Aby-a-Day – 13 Maj: The fine line between peace and war (Hipstamatic Monday)

This afternoon, the cutest little scene unfolded on the sofa next to me.

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Izaak came to join Lorelai on the Ikea cat bed where she was alternating between napping and birdwatching.

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And Zak started to groom Rory.

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It was so adorable and sweet.

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At one point, Rory seemed to be a little over Zak grooming her.

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But then she succumbed to the ministrations of Zak’s tongue.

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It really was a touching, lovely moment…

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…until, suddenly, it wasn’t.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Maj: Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays! (Hipstamatic Monday)

Just another average day Chez Hellqvist. As usual, I woke up with at least one cat on me.

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Lorelai hung out in her favourite spot.

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She loves to be on the top of the floor-to-ceiling cat tree.

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Angel spent most of the afternoon in her brown cave bed.

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I don’t think a day goes by that she doesn’t nap in there.

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Alfred spent most of the day doing what he does best…

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—looking for food. I swear, it’s like having a raccoon in the house!

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Freddy! Get out of the cabinet!

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And Izaak..?

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Zak basically followed me around whilst I did my everyday things and photographed the other cats.

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He really is my little shadow.

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Most adorable shadow ever!

Aby-a-Day – 22 April: Where the boys are (Hipstamatic Monday)

I needed to fix a couple of things on my bicycle, so I let Lorelai and Izaak come outside with me whilst I was working.

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In Sweden, however much it may seem like New England, we haven’t really got a spring. We go from winter to full-blown summer. And so it is this year. We went from freezing cold to OMG where are my shorts and sandals!? Björn says that Sweden is in the BiPolar Zone.

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The kids who live in our apartment complex love our cats and love to play with them.

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Usually, it’s the girls who go nuts over the kittens running around outside.

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But today, it was the boys. One of them told me his friend had a cat with kittens, and he got to hold them when they were one week old. Later, he told me he was going to get one of those kittens.

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We had told them that Zak will fetch his mousies and bring them back, so they wanted to see that. Of course, outside, Zak had zero interest in playing with IKEA toys.

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The boys didn’t listen to us, and tried Zak’s favourite toy on Rory. It was, I think, disappointment.

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But watching them play and interact with the kittens was adorable.

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The boys went between romping with Rory and Zak like they would with puppies (and which Rory and Zak were totallly down with)…

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…to the sweetest one-on-one play you have ever seen.

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It really warmed my heart, watching boys running around playing with cats.

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I hope we are fostering our next generation of cat daddies.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Mars: “I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring…I do, don’t you? Course you do!” (Hipstamatic Monday)

It’s finally spring here in midwestern Sweden.

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We can tell because there’s no snow, the temperature is getting up above 5°C, and the swans have returned to our little lake (See those two little white dots in that photo up there? Those are our swans).

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Even though it was still a little chilly, I took Lorelai and Izaak outside to run around. It has been ages since they really got to run around, and run around they did.

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Rory got out the door and immediately started bounding down the hill, with Zak in hot pursuit.

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It is amazing how far they can get in such a short time. They are almost down to the road at the bottom of our hill.

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Rory was fascinated by something in those sticks…

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…Whilst Zak was more interested in trees.

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Finally I got them back up the hill…

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…and into the open area behind our apartment.

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They’re very familiar with the back of our apartment.

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We had an audience…apparently that other cat we saw on the balcony last summer has a roommate.

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As much as they enjoyed running around on the back lawn, it was pretty clear that there was only one ultimate goal…

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the sandbox!

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Rory did her usual digging holes in the sand and then running away from them.

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Finally we all got cold enough to go back in the apartment. But we had 45 minutes of fun and bonding before we went back in.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Februari: In memory of Walter Hutzler (Hipstamatic Monday)

Sad news…CFA judge Walter Hutzler has passed away. He was a great cat judge and person. I didn’t know him well, but he lived in Region 1 and I was lucky to have seen him judge and have Jacoby judged by him a few times.

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The thing I remember about Walter is his flamboyant style of dressing. He also often wore scarves, which I thought was cool, and a nice change from the usual ties CFA judges wear.

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He was even featured in the 2006 PBS documentary Standard of Perfection: Show Cats. It’s always fun to see judges you know on TV shows.

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Walter was a really fun judge to watch.

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He really interacted with the cats as he judged them.

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Since it was Monday, I remembered I had taken some Hipstamatic photos of Walter judging Jake at a show in Groton, CT in October 2011 (the same weekend I met Molly and Mosey and Jake Gbecame a Grand).

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My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, Walter.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Februari: Presidential Photography (Hipstamatic Monday)

Back in the States, today is President’s day. Of course, there’s not much to celebrate lately, but in honour of the holiday, Hipstamatic released a special free Hipstapak with the Lincoln lens and TR Roosevelt 26 film, a subtle reminder of two good Republican presidents.

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Well, I didn’t have an idea for a Monday post, so I figured I’d try it out. Usually, I use Hipstamatic on random, mixing and matching lenses and films, but today I only used the new lens and film. Not sure what I think of the results…but here is Angel.

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It does do a great job on Izaak, though.

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Of course, it’s hard to take a bad photo of Zak.

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Recently all the cats have taken to sleeping in our bedroom. Most of them like our bed, but Angel, as you see above, prefers to sleep in a cat bed that’s on our clothing hamper. But it’s not uncommon to find everyone else on our bed, especially Jacoby and Lorelai, who like to burrow under the comforters.

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Now that she’s no longer a super crazy kitten, Jake has become more tolerant of Rory…

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…Well, mostly.

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When I was taking these photos, Alfred was sitting right outside our bedroom and next to the kitchen, hopefully awaiting a snack.

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Good ol’ Freddy.

Aby-a-Day – 17 December: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (Hipstamatic Monday)

We finally have our tree up.

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This is absolutely the latest I have ever set up my Christmas tree (except for the years I didn’t put one up at all, of course).

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Björn says that Swedes usually put their trees up later than in the States…even later than this. But given the ordeal that is putting up all the decorations, I would rather put them up as early as possible – the day after Thanksgiving. Maximum result for maximum work, if you know what I mean.

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But whatever. The tree is up. And it’s Lorelai’s and Izaak’s first tree ever. And it’s Alfred’s second.

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You would think, based on all the memes about cats and Christmas trees, there would be no way on Earth that a tree would survive with four Abyssinians and a Singapura.

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But the truth is, the cats are, generally, unimpressed by the Christmas tree.

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(Gotta love the randomness of Hipstamatic…)

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Björn was trying so hard to get Freddy and Rory interested in the tree, he was plying them with ornaments…glass ones, no less!

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The ornaments were still more interesting than the tree itself.

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One Björn stopped swinging the ornaments around enticingly and hung them on the tree, Rory and Freddy’s interest was gone.

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Jacoby couldn’t even be enticed to pose with the tree. This ain’t his first Christmas tree rodeo.

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Izaak, however, was at least a little impressed by the tree.

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But even he respected the tree and merely posed for me next to it.

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He was interested in the tree…but at the end of the day…

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…He was more interested in posing next to the electric window candles.