Aby-a-Day – 27 Mars 2020: “You have to stop the Q-Tip when there’s resistance!”

I don’t remember exactly where I came across these (I think it was probably Kickstarter), but the idea of a reusable Q-Tip was very appealing to me. So when I discovered LastSwab, I had to try it.

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Originally, I was intrigued on my own behalf, because I use a Q-Tip every time I take a shower (full disclosure: They clean well, but they don’t soak up the water I get in my ears, so not perfect). But then I realised they would be awesome to use on the cats’ ears when I do their biweekly grooming (claw clipping, toothbrushing, ears, anal glands and combing). Depending on the cat, I use two to three Q-Tips per ear! So I got a LastSwab for each cat.

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Each cat has varying degrees of waxy build-up. Alfred, like Jacoby, has the dirtiest ears. Lorelai and Dashiell are next, then Angel and finally Izaak. So I used Freddy as my model.

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They are a little more “grabby” than cotton swabs, with those little nubs.

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Look how much wax they collect! Jake had chronic yeast infections in his ears, and I suspect Freddy has the same; problem is, Freddy’s insanely hard to give drops to. So I usually do an extra cleaning on his ears on the off weekends.

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On Freddy and Jake, I could use three or four swabs in a go. Add in the other cats’ ears…that’s a lot of swabs. I can get all of Freddy’s wax in one go with these. They clean easily with just soap and water, and if you think about it, it’s not much different from having a toothbrush.

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There you go, Freddy…all clean!

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Okay, Freddy…that’s a little too much enthusiasm.

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Postscript…Rory’s LastSwab case suffered a broken clip the first time I used it. I reached out to the company…and they are sending me a whole new LastSwab! All I wanted was a new case. That’s pretty great customer service!

Aby-a-Day – 21 April: You CAN teach an old cat some new tricks! (Swedish Sunday)

I apologise in advance for the blurriness of these photos, but I was lucky to capture them at all!

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This actually started before Jacoby died, but last week was the first time I managed to have my camera ready.

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You see, Angel, who will be twelve this year, has actually started playing with the younger cats!I haven’t seen her play with another cat voluntarily since Jake was a kitten!

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But here she is…

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…playing chase and catch with Lorelai! And Angel started it!

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It’s truly amazing.

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The old lady’s got some moves!

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Rory, having escaped up the hallway, returns to see where Angel is.

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“Where are you, Angel..?”

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Oh. Hello.

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Sometimes Alfred and Izaak join in; it’s not just a girl thing. Still, it’s so wonderful to watch Angel play with the other cats on her own terms as opposed to someone chasing her.

Aby-a-Day – April 27: Water, water everywhere (Miniature Monday)

We’ve had a Pioneer Raindrop stainless steel pet fountain for a few years now.

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It’s been very popular with all the cats.

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Recently, however, the pump’s been showing its age, so we upgraded to a new fountain – the Pioneer Big Max fountain! Despite being twice the size of the old fountain, it uses all the same replacement parts, which is an advantage since we buy the filters in bulk.

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Jacoby’s mini-me couldn’t wait to check out the new fountain.

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Although, he seems to have a little problem in actually reaching the water…

Aby-a-Day – October 16: “The path flies by as you and I ride a bicycle built for two”

Last week I finally got a bike of my own!

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I’ve pretty much had bikes my whole life; my first was a little purple 1970 Schwinn HollyWood. Then I got my “big girl bike,” a 1974 Schwinn Breeze in “Opaque Blue.” My sister got that one (and she still has it!) and I got my mom’s Campus Green Breeze when my sister outgrew the HollyWood. The Breeze was a very heavy bike, so when I was college, I got my Bianchi. He was a men’s bike (and therefore a boy) and I named him “Nivalis” because he was white. Oh, I loved that bike…but I sold him in the mid-90’s. I’ve been bikeless since (except for a brief period in 2002)…until Hubway started up in Boston. That was convenient, for a while…until it became so popular it became hard to find bikes to ride and open spaces to park them.

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So I finally got my own bike. Another Schwinn, almost the same colour as my Breeze. Her name is Nähri (Finnish for jay).

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Of course, Jacoby was right there to check out the new arrival.

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(Oh, how I wish this photo had been in focus!)

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Little does Jake know that someday I want to get a carrier so that he can join me on bike rides around town…

Aby-a-Day – October 15: Wordless Wednesday (Examination)

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Aby-a-Day – March 14: Intimidating surroundings (Friday Flashback)

When Angel first came to live with us, she was only comfortable in two places: on the sofa or on the bed. Unless she was eating or using the litter box, she stayed on the sofa or the bed and acted as if the floor was lava.

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There was a reason for her timidness: Tessie.

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Angel and Tessie have always had a rather strained relationship. It got even tenser when Tessie was on the sofa at the same time Angel was (which was about 75% of the time).

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There were some times Angel would venture down off the furniture…but never on the floor! And always with an eye trained on Tessie.

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I think Angel wanted to be friends with Tessie, but Tessie has always been resentful – if not downright jealous – of Angel.

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This is one reason that Angel was scared of Tessie – Tessie would try to trap her in the litterbox!

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When Angel finally got up the nerve to push past Tessie, Kylie was waiting outside the bathroom to jump her.

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These two bullied Angel a lot when Angel first moved in.

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It’s no wonder the sofa was her safety zone!

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However, in the new apartment, it’s almost as if a reset button has been pressed. It’s a new territory for everyone, and suddenly Angel is on equal ground.

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It took six years, but Angel is exploring and owning the new apartment much more than she ever did the old one.

Aby-a-Day – November 15: You can lead a cat to water…

Ever since Jacoby had his second Urinary Crystal Incident, I have wanted to get a cat water fountain for the cats.

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The last time we went to Petco, the very fountain I wanted, the Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain, just happened to be on sale!

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I set it up just outside the kitchen, where we currently have one of their two watering stations set up. Then, I waited to see what would happen.

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In a completely shocking turn of events, Jacoby was the first to investigate (What a surprise, I know).

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Jake’s a huge fan of drinking out of the bathroom faucet, so I was very interested to see what he would do with the fountain. At first, he examined it thoroughly, but didn’t drink.

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He was very interested in the little waterfall section.

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Or, he was interested in his reflection on the shiny stainless steel. It was kind of hard to tell.

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I was surprised he didn’t stick his hands in the water. He didn’t actually drink out of it during his preliminary reconnaissance mission; I think in part he wasn’t quite sure which side he was meant to drink from!