Today is Kylie’s 14th birthday. She was such a tiny kitten when we got her…
…and here she is on St. Patrick’s Day, ignoring the parade.
When I moved from Boston to Skövde, only Jacoby and Angel came with me. Kylie was always my ex’s cat, and Tessie, who was, in part, a 40th birthday present from my mom, helped raise Kylie and taught her how to cat. As much as I love Tessie, leaving her with Kylie was the best decision.
Clearly, you can see that was the right decision. They are bestest best friends.
Tessie is now 15 (and almost a half) years old.
To look at her, you would never guess she was that old!
I mean, here she is five years ago…she must have a little kitty portrait in her attic!
She still loves boxes.
And warm laundry.
I can’t believe she’s 15.
Kylie turned 13 last April.
She, like Tessie, does not look as old as she is, and is quite healthy.
She is still the only cat of ours who was born in Boston (well, Quincy). Tessie was born in Oregon, Angel in California, and Jacoby in New Brunswick. Only Kylie is a native New Englander.
(Not gonna lie…I do miss that view…)
Kylie is still as pretty as ever, too.
Right from the start, Kylie and Tessie were besties.
Thirteen years later, nothing has changed.
This morning, Facebook greeted me with a reminder of a post I made four years ago. I was challenged to post five photos of my cats, and I decided to post five group photos. Getting a photo of all the cats in the house together at the same time is harder than some might think. So, because of the reminder that Facebook sent me, I decided to post all the “family photos” I have been able to capture over the years.
The oldest is this, of Sigrid, Harri, and Patrick cuddled together on my sofa. This was taken in autumn 1997. It looks cuddly, but actually Sigrid and Tricky were sleeping there, and Harri decided to squeeze in between them. Still cute, though.
This is after I’d moved to Boston. Harri and Patrick had been joined by Tessie and Kylie. This is the first photo of all of them together.
This is my favourite photo of this group. I even used it as a Christmas card.
…And this would be the outtake of that photo…
This was Christmas 2006. Harri had died in August and we had just adopted Gun-Hee.
This photo is less posed, but more my favourite. Love Kylie’s arm!
Another photo of Gun-Hee with Patrick, Kylie and Tessie, this time all gathered on our bed.
This is another shot from that session, “arted up” in Photoshop.
One evening, all the cats lined up on the back of the sofa.
I had this shot…but Gun-Hee moved his head.
Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to replace Gun-Hee’s head and make this into a usable image.
This is another “art” composite photo. All of them were on the tree together, but this is multiple shots combined so each cat looks good.
Food and the kitchen is a great way to get everyone together. Here we have (anticlockwise) Jacoby, Angel, Tessie and Kylie.
However, they did have other motivations to gather together.
After we moved to Sweden, the kitchen was more a gathering point than ever. Here we have Alfred, Jake, Angel, Logan and Pyret.
And then, suddenly…our five cats became Jake, Freddy, Lorelai, Angel and Izaak.
A collection that was also easier to gather in the kitchen.
But they also gathered spontaneously on our bed! No Photoshop required.
Back in my old apartment in Somerville,I had this aswesome floor-to-ceiling cat tree from Drs Foster and Smith, and it was well-loved by Harri, Patrick, Tessie, and Gun-Hee…but especially Kylie.
Specifically, the fleece tunnel that hangs from the first level platform.
Most cats want to go high, and eschew the low-hanging tunnel, but not Kylie.
At the time, Kylie had a “knitten,” a little kitten that looked like her. It was her favourite toy, and she, of course, took it with her into the tree-tunnel.
“Hey! Come back here and enjoy this with me!”
But after Kylie was young, the tree went into storage, and no cat got to climb it until we moved to Sweden, but even once we set that old tree up in Björn’s apartment, literally no cat used that tunnel…until Lorelai showed up on the scene.
Rory discovered that tunnel and she owned it.
I know it’s not in focus, but this photo captures Rory’s joy within the tunnel.
It’s so cute watching her loll about in that thing.
I wonder if it’s a kitten thing? An adult cat can easily fit in the tunnel, but none ever lie in it.
When Izaak arrived, he tried to share the tunnel with Rory.
It was a bit crowded in there for the pair of them (look at Rory’s back foot!), but they made it work.
For a while.
Then Zak started to sort of ooze out the backside of it.
Pretty sure he was pushed…
…because a certain little girl seemed awfully proud of herself once she had the tunnel all to herself again.
“…What? I didn’t do anything. He wanted to get down!”
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.
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.
We got Gun-Hee on 15 December 2006, the day before he turned three months old.
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.
Gun-hee didn’t care.
He just stood his ground.
For some reason, Patrick was his particular favourite. Patrick was still missing Harri, who had died four months earlier.
Gun-Hee eventually wore him down.
He loved Patrick.
Kylie was the closest to him in age (she was only 17 months older than him), so they also became friends rather quickly.
Tessie was a little slower to thaw.
But Gun-Hee eventually melted her, too.
He also loved the floor-to-ceiling cat tree in my old apartment.
He loved being on the top, epsecially.
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.
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.
And Gun-Hee could be cuddly, too. Just like Rory. It’s a little eerie how much she reminds me of him.
Today is Kylie’s 13th birthday! She and Tessie are still living happily in Boston. They’re a bit older, but doing well.
These go back to when I still lived in Boston. I was brainstorming ideas about all the hoops I had to go through to feed Jacoby, Angel, Tessie and Kylie. When Kylie was a tiny kitten, we made a box with a hole only she could fit through so the adult cats wouldn’t eat the higher-calorie kitten food. We did this with Logan, too, so he could have food whenever he needed it.
This was some kind of idea about the kitten box and the menacing big cats hovering around it. I still am not sure where I was going with this.
This was an idea about the logistics of feeding. At the time, Jake and Angel lived with Tessie and Kylie. Kylie was a slow and picky eater, while Jake scarfs down his food and looks for more. He had to eat UT food, and we didn’t want him eating regular food, so he ate in the spare bedroom. Angel ate in the bedroom, because she also needs UT food, and also because Tessie would bully her and keep her from eating. Tessie and Kylie could eat together, because Tessie wouldn’t try to steal her food.
We have a similar system here in Sweden, because of eating styles and special diets. Jake doesn’t like raw and still needs UT, and he eats in the bedroom. When Alfred and Logan were kittens and ate the same food, we fed them in the Kitten Room and Angel on the cat tree. Pyret used to need eat a renal/hepatic diet, and we fed her on her chair. Angel never tried to eat Pyret’s food, so that worked. When Logan was still eating kitten food after Freddy was neutered, we fed Logan in the Sturdi Shelter and Freddy ate alone in the Kitten Room, but now that the Suprelorin has kicked in, they are back to eating the same food. Between the voracious Aby appetite and the special diets, feeding our cats is a bit like that old riddle about the farmer and the fox, goose and bag of beans!