Aby-a-Day – 10 Augusti 2020: Happy Gotcha Day, Dashiell!

One year ago today, Dashiell arrived in Finland. As you may recall, it was an insane day, and we didn’t actually “get” him until the next day, so I guess we have a two-day Gotcha holiday.

dashmegsbed_8417

But we were in the same country at the same time, so today counts.

dashhotel_8449

But even once we had him…we still had to get him home.

dashferryterminal_8480

dashferry_8517

dashferryelevator_8494

First by ferry…

hipstadashTrain

hipstadashTrain2

…then by train…

hipstadashTaxi

…And finally by taxi.

emmazak-DashIntroC09373

Little did Dash know when they met that Izaak was destined to be his best friend.

emmafreddyroryzak-DashIntroC09300

There really weren’t any real problems integrating Dash into the family.

emmafreddyzak-DashIntroC09220

…Well, okay…maybe there was a little bit of hissing.

dashcrane_9018

dashoutside_8757

dashmarkis_9002

We also introduced Dash to the outside world, including Markis.

dashoutside_E3346

Look at him now! He’s still a little skittish, but he’s getting braver every day.

dashnap_3214

Happy Gotcha Day, Dash!

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juli 2020: Happy 10th birthday, Emma! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn’s daughter Emma’s 10th birthday is on Thursday. Usually, she and her mom come here to celebrate and Björn makes her a special cake. But because of Covid-19, that’s not happening, so Björn mailed her a birthday card today. As usually, I did a quick cat sketch…it’s meant to be Izaak, but meh. Also rethinking my choice of gold pen. But here it is.

Aby-a-Day – 14 April 2020: Emma’s Baby Yoda (Cartoon Tuesday)

The other day, Titti sent us an Easter drawing Emma made. Little creatures in Easter eggs: a lion, an elephant, and…

…Baby Yoda! This kid is going to grow up to be awesome!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Mars 2020: Alfred, Lorelai and the boys (Swedish Sunday)

When we went outside with Emma and the cats yesterday (just Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak; Angel and Dashiell didn’t want to go outside…hell, Zak didn’t really want to go out, but I wanted him to get some fresh air), we ran into the two brothers who LOVE Freddy. I really wish I could remember their names; I have trouble remembering the names of most of the kids who play with the cats, partly because of the language barrier.

freddyboys_1102

The older boy really loves cats, but the younger one has been in love with Freddy for almost two years.

freddyboys_1103

He hasn’t really learned that the best way to get a cat to let you pet him is NOT to chase them, but he’s only around four years old (I think).

freddyboys_1114

After a while, the little boy wanted to see Rory. Of course he did. She is the most difficult cat to catch! But it kept the boys occupied, so Freddy was happy with that.

freddyemmaoutside_1117

Freddy eventually went around front to hang out with Emma.

emmazak5248

Interestingly, the boys didn’t seem to be interested in Zak. And he was mostly hanging out by the front door, waiting to go back inside the house. When we go out and the neighbourhood girls are out, he’s the one they all want to hold.

roryboys_1119

Eventually, Rory made a mistake, and tried to hide in the stroller that is perpetually parked outside our building.

roryboys_1120

That allowed the older boy to pick her up.

rorylittleboy_1121

The little boy was so happy to hold Rory! He wasn’t holding her perfectly, but he was gentle and doing the best he could. Having bathed her, clipped her claws and medicated her, I knew she was perfectly capable of twisting free from his hands.

rorylittleboy_1122

I think she understood how happy it made him to hold her.

rorylittleboy_1123

And he was so happy. He even hugged her! His older brother has said that they want to get a cat, but I think their parents won’t let them. However, the older one told me that they did get a hamster, and it’s really cute. So at least they have a pet. I think they could grow up to be wonderful cat guys.

roryoutside_1098

And don’t worry about Rory…she was perfectly fine.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Mars 2020: Happy Birthday, Kalle and Björn! (Swedish Saturday)

Since Kalle’s birthday is today, and Björn’s birthday is the 10th, we generally celebrate them both together. Björn always makes the cake…and this year, he made a Coronavirus cake.

emmazakviruscake_1137

Kalle is is turning 17, so instead of candles, Björn put 17 gumdrop Coronaviruses on the cake instead. Because, you know…blowing out candles would spray germs all over the cake, right?

zaktable_1141

Izaak says, “Really? A Coronavirus cake? Do you really think that’s appropriate?”

gumvirus_1155

Björn did a really good job on the viruses, though.

rorytable_1151

Lorelai wanted some of the viruscake.

rorytable_1145

“Look, mom! I am washing my hands and everything!”

rorytable_1147

“What do you mean, NO?” Rory is channelling her inner Abernathy here.

bjornmask_1156

In no way related to the Coronavirus, but oddly apropos, my birthday gift to Björn was a Swiss Army gas mask from WWII. I ordered it in December (after getting him a Swiss Army pair of snow goggles for Christmas from the same seller), way before we knew about the pandemic.

bjornmask_1159

bjornmask_1160

Björn was pleased with his gift.

bjornmask_1169

…and then he started posing with props.

emmafreddy_1174

emmafreddy_1182

Emma was really happy to get to spend time with the cats.

bjornkalleemma_1154

Happy birthday, Kalle and Björn!

Aby-a-Day – 23 August: After the vet visit

On the way home from the vet, when we changed buses, we took a detour through our downtown shopping mall Commerce. We stopped at Systembolaget (the state-run liquor store)…

dashbjornvet_8686

…and basically smuggled Dashiell in the store. As they say in The Paper,” “A clipboard and a confident wave will get you into any building in the world!” Which is, act like you belong there and you’re not doing anything questionable, bringing a cat into a shop is easy. Of course, I have a lot of practice with that and Jacoby.

dashbjornvet_8688

Dash seemed really interested in the wine…that’s my boy!

emmabjorndashvet_8689

After buying our wine, we stopped in at Björn’s work so his coworkers could meet Emma and Dash.

emmadashvet_8693

Then we went to wait for our bus home. Emma wanted to carry Dash.

emmadashvet_8695

She did an excellent job managing Dash in his carrier.

emmabjorndashvet_8696

On the walk from the bus stop to our apartment, we tried to walk Dash the way we walk home from the stop with the other cats. He wasn’t very enthusiastic about walking. But he does like trees.

emmabjorndashvet_8697

So Emma carried him instead.

emmabjorndashvet_8698

We ran into a mother and a small child who were interested in our kitten. Look at Emma introducing Dash to them!

emmadashvet_8699

I was especially impressed at how Emma introduced Dash to the child.

emmadashvet_8700

emmadashvet_8701

If therapy cats ever become a thing in Sweden, I think Emma would be a natural.

emmadashvet_8703

I wish Emma lived closer to us…she and Dash make a great team.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Augusti: Dashiell’s first Swedish vet visit (Medical Monday)

Last Wednesday, we had to take Dashiell to see our veterinarian in Skultorp, not because there was anything wrong with him, but because we needed a health certificate to send to the insurance company to start his health insurance. We also needed to get him his EU passport.

dashvet_8607

As he was on the ferry and the train, Dash was much happier in his carrier with the top open.

dashemmavet_8615

Emma sat beside him and managed him on the bus ride.

dashvet_8621

Dash rode the bus like a seasoned professional.

emmadashvet_8631

It’s a long trip from our apartment to the vet, and we have to change buses in central Skövde. It’s not usually a long wait, and the weather was nice. Dash seemed happy enough.

dashvet_8639

Look at this bus riding champion!

dashvet_8648

When we arrived, we were put into the same examination room all the other cats were in when we went in for our annual checkup back in June.

dashvet_8650

dashvet_8652

Like any good Abyssinian, the minute we let him loose in the room, he proceeded to explore it thoroughly.

dashvet_8645

The first thing we did was put him on the scale and weigh him.

dashvet_8643

2.85 kg (6.25 lbs). Exactly the same as Lorelai!

emmadashvet_8658

emmadashvet_8660

Emma helped the vet with Dash’s exam.

emmabjorndashvet_8662

She’s definitely a natural when it comes to taking care of cats.

dashvet_8663

This actually happened by accident, but we thought it was funny: I gave Emma one of the vet’s free magnets and it jumped from her hand onto his round tag!

dashvet_8667

dashvet_8674

Waiting for the passport to be completed, Dash got sleepy and laid down on his show book. Well, he’d only been in Sweden two days after his long trip from the States, so I guess he deserves to be a little tired.

emmadashvet_8680

After the visit was over, we got back on the bus and headed home.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Augusti: Welcome to the family!

After all the travelling, we finally brought Dashiell home and put his carrier down in the living room. Björn did the honours of unzipping the top whilst Emma looked on.

emmafreddyroryzak-DashIntroC09326

Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai were on the scene as well, of course. And, much like when we introduced him to everyone when he was a kitten, Freddy was the first to hiss.

emmafreddyzak-DashIntroC09332

Emma thought that perhaps a personal introduction between Zak and Dash might be a good idea.

emmazak-DashIntroC09370

It wasn’t a bad idea; neither Zak or Dash hissed.

emmazak-DashIntroC09373

And, in fact, Zak is the one cat Dash is closest to here.

trumptoy-DashIntroC09417

We also introduced Dash to the Trump cat toy.

trumptoy-DashIntroC09458

Like many of us, Dash didn’t know what to do with him. Join the club, Dash!

emmaangel-DashIntroC09379

Then Angel came to meet the newcomer, in typical Angel roundabout fashion.

emmaangel-DashIntroC09382

She skulked around the edges of the room, and then circled around the back of the couch to get a look at Dash.

emmaangel-DashIntroC09395

Then she lept off the sofa and ran right over Dash and out to the hallway.

emmaangel-DashIntroC09396

That made Dash hiss!

emmaangel-DashIntroC09397

He may be young and small, but he stands up for himself!

emmaangel-DashIntroC09399

“Yeah, big cat! Don’t do that again!”

Aby-a-Day – 12 Augusti: The train home to Skövde (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we got back to Sweden from the ferry from Helsinki, we met up with Björn’s ex to get Emma to spend a week with us and the cats.

hipstadashCentralen

We got there a little ahead of them, so we had to chill out in Stockholm Centralen until they arrived.

hipstadashEmmatrain1

hipstadashEmmatrain2

Emma loves cats. I am sad that she doesn’t get to live with any.

hipstadashTrain2

hipstadashEmmatrain3

If ever a girl deserved to live with a cat (or cats), it’s Emma.

hipstadashEmmatrain

hipstadashEmmatrain4

Emma was amazing with Dash. I think he’s going to miss her when she goes back home.

hipstadashTrain

Dash also looked out the window at the passing scenery, just like Jacoby and all the other cats who ride trains.

hipstadashEmmabjorntrain

Finally, the train arrived in Skövde. Emma wanted to carry Dash’s carrier.

hipstadashTaxi

From the train station, a quick taxi ride home.

hipstadashHome

Dash was quick to feel at home in our bedroom. And after the long, long, long journey…He was finally home.

Aby-a-Day – 3 April: Wordless Wednesday (Emma and Izaak)

emmazakhug_6432

emmazakhug_6434

Aby-a-Day – 27 Mars: Wordless Wednesday (Emma and Jacoby = BFFs)

emmajaketable_6419

emmajaketable_6420

emmajaketable_6423

emmajaketable_6424

emmajaketable_6427

emmajaketable_6428

emmajaketable_6430

Aby-a-Day- 19 Mars: Kalle’s birthday card from Emma (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week I posted the birthday card Emma drew for Björn. Turns out, she also drew one for Kalle! (Björn and Kalle’s birthdays are three days apart.) And, like Björn’s card, Kalle’s card features cats that look especially Abyssinian-like. And, even though she’s coloured brown, she has a bow on her head, so I think she’s meant to be Lorelai.

I find the drawing on the inside of the card particularly hilarious. The first side says, “Congratulations you are now 16 years old!” but the other side…it says, “That was not me.” Even though she doesn’t live with cats 24/7, Emma clearly understands cats. I suspect this is meant to be Jacoby.

Emma added another drawing on the back of the card. It’s a black and white version of the cat on the front…perhaps it was meant for Kalle to colour in?

Aby-a-Day – 12 Mars: Björn’s birthday card from Emma (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn’s birthday was on Sunday, and Emma came for the weekend to celebrate his and Kalle’s birthdays. She made him a birthday card which we are fairly certain is meant to be Jacoby. It definitely looks like a ruddy Abyssinian!

Here is the inside of the card. On the left it says “Congratulations for 54 years life! Meow! Meow! Meow!” On the right it says, “A stupid cat has eaten up my sauce!” And that stick toy the bottom cat is playing with looks a lot like the stick toy Emma and Lorelai played with last summer…

Aby-a-Day – 12 Februari: Till Koshka att måla (Cartoon Tuesday)

Along with the thank you note Emma drew for Björn, there was something for me, too. I have given Emma a couple of Top Model kitten colouring/sticker books, and she sent me one of the pages to colour in myself.

emmascatcoloured

I decided to scan it and colour it on my laptop. The kitten she sent me kind of looked like a Singapura, so that determined my colour scheme.

emmascateyes

The only problem was that, when I was finished, the eyes looked…wrong. Not very Singapura-y…basically, they were just too small. So, I enlarged them. Not quite sure I like the way they look, but they bother me less than the original.

Aby-a-Day – 9 February: Playing with Izaak (Singapura Saturday)

Whilst Emma was busy playing with Lorelai, Björn and Izaak played together with the Ferocious Friends mousie on a stick. It’s very well made and sturdy enough to play with outside.

zakbjornoutsideC00429

Zak just loves mousies of any sort, as you know.

emmazakC00367

zakemmabjornoutsideC00434

This mousie is no exception.

zakbjornoutsideC00442

zakbjornoutsideC00444

zakbjornoutsideC00445

I often wonder what Zak would do if he ever saw a real mouse.

zakoutsideC00455

Look how intent he is on his prey!

zakoutsideC00456

zakoutsideC00457

…uh, Zak..?

zakoutsideC00490<

zakoutsideC00491

…Where are you going…? The mousie is back there…

zakoutsideC00492

zakoutsideC00493

Oh. Leaves.

zakoutsideC00499

Okay, well, I guess those are fun, too.

zakoutsideC00479

zakoutsideC00481

I think Zak had almost as much fun playing with the leaves as he did with the mousie on a stick!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Februari: When Emma first met Angel and Jacoby (Friday Flashback)

Emma first met Jacoby and Angel when she came here to celebrate her sixth birthday in 2016, a month after I moved here.

jakeemma-emmas6thC09243 2

jakeemma-emmas6thC09239 2

Emma, of course, fell in love with Jake.

jakeemma-emmas6thC09180 2

I mean, why wouldn’t she? He is such a charmer.

jakebjornemma-emmas6thC09204 2

She was mesmerised by him.

angelemma-emmas6thC09165 2

Angel is always a tougher nut to crack…but Emma loved her, too.

angelemma-emmas6thC09162 2

She went to pet Angel, and Angel didn’t run away, which is something for Angel.

angelemma-emmas6thC09160 2

Angel was so sweet with Emma. It’s like she knew how much Emma loves cats and let her love on her.

emmabjorn-emmas6thC09152 2

emmabjorn-emmas6thC09146 2

Björn loves it when she comes to visit, even if she says she’s going to see “cats…and Pappa and Kalle.”

jake-emmas6thC09257 2

What does Jake think about Emma coming to visit us?

jake-emmas6thC09256 2

He’s definitely a fan!

Aby-a-Day – 7 Februari: The possible inspiration of Emma’s drawing (Thursday Things)

Emma’s birthday is at the end of July, and she came to celebrate with us and the cats. As you saw yesterday, she also fell in love with Lorelai (and The Lego Movie).

emma8thbdayC00355

Björn always makes her a cake when she comes for her birthday, but this year she wanted to decorate it herself. She was pretty proud of her handiwork.

emmabjornC00536

Björn loves it when Emma comes to visit.

emmabjorn00532

You don’t need a DNA test to tell that she is his daughter!

emmaroryC00363

emmaroryC00366

Emma loves coming to see her dad, and Kalle, and me…but we come in second to her excitement at getting to see the cats! She loves Jacoby, and Angel and Alfred…but I think she really fell in love with Rory. It’s no wonder, really…they have a lot in common, personality-wise.

zakemmaoutsideC00407

emmaroryC00408

emmaroryC00409

Emma and Rory had a lot of fun with the stick toy.

emmazakroryC00373

emmazakroryC00376

She also played with both Izaak and Rory on the rug beating rack.

emmazakC00376

Of course, Emma loved Zak, too…little girls especially seem to love that little guy.

emmazakC00379

He seemed to like her, too. He followed her around outside the same way he follows me. It was so cute.

zakroryoutsideC00508

Like I said on Tuesday when I posted Emma’s cartoon, the cat she drew could be either Rory or Zak, right down to the curly tail.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Februari: Wordless Wednesday (Emma, Lorelai and The Lego Movie)

emmarorybjornC00330

emmarorybjornC00332

emmarorybjornC00334

emmarorybjornC00335

Aby-a-Day: 5 Februari: Till Pappa från Emma (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn sent his daughter Emma a copy of The Lego Movie last week, and on Thursday he got a handmade thank you card from her. I am pretty sure this is meant to be Lorelai; the last time Emma visited, she spent a lot of time playing with Rory and her wand toys. Although…those eyes…it could also be Izaak.

Well, whoever it is, it’s adorable.

Aby-a-Day – 17 November: Collecting Alfred (Swedish Saturday)

Jacoby, Björn, Kalle and I had spent a long weekend in Tallinn for a cat show. On the way back, on 6 June, we met Karin at Stockholm’s Centralstation to collect Alfred.

jakekallebjornfred1stdayC00356

We got there a little early, so we had lunch in the food court.

jakefred1stdayC00350

Jacoby was his usual well-behaved self, as always.

jakeemmafred1stdayC00362

Titti and Emma also met us at the station so they could see Jake and Kalle, and also meet Freddy. Tittl and Kalle stayed at the table with the luggage whilst Björn, Emma, Jake and I went to the parking lot to meet Karin with Freddy.

jakeemmabjornfred1stdayC00373

jakeemmabjornfred1stdayC00375

We walked to Karin’s little yellow car excitedly.

jakeemmabjornfredkarinfreddy1stdayC00385

Karin brought Freddy out and introduced him to Jake.

freddyjakefred1stdayC00389

Which went…

freddyjakefred1stdayC00390

…about as well as could be expected.

freddycarfred1stdayC00434

Karin, Freddy and I sat in the car whilst we dealt with Freddy’s paperwork.

freddyemmafred1stdayC00432

Emma helped keep Freddy amused.

jakeemmabjornfredkarinfreddy1stdayC00435

We didn’t think Jake was ready to share his stroller, so we put Freddy into a carrier, said goodby to Karin, and went to rejoin Kalle and Titti.

freddycocofred1stdayC00460

freddycocofred1stdayC00467

Back in the station, we all got acquainted whilst waiting for train back to Skövde.

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00483

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00487

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00506

Having gotten his hissing out of the way, Jake was very curious about the newcomer.

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00511

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00509

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00514

This time, Freddy was the one hissing. Which I found a bit surprising, since Freddy had four littermates and grew up with three adult cats. I didn’t expect him to be so defensive.

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00521

I think Jake was a little taken aback by Freddy’s reaction, too. They had words.

jakefreddyfred1stdayC00535

Jake broke the spell with a nose-lick.

freddycarrierfred1stdayC00548

By that time, our train was ready to depart, so we packed Freddy into the carrier with his baby blanket and headed out to the platform, homeward bound.