Aby-a-Day – 7 June: Lorelai’s first professional photos

I got a delightful surprise today: Lorelai’s breeder, Eva, sent me the first professional photos she had taken of Rory and her littermates when they were 11 weeks old (and of course, that’s Rory front and center in the above photo).

The photos were done by Maria Westling and ArtPhoto, and they really capture Rory’s personality.

There was an event at our DjurMagazinet a couple of weeks ago, and I took everyone to have photos done. It was especially important to get professional photos of Alfred and Angel, since it’s much easier to get photos done at cat shows. Angel cannot be entered in a FIFe show, as cats missing parts aren’t allowed in shows, even as Household Pets. Not that Angel would like being shown at all. Freddy is FIFe-registered, and could be shown as a Abyssinian, of course, but his colour is so dark that he’d be laughed off the judging stand. He also has some barring on his front legs and his eyes are somewhat round. He’s a great Aby…he’s just not a show Aby. And that is okay.

There’ll be a post about that circus eventually (Björn had to work and Kalle was sick, so I had to wrangle all four cats on my own. Which was oh so much fun.

I wasn’t aware that Rory had done that before. She certainly didn’t act like she’d ever had profressional photos done!

She seems to have done wonderfully on this first go.

I love that she had these done! This was the week before we got her, and it’s so great to have pro photos from before we actually got her.

She seems to be a natural.

Pretty sure that’s her with the toy, though.

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 – June 19: Layover (Flashback Friday)

When I adopted Angel from Purebreds Plus, I had to fly out to Northern California to collect her. This wasn’t a problem at all for me since, despite living in New England, I grew up in Northern California, and my mother lives in Davis…8 miles away from Purebreds Plus’ headquarters in Dixon, CA.

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So while it wasn’t a problem for me, I did worry about Angel’s trip home to Boston. The flight had had a layover and we had to change planes in Denver. Because Angel hadn’t ever really travelled, and she had never worn a harness, I got her a MetPet Soft-Sided Security Harness. This turned out to not be such a great idea as she managed to wrestle out of it inside her carrier.

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I also prepared her a makeshift litter box using a folding shirt box and a Ziploc bag full of litter. She was having none of that, either. The next time I need to take a long flight with an Aby, I think I’ll skip the litter box attempts and just make sure I have a supply of pee pads instead.

Abys are Everywhere – Dr. Elsey’s Sneezing Kitten

How cute is this little guy? I found him at the top of the Catshows.US website when I went to enter the Seacoast Cat Show the other day.

I mean, how can you not follow that link to Dr. Elsey’s litter?

Abys are Everywhere -Swiss story about litter and cats at a show in Houston

Abys are everywhere! Today, on the Swiss news site 20 Minuten, an article about litter features an Aby cuddling with his human.

Also, Abyfriend Cynthia pointed me to this excellent slide show of “25 cats trying to figure out why they are at the cat show”.

It not only features her Aby, GC RW Absolute Crawdaddy, doing agility…

But it also features this somali, named Kondwani. I’m not sure if it’s just that thing where once you have something, you notice it everywhere, but doesn’t it seem like Abys are getting more facetime in articles and advertisements lately?

Aby-a-Day – November 20: Shop therapy

After Jacoby’s assessment, we passed a Petco on the way home and decided to stop and pick up a few things since it was right there…and Jake could come inside with us.

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Jake was all for a little shopping excursion.

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He sat in the shopping cart’s baby seat very nicely and didn’t even try to get out and walk around.

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He was, however, very interested in this display of dog and cat beds.

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I think he saw something he really liked!

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As if we don’t have enough cat napping spots in our house already – there’s more cat furniture than human furniture!

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For a boycat, Jake is a very good shopper.

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He waits so patiently in the cart.

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And he advises us on our selections.

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He really does enjoy going out and helping us shop.

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We buy a lot of litter in one trip, especially in winter, so we are sure never to run out. Currently, we use a blend of Blue Buffalo Walnut and EverClean.

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When we got to the canned food aisle, Jake really perked up.

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It’s really interesting – even though cans of food have no food-like smell, he definitely recognises the cans as “food.” He even tried to get onto the shelf with the cans!

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“Heeeyyy…why’s the bag with the Aby on it marked down?”

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I think he’s sulking a bit here because I told him he doesn’t actually get to eat any of this food. The ProPlan is the girls’ food; Jake is, of course, on a strict UT prescription diet.

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The least fun part of any shopping trip is checkout. But even then, Jake just sat in the cart and observed.

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I think he was having a good time watching the clerk scan all the little cans of food.

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I was so proud of how nicely he sat while we had our purchases rung up.

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All the Petco salespeople were pretty impressed, too. They don’t see many cats come into the store in general, let alone one who’s so blase about shopping.

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I was happy that Jake enjoyed the trip to Petco so much, especially after his hissing and growling at the assessment. He didn’t growl or hiss once the entire time he was in the shopping cart. He didn’t even meow very much. It really proved to me that it isn’t being away from his home – or his stroller – that upsets him, but it’s something about the actual therapy visit process. So I think the break will be a good thing.

Aby-a-Day – November 2: Urine luck (Serious Sunday)

This week, Jacoby has had another urinary tract infection flare-up.

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It started with him trying to pee in first one litter box, then the other…and then the first one again. Lather, rinse, repeat. So on Thursday morning, while he was trying to pee again, I slipped a little dish under his bum to collect a urine sample. And…it wasn’t yellow, like it’s supposed to be. It was pink. And I’m sure you know what pink urine means: blood. (When you have a cat with UTI issues, it helps to have a very bonded relationship; obviously, I couldn’t collect a urine sample myself from most cats, but Jake doesn’t mind if I do something like put a small takeout container under him while he’s trying to pee!)

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So I called my boss to tell him I’d be late, called the vet to tell them we were on our way (they don’t open until 9am on Thursdays), and we were off to see the vet.

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They took a better urine sample from him (it was still bloody), and gave him his first dose of a new medication.

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Of course, he took it perfectly – Jake’s great at taking pills.

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The prescription that we were given was for Cerenia, which is mainly used to prevent nausea in dogs and cats, but also has an off-label use as an anti-inflammatory. We’ve never been prescribed this medication before…and I’m not entirely sure it worked. His usual UTI cocktail is Phenoxybenzamine (an antispasmodic which also increases urine flow) and Bruprenex, a pain reliever. After 24 hours on just the Cerenia, it was obvious that he was still in pain…and he was still feeling like he needed to pee when he didn’t. I went back to the vet to get his usual medications…and by the next morning he was back to his old perky self. The Phenoxybenzamine and the Buprenex work that quickly, at least with Jake!

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He also got an antibiotic, but that was in the form of an injection rather than pills. He’s had Convenia twice before, the first time to treat his chin acne, and then again the last time he had a UTI in April.

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He took that well, too. And by today, Sunday, he’s back to normal – he not finished with his medicine yet, but he’s chasing Angel, knocking stuff over, and climbing up to the top wall shelf. If he was a kid, he’d be going back to school tomorrow.

UTIs, crystals and blockages are serious business. Jake’s never had a blockage, but he does have crystals, and he eats only prescription UT canned and dry food – and mostly the former. He is also the reason we have a drinking fountain for the cats. If you notice the warning signs (trying to pee over and over again and/or peeing in the wrong place when the cat NEVER pees outside the box), do not hesitate. Drop what you’re doing and go to your vet. Not to scare you, but an Aby breeder friend of mine lost a healthy young stud male to a blockage. She had been away, and the pet sitter didn’t know the signs. He looked like he was just asleep when she found him…but he was dead. She had an autopsy done, and he had a urinary blockage. He was only about two years old.

One thing that I am considering getting is Perfect Litter. It changes colour when your cat has a UTI, so you have another warning sign to look for. And as luck would have it, right now, the company is giving away a month’s supply of litter just for the cost of shipping ($4.99) – and they give you a $5 coupon good on your next purchase. Hauspanther posted about this on Thursday, the same day Jake went to the vet – talk about perfect timing!