So, you may have noticed there’s a new social media challenge meme going around. Of course I had to do it…and of course, I had to do it with Jacoby. So…here you go: Jake’s profile photos on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder.
They fall into some natural pairings: the two girls (Angel and Lorelai), the two (soon to be three) show cats (Izaak and Rory, plus Dashiell), the older two (used to be Jacoby and Angel; now it’s Angel and Alfred), the two neutered boys (Dash and Freddy), the two unneutered cats (Rory and Zak), the two youngsters (Rory and Dash), the two Americans (Angel and Dash), the two Swedes (Rory and Freddy)…it’s kind of fascinating to see how they align each other.
Angel was always bullied by Tessie, and Kylie would join in when she heard Angel scream at Tessie. She was always a bit nervous around Pyret, but since Pyret has left us and Angel became the senior female, she’s really come into her own.
Feeding five cats is tricky, but luckily, we have a lot of rooms. Freddy eats on his own, because he eats wicked fast and he’ll eat everyone’s food given half a chance. Dash and Zak eat together (in the winter, anyway) because Zak won’t steal Dash’s food, and Dash is preoccupied with his own bowl.
That leaves the two girls to eat together. And they do eat very nicely together. They are very companionable, sometimes switching bowls, but there is never an argument over dinner. Angel still doesn’t really cuddle or sleep with anyone (unless Zak insists), but she does seem to have forged a friendship with Rory.
We brought Dashiell home in mid-August, and we took him outside as much as we could before the weather turned too cold and the afternoons got too dark.
At first, of course, we started him out on a leash.
He soon learned to go outside without one.
But it was so cute to see him interact with Angel outside.
For several weeks after Dash joined our family, Angel looked at him like she’d seen a ghost.
With good reason.
Look at Angel with Jacoby, when he was the same age as Dash in these photos. No wonder she thought she was seeing a ghost!
Hey there…remember us? Sorry it’s been a while…after we brought Dashiell home from Finland, I came down with, of all things, walking pneumonia! Björn and Kalle were sick with coughing, too…but of course, mine had to turn into pneumonia.
After that, we had a couple of little veterinary issues with some of the cats. Nothing major…Dash had an ear infection, Lorelai had a runny eye, and Alfred had an odd coughing spell. All of them are fine…but it was a lot to deal with all at once. I also had some other health issues in that space of time – nothing major, but between me and the cats, it was mentally and physically exhausting. Oh, and I also got a new iPhone 11 Pro, and getting the hang of the fancy camera took some practice (it’s awesome, by the way, better even than my DSLR).
Then, of course, we had some cat shows, including one in Turku, Finland. We had entered Dash, but the entry cut-off was in October, and I wasn’t sure his ear would be completely recovered in time. Also, the show didn’t really count for him, and I didn’t want to risk the round-trip ferry ride to cause a relapse. So it was just Izaak and Rory. But they both earned their International Championship titles, and Zak was Nominated on the first day, so it was an excellent show. The very next weekend, we had the mini-show at our DjurMagazinet on Saturday with Zak, Rory and Zak, and then another of the photo shoots on Sunday with everyone. That was a five-ring circus!
One thing that came of spending all day at a pet shop was that Zak picked out his very own new favourite mousie – a Christmas one that jingles!
This is the best shot I could get of him fetching it. Sorry. I’m actually sick again right now with a staph infection, on antibiotics that make me nauseous…GREAT fun at Christmas! Oh, well…at least I won’t gain much holiday weight. The cute thing is that Zak’s been bringing his mousie to me over and over to distract me from the nausea.
Because of all that, Christmas really kind of snuck up on us. We put up our Swedish window candles, and our wreath on the front door, but it wasn’t until Monday night that we put up the stockings.
Not having Jacoby here had a bigger impact on my holiday cheer than I ever expected. He was always such a big part of my Christmases…even the one I spent away from him, in Sweden. I just couldn’t summon the energy to put up the tree and all our decorations. Yes, we have Angel, and Freddy, and Zak, and Rory and wonderful, wonderful Dash (who is friends with everyone)…but Christmas without Jake seems…strange. I’m sure it will be better next year.
Which is not to say our Christmas is sad – not at all! After we put all the presents in the stockings, Freddy noticed that some of them had treats in them, and tried to get them down! Click on the unfortunate black square above to see the video in a new tab…sorry for the vertical orientation, but it was a sort of vertical situation. Also be warned that there is some rather bad language in the background; Channel Six was showing Die Hard for Jul, and they don’t censor movies on TV here.
I’ll be back next week, and, hopefully, The Daily Abyssinian with actually be daily again!
At long last we boarded the Silja Symphony ferry to Stockholm. First we rode the elevator to our cabin to put our luggage away and set up Dashiell’s food and litter.
Dash really seemed to enjoy the windowed lift.
This is kind of a dark photo, but you can see the shopping promenade and the cabins with overlooking windows. We stayed in one of those cabins on the way to Helsinki and it was kind of fun do have that view. They don’t have pet rooms in that block of cabins, though.
After we got our room set up, we went up to the deck to say goodbye to Helsinki.
This is what the ferry looks like from Helsinki. We happened to be at the waterfront the day before when the ferry was leaving for Sweden.
Here is me with Dash.
I posed almost the exact same way with Jacoby in 2016.
Björn posed with Dash as well.
On the aft deck, there is a little sandbox for dog owners to let their dogs go to the toilet.
I have to say, it was pretty amusingly decorated. I have seen dog toilet areas on other ferries, but none decorated like this.
Dash was not impressed.
He was more interesting in people-watching from the vantage of a deck chair.
Just then, a dog passed by on his way to the toilet. I guess we took a look at it in the nick of time.
Despite what it says on the website, the crew staff assured us that cats were allowed anywhere onboard the ship. We thought a nice refreshing beer would be nice before taking Dash back to the cabin and checking the duty-free store.
Dash was happy to sit in his carrier and watch Björn pour his beer.
Dash never even tried to get out of his carrier.
After our drinks, we took the elevator back to our cabin.
I think Dash was happy to go back to the cabin and take a nap after all the excitement of the cat show and boarding the ferry.
Ferry rides are a lot of fun. They go overnight, and some people treat it as a party. On this trip, there was what looked like a stag do going on. Not sure which guy was the groom, but my money’s on the guy in the bell bottoms.
We had seen them in the bar earlier. They were going around to people in the bar with a straw, asking if they could have a sip of their drink, taking photos of it. It was pretty funny.
There was also a new machine in the ferry’s casino – Diamond Cats! It’s a bit like Kitty Glitter except with no Somali. It was not a bad game; at least the Siamese have blue eyes on this game. But it was fun to play and I ended up winning a little, which is always nice.
After the long drive from Lempäälä to Helsinki, Björn dropped Dashiell and I off at Olympia Terminal where we waited whilst he returned our rental car.
This was Dash’s first time with a leash and harness, and he did really well.
But mostly Dash wanted to be in his carrier. Despite having been in that thing for 30 some hours on the trip to Finland from Newark, it represents safety and security to him. Which makes sense; it’s just like Jacoby’s attachment to his stroller.
He was happiest when the top was open, so he could look around.
In some of these photos, he reminds me so much of Jake. Especially the one where he’s meowing!
Björn was taking longer than expected to return from dropping off the car. I was starting to get worried that the gates would close before he got back.
I don’t know what would have happened if we missed the ferry.
Dash was a wonderfully patient little cat, which bodes well for future trips.
He also charmed the employees at the terminal. They took turns coming over to where we were to meet him.
They also were very reassuring and told me that the gates wouldn’t close until Björn came back. Whew!