Happy 15th Birthday, Tessie!

It’s hard to believe that Tessie turns 15 years old today! She is still doing well in Boston.

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She’s slowing down a little and she can’t jump the way she used to. She also has a little limp, which may be arthritis. And the brown spot on her right eye (which she has had for at least 10 years) is getting bigger. Apart from all that, she is very healthy and active!

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Happy birthday, Tessie-bell!

Happy 13th Birthday, Kylie!

Today is Kylie’s 13th birthday! She and Tessie are still living happily in Boston. They’re a bit older, but doing well.

Aby-a-Day – 9 April: Timing is everything (Part one) (Medical Monday)

As most of you, I think, know, I moved from my beloved Boston to Sweden in June 2016. But what I haven’t had a chance to explain yet is…

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…my beloved Boston veterinary clinic, South Boston Animal Hospital, moved from East Broadway between H and I Streets (which is now, rather disconcertingly, a nail salon so fancy it calls itself a “nail bar”) to…

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…Yeah. Right. In. The. Building. I. Was. LIVING. In.

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It’s one of the few things I really, really miss about my life back in the US. The fact that, for 15 short, precious days, my vet’s office was in the first floor of the building I lived in. I mean, literally…all we had to do was go down the elevator, go out the front door, walk a few steps outside…and yeah. You’re at the vet. The awesome vet that you love, not the sucky one you go to because you have no options.

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We were lucky enough to go there three times before we left.

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The opening was supposed to be on my birthday, 1 June, but it was delayed because of…reasons. We visited on 6 June and work still wasn’t quite finished. There were caution cones all over the place.

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They did have impressive wifi set up already, though!

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Jacoby was eager to check everything out.

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Angel was…rather less enthusiastic about exploring.

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This was our fist visit to the new location before moving. Next week, come along with Jake and me to the SBAH grand opening party!

Aby-a-Day – 16 February: Downtown stroller town…Gonna shut your stroller down (Friday Flashback)

Two years ago this month, Boston had an unseasonably marvelous Sunday afternoon. I needed to go to the Apple Store on Boylston, and I decided to walk there with Jacoby. Apple Stores, as a whole, are known to be pet-friendly, and the Boston flagship store is no exception.

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We were walking home after having my MacBook Pro checked by the lovely Geniuses, just enjoying the still-warm February evening and enjoying Boston, when…

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…We met a boy.

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A boy in a stroller. It was adorable. Jake was checking out the kid’s stroller, and the kid was checking out Jake’s. It was like when two vintage car owners see each other on the street, comparing chrome and fin height.

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It took him a little while to screw up the courage, but finally the boy reached out and petted Jake. I couldn’t tell with the pacifier in his mouth, but I think he was smiling.

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After we parted ways, Jake went back to looking at the fancy windows at Lord and Taylor. He always liked looking at those windows.

Aby-a-Day – 8 February: Food, glorious food!

After my visit with Björn over Christmas 2015, I posted about the different types of cat food I found in Sweden

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The food I was most excited to try out on the cats was the Swedish food Bozita. It’s very high quality, 93% meat (but usually only about 7% of the meat flavour on the box). In the EU and Sweden, pet food is strictly regulated, and everything is listed out by percentage. You almost never see the vague and all-encompassing “Meat and Bone Meal” or “Animal By-Products” listed on pet food labels here. You also don’t get pet food with expired meat from supermarkets (including the styrofoam tray and plastic wrapping), roadkill and euthanised shelter animals.

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Jacoby was eager to try it!

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So eager, in fact, that he tried to open the box with his teeth!

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It looks really good when you open it, too. And the packaging, in Swedish-invented Tetra-Pak boxes, is so much nicer and easier to deal with than either cans or plastic pouches.

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I mix it with a little warm water, with probiotic powder for Jake, and L-Lysine powder for Angel.

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Jake could not wait to taste it.

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He liked it! Hey Jakey!

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Angel loved it too, and she can be particular about food (strange for an Aby, I know).

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Clean plate club all around!

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Now we have a cupboard full of a wide selection of various fish, bird and mammal flavours, including crayfish, salmon, duck and rabbit along with the moose and reindeer. And you can see what I mean by the Tetra-Pak boxes being easier to deal with than cans or pouches. My main concern is feeding them too much of any one protein source. I don’t want to have too much chicken, or beef or salmon…I want them eating as many different species as I can find so they don’t get hooked on one type of food.

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I also feed them this marvelous frozen raw food from Finland, Vaisto Mush.

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It’s little meatballs with real raw ingredients, bones and organ meat, very easy to deal with and feed – basically one ball, mixed with the Bozita and whichever prescription food the cat in question eats (UT for Jake and Angel, Kitten/Growth for Logan, Weight Management for Alfred, and Renal for Pyret).

(Yeah, I’ll do a post about just HOW I feed everyone in the near future…)

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Freddy! You can’t eat them when they’re still frozen solid!

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The link to the Cat raw food isn’t in English, I’m afraid; they only have Finnish and Swedish (and German) – the English pages seem to be down. They do have English on their packaging, however, so you can read the ingredients in these photos.

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The Cat raw comes in three mixes: Chicken and Pork, Chicken and Beef, and Beef and Pork…but sometimes I also get the Puppy raw, which is Salmon, Reindeer and Beef, or their special edition Wild blend for adult dogs made of Moose, Reindeer and Lamb.

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I know that cats are not to be fed dog food of course, because cats and dogs have different nutritional needs, but the Puppy and Wild blend percentages are almost identical to the Cat blends (they include 8% and 5% respectively vegetables and fruits, while the Cat is almost 100% animal, and this is not their exclusive diet. I always mix it with Bozita and prescription food.

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I also sometimes get Norwegian-made Vom frozen cat food. It’s good, with chicken and salmon, but it comes in a sausage-shaped package. You have to thaw the whole “sausage” in one go, and sort of squeeze it out like toothpaste. It’s a bit harder to measure out properly, and it’s a lot messier. I prefer the “kattbullar” to the sausages, but I like to get them once in a while for variety.

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Freddy ate a lot of this type of raw food before he came to live with us, and when he saw this one he recognised it instantly.

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…And, of course, tried to eat it. I swear, he is endlessly hungry!

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The only thing about the raw that I don’t like? Jake flat out refuses to eat it! He likes raw meat when I am cutting it up to cook it…but he won’t touch the raw, thawed meatballs, or the Vom sausages. Not even if I offer it to him as a treat! I have no idea why. Angel, Logan and Freddy love it, and I am happy to be feeding them a mix that includes raw in their diets.

Aby-a-Day – 8 January: The weather outside is…not that frightful, actually

Here in Skövde, there hasn’t been much snow (especially compared to back in Boston)…but here is Alfred observing his very first snowfall.

Aby-a-Day – 14 May: “Lake” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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We don’t live near a lake in Boston, but Jacoby has seen plenty of water in his day. Of course, there’s Fort Point Channel, very close to the building in which we live.

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And there’s Boston Harbor, too.

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And there’s also the Charles River, which we cross over whenever we take the T into Cambridge.

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But when we move to Sweden, we’ll have an actual lake outside our window. It’s called “Käpplundasjön” and here is Pyret looking at it.

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Enjoy your peaceful view out the window while you can, Pyret. You’re about to be invaded by Abys!