Aby-a-Day – 17 Juli: A curious series of events (Serious Saturday)

Okay. Today was…weird. Strange. Mysterious. And not a little bit scary. It has many layers to it. It starts earlier this week, when I bought a used tricycle.

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Since Covid, my balance is a bit off and my Dutch bike is getting harder to ride, especially when I am carrying things. But good tricycles are expensive, and cheap ones are…unpredictable. I’d been looking on a Swedish used item selling website, but there was nothing. Then, on Wednesday, I happened to check it again…and there was one listed, in Skövde, for only 2900 kr (about $300 USD – wicked cheap). The trike had been put up the day before, so it really was serendipity. He delivered it Thursday. It’s going to take a bit of practice to get the hand of riding it (bicycles and tricycles handle very differently) and it needs some lights and reflectors.

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Another point: Björn is away on a weekend gaming trip, since everyone is vaccinated. Last night, I was on my own, so I ordered those lights and reflectors on Amazon.se. As part of this shopping, I went out twice after sunset to look at the trike to see what I needed and where I could mount things. When I went out, I got a lot of mosquito bites. I also ran into my upstairs neighbours, who told me they were going on a trip in the morning (this becomes important later). I fell asleep watching Hamilton, woke up at 4am, and went to bed. Woke up at 10, itching like crazy, and took some Benedryl. I was reading in the bedroom (it’s cooler there during the day than in the living room) and the Benedryl made me doze off. When I woke up, it was almost 4pm.

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Which meant the cats’ breakfast was late. I immediately went to feed them. Izaak and Lorelai weren’t around, but that’s actually kind of normal for them; Zak has been hiding from me when I feed him, especially in the morning because he doesn’t want to be shut up in the bedroom, and Rory likes to hang out on the balcony and eats later.

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But it was bothering me. Afternoons, Rory sleeps on the end of the sofa, and Zak eventually comes out of hiding. Kalle and I searched the house; I had started a load of laundry and thought they might be shut in there, but they weren’t. Now I was getting worried. I started thinking they might be outside, but how? They didn’t get out when I went outside last night, because they were here for dinner. Around 5:30pm, I went outside, both to look for them and also to see if I could put the tail light back on the trike. As soon as I got to the trike, Zak appeared, yelling a blue streak!

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“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!? WHY WAS I OUTSIDE? WHERE WERE YOU!?” And I couldn’t answer that, because I have no idea. But that means Rory was probably outside, too. I put Zak back inside and Kalle and I scoured the område. Kalle suggested we check with the Anderssons, and I told him they’d gone on a trip this morning. We looked everywhere, but couldn’t find her…but it occurred to me that late afternoon is Rory’s nap time. WHen I messaged Björn about it, he thought she might be napping under some bushes in one of her favourite spots, like near the sandbox. So, we decided to wait for an hour and try again. Kalle mentioned that the door wasn’t locked when he went shopping; he had forgotten that until after we searched. Alfred, as you know, can open the front door if it’s not locked, and when the Anderssons load their car, they block the door open. Kalle and I started theorising: The door somehow was left unlocked (I don’t remember NOT locking it, but I don’t remember actually locking it, either) and Freddy opened it. Zak, Rory and Freddy go out in the hallway, and the front door is open because of the neighbours’ trip. The Anderssons see Freddy and put him inside, but they don’t see the other two. I also knew no one had found her; she’s pretty well known in the område and all the children know her by name. She has two ID tags and nobody had called or checked the Blanket ID site.

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Kalle suggested taking Zak with us when we went out to look for Rory, and I had been thinking the same thing. So, Zak and I go out to find Rory and Kalle was still getting ready…but there Rory was, right at the door, waiting to be let in! I have no idea when they got out, how long they’d been out, where they went…nothing. Just our theory of events, at least until the Anderssons get home. But, this shows that taking them outside often and in all seasons is a VERY good thing, because they know where they live. A lot of indoor cats don’t learn that, so if they do escape, they are easily disoriented and don’t know how to get home.

Epilouge: The Anderssons didn’t see the cats this morning. I just messaged Oksana, and she didn’t see Freddy, Zak or Rory this morning. The mystery continues. So much for all that CSI I’ve watched in my life.

Aby-a-Day – 10 September 2020: Runaway Rory (Thursday Things)

As I posted on Sunday, we took Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai out to the recycling bins.

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But what I didn’t tell you about is that Rory ran away.

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Like, away away.

Here’s a satellite shot of our område. At the top of the photo is our apartment building. At the lower right is the recycling bins. And at mid-lower left is where she ran…and where I lost her. We actually had her back at our apartment, the boys were ready to go in…and she ran all the way back to where that arrow is. And the sun was setting, and it was getting dark.

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We had no idea where she could be (I suspected she’d doubled back, since every time we lost track of her, she was heading back towards our building), and apart from the darkness, it was also getting cold and we had to have our dinner (pot roast, which was in danger of overcooking).

Shout out to BlanketID, here: their poster generating feature is wonderful. I created one in English and Björn translated it into Swedish. Kalle offered to go out and look for her, and at almost 11 PM, he texted me and told me he’d spotted her in the small parking lot near the tvättstugen (laundry building). Björn went out to help him lure her in with some treats and a laser pointer, and when they called her, she finally came out. Kalle caught her, and they put her on her harness and leash. She did walk back like a good girl, but she didn’t get her chicken neck that night.

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I knew she was in heat…but I also know there aren’t any whole tomcats in the area. Still, I thought that her training would kick in. I think I underestimated the power of hormones and instinct just a little bit. Welp…until she gets knocked up, she’s only going outside on her harness and leash.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Mars 2020: Happy Birthday, Kalle and Björn! (Swedish Saturday)

Since Kalle’s birthday is today, and Björn’s birthday is the 10th, we generally celebrate them both together. Björn always makes the cake…and this year, he made a Coronavirus cake.

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Kalle is is turning 17, so instead of candles, Björn put 17 gumdrop Coronaviruses on the cake instead. Because, you know…blowing out candles would spray germs all over the cake, right?

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Izaak says, “Really? A Coronavirus cake? Do you really think that’s appropriate?”

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Björn did a really good job on the viruses, though.

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Lorelai wanted some of the viruscake.

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“Look, mom! I am washing my hands and everything!”

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“What do you mean, NO?” Rory is channelling her inner Abernathy here.

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In no way related to the Coronavirus, but oddly apropos, my birthday gift to Björn was a Swiss Army gas mask from WWII. I ordered it in December (after getting him a Swiss Army pair of snow goggles for Christmas from the same seller), way before we knew about the pandemic.

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Björn was pleased with his gift.

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…and then he started posing with props.

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Emma was really happy to get to spend time with the cats.

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Happy birthday, Kalle and Björn!

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juli: Singapura Stubborn (Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The other day, Izaak found a stick toy in Kalle’s room. It was a fuzzy green ball with a bell and a leather “tail” attached to an elastic cord, with the stick stuck in a crate.

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He really wanted to play with that toy, but I was in the middle of doing laundry, so I didn’t move the stick for him. But that wasn’t really what he wanted; he just wanted to play with the soft toy on its own, not as a stick toy.

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Singapuras are very…focused little cats. When they want something, they don’t give up easily.

You can watch Zak’s determination in this video…it went on a lot longer than just this, though. There’s stubborn…and then there’s Singapura stubborn!

Aby-a-Day- 19 Mars: Kalle’s birthday card from Emma (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week I posted the birthday card Emma drew for Björn. Turns out, she also drew one for Kalle! (Björn and Kalle’s birthdays are three days apart.) And, like Björn’s card, Kalle’s card features cats that look especially Abyssinian-like. And, even though she’s coloured brown, she has a bow on her head, so I think she’s meant to be Lorelai.

I find the drawing on the inside of the card particularly hilarious. The first side says, “Congratulations you are now 16 years old!” but the other side…it says, “That was not me.” Even though she doesn’t live with cats 24/7, Emma clearly understands cats. I suspect this is meant to be Jacoby.

Emma added another drawing on the back of the card. It’s a black and white version of the cat on the front…perhaps it was meant for Kalle to colour in?

Aby-a-Day – 8 Mars: Logan’s only birthday (Friday Flashback)

Tomorrow would have been Logan’s second birthday. Sadly, he only had one birthday, just like Gun-Hee.

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This was me and Gun-Hee with his first birthday “cake,” twelve years ago. My, how things have changed since then!

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Unlike Izaak, Logan had no fear of his lit candle.

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Logan looks so much smaller than Zak, too.

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Logan’s birthday toy was a little ladybug that still sits atop our microwave. Unlike Zak and his furry mousies, Logan liked shiny toys.

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Kalle’s birthday is on the 7th, and Björn’s is on the 10th of March, so Logan having his birthday on the 9th meant we had a “birthday bunch” and we saw it as one of the signs that we were meant to get Logan. Whilst I am happy we have Zak, who makes me laugh every day, I still miss the first Singapura I loved.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Mars: Wordless Wednesday (Cats by Kalle)

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Aby-a-Day – 27 Februari: Wordless Wednesday (Portable territory)

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Aby-a-Day – 17 Januari: Repeat offender (Thursday Things)

As you saw in yesterday’s post, Alfred has figured out some kind of workaround to our cabinet solution. And before you suggest it…we don’t want to move the food. This is the most convenient place to keep it, and, honestly, moving the food won’t stop Freddy from opening the damn cabinet, and he’ll keep on stealing plastic packets whether or not they contain cat food.

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Kalle took the two photos yesterday, and Björn caught this action this morning.

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By the time Björn took the photos, Freddy was nowhere to be seen. As you can see, he was all too happy to frame his brothers for the crime.

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Not that they tried too terribly hard to look innocent…

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Interestingly enough, whilst I was working on this very post, I heard a crash in the kitchen. I went to look and…yeah, no surprise here.

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Oh, hi there…

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…What?

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Far from being contrite, Freddy grabbed a packet of Jake’s food and carried it underneath the dining room table to puncture and shred. I managed to rescue it before he could so Jake can have dinner tonight.

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You can tell he’s already plotting his next move…

Aby-a-Day – 27 November: Kalle’s sketch of Jacoby (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is a little drawing Kalle did whilst we were on a train home from Jönköping using my iPad Pro and Procreate.

I set him up with a photo of Jacoby to start with.

Then we set it to 75% opaqueness, and he worked on it. It’s a little wobbly, because the train was, of course, moving. I keep asking him to finish it, because I think it has a lot of potential. I really like it.

Aby-a-Day – 18 November: “Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown” (Cinema Sunday)

After collecting Alfred, we boarded our train and got settled in our seats. We folded up the stroller, and Jacoby sat on the seat next to Kalle.

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We set Freddy’s carrier on the table and opened it up.

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“Are you sure about this?”

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Freddy was quick to get out and explore the train and his new humans.

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He was fascinated by the landscape speeding past.

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Then he went to “help” Kalle on his laptop.

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Like, literally on his laptop.

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That’s our Freddy, always helpful, right from the very start.

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Some things don’t change.

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Then he decided to lie awkwardly all over the table, taking up as much space a he possibly could. He’s still really good at this, too.

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Finally, he started to get drowsy…and settled down on my lap to sleep the rest of the trip. Awww…

Here’s a little video I shot of Freddy’s first train trip.

Aby-a-Day – 17 November: Collecting Alfred (Swedish Saturday)

Jacoby, Björn, Kalle and I had spent a long weekend in Tallinn for a cat show. On the way back, on 6 June, we met Karin at Stockholm’s Centralstation to collect Alfred.

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We got there a little early, so we had lunch in the food court.

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Jacoby was his usual well-behaved self, as always.

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Titti and Emma also met us at the station so they could see Jake and Kalle, and also meet Freddy. Tittl and Kalle stayed at the table with the luggage whilst Björn, Emma, Jake and I went to the parking lot to meet Karin with Freddy.

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We walked to Karin’s little yellow car excitedly.

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Karin brought Freddy out and introduced him to Jake.

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Which went…

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…about as well as could be expected.

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Karin, Freddy and I sat in the car whilst we dealt with Freddy’s paperwork.

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Emma helped keep Freddy amused.

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We didn’t think Jake was ready to share his stroller, so we put Freddy into a carrier, said goodby to Karin, and went to rejoin Kalle and Titti.

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Back in the station, we all got acquainted whilst waiting for train back to Skövde.

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Having gotten his hissing out of the way, Jake was very curious about the newcomer.

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This time, Freddy was the one hissing. Which I found a bit surprising, since Freddy had four littermates and grew up with three adult cats. I didn’t expect him to be so defensive.

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I think Jake was a little taken aback by Freddy’s reaction, too. They had words.

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Jake broke the spell with a nose-lick.

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By that time, our train was ready to depart, so we packed Freddy into the carrier with his baby blanket and headed out to the platform, homeward bound.

Aby-a-Day – 8 November: We’ll be right here if you need us…(Thursday Things)

A life with Abyssinians (and Singapuras) is a life of being “helped.” All. The. Time.

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Kalle is making toast with cheese. With enthusiastic help from Lorelai and Izaak. Very enthusiastic help.

Aby-a-Day – 18 October: Cuddle puddle in Kalle’s room (Thursday Things)

Kalle captured these photos a few days ago.

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Kalle has a lovechair/small sofa in his room, and the other day three cats decided it was the pefect napping spot.

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Nothing to see here…just Alfred, Lorelai, Izaak…and Izaak’s mousie.

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(As it turns out, Zak’s mousie is, in fact, an important member of this group.)

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Have you ever seen anything as adorable as these three?

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I mean, really…

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…The fact that Freddy is zonked out whilst the other two are alert and watching the camera speaks volumes.

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Of course, Freddy is so laid back, even that doesn’t faze him.

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It’s almost as if Zak was a blanket for Freddy.

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“He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.”

Aby-a-Day – 9 September: Into the woods (Part 2) (Swedish Sunday)

As you’ll remember from yesterday’s post, two years ago last August, Jacoby, Angel, Kalle and I went out for an adventure around the lake near our apartment. We found a nice place to park, and Jake couldn’t wait to get out into the forest.

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We unhooked him from the stroller, and he couldn’t wait to get out and explore. Angel, on the other hand, was perfectly content to sit in the stroller.

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The forest behind the lake was like a fairy tale, so lush and green, with moss-covered boulders and lots of ferns.

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It was so beautiful out there.

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And, naturally, the photographer in me was stunned by the way Jake’s gorgeous ruddy coat looked against the lush greenery.

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Could you ask for anything more picturesque?

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Jake was fascinated by the wilderness.

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He and Kalle walked all over, exploring.

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They made quite a pair.

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I think Jake was a little frustrated by the length of his leash, however.

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Who knows how far into the woods he would have gone had it not been for that cord of braided leather?

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Finally, it was time to get moving again.

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Jake was a little cranky at having to get back into the stroller after getting to feel like a warrior for once.

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So I appeased him by letting him peruse the bird menu.

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After that, we got drenched in a random thunderstorm. I managed to keep the cats relatively dry, but Kalle and I were pretty soaked. On the way back, Kalle went to investigate a pond.

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Jake and Angel watched him with interest.

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It was a pretty impressive pond, though.

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Even though we’re living in the 20th largest city in Sweden, we still get views like we’re in the middle of nowhere.

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You can see the rainfall on the pavement as we head home.

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When we got close to home, Jake and Angel recognised where we were and hopped out of the stroller.

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Oh, now Angel wants to explore!

Aby-a-Day – 8 September: Into the woods (Part 1) (Swedish Saturday)

These are some more photos from August 2016, a couple of months after I moved here.

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One day, Kalle was home during summer vacation, and he said we should take the cats out for a walk around the small lake near our house.

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So, we got the stroller out…

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…and we headed towards the lake.

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Jacoby and Angel seemed happy to be going out on an adventure.

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The lake is not at all far from our apartment buildings.

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Even so, I hadn’t been down there yet, so Kalle lead the way.

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Around the lake there are signs showing the kinds of birds and other wildlife that can be found in the area. I laughingly joked that they were “cat menus.”

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Jake was, perhaps, a bit more excited about going exploring than Angel was…

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Around all lakes of a certain size in Sweden, live preservers are posted at the ready in case of emergency.

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Even if it’s not a lake that anyone might possibly swim in on a whim, at least in summertime (and who would want to swim any other time), because look at these reeds!

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Here’s the stroller for comparison.

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The forest is a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees. For being so close to two apartment complexes, it’s all the more impressive.

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At least, Jake and Angel were impressed.

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Kalle showed me this wicked cool spot under the trees…and oh, it was awesome!

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We parked the stroller and prepared to explore…what we saw will be posted tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 12 July: Sleeping in Vimmerby (Thursday Things)

Our friend Summer commented on yesterday’s post that it was nice to see Angel in a post. I do try to mix it up as much as possible, but it’s not always easy since Angel tends to avoid the spotlight.

Kalle has a really awesome Vimmerby bed from Mio. It’s a modernised version of the traditional box bed that dates back to the Middle Ages, and let me tell you, I would have LOVED to have a bed like this in high school!

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Seems that Angel likes Kalle’s bed, too! She hardly ever sleeps on our beds, so when she decided to hang out on Kalle’s bed, it was pretty awesome, and we were lucky to get photos of the rare event.

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It’s great to see her branch out. It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve had her, and she still acts like she did when I first brought her home. So to see her do something like this is so special. Good girl, Angel!

Aby-a-Day – 12 June: “Of mischief he is king” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today’s drawing was made once again by Kalle. He based it on this photo of Alfred in Lorelai’s pink bed:

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I really love how he’s captured Freddy’s eyes!

Aby-a-Day – 29 May: Lorelai by Kalle (Cartoon Tuesday)

Kalle told me he couldn’t think of what to do in art class last week, so he drew Lorelai using one of my sketches from a couple of weeks ago. I have got some serious competition, people!

Aby-a-Day – 14 April: Number nine…number nine…number nine…

Today is Jacoby’s 9th birthday.

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We celebrated with the usual Poesie cat food cake.

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I barely got the candle lit before he started eating.

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I know we all learned from Jungle Book that cats are afraid of fire..

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…but that is apparently not the case when there is meat attached to that fire.

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I hope he didn’t singe too many whiskers.

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I had to blow out his candle, he was so eager to eat.

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Um, Jake? You don’t need to open your mouth THAT wide…

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Angel came to share some cat food cake.

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Apparently the way-too-wide-open eating mouth thing is a general Aby trait. Chill, Angel. It’s just food.

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Finally Alfred joined the party.

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My three Abys, ladies and gentlemen…foodaholics!