Aby-a-Day – 29 Mars: Cats are such brats sometimes (Hipstamatic Monday=

Björn bought some really nice bratwurst and had it for breakfast yesterday.

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A certain little girl was very interested in the brat on Björn’s fork.

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This was actually pretty unusual for Lorelai; she’s big on raw meat when we’re cutting it up for cooking, but she’s not usually so grabby when it comes to cooked food.

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It was so funny to watch her!

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It smelled good to me, but it must have smelled amazing to Rory for her to act this way.

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But Rory had competition for that brat, though. Someone else wanted it, too, and look at the daggers she’s staring at him.

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I know you probably thought it was going to Alfred…but it was Izaak!

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And for Zak to try to steal food is even more unusual that Rory doing it. He is strictly a raw meat kind of guy.

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And he wanted it even more than Rory, too.

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Björn said Zak was really pulling down on his hand. For a little dude, Zak is strong for his size!

Aby-a-Day – 6 Februari: Photobombing Freddy (Silly Saturday)

When I did Alfred’s birthday photoshoot, I started out by myself (Kalle came and helped me later), so I was trying to manage the cake in one hand and the camera in the other…all whilst trying to keep Freddy from eating it before I could get the candles lit. This was an accidental shot, but I thought it was so cute the way Angel was patiently waiting for her snack, so I kept it.

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Don’t worry, Angel. You’ll get some, too.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Februari: Happy 4th Birthday, Alfred! (Thursday Things)

Today is Alfred’s fourth birthday! I can’t believe he’s four already. He was very excited about his “cake,” too.

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The candles, however, gave him pause.

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For about fifteen seconds.

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Freddy seemed about ready to eat his cake despite the flames, so I blew them out.

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Then he really tucked in. At least this year, no candles were eaten on Freddy’s birthday.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (Happy 3rd birthday, Izaak!)

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Aby-a-Day – 17 December 2020: Merry Fishmas (Thursday Things)

Pickled Herring is one of the traditional foods on the traditional foods on the Swedish Julbord (Christmas table)…so of course there’s a version of Julsill for cats!

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It’s made by Mjau, the “low-rent” version of Bozita, which I’ve mentioned before (Both Bozita and Mjau are made by Doggy AB in Vårgårda). The main difference between the two brands seems to be the range of flavours and the ingredients labels. Mjau lists “meat and animal by-products” and “fish and fish by-products,” with 4% actual herring. Bozita lists the specific animals used, and doesn’t include “by-products.”

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But do the cats mind if they get a little Julsill along with their raw? Apparently not…well, except maybe for Izaak.

Aby-a-Day – 30 September 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Two naughty cats)

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Aby-a-Day – 13 Augusti 2020: Stand up to eat (Thursday Things)

Lately, Angel has started doing the cutest thing. When I give the others their evening raw chicken neck, Angel gets some dry food.

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And this is a new thing for her, but she stands up in anticipation of her snack.

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And she meows at me to hurry up, too! It’s the most adorable thing, ever, and she only started doing it a few months ago.

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She stands up for regular meals, too…but she’s cutest when it’s snack time.

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I wish she could eat a chicken neck like the rest of the cats…but she just hasn’t got the teeth for it. She’s happy with kibble, though.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Januari 2020: A kitchen mystery (Mischievious Movie Monday Mystery)

So the other day I walked into the kitchen, and the cabinet above the refrigerator, where we store the dry food we give Angel as a treat, was open. And the bag was…somehow…on the kitchen counter. Pretty sure it was Alfred, but he tried to frame Dashiell for the crime. For some reason, most of the photos I took were “Live Photos,” so here they are as a short YouTube video:

Aby-a-Day – 22 Januari 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Dinner chez Hellqvist be like…)

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Aby-a-Day – 9 Januari 2020: “Chips. All day. Every day.” (Thursday Things)

Once in a while, Björn and I have chips whilst we watch TV. And…sometimes one gets dropped.

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Lorelai found it first, and of course she tried to eat it.

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Pretty sure that it was a salt-vinegar chip. Cats are not big fans of vinegar.

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Izaak, our famously picky, raw-meat-only eater, didn’t even try to eat it. He just played with it…until I picked it up before it got stepped on.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Januari 2020: Dashiell and Lorelai, partners in crime (Mischievous Monday)

We don’t feed dry cat food to our cats regularly anymore at all. When we do give them dry food, it is fed as a treat. The problem is, we have some leftover prescription diet foods that we gave to Jacoby and Pyret. And we also we win bags of dry food at cat shows, really good, high-protein brands, which is what we give them when we do give them dry.

We have a few more-or-less catsafe storage places in our apartment, and one of these is in our laundry room. All the cats know we keep food in there, and the opportunistic little jerks never pass up a chance to try to get a snack when I have the laundry room door open ( you may recall that we have to latch the door because Alfred has worked out how to open that door).

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So, the other day I left the door open for about a minute whilst putting laundry away. The cats, I thought, we all napping around the house, so I thought it was safe. Boy, was I wrong.

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In the time it took me to go from the laundry room, dump the clothes onto the bed, and go back to put the next load in our drying closet…Lorelai AND Dashiell were up on top of it, nomming happily away on some of Jake’s leftover Urinary prescription diet. Since it wasn’t in a bin, I am fairly certain it didn’t have a hole in it yet, either. Never underestimate cats when it comes to food!

I didn’t know Dash even knew how to get up there!

Aby-a-Day 27 Juni: Dining al fresco (Thursday Things)

I have often commented on this blog that cats go through fads. Suddenly they’ll start doing something they never did before, or haven’t done for ages, and carry on with it for weeks or months…and then, just as suddenly, stop.

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I showed you one such fad yesterday. Out of a clear blue sky, Angel started sleeping on our bed, nestled in the pillows and plushies. She hasn’t done that since we were in Boston.

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Izaak has, of late, decided he wants to eat his breakfast on the balcony.

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He eats his dinner in our bedroom, and his chicken neck in his Sturdi house…but he demands to have breakfast on the balcony.

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I don’t mind. As long as it’s a place I can close off (because he eats only raw, it’s for his own protection), and he’s eating (he’s a slow eater and tends to be a bit fussy), I’m happy.

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In typical stubborn Singapura fashion, he demanded his food out there. When I was preparing everyone else’s food, he wasn’t a part of the pack milling about my feet.

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He parked himself on one of the chairs and refused to budge when I called him.

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When I came looking for him, bowl in hand, he just looked at me without moving a muscle.

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The weather’s been quite lovely lately, and, compared to our dark bedroom (blackout curtains are de rigueur in Sweden), can you blame him for wanting to eat in the sunshine?

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Every morning for about a week now, he’s demanded this routine.

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Hey, if it makes him happy…why not?

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As the cat food commercial says, “Resistance is futile.”

Aby-a-Day – 14 Juni: All Angel’s birthdays (Flashback Friday)

As you saw from Wednesday’s post, Angel turned 12 this year. When we got her from Purebreds Plus Rescue, they didn’t know her birthday, so I chose 11 June as the day she could have been born on. Last year, I got confirmation that she was most likely actually born on 4 July 2007, but my dad’s birthday is the 4th of July, so I just keep celebrating on 11 June. She was a year and three (or two) months old when I adopted her, so we missed her first birthday…but here is a photo of me with her on her second birthday.

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Angel on her 3rd birthday…still not used to those candles.

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Here is Angel and me on Angel’s 4th birthday.

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Angel’s 5th birthday fell on a Monday, so we celebrated with Hipstamatic photos.

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Look how proud Angel looks to be 6 years old!

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Angel’s 7th birthday was her first in our new apartment, and she had her cake on the window seat.

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Angel couldn’t wait to eat her 8th birthday cake! I’m surprised she didn’t singe her whiskers!

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Her 9th birthday was our last in Boston. She seemed a little intimidated by all the candles.

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So, of course, Angel’s 10th birthday was her first in Sweden.

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Last year’s birthday…I can’t remember what was going on with the candles. Either her birthday took us by surprise, so we used whatever oddball candles we had…or I was just matching the colours. And now she is 12…that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Maj: Tacoby Friday (Friday Fashion Flashback)

In the States, Taco Tuesday is a thing. But here in Sweden, it’s Taco Friday.

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Because of Jacoby’s namesake, tacos always remind me of Jake.

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When he was a kitten, I had to get him some catnip taco toys.

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He loved those things! I wish I knew whatever happened to them. These photos were taken just a couple weeks after he joined our family.

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He even had a little taco charm that he used to wear on his collar with his tag. You can see it in this photo.

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A few years later, I found Jake a taco costume.

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Which he wore with his usual aplomb. Look at him! It might as well be a silk tuxedo the way he’s modelling it!

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Jake was always so chill when it came to wearing his outfits. People always used to ask me how I got him to wear his costumes. I would always kind of shrug and say, “I just ask him to, and he does it, because we’re partners.”

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Damn. Now I really miss Jake…and I am dying for some tacos!

Aby-a-Day – 4 April: Another break-in has been reported (Thursday Things)

Despite using the doorstop fairly regularly, another break-in was reported in an apartment kitchen in northwestern Skövde.

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Interestingly enough, this time the thief tried to pin his crime on an unlikely suspect.

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Nice try…but next time maybe pick a larger, stronger cat who might actually be able to prise open the cabinet?

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Whilst the other cats were eating the stolen goods, our Alfred was on the bed, looking as innocent as he could…

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…which ultimately, wasn’t very innocent-looking at all.

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I had just bought someBrit Premium Sausages for them to try. They completely demolished one whole roll! I texed Björn this photo and said: “Well…guess they like the new food.”

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Even Izaak the sausage was interested in the sausage…and he only eats raw food! Seriously, though…We need to put a stop to this crime spree!

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 – 24 Februari: “Some chicken, some neck!” (Cinema Sunday)

Izaak loves his chicken necks.

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I mean, he really loves them. He only gets one a day, though, because too many raw bones can cause constipation…but if he could have it his way, he’d eat five or six a day.

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I generally feed the cats at noon and midnight, and Zak gets his neck around 8pm. He knows this, so starting around 6pm, every time I get up, he tries to lead me into the kitchen. If I am in the kitchen, he leaps up to the counter next to the refrigerator and yells for his neck.

Of course, still photos cannot express how funny he is when he is doing this…so I made a video of a typical trip to the kitchen chez Hellqvist.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Februari: Eating is…problematic (Swedish Saturday)

Generally, we eat dinner in the living room in front of the TV (don’t judge), and the way our apartment is set up, we are able to close off the living room from the rest of the house by closing two doors. There are some days that we have to close those doors.

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This meal was one we probably should have closed the doors for.

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Okay, we have four Abyssinians and a Singapura. Mealtime was never going to be easy, granted. But the usually shy and retiring Angel becomes a demon when food is involved. To the point of her trying to intercept food on my fork on its way to my mouth.

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She’s extraordinarily aggressive when it comes to food. Annoying is another adjective that fits into that sentence.

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Not that she’s not loving and sweet…as long as there’s food to be had.

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With cats like these, who needs enemies?

Aby-a-Day – 4 Februari: Entering the Terrible Twos

Today is Alfred’s second birthday!

I made Freddy a cake just like last year, but this time nobody ATE the candle.

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Here is the uneaten candle being lit.

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Whilst Jacoby and Angel will eat their cakes with no concern for the fire on top…Freddy was not so sure.

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He actually seemed a bit intimidated by the flickering flame.

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I tried to coax him into trusting it. But he never did.

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In fact, he wouldn’t even eat his cake once the candle was blown out and removed.

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Since he didn’t want to eat his cake, I gave him his birthday present: a raw chicken neck.

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That was what he wanted! He took it under our extra chair, which, judging by the spare rib bone that was already there, is his place to drag his trophies.

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Well, happy second birthday regardless, Alfred!

Aby-a-Day – 26 Januari: Birthday of Champions (Cat Show Saturday)

Today is Izaak’s birthday! He turns one year old today.

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Not only that, but we are at a cat show in Örebro. So this is a very special birthday – the first one of any of our cats that we have celebrated away from home.

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Before he could have his little birthday cake, Zak had to go up and be judged.

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Today we had a judge we’d not seen before. He was from Romania.

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He really seemed to like Zak quite a lot.

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But in the end, he wasn’t Nominated. Neither he nor Lorelai were today.

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In a way, though, Zak got something even better: he earned his third CAC certificate today, which means he is now a Champion!

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So Zak celebrated two milestones today.

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He looked a little unimpressed by his candle and cake.

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Since Zak usually rejects anything that isn’t raw food, I wasn’t sure if he would even eat his cake.

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And, at first, it did seem that Rory was more interested in it than he was! Back off, Rory…you’ll get yours in two weeks.

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At first, Rory was the only one eating Zak’s cake.

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Zak watched her eat it for a while.

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Eventually, he took a bit more interest.

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Finally, he decided to give it a taste.

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At last, he tucked in alongside Rory. I was so happy that he actually seemed to be enjoying his cake.

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There’s a really good pet store near the show hall, and I found a squeaky mouse toy there that had been marked down because it had lost its tail. I didn’t think Zak would mind the missing tail…

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…and I was right!

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I couldn’t really capture him playing with it with my still camera.

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So I made a little video of him playing with it (Click on the image to watch the movie in another tab).