Aby-a-Day – 3 Juli 2020: I miss cat shows (Friday Flashback)

These are photos from when Lorelai got a NOM at the very first show she was entered in.

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We had Izaak at this point, but he hadn’t gotten his SVERAK registration yet, so he couldn’t be entered. This was the only show she went to alone.

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The photos of Rory trying to nom her NOM ribbon are among my favourite photos of her.

We haven’t been able to go to a cat show since last November (thank you, global pandemic), and I really miss it. I think the cats do, too.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari 2020: Déjà vu (Friday Flashback)

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.

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At first, of course, we started him out on a leash.

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He soon learned to go outside without one.

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But it was so cute to see him interact with Angel outside.

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For several weeks after Dash joined our family, Angel looked at him like she’d seen a ghost.

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With good reason.

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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!

Aby-a-Day – 7 Augusti: Wordless Wednesday (The day after tomorrow…)

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Happy Gotcha Day, Alfred! (Thursday Things)

Two years ago today, we met Karin at Stockholm Centralen and collected Alfred on our way back from a cat show in Tallinn.

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But I haven’t ever posted how Freddy coped once he got to our apartment.

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And the short answer is…he was completely unfazed.

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No mum? No littermates?

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No problem!

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I think Freddy was the easiest kitten we’ve integrated into our family, but then none of our kittens have been that hard to introduce to the others.

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But Freddy is just so laid back and easy-going…He integrated himself. Of course, five days later, we got Logan, and he had a built-in best friend, but even without Logan, Freddy would have done just fine.

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And here’s our Freddy, almost two years later, on the same sofa with Izaak. He’s our genius philosopher, and I love him.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Juni: An announcement (Cat Show Sunday)

This is Anubis Dashiell Hammett. My friend Meg took him to his first cat show today. It was a small, one-day CFF show in Worcester today. He won two Best Kitten Shorthair Specialty, and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best Allbreed Kitten. Not bad for his first show!

But more than that, Meg will be going with Russell to a CFA show in Finland in August. And Björn and I will meet up with her…and we’ll take Dash home with us! He is related to both Jacoby and Taz, and Meg wanted me to have him. We’ll register him in FIFe and show him along with Izaak and Lorelai.

I can’t wait to see how he fits in with our little clan!

Aby-a-Day – 3 Maj: Tacoby Friday (Friday Fashion Flashback)

In the States, Taco Tuesday is a thing. But here in Sweden, it’s Taco Friday.

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Because of Jacoby’s namesake, tacos always remind me of Jake.

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When he was a kitten, I had to get him some catnip taco toys.

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He loved those things! I wish I knew whatever happened to them. These photos were taken just a couple weeks after he joined our family.

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He even had a little taco charm that he used to wear on his collar with his tag. You can see it in this photo.

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A few years later, I found Jake a taco costume.

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Which he wore with his usual aplomb. Look at him! It might as well be a silk tuxedo the way he’s modelling it!

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Jake was always so chill when it came to wearing his outfits. People always used to ask me how I got him to wear his costumes. I would always kind of shrug and say, “I just ask him to, and he does it, because we’re partners.”

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Damn. Now I really miss Jake…and I am dying for some tacos!

Aby-a-Day – 14 Januari: Lorelai vs the Thing (Movie Monday)

When Lorelai was a tiny kitten, she was fascinated with the television. These photos are from 22 May, when Rory had been with us for about two weeks.

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She really got into trying to interact with the people on the screen! She’s since outgrown her interest in the TV, but it was awfully cute (and not a little bit annoying) while it lasted. Also, if you look closely at the second photo, you might notice some previous Miniature Monday post subjects.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Januari: 12 years ago this week…(Friday Flashback)

12 years ago this week, on 7 January 2007, I posted about Gun-Hee’s first visit to Petco.

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He was quite impressed with the mice.

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The birds…not so much.

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Those were always more Tessie’s thing.

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And Jacoby’s, too.

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I’m just glad that nobody tried to buy him for $3.99, though!

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…

Aby-a-Day – 27 May: Rolling around on the bed since 2009 (Friday Flashback)

You may recall that Wednesday’s post featured a silly photo of Jacoby rolling around on my bed.

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This isn’t exactly a new thing with him.

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He’s been rolling around like a goof on my bed since he arrived to stay with us in 2009!

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These were taken on 7 September 2009, just a week before Jake turned 5 months old.

Other People’s Abys: Maisy Hunts with StarClan

I cannot believe I am writing this post. I cannot believe that this is happening.

Back in January, I reported the sad news that my friend Kelli lost her Aby Emmy. In March, she adopted a new Aby girl, Maisy.

Sadly, just this past weekend, Maisy was diagnosed with FIP and Kelli made the horrible, painful decision to put her to sleep. Losing two beloved Abys in less than six months…oh, Kelli.

It’s especially painful since Kelli and I met because we shared a loss of Abys to FIP, her Maggie and my Gun-Hee. It’s never easy to lose a cat…but it’s so much harder when they don’t even get a chance to grow up.

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear Maisy.

Aby-a-Day – 7 May: “Mum” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Mum.” Remember, both Jacoby and Gun-Hee were Canadian born and bred. So they both have mums.

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Here is Gun-Hee with his mum, Amber, and his siblings.

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And here is Jake with his mum, Catalina, and his siblings.

Both of these photos were taken by Sherry, for which I am eternally grateful. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers…human, feline, and mixed-species.

Aby-a-Day – 27 March: Gun-Hee’s Easter

So today is Easter, which isn’t really that big of a deal for me or my family.

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But I always think of Gun-Hee’s first Easter.

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I had bought Kylie some of those plastic eggs last year for her first Easter, so I found them again and brought them out for Gun-Hee.

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He had such a good time playing with them!