Aby-a-Day – 19 Juni: Happiness is a warm puppy (Swedish Saturday)

A couple in the C part of our building recently got a Swedish Vallhund puppy. We’ve seen them walking him outside, but we had yet to be outside with the cats when they were training him.

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Until last Thursday, when we took the recyclables out. As we know, Lorelai likes dogs. But she’s never really met a puppy before.

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The pup is really young, and he’s squirmy and yappy. At first, Rory was a little taken aback.

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But eventually they touched noses.

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Then Alfred strolled up to meet the puppy, whose name is Toke (Pronounced “TOH-kuh”).

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It was pretty funny to see how big Toke made Freddy look. Toke looks a little intimidated. Toke’s humans were happy to introduce him to our cats; they want to get a kitten as well.

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And then Izaak joined the party.
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“That sure is a funny-looking cat!”

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“Wait…That’s no cat!”

Aby-a-Day – 17 Juni: And that’s called Sisterhood (Thursday Things)

So…this happened the other day.

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Angel was sleeping on the IKEA cat bed, which is Lorelai’s usual afternoon, post-breakfast napping spot of choice.

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So Rory, seeing Angel in her “spot,” just decided to join her. And Angel went with it.

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It’s kind of a big deal, because Angel isn’t exactly known for her cuddling with other cats. Voluntarily, anyway.

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But then, this happened: Rory started licking Angel’s head! And Angel LET her!

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It was just so sweet to see Angel accepting cuddles from another girlcat!

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juni: Here’s looking at you, Lorelai (Selfie Sunday)

The other day when we took the cats outside, Björn got the idea to use his phone’s front camera to take some photos of Lorelai from a different angle.

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Rory was standing on the rug frame, so Björn took photos of her from underneath.

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I’ve got to admit…I never really thought about taking photos from below like this. Pretty brilliant, I think.

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Rory seemed to like it, too.

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Björn managed to get himself into a couple of the shots as well. I think they’re cute.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Juni: Wordless Wednesday (Min Vetrinär, party of five)

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Aby-a-Day – 7 Juni: A nice day outside (Hipstamatic Monday)

The other day I took Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak outside for a little romp.

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I let Rory go out offleash, but I had it with me just in case she decided to be naughty. She was happy to jump into the tall grass on the hill.

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Meanwhile, Zak investigated the big tree.

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Later on, we made two discoveries: Markis, and catmip growing in the grilling area! Not sure how we never noticed it before. Maybe it’s new.

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I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t been for Markis.

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Zak is so funny…he really wants to be friends with Markis.

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We also ran into the neighbour boy who loves Freddy. Freddy was sweet enough to let the boy pick him up, and the boy was thrilled. He knows all their names and calls out to them, it’s so cute.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Juni: Daddy’s little girl (Swedish Saturday)

Sometimes, after being outside for a while, the cats slow down. That’s when we know it’s almost time to go back in the house.

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Lorelai often gets up on Björn’s shoulder. She’s a very accomplished shoulder rider.

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Izaak usually wants to stand or sit on me…but this time, he really looked like he wanted to be on Björn’s shoulder, too.

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And Zak seems pretty put out that he can’t get up there, too.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juni: How I spent my birthday (Thursday Things)

Björn asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. I said, “go to the second-hand store and to eat at Max (Sweden’s best burgers)“. And so we did.

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Björn gave me a Schleich Bengal (I collect Schleich cats)…

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…a paint-by-numbers kit and some vintage cat books.

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At the second-hand store I scored a beautiful Egyptian cat statue (which Lorelai was quite taken with)…

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…and a Rosa Ljung ceramic cat.

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But the BEST thing we found was when we checked out a new pet store in town, Dogman. There I found FREEZE-DRIED Vaisto cat food (I have been wanting to give Angel freeze-dried instead of raw, but couldn’t find it in Sweden), some dried chicken treats, and an interesting duck “cat sausage” that I am hoping Izaak will eat, because it will be easier to travel with that than with frozen raw food.

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AND we found 1kg bags of frozen chicken necks! We had been buying Vaisto Mush necks in 800g bags, but they’ve been in short supply lately, and these are much better (and cheaper). Zak, as you know, LOVES his necks! All in all, not a bad birthday.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj: “Expose yourself to as much randomness as possible” (Hipstamatic Monday)

Good news, everyone! Last Wednesday, I got my first Covid vaccination (#teampfizer)! However, it also kicked my butt for a few days; today is the first day my arm doesn’t feel like I was hit by a stick. So, here: have some random Hipstasnaps taken around the house. First we have Alfred and Izaak cuddled up next to Jacoby on my leg.

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It’s interesting to see the pair-ups that occur amongst the cats. Dashiell and Alfred hang out together quite a bit.

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So do Angel and Zak. Sometimes, it’s Angel’s choice…

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…other times, not so much.

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I wonder if I should be concerned about what Dash and Freddy are plotting…

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Not quite sure what’s going on here. Moving on…

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Lorelai looking at me hopefully. She always wants to go outside to run.

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This was taken today. Zak was looking particularly smexy this afternoon.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Maj: Running around outside (Swedish Sunday)

The other day, we took the cats out. I was trying to capture the differences in their gaits.

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I kind of managed to capture it on “film.”

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Went we went out, I took the big camera with the long lens, and I captured all of them walking and running outside.

Here they are outside. I know, it’s 18 minutes long…but it’s interesting if you want to see their different movements outside

Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj: Wordless Wednesday (An encounter with Markis)

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Aby-a-Day – 17 Maj: “We live on the leash of our senses” (Mischievous Monday)

As you know, Lorelai loves to go outside.

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Her leash? Not so much.

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Girl can throw some serious shade, though. I mean, it’s not Singapura stink-eye level, but it’s up there.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Maj: “If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.” (Swedish Sunday)

All my life, I thought boycats were more friendly, outgoing and social than girlcats. The females I had, apart from Crystal, were all aloof and, if we’re being honest, a little neurotic. Tessie and Kylie changed that preconception a bit, but they had their moments.

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And then I met Lorelai.

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We’ve been keeping her on a leash because of her heats, as you know. Which means when the neighbourhood children want to pet one of our cats, she’s kind of a sitting duck. Luckily, she doesn’t mind at all.

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In Sweden, at least where we live, kids run around outside and play all day long, a lot like I did when I was a kid, (*Ahem*) in the 1970s. It’s nice to see, especially compared to how sheltered children are in the States. It’s also a little annoying; why do kids feel the need to SCREAM when they’re playing?

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The last time we went outside, one of the kids asked Björn if they could hold Rory’s leash…and it lead to a little parade.

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And Rory loved it.

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It’s also really great PR for what cats as pets are capable of. Hopefully, when these children grow up, they’ll be cat people.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Maj: Watch the Birdie! (Thursday Things)

Yesterday, I showed you our new neighbours, Randall and Beth, a pair of European Pied Flycatchers. They are very interesting little birds. And not only have we never seen them in our område before now, but we have had that little birdhouse up for three years and no bird has ever shown any interest in it until now.

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But Beth and Randall have moved right in.

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They appeared on Tuesday, so we named them after the characters on This is Us.

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They rarely, if ever, land on the ground, so they are fairly safe from cats. But that didn’t stop Randall from doin’ a heckin’ concern when we went outside with the cats this afternoon.

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The cats, however, were mostly oblivious to the bird couple above.

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Mostly.

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Izaak noticed their movement at some point whilst we were outside.

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He watched them flying around for a bit.

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But I think he knew there was no chance. We will have to be careful when we take them out after the fledglings emerge.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Maj: Wordless Wednesday (Let me introduce you to my little friend)

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Aby-a-Day – 10 Maj: Lorelai’s love-hate leash relationship (Movie Monday)

With Lorelai going in and out of heat, sometimes she needs to be on her leash when we go out.

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Today was one of those days.

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It was a really nice, summerlike day today: 20°C (70°F). Even though we still aren’t 100%, we couldn’t let this day pass without taking the cats out. So we took out some recycling.

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Strangely, Izaak did not want to go with us today. So it was just Alfred and Rory.

But she is so good on her leash! I made a little video to show how fast she walks alongside me – I can actually walk at a normal pace most of the time. Keep an eye out for Freddy’s cameo!

Aby-a-Day – 6 Maj: Cat Scanner app (Thursday Things)

Yesterday in one of my Facebook cat groups, someone posted about an app, Cat Scanner, that claims to identify what breed your cat is from a photograph. So of course I had to try it out.

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It worked great with the Abyssinians.

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It even identified Angel correctly.

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And it got Markis pretty well, too.

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I was disappointed with how it did with Tessie. I was expecting perhaps a Burmilla…but I guess at least it could tell she’s a tortie?

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And then…there was Izaak. Complete and utter fail. I was expecting a Singapura to be a fairly easy ID…at worst, maybe a Burmese or Aby…but a Bengal!? Seriously? Well, you know I clicked that “Am I right?” link to tell them they weren’t. And the explanation was…the app only really works with FIFe-recognised breeds.

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Um….what!? Singas have been recognised in FIFe since 2014…SEVEN YEARS!

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Which, naturally, I felt the need to tell them. Haven’t gotten a response yet, but I can’t wait to see what they say.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Maj: Wordless Wednesday (Happy Gotcha Day, Lorelai!)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 Maj: Isle of Dogs WIP (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last weekend, we watched an amazing movie called Isle of Dogs. It’s a Wes Anderson film, which I find rather hit-or-miss, but I did like his first stop-motion animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it looked intriguing, so we gave it a shot. And, oh, was it worth it!

For a movie with the word “dog” in the title, it was actually, surprisingly, quite focused on cats. It’s an interesting Japanese pastiche in which the cat-loving Mayor Kobayashi has banished all dogs to Trash Island. In the introduction to the film this is all explained with some beautiful illustrations and scenes. My favourite, which is only seen for a minute or so, is the incredibly elaborate Cat Temple (seriously, look at that link; they did an incredible amount of work to create something that’s basically only one scene)! Of course, I instantly noticed the five cat statues to the right of the temple doors…one large, one tiny, two medium-sized and one small. I had to pause it and point out how the five cats matched our own five!

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And then…I had to draw it. This is the sketch…

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And here’s the ink. Covid aftereffects have really been kicking my butt this week, so it took me a while. I know where I want to go with this, and how I want the colouring to look, but it’s taking me longer to actually do it than I planned.

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If you want to see the time lapse video of the work in progress, click the image to open it in another window.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Maj: Silly sandcat (Silly Sunday)

When we went outside the other day, one place Lorelai had to visit was her beloved sandbox.

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She loves to roll around in the sand so much.

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It’s different, looking at still shots vs watching her roll around live.

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She looks a lot more goofy in the still shots.

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She tries to become one with the sand. It’s so much fun to watch.

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Rory carefully examines her next rolling spot in the sand.

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And then she just…goes for it, Relationship goals: find yourself someone who looks at you like Rory looks at the sand.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Maj: A bird in the paw (Swedish Saturday)

Because of Covid, I have not had the energy to clip the cats’ claws on our regular schedule (it takes a LOT of energy to clip five cats’ claws and do all the other necessary grooming).

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That turned out to be a good thing when we took the cats out for the first time in forever last Thursday.

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Because Lorelai ran right up a tree with the intent to catch a wood pigeon!

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She actually got wicked close, too.

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She was also fearless and überconfident up in the tree.

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Rory was in complete control up in that tree.

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And when she decided to come down out of the tree, even that was deliberate and measured.

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I mean, look at the focus on that face. She’s in complete control.