Aby-a-Day – 12 February: Bus ride to Skultorp (Medical Monday)

A week or so ago, Logan and I went to visit our vet in Skultorp. Nothing serious, just a quick check of his urine, and to get “a veterinary certificate confirming that both testicles are normal and are descended into the scrotal sac,” as per FIFe’s Breeding & Registration Rules

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Logan is an excellent traveller. We have a Hatch carrier from a Kickstarter we backed, and it’s been really great.

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Of course I went from living in the same building as my vet to a 36-minute (with one transfer) long bus ride to the furthest reaches of Skövde. That being said, it’s a pretty easy bus ride, and the stops are close to both our apartment and the vet’s office.

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When we got there, I let him out to explore the waiting room…and he stalked around like a person who just got bumped off his business flight to Milwaukee.

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Apparently, Logan does not like to wait.

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And he had to wait.

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and wait.

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“What is taking them so long!?”

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Finally, we were taken back to an exam room.

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“Okay…let’s get this over with.”

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“Wait…you wanna look at my WHAT, now?

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Okay that was…not fun. Can we go home now?

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To make it up to him, I let him walk a little outside on the way home. He doesn’t enjoy outside in the snow as much as Alfred does…

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…but it did cheer him up!

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Look at the happy tail!

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But he was still really happy when we went inside and I unlocked our door.

Aby-a-Day – 14 January: Planes, Trains and Automobiles Part 2 (Swedish Sunday)

When we landed at Arlanda airport in Stockholm, it was 7:something am and I am never at my best at single-digit morning hours. Jacoby and Angel, however, were just fine.

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They were, in fact, eager to get out of that crate. (Click for video) Or, at least, Jake was.

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Apart from the cats, I had a lot of luggage. Since it was a one-way ticket, bought a first class ticket. It turned out to be a wise investment, since my extra bags were actually free.

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We had to wait a bit for our train to Skövde, but hey, we got to see this guy.

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We let Jake out on the train (Angel did NOT want to explore) and he was excited to see his new country.

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To Jake, it was just another train ride.

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The trip from Stockholm to Skövde is a bit over two hours, so Jake had plenty of time to bond with his new dad.

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He also found time to check in on Angel.

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When we got to Skövde, we needed a cab to bring us home to our apartment, because I had so much luggage, and also the cats’ crate. Luckily, we had a very friendly cab driver.

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Finally, it was time to go inside.

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Pyret was ready to greet us.

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What happened when we came inside? Stay tuned..!

Aby-a-Day – 13 January: Planes, Trains and Automobiles Part 1 (Swedish Saturday)

You know that I flew to Sweden with the two Abyssinians, Jacoby and Angel. But I’m willing to bet you are very curious as to HOW we came here. I flew IcelandAir, which, because Iceland is an island and because of rabies concerns, requires all animal passengers fly in a specially climate controlled pet cargo hold. I know many people have misgivings about airline cargo holds, with good reason. But I have had only good experiences with cargo travel (my two Siamese, Harri and Patrick, from San Francisco to Atlanta, and then Tessie from Portland, Oregon, to Boston). It’s actually easier than travelling with a cat in-cabin, especially when you are travelling with more than one!

I started acclimatising them to the crate very early, by leaving it out for them to nap in. Tessie didn’t really need to practice, but she did anyway.

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I also locked Jake and Angel in the crate for longer and longer periods to get them ready for an eight hour trip.

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Although I think Angel wanted to get out.

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Then, days before the big trip, we had a practical practice, I used the crate to take Jake and Angel to the vet for their pre-travel visit.

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It was a perfect opportunity to practice shlepping the crate somewhere.

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Ironically, my vet, South Boston Animal Hospital, changed location from a 10 minute bus ride away to…ACTUALLY IN THE BUILDING I LIVED IN on 1 June. I left for Sweden on 17 June. Sigh.

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They were their usual selves at the vet, and of course, they got a clean bill of health.

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Finally, the day arrived! We went to Logan Airport to start our new life.

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We all went into a back room at IcelandAir and the cats were checked out, to make sure that they were who I said they were, and to make sure that nothing was being smuggled in the carrier.

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The flight went without incident, apart from the souvenir shop being closed, dammit. But I was lucky enough to see Jake and Angel’s crate being loaded onto the next plane at Reykjavik.

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And then, at long last, we were all reunited at Arlanda airport in Stockholm. What happened next? Tune in tomorrow, same cat time, same cat channel!

Aby-a-Day – November 16: Travelling in style (Miniature Monday)

One wonderful thing that happened at the NEMO show was Meg gave me an old Sturdi carrier of hers because the one I’d brought Jacoby to the show in was…er…destroyed in action, shall we say.

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I’d been thinking of getting one of these, so it was a welcome gift. Thank you, Meg! Both Jake and mini-Jake really like it.

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And best of all…this carrier is completely machine-washable if necessary!

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Hey, guys…don’t look at me like that!

Aby-a-Day – November 2: Ready to hit the road (Miniature Monday)

It’s always fun to go to a cat show…but finally, on Sunday, it’s time to go home.

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Jacoby and mini-Jake waited in the carrier while I packed up all the cage accoutrements.

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I really wonder what Jake thinks of his Brazilian mini-me?

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Yeah, come on guys. Let’s go home.

Aby-a-Day – August 3: Leaving on a jet plane (Hipstamatic Monday)

Nowadays, flying with a pet is fairly common. Many airlines don’t even require a veterinarian’s health certificate – you just pop your cat, small dog, ferret, etc, into a carrier and slip them under the seat in front of you.

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But what happens when you’re travelling a very long distance?

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And what happens if you’re travelling with more than one cat?

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And what if the airline you’re flying doesn’t allow pets in the cabin, but only in a special pet cargo area, where two cats can share a crate?

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Well, then, obviously, you need to get a sturdy, old-school, airline travel crate big enough for two cats to ride comfortably.

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Now, I know a lot of people get concerned when cats have to fly in the cargo hold. But I’ve actually done it before, when I moved from San Francisco to Atlanta with my two Siamese, Harri and Patrick, in 1998. And that was on Delta, in a regular cargo hold…not in a special pet crate cargo area.

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I think Jacoby and Angel will be just fine in this crate for the nine hour flight. Harri and Patrick’s flight was about six hours, and they lived to be 15 and 16 years old, respectively. Come to think of it, they were about the same ages as Jake and Angel are now.

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I ordered this metal luggage tag from Shutterfly specifically for their travel crate.

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I think it sets the mood quite nicely, don’t you?

Aby-a-Day – July 18: “Cross” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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When we went to the vet for everyone’s annual check-up, the Abys wandered about the exam room while Tessie and Kylie stayed in their rolling carrier.

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Kylie, especially, seemed to prefer it in there.

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As shy as Angel can be…in true Aby fashion, she’d still rather be exploring and not in a carrier!

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However, at one point, Jacoby came and sat down right on top of Kylie and Tessie’s carrier…which does not have a rigid or reinforced top. And as you saw on Thursday, Jake weighs a good 10lbs plus.

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I guess you could say Kylie and Tessie – especially Tessie – were a bit cross about him sitting on top of them!