Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.

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Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.

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They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.

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When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.

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Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!

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Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Mars: Meeting Alfred (Friday Flashback)

Two years ago this week, we went to Stockholm and met Alfred in person for the first time.

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We’ve actually known him and his four littermates on Facebook almost from the day he was born.

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He was a little character from the start.

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I think he was born hungry.

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But going to see him and four other kittens running around in real life…that was an experience.

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Karin always called Freddy her “little philosopher,” and, true to the name, he took a little break from the boisterous kitten rodeo to sit on the cat tree and look out the window.

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The funniest thing I remember from my first meeting with Freddy was when his mother decided it was time to go to bed. She picked him up and carried him upstairs to the bedroom.

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Or tried to. Like most children, Freddy wasn’t ready to go to bed yet.

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It took Mom a few tries to get a good hold. Our Freddy is a fighter!

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But finally, she got a good, if awkward, grip on him…

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…and Freddy was off to bed.

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When I first met him, Freddy was a handsome little guy…

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…and, two years later, he still looks the same.

Aby-a-Day – 18 May: Splish splash, I was taking a bath (Fashion Friday)

One of the first things I do when bringing home a new kitten is to give them a bath. I know that may sound strange and a little non-intuitive, but it was actually something Sherry did when she brought us Jacoby (and which I wish I had taken photos of). She said it ensures that the new kitten doesn’t introduce anything to the resident cats from the cattery, it reduces the kitten’s “different” smell, and it distracts the kitten from being homesick at all. Ever since Jake, I have done that to every new kitten we’ve gotten, and it seems to work like a charm.

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So I introduced Lorelai to the cats and apartment, clipped her claws and popped her into the laundry room sink. I hadn’t gotten any Jerob Parisian Purple shampoo yet, so I had to make do with their Snowy Blue, which I use on Alfred and used on Logan. I certainly wasn’t going to wash her with Jake and Angel’s Mahogany Gold!

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First, I got her completely wet.

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Then I turn the water off and lather her up. Jerob shampoos should be diluted, and I usually add some of the De-greasing shampoo as well, to clean up the oils from hands petting their fur.

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Never put soap on a cat’s face though. I don’t lather beyond the ears.

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(Pause while all of you go Awwwwwwwww…)

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After she’s good and clean, it’s time for the rinse cycle.

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It is essential to make sure your cat’s fur is completely free of shampoo, or the fur will be dull and sticky.

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When you’re sure you’ve gotten out every last bit of soap, rinse one more time.

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After we’re all rinsed, it’s time to dry off.

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I use microfibre pet towels, and they really do suck up a lot of water.

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Finally, a little playtime with big brother Freddy…and the bath is forgotten.

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“Bath? What bath?”

Aby-a-Day – 13 May: Lorelai’s mother Kajza (Happy Aby Holidays)

While Sweden won’t celebrate Mother’s Day for another two weeks, today is Mother’s Day in North America, and since that’s where my mom is, today’s the day I think of.

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But my mom isn’t an Abyssinian (or a Singapura), so here is Lorelai’s mother, S*Primuz-Zezam Kajza.

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She is a very lovely blue Aby.

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Her half-sister (Rory’s aunt) was entered in the show, but Kajza was in the motorhome with Rory and her sister, Maya.

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Kajza was there to say goodbye to her two daughters.

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They were too busy playing to pay much attention to Mom, though.

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I wonder if Kajza misses her girls. I would say that Rory misses her mom…

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but, you know…she really doesn’t seem to miss her old life at all! She assimilated so quickly it’s like once she got into the carrier, she never looked back.

Aby-a-Day – 11 May: Remembering Gun-Hee (Friday Flashback)

Lorelai has been with us for a week now, and it’s like she’s always been here. She’s feisty, trusting, playful, curious and just…perfect. Jacoby growls at her, she doesn’t care. She pushes Angel and Jake away from their leftovers if she’s still hungry. She holds her own with Alfred even though he’s nearly 10 times her size. She’s had no litter box issues, no eating problems…nothing. She just integrated herself right into the cat family.

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Kind of like another Aby kitten I know. Gun-Hee was a lot like Rory. Jake, Freddy and Logan were somehow not as easy. They all had giardia as kittens, and, I don’t know. It just felt like it took a lot more work managing those three as kittens compared to Rory and Gun-Hee.

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We got Gun-Hee on 15 December 2006, the day before he turned three months old.

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We tried to keep him separated from Tessie, Kylie and Patrick when we first brought him home. That lasted about five minutes. He would have none of it. The older cats were…not the most welcoming at first.

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Gun-hee didn’t care.

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He just stood his ground.

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For some reason, Patrick was his particular favourite. Patrick was still missing Harri, who had died four months earlier.

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Gun-Hee eventually wore him down.

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He loved Patrick.

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Kylie was the closest to him in age (she was only 17 months older than him), so they also became friends rather quickly.

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Tessie was a little slower to thaw.

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But Gun-Hee eventually melted her, too.

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He also loved the floor-to-ceiling cat tree in my old apartment.

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He loved being on the top, epsecially.

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Rory takes on that same floor-to-ceiling cat tree and, if she falls off, she just climbs back up. As I am typing this, she’s at the very top of it, trying to touch the ceiling. Gun-Hee was like that, too.

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Another thing they have in common is shoulder-riding. Neither Jake, Angel, Freddy or even Logan have ever been able to stay on a shoulder. Jake is particularly bad at it; I say it’s like he has magnets on his feet that are the opposite of the ones on people’s shoulders and he just can’t stay on. It’s nice to have a shoulder-riding kitten again.

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And Gun-Hee could be cuddly, too. Just like Rory. It’s a little eerie how much she reminds me of him.

Aby-a-Day – 6 April: Alfred’s father (Friday flashback)

This is the fourth installment of posts about Alfred’s family. I was lucky enough to get to meet both of his parents, all of his littermates, and some other relations as well. Today we meet Alfred’s father and his cousins. Last week’s post is here.

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Freddy’s father is an absolutely stunning ruddy named SE*Maghreb’s Snusmumriken. Of course, his father’s awesome ruddiness is also part of the reason why Freddy is so dark for a black silver Aby.

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He is also a poser, like Jacoby. He knows how handsome he is!

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Snus is also super friendly, which has definitely rubbed off on our Freddy.

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He’s also brilliant with kittens. Which is lovely; not all tomcats are.

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Especially when the kittens aren’t theirs! These cute sorrel babies are actually Snus’ sister’s kits.

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It reminded me a bit of watching lion cubs play with the big male lion.

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Those cousins were pretty adorable, too. Either playing alone…

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(Hey! Be careful!)

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…or together.

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The cousins were also supremely adept at posing, just like their father.

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…Well. Mostly.

But it was so much fun and such a special opportunity to meet so many members of Freddy’s family! Not often you get the chance to do that.