Aby-a-Day – 13 October: “They call me baby driver, once upon a set of wheels…” (Silly Saturday)

These photos are from May, when we first got Lorelai.

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She was pretty adorable riding in Jacoby’s big yellow stroller.

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First we have her ridesharing with Alfred.

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He was so much bigger than she was, back then.

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She was really adorable in the stroller with Freddy.

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But a couple of weeks later, Rory was in the stroller with Angel.

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That time, she was really working the cute. Look at her chill!

Aby-a-Day – 30 June: “A lady never gets her own eggroll. A lady never gets her own anything!” (Cat Show Saturday)

Today was Lorelai’s very first cat show in Forshaga, just north of Karlstad, in Värmlands Län.

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When we got to the benching area and looked at the catalogue, we got two surprises…One, there was a little ruddy girl who was born the exact same day as Rory!

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Her full name is SE*Cat Claw’s Master-Class (I don’t know what her nickname is), and apart from the fact that she looks more like Jacoby, the rest of her was just like Rory.

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She really wanted me to open the cage door and play with her.

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“Oooh, shiny!”

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But the other surprise was even bigger: Rory has a half brother! SE*Cat Claw’s Lord of Light’s father is the same as Rory’s: Norwegian-born Tejas Glenn! Her brother is a handsome fellow, isn’t he? He reminds me a bit of Alfred.

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So how did Rory do? Well, turns out our judge, Marie Westerlund, bred Abys, and she absolutely fell in love with our girl.

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And Rory played on the table like a champ.

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End result? She was nominated to the final panel! She didn’t get Best Kat. 4 Kitten in Show, though; a Russian Blue who is on track to be FIFe’s best kitten won the day. But, watching the judges, it looked close decision on the judges’ part, and it’s a very promising start. Let’s see how she does tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 4 June: Kamikaze kitten (Almost Medical Monday)

Lorelai had a very busy Saturday. First thing in the morning, I called her and she didn’t come. She always comes when I call her. So we looked all over for her, and finally I wondered…did she discover the gap in the balcony windows…and actually jump down?

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The balcony’s 2½ metres up from the ground (about 8 feet). It took Jacoby a couple of months to work up the nerve to try it when we first moved here. And, sure enough…I went outside and stood under the balcony and called her…and Rory came running. She jumped. Off. The balcony! And there was a guy with an off-leash bulldog across the lawn. Not good.

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So after we brought her back inside, she attempted her next death-defying act.

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I was doing some laundry, putting clothes in the dryer. But we don’t have the usual tumble dryer like we had in the States. We have a drying closet. Clothes hang in there and dry. I didn’t even know Rory was in the laundry room with me, let alone that she’d gotten into the drying closet.

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I realised she was missing fairly quickly, and got her out of there. But I don’t know how long she was in the dryer, which was set to 60° C. Not too long, thank goodness…but I don’t even want to think about what could have happened. As it was, I instantly doused her with cold water, just in case.

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Alfred was first to check on how she was after her dunking.

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Freddy is such a good big brother.

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Rory didn’t enjoy her cold shower. Hopefully she’ll remember it and avoid the drying closet.

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It was a harrowing Saturday morning. But it goes to show you: No matter how much experience you have with cats and kittens, they can still surprise you. I would never have thought Rory would try to jump off the balcony, and I had no idea she’d gotten into the dryer. Without eternal vigilance, the unspeakable can happen.

Aby-a-Day – 3 June: “Toys are a caricature of reality” (Cinema Sunday)

I think we are in a golden age of cat toys right now. There is a lot more attention paid to the unique needs of cat toys vs dog toys these days, and toys are designed with an increased focus towards cats’ specific needs. But do the things we think are fun for cats to play with the same sorts of things that cats actually think are fun to play with?

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Back in the States a few years back, Petco came out with a collection of Star War toys and accessories. They have just arrived in Sweden, apparently, because I have seen them in several shops here. Most of the cat toys are along the lines of mice dressed like Luke and Leia or C-3PO and R2-D2, but this one really caught my eye: Han Solo mousie in carbonite crinkly cat toy! It’s basically a crinkle toy, with a mousie. Dressed as Han Solo.

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Mousie Han also can come out of the carbonite.

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Lorelai was…underwhelmed.

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Oh, she tried to make it be fun…

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But it kind of just wasn’t.

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So then I showed Rory the Grumpy Cat toy. This one is basically a furry rattle ball with a tail.

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Now, that’s what I’m talking about! says Rory.

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Rory freaking loves this toy!

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Awww…look at poor Mousie Han Solo over there. Does Rory feel bad about snubbing him?

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NOPE.

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Finally, I showed Rory what I thought would be the winner: the chirping bird toy.

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It’s definitely one of the prettiest cat toys I’ve seen. The tail feathers are lovely, and the fur used for the body looks feathery. When moved, it makes a variety of different, very realistic birdsong sounds.

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Alfred actually checked the bird out first, while Rory was still busy with Grumpy Cat.

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Finding that it wasn’t food, Freddy soon lost interest.

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Finally I got Rory’s attention and she came to investigate the bird.

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I think at first she was a little afraid of it.

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She played with it for a while…but eventually went back to her bestie, Grumpy Cat. Out of the three, that seems to be the favourite. The bird is great, too – it’s my favourite (as if that counts for something). As for Mousie Han Solo…yeah, I think that toy was made to appeal to the owners, not the cats.

Mere photos could not capture the hilarity of Rory playing with the bird, though. Here is a video of her playing with it that I dare you not to laugh at.

Aby-a-Day – 5 May: “Life is short. Talk fast.”

Today’s post is going to be short and quick, because it’s been a very long day, spent mostly either on trains or walking. But today we added S*Backilandets Mercedes von Ekorntorp, better known as Lorelai (Rory for short). This is Lorelai and her sister, Maya. Annnnddd…yeah, I may or may not have picked the two of them up, kind of made them dance, and sang the the “Sisters” song from White Christmas.

I have a lot of photos of Rory’s trip home and first encounter with the boys, but for now, these will have to do.

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Angel was unimpressed. Curious, but unimpressed.

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Alfred was so interested in Rory. He loved her at first sight.

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Freddy really misses his little buddy Logan. He is head over heels in love with his new little sister. He’s going to be a great big brother.

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Jacoby…well, he’ll warm to her. Eventually. I hope.

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But they are actually related! On her father's grandmother's side, she and Jake are related through Instincts Klein Bonaire. And she and Freddy are related by at least Purrsynian's Jambe Finite, and probably closer…but I haven't had time to research it. And then if Angel's breeder and sister are who I think they are, Angel is related to everyone, distantly, too. We really are one big happy family.

Aby-a-Day – 4 May: “Oy with the poodles already”

You may remember my post last Thursday, I mentioned that, before we even knew Logan was sick, we had arranged to get another Aby kitten. What happened was, at the Scandinavian Winners show, I was across the aisle from an Aby breeder from Uppsala, and she had a very cute sign on top of her cage saying she had kittens available. So I took one of her little slips of paper, which said that not only did she have kittens…but they were blue kittens!

I showed the paper to Björn, and unlike most normal, sane husbands, he did NOT say, “Are you freaking kidding me? Another cat!? No more cats without a divorce!” but instead said, “Are they show quality? And…maybe a girl kitten? She could be a show friend for Logan, and I could show her while you show Logan…”

So yeah. That happened. And then we found out Logan was sick…but tomorrow we are collecting Lorelai (Rory for short).

Now, everybody say it with me, “FIP is NOT contagious“…but I still want to be as careful as possible. So I’ve been cleaning the house, cat beds, toys, everything with Virkon. If you aren’t familiar with this miracle potion, you should be. It has no smell. You can spray it, dip things into it, mist it over the population (for example, in chicken coops). You can put it in a steam floor cleaner. You can use it as a pre-wash in the laundry. You can even use it as a shampoo on animals and livestock! So I have gotten the place as clean as I can so at least I know I did everything I possibly could.

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I also scrubbed and sanitised all the litter boxes and Litter Lockers and put in all fresh litter (That’s them all piled up outside the bathroom, where I hosed them down in our tub using the shower massage). Since moving to Sweden, we’ve gone to Pee Wee pine pellet litter (and the special boxes that go with it) in five of our six boxes. The other box contains Majstor a clumping, corn-based litter. When we got rid of clay for once and for all, Pyret refused to use the pellets, so this was a compromise she accepted. After she died, at least one cat was still using it, so we kept it on, and now I guess we’ll just keep on using at least one box of it just in case.

Both of them are brilliant, though: light, inexpensive, virtually dust-free, and almost odourless!

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Here are all the shiny, clean boxes back in their places and waiting for fresh, unsullied litter.

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And here they are all filled up!

Another thing I like to do when adding a new family member is to bathe the newcomer, not only to reduce introduction of any germs unfamiliar to our household from the kitten’s home, but to make the newcomer smell less different.. But this time around, I thought not of bathing just Rory…but of bathing the resident cats here as well. Afterall, germs, and smells, can go both ways. Jacoby, Alfred and Logan all got baths shortly after they came home, and so shall Rory when she comes home tomorrow. Besides, Jake, Freddy and Angel haven’t had baths for a while, so they were due.

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So here.

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Enjoy some photos of wet pussies.

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(Not exactly sure what was going on here…)

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Of course, Abys never look wet for very long.

Aby-a-Day – 13 April: Baby Logan (Friday Flashback)

We just spent a couple of weeks talking about Freddy before he came to live with us…so now it’s Logan’s turn. Logan was an adorable kitten. Aby kittens always look like miniature adults…Singa kittens just look…like this:

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Cute…but different. And even at seven weeks, the Singapura Stink-Eye™

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He was such a cute kitten.

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Logan and his sister Iris at 11 weeks old.

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Logan playing with his mother Naina’s tail.

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You can see why Lisa named him Vide…Pussywillow in Swedish. My little pussywillow…