Aby-a-Day – 21 Mars: Who me? I’m not doing anything…(Singapura Sunday)

I walked into the kitchen to find Izaak on the stove. And, as you can see, he’s clearly not doing anything at all suspicious.

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“La la la…pay no attention to the feline on the stovetop…”

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I have no idea what he was doing there.

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He’s not usually the one on that counter. That’s usually Alfred, looking for edibles.

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“Oh! Hi! I totally did not realise you were standing there!” (Spoiler alert: He totally did know I was there).

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“And I absolutely was not doing anything at all naughty.”

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“I promise!”

Aby-a-Day – 18 Mars: Lorelai in a box (Thursday Things)

Last weekend, we had a little box of various cheeses. The box was pretty nice for putting little things in, so we put it on the kitchen table.

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And sure enough, a little thing ended up in the box.

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Lorelai loves to chew on her claws.

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I think that’s why she hates it when I clip them for her.

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“I can do my OWN nails, Mom!”

Aby-a-Day – 24 Februari: Wordless Wednesday (We’re willing to wait for it)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 Februari: Happy 4th Birthday, Alfred! (Thursday Things)

Today is Alfred’s fourth birthday! I can’t believe he’s four already. He was very excited about his “cake,” too.

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The candles, however, gave him pause.

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For about fifteen seconds.

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Freddy seemed about ready to eat his cake despite the flames, so I blew them out.

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Then he really tucked in. At least this year, no candles were eaten on Freddy’s birthday.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Januari: Izaak’s birthday present (Thursday Things)

Izaak turned three years old on Tuesday, and I got him a little black chirpy bird made by the same company that made the favourite, beloved chirpy mouse he got for his first birthday.

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He knew what it was immediately and wanted to play with it immediately, even before we pulled out the little plastic battery thingy.

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And once it started making noises…look out!

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Usually, Zak prefers light-coloured toys, but he really liked this little black woodpecker.

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It picked it up and carried it off. He loves to carry his mousies and birdies.

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Happy third birthday, little man!

Aby-a-Day – 4 Januari: Happy 2nd birthday, Dashiell!

Today is Dashiell’s second birthday, and of course he got the usual cat food cake. He was a lot less intimidated by the flame than he was last year.

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If anything, he was almost too unintimidated. We were afraid he was going to singe his ears!

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We gave him his cake in the bedroom, for two reasons: one, he was already on the bed and he feels secure in there; and two, to protect the other cats from trying to eat his cake before he had a chance to even sniff it (and by “other cats,” I mean Alfred).

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Izaak, however, insisted on being with Dash for moral support. I reckoned that was okay, because Zak doesn’t really like regular wet cat food.

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So Dash got to celebrate with his best friend.

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Zak did check out the food…but once he sniffed it, he retreated, uninterested. Maybe he’ll change his mind in three weeks when it’s his birthday.

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“Oh, well…more for me!”

Aby-a-Day – 17 December 2020: Merry Fishmas (Thursday Things)

Pickled Herring is one of the traditional foods on the traditional foods on the Swedish Julbord (Christmas table)…so of course there’s a version of Julsill for cats!

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It’s made by Mjau, the “low-rent” version of Bozita, which I’ve mentioned before (Both Bozita and Mjau are made by Doggy AB in Vårgårda). The main difference between the two brands seems to be the range of flavours and the ingredients labels. Mjau lists “meat and animal by-products” and “fish and fish by-products,” with 4% actual herring. Bozita lists the specific animals used, and doesn’t include “by-products.”

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But do the cats mind if they get a little Julsill along with their raw? Apparently not…well, except maybe for Izaak.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Oktober 2020: Logan and the refrigerator (Friday Flashback)

A memory of Logan came up in my Facebook feed today.

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Logan was a lot more agile than Izaak is. This is Logan on a tiny ledge on the top of the door to the cabinet above our refrigerator.

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Not to say he was 100% confident up there, but the fact that he got up there at all is huge.

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I cannot imagine Izaak even thinking of trying to go up there, let alone actually doing it.

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He even started to groom himself up there!

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As similar as Singapuras seem to each other…they are definitely individuals!

Aby-a-Day – 14 September 2020: An Izaak on an IKEA stool (Hipstamatic Monday)

I took some really nice portraits of Izaak in the kitchen, but they were kind of…Meh. So I took to Hipstamatic to spice them up. The above is my favourite.

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I like this one, too…something about the melted film effect appeals to me.

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I really like the “shattered” effect on this photo, and the way it focuses on Zak’s eyes…but I cant decide which version I like better. What do you think?

Aby-a-Day – 13 Augusti 2020: Stand up to eat (Thursday Things)

Lately, Angel has started doing the cutest thing. When I give the others their evening raw chicken neck, Angel gets some dry food.

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And this is a new thing for her, but she stands up in anticipation of her snack.

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And she meows at me to hurry up, too! It’s the most adorable thing, ever, and she only started doing it a few months ago.

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She stands up for regular meals, too…but she’s cutest when it’s snack time.

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I wish she could eat a chicken neck like the rest of the cats…but she just hasn’t got the teeth for it. She’s happy with kibble, though.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Maj 2020: The Great Neck Heist (Thursday Things)

Izaak loves his chicken necks.

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I left the refrigerator door open for a minute while I was making dinner today.

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And…yeah. He jumped up into the fridge.

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Like a heat-seeking missile, Zak zeroed in on his precious necks.

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And he would have stolen one, too…if I hadn’t been standing right THERE. I think there’s a flaw in your masterplan there, cat burglar.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Maj 2020: Ribs for their pleasure (Thursday Things)

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Whenever we have spare ribs, we lock the cats out of the room. As a sort of reward, we let them chew the meat scraps and cartilage off of the bones. It’s very popular with the feline set.

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Of course Alfred is the first one to grab some bones, with Lorelai close behind.

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Freddy especially loves the cartilage bits.

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Rory may be the smallest cat in our family, but she’s feisty. She gets her share of the bones.

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But possibly the most enthusiastic bone-eater is Izaak.

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Look at him go! All that chicken neck practice is clearly paying off.

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I should have made a video. He’s making little growling noises as he gnaws.

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Angel even tries to join in the rib-gnawing fun.

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It’s kind of hard, though, since she only has two teeth left.

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So we gave her a corn cob instead.

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She was happy with that.

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Dashiell wanted to try corn, too. We may have another corn-eater in the house.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Februari 2020: “That’s when they come for your whole neck” (Cinema Sunday)

I’ve written before about how much Izaak enjoys his raw chicken necks.

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I mean, he REALLY loves them. Here he is, trying to grab a neck from the bowl.

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He actually did manage to snag one!

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But then Lorelai happened.

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The funny thing is, Dashiell is just as mad for chicken necks as Zak is. He just expresses it differently.

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Bone appetit!

Here’s the full video showing what happens when it’s neck o’clock.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Januari 2020: A kitchen mystery (Mischievious Movie Monday Mystery)

So the other day I walked into the kitchen, and the cabinet above the refrigerator, where we store the dry food we give Angel as a treat, was open. And the bag was…somehow…on the kitchen counter. Pretty sure it was Alfred, but he tried to frame Dashiell for the crime. For some reason, most of the photos I took were “Live Photos,” so here they are as a short YouTube video:

Aby-a-Day – 7 Juni: “A stove is just a source of heat” (Friday Flashback)

Last year, I mentioned how much Jacoby loved to sit in our cast-iron frying pan.

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He also enjoyed lying on the stove itself, especially in winter when the oven was on.

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It’s funny I never really noticed it before, but none of the other cats really hangs out on top of the stove. The younger cats prefer to sit in front of the microwave on the counter opposite the stove, and Angel stays on the floor.

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But the stove was Jake’s domain. He liked the stove back in Boston, too, but since it was a gas stove with uncomfortable grills, he couldn’t really lie on it.

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Our stove in Sweden is a smooth, glass-top electric stove. I’m not sure why no cat has claimed it in Jake’s absence. Perhaps it will become more popular again in winter.

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But for now, the stove remains Jake’s place…and I miss him every time I go into the kitchen and see the empty stove.

Aby-a-Day – 17 April: Wordless Wednesday (Jacoby and Logan)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 April: Another break-in has been reported (Thursday Things)

Despite using the doorstop fairly regularly, another break-in was reported in an apartment kitchen in northwestern Skövde.

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Interestingly enough, this time the thief tried to pin his crime on an unlikely suspect.

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Nice try…but next time maybe pick a larger, stronger cat who might actually be able to prise open the cabinet?

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Whilst the other cats were eating the stolen goods, our Alfred was on the bed, looking as innocent as he could…

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…which ultimately, wasn’t very innocent-looking at all.

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I had just bought someBrit Premium Sausages for them to try. They completely demolished one whole roll! I texed Björn this photo and said: “Well…guess they like the new food.”

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Even Izaak the sausage was interested in the sausage…and he only eats raw food! Seriously, though…We need to put a stop to this crime spree!

Aby-a-Day – 28 Mars: Tabula not so rasa (Thursday Things)

In the late morning and early afternoon in spring and early summer, we get some wicked awesome sunshine coming in on the kitchen and balcony side of the house.

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Any given morning, you will find an assortment of cats sprawled across the dining room table. The other morning, it was Angel, Jacoby and Izaak. Despite being a hard uncomfortable place to nap, it’s extremely popular.

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My sunshine brings all the cats to my table“…or something.

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 – 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.