Aby-a-Day – 19 June: A tattoo for FIP (Cartoon Tuesday)

I have wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate Gun-Hee for years, but I never came up with a design. And then I got Logan, and he also died because of FIP. So my tattoo idea changed. It needed to include both Gun-Hee and Logan. So I came up with the above sketch. I am actually getting a tattoo on Thursday by Linus at Magic Man Tattoo here in Skövde…not cats, but magpies. I have always loved magpies, and I had one on my SCA arms (sable, on a maple leaf argent, a magpie displayed gules, marked and breasted argent (or, in other words, a black shield with a white maple leaf with a red magpie on it).

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It looks like this…this is an enamel piece I made in university, sometime around 1988. But I digress. When I go in for my magpie tattoo, I want to talk to Linus about my next tattoo…the one I have wanted since Gun-Hee died.

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This is my first colourised version of the sketch; I want to make a second version before I see Linus, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do it before Thursday. I can’t decide about the banner; I want to have something about FIP, but I don’t know if I like the location of the banner no matter where I put it. I want to have it done on it on my right calf. I am really pleased with the way Logan’s profile turned out, and Gun-Hee looks like Jacoby…but still looks like himself (it’s hard to explain). I can’t wait to hear what Linus says about it!

Aby-a-Day – 11 May: Remembering Gun-Hee (Friday Flashback)

Lorelai has been with us for a week now, and it’s like she’s always been here. She’s feisty, trusting, playful, curious and just…perfect. Jacoby growls at her, she doesn’t care. She pushes Angel and Jake away from their leftovers if she’s still hungry. She holds her own with Alfred even though he’s nearly 10 times her size. She’s had no litter box issues, no eating problems…nothing. She just integrated herself right into the cat family.

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Kind of like another Aby kitten I know. Gun-Hee was a lot like Rory. Jake, Freddy and Logan were somehow not as easy. They all had giardia as kittens, and, I don’t know. It just felt like it took a lot more work managing those three as kittens compared to Rory and Gun-Hee.

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We got Gun-Hee on 15 December 2006, the day before he turned three months old.

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We tried to keep him separated from Tessie, Kylie and Patrick when we first brought him home. That lasted about five minutes. He would have none of it. The older cats were…not the most welcoming at first.

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Gun-hee didn’t care.

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He just stood his ground.

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For some reason, Patrick was his particular favourite. Patrick was still missing Harri, who had died four months earlier.

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Gun-Hee eventually wore him down.

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He loved Patrick.

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Kylie was the closest to him in age (she was only 17 months older than him), so they also became friends rather quickly.

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Tessie was a little slower to thaw.

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But Gun-Hee eventually melted her, too.

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He also loved the floor-to-ceiling cat tree in my old apartment.

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He loved being on the top, epsecially.

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Rory takes on that same floor-to-ceiling cat tree and, if she falls off, she just climbs back up. As I am typing this, she’s at the very top of it, trying to touch the ceiling. Gun-Hee was like that, too.

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Another thing they have in common is shoulder-riding. Neither Jake, Angel, Freddy or even Logan have ever been able to stay on a shoulder. Jake is particularly bad at it; I say it’s like he has magnets on his feet that are the opposite of the ones on people’s shoulders and he just can’t stay on. It’s nice to have a shoulder-riding kitten again.

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And Gun-Hee could be cuddly, too. Just like Rory. It’s a little eerie how much she reminds me of him.

Aby-a-Day – 15 April: A post I never thought I’d be making this soon (Serious Sunday)

Logan joined StarClan yesterday around 17:20 in Jönköping. Alfred and I were with him at the end. He was killed by FIP, ten years after my first Abyssinian, Gun-Hee, was murdered by the same virus. Ten years of research, and we still lose our cats to this horrible disease.

I have a lot to process (and not just photos)…but I will tell the whole story over the next few days. But to summarise, after the judge at the Winners Show said she thought Logan was thin, I weighed him as soon as we got home. And yes, Logan had lost weight since the last time he’d been weighed (I weigh all the cats every other week, when I clip claws), so I took him to our vet here in Skövde. I called on Tuesday, and the first appointment we could get was on Friday. They ran blood tests, but we didn’t get any results until very late Monday night, and the rest of the results came in Tuesday afternoon. They said he needed to go to the nearest big animal hospital, which is in Jönköping, an hour train ride from Skövde. So on Wednesday, Logan was admitted for more tests, feeding and hydration, and a possible biopsy. For a while, we thought it might not be FIP, since he had enlarged lymph nodes and anemia, and didn’t show the classic signs of FIP, like the swollen belly that Gun-Hee had. But on Friday the 13th, after they opened his abdomen up to surgically biopsy his mesenteric lymph nodes, they found the tell-tale fluid in his abdomen. It was a jelly rather than free fluid, which is why is wasn’t so obviously FIP.

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So on Saturday, Freddy and I took the train to Jönköping to say goodbye to our friend. Phillippa the vet tech brought him into the room and Freddy went right over to him.

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Then I got to hold him. I wore my Porg shirt because they always remind me of Logan.

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He didn’t like being held on his back, so I turned him over and Freddy was back to check on him.

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Freddy went back into the carrier, and the sweetest thing happened. Logan started squirming in my hands. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but the tech exclaimed, “Oh! He wants to go into the carrier with Freddy!” And he did. I made a short video of the two of them (click the above image to view); Freddy hissed a little at Logan’s funny smell, but they cuddled together like they always have.

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Up until that moment, I thought I brought Freddy to say goodbye to help Freddy deal with the loss of his Brother From Another Mother. But bringing Freddy was as much – if not more – for Logan.

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Turn up the volume…Logan was so happy to see Freddy and me he was purring! (Click image to play.) The tech was called away for an emergency, so we had a little more time together. Logan was so tired, though.

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Finally, the tech returned and the sedation and final injection process began. We stayed with him until they confirmed he was really gone.

My heart has joined The Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today.

Goodbye, my little dollbaby. May StarClan light your path. May you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep. There will soon be a new star in the night sky.

SE*Melur Vide “Logan” – 9 March 2017-14 April 2018

Aby-a-Day – 5 January: “Balls flying all over the place!” (Friday Flashback)

On 20 September, Alfred was neutered. He was showing signs of…well, feline masculine maturity. Playfights with Logan ended up with Freddy on top, grabbing Logan’s scruff and treading his back feet…yeah, I called the vet when I saw that and made him an appointment to get snipped.

Of course, that reminded me of snippings past…

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When Gun-Hee was neutered, he came home and was completely…unaffected.

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I was trying to take photos of him, but he insisted on playing with the cord on my camera.

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This is a boycat who has just had his berries picked. But you would never know it to look at him!

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It was pretty much the same story when Jacoby was neutered. According to Dr. Natalie, as soon as he came out of the anaesthesia he started demanding to be fed with a rather strident meow.

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He also insisted to be let out of his carrier so he could run to our apartment.

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Yeah…losing the family jewels isn’t much of a thing with Abys, it seems.

The same day that Freddy had his surgery, I was readmitted to the hospital for another surgery on my hand, so I didn’t get to see how he handled his post-op care. So Björn sent me this message which prompted this conversation:

B: If Freddy is affected by the neutering, he’s hiding it awfully well

K: Still growling?

B: Nope. Just his usual hyperactive self

K: Jake was completely unaffected, too. He also shouted the place down for food as soon as he woke up.
Did you see the after care instructions?

B: Yeah
“Put him in a dark and quiet room the first day”… He would want to get out of it in five minutes!

K: Less if there was no food.
I always let them do what they want, as long as it’s not sit in dirt…or a fireplace. Pezza (a cat I had in junior high school) did that when he was neutered and he got infected.

I’m sorry I missed it.

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This is the only post-neutering photo I have of Freddy…but you can see what I mean. Abyssinians don’t seem to be much affected by getting neutered.

(…And pay no attention to the Singa in the back who’s thinking, “Nyah nyah! I get to keep mine!”)

Aby-a-Day – 3 June: Brotherhood of thieves (Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, I posted Jacoby’s latest caper, breaking into my Redbones takeaway and stealing and eating a whole rib!

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Well, he isn’t the only Aby I’ve had with a criminal history. His half-brother Gun-Hee was quite the thief himself. Like the time he stole hot dogs and dragged them into his house

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…or the time he stole a butter wrapper

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…or the time he stole a hunk of lamb while I was bleeding…yeah, you get the idea.

Aby-a-Day – 7 May: “Mum” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Mum.” Remember, both Jacoby and Gun-Hee were Canadian born and bred. So they both have mums.

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Here is Gun-Hee with his mum, Amber, and his siblings.

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And here is Jake with his mum, Catalina, and his siblings.

Both of these photos were taken by Sherry, for which I am eternally grateful. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers…human, feline, and mixed-species.

Aby-a-Day – 29 April: Loafing around with the upper crust (Friday Flashback)

Apparently bread-eating runs in Jacoby’s family. Almost nine years ago, Gun-Hee attacked a loaf of bread.

Hello, Abys…what part of “obligate carnivore” escapes you?