Aby-a-Day – 14 Augusti 2020: It’s only been a year? (Friday Flashback)

This memory came up on Facebook today; on this day last year, Alfred opened the front door. Now, we have to keep it locked at all times, even if we’re just going to get the mail.


I know we call Freddy our “Extra Cat”, but he is a very special boy. Karin called him a “philosopher.”


He’s also wicked smart.


Sometimes he’s a little too smart. Yesterday, I woke up to a crash and found Freddy had opened the kitchen cabinet, dragged out two bags of cat treats, and spilled a box of fusilli all over the floor. Thanks a lot, Freddy.


Wonder what his next grand plan is?

Aby-a-Day – 27 Januari 2020: A kitchen mystery (Mischievious Movie Monday Mystery)

So the other day I walked into the kitchen, and the cabinet above the refrigerator, where we store the dry food we give Angel as a treat, was open. And the bag was…somehow…on the kitchen counter. Pretty sure it was Alfred, but he tried to frame Dashiell for the crime. For some reason, most of the photos I took were “Live Photos,” so here they are as a short YouTube video:

Aby-a-Day – 5 Januari 2020: The Great Escape artist (Cinema Sunday)

So, this is fun. Alfred learned a new trick.


You may recall how clever Freddy is at opening cabinet doors, especially when he knows there’s food on the other side.


Lately, however, he has been focusing on a new, non-food-related target.


The front door.


So now, we have to make sure we always lock the front door without fail, or he’ll open it and let everyone into the stairwell. He tests it all the time, several times a day. And if we forget…we discover the door is open and all the cats are playing on the stairs.


Click on the image above to see a video of the evil genius in action in a new tab…Spoiler alert, the door is locked in this video. FREDDY! (Sorry, gotta run…just heard a crash in the kitchen…)

Aby-a-Day – 30 December: The cat burglar (Serious Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Alfred is an evil genius. He is also incredibly food-oriented.


And by “incredibly,” I mean he has figured out how to open the cabinet where the cat food is kept…


…to the point that we started finding this on an all-too-frequent basis.


He has different methods for eating the food out of the wet packets…


…and the dry ones.

The latch on the cabinet was a bit weak, but it had never been a problem before. Now, this is a problem, clearly…so we replaced it with a 4kg magnetic cabinet latch. You would think that would work.

And it did. For a while. Then we had to jam this rubber cat’s paw doorstop.


Which helped. Until it didn’t.


The problem is, he’s too stealthy for us to catch in the act. And he’s quiet. By the time we happen to go in the kitchen, he’s finished his share, and only the others are left eating.


Of course, we know it isn’t Angel or Jacoby opening the cabinet. If it was, it wouldn’t have been a problem two years ago, not just within the past two months! Nice frame-job attempt, Freddy.

Aby-a-Day – 1 September: You’re why we can’t have nice things (Silly Saturday)

Alfred is an evil genius, an avid hunter…and a klutz. Not a good combination.



This is Freddy in the laundry room. Once upon a time, we stored bags of dry cat food on the shelves of a tall shelf just out of frame, the top of which you can see Freddy speculatively eying.


Now all the bags have been chewed through, re-bagged, and stuffed into sealed, plastic bins.


Not that he never stops trying to get at them. “There was food there before, there will be again” is his motto.


I mean, look at him sizing up the shelving! We have had to put a latch on the door because if it’s not shut properly he can shoulder it open.


Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the house…


…I think he’s chasing flying insects. I have no idea. All I know is things from the top of the bookcases and the liquor cabinet are ending up on the floor. Sometimes they’re repairable things. Sometimes…like the Hagen-Renaker 1950’s California ceramic Siamese cat “Seated Sookie” last night…not so much.


But the most worrisome habit he’s recently picked up is…he has cracked the mystery of the catio netting! He has discovered a loose spot on one side of the netting that he can get through – no one else has discovered it, yet, thank goodness – but we are back to having to keep the balcony locked up the way it was before we had any netting at all until we can work out a way to fix the loophole.


Sometimes, I wish Abys weren’t quite so smart.

(Edit: As I was writing this post, despite our best efforts, Freddy actually got out through the balcony AGAIN! Third time today!)

Aby-a-Day – April 7: The great escape attempt

At the show in Stamford, Jacoby showed how smart he’s getting. stamford-jakeescapeE_4073

He’s already figured out how to bust through zippers, to the point of him being able to even break through the clips we have to keep the zippers closed. I’m thinking I’ll need to use tiny padlocks now!


But in his show cage in Kenny Currle’s ring, Jake decided he did not want to be in the cage.



I think it was the open setting and the fact that he’d escaped once and ran up the stairs looking for the elevators.


The scary thing is, I think he’s starting to figure out how the show cages open.



After getting tired of just yelling his way out of the cage…


…he sat and thought about it a moment.


Then he started attacking the bottom of the door.


What worried me was that he seemed to be making some headway…literally! I shudder to think what he could accomplish with a rock hammer, a poster of Sparkle and a little time.


He also tried brute strength, rolling into the door.


It didn’t work…


…but that didn’t stop him from trying it again.


This approach was the most accurate. You have to sort of push the door over to release the hooks. Jake was definitely on the right track with this one.





Just check out the grabby Aby hands action!


A quick check to make sure no one is coming to stop him…


…and then right back to it!



I was starting to worry that he’d skin his nose on the wire bars of the cage. Fortunately, he didn’t.


When he was finally let out of the cage for his turn on the judge’s table, Jake was perfectly behaved.


He didn’t try to escape at all.




That escape attempt he saved for Lois Jensen’s ring!

They played me!!

I woke up this morning before my husband, without the usual weekend assistance of Jacoby biting my head. When I got up, all the kitties escorted me to the kitchen to show me their empty bowls. Since I was the first one awake, I obligingly gave them their daily ration of crunchies, which they tucked into.

When my husband got up a short while later, he checked their bowls and commented, “Wow, there’s still a lot of food left.”

“Oh, yeah, I gave them their dry food already,” I explained, believing he thought it had been there since yesterday.

“You what!?” He said. “But I fed them already this morning!”

“You did? When? Their bowls were empty when I got up…” I was starting to smell a bay rum-scented rat.

“6am! They woke me up so I fed them and went back to bed.”

Those sneaky little brats! “THEY PLAYED ME!” I cried. “Those little sneaks PLAYED me! I should have known something was fishy when Jake wasn’t biting awake…”

Such is life with devious felines of the Aby persuasion.

Aby-a-Day – Day 214 of 365

Yesterday’s post showed Jacoby with his anniversary present, crispy catnip bacon from Etsy selller KGrantDesigns. I’ve warned her that I’m telling the blogosphere about her highly addictive cat toys 🙂

In any case, here is a photo-laden post of Jake and his three-bacon orgy. I couldn’t choose which photos were the funniest, so here are all of them.
























As you can see, he really loves his bacon. The only thing that would make this better if it actually smelled like bacon.

He did do one funny thing today, though. For Christmas, he got the catnip bacon and eggs plate, and of course he loved the bacon more than the eggs. So I looked for his Xmas bacon. I mean, I went through every cat toy graveyard in the apartment: under the sofa, behind the dresser, inside the cat beds…and I could NOT find his original slice of bacon. I must have looked everywhere; I certainly found a lot of dust kittens (they’re not bunnies because they’re made of cat hair).

So tonight, I go into the bedroom, and there it was, in the middle of the floor! At first I thought it was one of his new ones, but it wasn’t. I spent about an hour looking for that thing, and oh, I know I looked in the middle of the bedroom floor.

I think Jake knew I was looking for the damn thing and dragged it out of where ever it was he stashed it. That’s the only explanation I have.

The scary machinations of the Aby mind…

I was thinking that it might not be a bad idea to get Gun-Hee a spare turquoise collar since he has the bad habit of using them as chew toys…I got the one he has at Petco, and (having shopped around for a better price the last time he chewed up his collar), I know that they’re the only place that easily and reliably has them in stock. Despite it being a lovely day, I didn’t really feel like shlepping out to Cambridge to go shop at Petco in person, so I went to their website.

Nice. The Turquoise collars are on special internet sale for $4.49 each (roughly half price), plus I found a 15% off coupon online so I saved another $2.02. I got Gun-Hee 3 more collars for under $20! Since they were so much less than I’d been expecting (or even hoping for) I ordered 3…hopefully by the time he gets to the third one he’ll have stopped trying to gnaw them off his neck. Damn these intelligent Abys, anyway…no other cat I’ve owned has ever minded the jingling noise their tags make! Gun-Hee, though, he knows he can get away with more if he doesn’t get caught…the tags mean he’s more likely to get caught…the tags are attached to the collar…so the collar has to go!

At least he’s yet to figure out that I don’t buckle it very tightly, and he can easily slip is head out if he gives it a serious try.

He’s really, really clever, though. And he learns from his past efforts and he remembers what works, too. This morning he showed me that he’s gotten much better at closing the drawer and pulling open the bathroom door when he wants to get out. He did it this morning and it wasn’t at all hesitant. He very efficiently walked up to the drawer, pushed it shut, hooked his paw under the bathroom door, pulled it open just enough to get his head through, and walked out. It’s amazing to watch him, really.

Gun-Hee in the morning

Since I made my last post about Gun-Hee “helping” me get ready for work in the morning, I took some photos of Gun-Hee in the bathroom.

Look out, here he comes!

Hey mom, whatcha doing?
Such a helpful little kitty!

Evil Genius

Gun-Hee is too smart for his own good. This morning, as he does most mornings, he has hanging out in the bathroom with me while I was getting ready for work. His latest thing is knocking things off of the inside edge of the tub and then playing with them. Today it was my pumice stone and my razor (!?!). He already knows how to push the door in if it’s closed so he can come in the bathroom. I’ve suspected that he knows that to get out, he needs to pull the door towards him (the door opens into the bathroom). Generally, while I’m getting ready, the drawer my make-up is kept in is open, which blocks the door and prevents it from opening. Well, this morning he figured out that he needed to close my make-up drawer in the bathroom before he could pull open the door to get out.

I’m up close to the mirror putting on my mascara, and behind me I hear the sound of the drawer rolling closed. Then he started pulling at the door to open it enough to squeeze out. There are no photos of this, at least not yet (I guess I need to keep the camera in the bathroom!), but…that kind of spatial conceptual ability in a young cat can only mean we’re in for some interesting times in the coming years.