Happy 15th Birthday, Tessie!

It’s hard to believe that Tessie turns 15 years old today! She is still doing well in Boston.

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She’s slowing down a little and she can’t jump the way she used to. She also has a little limp, which may be arthritis. And the brown spot on her right eye (which she has had for at least 10 years) is getting bigger. Apart from all that, she is very healthy and active!

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Happy birthday, Tessie-bell!

Aby-a-Day – 5 July: Alfred and Markis (Thursday Things)

Alfred is a very protective big brother. And free whatever reason, he has decided that Markis from upstairs was a threat to Lorelai.

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Of course, Markis was just outside minding his own business…

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…but when he heard Freddy growling he decided to let discretion be the better part of valour.

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He tried to hide amongst the bicycles, but Freddy followed him…

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…growling…

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…with his tail puffed and his hackles raised! When Jacoby and Markis meet, they just sniff each other and Markis will hiss and growl. I am not sure what Freddy sees that Jake doesn’t.

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This toddler, though. He kept wanting to pet the kitties. The snarling, growling, hissing, clearly angry and preoccupied kitties. I tried to get him to move away, but I don’t think he understands English or Swedish yet, and his mother was right there (you can see her in the background), so I thought her maternal instincts would kick in.

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…NOPE. So of course the kid gets too close, Markis hisses and lunges, kid sit-falls onto his bum and starts crying and only then does she intervene. He wasn’t hurt, but he could have been.

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After that, Markis was done. He trotted off across the grass.

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Freddy kept an eye on him for a while.

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Finally, he decided that Markis was far enough away and relaxed.

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A little later, however, Markis moved to the base of one of our trees.

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Freddy did not like this at all and started stalking Makis again even as Markis moved out into the field.

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Freddy kept walking towards Markis until he was what Freddy felt was a safe distance away.

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Poor Markis! All he wanted was to enjoy the sun and grass and maybe catch a mouse. It’s a good thing Freddy doesn’t go outside without a human on a leash!

Aby-a-Day- 27 June: Wordless Wednesday (Exploring the back of the apartment building)

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Aby-a-Day – 22 June: Sugar Oh Honey Honey (Fashion Friday)

When Gun-Hee died, I got a couple of different charms to put a bit of his ashes in, and I wanted to get something similar so I could carry a bit of Logan with me, too. Browsing different types of ash jewellry, I discovered Sugar Oh Honey Honey. They are a small workshop in Swindon, Oxfordshire, England, who make personalised photo and ashes jewellery. I am not sure how they make the ash jewellery (it seems like it might be resin casting, but it could be glass), but the results are stunning. Even better, there is a black Sphynx named Coco Beane supervising all the humans as they make everything!

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As “Boss Lady” Vicky Rose explains, she started her company in memory of her daughter Honey so she could help people through jewellery. And it really shows. The packaging was exquisite. I opened the little box to see a happy yellow card and sparkly tinsel.

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Jacoby was there to help me open it, of course.

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On the back of the card was a hand-written note from Vicky.

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This is what I found underneath the card. Of course, Lorelai was very interested in the shimmery, rustly tinsel.

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Nestled in the tinsel were two drawstring bags and a box.

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I opened this one first.

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It was a bracelet with a charm with Logan’s photo on it! This was such a lovely surprise because I didn’t order it! They just threw it in as a bonus. Isn’t that amazing?

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I opened this bag next. It contained Logan’s leftover ashes that weren’t used in the pendant. I mean, they could have just tossed them and said they used them all, but instead they sent them back in a pretty bag.

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Finally I opened the box. WOW! Isn’t it beautiful?

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And the best part is, it glows in the dark!

After I ordered it, the “Tech Girl,” Megan Chase, sent me an email explaining how to send in a bit of Logan’s ashes and added, “We would also love to know more about the pet/person you are sending to us along with a name and pictures (if you have any) and a favourite song, as we like to play music while making each individual piece.” So of course I directed her to this blog, because clearly it’s the best way to learn about who Logan was. In a follow-up email, Megan told me, “Your blog is so lovely to read, I’ve found myself spending some of my spare time reading it,” which is just so sweet! So, Megan, I hope you liked this post!

Angel added this whilst I was away from my laptop: äòp0y………………u. I think it may be a message to Coco.

Aby-a-Day – 6 March: Sketches of Pyret (Cartoon Tuesday)

In anticipation of getting back to doing my full-colour, regular cartoons again, I have been working up “characters” for the new cats in the ensemble cast: Pyret, Alfred and Logan. You have seen some of the preliminary sketches of Freddy and Logan already.

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I also worked up a sketch for Pyret. Someday I’ll have to finish this one in colour.

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 – 6 February: My upstairs neighbours’ cat (Cartoon Tuesday)

During that farce that was held in the months before the first Tuesday in November a year or so ago, my standard retort to any discussion of the male candidate was, “ANYONE would do a better job than that idiot. My upstairs neighbours’ cat would be better than him! And, he has better hair!”

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This is Marquis, our upstairs neighbours’ cat.

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He’s a domestic Swedish longhair, about three years old, and our neighbours cannot keep him inside.

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He loves going outside.

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He doesn’t like Jacoby very much, unfortunately.

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Which is too bad, because Jake actually seems to kind of want to be friends with him.

It is said Swedes aren’t social with strangers, but contrary to popular belief, we are very friendly with the other people living in our building. Our upstairs neighbours, Johan and Oksana, have two daughters, we share food and we take in each others’ cats when we need to. Our across-the-hall neighbour, Marita, comes in and feeds the cats who stay home when we go to shows. It’s really nice.

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Marquis is social, too. When he’s outside and sees someone heading towards the door to our block of apartments, he comes running to be let in. He then leads you up to his apartment and waits for you to ring the doorbell. He’s very smart.

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He is also an excellent hunter. He’s shown me mice he’s caught, and one morning I saw him pounce into a flock of birds. I didn’t have time to whip out a camera, so when I got to class, I tried to recreate his whirling attempt to snag a birdie.