Aby-a-Day – 22 Januari: Feel the Bern! (Photoshop Friday)

The best thing to come out of the Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday (apart from the obvious, of course), was this image of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in full-on New England winter gear, including mittens made from recycled materials by one of his constituents. The minute the cameras turned on Bernie, Twitter and the internet went berserk (in a good way).

bernielogan

When I saw Bernie, the first thing I thought of was Logan in his coat. I thought maybe Bernie just needed some company at the Inauguration.

jakesnowbernie

But then I realised that the real meme is more about putting Bernie in places, including practically any place on Earth. So…Here’s Bernie sitting in my front yard, watching Jacoby and Olaf.

jakeangelberniesnow

Bernie loves him some Social Democracy, but maybe Sweden’s a little too far away for him to commute from his day job. Better keep him in New England. He seems like he’d enjoy Rolling Bridge Park. And if you were wondering what Bernie’s reaction is to all this, Seth Myers asked him about that, and here’s what he had to say.

Aby-a-Day – 25 December 2020: God Jul, Allihopa! (Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of Christmas three years ago. We didn’t know it at the time, but it was our last Jul with Logan, and it was also our last Christmas at Björn’s mother’s house.

loganjultrain_1621

We took the train to Jönköping Julafton morning. It was fairly chilly, so he wore Jacoby’s old snowflake hoody.

jakejultrain_1628

Jake had a snazzy new sweater of his own.

loganjulmums_1633

Jake had been to Björn’s mom’s house once before, but this was Logan’s first time.

julmatC08422

julmatC08418

As I’ve said before, Björn&’s mom always made the perfect traditional Swedish Julbord, and it was marvellous. We had the cold courses (hard-boiled eggs with caviar, pickled herring, and smoked salmon)…

julmatC08426

…mustard-crusted ham, Jul cheese and red beet salad…

julmatC08417

…prinskorv and meatballs (before cooking, here)…

julmatC08431

…and sausage, cabbage rolls and Janssons frestelse, which is basically scalloped potatoes that are julienned instead, with anchovies added. It’s delicious, I promise.

godjulappleC08410

Anyway, I had found this special Jul apple at the grocery store, and brought it to Björn’s mom because I thought she’d like it.

logangodjulapple_1637

Christmas morning, Logan was sitting on a kitchen table chair, and he looked so cute I had to pose him with the apple. The rest is (Facebook) history.

Aby-a-Day – 10 December 2020: Sad news in the Singapura world

The other day I learned that Jana Baldwin Katzalano Singapuras passed away. She was such a force in the Singa world…Katzalano is in so many Singapura pedigrees.

logantreeC08832

Although Izaak has no Katzalano cats in his pedigree, Logan did, and our friends Stellan and Hans Owe have some Katzalano cats. Although I only knew her through Facebook, she will be missed.

Aby-a-Day – 8 November 2020: Technical difficulties (Serious Sunday)

I have been trying so hard to keep this blog going, and make sure to post everyday. An I will still do my best. But Friday, I noticed my 2015 MacBook Pro was…broken.

macbookproFri1

macbookproFri2

Like, really broken. I suspect that it is a battery issue, but my machine isn’t eligible for replacement. I think it’s probably because it was already replaced, in March 2016.

macbookproSun1

I have been staying off it as much as possible since I noticed it, but I think it’s worse. This is how it looks today.

macbookproSun2

macbookproSun3

Pretty bad, right? I have been keeping it turned off – and unplugged – unless I absolutely need to be on it.

macbookproSun4

I have already ordered a replacement, I wasn’t really ready to get a new laptop right now…but it was five years old, and it was going to happen sooner rather than later, so…yeah. It is what it is. I will need to find a workaround so I can still use Photoshop, because the updated iOS (Catalina) doesn’t support it. But there are ways to make it work.

macbookproSun5

…but in the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep posting on my phone and iPad until the new one arrives. Which I hope is soon.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Oktober 2020: Logan and the refrigerator (Friday Flashback)

A memory of Logan came up in my Facebook feed today.

loganfridgeC06385

Logan was a lot more agile than Izaak is. This is Logan on a tiny ledge on the top of the door to the cabinet above our refrigerator.

loganfridgeC06390

loganfridgeC06394

Not to say he was 100% confident up there, but the fact that he got up there at all is huge.

loganfridgeC06397

I cannot imagine Izaak even thinking of trying to go up there, let alone actually doing it.

loganfridgeC06405

He even started to groom himself up there!

loganfridgeC06409

As similar as Singapuras seem to each other…they are definitely individuals!

Aby-a-Day – 25 September 2020: Licking leads to biting (Friday Flashback)

Facebook has been reminding me a lot about Alfred and Logan lately. This one came up today.

logannap_0188

Look at little Logan, sleeping peacefully on the IKEA cat bed.

loganfreddy_0191

Suddenly, a wild Freddy appears!

loganfreddy_0194

Freddy uses licking.

loganfreddy_0195

It’s super effective!

loganfreddy_0196

Although, to his credit, Logan did get a pretty good chomp in on Freddy’s ear.

loganfreddy_0198

I also made a little video of the encounter; click on the image to watch it on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 11 September 2020: Facebook memories of Logan and Jacoby (Friday Flashback)

This week Facebook has been inundating me with memories of Logan. The above screenshot is from 10 September 2017, Logan’s six month birthday. Except it isn’t; Logan’s birthday was 9 March. I am not sure why I posted that on the 10th (which is Björn’s birthday).

This, though…this was 8 September 2017. Logan wanted to sleep where Jacoby was…and in typical Singapura fashion, he got what he wanted.

Then, three years ago today, Jake wanted to sleep where Logan was, so this happened. I miss them.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Augusti 2020: Three years ago today…(Medical Monday Memory)

Three years ago today, my life changed: I was bitten through the finger while giving Pyret a pill.

finger1157

Being new to the Swedish medical system, I stupidly went to the local clinic (Vårdcentralen), even though I was well aware of how serious a cat bite is, especially on the hand. I just thought that’s what you were “supposed” to do. The doctor I saw was Spanish, and spoke little English. I tried to tell her it was serious, but she waved me off with just a prescription for penicillin.

finger3

I didn’t know that I could go straight to the hospital. I thought, then, that you had to be referred by Vårdcentralen (although, to be honest, that worthless “doctor” should have known to send me there straightaway). Now I know I can go to the Akuten (emergency department) if I need to. Twenty-four hours later, I woke up screaming in pain so badly Björn almost called an ambulance.

me1-25aug

They bundled me into a room, pumped me full of antibiotics and morphine, and got me into surgery as quickly as they could.

me3-25aug

This is me just after the first surgery. Within a week, I would have two more operations to flush the bacteria out of my tendon sheath.

antibiotic_9644

morfin-27aug

I also had a lot of morphine. The pain involved with repeated hand surgeries is insane.

logan30aug_9707

The brightest part of my week in the hospital was the two evenings Björn smuggled Logan into my hospital room.

logan30aug_9712<

One time when a nurse came in, we hid him under my blanket.

logan31aug_9750

He was good and held still; the nurse never knew he was there.

finger-20sep<

After a week in hospital, I was released, but still had several wound checks and dressing changes. When I first got home, my hand was in a plaster cast. I was also still on penicillin and painkillers. It seemed to be healing nicely, but on my last wound check, 20 September (the same day Alfred was neutered), the nurse noticed my finger seemed red and hot. She sent me back to the hospital, and they determined that, despite still being on antibiotics, the infection had managed to return. They wanted me to have surgery immediately, but I had to go to pick up Freddy, who was literally at the other end of the bus line.

me-20sep

It took a really long time to get him (I ended up taking a taxi for part of the return trip), gathered my things and got back to the hospital just before 17:00. Apparently, I took too long to get back and they weren’t able to do the surgery until the next morning.

finger2-24sep

This last, fourth surgery was the most painful. They put more stitches on my palm than on the previous surgeries, and the skin seemed to have been stretched more than the other three.

finger post surgery2

It also bled a lot more than the other three operations.

arextokatsVFrö_4545

A month after the first anniversary of my bite, we were at a cat show in Västra Feölunda and ran into Göran, the recovery nurse after my first surgery. His sambo breeds Cornish Rex, and we (used to) see them at shows frequently. He asked to take a look at my hand, and I made a comment about being lucky I still had a finger.

“You could have lost more than that,” Gören said. “I could have lost my hand?” I asked.

“You could have lost even more than that,” he responded. And that was how, a year later, I learned that I could have died from this bite! Even with as much as I know about cat bites, I never thought it could have been fatal.

finger2020

This is how it looks today. It’s still very stiff and it sometimes aches and feels crampy. I’ll never have a normal hand again.

So, again, the moral of the story is: If you are EVER bitten by a cat on your hand – and especially your finger – GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM as soon as you can!

Aby-a-Day – 29 Maj 2020: The Frankentree (Fashion Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of the creation of the Frankentree that we keep on the balcony.

angelfrankentreeC02056

Angel loves sunning herself on there.

angelbalconytreeC08603

But then, she liked it before it was upgraded.

freddyjakebalconyC08917

Alfred and Jacoby were also ond of the Frankentree…

fredbalconyC09359

…although it was a bit awkward when Freddy tried to nap in the cubby.

loganbalconyIMG_2737

Logan loved the Frankentree.

angelrorybalconytreeC05011

But Angel and Lorelai continue to be the biggest fans of the Frankentree.

angelbalconytreeC05014

Although Angel doesn’t seem to enjoy sharing it with anyone.

The 14th of April is a bittersweet day…

Not only is today Jacoby’s birthday, but it’s also the day Alfred and I went to Jönköping to say goodbye to Logan.

loganfreddyjkpingvetIMG_3031

It was two years ago, and Izaak is a wonderful Singapura and friend to everycat…but I think Freddy still misses his brother from another mother, Logan.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Mars 2020: Scandinavian Winners Show…Cancelled

Yesterday, I posted about the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade being cancelled. That’s not the only thing cancelled. The Scandinavian Winners Show, which was to be 25-26 April, was declared cancelled on Wednesday.

SW18singasloganC02437

When I went to the Winners Show in 2018 with Logan, I didn’t fully appreciate what a truly big deal it was. I mean, I knew it was special, and you had to qualify to enter, but I didn’t really get how important it is. Cats who win BIS in the Winners Show get to add the letters SW to their titles. It matters. CFA has nothing like that, where you can earn a title in a single show.

SW18stellanchiC02797

It started to sink in on the second day. There was no judging, just awarding. People dresssed up in their national colours and it felt like a party.

SW18stellanchiC02758

But one of the best things was that our friend Stellan’s Singapura, Chi, won! Now he is SW S*Kustens Chi Sarà Con Te.

SW18ChiSingaIMG_2538

He’s also a little doll.

logancocoörebroC09886

The timing wasn’t right to go to the Winners Show last year when it was held in Turku, but we were excited to go to this year’s show in Norway. Timing was good, the location was good…and it would have been my first time travelling to Norway! But there is a teeny-tiny silver lining…Next year’s Winners Show will be in ÖREBRO! Our favourite showhall and everything! Hopefully this virus will be managed by then.

That’s not all. CFA’s President has announced that, after the Crab and Mallet show in Baltimore this weekend, the CFA show season is over. It usually ends on April 30th.

crabmallet-banjomoonerN9646

You may recall I got to visit this show once as a spectator; it’s a wonderful show in a great location. And I got to meet the Mooners! This year, however, spectators are not allowed. Only exhibitors and judges will be allowed in the show hall.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Mars 2020: Happy birthday, Logan

Today would have been Logan’s third birthday had he not gotten FIP.

logan1stbdaycakeC01808

We only got to light one candle for him.

logan1stbdayC01882

logan1stbdayC01898

He only got one birthday present.

logan1stbdayC01836

I know we have great cats, and I love Izaak, and Dash and Lorelai…but sometimes I miss Logan.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Februari 2020: First Snows (Friday Flashback)

rorysnowC03678

Now that we finally have snow, I was thinking about the first times all the cats saw their first snows. The most recent, of course was the first time Izaak and Lorelai saw snow.

rorysnowC03689

Rory, of course, loved it.

rorysnowC03786

She loves any chance to go outside…and she honestly seems completely immune to the cold.

zaksnowC03750

Zak, however…

zaksnowC03658

…was less than impressed. I never bothered to put coats on Rory and Zak when we went outside, because of what Alfred did the first time he went out in snow

fredcoatC09451

I tried to put a coat on him. Oh, how I tried.

fredcoatC09703

Fred would have none of it.

fredsnowC09727

He preferred to experience the snow au naturel.

jakelogansnowstrollerC09612

Like Jacoby, Logan appreciated having a coat in the snow.

logansnowcoatC09775

He probably would have enjoyed wearing boots, too.

jake1stsnow5737

Jake never went out in the snow without a coat.

jake1stsnow5740

That was such a fun thing about Jake. He did love his coats.

angel-1stsnow0282

Angel’s very first snow did not involve going outside.

angelsnowC07372

But she eventually went out and experienced snow first paw.

angelsnowC07323

She was less than enthused. Well, she was born in California.

jakeangelsnowC06572

But she did seem to have fun out in the snow with Jake. I’ll give her that.

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.