Aby-a-Day – 1 Maj: A bird in the paw (Swedish Saturday)

Because of Covid, I have not had the energy to clip the cats’ claws on our regular schedule (it takes a LOT of energy to clip five cats’ claws and do all the other necessary grooming).


That turned out to be a good thing when we took the cats out for the first time in forever last Thursday.


Because Lorelai ran right up a tree with the intent to catch a wood pigeon!



She actually got wicked close, too.


She was also fearless and überconfident up in the tree.


Rory was in complete control up in that tree.


And when she decided to come down out of the tree, even that was deliberate and measured.


I mean, look at the focus on that face. She’s in complete control.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juni 2020: The Mighty Izaak (Singapura Sunday)

When the cats go outside, the Abyssinians bolt out the door and run as fast and as far as they can.



But not Izaak. Zak…well, the best way to describe it is, Zak marches out the door and onto the grass.


He also loves to hunt when he’s outside. Wonder what he sees?



Oh! A honey bee! Zak, please leave that little guy alone…we need all the bees we can get!



That’s not to say that Zak doesn’t run. He does.


He’s usually chasing one of the other cats, but oh, he runs.


He’s such a sturdy little man. As I mentioned before, someone compared him to Ron Swanson…and apart from the lack of mustache, it’s an apt comparison.


I mean, look at him.


Finally, I have this photo. In my opinion, this is Zak’s first iconic photo. Jacoby had a few: Sitting on the carousel, posing in his hat and boots, and the one of him wearing his parka in the snow, among others

Aby-a-Day – 17 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (“Kill no more pigeons than you can eat”)




Aby-a-Day – 14 Juni 2020: Lorelai and the Magpie (Swedish Sunday)

One thing I missed whilst living in New England was magpies.


I grew up in the Northern California valley, the only place on the planet that is home to Yellow-Billed Magpies, and they are my favourite bird. The ones we have in Sweden are the usual Black-Billed sort…but it’s stlll nice to have them around.


When we go out with the cats, the resident magpies keep a sharp eye on us.


Mostly. When we went out the other day, this magpie brazenly decided to watch the cats from the ground.


At first, Lorelai didn’t see the magpie.


Until she did.


Rory stalked the magpie for a while.


And then, oddly, she just stopped. I am not sure why.


She didn’t chase the magpie, but the magpie didn’t fly away, either. They just sort of looked at each other.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Izaak sees a Wagtail)


Aby-a-Day – 22 August: Alfred the mighty hunter (Thursday Things)

Ever since Alfred found that dead bird, he has been obsessed with birds when we go outside.


Freddy’s figured out that birds are in bushes. So he rushes at every set of bushes in the område. It makes him easy to find, though. Just follow the angry chirping.


After rushing the bushes, Freddy sits and stares at the bushes, looking for birds.


The funny part is, the birds were all up in the tree behind him, watching him.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Augusti: Catch the birdie (Thursday Things)

One of the comments on Monday’s post was, “Well, I’m waiting for the day when one of them has a whole bird!”


Well, the other day, Alfred came out of the bushes with…a dead bird!


After a little examination, it was a young thrush. I am not entirely sure if he caught it himself; I did hear some squawking and a couple of adult birds flew out from the bushes.


But the fact that it didn’t have a head, and he didn’t try at all to eat it. He just sniffed it and played with it a little.





…he was pretty protective of it when Lorelai and Izaak wanted to look at it.


Eventually, he either got bored or went to see if he could find another one, and Rory got a chance to investigate it. But she didn’t try to eat it, either.


Cats don’t eat spoiled meat or carrion…and it wasn’t warm, so I’m pretty certain Freddy just found it. She just sniffed it. She didn’t even touch it the way Freddy did.


Zak was the least interested in the bird of the three.


I wonder if the bird flew into one of the apartments’ windows. It happens around here; a couple of years ago, a jackdaw flew into our living room window – wicked hard. We were sitting right there and the bang was so loud it scared the crap out of us. That could explain the head.


After I took the above close-up of the bird, Rory’s interest was rekindled.



It may look like Rory’s making a “tasty-tasty yum-yum” face, but I think a feather tickled her nose.


I tried to toss the bird’s body back into the bushes, but that made Freddy go back to try to find it.


So I went and fished it back out, mainly to get Freddy out of the bushes (it had landed in the top branches). He wanted to look at it again.


This time, he studied it like a scientist. Eventually, when he wasn’t looking, I took the bird farther away and left it a ways down the hill. Maybe the fox will find the little snack.


It was a bad day for birds, though. In another spot in the grass, we discovered the aftermath of another bird-predator encounter. This time, I think the bird was eaten.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Juli: “Feathers are superior to fur, even” (Hipstamatic Monday)

The other day when we took the cats outside, Alfred and Lorelai ran down the hill to the woodsy area at the bottom.


Rory ran back up, and she had a feather!


She was very proud of her find, too.



Rory carried her feather around for a while.


Behold, the mighty feather huntress!


Then Freddy came running up the hill…and he had a feather, too.


Apparently, it was a very tasty feather. I suspect they found a dead bird down there and pulled feathers from the corpse. Or something.


Oops! Freddy’s off to find another feather…buh-bye!

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli: “Just like birds, hunters know no borders” (Cinema Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Lorelai is our little huntress. She especially likes to hunt birds when we’re outside.


But she also likes to hunt birds when we’re inside. We have these bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups, and Rory in particular really loves to “watch the birdies.”

I wanted to capture her banging into the window on video, but I failed. You can hear her fearsome chatter, though…

Aby-a-Day – 22 Juni: “Keep your eye on the prey” (Swedish Saturday)

On one of our outside adventures, Lorelai saw a pigeon perched in a tree.


It’s kind of hard to see, so I’ve marked it in this photo.


Rory was so intent on hunting it.


(Here it is marked again)


You could see her brain working out how to catch that fat bird.


The pigeon was hard to see up in the branches, but Rory never lost her focus.


At one point, I thought she was going to give up.


The pigeon was still watching her, though.


But suddenly, Rory climbed even higher in the tree!


She was actually as high up in the tree as the pigeon!


I think her idea was to get higher than the pigeon, and then drop down on it.


I couldn’t believe how high Rory climbed!


She really wanted to get that pigeon. I honestly don’t know why the pigeon stayed there so long. Maybe it was curious about the small predator.


I think this may be the closest Rory’s ever gotten to a bird. Impressive.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.


Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.


They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.


When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.


Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!



Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Maj: Keep your eye on the birdie! (Swedish Saturday)

Lorelai envisions herself a mighty bird hunter. Whenever she sees one, she chatters and starts to stalk it. I have even seen her run after a low-flying jackdaw or pigeon, eyes locked on the feathered prize.


When she sees one up a tree, she stares up at it.


I am not sure what she thinks is going to happen.


Maybe she’s hoping it will just fall off its branch and into her waiting claws..?

Aby-a-Day – 16 June: Watch the birdie (Swedish Saturday)

We have a really cool little suction-cup birdfeeder on our living room window. We got it to help the birds have food in winter, but the birds actually eat more during the spring and summer than they do when there’s snow on the ground.


We also got it to entertain the cats.



Which it does. Everyone loves watching the birds come to eat.


We get Blue Tits, Great Tits, and House Sparrows. The tits are a lot of fun to watch.





Sometimes, they go inside the ball to eat!


The sparrows are more aggressive and pushy. Which makes sense, when you think about it; after all, you never see the tits hopping around outdoor cafés stealing leftovers. I mean, there are five of them trying to eat at the same time in this photo!




We rarely see the tits and the sparrows eating at the same time.


I put fat balls into the feeder because it’s hard to pour seeds in there. The fat balls are hard, and when the birds come to eat, they peck at the balls which makes a thumping noise on the window. It’s loud enough to wake a sleeping cat.




So close…


…And yet, so far…



Even though we got the feeder for the birds and the cats, it is a lot fun for us, too.

Other People’s Abys – Rie Komoto’s Aby shows his true colours in National Geographic

This incredible shot featured by National Geographic was taken by Rie Komoto of what happened when her Aby variant*, Meelo, saw a sparrow hit a window.

Thanks to Helen Warn of the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club for this link!

*Meelo is an Aby variant because he carries the longhair gene. One of his parents was a Somali.

Aby-a-Day – January 21: Wordless Wednesday (21st Century Mouser)


jakehexmouseE_2192 2



Aby-a-Day – July 23: The Story of King Maj, Part 3 (Cartoon Tuesday)

This cartoon is based on a true story, told by Higgs Plexus on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club group. There weren’t any photos of what happened, so I thought I’d illustrate it. If you didn’t see the earlier installments, be sure to read part 1 and part 2 of this series.


Another member of the group commented on this post, saying that if her Abys find a puddle of water on the floor before she does, they will pull paper towels off the roll and place them on top of the spill. Abyssinians are just amazing cats.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – July 16: The Story of King Maj, Part 2 (Cartoon Tuesday)

This cartoon is based on a true story, told by Higgs Plexus on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club group. There weren’t any photos of what happened, so I thought I’d illustrate it. If you didn’t see it, be sure to read part 1 of this series.


Stay tuned for next week’s cartoon to see the exciting conclusion!

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – July 9: The Story of King Maj, Part 1 (Cartoon Tuesday)

This cartoon is based on a true story, told by Higgs Plexus on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club group. There weren’t any photos of what happened, so I thought I’d illustrate it.


Stay tuned for next week’s cartoon to see what Higgs found when he got home from work!

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Other People’s Abys: Going For the Red Bird, No Matter How High

I just had to share this story from one of my Aby lists…

How are your Christmas decorations holding up?

Since we have a two story living room we have a 9 ft (artificial) tree. Last year this time, we had two little 4-month-old Aby boys who did try to climb the Christmas tree (we tied it to a nearby bannister so it would not fall over), but they only played with unbreakable ornaments within 2-3 feet. No activity we did not expect and we thought they were such nicely behaved kittens! This year’s Christmas card has a photo of Hobbes in last year’s tree.

This year they are 9.5 lbs and think they can jump over the moon. Louie regularly jumps 10 feet from the dining room through a bannister down to the living room floor even after I moved a chair there to make the jump shorter.
So I moved anything I did not want them to have up to the top 2-3 feet of the tree. Things like fake cardinals and some delicate lace ornaments we got in the Philippines. And my Basenji angel that goes on top.

The first day they lulled us into thinking that they again would be happy to play with stuff in the first 2-3 feet and maybe trying climbing a little.

The second night I woke up to some fierce growling near the bottom of the bed. Had a wildcat invaded the house? Kind of scary to hear such fierce sounds in your bedroom in the middle of the night. Turned on the light and
there was Hobbes hunkered down with a 7-inch cardinal ornament in his mouth, ears back and serious growls coming out with each breath. Slinking across the bed was Louie in stalk mode ready to take that prey away. If only I
kept a camera next to the bed!

As I moved to rescue the bird, Hobbes took off and ran with it into our closet where Louie grabbed it and got it as far at the staircase before I could catch him. This is not a little bird! Looks very oversized in a Aby mouth as they cannot get their teeth around the body but have to carry it by its tail. How on earth he could get it up two flights of stairs with his brother after him? Made me curious.

I went down to check out the tree and found a few ornaments knocked down but all the other cardinals were still up on top. I fastened the poor bird (not a feather out of place) up as far as I could reach and sat down on the
couch. The brothers paced around the tree. Within about 7 minutes Louie went to an end table about 3-4 feet from the tree…and then launched himself from there to another cardinal about 6-7 feet off the ground. He missed the
bird and sort of slid down the tree; this was when I noticed that where he slid there were no ornaments.. That’s where the pile on the floor had come from.

As he headed back for his next try I decided we really don’t need birds on the Christmas tree or cat Olympics at night. Made sure the boys watched me take them all off and put them in a box and I sat them outside the sliding
doors in the solarium. They watched those birds intently.

I think they may have connected a male cardinal who likes to dash himself against our master bath window with the ones on the tree. Finally he must have come inside. This morning when the cardinal was bonking against the
window they were more attentive than ever.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I guess I’m lucky that all Jacoby wants to do is chew on the tree! Although, I do wonder if he’d be more interested in the tree if he had been a kitten during Christmas, as his brother Gun-Hee and the two stars of this story were.

Other People’s Abys: The Red (Sorrel) Menace

The past couple of days, there’s been a lively correspondence and a flurry of anecdotes about red (also known as sorrel) Abyssinians on one of the Aby lists I’m on, and I just wanted to share it with you all. It’s hilarious, and even better, it’s all true (because fiction has to make sense)!

Deborah Feltham, of Glendoveer Abyssinians, shared this story:

OK, I am finally calming down, and I thought the list could use a laugh…At my expense, no less!!

As you know, I recently brought home a red Abyssinian, GG, from Ruth Snow. A very big deal, because GG is an anomaly here since my home is either ruddy or spotted! 🙂 The last red in my house was Holly the Birder! She could unscrew any birdcage from a ceiling faster than I could put the screws in, until I finally gave up and retired from keeping birds!

Now I have GG, who seems satisfied to watch birds at the feeder outside through the window or play race in the cat wheel. That is, until today…

We are having a very late fall start, so it wasn’t until today that it was cold enough for “things” to come inside. I live where there is a field and stream close to the house, and, unfortunately for me, field mice will sometimes take it in their fool heads to look for shelter in my home! Between the cats who run loose and the human (Me) who is unreasonably scared of mice and bugs, I can’t imagine one taking shelter here, but today one did!

I am talking on the phone to Ruth when I hear a squeeking go past my chair, followed by a pack of cats with GG in the lead! At first I thought they were chasing the safe, stuffed, squeeky TOY mouse I bought them. But suddenly, in mid sentence, I say to Ruth “OMG!! GG is EATING SOMETHING NOT NICE,” at which point I drop the phone, jump onto the sofa and start yelling! GG has a mouse and *I* am not about to take it but I want it AND HER away from me!

Ruth is listening to me on the other end of the phone that is now on the floor. Tribe, my neuter, is up on the sofa with me, either trying to protect me OR sensibly staying away from that nasty thing (of course, he might also have been scared to death at my screaming and jumping up and down)! My poor father, who thankfully still has all his facilities at 97, is running around trying to find out what has come over me (this time)! He sees me incoherently indicating that the red cat has ‘something’ (he does not know what, of course), and he goes to GG and tries to get the ‘something’ away from her. She has her mouth wrapped around this THING, but he finally gets it out and comes toward me to show it to me! NOT. “Get it out of here AND TAKE THAT CAT TOO!” I am screaming. “She has a MOUSE in her mouth!”

Finally, he has the mouse away from GG and she is chasing him down to get it back. I am still dancing on the sofa, and poor Ruth is on the other end of the phone deathly fearing that I have gone crazy and done something to her poor GG!! HA! Poor GG my butt! That red creature and her toy were trying to give me a heart attack !! I am fairly certain now I know why she sent her to me!!

Anyway, dad got the mouse from her, and I don’t care where it went but it is gone. I managed to pull myself together enough to pick up the phone and finish telling Ruth what happened (as if she couldn’t hear it). Tribe stayed at my side the entire time, and 2 hours later is still close. GG, the red devil, is still walking around looking for her mouse! And as for Ruth! Know what she had the nerve to say?

“Well, you feed them raw, what did you expect her to do? She just thought that this time it was LIVE RAW!” Thanks Ruth! I will try to train someone to hunt snakes and send that cat to you!!

You know, I do things in my professional life that the average person would cringe and pass out, but let a mouse or bug come anywhere near me, I become a complete raving idiot! The Abys know this, so I am quite sure they calculate how to set me off. Lately they have a fall guy! The RED THING 🙂

I would love to have a proper run for the Abys, but quite honestly I am fairly sure my constitution could not handle what they mght bring to me. Snakes, I am ok with. But mice, bugs, etc? Not! Both my son and I are breeding the Abys, and I think you would get the biggest laugh, because he inherited my fear of such things and I think sometimes the Abys sit and wait for the proper moment to push us both over the edge! Thank heaven we do not live in the same house, because the Abys would hold us hostage, I am sure 🙂

Ruth added to the story shortly after:

OMG, I am STILL laughing from the phone call! Tell GG her mother Mojo is darned proud of her for being a working cat!

My pet potbellied pig, Pig Newton, used to kill snakes that came from the farm behind us when it rained really hard. He did not eat them, just killed them and then played with the thing.

Let me know when you have that snake cat trained we can name him Glendoveer’s Snake Charmer.

And then others chimed in with their Aby stories:

“Oh, how lucky that you survived one of those killer mice! A couple of years ago, one of those escaped one of the Abys, ran to me and crawled up my leg – I bet it was going for my throat! But I caught it half way and set it free, even though it didn’t deserve it 😉

My compliments to your father. It not always easy to get a prey from an Aby. Some of them are manageable, but others, you just know that there’s no way, you will never get that mouse/bird/frog/lizard/whatever from them.

If you ever come to my house, I suggest you bring a pacemaker, a first-aid kit and your personal physician – there is hardly a day, when the abys don’t bring something from their outdoor enclosure :-D”

“At the Arkansas TICA show I had the little red girl with my Andy. She was there for sale and they spent time between his rings grooming each other. I made the mistake of getting them each a little rabbit fur treat…While I took my Household Pet to the ring, my neighbor exhibitor was trying to find out who was growling. There was little Red cowering in the corner and Andy had both rabbit furs in his mouth like he had a live mouse! She held the baby while I opened his jaws and removed those toys! Then I had to talk him down and give him treats, which he reluctantly shared with her. Later they were back to grooming each other. Poor little baby wondered what happened to Mr Mom!”

“Not to worry, the Glendoveer cats are so smart I can teach them to gargle with mouth wash! Funny, but probably true. We could teach them to say, ‘Row, row, row,’ and make our own electricity except they would eat the hamsters.”

“We had a red Aby named Turbo. She was always so entertaining, but one night she even topped herself. We have a “catio” that our Abys can go in and out of. Turbo came across a mouse, in the catio, and was so proud of it that she brought it into the bedroom, jumped onto the bed, and promptly turned it loose! I screamed, the mouse took off, and our Sheltie and our two Abys all gave chase through the house.

Turbo was up all night looking for her little prize. It finally turned up behind the refrigerator a week later…yep…stiff as a board. I’d have tried to save it, if I could have found it in time. Turbo couldn’t seem to
understand why I didn’t appreciate her gift!”

“Bwahahahahaha!!! Oh Deborah you sound just like my mum and partner, who if anything small and furry gets near them they are on the verge of having a serious heart attack. This is not good when you have field mice in abundance in the area and a Usual (ruddy) Aby girl who is one heck of a mouser!

A couple of years ago we had a serious infestation of mice due to our neighbours having their home and land redeveloped. Chloe took to dispatching the offenders with quite some alacrity and we could get up to three mice per day, but her absolute favourite thing to do was to wait till you were in bed before bringing her prizes to you. She’d wait till you were in a dead sleep and then deposit the dead mouse in your hand or near your
face. I think she realised after the first time this was what would get the best reaction LOL!

Then, on the complete opposite end of the scale, I have an silver tabby American Wirehair boy who only a couple of months ago thought that the mouse that managed to find in way inside was a wonderful toy and should be used for sporting purposes only. He was given every opportunity to dispatch the little creature, but insisted on doing nothing but chasing it and laying down beside it to watch what was going on. This was all to the consternation of my partner who was running around the house screaming like a maniac. All the while, I was sitting on the sofa laughing till I cried. In the end we realised he was NOT going to do his cat duties and managed to get the little thing into a box and put it back outside to hopefully live another day.

I just don’t know how we could live without our entertaining Abys, even if they’re entertaining us in all the wrong ways!”

“Too funny! I’m getting a mental image for sure…You, a red Aby and a mouse, all in the same space! Definitely the red Aby was in control of that situation!”

I can’t imagine what Jacoby would do if we ever had a mouse…but I could totally see Angel going after it with murder in her eye.