

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This is what happens when I say his name.

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I’m not even touching him! Just talking to him makes him roll around in glee.

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Big, goofy yawn…

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Oh, he’s definitely glad I’m home. Look at that Aby smile.

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And he knows I’m upset, too…he’s such a good boy.

Aby-a-Day – December 17: My bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

When you read this, I will be in Sweden, visiting Björn over the holidays.

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I left Wednesday night on an overnight flight on Iceland Air.

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Of course Jacoby helped me pack.

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Although he wasn’t entirely thrilled about me leaving – and oh, yes, he knew I was going somewhere without him!

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He tried to talk me into staying.

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Sorry, Jake! But I’ll be back in three weeks – and we can always FaceTime!

Aby-a-Day – July 19: Friends when it matters

As I mention often, Angel doesn’t always want to be around Jacoby. She hisses at him all the time in the apartment.

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But when we’re outside, or at the vet, she sticks to him like glue.

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Given the choice between being on her own and being next to Jake, she chooses to be near Jake.

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See? No hissing here!

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Although Angel does look a little chagrined at being photographed making nice with Jake, doesn’t she? It’s okay to like him, Angel!

Aby-a-Day – July 5: Togetherness

I’m never alone in the bathroom. Ever.

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One reason, at least in the morning, is that Jacoby has suddenly decided that he doesn’t want to eat in his house the way he’s been doing for years.

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Nope, now he wants to eat with me.

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In the bathroom.

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While I’m getting ready for work.

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And of course, I don’t mind the company but…when Jake isn’t eating, he’s a little bit…oh, what’s the word?

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Clingy? Needy? No…that’s not quite it. Let’s just say he’s extremely “interactive” and leave it at that.

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He’s actually acquired a new nickname lately: Rivningskula, which is Swedish for “wrecking ball.” He seems to be perfecting his skill of knocking things off counters with a vengeance.

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I guess it’s my own fault…I should have been telling him to “stop that, Jake” and not, “Jake…knock it off!”

Aby-a-Day – June 21: Happy Aby Father’s Day

I just had to share these photos of our friend Dante Mooner that Marsha Zapp Ammons posted on Facebook last week. They are the perfect embodiment of the concept of “Father’s Day.”

Marsha wrote: “Dante Mooner to one of his Humans, John: You’re mine, you’re mine, you are ALL MINE!”

Marsha also explained that “Dante loves to go walking, but he often ‘asks’ us to hold him, like John is doing in these photos.”

Awww…look how much Dante loves his human dad!

Aby-a-Day – June 18: Welcome home!

One of the best thing about Abyssinians is that they are always happy to see you when you come home after a hard day at work.

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Jacoby generally is at the door to greet me when I get home.

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If I’m preoccupied with something, he’s so excited to see me, he’ll pet himself by rubbing on anything that’s handy.

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He’s usually just woken up from a nap when I get home, so he’s still a little sleepy.

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Look at that face! That is one cat who’s happy his human is home at last!

Aby-a-Day – June 10: Wordless Wednesday (The first thing I see when I come home from work)

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Aby-a-Day – March 28: “Sport” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Sport.”

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As you saw yesterday, Jacoby is a really good sport.

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He really didn’t like those boots I had him try on, but he still modeled them for me.

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And when I say he didn’t like them…

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…I mean he kind of hated them.

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But as I say, he’s a very good sport about the things I ask him to do for me.

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He may not always agree…but he humours me.

Aby-a-Day – February 14: “Cherished” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Cherished.”

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No question who is cherished in our house.

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I do believe it’s a two-way street, though. I think Jacoby cherishes me, too. He’s always by my side, helping.

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A recent article in The Huffington Post about the way felines and humans interact says, among other things, that the dynamics of cat-human relationships are very much like human-human bonds.

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“Researchers concluded cats do indeed attach to humans — especially women — as social partners, and not just because they want to keep their food bowls full.”

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One part of the article I really liked: “The researchers established that cats and their owners heavily influence one another, often to the extent that they control each other’s behaviors. Extroverted women with young, active cats seem to be the most in tune with each other. The kitties in these pairings only have to give subtle cues – for example, a single upright movement of the tail — to let their owners know they’re looking for friendly attention…cats also seem to remember human kindness and return the favor later. If an owner fulfills her feline’s wish to interact, the cat will often comply with the owner’s desire for contact at other times.”

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This right here, I believe, is why Jake is so good-natured about dressing up and posing for photos. I always tell people he does these things “because I ask him to” and, apparently, I was dead-on correct. He’s indulging me because I indulge him. Quid pro quo.

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I’ve always thought that interacting with a cat was like interacting with a small, non-verbal human. Seems I was onto something.

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We already know that cats recognise certain words (my Siamese Harri knew “Go on the bed and lie down” among other things), and that they invented meowing as a way to try to communicate with us on our terms.

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Cats also chose to live with us as opposed to humans deciding to domesticate them. Cats alone of all domesticated animals, researchers think, chose to enter into a partnership with humans.

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Dogs may be man’s best friend, but man is cat’s best friend.