Aby-a-Day – 9 Augusti: Speaking of escape artists…(Friday Flashback)

Izaak’s escape at the show last weekend reminded me of the time Logan figured out how to open his cage at one of his first shows.

loganshowcageIMG_0865

They look so similar, Logan and Zak, but they are so very different.

loganshowcageIMG_0869

As much as I love my little Zakky…I do miss Logan’s grumpy old man meow.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juli: Random practice sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

I found a couple of sketches I did back in SFI that I never posted. The first, I think we were talking about Swedish wildlife, so of course I started drawing lynxes. Then I started trying to compare a lynx to an Abyssinian.

cats+chickens-sketch

This one I did before we got Logan. We had one teacher who lived on a farm and loved to talk about all the animals she had. I guess that day, it was all about chickens. After I got tired of drawing them, I started practicing the differences between Abys and Singas. I haven’t gone to SFI for about a year now (they moved to a different location and changed teachers and we just got unengaged busywork – stuff I’d actually already done a couple of times already). But it was good for something: it made me draw more regularly than I do now.

Aby-a-Day – 6 July: Poetry in Paris (Special Saturday)

On one day of our trip to London, we took a daytrip to Paris on the Eurostar.

shakespeare_co_7804

We were only in Paris for nine hours. Not long; just enough time to see some sights, grab a bite (about which more later), and wander the streets looking for adventure. At one point, we came upon Shakespeare and Company, the famed English bookstore and sister store to San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore (you can see a tribute to the SF store above the door). I used to walk down Jack Kerouac Alley, alongside City Lights, when I was living in SF and swing dancing almost every night. So seeing this bookstore kind of resonated with me.

pariswall_7807

indifferent_7808

They have interesting snippets from news articles written on chalkboards on either side of the storefront. This was my favourite.

askmeforapoem_7806

But the best thing about the bookstore was this guy outside with his manual portable Remington typewriter. His name is Leo, and as you can see, he would write you a poem upon request. Leo only asked that you decide to pay what you think it’s worth only after you’ve read the poem. So I asked him to write a poem based on my tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan. He was impressed with the concept, and only asked what the breeds of the cats were, and confirmed that the plants were maple leaves and pussywillows. Then he thought a moment and started typing.

poem

This is what he wrote:

singapore, abyssinia
maple leaf and pussy willow

meeeeeoooooow

stare into these eyes
deeper than the wisdom
collected through the course of
nine lives
wider than the stream of
time into which so much is
washed away

meeeeeeoooooow

we are they who traverse
the limits you imagine

we are they who were once
worshipped and are glorified
still, have you discovered
why, in the course
of your one
life?

poemsig

Leo signs the back of every poem he types.

framedpoem_7949

Of course I loved it, and I paid him 10€ for his work. I also explained the story behind the tattoo, how these two boys died ten years apart from the same awful disease. About a year or so ago, I found an awesome antique glass frame that I’ve been saving for the perfect thing to put into it. I think I finally found what the frame has been needing.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj: Outside with Alfred (Cinema Sunday)

When I share the photos of Lorelai and Izaak running around outside, people ask why we don’t let Alfred run free, too.

freddyoutsideC07584

The reason for that is he was never trained to go outside offleash. We worked on leash training with him and Logan, not offleash training. It’s something I never thought to do again until I met Rory. My Siamese Harri was the last cat I trained to stay close offleash. It helped that he hated me to be out of his sight, so all I had to do was hide behind a tree, and he’d yowl and come running.

freddyzakoutsideC07591

Zak is the same way Harri was. Rory is a little more free-spirited; she knows when we want to go in, but she tries to stretch her time outside as long as she can. If I go back into the building, though, she always comes up to the doorstep trying to find me.

freddyzakoutsideC07595

But if Freddy gets out off leash, he runs off to explore on his own. This is partly because I never trained him to be off leash, and because, being the evil genius he is, when he was young he managed to open the kitchen window and the balcony sliders a couple of times without our knowing and roamed around alone for hours until we noticed him missing. Jacoby also did this; the first time he escaped, he was gone for over an hour!

freddyzakoutsideC07598

So, sorry, Freddy…you need to stay on your leash.

But really, he doesn’t seem to begrudge the kittens their offleash time. He’s perfectly happy to be outside at all, even if it’s on his leash.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Maj: “Kittens are wide-eyed, soft and sweet, with needles in their jaws and feet”

Whilst Sweden celebrates two weeks later, today is Mother’s day in North America. To celebrate, here is everyone with their mother. First we have Alfred with his brother Bertil with their mother, S*Truly Cosmic Nailah.

rorylitter

Here we have Lorelai with her brothers and sister and their mother, S*Primuz-Zezam Kajza.

logan-naina1

Here is Logan with his Boston-born mum, Sopan Naina-of-Melur.

zakmama4

Here is Izaak being taught to scratch properly by his mum in Poland, Angelina Minimali*PL.

catalina+babies1

Jacoby, his sister and brother, and their mother, Instincts Catalina of Pellburn.

gun-hee-kitten family

And finally, one of my favourite family photos of all time…Gun-Hee with his brother and sisters and their mom, Marica’s Bright Amber of Pellburn. I am grateful to the breeders who took all the above photos except the one of Freddy and his mum…it means so much to be able to see them with their littermates when you can’t always see them all together in person. I wish I had a kitten photo of Angel…with her mother or without. But at least I think I know who Angel’s mother is, so that’s something.

Aby-a-Day – 17 April: Wordless Wednesday (Jacoby and Logan)

loganjakenapC05542

loganjakenapC05543

loganjakenapC05545

loganjakecounterC05487

loganjakecounterC05489

loganjakecounterC05491

loganjakecounterC05492

loganjakecounterC05496

loganjakecounterC05497

loganjakecounterC05499

loganjakecounterC05502

loganjakecounterC05504

Aby-a-Day – 13 April: Remembering Jacoby

Today’s post was written by my husband, Björn…

jakestockholmcentralenC02742

Our Jacoby is dead. He died in the prime of his life. We had hoped that he would be with us for at least another five or six years, but that wasn’t to be. Following first the announcement of his illness, then his passing, the outpouring of love, sadness and sympathy from people, many who had never met him, was amazing. If a cat can make that kind of impression, it is a very special cat.

I saw my first Abyssinians back in 1992 at a local cat show. My then partner and I went there, as she had grown up with cats. According to her, I fell for the Abys then and there, and I had said something along the lines of that we should get one eventually.

In 1999, we got two cats: Pyret, a housecat, and Olivia, a mixed breed. An Aby was something in the distant future, if at all.

jakebjornC03008

jakebjornC03006

jakebjornC02974

Fast forward to 2015. Koshka and I were chatting on Messenger. I knew about Gun-Hee, Angel and Jake, having followed her LiveJournal and seen them on her Christmas cards. Our old friendship took an unexpected turn, and suddenly we were a couple. I went to Boston and met her for the first time in 15 years. I was introduced to Jake and Angel, and Jake and I got along great from the start.

jakeangelarlandaIMG_5243

pyretwelcomeC08229

cocojakeopenC08251

jakepyretmeetC08334

jakeexploreC08258

jakeexploreC08335

In 2016, Koshka and the cats moved to Sweden. Jake decided he liked the apartment. My aging cat Pyret wasn’t convinced that the newcomers were welcome, but the apartment is big and they didn’t have to rub shoulders.

Soon, we began taking Jake to shows, and the second part of his show career started. That meant going to hotels, usually by train, but a couple of times it was by overnight ferry. Jake loved to travel and see new places.

jaketaillinnC00170

jaketaillinnC00252

jakebjorntaillinnbusC00343

Going places meant going in his stroller. One might think that a grown man would feel self-conscious pushing a cat around in a stroller, but that didn’t bother me – I felt pride! Wherever we brought Jake, he drew attention. Strangers would smile, snap photos, ask questions, and pet him. Jake loved the attention. Many people hadn’t heard about Abyssinians, and thus he became an excellent ambassador for the breed and for cats in general.

NEMOjakeTK_IMG_0254 1

jakeseacoast2016IMG_4134

jakecocowinURKC03123

Jake was an extremely handsome cat. His vibrant coloring, elegant body, and alert expression won him many prizes, but other people than cat show judges found him striking. But his beauty went deeper than his ticking. He was an affectionate, intelligent and social cat, who made visitors feel welcome.

Sure, he had his quirks, like sitting in the cast-iron frying pan, rolling around on beds kicking himself in the head, and eating any and all plastic bags. Traveling by car meant that one would have to endure his meowing every fourth second for an hour or more.

jakeanicura-lördag_6649

jakeanicura-lördag_6653

jakebjornanicura-lördag_6668

When we drove to the animal hospital in Jönköping a week ago, his meowing was barely audible. How I wanted it to be as loud as it used to be! We brought his carrier inside, and he explored the examination room on shaky legs. Koshka and I said goodbye to him, not expecting that it would be the last time we saw him alive. Then followed days filled with worry, and then came the news that Jake, that most excellent cat, had left us. I cried.

jakebjornsmom-jul

The last year has seen so much death. My mother passed away, and Pyret and Logan died. We didn’t expect to lose Jake, who seemed almost indestructible, but fate wanted otherwise. I got to be his dad for 34 months, which was way too short, but he will stay in my memory until my own time is up. Jake, you made our lives richer, and you were loved by people on two continents. We are all made from stardust, but some shine stronger than others.

jakebjornbegC09217 2

Goodbye, Jake. I miss you.

Also, Jake’s GoFundMe campaign is closing tomorrow, Sunday 14 April on Jake’s 10th birthday. We don’t know how much over the insurance cap his bills are, but we still believe there will be something to donate to New England Abyssinian Rescue.