Aby-a-Day – 30 Juli: Memories of Logan and Alfred together (Friday Flashback)

Facebook reminded me yesterday of Logan and Alfred, my brothers from another mother.

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I had kind of forgotten what scamps they were! They used to get into everything when they were kittens.

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Like Logan “helping” me in the laundry room.

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And he put himself in that drawer-basket himself.

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I’m not sure who the instigator of this little foray to the top of the bookshelf.

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It was probably Freddy, although Logan was no slouch when it came to getting up and down from high places. Much better than Izaak ever was.

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Then one day, I went into the bathroom and found…Freddy in one of our storage baskets.

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Still not sure how he managed to get up there without knocking off any of my Catzillas!

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He definitely looks very proud of himself.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Februari: Alfred and Logan play in the tube (Cinema Sunday)

This is part of the backlog of photos I have; these were taken 27 June 2017. This was before we had fixed up the balcony; Alfred had been with us three weeks and Logan had been with us just over two weeks. Already the “brothers from another mother” were fast friends.

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Freddy grew up with a bigger version of the IKEA tube with his littermates, so this was especially fun for him.

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Logan loved it, too.

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He pretty much loved anything Freddy did.

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That tube was a lot of fun, but they eventually outgrew it. Maybe when we get more kittens, it’ll come out again.

I also took a little movie of them playing. It’s so cute.

Aby-a-Day – 19 November 2020: Love in the time of Covid-19 (Thursday Things)

So, we have a little news: We have found another boy for Lorelai! He lives with our friend Susanna in Stockholm; you may recall we met two of her Abys, Rory’s half-brother and a girl born the same day as Rory at Rory’s very first cat show.

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His name is S*Cat Claw’s Rockstar Ritchie. He’s almost a year old, and he happens to have a brother named Rory! He’s ruddy, but his mother is fawn, so it’s possible he’ll carry cinnamon.

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This will be Ritchie’s second mating. We’re taking her to Stockholm next weekend…so keep your fingers crossed!

Aby-a-Day – 29 Oktober 2020: Dashiell’s family (Thursday Things)

This week, Meg sent me a bunch of photos of Dashiell and his littermates, along with photos of his mother, Anubis Evita Loca. Meg said, “She has never been shown; she is far too squirrely. However, she makes beautiful babies.” Okay…that squirrellyness might explain why Dash is so skittish!

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The top photo is Evita as a kitten. This photo is a photo of her a week or two later.

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I love the way baby Abys have that tuft of sticky-up hair between their ears at a certain age.

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Here’s Evita at a few months old.

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And here she is as a young adult. Dash does look a bit like her, don’t you think?

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This is Dash and his littermates, Rami, brother, and Junie Purr (now GC, RW Anubis Junie Purr). They are one week old in this photo.

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Meg didn’t send me any current photos of Junie, but here are a couple of her as a kitten.

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Here we have Dash and his brother Rami. Rami is on the left and Dash is on the right.

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Here’s Rami at one of his first vet visits.

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And here he is as an adult.

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Rami actually goes outside, too, on a leash.

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Isn’t he handsome?

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Here is Dash as a teeny tiny kitten.

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He’s a bit older here.

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And here, he’s a bit older still.

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Finally, here is Dash today. I wish we could go to actual shows. Especially CFA shows (which are rare in this part of Europe). Evita needs just one more of her children to become a Grand to earn a Distinguished Merit title.

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If I could show him, I am sure he would do wonderfully.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juli 2020: More photos of Lorelai and Io (Hipstamatic Monday)

Lorelai is still with Io, so I thought I would share a few Hipstamatic shots from our trip.

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Here she is, before she knew all the firsts she was about to experience…

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…like her first kiss…

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…and her first…um, whatever this is.

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“Oooooh…isn’t he dreamy?

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Okay, Io…now get busy getting busy!

Aby-a-Day – 11 & 12 Juli 2020: Sleepaway sex camp (Special Swedish Saturday and Sunday)

The reason for this special, two-day post is that yesterday we drove the above route in a round-trip around the middle of Sweden. The distance we travelled is roughly the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Boston to Baltimore, or Montréal to Toronto.

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The reason for such a trip? We were taking Lorelai…

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…to meet this handsome man in Överum.

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We rented a car and left around 10am Saturday, settling Rory comfortably in a carrier in the back seat.

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She isn’t showing any signs of being in heat yet, but she is doing some…odd…things, like attacking my ankles.

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Based on past experienceprevious experience, she should go into obvious heat by this Wednesday, since she had her last pill on the first of the month. Also, being around a male can speed up the process.

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We stopped for a snack at a Burger King, because there wasn’t a Max anywhere nearby. Rory was so happy to be out of the car for a while!

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Look how she tangled up her leash going around in circles!

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And she expected a share of our food, too.

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Which…she got, of course.

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I’m not sure how much of his burger Björn actually got to eat!

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Finally, around 5pm, we got to Karin’s house in Överum (we stopped at IKEA in Jönköping on the way).

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We got Rory settled in her love nest, and went for a little fika.

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While we drank tea and ate cake, Io watched us from an upstairs window.

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Then the magic moment arrived! We introduced the happy couple.

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It went pretty well.

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In case you’re wondering, Io weighs 4.5kg (between Alfred and Dashiell), and Rory weighs 2.6kg.

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Until…

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…Io used her litterbox.

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Io was interested in her, but also very cordial. He never hissed or swatted at her.

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The same could not be said of Rory.

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They spent a lot of time on the bench in the room, her underneath, him above.

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At one point, Io pooped…and stepped in it. Karin put him in the shower to rinse his feet off with the hand shower. Please note: This was Io’s first time in a shower. And just look at him. He has the best personality.

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Since the father’s personality influences the kittens, this is a great sign!

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And Karin was impressed with Rory’s fearlessness and confidence in an entirely new environment. This bodes well for the kittens they might have together.

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We also got to see Hera again. She is Freddy’s big sister, and we met her when we visited Freddy’s litter.

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When Karin saw Rory, she thought she looked like a Mini-Hera, and one time Hera walked up to us and I did a double-take, thinking Rory had gotten out!

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Just putting two fertile cats together doesn’t generally guarantee kittens, but on the drive home, we saw this rainbow (it was actually a double rainbow), so let’s hope that’s a good omen! We go back to pick her up on Friday. Let’s hope some magic happens!

Karin sent this video update to me this afternoon. Well…at least they aren’t fighting, right?

Aby-a-Day – 29 Juni 2020: An exciting announcement (Medical Monday)

I have an exciting announcement to make…in two weeks, our Lorelai is going to meet a lovely gentleman called Io, who just happens to live with Alfred’s breeder, Karin.

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We don’t know if Rory carries Cinnamon or if Io carries dilute, but it looks like a very good match. Of course I will keep you posted…but our Rory is going to be a mom!

(Edit: Someone asked about Io. He is a year old, sorrel, and he LOVES kittens. Her Somali, Iris, got out while she was in heat and met a handsome black tom. Io helped her care for them.

He also loves to go outside on his harness and leash. Because kittens’ temperaments are influenced by their father, even if they never meet him, these are two of the reasons I chose him. And since we already have a relationship with Karin, it was kind of a no-brainer.)

Aby-a-Day – 20 Juni 2020: Happy Gotcha Day! (Special Saturday)

Two years ago today, I travelled to Stockholm to collect our little Izaak.

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His harness was almost too big for him, even adjusted to the smallest size..

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He was so tiny…

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Zak and Lorelai bonded over leftovers. This is the day after he arrived.

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Two days after that, he had his first outside adventure.

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He quickly discovered his favourite, IKEA mice. This was his fifth day with us.

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The day after that…

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…we had our first trip to the vet…

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…our first visit to DjurMagazinet…

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…and our first walk home. Little Zak did a LOT in his first week with us!

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But it isn’t just Zak’s Gotcha Day. Fifteen years ago today, we answered a Craigslist ad and brought Kylie home from Quincy. We had to stop at Petco on the way home to buy a carrier!

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This is her and Tessie today, back in Boston. I can’t believe she is 15! And, in a month and a half, Tessie will be 17!

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But wait, there’s more! 29 years ago, today, I got Harri, my very first Siamese. We were on our way to an SCA event, and we picked him up on the way.

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He camped with us for his first several days with us before we got him home. That’s probably why he was such a good traveller.

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He was 14 years old when we got Kylie…but he was very fond of her. Seems that 20 June is a good day to get a kitten!

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.

Aby-a-Day – 30 March: Alfred and his mother (part three)(Friday Flashback)

This is the third 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’ll see a little bit of Freddy’s relationship with his mother. Last week’s post is here.

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While we were visiting Alfred and his littermates, Artemis, their mother, decided that Freddy needed to go upstairs to bed.

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Although she’s had several litters, Artemis seems a little unclear on the whole “carrying kittens by their scruffs” concept.

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She sort of carried him by his front neck.

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Of course, it didn’t help that Freddy wasn’t sleepy and didn’t want to go to bed upstairs.

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Okay, upstairs we go, little man.

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…A slight readjustment of grip…and we’re carrying, we’re carrying…

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Come on, you little brat…cooperate. Mommy needs…I mean, YOU need a nap!

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Mother knows best, after all.

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…And up the stairs she whisks him.

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Say goodnight, Freddy.

But what’s funny is, when Freddy wants to grab Logan by the scruff…he usually grabs him by the throat, just like his mother did to him. The only difference is, Logan doesn’t put up with it.

Aby-a-Day – 23 March: Freddy’s family (part two)(Friday Flashback)

This is the second 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’ll meet Freddy’s mom and littermates. Last week’s post is here.

Alfred’s mother, Artemis, is devoted to her kittens. She went from having a singleton, Beaver, to a very active litter of five. Five is a large litter by Abyssinian standards!

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When we went to visit the family, Artemis was present, monitoring her brood and making sure the visitors behaved.

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Monitoring five kittens is a lot of work!

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Especially these kittens! At times, they seemed to fly around the living room!

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She took time to spend a little one-on-one time with each kitten. Here she feeds Freddy’s brother, Bertil…

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…until she decided he was finished.

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She also spent a little quality time with both her sons. Freddy and Bertil have a little cuddle, wash and snack with mum.

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His sisters were busy, too. Märta and Greta were very interested in me, my camera, and my phone.

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Meanwhile, Kerstin played on the climbing board.

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I wonder if fighting his siblings for a place at the milk bar is what made him so food-obsessed?

Aby-a- Day – 16 March: Freddy then and now (part one) (Friday Flashback)

Alfred’s story actually started on 21 March 2016, when his mother, Artemis, had a litter of blue silver kittens. Sadly, only one survived, a little boy named Beaver.

Karin, his breeder, posted endless photos and videos of him as he grew up. He was a charming, sweet little survivor, growing up without kittens his own age, just his mother, father and older sister. I fell in love with him and would have adopted him in a heartbeat …but he was already spoken for.

But then, last year in February, Artemis had another litter. And this time, there were FIVE kittens, and every single one survived! There were three girls (Greta, Märta and Kerstin), two boys (Albert and Bertil), and four of them were black silver Abys while Märta, was Ruddy. They were all named after characters in Astrid Lindgren‘s books.

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When he was five weeks old, Freddy met the love of his life…food!

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Freddy at six weeks, showing off.

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Freddy has always been a bit of a goofball.

It’s wonderful to watch your kitten grow up…I have seen photos of Jacoby’s littermates and siblings, and met his father, uncle and one brother, but I never got to see them all together. And I got to see Logan together with his sister and mother and several cousins, but I didn’t get to meet his father. Freddy’s the only one I’ve seen grow up from birth, met all his littermates (and also a half-sister) as well as his father and some cousins.

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We went to Stockholm when Freddy and his siblings were just seven weeks old. We got to play with them and watch them interact with each other…something I didn’t get to do with the others.

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Watching five kittens play in a house that’s basically set up as a kitten playground is a lot of fun!

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Karin had a ton of interactive climbing play areas for the kittens…

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…Like this hanging mesh tunnel from IKEA. I actually found one for our kitten room here…but Freddy pulled it out of the ceiling.

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Freddy has always liked to be on a high perch.

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It was so much fun watching the kittens play! I took so many photos…too many for just one Friday Flashback. So, come back next Friday for more of Freddy and his family!

Aby-a-Day – 7 January: Brothers from another mother (Cinema Sunday)

Alfred had three sisters and a brother in his litter. He was, quite literally, never alone as a kitten.

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Even before he was born, they were their own gang of five (Click for video).

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He always had at least one littermate around to play with, eat with, sleep with…everything with.

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Logan had just one sister, but they were always together, too.

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They were really sweet together with Naina (Click for video).

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Freddy came home with us on 6 June, and then I picked Logan up on 11 June, five days later. Even though he rode the train back with us and Jacoby, I am sure Freddy was pretty lonely for those five days.

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Freddy and Jake were right there to meet Logan the moment I unzipped the carrier.

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Freddy was quick to introduce himself to the newcomer.

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This was Freddy and Logan the first night Logan moved in.

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This was the next morning.

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Three days later, they were playing together as though they had known each other their entire lives!

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Not only playing…

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…but sleeping together, too!

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Here are a couple of short videos of the two together. They really love each other! I can’t imagine having one without the other (Click for videos).

Aby-a-Day – 1 January: New Year’s Resolution

Okay, so the last post I made on my poor blog was 5 June…2016. Since moving with Jacoby and Angel from Boston to Skövde, Sweden…it became really difficult to make a daily post. And I don’t exactly know why. I am now a housewife and student, no longer spending 8+ hours a day working at an uninspiring job, so you would think I would have more time to blog. But for some reason, it was. Part of the problem is the sheer number of photos I have to go through. I’ve taken a LOT of photos since I moved here. How many? Rough estimate…20,000. And of course the longer I waited, the more photos I had to deal with. At first I was going to ret-con all the days I missed…but too much has happened my first 18 months in Sweden. We’ve been to cat shows in Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki (Finland, twice), and near or in Göteborg and Stockholm (several times).

I have been going to Swedish classes since October 2016, but I am nowhere near fluent yet. Jake and Angel love living in Sweden; although I do miss Tessie and Kylie, I don’t miss the fighting. Angel is much more relaxed and happy…although she still isn’t a “normal” Abyssinian.

And then, August 2017, while giving Pyret a pill, she bit down on the middle finger of my right hand. That caused me to spend nine nights in hospital and undergo four surgeries. Four months later, and it’s still quite painful. So there’s a lot of catching up to do.

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But the biggest thing that’s happened since my last post is Alfred and Logan! Freddy was born on 4 February near Stockholm, bred by my friend Karin Carlsson. His mother is a blue silver Abyssinian and his father is a ruddy. Freddy is a very dark black silver.

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We went to meet him and his four littermates (Greta, Märta, Kerstin and Bertil) as well as his parents and cousins in March, and Freddy came home with us on 6 June. He was a little older, four months old, but because of the timing (beginning of June, holiday season in Sweden, and also on the way home from the show in Tallinn), that turned out to be the best date to pick him up.

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He wasted no time making himself at home. Freddy was more or less planned to be a friend for Jake. But then there was a little surprise. Shortly after we agreed to adopt Freddy, our friend Lisa, to whom Björn delivered Naina the Singapura from Boston, messaged me with an…interesting proposition. Naina had a litter of two on 9 March, a little boy named Vide (Swedish for pussywillow) and a girl named Iris. She wanted to know if we wanted Vide, since we were a big part of the reason he and his sister were born.

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Well…we hadn’t really thought about getting two kittens, or having five cats. But we just couldn’t say no, either. I have always been curious about Singas, Jake was not happy showing in FIFe, and Freddy is too dark to do well at shows. Naina’s boy would be a show cat, and more. Singapuras are very rare in Scandinavia, having only been recognised by FIFe in 2014. There are only 53 Singapuras registered in Sweden (although Naina has just had a second litter, so there are three more), and the gene pool is still quite small. So Vide, who we named Logan after the airport where we met his mother, will be kept intact and eventually father future Swedish Singas.

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It turned out to be a great decision. I brought Logan home on 11 June, five days after Freddy. He was three months old, one month younger than Freddy.

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Freddy and Logan became instant friends.

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Freddy is a big Aby, and Logan is a Singapura, the smallest breed of cat. Despite only being 33 days apart in age, Freddy was so much larger than Logan!

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Logan’s catching up, though. I call them “The Brothers from Another Mother.” They are almost always together. Which is another reason getting both of them was such a wise move. While Freddy was intended to be a playmate for Jake…when I introduced them, it was FREDDY who growled at Jake and Angel, not the other way around. Freddy growled at Logan at first, too. But Logan simply walked up to him and purred. He was also unafraid of the big Abys.

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Angel was in this little bed. Logan wanted to be in it. Angel hissed at him. He ignored her. So they shared the bed.

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Jake wasn’t thrilled when Freddy growled and hissed at him, so he started growling at both kittens. Logan didn’t care.

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Logan is slowly wearing him down.

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And where Logan goes, Freddy follows!