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).

Aby-a-Day – 17 Januari: Repeat offender (Thursday Things)

As you saw in yesterday’s post, Alfred has figured out some kind of workaround to our cabinet solution. And before you suggest it…we don’t want to move the food. This is the most convenient place to keep it, and, honestly, moving the food won’t stop Freddy from opening the damn cabinet, and he’ll keep on stealing plastic packets whether or not they contain cat food.

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Kalle took the two photos yesterday, and Björn caught this action this morning.

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By the time Björn took the photos, Freddy was nowhere to be seen. As you can see, he was all too happy to frame his brothers for the crime.

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Not that they tried too terribly hard to look innocent…

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Interestingly enough, whilst I was working on this very post, I heard a crash in the kitchen. I went to look and…yeah, no surprise here.

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Oh, hi there…

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…What?

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Far from being contrite, Freddy grabbed a packet of Jake’s food and carried it underneath the dining room table to puncture and shred. I managed to rescue it before he could so Jake can have dinner tonight.

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You can tell he’s already plotting his next move…