Aby-a-Day – 30 Maj: Stroller Rage (Thursday Things)

Yesterday, I had an appointment to take everycat to the vet for a check-up and jabs. Björn didn’t have the day off, so I had to manage on my own. Naturally, I took them all in our new stroller. Our appointment was in the middle of the afternoon (not that Skövde really has a “rush hour,” unless you count when all the kids get out of school), so the bus wasn’t crowded at all.

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We have to take two buses to get to our vet, and the first leg of our journey was uneventful.

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The buses we have in Västra Gotalands have a dedicated space for strollers, with room for two (theoretically, as we will see).

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This isn’t the first time we’ve taken all four in this stroller (we had a trip to DjurMagazinet in April), and it was vastly easier than trying to do it with Jacoby’s old stroller! Still, I did feel a bit like that man in Tokyo who takes his nine Persians out in a stroller.

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As you can see, everyone fit very comfortably in the stroller. We also got lucky with the weather. It was sunny and warm. Today it’s grey and rainy.

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On the second bus (also empty), we started out comfortably.

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And then…it happened. Another stroller wanted to get on the bus.

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Of course, I instantly shifted over as much as I could, but she wasn’t very good at manoeuvering her stroller (it was one of those awkward raised car seat/stroller combo things).

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In fact, she was having so much trouble getting on the bus, the driver got up to see what was taking so long. And he glared at me like it was my fault and told me to let her on, like I was deliberately blocking her. As you can see, I was jammed in as much as I could possibly be.

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And then, on the way home, it happened AGAIN! This time, it was one of those awful double stroller, with one kid who looked about five…isn’t that a little old to be needing a stroller? Again, I shifted over and jammed in, but this woman was a LOT better at managing her stroller, and her older boy (the one not in the stroller, behind me) seemed to really love the cats.

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I understand that people with little kids need strollers, because I need a stroller to schlep multiple cats around. I couldn’t even imagine what it would have been like trying to manage three (we have one that’s a double) cat carriers on my own! And believe me, I am no stranger to controversy about cat strollers. My resentment and annoyance is not anything against parents or children. It’s the attitude I get from people (like the driver, and sometimes the other stroller owner) that somehow their strollers are somehow more important than mine. I have as much of a right to bring my stroller full of cats on the bus as they do with their stroller full of baby or child(ren), especially if I am running an errand that requires multiple cats to be with me. And I always shift as much as I possibly can. Yet, in these situations, the person with the non-humans in the stroller is always the “bad guy” taking the space away from “the person who NEEEEEEEDS it”. (Sidenote, it’s even more fun when we’re on a bus back from a cat show with other cats in strollers and a baby stroller comes on. The entitlement on the baby people and the shade thrown doubles.) Basically, it’s a case of “All strollers are equal, but some strollers are more equal than others,” which really isn’t fair at all.

To that end, I posted a couple of these photos to Facebook as events unfolded, and made a flippant comment that 4 > 1, and then added “Cats Before Brats.” A friend said, “That should be a bumper sticker!” So…

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…I made one. It’s available on Zazzle, and at the moment, you can get 15% off with code ZSWEETTREATS.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj: “Scattered pictures…of the smiles we left behind” (Friday Flashback)

As I posted earlier this month, the Memories that Facebook shows you can be bittersweet. Lately, they’ve been showing me a lot of Jacoby memories. It started with this one, of Strollercat on the way to a cat show in Göteborg in 2017.

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I never actually posted these photos here, as this was during the blog’s hiatus.

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This is another photo that popped up, I think as one of Björn’s Memories. I called it “Conversations on a train.”

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Then there is this one I posted whilst we were at that cat show.

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I found this photo of Jake crashed out in the hotel room after the first day of the show was over whilst I was looking for the other ones from this week’s Memories. I had forgotten it…but it is SO Jake.

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This is the Memory that came up yesterday…

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…another one I forgot about that is such a classic Jake moment. I found Angel sunning herself in a little square of sunshine in the kitchen.

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The square was just the right size for one little cat loaf.

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And then…along came Jake.

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And he decided that he wanted the sun square. I wasn’t able to capture what happened next.

And this last one is the most bittersweet of all, from five years ago Wednesday. Jake loved riding on the front of his stroller on our way home from our therapy visits. I posted the photos here in the blog at the time, but I only posted the video to Facebook. Apologies for the vertical video…I forgot to turn the camera sideways.

Mosey hunts with StarClan

Yesterday, not even a month after Jacoby died just before his tenth birthday, Molly posted this on Facebook: “He’s gone, my beloved Mosey. Sweetest cat in 30+ years of Abys. Damn kidney disease! At age eight, one sad Vet, two crying Vet Techs and I walked him to the Rainbow Bridge. Lisa Kaelin I owe you the world for breeding my favorite cat of all time. Farewell, Ch. Red Fern Moses2 of Tigerflower. It hurts so much…”

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Longtime readers may remember that Jake and I met Rosey Mosey at a cat show when he was a kitten. At the time, he was third best kitten in CFA! We also met Mosey’s son, Nikolai, at another show.

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Mosey was such a sweet, lovable boy. I can’t believe he is also gone so young. My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear, sweet Mosey.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Maj: Thanks, Facebook…(Travel Thursday)

Love it or hate it, Facebook is a reality. It’s annoying as hell, but it’s also a great way to stay in touch with friends and family (like friends from second grade and several of my cousins in Canada). And then there’s the “Memories” it likes to show you.

This photo was today’s memory, four years ago. Jacoby and I were on our way to the Seacoast show in New Hampshire, one of our favourites. We’re riding the T on our way to meet the friend I was staying with. Interestingly enough, I never included this photo in a blog post about the show (and I made several posts about it, too)!

So bittersweet…a happy memory, to be sure, but I miss that way he gazed at me.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Mars: Bear necessities (Swedish Saturday)

In Sweden, we have a thing called REKO-Ring. REKO means “Real Consumption” (Konsumtion in Swedish) and is a way to shop for locally produced food, without intermediaries. Consumers and producers merge and start a REKO ring where locally produced products are sold directly from producer to consumer. In Skövde, our local REKO-Ring has a Facebook page where the producers post what they have available, and then people who want to buy something comment on the post saying what they want to get. Then, on alternate Wednesdays, we meet in a parking lot at a hockey arena two stops on the bus line from our house.

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Well, just as I despairing of finding a really great birthday present for Björn, I happened to check the REKO-Ring Skövde Facebook page. And I found a post from Lilla Spännefalla, and they had all kinds of game for sale. Including bear meat from Jämtland in the north of Sweden.

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I ordered a “Bear Box” and got steaks, ground bear meat, and chunks.
I have only had bear a couple of times, and it is delicious. The first time was in 2000, when I found it for sale in an Asian grocery store in Boston. I then had it again when we canned bear meat for sale in the duty-free on the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Then I got to eat it again when we went to a medieval restaurant in Taillinn. But the thing is…The name Björn is the same as the Swedish word for bear. So when I found bear meat available for sale just before Björn’s birthday, I knew I had the perfect gift.

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Bear meat is delicious. You have to make sure all the fat is removed, because it can add a slightly rancid flavour to the meat. The basic rule of thumb is, “Season like beef, cook like pork.” This is because like pigs, bears and raccoons are omnivores, and their meat can cause Trichinosis if it is not cooked well.

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So, sorry guys…you don’t get to try it raw.

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Despite not getting to try it raw, the bear meat attracted quite a crowd.

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Lorelai, of course, had to get on Björn’s shoulder to supervise.

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Izaak made sure Björn cooked it thoroughly.

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And he did.

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Served with plain potato wedges and mushrooms, it was a delicious birthday dinner…

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…which some people in the house were eager to sample.

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Zak was the first to taste bear meat whilst the plates were still on the coffee table.

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Everyone else got their tastes in the kitchen. Rory LOVED it.

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Jacoby tried to steal her piece, but she managed to keep it for herself. But don’t worry, Jake got a couple of pieces of the bear meat.

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Alfred took his piece so quickly…

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…I couldn’t even capture it with my camera. Fast Freddy!

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Angel took her sample gingerly…

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…and ran away from all the other cats to eat it in peace.

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It took her a little longer to finish it, because of her three teeth, so she wanted to eat it someplace safe.

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I guess we can add bear meat to the things Abyssinians (and Singapuras) will eat.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Mars: You’ll never pee alone (Thursday Things)

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this fascinating article about why cats feel the need to accompany us in the bathroom, and it was infinitely relatable. Because Izaak sits outside the bathroom when I’m in it and YELLS until I open the door.

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And when I open it…this happens.