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.

hipstazakoutside3012

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.

hipstarorykids2541

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

hipstazakkids0286

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

hipstarorykids6064

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.

hipstarorykids3882

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.

hipstarorykids4991

hipstarorykids9565

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

hipstazakrorykids6428

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

hipstazakrorykids0796

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

hipstazakkids8482

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

hipstazakkids5213

hipstazakkids4926

hipstazakkids0286

hipstazakkids8882

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

hipstarorykids9482

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

Aby-a-Day – 7 April: “Spring is here, A-suh-puh-ring is here! Life is skittles and life is beer” (Swedish Sunday)

Continuing from yesterday’s post…after the kittens run down the hill in front of our building, they run back up to the hill to the back of our apartment.

roryrunC06474

roryrunC06475

Lorelai hurries to cat up to Izaak…

roryzakfreddyoutsideC06477

…who is already under our balcony, with Alfred above on the ledge.

freddybalconyC06483

freddybalconyC06488

freddybalconyC06485

I know, Freddy, but you can’t be trusted off leash, and we have an actual chore to get done.

angelbalconyC06489

Oh! Look who it is! Angel’s come to join us!

freddyangelbalconyC06494

In the past few months, she’s actually been not only friendly with the younger cats, but she’s actually started to play chasing games with them!

rorysandC06495

As you may recall, the kittens really love the sandy area around the swingset.

rorysandC06498

Especially Rory.

rorysandC06499

rorysandC06512

She loves to dig holes in it, roll in it, play with it…she just loves sand.

roryzaksandC06542

Zak tries digging a hole…but he doesn’t really see the appeal in it that Rory does.

roryzaksandC06530

roryzaksandC06531

Oops! Time for a bit of chase!

roryzakrunC06547

Finally we get to our destination: the garbage bin.

roryzakrunC06548

roryzakrunC06549

roryzakrunC06551

roryzakrunC06553

Or, well…we went to the garbage bin to take out the trash…the kittens just ran around the adjacent lawn like mad things.

roryrunC06555

roryrunC06558

roryrunC06559

roryrunC06560

roryrunC06561

Rory, as always, especially. She really loves to run free outside.

Aby-a-Day – 15 October: “When life gives you Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day” (Hipstamatic Monday)

Today is just a normal Monday Chez Hellqvist…Angel sleeping in her favourite brown bed…

hipsta-angel7286

Unlike Logan, Izaak doesn’t share this bed with her. Oh, he tries to get in there with her…but where Logan ignored her when she hissed at him and got in anyway, Zak walks away and naps elsewhere.

hipstajake2789

Next we have Jacoby in the manly pink kitty bed. Which looks even more pink in this shot.

hipstajake3573

This film and lens tones the pink down quite a bit…but doesn’t really help.

hipstajake2624

Next shot is just plain black and white..and, nope. Doesn’t look any more manly without the pink. Must be the fluffy, not the colour.

hipstafreddy4149

Next we have Alfred.

hipstafreddy2616

I made Golonka (Polish beer-braised pork hocks) tonight, and Freddy always loves to chew on the bones.

hipstafreddy4034

Chomp, chomp…

hipstafreddyrory6259

He’s growling at Lorelai in this photo. He doesn’t like to share…

hipstafreddy0484

…no matter how big the bone is!

hipstafreddy2521

“Okay, Rory…NOW you can have it. I’m finished with it.”

hipstarory1890

Rory, meanwhile, has moved on and is playing in our bedroom.

hipstazak4224

Never fear! Zak the SuperSinga is here!

hipstaizaak8684

Never mind that that bone is bigger than his head!

Aby-a-Day – 29 August: Wordless Wednesday (The Blazing Star)

starflowerC01357

starflowerC01359

starflowerC01364

starflowerC01365

starflowerC01369

starflowerC01372

starflowerC01371

Aby-a-Day – 5 July: Alfred and Markis (Thursday Things)

Alfred is a very protective big brother. And free whatever reason, he has decided that Markis from upstairs was a threat to Lorelai.

freddymarkisC04867

Of course, Markis was just outside minding his own business…

freddymarkisC04873

…but when he heard Freddy growling he decided to let discretion be the better part of valour.

freddymarkisC04876

He tried to hide amongst the bicycles, but Freddy followed him…

freddymarkisC04878

…growling…

freddymarkisC04880

…with his tail puffed and his hackles raised! When Jacoby and Markis meet, they just sniff each other and Markis will hiss and growl. I am not sure what Freddy sees that Jake doesn’t.

freddymarkisC04885

This toddler, though. He kept wanting to pet the kitties. The snarling, growling, hissing, clearly angry and preoccupied kitties. I tried to get him to move away, but I don’t think he understands English or Swedish yet, and his mother was right there (you can see her in the background), so I thought her maternal instincts would kick in.

freddymarkisC04888

…NOPE. So of course the kid gets too close, Markis hisses and lunges, kid sit-falls onto his bum and starts crying and only then does she intervene. He wasn’t hurt, but he could have been.

freddymarkisC04891

After that, Markis was done. He trotted off across the grass.

freddymarkisC04895

Freddy kept an eye on him for a while.

freddymarkisC04897

Finally, he decided that Markis was far enough away and relaxed.

freddymarkisC04899

A little later, however, Markis moved to the base of one of our trees.

freddymarkisC04902

Freddy did not like this at all and started stalking Makis again even as Markis moved out into the field.

freddymarkisC04904

Freddy kept walking towards Markis until he was what Freddy felt was a safe distance away.

freddymarkisC04911

Poor Markis! All he wanted was to enjoy the sun and grass and maybe catch a mouse. It’s a good thing Freddy doesn’t go outside without a human on a leash!

Aby-a-Day – 30 May: Wordless Wednesday (“Food is the ingredient that binds us together”)

onebighappyC04619

onebighappyC04622

onebighappyC04623

onebighappyC04626

onebighappyC04628

Aby-a-Day – 25 May: Angel, Rory and the Frankentree (Fashion Friday)

Before I moved to Sweden, Björn had an old, beat-up, second-hand cat tree for Pyret. It was one of the first things Angel discovered when we let her out of the carrier. When my things arrived from the States, my big floor-to-ceiling tree was among them, and it was installed in the corner where the old tree had occupied. The old tree was moved to the balcony, which was scheduled to be glassed in for the cats to enjoy.

angelbalconytreeC08603

Angel was quick to claim it out there, too. But it was a little short, and I wanted the cats to be able to sit up high on the balcony, too, so I ordered this new cat tree by Dogman, a Swedish pet supply company. But when I assembled the new tree, it seemed a little sad without the cubby section, especially since it was Angel’s favourite part, and it was still perfectly good…so I got an idea.

frankentreeC02047

I combined them! I took the non-worn parts of the old tree (which was probably also a Dogman tree) – the cubby, the platform and the ladder, and put them together with the new tree and created…the FrankenTree! It worked surprisingly well, and the colours combined well, too.

angelfrankentreeC02056

Angel loved it.

rorybalconytreeC05004

Logan and Alfred came along and loved it, too…and of course so does Lorelai.

rorybalconytreeC05005

(Despite the silly tongue…)

angelrorybalconytreeC05009

Angel didn’t really mind sharing the tree with Logan and Freddy, but what does Angel think about sharing her tree with another girl?

angelrorybalconytreeC05010

These Millennial kittens these days…no sense of boundaries.

angelrorybalconytreeC05011

Angel is not above defending her territory. Although, to be honest, I don’t think Rory even noticed that Angel took a swipe at her.

angelbalconytreeC05014

“Damn kids, get off of my tree!”