Aby-a-Day – 5 November: Remember, remember, the 6th of November (Hipstamatic Monday)

One of the most fun things about Hipstamatic is the randomness of it, but another is the special themed paks of films, lenses, flashes and camera cases. A few years ago (I think it was for the 2012 Presidential elections), they came up with the Rock the Vote pak, which included RTV Shout, a film that adds pro-voting slogans to your photos. So I just wanted to put this up here to remind my friends back home to be sure and vote tomorrow.

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I still get to vote in Massachusetts statewide elections as an American ex-pat living in Sweden, and I voted last month. I am proud to have voted for Elizabeth Warren as my Senator.

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So, please, please…vote tomorrow! Do it for Lorelai!

Aby-a-Day – 29 October: National Cat Day (Hipstamatic Monday)

Today is National Cat Day in the States…and, having no ideas for a post today, I thought I’d just go round and take photos of the cats being themselves, with the Hipstamatic camera.

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Alfred, napping on the sofa next to me, was the first.

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Start with what’s close at hand, right?

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Freddy was cool with whatever…

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Next we have Jacoby, sleeping on our bed.

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Hipstamatic makes that fun.

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A lot of fun.

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Next, we have Izaak in the kitchen.

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He’s so much more food-oriented than Logan…

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Freddy and Lorelai joined us in the kitchen.

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Rory was so cute today…

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She is so pretty.

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And…just a little bit goofy.

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Angel, meanwhile, was up in the cubby part of the cat tree.

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She really loves it in there.

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But it’s one of the few places in the world where she feels safe and secure.

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Angel is an amazingly strong girlcat.

Aby-a-Day – 22 October: Funny Freddy (Hipstamatic Monday)

Almost every evening, Alfred comes for a cuddle with Björn.

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Freddy sits right up next to Björn whilst he uses his laptop.

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The thing is, he looks a right goon when he does it.

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Of course, Freddy looks like a right goon most of the time. That’s just part of his charm.

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Ultimately, he’s just a big lovable guy.

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We love him so much.

Aby-a-Day – 17 September: “When life gives you Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day” (Hipstamatic Monday)

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Just another random post-show Monday…here’s how we’re doing, through Hipstamatic’s filters.

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Jacoby loves his leopard canoe bed.

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After he eats in his own room, he can be found in this bed, digesting and waiting for me to open the door.

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Aw, Jake…don’t be shy!

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Next we have Angel. Whoa, Angel! Not so close!

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That’s better! Now we can see you!

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Angel likes to hang out under the kitchen table.

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I have had her almost ten years, and she is still skittish.

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Next we have Alfred.

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Freddy is so expressive.

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“I’m napping, here! I’m napping!”

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“Oh, okay…one more photo.”

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Last, but definitely not least, we have Izaak and Lorelai.

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Apparently, Zak’s tail makes a great eye mask to keep the light out.

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I just don’t know how Rory can breathe with her nose in Zak’s flank, though.

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They really are the best of friends. It’s lovely to travel with them, because they just keep each other company. It’s actually almost easier to travel with two of them than it is with one cat!

Aby-a-Day – 13 August: Exploratory surgery (Medical Monday)

Today I had to do the second hardest thing a cat parent has to do. Today I took Jacoby to Jönköping…and left him at the djursjukhuset there.

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I think he knew something was going on. When I woke up, he was lying on top of me. His biopsies are tomorrow morning, but because of the train schedules, it was easier to bring him in this afternoon.

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After breakfast, he stayed close to me on the sofa. I’m sure he knew something was up…even though I tried to remain calm.

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But the truth is, Jake is having surgery tomorrow. He is having different areas of his digestive tract biopsied so we can finally know what has been bothering him since February or March. And while it’s a routine procedure and everything should be fine…it’s still surgery.

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And that’s a hard thing to think about when it’s your best friend, your feline soulmate of nine years.

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And while most of your brain knows it’s just surgery and he’ll come through it with no problems…there’s always this evil little bit in the back of cerebellum that can’t stop thinking that this train ride, this time in the waiting room, this moment where he’s in the transfer cage and going back into the depths of the hospital you almost never get to see…this might be the last time I pet that head, hear that purr, tell him I love him. The odds of that happening are low, to be sure…but we’ve all heard stories of routine surgeries going wrong. You don’t want to think that way, but you do.

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I took a couple of awkward selfies of us on the train…

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…until I remembered about Incredibooth. Selfies are much better when they look like photobooth strips.

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On our journey to Anicura, I of course let him out of his carrier whilst we were on the train.

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Jake was his usual Strollercat self, riding the rails the way he has a thousand times before.

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Before we left, I packed one of his favourite spring toys along with his beloved catnip Jackson Pollock fish. This is one of his all-time favourite toys and he was even licking it in his carrier. I hope it gives him some comfort tomorrow when he wakes up from his operation.

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I let him walk from the bus stop to the hospital.

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He’s actually starting to recognise where he’s going when we come her, which is a sign we’ve come here too many times. But there was no way he would make that trip in his carrier, and who was I not to indulge him?

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We had a bit of a wait before a nurse came to collect him, so we sat in the special cats-only waiting room.

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There are shelves on the wall for people to set the cat carriers…

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…and they have two Feliway plug-ins installed!

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There were other people in the cat waiting room when we first got there, so I kept Jake in his carrier. Once they left, however, I let him out to walk around. He seemed to like the waiting room, but of course he’s never been afraid of going to the vet.

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He was very affectionate while we waited.

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In fact, he felt so happy and comfortable in the waiting room, he flopped down and started grooming himself.

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It kind of made me sad, because I could see how much his hair had grown back from the ultrasound he’d had a month ago…and that’s going to get shaved off again tomorrow morning.

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Finally we we called back to an exam room. He was weighed (4.02 kg, better than the 3.9 kg he was on 6 August, the last time I got his weight), and we talked a little about the procedure to come and what will happen after the operation.

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I had to take off his collar, which made me a little sad, but they let him have his toys, so when he wakes up in his hospital cage he’ll have something from home to help make him feel better.

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Finally, they wheeled him off to his hospital cage, and I went along home with my empty cat carrier.

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I had an hour to kill before my train home came, so I went to O’Leary’s (a favourite quasi-Boston hangout) and played a little of my favourite slot machine game, Wild Pride, and I won 845kr (about $92 USD)! That surely must be a good omen, right?

Tomorrow is going to be a long day, waiting for the phone to ring. I will go back to pick Jake up either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how quickly he recovers.

Aby-a-Day – 23 July: Just another manic Monday (Hipstamatic Monday)

Last month, I did my first Hipstamatic Monday post in two years. So I thought I would it again, this time youngest to oldest.

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It’s hard to remember that Lorelai is the youngest sometimes, because she is bigger and heavier than Izaak, but he was born 26 January and she was born on 10 February.

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Hi, Rory!

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Rory has two speeds: Full and Stop. This is Stop.

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Rory sleeps like she plays: hard.

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She’s a very entertaining sleeper, to say the least.

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Next we have Izaak.

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Funny thing about Zak. He is a Singapura, and he looks so much like Logan. But he is so different from Logan. Except…

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…Oddly, he does some things that only Logan did, like sleep on the cable box, scratch on the rubber litter mat, and sleep in this bed on a regular basis. It’s a bit surreal.

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He’s 98% different from Logan…and then he does things only Logan did. So you see what I mean.

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Next is our stalwart Alfred.

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Good old Freddy.

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What would we do without Freddy?

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These photos were taken whilst we were waiting for Jacoby’s vet appointment in Jönköping, so we had his smaller stroller upstairs in preparation.

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As long as that thing was upstairs, Jake was in it.

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It’s his flimsy travel stroller and not his yellow therapy stroller, but he loves it all the same.

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I think he spent most of his time napping in his stroller as long as we had it upstairs.

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Okay, Jake…go back to sleep.

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Last but not least, we have Angel.

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In her canoe.

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Exactly where she was the last time I did a Hipstamatic Monday post.

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Oh, well…at least she’s consistent.

Aby-a-Day – 25 June: This is us (Hipstamatic Monday)

I haven’t done a Hipstamatic Monday in over two years. I’ve gotten a load of new films and lenses since then…so I figured, hey, why not?

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So let’s go from oldest to youngest…as much as we can. Starting with Angel.

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Lately, she’s been a big fan of the canoe bed that currently sits on the Danish modern chair that needs recovering.

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It’s one of those cat bed fads, I know…but she is so cute when she’s in the canoe.

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Next up is Jacoby.

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Good old reliable Jake.

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He’s been a Hipstamatic cat since the very beginning,

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As always, I love the randomness with Hipstamatic.

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Here’s Alfred.

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He’s shaping up to be as big a poser as Jake is!

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Izaak has shown us that he loves IKEA mice along with any largish plush toy. He even likes the Han Solo mousie!

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He’s not even here a week and he’s already showing a distinct personality.

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He’s very protective of his mousies.

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He stood his ground to protect it against Freddy…so brave!

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Last but not least we have Lorelai.

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She’s so much larger than Zak, it’s hard to remember that he’s older than she is.

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But yes, it’s been only five days, and they are already best friends!