Aby-a-Day – 14 July: “But that’s life. One long tunnel. ” (Silly Saturday)

Back in my old apartment in Somerville,I had this aswesome floor-to-ceiling cat tree from Drs Foster and Smith, and it was well-loved by Harri, Patrick, Tessie, and Gun-Hee…but especially Kylie.

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Specifically, the fleece tunnel that hangs from the first level platform.

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Most cats want to go high, and eschew the low-hanging tunnel, but not Kylie.

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At the time, Kylie had a “knitten,” a little kitten that looked like her. It was her favourite toy, and she, of course, took it with her into the tree-tunnel.

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“Hey! Come back here and enjoy this with me!”

But after Kylie was young, the tree went into storage, and no cat got to climb it until we moved to Sweden, but even once we set that old tree up in Björn’s apartment, literally no cat used that tunnel…until Lorelai showed up on the scene.

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Rory discovered that tunnel and she owned it.
I know it’s not in focus, but this photo captures Rory’s joy within the tunnel.

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“Yay! Tunnel!”

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It’s so cute watching her loll about in that thing.

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I wonder if it’s a kitten thing? An adult cat can easily fit in the tunnel, but none ever lie in it.

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When Izaak arrived, he tried to share the tunnel with Rory.

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It was a bit crowded in there for the pair of them (look at Rory’s back foot!), but they made it work.

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For a while.

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Then Zak started to sort of ooze out the backside of it.

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Pretty sure he was pushed…

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…because a certain little girl seemed awfully proud of herself once she had the tunnel all to herself again.

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“…What? I didn’t do anything. He wanted to get down!”

Aby-a-Day – 6 July: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”

It’s common in Sweden for apartment complexes to have several rug-beating frames so that residents can beat their carpets.

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We have one right outside our apartment, and of course Lorelai had to jump up to the top of it.

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She was walking the galvanised steel tightrope walk pretty well there for a while…

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…but it just takes one misstep.

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…and then your paws don’t behave…

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…and after that, the rest of your paws second-guess themselves…

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…and once that happens…

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…yeah, you’re gonna fall.

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So the art is in falling gracefully. Or at least, non-embarrassingly…

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Nailed it!

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“Okay, so…that was fun. Now what?”

Other People’s Singas: Izaak’s brother Joop the victorious (Super Singas)

While we were with Lorelai at her first show in Sweden, Izaak’s brother Joop was at the Wystawa Kotów Rasowych in Sopot, Poland.

I’m not sure exactly how the awards translate, but he did very well indeed, and I think this was his very first show, too. You can see him in action on the judging table

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Unlike CFA, when you win a Best in Show you get not only a rosette but also prizes – usually food and cat accessories.

Here is Joop and all his winnings. That trophy is bigger than he is!

And if you are wondering why we didn’t take Zak along with Rory to the show this past weekend, well, that’s because while he is registered in FIFe, he is registered as a Polish cat, not a Swedish cat. He needs to have his details entered into Sverak‘s database as my cat before I can enter him. So as soon as that happens…we’ll see if he can do as well as his littermate!

Aby-a-Day – 25 June: This is us (Hipstamatic Monday)

I haven’t done a Hipstamatic Monday in over two years. I’ve gotten a load of new films and lenses since then…so I figured, hey, why not?

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So let’s go from oldest to youngest…as much as we can. Starting with Angel.

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Lately, she’s been a big fan of the canoe bed that currently sits on the Danish modern chair that needs recovering.

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It’s one of those cat bed fads, I know…but she is so cute when she’s in the canoe.

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Next up is Jacoby.

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Good old reliable Jake.

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He’s been a Hipstamatic cat since the very beginning,

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As always, I love the randomness with Hipstamatic.

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Here’s Alfred.

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He’s shaping up to be as big a poser as Jake is!

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Izaak has shown us that he loves IKEA mice along with any largish plush toy. He even likes the Han Solo mousie!

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He’s not even here a week and he’s already showing a distinct personality.

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He’s very protective of his mousies.

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He stood his ground to protect it against Freddy…so brave!

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Last but not least we have Lorelai.

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She’s so much larger than Zak, it’s hard to remember that he’s older than she is.

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But yes, it’s been only five days, and they are already best friends!

Aby-a-Day – 21 June: Glad Midsommar!

We have a Singapura in our family again!

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As you saw in yesterday’s post, I went to Stockholm to collect Joy Minimali*PL, called Izaak.

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I decided on the name Izaak for him (Zak for short, of course) because one of the Polish words for “joy” is “zachwyt.” Which is close enough to Zak for me! I didn’t like any of the variations of Zachariah…but when I discovered that Zak could also be a short form of Isaac/Izaak…well, it was a no-brainer. It’s also has a completely sound from all the other cats’ names, which is good. I had wanted to have a cat named Lennie (after Det. Lennie Briscoe), but with AngeL, ALfred, Lorelai, and Logan, it was a lot of L’s in the family aLready. Besides, with him already being named Joy, it seemed fitting.

Actually getting Zak was an experience. He came to us from a Polish breeder who happened to have two boys available in June. There were no Swedish kittens available…so we decided to go abroad. At first, we thought we might go to Poland to get him, but the timing didn’t work out for us to travel. Anna regularly ships kittens worldwide, so she sent him to us via air cargo. I’d done this before, when I got Tessie, but she was only sent from Portland, Oregon to Boston, not from another country. I thought it was hard to find the cargo area at Logan Airport…but as you can see from the above map, it was quite an adventure collecting little Zak!

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First I had to get from Skövde to Stockholm. Booking a train to Stockholm is a bit like booking a flight, depending on when you choose to travel, the trip can cost as little as 195kr (around $22) and as much as 885kr (around $100) or more. You also reserve your seat, and seats at tables are very popular. Seats at tables in the (very limited space) pets-allowed cabin are even harder to get. Also I had to take into account that Zak’s arrival time was 09:30. So I booked a trip that left Skövde at 07:12. As most of you know, I am not a morning person and don’t really wake up until at least 10:00. I had to get up at 05:30 in order to catch that train. From Stockholm Centralen, I then had to take a bus (a 45-minute trip) to Arlanda Airport Terminal 5.

Then I had to take a Stockholm city bus #583 out to the Cargo City stop (second-to-last on the Märsta line). The bus drops you off at at one of those little shelters that looks like it’s in the middle of a quarry next to a prison with some parcel warehouses off to the side, and there’s absolutely no indication of how one might find the Cargo Center (nor was there a clear walkway). Luckily, the cargo place had called me to tell me that they had a cat for me whilst I was on that second bus, so I had their number and called them to ask how one might walk to their location.

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But here’s the really fun part. Once I managed to find Cargo City, I had to take Zak’s papers and passport and take them to Tullverket (Customs) to be reviewed, approved and stamped, and then go back to Cargo City to actually collect Zak. One would think, this being a common thing to need to do (pick up paperwork, go to Customs, and then come back and get your cargo), that the two buildings would be conveniently located somewhat adjacent to one another. But as you can see from the above map, you would be utterly and completely incorrect. I had to take the 583 bus back to Terminal 5, and from there take an airport shuttle to where the Customs building was located. And as you can see, when the bus dropped you off, it wasn’t immediately obvious where the entrance was.

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At Customs, whilst waiting in the queue, I met an Australian woman, Zia, who was on the same mission I was, trying to collect a large suitcase sent to her from home. She hadn’t yet been out to Cargo City; she went straight to Customs because her emailed instructions were vague. She still had to go out there to collect her suitcase, though. Knowing what I did about finding Cargo City, and needing to go back there myself, I waited for her so we could go out there together. It made the return trip so much easier!

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And, as it happened, Zia loves cats. She was completely charmed by little Zak.

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We ended up going back to Stockholm Centralen on the Märsta train, which turned out to be so much faster and easier than taking the airport bus. Definitely need to remember that the next time!

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Back at Centralen, Zia and I parted ways with a hug, and I had about an hour to kill before my train left. So, I grabbed lunch and did a little shopping.

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Zak was a huge hit at Lush! Both the shop clerks and customers just loved him.

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We made friends on the train, too. An older woman from Göteborg and a guy from Romania were at our table, and we talked most of the trip back to Skövde. So much for Swedes not talking to strangers! The woman was the one who started talking to both me and the Romanian, and I am glad she did…it was a fun conversation.

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Zak slept in my lap for most of the trip. Which was fortunate; he was going to need to be awake when we got home and he met his new clan.

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Alfred was the first to greet the carrier.

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We took it into the living room and Lorelai was next to see who was inside.

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We let the youngsters sniff a bit before opening the door.

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I wonder what Freddy thought when he saw a Singapura who wasn’t Logan?

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Even though Zak is an older male, Rory is still bigger than him.

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…Um, Freddy?

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The point is to meet the new kitten, not eat the food in his carrier!

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Rory was delighted to see Zak! Someone her own size to play with!

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She tried to play with him right away.

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Zak…wasn’t so sure. But I think they’ll end up being fast friends. I think he and Freddy will, too. But I am afraid poor Freddy won’t ever have the kind of bond he had with Logan with any other cat. But maybe Rory and Zak will have something like that as they grow up together.

Aby-a-Day- 20 June: Wordless Wednesday (Introducing…Izaak!)

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