Aby-a-Day – 17 Januari: Let’s go outside! (Swedish Cinema Sunday)

We went outside with the cats today. Lorelai was the most eager, as usual…

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She has zero fat and thin, sleek fur, but she doesn’t seem to feel the cold at all.

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The boys, on the other hand, kind of hovered by the door.

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Finally, Alfred decided to explore. Seeing as he’s got the most insulation, he should do…

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Our upstairs neighbours were outside sledding. Oksana is always happy to see Freddy.

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He and Rory explored their sleds.

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Eventually, everyone decided they had had enough snow and wanted to go back inside.

I also made a little video of our outing. Enjoy!

Aby-a-Day – 14 Januari: More snow, more fun (Thursday Things)

Since I posted last week, we’ve had a bit more snow here. I took the cats outside again on Tuesday; it was actually rather warm and the snow was perfect and not too wet or icy.

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Lorelai, of course, went pelting off into the whiteness.

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The boys, however, were less enthusiastic (and yes, I made Dashiell come out with us).

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Eventually, Alfred stretched his legs.

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Dash even took a little walk around the building.

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Izaak…was displeased.

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Rory, on the other hand, was playing with the snow.

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She was having so much fun out there.

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One cool thing happened, though. Watching Rory run, I saw some movement in the background. At first I thought it was Freddy, but it was a hare! I wish one of the cats had seen it, though. I’d love to see what their reaction would be!

Aby-a-Day – 13 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (Magpies and cats in the snow)

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Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari: The second day at the Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Sunday)

The second day of that Swedish CFA show was as much fun as the first, both for us and for Jacoby.

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We had a lot of judges come over from the US. At this point, I had only been in Sweden for six months, so it was fun to see some familiar faces and hear some familiar accents.

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This judge, Albert Kurkowski, was one of the few non-American, non-CFA judges; he was from Poland, and he was a guest judge from the World Cat Federation.

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I really enjoyed watching him handle Jake.

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There was a really pretty little Burmilla girl who was frequently benched next to us during judging.

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She reminded me a bit of Tessie.

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This judge, Inga Balciuniene, was also a WCF guest judge from Latvia.

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Pam DeLaBar is a CFA judge who lives in Finland. I actually hadn’t ever seen her at a show in the States. It’s nice having another ex-pat in the cat fancy.

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And our friend Russell Webb was there, too. He was always Jake’s lucky charm.

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Jake was Second Best cat in Premiership in Russell’s ring.

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As we did Saturday, when Jake got a little antsy we went outside to play in the snow. This time, I didn’t bother with the harness and leash. I figured, how far is he going to get in that deep snow.

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Famous last words.

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He started making off towards a little house. He went pretty far really quickly, too! I was surprised how hard he was to catch.

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I finally caught him, though.

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The cats we have now are awesome, and a lot of fun to show…but I still miss going to shows with Jake.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Januari: Scenes from a Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Saturday)

I never did post the photos from the CFA show we went to in 2017 I was reminded of yesterday.

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Jacoby seemed delighted to be back at a CFA show after competing in a few FIFe shows.

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And our friend Teresa Keiger seemed delighted to see Jake on her judging table again.

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Many CFA judges enjoyed showing off Jake’s “hands off” style on the judging table, and Teresa is one of them.

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People never got over how he loved to just stand and pose on the table, with absolutely no desire to run off.

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Jake really loved CFA shows.

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Even so, later in the day Jake started getting a little antsy, so we took him outside to play in the snow.

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The snow was fresh and wicked deep.

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I think Jake was happy for a break outside…but a little taken aback by how much snow there was.

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That didn’t stop him from exploring, though.

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He even plowed his way to a chain link fence.

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When he got there, he gripped the links and looked out through the fence.

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It was strangely reminiscent of the way he loved to look through the chain link fence in our little park along the Harborwalk back in Boston.

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After the first day of showing was over, we settled into our hotel. Jake knew where his food was!

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Jake and Björn chilled on the bed watching TV.

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There happened to be a documentary about cats on TV that night!

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Jake was very interested in it and watched intently. It was so cute!

Aby-a-Day – 7 Januari: Snow day! (Thursday Things)

So, as you saw yesterday, we finally got a little bit of snow.

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Alfred, along with Lorelai and Izaak (who haven’t been outside in forever) were eager to get out, even if there was snow on the ground.

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Rory, of course, burst out the door. She never seems to feel the cold at all.

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Zak was happy to be outside, but he wasn’t happy about the cold. He mostly stuck close to the building.

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You can see the difference in their happiness about being out.

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Freddy immediately went around back to check out his bush. There wasn’t much to check out.

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At one point, Rory couldn’t hold it in anymore, and she burst off in her signature flying joyful bound.

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Look at her go! It doesn’t matter if it’s cold and snow-covered or the hottest day of summer…she loves to run outside.

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Eventually, she came trotting back to the shelter of the building.

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“Well? Was it fun?”

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Freddy also took off in his goofy gallop, and Zak followed behind him.

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We didn’t stay outside for very long, because it was breezy and felt colder than the -2°C that it actually was.

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Markis was also outside enjoying the snow.

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As were the neighbourhood children. Despite there being barely enough snow to cover the grass, they were all out there sliding down our hill.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (It finally snowed…kind of)

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Aby-a-Day – 2 Jaunari: A little socially-distanced celebration (Swedish Saturday)

On New Year’s Eve, we had a little socially-distanced party in the afternoon.

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It was pretty cold, around 2°C with a breeze, but being outside seemed prudent. Since Alfred has the most…insulation.., he got to come out with us. Johan, our upstairs neighbour, manned the grill.

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Meanwhile, Freddy charmed Johan’s mother…

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…and this little girl.

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Bruno was out with us, too, and Freddy was extra friendly with him. It was nice to spend time with other people…even if it was really cold and only for an hour or so.

Aby-a-Day – 6 November 2020: Do you want to build a snowman? (Friday Flashback)

Along with everything else going on today, Facebook helpfully reminded me that, four years ago today, we had snow. That made me chuckle; today the high was 13°C (56°F), and snow is nowhere on the horizon.

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Four years ago, though, there was enough snow to build a snowman.

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So of course Jacoby and I had to go out and look at it.

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The kids were clearly trying to make Olaf, the snowman from Frozen. How adorable is that?

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Jake seemed to like him. Look at his smile.

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I miss how good he was at posing…I could just set him anywhere, and he knew what to do.

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I miss that face. I know Dashiell looks like Jake…but I can tell the difference.

Aby-a-Day – 1 November 2020: Feline Manoeuvres in the Dark (Cinema Sunday)

Admittedly, these are not the best photos. The iPhone 11 Pro’s night setting is great for photographing stationary objects…but cats, not so much. But I wanted to see how well it did at night videos. So what we have here are screenshots from the video.

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You see, Winter Time in Europe starts a week before it starts in North America, so we set the clocks back last Sunday. Which means that where we live, the sun sets around 4pm. Which makes running the ordinary chores we have to do get done in the dark. We needed to take out some garbage and recycling, and, as usual, Lorelai, Izaak and Alfred came with us. However, ever since the Runaway Rory adventure, she has to stay on a leash.

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But Zak and Freddy are still free to run.

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Hopefully, next year, we’ll be on permanent Summer Time, and winters will be a little less dark.

Here’s the video of the cats walking back after we dumped all the rubbish.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Oktober 2020: An Autumn Outing (Swedish Cinema Sunday)

Autumn is in full swing here in southwestern Sweden. We’re actually a very similar climate to New England, which is nice; it made the transition just that much easier.

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It was 7°C (44°F), but it felt colder. Izaak has a habit of holding one foot up when the ground is wet or cold…he was doing that a lot today.

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Lorelai and Alfred went out as well; after her escape escapade, we’ve kept her on a leash when she’s gone outside. Today, though, we put on her harness and had the leash on reserve.

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It worked; she didn’t run away…she barely ran at all. But at least she had free range. She finally went down the hill to see what Freddy was doing at the treeline.

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I guarantee Freddy is in this photo. Bonus points if you can find him.

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Eventually, Rory came back up the hill and sat under this abandoned, broken chair someone used as a base to spraypaint something. She looks so reflective.

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I wonder what she’s thinking about?

I also made a little video of Zak and Rory while we were outside. I love watching these two interact outside.

Aby-a-Day – 27 September 2020: Small cat on a giant chair (Swedish Sunday)

I took these last autumn after a trip to the vet with Dashiell.

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In the courtyard outside Commerce (our downtown mall), there was a giant Adirondack chair.

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It appeared randomly last summer, and then disappeared, never to be seen again.

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When I put Dash on it, it reminded me of Edith Ann on Laugh-In…and that’s the truth.

Aby-a-Day – 24 September 2020: Taking photos of cats is a crapshoot (Thursday Things)

I have been taking photos of cats for over 50 years, ever since my dad gave me a Brownie Starflash camera when I was four years old.

I mean, even the manual said it was meant to take photos of cats!

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In the old film days, I could take a photo of a cat at 1/8 of a second, which is a really slow shutter speed. I could hold that still. So I know I can seem to make taking photos of cats look easy.

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Just remember…no matter how long you’ve been taking photos, you can still end up with photos like this. At least I don’t have to pay for film and processing any more!

Aby-a-Day – 17 September 2020: Me and my shadow (Thursday Things)

Because he follows me everywhere, I call Izaak my “little shadow.” But there are times when he is literally my shadow.

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When the sun is just right…

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…Zak’s shadow shadows me.

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There goes my shadow…and his shadow.

Aby-a-Day – 10 September 2020: Runaway Rory (Thursday Things)

As I posted on Sunday, we took Alfred, Izaak and Lorelai out to the recycling bins.

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But what I didn’t tell you about is that Rory ran away.

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Like, away away.

Here’s a satellite shot of our område. At the top of the photo is our apartment building. At the lower right is the recycling bins. And at mid-lower left is where she ran…and where I lost her. We actually had her back at our apartment, the boys were ready to go in…and she ran all the way back to where that arrow is. And the sun was setting, and it was getting dark.

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We had no idea where she could be (I suspected she’d doubled back, since every time we lost track of her, she was heading back towards our building), and apart from the darkness, it was also getting cold and we had to have our dinner (pot roast, which was in danger of overcooking).

Shout out to BlanketID, here: their poster generating feature is wonderful. I created one in English and Björn translated it into Swedish. Kalle offered to go out and look for her, and at almost 11 PM, he texted me and told me he’d spotted her in the small parking lot near the tvättstugen (laundry building). Björn went out to help him lure her in with some treats and a laser pointer, and when they called her, she finally came out. Kalle caught her, and they put her on her harness and leash. She did walk back like a good girl, but she didn’t get her chicken neck that night.

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I knew she was in heat…but I also know there aren’t any whole tomcats in the area. Still, I thought that her training would kick in. I think I underestimated the power of hormones and instinct just a little bit. Welp…until she gets knocked up, she’s only going outside on her harness and leash.

Aby-a-Day – 6 September 2020: Running around outside (Cinema Sunday)

We took the cardboard to the recycling area today, and of course we had help.

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We’re fortunate to have two recycling stations right in our Område. We used to have to go about half a mile to get rid of plastic, metal, and glass…which was a bitch in winter. Now, we just go a few yards.

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Izaak and Alfred were particularly buddy-buddy today.

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I love watching Zak run.

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“What?”

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I love it so much when one cat jumps over another…

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Of course, Lorelai was with us too.

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And, as always, she was so joyful when she was running.

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Rory loves to run. She practically flies when she runs. It’s joy personified.

Here’s a little video of the three of them having fun outside.

Aby-a-Day – 3 September 2020: Won’t you pose for my camera, lookin’ like a model, lookin’ like a superstar (Thursday Things)

Dashiell has this interesting quirk: he “poses” when he’s outside.

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And I am talking poses of the sort you wish he would make we’re in front of a professional photographer!

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Look at his back legs and tail…he looks like a stacked show German Shepherd!

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Lorelai saw Dash and tried to pose along with him.

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I think Dash approves of Rory’s stance.

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And…here is Izaak’s opinion of posing.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Augusti 2020: Lorelai outside (Swedish Sunday)

The other day when we went outside, I captured these portraits of Lorelai.

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Usually, she’s always running. This was an odd quiet moment for her.

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But she looked so pretty against the green grass.

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Fear not…she was running down the hill a few minutes after I took the last photo.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Augusti 2020: All cats outside (technically) (Swedish Saturday)

Here we have a photo of all five cats outside.

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Izaak, Dashiell, Angel, Alfred and Lorelai, all enjoying the great outdoors.

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Okay, so…Angel chose to enjoy outside from the balcony, but still…

Aby-a-Day – 22 Augusti 2020: There’s a Singa on my shoulder (Singapura Saturday)

I have had a rather crappy 24 hours. It’s finished now, but it just really drained me, emotionally.

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Therefore, today’s post is the blogging equivalent of just making pasta with whatever sauce because you have zero idea what to have for supper and can’t be arsed to make anything but you really need to eat.

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Recently, Izaak has decided he wants to try to be a shoulder cat. He’s started jumping on Björn the way Lorelai does.

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I love the little grabby hands.

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He’s pretty awkward, though.

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Not at all the graceful little squirrel that Rory is at all.

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He really has to work at keeping his balance!

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More gratuitous grabby hand action. Sorry this post is so listless, but I am just completely out of spoons.