Aby-a-Day – 17 Augusti: Dash on the Silja Line

At long last we boarded the Silja Symphony ferry to Stockholm. First we rode the elevator to our cabin to put our luggage away and set up Dashiell’s food and litter.

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Dash really seemed to enjoy the windowed lift.

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This is kind of a dark photo, but you can see the shopping promenade and the cabins with overlooking windows. We stayed in one of those cabins on the way to Helsinki and it was kind of fun do have that view. They don’t have pet rooms in that block of cabins, though.

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After we got our room set up, we went up to the deck to say goodbye to Helsinki.

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This is what the ferry looks like from Helsinki. We happened to be at the waterfront the day before when the ferry was leaving for Sweden.

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Here is me with Dash.

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I posed almost the exact same way with Jacoby in 2016.

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Björn posed with Dash as well.

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On the aft deck, there is a little sandbox for dog owners to let their dogs go to the toilet.

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I have to say, it was pretty amusingly decorated. I have seen dog toilet areas on other ferries, but none decorated like this.

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Dash was not impressed.

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He was more interesting in people-watching from the vantage of a deck chair.

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Just then, a dog passed by on his way to the toilet. I guess we took a look at it in the nick of time.

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Despite what it says on the website, the crew staff assured us that cats were allowed anywhere onboard the ship. We thought a nice refreshing beer would be nice before taking Dash back to the cabin and checking the duty-free store.

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Dash was happy to sit in his carrier and watch Björn pour his beer.

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Dash never even tried to get out of his carrier.

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After our drinks, we took the elevator back to our cabin.

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I think Dash was happy to go back to the cabin and take a nap after all the excitement of the cat show and boarding the ferry.

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Ferry rides are a lot of fun. They go overnight, and some people treat it as a party. On this trip, there was what looked like a stag do going on. Not sure which guy was the groom, but my money’s on the guy in the bell bottoms.

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We had seen them in the bar earlier. They were going around to people in the bar with a straw, asking if they could have a sip of their drink, taking photos of it. It was pretty funny.

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There was also a new machine in the ferry’s casino – Diamond Cats! It’s a bit like Kitty Glitter except with no Somali. It was not a bad game; at least the Siamese have blue eyes on this game. But it was fun to play and I ended up winning a little, which is always nice.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Augusti: A quick visit to the cat show

On Sunday, we spent some time at the cat show in Lempäälä (near Tampere) that Russell and Carol, along with my friend Pam, were judging. Because we had to catch the ferry back to Sweden at 16:45, and it was a long drive from the show hall to the ferry terminal, we couldn’t enter Dashiell in the show – it didn’t matter, pointwise, because he’s still a kitten, and exhibitors aren’t allowed to leave until the show’s posted closing hour. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t drop by for a visit.

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It was a very small show, held in a shopping mall (which was actually rather cool). One-day shows in CFA aren’t common, but they happen; however, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show with only three rings!

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My friend Anne set us up with a small pop-up tent and a litter box for Dash. While in Sweden, people mostly use the metal show cages and spectators view the cats on the same side of the cage as the exhibitors, in Finland, people use SturdiShelters and pop-up tents with a clear back, and the spectators view the cats from the back whilst the exhibitiors sit with their cats by the cages’ doors. It feels a bit strange, not really being able to interact with the people coming to see the cats except over the top of your cage.

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Dash has been to shows before, so he knew what to do.

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He was very interested in this one little boy who stopped to see him.

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Dash wanted to make friends with the kid, but it’s hard when you’re behind plastic.

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If it had been a metal cage, Dash would have reaching out to touch the boy.

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I think both kitten and child were equally fascinated with each other. It was adorable.

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We were only able to stay for about an hour and a half (the show, being so small, didn’t start until 11), but it was nice to hang out with Meg and Anne a little bit more. I also managed to get a photo of Anne’s stunning tattoo…isn’t it lovely?

Aby-a-Day – 14 Augusti: Wordless Wednesday (Dashiell’s Ferry Photos…and one of Jacoby)

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Aby-a-Day – 13 Augusti: Remembering Jacoby in Helsinki (Cartoon Tuesday)

When we went to Aino, the Finnish restaurant in Helsinki, I noticed a sign-in book.

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When we visited Helsinki with Jacoby in 2016, we ate at this restaurant.

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I just thought they needed to be reminded of that event.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Augusti: Finally meeting Dashiell (Cinema Sunday)

As I posted yesterday, Meg, Russell and Dashiell arrived far too late for us to be able to meet them at the airport and collect Dash on Friday. So he stayed in Meg and Russell’s in the hotel near the airport.

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I awoke to some smexy photos of Dash lounging in bed. Everyone slept in, and rightly so.

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We had a day in Helsinki planned for Meg, Russell and Carol Fogarty, another judge, so Dash spent the day at Anne’s house.

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There, he bonded with Anne’s teenaged daughter. He’s very good with kids.

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After a day of walking around Helsinki, we had dinner at a great Finnish restaurant we’ve eaten at before on previous trips to Helsinki. Here’s Meg and me after dinner.

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On our way back to our hotel in Tampere, we stopped by Anne’s and collected Dash. This is the grand opening of the carrier when we finally got him into our hotel room (click on the image to watch the video in another tab in Flickr).

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We had a wonderfully spacious room, with places to put the food bowl, the water bowl…

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…and the litter box house.

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In anticipation of Dash’s arrival, my friend Molly sent him a welcome home present. It was even addressed to him.

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I saved it to open when we finally were together.

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He wasn’t entirely sure about it…but it will be his for the rest of his life.

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Next, Dash explored our room.

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And that was how we finally got Dash…

Aby-a-Day: 10 Augusti: Comedy of Errors

Yesterday was…interesting. We were supposed to meet Meg, Russell and Dashiell at Helsinki International Airport at 17:15.

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That…did not happen. Their flight from Newark was delayed, and they ended up missing their connection in Frankfurt to Helsinki.

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This is the photo Meg sent me when she finally got to Frankfurt.

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And here is Russell with Dash (under the banana), waiting for the connecting flight.

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Above is the Facebook Messenger conversation we had about meeting up and collecting Dash. FINALLY I got the bright idea to include my friend Anne, an Aby breeder who happens to live in Helsinki near the airport. We had booked a hotel in Tampere, two hours away from Helsinki, which was supposed to be the show hotel, but it got overbooked because of a German heavy metal band who were having concerts nearby. Turns out, we might have been able to cancel our “non-refundable” reservation…but, yeah. 20/20 hindsight.

But we had to drive to our hotel, so there was no way we could be at the airport to meet them and collect Dash on Friday.

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So my hero friend Anne met them at the airport instead.

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They landed sometime after midnight, and my friend Anne was there to meet them.

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This is all of them, taken by Anne, at sometime around 1am. At this point, Dash had been in his carrier for 30-something hours.

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Meanwhile, our hotel had been notified that we would be arriving with a cat, so they prepared a little gift for us: a packet of wet food in the cutest little bag.

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Look how cute the print is on the bag, all little kitty faces! I just wish we had had Dash that first night.

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But here he is on Meg’s bed, happy to finally be out of that carrier!

Aby-a-Day – 15 Mars: Remembering Logan in Finland (Friday Flashback)

I have been thinking a lot about Logan recently. I suppose it’s only natural; his birthday was last Saturday, and this is the month before we found out about his FIP. I guess March is going to be hard for a while. But this is a memory that always makes me smile.

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When we took Logan to Finland for a show, Logan discovered the heated bathroom floor.

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He loved it!

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He was always a little less stocky than Izaak is.

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It was so funny to watch him rolling on the warm, but hard, floor. He was like, “What is this sorcery!?”

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Have you ever seen a happier little cat?

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He really loved it.

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When we couldn’t find Logan anywhere else in the room, we knew he had to be there on the bathroom floor. He even slept in there instead of on the bed or the chair!

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We haven’t stayed in a hotel with heated floor since then with any cat. I was looking forward to seeing what Logan would do when we encountered one again; now I’m just wondering if Lorelai and Zak will have the same reaction.