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 – 8 Mars: Here we go again…(Medical Monday)

So, we got a little bad news last week…Lorelai’s boyfriend Ritchie has been neutered.

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Because of snow, medical issues and other things in January and February, we weren’t able to organise another meeting with him in Stockholm.

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It’s really disappointing, especially since, this time, I absolutely saw it happen, more than once. And he was such a lovely, sweet boy. They would have made wonderful kittens. So now we need to find another boy for Rory. Siiiiighhh…who knew it was so hard to get a cat knocked up?

Aby-a-Day – 1 Februari: Third time’ll be the charm? (Medical Monday)

Well…as you might have noticed…Lorelai isn’t pregnant.

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We’re working out when she can rendez-vous with Ritchie again.

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We are definitely hoping the third time will be the charm!

Aby-a-Day – 26 December 2020: Self-amusing cat toy (Silly Saturday)

My friend (and Dashiell’s breeder) sent us some Christmas gifts. Among them was a simple wand toy with holographic tinsel.

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I put it in a pencil cup. Lorelai really liked it.

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Errr…maybe she liked it a little too much. But she’s proof that wand toys don’t need to have a human on the other end to be fun to play with.

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As for the question on everyone’s mind…I still can’t tell if Rory is pregnant. Her nipples seem to say yes, but he isn’t showing anything yet. I am going to weigh her this weekend, so maybe that will give us a clue.

Aby-a-Day – 21 December 2020: Is she or isn’t she redux (Medical Mystery Monday)

Well, yesterday was three weeks after I saw Lorelai and Ritchie actually mating.

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My friends and the books both say that, around the three-week mark, she should be “pinking up”…and, once again, I really cannot tell.

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Although, when we were taking these photos, her nipples did seem to be easier to find…so maybe?

Aby-a-Day – 2 December 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Freddy’s got game. Spoiler alert: No, he doesn’t)

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Aby-a-Day – 30 November 2020: The no-tell hotel (Hipstamatic Monday)

So, as I posted on Saturday, Lorelai met a boy in a hotel. At first, she didn’t like him at all.

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On Saturday night, Rory was grooming herself suggestively…and Ritchie was watching appreciatively.

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Then Rory caught him watching her.

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Ritchie instantly looked away. “Who, me? Nope, I was looking at this suddenly very interesting ceiling.”

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Then, at approximately 07:48 am on Sunday morning, I was awakened by a thumping and cat noises (and a need to pee). The thumping was due to rolling around the shoes underneath our suitcase, but yeah, when I woke up, sexy times were happening under our bed.

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Bow chicka bow!

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After their tryst under our bed, the lovebirds went to the space under our suitcase, where the shoes had been, pre-all the rolling that woke me up.

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I actually watched a mating cycle, including dismount, and there were at least two others that I didn’t see, so I think we may have touchdown this time!

Aby-a-Day – 28 November 2020: No one else was in the room where it (hopefully) happened (Special Saturday)

Yesterday, we drove to Stockholm so Lorelai could have a “date” with her new beau, S*Cat’s Claw Rock Star Ritchie.

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Ritchie looked pretty keen to meet her when he was still in his carrier.

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Rory was pretty interested in him, too.

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So we opened Ritchie’s carrier’s door so they could meet face to face.

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It didn’t go great…Rory growled and hissed at him.

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So, not exactly love at first sight.

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Ritchie, ever the gentleman, withdrew to the shower.

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Where he proceeded to try to woo Rory with his cuteness.

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He really went all out, too.

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From her perch on the counter, Rory watched everything Ritchie did. But did it work? Was Rory impressed?

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Since we left them alone together in the bathroom to interact without human intervention, only time will tell.

Aby-a-Day – 19 November 2020: Love in the time of Covid-19 (Thursday Things)

So, we have a little news: We have found another boy for Lorelai! He lives with our friend Susanna in Stockholm; you may recall we met two of her Abys, Rory’s half-brother and a girl born the same day as Rory at Rory’s very first cat show.

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His name is S*Cat Claw’s Rockstar Ritchie. He’s almost a year old, and he happens to have a brother named Rory! He’s ruddy, but his mother is fawn, so it’s possible he’ll carry cinnamon.

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This will be Ritchie’s second mating. We’re taking her to Stockholm next weekend…so keep your fingers crossed!

Aby-a-Day – 22 Oktober 2020: We may have found a boy! (Thursday Things)

Lorelai has been pacing and yowling for weeks…but we haven’t been able to find a male for her that we could get to.

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Until now.

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I got a message today from Susanna Wallebo:

Sorry I did not answer earlier.

I think Ritchie is fertile. On Monday I will send in the poop sample on him. Also waiting for DNA test on him as his father is a PRA carrier. So Ritchie could be a carrier. The laboratory has promised that I will receive an answer at the end of October.

Since your cat is not a PRA carrier, there is no problem with mating.

There is a female ahead in the queue. So we can only hope that she starts her heat soon.

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The boy, S*Cat Claw’s Rock Star Ritchie, isn’t even a year old yet, so we have been waiting for him to mature. Evidently, he has…so stay tuned!

Aby-a-Day – 19 Oktober 2020: “I wanna live with a cinnamon girl” (Medical Mystery Monday)

When we were planning on breeding Lorelai with Io, I was wondering what the chances were that they might have a fawn kitten. I consulted the Abyssinian Database’s colour breeding chart.

These are the possible results. The males are on the top: Sorrel not carrying dilute (bbDD) and Sorrel carrying dilute (bbDd). The females are on the left: Blue not carrying cinnamon (BBdd) and Blue carrying cinnamon (Bbdd). Io had produced fawn kittens, so we knew he carries dilute. So…the big question: Does Rory carry cinnamon?

With the pandemic and all, I didn’t want to send the test all the way to UC Davis, so I found a European lab that offers a test for the Cinnamon gene. So I ordered a test and swabbed Rory’s cheeks.

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Izaak helped to make sure the paperwork was all in order before I mailed it off.

About a week later, the results came back…and, unfortunately, Rory is BB, so she doesn’t carry cinnamon. Depending on the male, she can only have ruddy or blue kittens…but her kittens could possibly have fawn kittens.

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.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Augusti 2020: A stupid situation (Cinema Sunday)

So, here’s the deal. Lorelai’s in heat, and Karin neutered Io before we could have a second go (Which was a condition on the contract, but whatever).

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So guess what, now she’s in heat, and I have no male to put her up with. I am beyond pissed off about this, but it is what it is. At least I got the breeding fee back (1500kr/$150).

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But the fact is, Rory’s in heat. So Izaak tried to step in. He’s got the concept, but not the theory.

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This is what it looks like.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Augusti 2020: Bad news (Thursday Things)

You may remember on Monday, my post was about not being able to tell if Lorelai was pregnant or not.

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Well, now we know.

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…And…she isn’t. She went into heat this morning.

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This little hussy is soliciting all the boy cats in the house.

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And the boys are very confused.

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Looks like Rory is going to have another trip to sleepaway sex camp in the very new future!

Aby-a-Day – 17 Augusti 2020: Is she or isn’t she? (Medical Monday Mystery)

WARNING! This post features photographs of bare cat nipples!

Tomorrow will be a month since we brought Lorelai home from sleepaway sex camp. And…I still can’t tell if it worked.

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One of the main signs of pregnancy in cats is the “pinking up” of the cat’s nipples. Unfortunately, according to one of my cat breeding books. But it also says that some cats don’t pink up until later in their pregancies. Grrrreeeeaaaaat…

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This is her nipple on 26 July. Doesn’t seem any pinker, but stupid me, I never checked them before now. But one good sign is she hasn’t shown any signs of being in heat…and as you might remember, her heats are quiet, but not at all subtle.

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This was on 5 August. I still can’t tell.

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And this is on Thursday the 13th. Seems pinker? Maybe?

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These last two are from today. They seem pinker, and they were easier to find.

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Meg, Molly and Anne think she is pregnant, especially since she hasn’t gone back into heat at all.

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She hasn’t gained any weight yet, and she definitely isn’t showing…so I guess we’ll just have to wait a little longer.

Aby-a-Day – 11 & 12 Juli 2020: Sleepaway sex camp (Special Swedish Saturday and Sunday)

The reason for this special, two-day post is that yesterday we drove the above route in a round-trip around the middle of Sweden. The distance we travelled is roughly the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Boston to Baltimore, or Montréal to Toronto.

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The reason for such a trip? We were taking Lorelai…

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…to meet this handsome man in Överum.

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We rented a car and left around 10am Saturday, settling Rory comfortably in a carrier in the back seat.

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She isn’t showing any signs of being in heat yet, but she is doing some…odd…things, like attacking my ankles.

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Based on past experienceprevious experience, she should go into obvious heat by this Wednesday, since she had her last pill on the first of the month. Also, being around a male can speed up the process.

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We stopped for a snack at a Burger King, because there wasn’t a Max anywhere nearby. Rory was so happy to be out of the car for a while!

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Look how she tangled up her leash going around in circles!

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And she expected a share of our food, too.

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Which…she got, of course.

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I’m not sure how much of his burger Björn actually got to eat!

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Finally, around 5pm, we got to Karin’s house in Överum (we stopped at IKEA in Jönköping on the way).

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We got Rory settled in her love nest, and went for a little fika.

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While we drank tea and ate cake, Io watched us from an upstairs window.

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Then the magic moment arrived! We introduced the happy couple.

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It went pretty well.

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In case you’re wondering, Io weighs 4.5kg (between Alfred and Dashiell), and Rory weighs 2.6kg.

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Until…

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…Io used her litterbox.

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Io was interested in her, but also very cordial. He never hissed or swatted at her.

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The same could not be said of Rory.

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They spent a lot of time on the bench in the room, her underneath, him above.

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At one point, Io pooped…and stepped in it. Karin put him in the shower to rinse his feet off with the hand shower. Please note: This was Io’s first time in a shower. And just look at him. He has the best personality.

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Since the father’s personality influences the kittens, this is a great sign!

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And Karin was impressed with Rory’s fearlessness and confidence in an entirely new environment. This bodes well for the kittens they might have together.

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We also got to see Hera again. She is Freddy’s big sister, and we met her when we visited Freddy’s litter.

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When Karin saw Rory, she thought she looked like a Mini-Hera, and one time Hera walked up to us and I did a double-take, thinking Rory had gotten out!

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Just putting two fertile cats together doesn’t generally guarantee kittens, but on the drive home, we saw this rainbow (it was actually a double rainbow), so let’s hope that’s a good omen! We go back to pick her up on Friday. Let’s hope some magic happens!

Karin sent this video update to me this afternoon. Well…at least they aren’t fighting, right?

Aby-a-Day – 17 Februari 2020: What’s your type? (Medical Monday)

We want to breed Lorelai later this year, and the breeder who bred Alfred now has a lovely sorrel (red) male. But before we can mate them, we need to know Rory’s blood type to prevent Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (It’s kind of like the Rh factor in humans).

So, I figured I could do it myself. I mean, I’ve done my own blood type in high school, so how hard can it be? I found a test from Genomia, a Czech company, and bought a test kit.

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The kit arrived on Wednesday. I was excited to do the test!

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The instructions were fairly straightforward…except for how to get the blood out of the cat being tested.

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The only way I could think of to get blood from Rory was to clip one claw too short. I felt really bad about that, but it worked.

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The test only took a few minutes…

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…But the result was very clear: Rory is blood type A. Most cats are Type A, so that’s just one hurdle cleared for Rory to have kittens.

Aby-a-Day – 27 August: “Birth control is the first important step woman must take toward the goal of her freedom” (Medical Monday)

Lorelai is on the pill.

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We started her on Perlutex last Wednesday.

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We do want to breed her someday. Just not yet. And since Izaak is the same age, even though he’s not displaying any “maturity” signs…ya just nevah know.

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We want to let Zak mature as much as he can before giving him Suprelorin. So starting Rory on birth control now seemed like a good idea.

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We want to show Rory to Grand Championship before she is spayed. We also want to breed her, since I do have a registered cattery name. I also want to experience having Aby kittens. But not now. Maybe in a year or two. We were going to breed Logan…but boys are hard. We are not planning on breeding Zak, and as soon as he shows any signs of maturity, he’s going on Suprelorin.

Meanwhile, our liberated lady will, happily, be on the Pill.

Aby-a-Day – 19 February: Better living through chemistry (Medical Monday)

Today is a special day in all our lives, especially Logan. We went out to Skultorp to visit Min Veterinär for a very special reason. Logan got a Supralorin implant. Supralorin is chemical castration…temporary, but as good as the real thing.

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Obviously not aware of the size of the needle he was about to have stuck into his shoulder blades, he hopped down to greet the vet.

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So very blissfully unaware of what is about to happen…

Before the implantation, our vet sprayed between his shoulder blades with lidocaine. Logan is a very fastidious cat, and he is constantly grooming himself (which is one reason he hates wearing his diapers). So, naturally, he wanted to groom off the stuff the vet sprayed on him.

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Apparently, lidocaine tastes nasty.

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Really, really nasty.

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He sulked about that for quite a while.

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Vocally. Very vocally.

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He was pretty annoyed at me.

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Given that he was suffering from lidocaine-taste flashbacks…

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…Which from his expression were just as bad as the first taste.

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Once the lidocaine had had time to take effect, the vet came back and prepared for the implant. Logan looked at me like I was violating his every right. What he doesn’t know is, the implant will make him happier, and he won’t have to wear the diapers that he hates.

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He blamed me. Look at that body language.

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The vet prepared the implantation needle.

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And then, in it went. It will take two to three weeks for the implant to take effect, but after that, Logan will be like a surgically neutered cat in every way. After that, he will be a stud cat in my breeder Lisa’s program.

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The best part is, we have up to two years to show him and earn titles in the Champion (unaltered) class. But eventually, he will be surgically neutered, and when he is, we can start over from the beginning and show him in the Premiership (alter) classes and earn the titles all over again. He’ll have a nice long showing career!

Aby-a-Day – 9 February: Logan’s forced fashion statement (Fashion Friday)

Logan is one of only 55 Singapuras registered in Sweden (and less than 60 in all of Scandinavia). Being such a new and unusual breed, the gene pool is understandably small. So, he won’t be getting neutered for a while.

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As you know, living with an unneutered male cat can be…problematic. Fortunately, Logan’s father, Hollywood de la Symphoriane, doesn’t spray, and neither does Logan, at least, not yet. But he does sometimes pee in places around the house. He seems to pee mainly in odd corners of the house, and our bed (so we have to keep that door closed)…and one time on Björn’s desk. So, when we can’t watch him, he wears one of his stylish stud pants.

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The easiest ones to find are Perfect Solution dog diapers. They come in only one colour, but it’s a nice turquoise, and Logan’s colour is blue, so they aren’t bad. Not terribly expensive, either. However, they are made for dogs, but they seem to work well.

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A brand I want to try, but haven’t been able to find yet, are Hurtta Fellow pants. These are made in Finland, and rather expensive. But they seem to be very well made. But again…designed for dogs. And they only come in black.

The best diapers I have found so far, however, are Barkertime cat diapers.

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They are wonderfully made, and designed for cats for a change!

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And they come in lots of colours and patterns.

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But they are a bit expensive. And I have to get them shipped from the States.

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However, you can save a bit of money if you let them pick and send you random leftover colours and patterns.

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And we got pretty lucky with the random colours, I must say. A festive, Christmassy red and white flannel pair, a very attractive dark blue flower print, and this snazzy, colour-coordinated cream, olive and chocolate plaid number.

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Of course, Logan doesn’t care how fabulously stylish he is in his stud pants.

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Logan doesn’t like them, but he actually really walks well in them once he gets used to them.

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His biggest problem with his diapers is that he can’t groom himself. He is a spectacularly fastidious young cat and grooming himself is his favourite pasttime.

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There is also the solution my friend Stephanie uses on her breeding Selkirk Rex, Teddy: Baby diapers with a tail hole cut in them. I haven’t tried this yet.