Aby-a-Day – 22 April: Where the boys are (Hipstamatic Monday)

I needed to fix a couple of things on my bicycle, so I let Lorelai and Izaak come outside with me whilst I was working.

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In Sweden, however much it may seem like New England, we haven’t really got a spring. We go from winter to full-blown summer. And so it is this year. We went from freezing cold to OMG where are my shorts and sandals!? Björn says that Sweden is in the BiPolar Zone.

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The kids who live in our apartment complex love our cats and love to play with them.

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Usually, it’s the girls who go nuts over the kittens running around outside.

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But today, it was the boys. One of them told me his friend had a cat with kittens, and he got to hold them when they were one week old. Later, he told me he was going to get one of those kittens.

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We had told them that Zak will fetch his mousies and bring them back, so they wanted to see that. Of course, outside, Zak had zero interest in playing with IKEA toys.

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The boys didn’t listen to us, and tried Zak’s favourite toy on Rory. It was, I think, disappointment.

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But watching them play and interact with the kittens was adorable.

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The boys went between romping with Rory and Zak like they would with puppies (and which Rory and Zak were totallly down with)…

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…to the sweetest one-on-one play you have ever seen.

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It really warmed my heart, watching boys running around playing with cats.

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I hope we are fostering our next generation of cat daddies.

Aby-a-Day – 12 April: Our last exploration together (Friday Flashback)

Last week when Jacoby and I went to Jönköping to see the vet and get his blood tested, we saw the cutest little play park on the way to the bus stop.

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It looked like a little Hobbit village!

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I knew Jake wasn’t really feeling well, but it was such a nice day, and we had time to explore it before our appointment, so I let him out of his carrier so he could explore.

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Sick as he was, he perked up and eagerly explored the first cave.

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The little hills and caves were just the perfect size for him! I wish we had noticed this on earlier trips to Jönköping.

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It’s even his colour!

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Typical Jake, he had to climb up and sit on top of the little hill.

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He always has to survey whatever kingdom he’s currently ruling.

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The next little cave wasn’t a cave at all…

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…It was a tunnel!

Jake wasn’t interested in going through it, though. He was more interested in the portholes.

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And in climbing to the top again, of course.

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The park also had these spinning saucers. They were kind of like a merry-go-round for one. I didn’t spin him in it, but look! It’s the Cat From Outer Space!

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I’m not sure what these wooden and rope sheep were meant to be for. Just something for kids to pretend to ride, I guess.

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Jake thought they were pretty awesome, though.

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The last thing on the playground was a sort of atomic jungle gym with a bouncy chair that worked kind of like a swing. It was definitely a throne befitting His Highness.

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It’s hard to believe that these photos were taken only a week ago. This was how he was last Friday, curious, interested in new things, alive. And now he’s not. It’s so hard to wrap my brain around; he just declined so quickly! But I am glad that I didn’t just pass the park by; it would have been so easy to decide he was too sick, that we’d come back when he was feeling better…but I didn’t and we had one last little exploration together. You only regret what you don’t do…I am so glad I did do this.

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As a reminder, the insurance cap has been reached so I won’t close the GoFundMe campaign for his chemo just yet as we don’t know what his final total bill will be. Also, the insurance won’t cover his cremation. Donations are still coming in, and after Jake’s bills are paid off, I am sure there will be a good amount left over for New England Abyssinian Rescue. I will close the campaign down on Jake’s birthday, Sunday 14 April.

Aby-a-Day – 7 April: “Spring is here, A-suh-puh-ring is here! Life is skittles and life is beer” (Swedish Sunday)

Continuing from yesterday’s post…after the kittens run down the hill in front of our building, they run back up to the hill to the back of our apartment.

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Lorelai hurries to cat up to Izaak…

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…who is already under our balcony, with Alfred above on the ledge.

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I know, Freddy, but you can’t be trusted off leash, and we have an actual chore to get done.

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Oh! Look who it is! Angel’s come to join us!

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In the past few months, she’s actually been not only friendly with the younger cats, but she’s actually started to play chasing games with them!

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As you may recall, the kittens really love the sandy area around the swingset.

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Especially Rory.

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She loves to dig holes in it, roll in it, play with it…she just loves sand.

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Zak tries digging a hole…but he doesn’t really see the appeal in it that Rory does.

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Oops! Time for a bit of chase!

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Finally we get to our destination: the garbage bin.

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Or, well…we went to the garbage bin to take out the trash…the kittens just ran around the adjacent lawn like mad things.

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Rory, as always, especially. She really loves to run free outside.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Mars: Lorelai and Markis (Swedish Sunday)

The other day, despite it being severely windy, I took Lorelai out for a little run whilst I picked up all our bicycles. (I tried to take Izaak out, too, but he saw how windy it was that he noped back upstairs.)

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Rory saw our upstairs neighbour cat, Markis, down the hill, and took off down towards the road to say hello.

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When she got to where he was, she stopped, and just stared at each other for a moment.

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Markis has been territorial towards the boys in the hallway of our apartment building, so before she got herself into trouble, I called Rory back to me. Her recall is actually really, really good.

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I swear, sometimes when Rory runs, she almost gets airborne!

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I love watching her run free. She’s so fast and she loves it so much!

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As for Markis, he was just like…”WTF just happened?” because she bounded down and then back up the hill so fast.

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I really love Markis…he actually reminds me a bit of Alfred.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Mars: “I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring…I do, don’t you? Course you do!” (Hipstamatic Monday)

It’s finally spring here in midwestern Sweden.

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We can tell because there’s no snow, the temperature is getting up above 5°C, and the swans have returned to our little lake (See those two little white dots in that photo up there? Those are our swans).

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Even though it was still a little chilly, I took Lorelai and Izaak outside to run around. It has been ages since they really got to run around, and run around they did.

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Rory got out the door and immediately started bounding down the hill, with Zak in hot pursuit.

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It is amazing how far they can get in such a short time. They are almost down to the road at the bottom of our hill.

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Rory was fascinated by something in those sticks…

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…Whilst Zak was more interested in trees.

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Finally I got them back up the hill…

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…and into the open area behind our apartment.

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They’re very familiar with the back of our apartment.

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We had an audience…apparently that other cat we saw on the balcony last summer has a roommate.

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As much as they enjoyed running around on the back lawn, it was pretty clear that there was only one ultimate goal…

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the sandbox!

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Rory did her usual digging holes in the sand and then running away from them.

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Finally we all got cold enough to go back in the apartment. But we had 45 minutes of fun and bonding before we went back in.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Mars: Surprise snowfall (Swedish Saturday)

We had a surprise snowfall last week, so I let the cats outside. Jacoby was eager to go outside…until he saw the snow. Then he noped right back up the stairs to our door. Alfred was a little better…he went outside, but the snow was still falling, and he didn’t seem to like that.

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But Lorelai…

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…Rory ran straight out into the snow with zero hesitation, stopping to visit her beloved rug rack first.

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She loves going outside more than she cares about being cold or having wet feet.

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Look at that happy tail!

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If you look closely at the background, you can see Izaak next to the apartment building, where no snow had fallen. He wants to be outside with Rory and me…just not in that wet white stuff.

Aby-a-Day – 9 February: Playing with Izaak (Singapura Saturday)

Whilst Emma was busy playing with Lorelai, Björn and Izaak played together with the Ferocious Friends mousie on a stick. It’s very well made and sturdy enough to play with outside.

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Zak just loves mousies of any sort, as you know.

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This mousie is no exception.

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I often wonder what Zak would do if he ever saw a real mouse.

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Look how intent he is on his prey!

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…uh, Zak..?

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…Where are you going…? The mousie is back there…

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Oh. Leaves.

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Okay, well, I guess those are fun, too.

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I think Zak had almost as much fun playing with the leaves as he did with the mousie on a stick!