It has been raining really hard for the past two days – lightning, thunder, and a tremendous amount of precipitation. Last week, however was sunny and bright.
When we went outside, I was struck by the way Izaak’s shadow looked. I had to take some Hipstamatic snaps of him.
A couple in the C part of our building recently got a Swedish Vallhund puppy. We’ve seen them walking him outside, but we had yet to be outside with the cats when they were training him.
Until last Thursday, when we took the recyclables out. As we know, Lorelai likes dogs. But she’s never really met a puppy before.
The pup is really young, and he’s squirmy and yappy. At first, Rory was a little taken aback.
But eventually they touched noses.
Then Alfred strolled up to meet the puppy, whose name is Toke (Pronounced “TOH-kuh”).
It was pretty funny to see how big Toke made Freddy look. Toke looks a little intimidated. Toke’s humans were happy to introduce him to our cats; they want to get a kitten as well.
And then Izaak joined the party.
“That sure is a funny-looking cat!”
“Wait…That’s no cat!”
The other day when we took the cats outside, Björn got the idea to use his phone’s front camera to take some photos of Lorelai from a different angle.
Rory was standing on the rug frame, so Björn took photos of her from underneath.
I’ve got to admit…I never really thought about taking photos from below like this. Pretty brilliant, I think.
Rory seemed to like it, too.
Björn managed to get himself into a couple of the shots as well. I think they’re cute.
Dashiell is a very beautiful and graceful cat.
As long as he’s standing still.
As handsome as Dash is, he has a very…awkward way of walking.
Walking…not so much.
The other day I took Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak outside for a little romp.
I let Rory go out offleash, but I had it with me just in case she decided to be naughty. She was happy to jump into the tall grass on the hill.
Meanwhile, Zak investigated the big tree.
Later on, we made two discoveries: Markis, and catmip growing in the grilling area! Not sure how we never noticed it before. Maybe it’s new.
I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t been for Markis.
Zak is so funny…he really wants to be friends with Markis.
We also ran into the neighbour boy who loves Freddy. Freddy was sweet enough to let the boy pick him up, and the boy was thrilled. He knows all their names and calls out to them, it’s so cute.
When we go outside with the cats, I do try to get Angel to come outside, too. But the last time we went out, Angel was happily ensconced on one of the chairs on the balcony. So, I let her be.
That didn’t stop her from joining us in her own way.
What was really adorable, though, was that Dashiell noticed her sitting on the railing watching us.
He was like, “Hey! Angel!”
Not sure if Angel is Juliet, Rapunzel, or Roxanne in this scenario.
Dash was the only cat who really noticed her. Alfred only saw her because he wanted to know what Dash was so interested in.
“Wait! No! Angel, come back!”
Sometimes, after being outside for a while, the cats slow down. That’s when we know it’s almost time to go back in the house.
Lorelai often gets up on Björn’s shoulder. She’s a very accomplished shoulder rider.
Izaak usually wants to stand or sit on me…but this time, he really looked like he wanted to be on Björn’s shoulder, too.
And Zak seems pretty put out that he can’t get up there, too.
The other day, we took the cats out. I was trying to capture the differences in their gaits.
I kind of managed to capture it on “film.”
Went we went out, I took the big camera with the long lens, and I captured all of them walking and running outside.
Here they are outside. I know, it’s 18 minutes long…but it’s interesting if you want to see their different movements outside
As I mentioned the other day, Dashiell is gradually becoming more comforatble outside.
You can see it in his eyes and in his gait.
He’s getting much braver. We still have to catch him and bring him outside – he doesn’t eagerly race out like the other three – but once he IS out, he enjoys it.
But look how incredibly shiny his coat is! I don’t remember Jacoby being quite this shiny. I think it’s because Dash eats more raw food. Jake refused to eat it. He would eat his other food and leave just the raw behind (kind of like Izaak in reverse). I can’t wait to take him to a cat show!
As you may remember, Dashiell isn’t as confident about being outside.
But he does seem more comfortable when he’s with the other cats.
So when Alfred started to run down the hill, Dash kind of followed him.
I mean, okay…Dash walked down the hill, he didn’t run.
But the fact that he went on the hill at all is a huge step for him!
Yesterday, we had Alfred walking.
Today, he is running! When he wants to, he can go pretty fast.
Because Freddy’s a bit of a chonk, and because I suspect he has mild asthma, he tend to run with his mouth open.
I feel so fortunate to live where we do, in an area where it’s safe to let them run free, without worrying about cars or large predators or birds of prey to worry about. And I love that the cats are smart enough to know that if they don’t stay close, they get put on the leash and they don’t get to run.
Following up on Thursday’s post about about Izaak’s bouncy gait, here is Alfred casually walking across the grass.
Freddy saunters when he walks with very little bounce.
You can see it in the line of his back.
He keeps it fairly level with each step.
Freddy walks like a cat on a mission.
Even when he’s only leisurely strolling down our hill.
This is what Freddy walking looks like from the front. Look at the determination in his eyes. He’s so intelligent, and you can see that in his face.
Remember back in January when I took I took those awesome winter photos of Izaak? Well, I was inspired when we were outside the other day; it was such a gorgeous, perfect spring day that I got an idea to put Zak in his tree and take some spring photos, and then take some more in the height of summer and autumn and make a four seasons thing.
Just one problem. On that outing, I was using my long lens, and the blossoms and sky were washed out and not nearly as bright as they actually were. I knew it when I took the photos. After I looked at them, I told Zak, “No worries. We can fix that in post.”
Because this is how the sky and blossoms really looked. But it’s a super-easy fix. Just cut out the washed out sky…
…add in the good background…
…brighten it up a bit, add a little blur, and…perfect! Stay tuned for summer!
I absolutely love watching Izaak run.
It’s so different from the way the Abys run.
It’s bouncier, somehow.
I’ve also noticed he has a tendency to curl up his tail as he runs, while the Abys’ tails are either straight up or straight out.
Zak’s got a swagger to his stride that the Abys just don’t have. They’re more about the speed.
And then Zak slows down to a businesslike trot.
He’s clearly a cat on a mission.
Earplane 1Z44K is taxiing down the runway after another successful flight.
After the successful landing, he is met by his faithful groundcrew.
As you know, Lorelai loves to go outside.
Her leash? Not so much.
Girl can throw some serious shade, though. I mean, it’s not Singapura stink-eye level, but it’s up there.
All my life, I thought boycats were more friendly, outgoing and social than girlcats. The females I had, apart from Crystal, were all aloof and, if we’re being honest, a little neurotic. Tessie and Kylie changed that preconception a bit, but they had their moments.
And then I met Lorelai.
We’ve been keeping her on a leash because of her heats, as you know. Which means when the neighbourhood children want to pet one of our cats, she’s kind of a sitting duck. Luckily, she doesn’t mind at all.
In Sweden, at least where we live, kids run around outside and play all day long, a lot like I did when I was a kid, (*Ahem*) in the 1970s. It’s nice to see, especially compared to how sheltered children are in the States. It’s also a little annoying; why do kids feel the need to SCREAM when they’re playing?
The last time we went outside, one of the kids asked Björn if they could hold Rory’s leash…and it lead to a little parade.
And Rory loved it.
It’s also really great PR for what cats as pets are capable of. Hopefully, when these children grow up, they’ll be cat people.
The other day, a friend posted an infomeme about dandelions. I think it has some very important things to know.
We are lucky that our område’s lawn is a natural mix of grass, moss, yarrow, clover, and many different flowers including dandelions. They don’t mow it super-short or super-often, so it gets really nice and natural. There’s also no sprinkler system. If it doesn’t rain, the grass turns brown…c’est la vie. It’s so much nicer than those perfect, manicured lawns in the States.
Dandelions are also wicked fun to gallop through. Just ask Izaak.