Aby-a-Day – 5 Juni 2020: Has it been four years already? (Friday Flashback)

As you probably remember, four years ago this month, Jacoby, Angel and I moved to Sweden.

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The movers came on 31 May. Angel was remarkably chill.

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The movers coming in and packing everything up didn’t faze her one bit.

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Jake, of course, was very helpful.

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Tessie wanted to keep the scratching posts.

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But mostly, the Abys just napped whilst the movers worked.

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I was quite impressed watching the movers watching the movers wrap up the big cat tree.

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A week and a half later, it was our turn to go.

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We travelled to Sweden on IcelandAir, which requires all animals to travel in a designated animal area in the cargo hold due to Iceland’s quarantine laws. I was lucky enough to see Angel and Jake’s carrier transferring to our plane during the layover.

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We arrived in Sweden just fine.

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And we made it home to our apartment in Skövde. And here we are, four years later, living our happily ever after.

Well…except we no longer have Jake…but still.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj: A date that will live in infamy (Friday Flashback)

This time of year is always special to me because my birthday is tomorrow, but for the past three years, the 31st of May is special, too; it’s the day the movers came to pack up all my belongings to be sent to Sweden…

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…And it’s the day I was granted my temporary Swedish residency permit. I got the email first thing in the morning, but I had to wait for the Swedish Embassy to open their phones at 11 am before I could find out what the decision actually was.

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The movers arrived fairly early with their boxes, bubble wrap and tape and got right to work.

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As you can see, Angel was unfazed by all the activity.

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Tessie watched for a while, and then retired to the bedroom, where it was quieter.

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Jacoby was his usual, bulletproof self.

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He even went out in the hallway to help the movers do their job!

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They did a very thorough job. This is my bicycle, all wrapped up.

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The movers didn’t seem to mind Jake helping at all. They were just amused.

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Jake took his supervisory position very seriously, as you can see.

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He made sure the movers marked all the boxes correctly…

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…noted down properly on the list…

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…and he made sure they didn’t leave anything behind. Jake was such a good helper!

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Unfortunately, Jake couldn’t help us when were were finished at the apartment and moved over to the storage unit. Too bad, too; he would have enjoyed helping to pack up the floor-to-ceiling cat tree!

Aby-a-Day – 23 October: “I’m done packing!” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Remember when I posted this sketch? Well, my friend Teresa aksed me for a drawing for an upcoming issue of Cat Talk: “The theme for October is “Homecoming”…as in how to place cats, rehoming cats & those issues, etc…What I’m thinking is something with a cat moving to a new home.”

I remembered the unfinished sketch and sent it to her, asking if it would fit. She did, and so I finished it. I did the outlines in Procreate, and then the colouring and other details in Photoshop. I wish I could remember the original dialogue that I had in mind…but this works.

Aby-a-Day – 25 May: Angel, Rory and the Frankentree (Fashion Friday)

Before I moved to Sweden, Björn had an old, beat-up, second-hand cat tree for Pyret. It was one of the first things Angel discovered when we let her out of the carrier. When my things arrived from the States, my big floor-to-ceiling tree was among them, and it was installed in the corner where the old tree had occupied. The old tree was moved to the balcony, which was scheduled to be glassed in for the cats to enjoy.

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Angel was quick to claim it out there, too. But it was a little short, and I wanted the cats to be able to sit up high on the balcony, too, so I ordered this new cat tree by Dogman, a Swedish pet supply company. But when I assembled the new tree, it seemed a little sad without the cubby section, especially since it was Angel’s favourite part, and it was still perfectly good…so I got an idea.

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I combined them! I took the non-worn parts of the old tree (which was probably also a Dogman tree) – the cubby, the platform and the ladder, and put them together with the new tree and created…the FrankenTree! It worked surprisingly well, and the colours combined well, too.

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Angel loved it.

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Logan and Alfred came along and loved it, too…and of course so does Lorelai.

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(Despite the silly tongue…)

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Angel didn’t really mind sharing the tree with Logan and Freddy, but what does Angel think about sharing her tree with another girl?

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These Millennial kittens these days…no sense of boundaries.

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Angel is not above defending her territory. Although, to be honest, I don’t think Rory even noticed that Angel took a swipe at her.

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“Damn kids, get off of my tree!”

Aby-a-Day – 10 April: A sketchy packing job (Cartoon Tuesday)

While I was at the Winners Show, I found this sketch I had done on my (then new) iPad Pro with the coordinated Apple Pencil. I am not sure where I was going with this, but it had something to do with packing to move to Sweden. I wish I had put in the conversation Angel and Jacoby are having.

Aby-a-Day – 9 April: Timing is everything (Part one) (Medical Monday)

As most of you, I think, know, I moved from my beloved Boston to Sweden in June 2016. But what I haven’t had a chance to explain yet is…

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…my beloved Boston veterinary clinic, South Boston Animal Hospital, moved from East Broadway between H and I Streets (which is now, rather disconcertingly, a nail salon so fancy it calls itself a “nail bar”) to…

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…Yeah. Right. In. The. Building. I. Was. LIVING. In.

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It’s one of the few things I really, really miss about my life back in the US. The fact that, for 15 short, precious days, my vet’s office was in the first floor of the building I lived in. I mean, literally…all we had to do was go down the elevator, go out the front door, walk a few steps outside…and yeah. You’re at the vet. The awesome vet that you love, not the sucky one you go to because you have no options.

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We were lucky enough to go there three times before we left.

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The opening was supposed to be on my birthday, 1 June, but it was delayed because of…reasons. We visited on 6 June and work still wasn’t quite finished. There were caution cones all over the place.

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They did have impressive wifi set up already, though!

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Jacoby was eager to check everything out.

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Angel was…rather less enthusiastic about exploring.

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This was our fist visit to the new location before moving. Next week, come along with Jake and me to the SBAH grand opening party!

Aby-a-Day – 4 March: Pyret party (Swedish Sunday)

This is the first of (hopefully) many guest posts written by my husband, Björn. In his first post, which was originally written before Pyret died, and revised after she left us on Friday, Björn describes his experience of going from having one elderly cat to living with two active adult Abys and two kittens.

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With the passing of Pyret two days ago, I’ve rewritten this piece. My cat is dead. This is who she was, and how she was affected by the four- and two-legged people in her life.

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While having a horde of Abyssinians (well, two) descending on you is an experience in itself, it didn’t come quite as a surprise. Not so for my old cat, Pyret. She was an old dame, born in a stable on a farm in 1999, and used to having the run of the house since my other cat, the black tortie Olivia, passed away in 2010. “Pyret” translates as “the little mite,” as she was really tiny when we got her.

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Pyret was “my” cat ever since my ex and I got her as a kitten. She liked to be in the bathroom when I enjoyed a soak.

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Pyret’s background affected her dealings with other cats. When she was a kitten, she and the rest of the litter was orphaned when they were just five weeks old. My then partner got her a friend (Olivia) a few months later, but they didn’t really bond. Still, Olivia taught Pyret how to cat, like using the litter box and cleaning herself.

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Olivia as a kitten, about six months old. She was a talkative and rather smart cat, annoying and amusing at the same time.

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Pyret sure was a pretty cat, though, even when age and failing health made her lose weight. Pyret was gentle, and except for a couple unlucky birds and the unfortunate incident with Koshka’s finger, she never hurt anyone. The photo above is from 1 April, 2000, when Koshka visited us.

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She took the photo, never expecting that she one day would become Pyret’s mom.

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Pyret and Olivia got a new room-mate in 2003, when my son Kalle was born. When we came back from the hospital with our baby, the cats met us at the front door. Kalle cried a little, and Olivia vanished, hiding for a couple of hours, while Pyret showed some interest in the new arrival. Kalle has always had cats around him, and Pyret was like his older sister.

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Scruffy, but otherwise in good shape for her age. Her last weeks in life saw her lose weight, and it was heartbreaking to see her waste away.

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When she became the sole cat again, she didn’t show any signs of missing company; she was “my” cat, and appeared happy with sleeping and eating and not much more. Her life was uneventful for six years, with not even a visit to the vet.

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18 June, 2016. Two cats were let out of their travel cage and began to explore their new surroundings. Pretty soon Pyret and I learned what it meant to live with Abys. While Angel is more like a regular cat as long as there’s no meat (or corn) involved, Jake was the opposite to my old Pyret. There was plenty of hissing and growling; Pyret wasn’t too happy about getting her territory invaded, but with a large apartment (five rooms and kitchen, 120 sq.m./1290 sq.ft.), they didn’t have to share the same space if they didn’t want to. She kind of accepted them after a while, but kept to herself most of the time.

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Then, on 6 June 2017 and again five days later, on the 11th: Kittens! Alfred and Logan arrived on the scene. This time, the period of hissing was much shorter. She didn't bond with them, either (although Logan tried very hard to befriend her), but she didn't mind their presence. They mostly left her alone in her favorite spot in a chair next to my computer desk. We were together since the first weeks of her life until the last day of her long life, and I never had a pet this long. While she was far less active than the LunaTicks, she had always been around, and for a long time she was healthier than one would have expected from a cat her age. I counted every year past her 15th as a bonus, but all good things must come to an end. She died at home, surrounded by familiar things. When she had brief spells of cramps, we comforted her. We hope it was a better choice than a trip to the vet and a needle in an unfamiliar room. The other cats appear to understand that she was ill and that she’s gone now, and not just disappeared.

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Having the other cats around will hopefully soften the blow, but to me, Pyret will always be #1. Her spot next to my desk is so empty now, and I mourn her. She was like all of us made of stardust, and she was a tiny piece of the universe that experienced itself in the shape of a cat for the 18½ years she graced this world.

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When she died, a friend wrote this:

“Att somna från alla sina liv. Tassa rakt in i evigheten. Bo i hjärtan. Spinna i minnet.”

Translation: “To leave all lives in the sleep. Pad straight into eternity. Live in hearts. Purr in memory.”

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Björn’s early photos of Pyret and Olivia can be found here (ignore the broken thumbnails – they still lead to the photos).

Aby-a-Day – 8 February: Food, glorious food!

After my visit with Björn over Christmas 2015, I posted about the different types of cat food I found in Sweden

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The food I was most excited to try out on the cats was the Swedish food Bozita. It’s very high quality, 93% meat (but usually only about 7% of the meat flavour on the box). In the EU and Sweden, pet food is strictly regulated, and everything is listed out by percentage. You almost never see the vague and all-encompassing “Meat and Bone Meal” or “Animal By-Products” listed on pet food labels here. You also don’t get pet food with expired meat from supermarkets (including the styrofoam tray and plastic wrapping), roadkill and euthanised shelter animals.

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Jacoby was eager to try it!

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So eager, in fact, that he tried to open the box with his teeth!

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It looks really good when you open it, too. And the packaging, in Swedish-invented Tetra-Pak boxes, is so much nicer and easier to deal with than either cans or plastic pouches.

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I mix it with a little warm water, with probiotic powder for Jake, and L-Lysine powder for Angel.

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Jake could not wait to taste it.

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He liked it! Hey Jakey!

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Angel loved it too, and she can be particular about food (strange for an Aby, I know).

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Clean plate club all around!

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Now we have a cupboard full of a wide selection of various fish, bird and mammal flavours, including crayfish, salmon, duck and rabbit along with the moose and reindeer. And you can see what I mean by the Tetra-Pak boxes being easier to deal with than cans or pouches. My main concern is feeding them too much of any one protein source. I don’t want to have too much chicken, or beef or salmon…I want them eating as many different species as I can find so they don’t get hooked on one type of food.

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I also feed them this marvelous frozen raw food from Finland, Vaisto Mush.

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It’s little meatballs with real raw ingredients, bones and organ meat, very easy to deal with and feed – basically one ball, mixed with the Bozita and whichever prescription food the cat in question eats (UT for Jake and Angel, Kitten/Growth for Logan, Weight Management for Alfred, and Renal for Pyret).

(Yeah, I’ll do a post about just HOW I feed everyone in the near future…)

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Freddy! You can’t eat them when they’re still frozen solid!

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The link to the Cat raw food isn’t in English, I’m afraid; they only have Finnish and Swedish (and German) – the English pages seem to be down. They do have English on their packaging, however, so you can read the ingredients in these photos.

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The Cat raw comes in three mixes: Chicken and Pork, Chicken and Beef, and Beef and Pork…but sometimes I also get the Puppy raw, which is Salmon, Reindeer and Beef, or their special edition Wild blend for adult dogs made of Moose, Reindeer and Lamb.

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I know that cats are not to be fed dog food of course, because cats and dogs have different nutritional needs, but the Puppy and Wild blend percentages are almost identical to the Cat blends (they include 8% and 5% respectively vegetables and fruits, while the Cat is almost 100% animal, and this is not their exclusive diet. I always mix it with Bozita and prescription food.

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I also sometimes get Norwegian-made Vom frozen cat food. It’s good, with chicken and salmon, but it comes in a sausage-shaped package. You have to thaw the whole “sausage” in one go, and sort of squeeze it out like toothpaste. It’s a bit harder to measure out properly, and it’s a lot messier. I prefer the “kattbullar” to the sausages, but I like to get them once in a while for variety.

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Freddy ate a lot of this type of raw food before he came to live with us, and when he saw this one he recognised it instantly.

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…And, of course, tried to eat it. I swear, he is endlessly hungry!

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The only thing about the raw that I don’t like? Jake flat out refuses to eat it! He likes raw meat when I am cutting it up to cook it…but he won’t touch the raw, thawed meatballs, or the Vom sausages. Not even if I offer it to him as a treat! I have no idea why. Angel, Logan and Freddy love it, and I am happy to be feeding them a mix that includes raw in their diets.

Aby-a-Day – 15 January: When we came home

Pyret was right at the door to meet us. Or, more likely, to meet Björn. Pyret was born in 1999 and was bottlefed by Björn and she is very bonded to him. To meet me on time in Stockholm, he had to stay overnight, so he hadn’t been home for nearly a day. Pyret was hungry and missed him, so she was coming to greet him.

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She certainly was not expecting other cats!

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Pyret has been an only cat since Björn’s other cat, Olivia, died in 2010. I really wonder what she thought when she realised that there were cats in that big box.

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I opened the door…

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…and, curiously, Angel was the first one out. It’s like she knew that the airport and the train weren’t home, but she was home now.

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Jake, of course, was not far behind.

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They both took off in different directions to check out the new digs.

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Angel went to check out the living room and under the sofa, and Jake went to explore everything else.

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Including the litter box. Always a good idea to locate the facilities right off the bat.

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“Okay, litter box sorted. Next!”

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Angel was in there soon enough, though.

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Angel’s big discovery was the old cat tree Björn had in his living room. It’s out on our balcony now, and she still loves to sleep in that cubby.

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She explored the whole tree. And even today, my big tree is primarily her domain.

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Meanwhile, Jake was checking out the new cat fountain in the kitchen.

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And while he was doing that, Pyret was checking him out.

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After only a few hours of being home…this was Angel.

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And this was Jake. Moving to Sweden was so freakishly easy for them!

Aby-a-Day – 14 January: Planes, Trains and Automobiles Part 2 (Swedish Sunday)

When we landed at Arlanda airport in Stockholm, it was 7:something am and I am never at my best at single-digit morning hours. Jacoby and Angel, however, were just fine.

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They were, in fact, eager to get out of that crate. (Click for video) Or, at least, Jake was.

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Apart from the cats, I had a lot of luggage. Since it was a one-way ticket, bought a first class ticket. It turned out to be a wise investment, since my extra bags were actually free.

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We had to wait a bit for our train to Skövde, but hey, we got to see this guy.

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We let Jake out on the train (Angel did NOT want to explore) and he was excited to see his new country.

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To Jake, it was just another train ride.

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The trip from Stockholm to Skövde is a bit over two hours, so Jake had plenty of time to bond with his new dad.

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He also found time to check in on Angel.

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When we got to Skövde, we needed a cab to bring us home to our apartment, because I had so much luggage, and also the cats’ crate. Luckily, we had a very friendly cab driver.

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Finally, it was time to go inside.

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Pyret was ready to greet us.

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What happened when we came inside? Stay tuned..!

Aby-a-Day – 13 January: Planes, Trains and Automobiles Part 1 (Swedish Saturday)

You know that I flew to Sweden with the two Abyssinians, Jacoby and Angel. But I’m willing to bet you are very curious as to HOW we came here. I flew IcelandAir, which, because Iceland is an island and because of rabies concerns, requires all animal passengers fly in a specially climate controlled pet cargo hold. I know many people have misgivings about airline cargo holds, with good reason. But I have had only good experiences with cargo travel (my two Siamese, Harri and Patrick, from San Francisco to Atlanta, and then Tessie from Portland, Oregon, to Boston). It’s actually easier than travelling with a cat in-cabin, especially when you are travelling with more than one!

I started acclimatising them to the crate very early, by leaving it out for them to nap in. Tessie didn’t really need to practice, but she did anyway.

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I also locked Jake and Angel in the crate for longer and longer periods to get them ready for an eight hour trip.

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Although I think Angel wanted to get out.

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Then, days before the big trip, we had a practical practice, I used the crate to take Jake and Angel to the vet for their pre-travel visit.

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It was a perfect opportunity to practice shlepping the crate somewhere.

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Ironically, my vet, South Boston Animal Hospital, changed location from a 10 minute bus ride away to…ACTUALLY IN THE BUILDING I LIVED IN on 1 June. I left for Sweden on 17 June. Sigh.

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They were their usual selves at the vet, and of course, they got a clean bill of health.

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Finally, the day arrived! We went to Logan Airport to start our new life.

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We all went into a back room at IcelandAir and the cats were checked out, to make sure that they were who I said they were, and to make sure that nothing was being smuggled in the carrier.

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The flight went without incident, apart from the souvenir shop being closed, dammit. But I was lucky enough to see Jake and Angel’s crate being loaded onto the next plane at Reykjavik.

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And then, at long last, we were all reunited at Arlanda airport in Stockholm. What happened next? Tune in tomorrow, same cat time, same cat channel!

Aby-a-Day – 5 June: Travelling with a Singapura (Swedish Sunday)

When Björn was in Boston for our wedding in April, my friend Linda (who is also a member of NEMO) asked if we could help her out.

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Linda, along with her husband Chuck, breed Singapuras (their cattery name is Mystiquecats), and she wanted to know if Björn would be willing to help two other Singapura breeders. Pat, of (Sopan Singapuras had a 10 month old girl kitty who needed to fly to live with a breeder in Sweden. And, as luck would have it, Björn was returning home and flying into Stockholm at just the right time!

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Well, naturally we jumped at the chance, not only to help out friends, but because just two months later, I would be making the exact same journey – on Icelandair – with Jacoby and Angel, and what better way to try out the flight accommodations with a cat than to actually take a cat on the flight?

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So, Björn and I met Pat and Naina, the girlcat, at Logan. I know Singapuras are small cats, and Naina was only 10 months old…but she was TINY!

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Pat had sent cats abroad before, and gave me excellent advice on how to outfit the carrier for a long trans-Atlantic flight. From her I learned that a bag of dry food should be attached to the outside of the crate, and the water bowl should be filled with water and frozen the night before, so the bowl would be filled with non-spillable, slowly thawing ice that the cats can lick if they are thirsty.

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After checking in, we got to go behind the scenes with an Icelandair employee. We went into a back room and a TSA employee checked Naina and her carrier to make sure that nothing was being smuggled in with the cat. Then they took her to the plane. On Icelandair, pets travel in a special pet hold rather than in the cabin. This is because Iceland is an island, and has very strict animal import laws and impose a quarantine on imported mammals. Animals need to be monitored by official airline personnel at all times and cannot be on the ground more than three hours. When I booked my flight to Sweden later this month, I had toyed with the idea of having a seven-hour layover in Reykjavik and actually go into the city, but since I’ll be travelling with the Abys, I can’t do that. So, I’ll have just enough time to go through customs, grab a snack, and get on my next plane.

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However, in our case, the cats having to travel in the pet hold is actually an advantage. Two animals of the same species, weighing less than 40 kg (88 lbs), can share one crate, so Jake and Angel will be able to travel together in one carrier rather than me having to manage two separate bags with cats in them along with my laptop and carry-on bag.

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Naina flew like a champ. When Björn landed in Stockholm and picked her up, she was as cheery and relaxed as she had been in Boston. He was impressed that after eleven hours flying and changing of planes, she was just meowing a little, but mostly was just curious about her new surroundings.

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Björn met up with Lisa, of Melur Singapuras, at Arlanda and Naina was swiftly taken to her new home.

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As you can see from these photos Lisa posted on Facebook, Naina settled in almost immediately! She took to being in Sweden right away. Just like I hope that Jake and Angel will!

Aby-a-Day – 4 June: “Snazzy” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Snazzy.”

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I have this very snazzy, super deluxe, floor-to-ceiling cat tree from Drs. Foster and Smith. I had it in the kitchen of my old apartment in Somerville, and Harri, Patrick, Tessie, Kylie and Gun-Hee all loved it.

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Patrick especially loved it.

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I mean, he really loved it.

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I got it in 2005 as a replacement for the older, blue one I’d brought with me from Atlanta, which was getting a little ragged. Patrick couldn’t wait for us to unpack it.

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He even helped to assemble it.

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He could not even wait for it to be put together before he was climbing on it!

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Sadly, it wasn’t tall enough for the very high ceilings in the old condo, so when I moved out of my apartment in March 2009, the awesome tree went into storage.

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When I got Angel in 2008, I wasn’t spending much time at my old apartment although I still kept it for a few months after I married. I’m not sure if she has ever seen this cat tree (but she really loved the floor-to-ceiling cat tree my mom has at her house, and wasted no time climbing it). I know Jacoby never has, since it was put into storage before he was even born!

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But on Monday, it was packed up to go to Sweden.

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It was pretty amazing to watch the mover pack it up in paper.

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We decided not to take it apart, except for the very top, spring-loaded part.

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He was so fast! I couldn’t imagine wrapping up a cat tree in moving paper…but then, he’s a professional.

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So, here’s my snazzy cat tree, all packed up and ready to go. Next stop, Sweden!

Aby-a-Day – 1 June: Wordless Wednesday (This is what happened yesterday)

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Aby-a-Day – 14 May: “Lake” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Lake.”

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We don’t live near a lake in Boston, but Jacoby has seen plenty of water in his day. Of course, there’s Fort Point Channel, very close to the building in which we live.

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And there’s Boston Harbor, too.

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And there’s also the Charles River, which we cross over whenever we take the T into Cambridge.

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But when we move to Sweden, we’ll have an actual lake outside our window. It’s called “Käpplundasjön” and here is Pyret looking at it.

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Enjoy your peaceful view out the window while you can, Pyret. You’re about to be invaded by Abys!

Aby-a-Day – 17 April: Pages 6 and 7 (Selfie Sunday)

Björn was interviewed by the Göteborgs-Posten last Thursday bay a reporter doing a piece about Migrationsverket and the “love migration process” and people like us who either have a partner trying to move to be with them or who are that partner, and an article was published in last Saturday’s paper (that’s the big paper of the week there, Saturday instead of Sunday, so you have two days to read it all).

This was the main photo they used on the web version of the story and in the newspaper itself.

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This is the front of the newspaper…

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Look who made it to page 1!

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This is the spread on pages 6 & 7 with sidebars about other aspects of Migrationsverket and Swedes waiting for their partners.

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Interestingly, this isn’t the first time someone I know has been featured on the front of a major publication.

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Not only that…he also had a spread on pages 6 & 7! Björn and Jacoby…media superstars!

Aby-a-Day – 15 April: Tag, you’re it! (Fashion Friday)

Last week, I posted about Angel’s new leash. I also got everyone new collars, and Jacoby and Angel also got new tags!

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I’m working on getting them silver tags, made by the same person who made them before, but she hasn’t been able to do it yet, so I had these made by Jen at K9 Stamp Art.

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These are brass, and the lettering is done in colour, which I think is a nice touch. They have crystals embedded instead of gemstones.

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I also got Pyret a collar, BlanketID tag, and a nametag. Pyret’s colour is yellow (Angel’s is purple and Jacoby’s is green), and she’s never worn a collar before, but I thought it would be nice for her to fit in with the Abys.

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All the tags have our new Swedish address on the backs, too…just in case someone sneaks out the door.

Aby-a-Day – 11 February: Angel’s spa day

On Sunday, I decided to give Angel a bath.

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The second I shut the bathroom door with her inside, she knew something was up.

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She hasn’t had a bath in a very long time…at least two years (and probably more like four or five). Her fur was starting to look and feel a little greasy in a way that Jacoby’s fur never does.

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Angel’s spa day started off with a mani-pedi, and then a good Furmination. I actually got this Furminator with an “eject button” as a free gift from Blog Paws, and I have to say, it’s much better than the non-ejecting model.

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Don’t worry, Angel. Your hair won’t go to waste. I have plans to make Jake a Trump wig out of it. It’s just the right colour!

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Then, I put her into the tub…she wasn’t thrilled with that. I have to say, though, having sliding glass doors on the bathtub really makes bathing cats a lot easier!

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See? She can’t escape!

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No matter how hard she tries…

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…she can’t get the doors open.

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It really makes a difference. I can bathe a cat without any help. It’s nice. When we move, we’ll be back to shower curtains…but we’ll also have a hand-held shower head, so rinsing will be easier. It’s a trade-off I can accept.

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Finally it was time to dry off.

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I usually blow-dry Jake, but if I tried that with Angel she would freak out.

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So with her, it’s towel dry, lick, and shake.

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Angel, doesn’t it feel good to be all clean and sparkly?

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Er…I’ll ask you again once you’re all dry.

Aby-a-Day – 28 January: Pile-up on the cat superhighway

This is why it’s so important to have a two-way cat superhighway.

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Angel is pretty much trapped up there in the top box while Jacoby (and Tessie) block her one way down. And don’t think it’s accidental. Jake just wants to be up there in that top spot…and Tessie is just “helping.”

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I had wanted to eventually create some kind of way down to the windowsill on the other side, but it never happened. However, Björn and I are already planning a walkway in his (our!) apartment what will be a two-way street. He also has a balcony that is going to be a cat paradise when I get finished with it. Now if I could only just move there!

Aby-a-Day – 21 January: Swedish Cat TV

When we all move to Sweden, Jacoby and Angel will have fabulous HD Cat TV on a big window.

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This is the view from Björn’s living room window.

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Granted, it’s significantly different from the view they currently have out their windows…

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…which isn’t to say that watching cars and trucks isn’t interesting. I just think that cats in general find birds more captivating than vehicles.

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There are lots of birds that frequent the yard outside Bjorn’s apartment, as well as squirrels and the occasional rabbit.

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Residents aren’t supposed to feed the birds from their windows or balconies, but they still come close to the buildings.

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Best of all are the magpies.

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I love magpies; I grew up in Northern California, the only place in the world where Yellow-Billed Magpies exist.

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There are no magpies in Massachusetts, and even blue jays and crows are fairly scarce in the city.

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I miss seeing them and was happy to learn that once I’m in Sweden, I’ll get to see them, as well as crows and jackdaws, fairly often.

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(This is a crow at the train station in Falköping…I love their colouration so much!)

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Views like this, taken outside Björn’s living room window, are common.

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Which is really cool, since I love magpies.

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I found the view outside Björn’s window endlessly fascinating.

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I can only imagine what Angel and Jake will think!

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Pyret, being 16 years old, is rather immune to the birds outside.

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She’d rather watch me work on my laptop!