Aby-a-Day – 5 Augusti: Necks-level logistics (Thursday Things)

The only downside to having Emma stay with us was the fact that she occupied the spare bedroom, where Alfred and Lorelai eat their daily chicken necks.

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There is a very good reason for this.

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Rory and Freddy eat their necks wicked fast. Sometimes, Freddy will be finished with his neck before I can get the door shut!


Dashiell and Izaak, however, eat their necks at a more leisurely pace.

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Which is somewhat ironic, considering Zak is the entire reason we have the evening neck ritual at all. But he’ll look at his neck, and then try to follow me out of the room. It’s like, dude…eat your damn neck! You wait all day for it and yell at me until I give it to you!

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It’s arrangement that works well. Freddy and Rory scarf their necks down, growl at each other if one tries to steal the other’s neck, and can pretty much defend their necks from one another. Dash and Zak respect each other’s boundaries and generally don’t try to poach the other’s neck (although sometimes they do trade).

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So you can see the problem. Dash and Zak aren’t accustomed to competition. Meanwhile, Rory…

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…and Freddy are hovering like vultures, just waiting for an opening to swoop in and snatch a neck away from one of the boys.

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“Whattaya mean, ‘no,’ Mom? He’s not eating it!”

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Finally, Dash ate about half his neck, and I gave up and let Rory have the rest. Better her than Freddy; she needs the calories more than he does. And I needed to go eat dinner with Björn, Kalle and Emma.

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"Thanks, Mom!"

Yeah, I'm glad we can go back to the two-room system.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Mars: Who me? I’m not doing anything…(Singapura Sunday)

I walked into the kitchen to find Izaak on the stove. And, as you can see, he’s clearly not doing anything at all suspicious.


“La la la…pay no attention to the feline on the stovetop…”


I have no idea what he was doing there.


He’s not usually the one on that counter. That’s usually Alfred, looking for edibles.


“Oh! Hi! I totally did not realise you were standing there!” (Spoiler alert: He totally did know I was there).


“And I absolutely was not doing anything at all naughty.”


“I promise!”

Aby-a-Day – 30 September 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Two naughty cats)







Aby-a-Day – 14 Maj 2020: The Great Neck Heist (Thursday Things)

Izaak loves his chicken necks.


I left the refrigerator door open for a minute while I was making dinner today.



And…yeah. He jumped up into the fridge.



Like a heat-seeking missile, Zak zeroed in on his precious necks.



And he would have stolen one, too…if I hadn’t been standing right THERE. I think there’s a flaw in your masterplan there, cat burglar.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Mars 2020: Magnificent Alfred (Mischievous Monday)

When we went outside the other day, Alfred and Lorelai were a bit naughty and ran down the hill to the road and the houses.


He met a friendly Labrador; that’s why his tail is puffed up. I tried to get him to go back up the hill to the lawn.


Stay classy, Freddy.


Spoiler alert: He didn’t go back up the hill. These were taken before the fun and games with the lake and the geese.



Okay…maybe he’s not the poser Jacoby was. But he is rather photogenic.


…and this would be when he jumped down and went over to the lake. Brat.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Augusti: Two words you never want to hear at a cat show: “Cat out!” (Thursday Things)

Especially when it’s your cat.

Sunday at the show, after Izaak had been judged and we were waiting for the Nominations, Lorelai was called up for her Nomination at the same time. So Björn had Rory and I had Zak. Then I dropped my phone and it came out of its case. I needed two hands to put it back in, so I handed Zak over to Björn. Then Zak started to cough up a hairball.

I raced over to the Secretary’s table and grabbed a piece of scratch paper, and got Zak to puke on it. Björn was right next to us, so I asked him to grab Zak whilst I dealt with the barf. In the time between me letting him go and Björn grabbing him…


…he decided this space under the folded-up bleachers (the show hall’s day job is a basketball arena). And he. Would not. Come. OUT. When he doesn’t want to be caught, he is a master. They announced that a cat was loose and to close all the doors, but I was like, “Yeah, no. The doors are the least of our worries!” He’s roaming around underneath the bleachers, and he’s up for Nomination like NOW


Finally, a woman with Siamese working the Secretary’s table called to me. She saw Zak in the corner, near her stroller. They asked me if I had any food that would lure him out. I said, “No…he won’t eat anything but raw and chicken necks. Does anyone have a raw chicken neck?” Yeah, nobody did. I had grabbed Chirpy Mouse and Zak’s favourite wand toy (a fishing lure blue crab I picked up in Baltimore), so we tried those. Chirpy Mouse had no effect, but Blue Crab got his attention. I almost grabbed him…but then he backed away. He wandered around a little more, and then came back to that corner, and, with the help of Blue Crab, I was able to grab him. The judge he was up for Nomination with, Glenn Sjöbom, asked me if I was okay and patted me on the back, telling me not to worry and not feel like I needed to rush. When he actually got nominated, I held him up, and, during the applause, I said to him, “You. Do. NOT. Deserve. This!”

I repeated that when he was declared Best In Show.

I don’t have any photos of the actual events…I was too busy trying to catch the little asshole.

But here’s the punchline to the whole escapade: Just after it happened my friend Kinsey posted on Facebook that Zak’s brother, Paolo had escaped that morning and led her on a merry chase around the neighbourhood before she managed to catch him again. He wears a tracker on his collar that she can track on her mobile.

One of her friends commented that it could only happen to Kinsey, and I chimed in, “Nope, not just Kinsey. Today at the cat show, Izaak, Paolo and Keiko’s younger brother, escaped and went exploring under the bleachers!”. To which Kinsey explained, “Must be in their genes. Paolo did that at a cat show once and I was on my hands and knees under the benches trying to get him.”


They ARE full brothers, perhaps not littermate brothers, but brothers nonetheless. Kinsey’s always posting about Paolo’s adventures…and by the smug, “sorry, not sorry” look on Zak’s face, I suspect I will be, too.

Aby-a-Day . 3 Januari: He’s not completely evil…(Thursday Things)

So. We know for certain that it is Alfred who is opening and ransacking our kitchen cabinet.


But what I didn’t know…


…was that he also tried to chew into packets of rice noodles! Dried rice noodles are as far from anything cat-edidble that…I can’t even.. Freddy, WTF were you thinking!?


But Freddy isn’t entirely evil. I did laundry and piled it onto our bed.


And look at what he did! He napped next to the laundry, not on the laundry. So, okay…he’s not a completely evil genius!

Aby-a-Day – 2 June: Meat-Seeking Missile

Yesterday was my birthday, so I went to Davis Square to get a pedicure. Afterwards, I was hungry, so I stopped by Redbones to have what will most likely be my last barbecue from them in a while.


When I called to place my order, I mentioned that I was moving to Sweden, and the girl I spoke with wrote this on my bag! I know…awwwww…


I will miss this place.


When I got home, I set the bag with my takeaway in it down and made the fatal mistake of leaving it unattended. And just look what happened!


Jacoby chewed through the plastic bag, the paper bag, AND the cardboard takeout box…and stole a rib and ATE it!


You can see how guilty and remorseful he felt about it, too.


He had already had his evening meal, too!


But seriously, I want you all to take another look at the hole he made. I mean, this was not a random accidental opening. He focused on one corner and attacked with surgical precision. Jake knew exactly what he was doing and how to do it.



He seems a bit sad that there is no meat left on the bone. He really stripped off every last bit…and then, while I was eating my share of the meal, he actually had the nerve to ask me to give him more! I hope Björn is ready for this rivningskula.

Aby-a-Day – 30 April: “Coffee” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Jacoby uses the coffeemaker, along with all the other countertop appliances, as a place to stand when I tell him to “get off the counter.”


Because the last thing Jake needs is coffee. Can you just imagine? A caffeinated Aby?


“Coffee? Sounds delicious! Yes, please, may I have some?”


NO! Now get off the counter, Jake.


Good boy!


But you still can’t have any coffee.

Aby-a-Day – 28 April: I licked it, so it’s mine.

Most people are familiar with the concept of “I licked it, so it’s mine.”

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Abyssinians have perfected this idea and made it into an art form.

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Take, for example this poor unsuspecting baguette that did nothing wrong. It was simply brought home from the grocery and set down on the kitchen counter.

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And just look what happened!

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Oh, the breadmanity.

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And was Jacoby content with merely licking the part of the loaf that was sticking out of the bag?

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No, of course he wasn’t.

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He folded his ears back and pushed his head and raspy tongue in as far as he could to lick as much of the bread as felinely possible.


He would have bitten into it, too, but the crust on a loaf of French bread is pretty hard, so Jake had to content himself with licking. Biting it would be too much work.

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What really gets me, though, is his sheer brazenness and chutzpah. I mean, I was standing right there, watching him. He licked it anyway. So there, humans.

Aby-a-Day – December 3: Crash!

So tonight, I was in my room, setting up to have a FaceTime session with Björn…


When I heard a CRASH!


Well…of course I had to go see what was going on.


Somehow, for some reason, someone managed to get one of the burner covers off the stove and onto the floor.


These things are heavy iron. And they interlink with one another. It’s incredibly hard to get them off the stovetop and onto the floor, especially if you don’t have opposable thumbs or leverage. I have no idea how it was done.



Aby-a-Day – November 22: Hey that’s MINE! (Selfish Sunday)

Yep, you read that right. Instead of Selfie Sunday, we’re having SELFISH Sunday.


I had put a package of delicious blueberry and maple syrup chicken breakfast sausages out on the counter to warm up before I cooked them. I thought that Jacoby would be in mid-afternoon nap mode, and wouldn’t notice them…and if he did, I figured the air-tight sealed package would have a fairly inert scent, and the blueberry and maple syrup would deter him. Yeah…right.


I was doing something in the bathroom when I heard Jake playing with something. It sounded like he was having fun and I wanted to see what he was doing…and I found my dinner on the carpet! The little fiend was trying to open the package!


I snatched it back and put it back in the kitchen. Do you think he was repentant?


Are you kidding?


He tried to steal it again, right in front of me! I ended up putting them inside the microwave (aka the Aby-proof food safe).


This is what they looked like when I took them out of the package to cook them.


MMMmmm…nothing like ABC* sausages! But it is funny…he is just like his brother Gun-Hee when it comes to sneaky thievery! The only difference is, Gun-Hee would take things to his house, while Jake’s safe place is the bedroom, apparently.

*Already Been Chewed.

Aby-a-Day – April 23: Because apparently we don’t have enough cat beds in our apartment

Lately, the closet door in the art room has been mysteriously opening.


Neither my husband nor I will have gone into that closet for days, yet the door would be open. Then, one day I couldn’t find Jacoby AND the closet door was once again open.


Finally, one mystery solved!



So, I kind of figured it was Jake opening the door. But I wasn’t expecting to find him sleeping in the closet!



And I never would have dreamed he’d pick the napping spot I found him in!



I have Jake’s show cage hanging in its bag in that closet, and at some point over the winter I’d left it unzipped when I put something in it.


Evidently, that makes a perfect secluded cat bed. Who knew?


All right, Jake, I’ll let you get back to sleep.

Aby-a-Day – March 21: “Beam” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


We have open-beam ceilings in our apartment. They are part of the original building which was built in 1906. The wall-climbers we’ve installed in the living room let the cats get right up next to the ceiling.


Apparently, this is not good enough for our Jacoby.


He’s starting to regularly walk on the heating duct. I have some sisal pads that we need to install up there to give him something to grip.


The problem is that now the duct doesn’t seem to be enough for Jake, either.


Now he’s got his eye on the sprinkler pipe!


And I mean, he’s really trying to walk on that pipe!


I really don’t know what to do about this. When I see him doing it, I tell him NO, and I try to get him down with the promise of treats.


That usually works.


I just wonder if he’s trying this when I’m NOT home. You know he probably is.




“Oh, all right, I’ll get off the pipe. Sheesh, Mom.”

The thing is, I have no idea why Jake wants to walk on the sprinkler pipe. There’s nothing over there for him to sit on or do. He can’t even really look out the window from up there. I think he just wants to see if he can do it. Typical male.

Aby-a-Day – December 22: Cat on a Hat Rack (Hipstamatic Monday)

The other evening, Jacoby discovered a new perch.


Now, you all know that we built all kinds of high cat perches right into the design of our new apartment when we moved, right?


Right. Because the kitties spend more time in the apartment than we do, and they like their perches.


So it’s not like Jake is deprived of high places. Not at all.


That being said…yeah. Jake finally noticed we have a hat rack.


And he realised he could get up onto it and see the apartment from a new vantage point.


He was exceedingly proud of himself, too.


Mind you, this isn’t a solid shelf. It’s an IKEA Tjusig hat rack, and the top shelf is round metal bars spaced at least an inch apart.


A cat has to be careful up there.


It’s a balancing act.


If you look carefully, you’ll notice Jake keeps his back feet on the solid wooden part of the shelf, just in case.


I have no idea how he jumped up there, though. There’s a cabinet nearby, but there’s a good space between the cabinet and the hat rack, and it must have taken a clever leap to land without a foot slipping through those bars.


I wish I’d seen it.


You can see how proud he was of himself for getting up there.


He was also pretty pleased that I noticed his accomplishment and was taking photos of him.


And he always loves it when he’s taller than I am.


I wish you could hear the purring.


I also don’t know how Jake got down from here. I wandered off to do something else, and the next thing I knew, he’d gotten down to follow me. He is such a character!

Aby-a-Day – November 13: The vast unexplored frontier of under the bed

We have dozens of good napping spots in our new apartment. But what’s the best place of all? The one place you’re not allowed to go, of course!


And for Jacoby, that forbidden frontier is the right-hand drawer under our bed.


It’s hard to open from the front, because my bedside table is next to it, so we don’t keep stuff we need to get at in that drawer. And there’s just enough room for a naughty Abyssinian to fit.


This weekend, my husband rearranged the boxes under the bed to make them cat-proof on the open side where there are no drawers. Eventually we’re planning to put some plywood there to cover it properly, but for now, boxes will work to keep Jake from hiding under the bed in general, and in that one drawer especially.


Because when Jake does get in there, it’s really hard to get him out unless he wants to come out.


So, naturally, we ply him with delicious treats he doesn’t usually get to have because of his UT issue.


He wants to get the treat without leaving his hideout. But oh, those crafty humans have placed it just out of reach…


“C’mon Jakey…don’t you want it? Don’t you want the treeeeeeeat?”


Oh, he wants it, all right.


He just wants it without having to leave his lair.


He’s no fool…he knows that if he comes out to get the treat, we’ll grab him and block up the hole and he won’t be able to get back into his fort.

And of course, he’s absolutely, 100% correct. That’s exactly our plan.


Eventually, the siren song of the tasty treat proves to be too much for our hero, and he succumbs to its seduction.


Nom nom nom…




And here’s the tiny window where Jake could actually go back into hiding. But he never does…because he’s greedy.


“Hey, are there any more of those!?”


And then this is when I grabbed him and dragged him out of there…because as cute as he is in there, under the bed is off limits. There are enough officially sanctioned hideouts in the apartment, thank you very much!

Aby-a-Day – October 26: Cats use laptops too, they just type with their butts

As I’ve mentioned before, Angel really loves sitting on my laptop.


If I don’t remember to close it, Angel will sit on it. She’s messed up a lot of my settings (once she changed accessibility preferences and I had enormous text that kept speaking to me – it took me two days to figure out how to turn that off), and she’s even managed to reorganise my desktop icons.


And I know she’s not the only one; there’s an entire website devoted to cats on laptops.


While I wish Angel wouldn’t sit on my laptop when it’s open, I know it’s my own damn fault for forgetting to close it. And at least she doesn’t barf on it, the way my Siamese Harri used to do. So it could be worse.


Still…bathing on my open laptop seems a bit much.



I fell asleep on the sofa and forgot to close the laptop…and woke up to Angel taking a full-on bath all over my keyboard.


She was really going at it, too.




This was a serious bath…


…she was even doing the biting thing with what’s left of her little front teeth.


There wasn’t much I could do about it…so I did what any cat owner would do. I grabbed my camera and documented the scene thoroughly.


She was also completely unrepentant.


I swear she’s actually smiling in this photo.




“Oh, well, back to it, then…”

Aby-a-Day – October 2: Sharing is caring

Kylie’s favourite place to sleep and hang out these days is the box part of the very highest cat shelf in the living room.


She can see everyone, but we can’t reach her.


In her mind, it’s perfect.


But of course, Jacoby likes it, too, because it’s high. The other night, he was up in the box…when Kylie wanted to be there.


Kylie was pretty upset about it, too.


The look in her eyes says, “Make him move!” But look at Jake’s face…


…look at that smug grin he’s got! He knows that’s her favourite spot, but he’s not going to move. Such a bratty boy!

Aby-a-Day – March 26: Wordless Wednesday (Closet Case)










Aby-a-Day – December 14: “Burst” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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



Do you think this bag of cat food spontaneously burst open all by itself?










Yeah, me neither.