Aby-a-Day – 18 Augusti: Welcome to the family!

After all the travelling, we finally brought Dashiell home and put his carrier down in the living room. Björn did the honours of unzipping the top whilst Emma looked on.

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Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai were on the scene as well, of course. And, much like when we introduced him to everyone when he was a kitten, Freddy was the first to hiss.

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Emma thought that perhaps a personal introduction between Zak and Dash might be a good idea.

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It wasn’t a bad idea; neither Zak or Dash hissed.

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And, in fact, Zak is the one cat Dash is closest to here.

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We also introduced Dash to the Trump cat toy.

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Like many of us, Dash didn’t know what to do with him. Join the club, Dash!

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Then Angel came to meet the newcomer, in typical Angel roundabout fashion.

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She skulked around the edges of the room, and then circled around the back of the couch to get a look at Dash.

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Then she lept off the sofa and ran right over Dash and out to the hallway.

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That made Dash hiss!

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He may be young and small, but he stands up for himself!

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“Yeah, big cat! Don’t do that again!”

Aby-a-Day – 11 Augusti: Finally meeting Dashiell (Cinema Sunday)

As I posted yesterday, Meg, Russell and Dashiell arrived far too late for us to be able to meet them at the airport and collect Dash on Friday. So he stayed in Meg and Russell’s in the hotel near the airport.

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I awoke to some smexy photos of Dash lounging in bed. Everyone slept in, and rightly so.

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We had a day in Helsinki planned for Meg, Russell and Carol Fogarty, another judge, so Dash spent the day at Anne’s house.

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There, he bonded with Anne’s teenaged daughter. He’s very good with kids.

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After a day of walking around Helsinki, we had dinner at a great Finnish restaurant we’ve eaten at before on previous trips to Helsinki. Here’s Meg and me after dinner.

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On our way back to our hotel in Tampere, we stopped by Anne’s and collected Dash. This is the grand opening of the carrier when we finally got him into our hotel room (click on the image to watch the video in another tab in Flickr).

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We had a wonderfully spacious room, with places to put the food bowl, the water bowl…

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…and the litter box house.

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In anticipation of Dash’s arrival, my friend Molly sent him a welcome home present. It was even addressed to him.

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I saved it to open when we finally were together.

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He wasn’t entirely sure about it…but it will be his for the rest of his life.

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Next, Dash explored our room.

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And that was how we finally got Dash…

Aby-a-Day – 7 May: Kittens!

This is another guest post by my husband Björn, describing what it’s like to have a new kitten.

With kittens, you never know what to expect but the unexpected. As followers of this blog know, we have lost two cats this year. My old Pyret gave in after 18½ years in early March. It was sad, but I knew that day would come. When Koshka suggested that we should get a new cat, bringing our total back up to five, and that she knew of a breeder with kittens to sell, I wasn’t just positive to the idea, but interested in getting a show quality cat. That kitten was to become Logan’s show buddy, giving us two cats to show and more to do at the shows. The deposit was paid. Then Logan got sick, and lost the fight to FIP after just a couple of weeks. Suddenly, we only had three cats, where we had had five just six weeks before.

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When the two of us took the train to Stockholm to pick up our new kitten, Lorelai (“Rory” for short), we both felt that it wasn’t like last year when we got Logan and Alfred. Sure, we were happy to get a new cat, but losing Logan still cast its shadow. We weren’t prepared for the force of nature in the form of a small, blue Aby girl…

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We met her breeder, Eva, at a cat show. She was to deliver two kittens to new forever homes. The cats were kept in a motor home, and we and the other family all squeezed in to meet the cats and sign papers. Little Rory was there along with her mother and sister, Maya. The first thing that struck us what how small she was. Then we saw how fearless and active she was… We were smitten.

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Rory’s sister, Maya, is larger and lighter in colour than she is. Maya will have a little boy to be her best friend in her new home!

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A twelve week old girl kitten, she became ours, and we brought her in a carrier to the railway station. Rory didn’t appear to mind leaving her family behind, or the busy surroundings of Stockholm Central Station. Other travelers who saw her were charmed by the tiny but perfect cat. We got on the train for the two-hour ride back. Rory was let out, and she began to explore her surroundings.

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Back in Skövde, we introduced her to the other cats. Jacoby hissed a little, but then he’s been grumpy recently. Angel seemed nonplussed. Alfred, on the other hand (paw?), perked up visibly. He had missed Logan, but when he saw Rory, he began to follow her and play with her. But it was the humans who were most affected by the little Aby…

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Last year, when we got Logan and Freddy, they became best buddies. Logan was bossy and underfoot, while Freddy was a good-natured goofball with a penchant for inadverently pushing things to the floor. Rory proved to be more like a fearless Energizer bunny. She stole our hearts in no time.

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Koshka and I share Rory, and it’s gratifying that she seems to like both of us equally. She has the makings of a shoulder rider, and she’s very social.

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The day after she came to our house, we took her to our local pet store in order to get a harness and collar that was small enough to fit her and to introduce her to the staff. She hadn’t ridden in a stroller before, but that didn’t faze her. Neither did walking on a leash, when she had adjusted to wearing a harness. For being a newbie at it, she walked really well – no, she walked like a pro.

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When I first saw an Aby many years ago, I fell in love with the breed. When Koshka moved here, bringing Jake and Angel, I got to see first hand what a great breed Abys are. Still, I wasn’t really prepared for Rory. All the traits of the breed packed into that little body – who can resist?

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Koshka says that she hasn’t had a kitten quite like Rory. Jake and Gun-Hee were active, charming kittens, but Rory is an Aby squared. For my part, she has won my heart. The first night, she curled up next to me in the bed and slept, displaying 100% trust. She is the perfect kitten, and we couldn’t be happier. After a depressing period of losing the oldest and the youngest cats, we feel joyous again. It’s sad that Rory and Logan never met or got to go to shows together, but our little blue girl brightens our lives and home.

Aby-a-Day – 5 May: “Life is short. Talk fast.”

Today’s post is going to be short and quick, because it’s been a very long day, spent mostly either on trains or walking. But today we added S*Backilandets Mercedes von Ekorntorp, better known as Lorelai (Rory for short). This is Lorelai and her sister, Maya. Annnnddd…yeah, I may or may not have picked the two of them up, kind of made them dance, and sang the the “Sisters” song from White Christmas.

I have a lot of photos of Rory’s trip home and first encounter with the boys, but for now, these will have to do.

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Angel was unimpressed. Curious, but unimpressed.

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Alfred was so interested in Rory. He loved her at first sight.

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Freddy really misses his little buddy Logan. He is head over heels in love with his new little sister. He’s going to be a great big brother.

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Jacoby…well, he’ll warm to her. Eventually. I hope.

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But they are actually related! On her father's grandmother's side, she and Jake are related through Instincts Klein Bonaire. And she and Freddy are related by at least Purrsynian's Jambe Finite, and probably closer…but I haven't had time to research it. And then if Angel's breeder and sister are who I think they are, Angel is related to everyone, distantly, too. We really are one big happy family.