Aby-a-Day – 29 Maj 2020: The Frankentree (Fashion Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of the creation of the Frankentree that we keep on the balcony.

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Angel loves sunning herself on there.

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But then, she liked it before it was upgraded.

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Alfred and Jacoby were also ond of the Frankentree…

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…although it was a bit awkward when Freddy tried to nap in the cubby.

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Logan loved the Frankentree.

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But Angel and Lorelai continue to be the biggest fans of the Frankentree.

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Although Angel doesn’t seem to enjoy sharing it with anyone.

Aby-a-Day – 27 July: Evolution of a Catio (Fashion Friday)

When I first moved here in 2016, Björn’s balcony was a rather Spartan affair.

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There was only a wooden bench, a makeshift cat tree made from natural tree parts, a basket and…not much else.

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It was pretty barren. Once my things came from the States, we put my redwood burl table out there, and my floor-to-ceiling cat tree bumped Björn’s old cat tree out there as well. The balcony was open to the elements, so we couldn’t keep much else out there, but we put a tarp over the table, and it was fine out there. And so were the cats…until Jacoby taught himself to jump off the balcony. After that, we had to keep the balcony door closed until we could get it glassed in.

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Finally, May last year, we got the balcony glassed in. Jake was out there in a heartbeat.

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So was Pyret. The basket on the bench was her favourite spot…

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…which is one reason we kept her body there until we could get her cremated.

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For a while after it was glassed in, we used it as storage for the chairs until we could get it organised.

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Angel didn’t mind. She had sun and a cushy place to nap. She was good.

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Even now, you can usually find her in one of the chairs on the balcony.

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Either a chair, or the cubby in the cat tree.

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Alfred…well, he tries to fit in there sometimes, too.

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Logan also really loved the cubby.

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Logan loved the balcony.

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He spent a lot of time out there in the sun before he died.

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Jake and Freddy love being out there, too…but they’re usually trying to work out a way to escape.

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We got the basic layout of the balcony done last summer after the glass was installed, and we hung curtains and icicle and fairy lights, which actually give enough light to read by, but this year we have been focusing on really getting it set up to be a catio. I fell in love with this artificial pine tree at IKEA, and I found a reindeer hide for 125kr (around $14, about 1/10 what they should cost) which I love…but which sheds too much to live in the apartment. It looks great out on the balcony, though!

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One of the biggest things we did this year is lay down wooden tiles.

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Those tiles made a HUGE difference in the overall feel of the balcony. It feels warmer and more homey – more like a part of the house rather than “outside.” There was just one more thing we needed to do…and you’ll see what we did tomorrow!

Aby-a-Day – 12 July: Sleeping in Vimmerby (Thursday Things)

Our friend Summer commented on yesterday’s post that it was nice to see Angel in a post. I do try to mix it up as much as possible, but it’s not always easy since Angel tends to avoid the spotlight.

Kalle has a really awesome Vimmerby bed from Mio. It’s a modernised version of the traditional box bed that dates back to the Middle Ages, and let me tell you, I would have LOVED to have a bed like this in high school!

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Seems that Angel likes Kalle’s bed, too! She hardly ever sleeps on our beds, so when she decided to hang out on Kalle’s bed, it was pretty awesome, and we were lucky to get photos of the rare event.

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It’s great to see her branch out. It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve had her, and she still acts like she did when I first brought her home. So to see her do something like this is so special. Good girl, Angel!

Aby-a-Day – July 9: Making his mark

When we stayed at my friend Karen’s house during the Seacoast show, Jacoby took a particular liking to one black chair she had in her living room. He even chose to sleep on it instead of on the bed with me.

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Sunday morning, I discovered why he liked that cushion so much.

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It was the perfect canvas on which to display his white litterbox-dust pawprints!

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“What? You love my paws so much…I thought you’d like this!”

Aby-a-Day – June 8: Checking out the Cat Style Lounge at Blog Paws (Miniature Monday)

If you saw Summer’s blog post last week, you saw her photos at the Hauspanther Cat Style Lounge.

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Well, since I wasn’t able to bring Jacoby with me, I had to visit the Hauspanther lounge with Jake’s mini-me.

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But I think he enjoyed it at least as much as the real Jake would have.

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The first stop were the Pet Tree Houses with leaves.

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I absolutely love these trees. I wish I could fit one in my apartment. Especially with the autumn foliage. Besides looking pretty, they also are very well built.

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Next we played with the Jackson Galaxy Cat Crawl.

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And then we checked out the Jackson Galaxy Comfy Cocoon.

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CatastrophiCreations, an Etsy store, makes some awesome cat climbers, like this amazing Indiana Jones rope bridge…

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…and this system of wall furniture that can be adapted and customised to your cats and your walls.

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Next we checked out the ökocat litter display…but the resident flat cat didn’t seem to approve. I’m just glad that Rufus wasn’t there. That cat creeps me out (even if he does look a bit like an Aby).

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This Vesper Tower cubby had such a fluffy lining!

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The Vesper V-Cube is really elegant too.

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I really loved My Katio which can hold a litter box or just be a little mini-porch for kitties. I just don’t think my building would allow them since we have central air conditioning rather than window-mounted AC.

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I can’t for the life of me remember who made this cat tree. I can’t find it on Hauspanther’s style guide. It was awesome, though.

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I really liked the Cattino cat-shaped, all-in-one cat centre. It has a bed and a scratcher in one compact, cat-shaped package!

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The PurrfecTower trees were amazing. I could totally see one of these in my apartment.

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Finally we checked out the CatIt Wellness Center

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Mini-Jake seemed to really enjoy it. I may need to get one for big Jake!

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When we were done playing with all the toys, we hung out at the Hauspanther craft table.

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There were little cardboard cat toys scattered everywhere.

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We even got to meet the lovely and amazing Kate Benjamin! I was flattered that she had heard of me!

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Finally, just for fun, here’s me with mini-Jake. My dress is from Modcloth and I just adore it.

But you can see I really missed having Jake with me. He would have loved all this.

Aby-a-Day – March 15: “Deluxe” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Deluxe.”

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When we finally get it all done, we’ll have a deluxe cat apartment with all sorts of climbing and sleeping choices.

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The sky will be the limit!

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And believe me, Jacoby cannot wait!

Aby-a-Day – March 12: Wordless Wednesday (Height and Light)

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Aby-a-Day – February 28: Angel on high (Friday Flashback)

Last week I posted about how much Jacoby is going to love our newly catified apartment, but Angel will get a huge kick out of it, too.

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The very first night I had Angel, she climbed to the top of the cat tree in my mom’s house.

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And she kept going when she got to the top!

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My mom’s place is actually naturally cat-friendly, with the addition of that one cat tree.

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My mom’s cats never thought to go up there, though. Angel did it almost immediately! I guess some things just need an Aby’s touch.

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When we first built our IKEA Pax cabinets, Angel was right there, helping.

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She was up on top of the first one before we’d even finished assembling it.

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I don’t remember how she even got up there!

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But she immediately tried to go even higher!

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It will be interesting to see how she reacts to the cat shelves in the new apartment.

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I just hope they don’t fight over the good spots!

Aby-a-Day – February 20: Catification chez nous

As most of you know by now, we are moving to a new apartment in our building. It’s exciting, and a lot of work. Our building has an open plan, and when the interiors were first built out, the original buyers (which we were, also, in our current apartment) had options as to how the units were built out. In our case, the optional second bedroom wasn’t built out…but we wanted it, so we’re having it built back in according to the original plans.

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Of course, a new apartment affords us a chance to create a haven not only for ourselves, but for the cats as well. While my husband won’t let me go completely crazy the way they did in The Cats’ House or the $35,000 Complete Cat House, or get the German Cat Climbing Furniture, but we are creating something of a Cat Superhighway in our new home.

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Originally, there was an open space between the living room and the middle room.

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We had that made into a solid wall. And we’re installing two sets of Sophia Cat Shelves alongside the television.

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One hasn’t been mounted yet because it has a missing piece, so that’s why there are only three on the wall right now.

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Look how high the top one is! Jacoby is going to love this.

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The new middle room is going to be my art room, and it will also have a television on the wall (I watch TV while I work instead of listening to music). My original concept was this:

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But we decided not to surround the TV with shelves, so instead of the Hemnes piece, we opted for IKEA’s Bestå TV stand. The cool thing about Bestå is that you can arrange pieces on the IKEA website to see how they’ll look.

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This is what our setup should look like (I’m not entirely sure about the doors, though).

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Then, we’ll add a few Ekby Tryggve shelves and Valter brackets, painted to match the wall.

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I painted them all myself on Monday.

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And this is what my workroom wall should look like!

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This was the concept I had for our bedroom. It was to be custom-built, but that proved too expensive.

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I came up with a way of assembling different sizes of Expedit units to create the same staircase effect for a lot less money. The people at IKEA were pretty impressed, actually.

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It’s 8 squares by 8 squares, 10 feet by 10 feet. It should work well.

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And it should look something like this. I can’t wait to build it and see what Jake thinks!

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Because right now, he thinks this is an awesomely high place to sit. He has no idea what’s in store for him in a couple of weeks!

Abys are Everywhere: Blue is the new Ruddy

Blue Abys are everywhere! As part of our move, we’re buying a new bed, and I’m looking at one on Wayfair.com.

Well, since I signed up for an account with them, I get emails telling me what goodies they have on sale. Like litter box cabinets! I had no idea Wayfair had cat furniture…but they do!

And look at the handsome blue Aby they have modelling this cabinet! We currently have two white cabinets (one in each bathroom), but if we ever want to change colour, I now know where to go.

I was also pleased to discover that they sell the Sophia box-shelves, because we were thinking of getting those…and obviously, they’re Aby-approved!

These shelves come in sets of two, and you can get either black or white. The Aby, sadly, is not included.

Surprisingly, Wayfair carries a lot of the “standard” modern cat furniture, like the Sebastian Modern Cat Tree (look who’s the model again!), the Lotus Cat Tree and the Square Cat Habitat Baobob and Acacia cat trees. They also carry cat shelves like the Refined Feline Clouds shelves and the Square Cat Habitat Buddah Perches. Who knew!?

Since we’re looking to do some catification in the new place, I went over all the blog posts about cat shelves and walkways on Hauspanther and discovered that somehow I’d missed this one from last year! How did I not see this lovely blue Aby Zidane in her San Francisco loft?

I’m seeing a lot more blue Abys in advertising lately…interesting trend!

As seen on Hauspanther: Aby Paradise in San Diego

Earlier this week, Hauspanther shared a marvelously catified loft apartment. It’s a wonder example of what you can do with shelves and catwalks, even in a small space (this apartment is only 650 square feet)!

Of course, Hauspanther posts about catified living spaces all the time…but this time, the cats who get to play with all these fantastic furnishings are Abys! Someday, we’re going to catify our apartment for the cats…

Aby-a-Day – December 16: Dude, where’s my bed?

You may recall seeing photos of the IKEA Pax wardrobe we have in our bedroom.

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Mainly in the context of Jacoby climbing it.

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Well, up until recently we had a fishtank on a shelf of that cabinet, and a basket with clothes underneath. When we moved the aquarium, we put a cat bed in the open space.

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And the basket, especially, was a favourite hide-out and napping-spot of Jake’s.

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Recently, however, we finished that cabinet and installed a set of drawers in the open middle section.

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Jake was MOST DISPLEASED to discover his napping spot had disappeared.

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“Wait…WHAT?”

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“I could have SWORN it was JUST here!”

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“Maybe it’s temporary…I’ll just wait and maybe it’ll come back.”

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“I wonder if I can get inside one of those…”

Other People’s Abys: Designer Pet Products’ Blue Aby on Moderncat

Yesterday, Moderncat featured a wonderful new modern cat tree and climbing shelves. Not only are the new furniture designs absolutely beautiful and attractive to both human and feline, but they feature a charmingly goofy blue Abyssinian spokesmodel!

Made by Designer Pet Products, manufacturer of the Designer CatBox Enclosure (which also features the same blue Aby demonstrator), the new tree and shelves come in a black or a white finish and are available from Designer Pet Products’ website as well as from Amazon.

Just look at this Aby! I’ll bet money he’s a boy…he just reminds me so much of Jacoby, hamming it up.

Other People’s Abys – Somali Sighting

Cate at Blanket ID found this great German cat furniture site…and some great Somali models!

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I see ruddies/usuals, red/sorrels, and a really adorable little blue Somali kitten…not to mention some really sweet furniture.

Best, Worst, and “Wish List” Cat Products

In one of the (many) cat-related online communities I follow, someone asked us to answer these three questions:

1. My absolute favourite thing I’ve gotten so far for my cat/s is ____________. (Please include pic and/or link!)

2. One thing I bought for my cat and now wish I hadn’t is ____________.

3. If I could splurge on any pet product, it would be ________________.

What a great question! I thought you might be interested in my answers…

The best thing is my cats’ braided kangaroo leather tag collars, their Blanket ID tags, and their gemstone and silver name/address tags. I like having a collar on my cats; these are light and slip on and off should they get caught on something. The two tags are small, pretty…and useful.

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The thing I bought that I wish I hadn’t was the Klaw Kontrol bag. Not only did it not really work on the one cat I needed it for, but she was too strong for it! She actually ripped out the zipper seams! Oh, well, lesson learned.

If I could splurge on anything for our cats, it would be a complete wall-mounted cat shelf and walkway system. I’d settle for a place with a structural interior pillar that I could wrap in sisal rope, but someday I want a catwalk system like the “cat houses” in Japan.

So, how about you?

Aby-a-Day – June 4: Bamboo Bliss (Hipstamatic Monday)

Most cat shows have fundraising raffles. You get a massive amount of little tickets for $5 or $10 or $20, and you put them into cups in hopes of winning the associated prize.

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At the show in Concord, NH, I put all my tickets into two cups: the one for a DVD/Blu-Ray of The War Horse and the one for a Smartykat Bamboo Bliss hideout.

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I actually won the cat house!

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When I finally set it up, a certain someone was quick to claim it as his own.

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Smartykat makes some great cat furniture, including the beloved Ess Curve scratcher. I really like this bamboo oval. It’s sleek and modern-looking, not like a lot of cat furniture out there.

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It’s also, apparently, a big hit with cats.

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Jacoby didn’t want to come out of here. I think he was afraid that Tessie or Kylie would usurp him if he vacated his throne.

Other People’s Abys: Kitticraft’s South African Abys on Moderncat

This is awesome.

Yesterday, Moderncat featured some amazing new cat furniture from a company in South Africa. But even more interesting than the furniture (which is amazing…but only shipping to South Africa for the time being) is the furniture’s models, Moon and Kiara.

From the Kitticraft website: “Back in September 2011 we arranged to adopt a (yet to be born) Abyssinian kitten and as any reputable breeder will insist, the kittens were only allowed to move to their new homes after they had reached the crucial age of 12 weeks. That put the adoption time around late December 2011. As we all know, there is nothing that makes time move slower than having to wait a long time for that very special something or someone…

We had to do something to make time move faster, after all we still had another 3 months to get through, but what could possibly make 3 months pass quicker?

It started with kitten proofing the house, slowly, we had to pace ourselves, but predictably with all the excitement, kitten proofing was complete in a matter of hours. So the next logical thing to do was equip our future child with everything she would possibly need…

…There was only one solution, if we were to get modern sophisticated furniture, worthy of a sophisticated baby, we had to make it ourselves.

And so KittiCraft was born…

The 3 months passed (not as quickly as we would have liked), but on the 9th of December 2011, we went to collect our baby Blue Abyssinian kitten, who we named Moon. But wait there’s more! Moon had a Ruddy half-sister 10 days older, who was just too adorable to leave behind, so Kiara came home with us on the same day.”

Awww…

“Moon and Kiara are now the official KittiCraft Beta Testers, stringently testing each and every design to make sure that its acceptable. Follow their daily antics on their very own Twitter accounts at @MoonKittiCraft and @KiaraKittiCraft”

How cute are they?

Other People’s Abys: Abyssinian cat getting annoyed by his toy

This video really made me laugh, and it was really cool to see The Cat’s Trapeze (which I’ve really only seen on Moderncat) in action:

We may have to get one of these!

Other People’s Abys – Furniture models

One of the posts today on Moderncat featured some gorgeous new napping designs from Danish cat furnituremakers Cat-Interiors. They are lovely…but what really caught my eye was their model!

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She is Mrs. Schmitt, the highly demanding Abyssinian member of their design team, and also their feline spokesmodel. When you visit their site, she’s their favicon, too!

But the Moderncat post reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post. I don’t remember how I found them, but check out Phoenix Feline Furniture’s wonderful custom driftwood cat trees. They’re made on Vancouver Island, and no two are alike…but just look at their models!

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Abyssinians not only show off the cat furniture, but they also grace the pages of their website, and with good reason: Phoenixabys Cattery is the other half of the family! Lucky Abyssinians! I can’t imagine a better place for Abys than a house full of cat trees.

I do seem to have a knack for finding Canadian Abys, though, eh?

Aby-a-Day – August 28: Angel Uber Alles

Angel loves to be on the highest piece of furniture possible.

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It gives her a sense of security, I know, even though all the other cats can get up there as easily as she can.

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Maybe it’s just that it’s easier for her to see everything.

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Or, it may just be that she likes looking down on the rest of us.

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Yeah, it’s probably that last one.