Aby-a-Day – 21 Februari 2020: New collars and travel leashes (Fashion Friday)

I thought I had posted about this here, but apparently I only ever mentioned it on Facebook: I am bereft. I just discovered my friend, Sally Keats, died last month. She was the person who made all my leashes and collars…I have “known” her for at least 10 years. I just can’t even.

I had been in the middle of a conversation with her about a new collar for Dashiell. She had gotten a new shade of green leather and we were excited to use it on Dash’s new collar, so he would have something a little different from Jacoby. She had beat cancer, and when she didn’t respond to my messages, I got concerned…and discovered she had died.

Reluctantly, I had to find a new person to make collars and leashes for the cats. So I went to Etsy and looked for people who make kangaroo leather show leads and collars. I looked for people in Europe…and, serendipitously, I found Emoticon Leads, and Jessica…in Jönköping!

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When I had been trying to contact Sally, besides Dash’s own collar (and not one of Jake’s hand-me-downs), I had wanted short leashes for the show cats, because the long ones we have are a bit unmanageable on the train. After finding Jessica, I decided to get everycat a new collar (it’s been a while for all of them, especially Angel) as well as the travel leashes for Izaak, Lorelai and Dash.

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They arrived last week. Angel and Alfred’s collars on their own, and the others in lovely silk bags. Jessica also made little paracord tassels to match the three leashes.

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Jessica uses smaller rings on the collars than Sally did. It’s kind of nice. A little more dainty and cat-like. I really like the purples on Angel’s collar.

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Zak’s collar and leash in shades of blue. Jessica made the leash handles openable adjustable, the same way Sally did.

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Rory’s collar and leash in shades of red. Jessica has bronze hardware as well as brass, and she used the bronze for Rory.

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And here is Dash’s collar and leash. Jessica had the same new green that Sally had. I think it’s really pretty, and perfect for Dash. It’s also different from all the collars and leashes Jake had, which is kind of nice.

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And here are all the new collars in action! Angel’s purple always looks so good with her sorrel fur.

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Freddy’s new collar has more grey and less black. It suits him.

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Rory’s collar looks like it’s just red, but it’s actually three different, subtle, shades of red.

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I love Zak’s combination of blues. Blue really goes with sepia.

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And here is Dash, proudly wearing his very first, all his own, green collar.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Juli: Ashes to ashes (Thursday Things)

When I got Jacoby’s ashes back from the vet, I knew I wanted to get ash jewellery made by Etsy seller Sugar Oh Honey Honey, the same as I had made with Logan’s ashes. Meg also sent me some of Taz’s ashes, so Jake and Taz would be together forever. I ordered two bracelets, one for me and one for Meg.

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The box came today.

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I couldn’t wait to open it!

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In the box was a card from Vicky.

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And tea. I love that the tea is from Waitrose.

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This is everything that was in the box. The flowered bags contain the leftover ashes. The ash charms are in small boxes, and there are cards commemorating trees planted in Jake’s and Taz’s names.

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Vicky also included silver bonus bangle bracelets with Jake and Taz’s names on them. Two of them, one for me and one for Meg. I love that so much. Vicky also sent two replacements of the Logan photo charm she sent me earlier, which broke. I am overwhelmed.

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This is what the bracelet looks like. The orange charm is Taz’s ashes, the green charm is Jake’s ashes, and the one in the middle, the half-orange, half-green charm, is Jake’s and Taz’s ashes mixed together…so they will be together forever. Considering they were such good friends, it’s only fitting.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni: “Have you ever held a snake? They are so strong. You can see why there are so many myths about them: they are unlike any other creature” (Silly Singapura Cinema Sunday)

You may recall a few months ago, I had bought some catnip snakes on Etsy. I gave one to “everybody,” which Izaak promptly claimed, and then put one away for Jacoby’s birthday…which never happened.

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The other day, whilst tidying up my clothes cupboard, I happened to find Jake’s green birthday snake. I had forgotten about it.

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So, I called Zak to come and play with it.

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He was all over that action.

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Lorelai wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

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Zak was not about to share his new toy.

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One of Zak’s little quirks is, he loves to roll around on the entryway rugs. I have no idea why, but he does it almost every day…I just haven’t captured it on camera yet.

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Apparently, rolling about on the rug is much improved with a catnip snake.

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He really likes this snake!

When I posted about the first snake, I lamented not catching it on video. So this time, I made sure to sort that. Here’s Zak in action with Jake’s snake.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Mars: Bathroom mystery (Thursday Things)

Alfred, it seems, is always up to something.

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This is his newest thing. He sits in our bathroom. He’s not sleeping, he’s not grooming…

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…He’s just sitting there on the rug.

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I have no idea what he’s doing. Probably plotting how to take over the world. Or how to break into the cabinet where the food is kept. One of those.

And in case you’re wondering about those towels, Björn found them in this Etsy seller’s shop a couple of years ago. We thought they looked like Abys…so of course we ordered a set!

Aby-a-Day – 17 Februari: “A cat bitten once by a snake dreads even rope” (Silly Singapura Sunday)

About a month ago, Kate over at Hauspanther made a post about Patti Haskins’ amazing catnip snakes.

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Well, they did look pretty awesome, and since both Jacoby and Alfred like to lick and roll on catnip toys, so, even though they were a bit expensive (especially considering the postage)…but they truly did look awesome, so I got one for Freddy and one for Jake. The snakes arrived after Freddy’s birthday, so I gave one snake to everybody whilst holding one back for Jake’s birthday in April.

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I took the one out and gave it – I thought – to Jake and Freddy to go nuts on.

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I was…surprised, to say the least.

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Contrary to any of my expectations, Izaak was the one to attack and dominate the catnip snake.

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Zak has never (before) shown any interest in catnip the way Jake and Freddy do.

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I was amazed at how fiercely Zak attacked the catnip snake.

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In retrospect, I guess I should have made a video of Zak and the snake. But what’s even stranger is, since that first day, he has entirely ignored the snake in favour of his mousies. What a funny little cat!

Aby-a-Day – 22 June: Sugar Oh Honey Honey (Fashion Friday)

When Gun-Hee died, I got a couple of different charms to put a bit of his ashes in, and I wanted to get something similar so I could carry a bit of Logan with me, too. Browsing different types of ash jewellry, I discovered Sugar Oh Honey Honey. They are a small workshop in Swindon, Oxfordshire, England, who make personalised photo and ashes jewellery. I am not sure how they make the ash jewellery (it seems like it might be resin casting, but it could be glass), but the results are stunning. Even better, there is a black Sphynx named Coco Beane supervising all the humans as they make everything!

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As “Boss Lady” Vicky Rose explains, she started her company in memory of her daughter Honey so she could help people through jewellery. And it really shows. The packaging was exquisite. I opened the little box to see a happy yellow card and sparkly tinsel.

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Jacoby was there to help me open it, of course.

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On the back of the card was a hand-written note from Vicky.

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This is what I found underneath the card. Of course, Lorelai was very interested in the shimmery, rustly tinsel.

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Nestled in the tinsel were two drawstring bags and a box.

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I opened this one first.

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It was a bracelet with a charm with Logan’s photo on it! This was such a lovely surprise because I didn’t order it! They just threw it in as a bonus. Isn’t that amazing?

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I opened this bag next. It contained Logan’s leftover ashes that weren’t used in the pendant. I mean, they could have just tossed them and said they used them all, but instead they sent them back in a pretty bag.

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Finally I opened the box. WOW! Isn’t it beautiful?

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And the best part is, it glows in the dark!

After I ordered it, the “Tech Girl,” Megan Chase, sent me an email explaining how to send in a bit of Logan’s ashes and added, “We would also love to know more about the pet/person you are sending to us along with a name and pictures (if you have any) and a favourite song, as we like to play music while making each individual piece.” So of course I directed her to this blog, because clearly it’s the best way to learn about who Logan was. In a follow-up email, Megan told me, “Your blog is so lovely to read, I’ve found myself spending some of my spare time reading it,” which is just so sweet! So, Megan, I hope you liked this post!

Angel added this whilst I was away from my laptop: äòp0y………………u. I think it may be a message to Megan.

Aby-a-Day – 2 June: Logan’s last cat bed (Swedish Saturday)

When pets are cremated in Sweden, it seems the pet crematoriums return the ashes to you in a simple, pine box. This is how Björn received the ashes of first Olivia and then Pyret, and that’s how we got Logan back from the vet as well.

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Lorelai came to see what was left of the brother and show companion she will never get to meet.

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Bittersweet photo, isn’t it? Hang one, more where that came from.

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To my surprise, when I opened the box Logan’s ashes came in, they were just loose inside! Back in the States, you would get the ashes in a box, sure, but the ashes inside the box were in a plastic bag of some sort.

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Alfred also came to investigate Logan’s loose ashes. Yeah, that’s the more bittersweet thing I mentioned earlier.

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Of course, for Harri and Patrick, I had lovely urns made by Alex in Welderland, and while I love them, another would be too heavy and too expensive to ship from the States to Europe. Gun-Hee didn’t have so much as an urn as a “memorial box” which included a flask of his ashes along with other souvenirs of his short life. I looked online for cat urn options in Europe and eventually discovered Etsy seller 1st4Signs.

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It’s really beautiful. The box is oak, with an engraved slate top and a photo of Logan. Of course, Freddy was on hand to help me put his brother from another mother into his final cat bed.

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I poured Logan’s ashes into the fancy new box. They fit perfectly.

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Then we put the lid back on.

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It fastens with two brass screws. Jacoby came to see what was going on while I was screwing the lid back on.

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Not sure how a screwdriver equals a possible meal, but all right…

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There we are. Logan is in his final resting place.

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Freddy and Jake say goodbye to Logan one last time.

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No Jake…this won’t be you for a very, very long time. I hope.

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For now, Logan is on the windowsill near Björn’s computer underneath which Pyret loved to sleep, next to Pyret and Olivia’s ash-boxes. Eventually we’ll have everyone’s ashes on one shelf somewhere. It just seems so sad that the older we get, the more little boxes of ashes we collect.

(Also…and I am sorry it’s such a depressing post…but, happy birthday, Sherry!)