Aby-a-Day – 24 Mars: Some are born Singapura, some achieve Singapuraness… (Cinema Singapura Sunday)

Not to make a generalisation about Singapuras, but both Logan and Izaak decided they wanted to be friends with Angel and Jacoby…no matter what.

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In Angel’s case, it means Zak gets in her favourite bed with her.

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And then he grooms her.

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He’s quite serious about it, too.

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With Jake, Zake just sleeps with him wherever he is, be it our bed or the sofa.

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Does Jake want Zak’s company? I have no idea. But I also don’t think he has much of a say in the matter.

Because still photos can’t quite capture that lovin’ feeling, here’s a video of Zak forcing his affection on Jake and Angel.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Mars: Where the boys are (Swedish Singapura Saturday)

Lately, in the evenings when we watch our TV shows, we are joined on the sofa by all three boys.

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Before Izaak joined our family, Jacoby would never cuddle or sleep with Alfred. He seemed to resent Freddy’s (and Logan’s) presence in his household. Zak changed all that. He is the social glue that connects the older Abys.

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Zak often cuddles with Jake on our bed or wherever Jake happens to be sleeping. Singapuras are like that…they wear you down. And Zak and Freddy are friends who sleep together on the sofa often.

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So if Zak is napping with one of them, it’s okay for the other to join them, apparently.

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It’s almost like a bad ethnic joke: “A Pole, a Swede and a Canadian walk into a bar…”

Aby-a-Day – 22 Mars: Kit-Tea (Fashion Friday)

Björn had a wonderful Scottish bone china tea mug featuring men with dogs hunting quail made by Dunoon. Sadly, the mug was accidentally knocked off the counter and broken a month or so ago. It really is the best mug for drinking tea, but that particular design has been discontinued.

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Whilst searching for a suitable replacement for his dearly departed mug, Björn also found the perfect mug for me! It features every breed of cat imaginable. Some are featured around the inside edge of the rim, and also in larger illustrations with descriptions on the sides of the mug. As you can see, the Somali is one of the featured breeds.

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As you can see it’s a fairly tall mug. It holds a half litre of beverage!

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Other breeds are shown along the base of the mug, including the Abyssinian…

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…And the Singapura.

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The Aby and the Singa are actually kind of next to each other, both next to the handle of the mug, which has a collection of “Cat Facts.” It’s an absolutely lovely mug, and I think it makes the tea taste better. Thank you, Björn, for introducing me to these awesome mugs!

Aby-a-Day – 20 Mars: Wordless Wednesday (Window Dressing)

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Aby-a-Day – 18 Mars: Finally, a fun gym! (Movie Monday)

You may have noticed, in the background of yesterday’s post, a pretty cool looking kitty gym. We won it in a raffle at a cat show last summer, but we had other cat toys set up in the living room, so I’ve only just set it up.

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Even though it seems more like a toy for kittens, everyone but Jacoby has played with it. I actually caught Angel examining the tunnel this morning (sadly, I couldn’t grab a camera without her fleeing)!

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The gym came as a set, with the actual gym and a smaller-than-usual crinkly tunnel. Here is Izaak adorably posing inside the tunnel.

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The tunnel is fun…

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…but the kitty gym is funner!

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Zak was having so much fun with the gym…

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…he didn’t even notice that Lorelai was watching him.

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At first, she seemed a little perplexed at Zak’s fascination with the gym.

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But eventually Rory became almost mesmerised waatching Zak playing with the kitty gym.

Here is a short movie so you can see what fascinated her so much.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Mars: The return of the Silly Shamrock Hat (Silly Sunday)

You may remember that silly Guinness St. Patrick’s Day floppy hat I posed Alfred, Logan and Jacoby with last year?

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Well, it’s baaaaaaaaack!

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Freddy was a lot less intimidated by the hat this year than he was the first time.

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Rory was…

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…not impressed, shall we say.

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…Izaak, on the other hand…

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…Zak really seemed to have fun with it.

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It actually has a lining in it so it will fit on a person’s head, but if that wasn’t there, Zak would have gone all the way inside it.

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Zak playing with the hat renewed Rory’s interest in it…a little.

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But ultimately she just left it to Zak and found something else to play with.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Mars: Bear necessities (Swedish Saturday)

In Sweden, we have a thing called REKO-Ring. REKO means “Real Consumption” (Konsumtion in Swedish) and is a way to shop for locally produced food, without intermediaries. Consumers and producers merge and start a REKO ring where locally produced products are sold directly from producer to consumer. In Skövde, our local REKO-Ring has a Facebook page where the producers post what they have available, and then people who want to buy something comment on the post saying what they want to get. Then, on alternate Wednesdays, we meet in a parking lot at a hockey arena two stops on the bus line from our house.

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Well, just as I despairing of finding a really great birthday present for Björn, I happened to check the REKO-Ring Skövde Facebook page. And I found a post from Lilla Spännefalla, and they had all kinds of game for sale. Including bear meat from Jämtland in the north of Sweden.

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I ordered a “Bear Box” and got steaks, ground bear meat, and chunks.
I have only had bear a couple of times, and it is delicious. The first time was in 2000, when I found it for sale in an Asian grocery store in Boston. I then had it again when we canned bear meat for sale in the duty-free on the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Then I got to eat it again when we went to a medieval restaurant in Taillinn. But the thing is…The name Björn is the same as the Swedish word for bear. So when I found bear meat available for sale just before Björn’s birthday, I knew I had the perfect gift.

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Bear meat is delicious. You have to make sure all the fat is removed, because it can add a slightly rancid flavour to the meat. The basic rule of thumb is, “Season like beef, cook like pork.” This is because like pigs, bears and raccoons are omnivores, and their meat can cause Trichinosis if it is not cooked well.

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So, sorry guys…you don’t get to try it raw.

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Despite not getting to try it raw, the bear meat attracted quite a crowd.

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Lorelai, of course, had to get on Björn’s shoulder to supervise.

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Izaak made sure Björn cooked it thoroughly.

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And he did.

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Served with plain potato wedges and mushrooms, it was a delicious birthday dinner…

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…which some people in the house were eager to sample.

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Zak was the first to taste bear meat whilst the plates were still on the coffee table.

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Everyone else got their tastes in the kitchen. Rory LOVED it.

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Jacoby tried to steal her piece, but she managed to keep it for herself. But don’t worry, Jake got a couple of pieces of the bear meat.

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Alfred took his piece so quickly…

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…I couldn’t even capture it with my camera. Fast Freddy!

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Angel took her sample gingerly…

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…and ran away from all the other cats to eat it in peace.

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It took her a little longer to finish it, because of her three teeth, so she wanted to eat it someplace safe.

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I guess we can add bear meat to the things Abyssinians (and Singapuras) will eat.