Aby-a-Day – 22 December: Julljusstaken (Swedish Saturday)

A huge holiday tradition in Sweden is putting up Julljusstaker in every window.

jakejulcandlesC03579

Jacoby, unsurprisingly, is a master at posing with the Jul candles.

jakejulcandlesC03582

He’s got the contemplative gaze and the slight smile down pat.

angeljulcandlesC03499

Somewhat more surprisingly, Angel is pretty good at it, too.

angeljulcandlesC03503

I mean, who knew, right?

angeljulcandlesC03502

“What? Don’t look so surprised…I AM an Abyssinian, you know!”

freddyjulcandlesC08076

Alfred is also pretty good at it…

freddyjulcandlesC08073

…when he can keep his focus and not get distracted.

roryjulcandlesC03843

I wasn’t sure how well Lorelai would pose with the candles (she flitters about almost as quickly as her caffeinated namesake), but she did really well.

roryjulcandlesC03834

She’s a natural!

roryjulcandlesC03846

roryjulcandlesC03847

For about a minute. Then she gets bored and goes off to do something else.

zakjulcandlesC03855

Izaak did pretty well, too, for his first time.

zakjulcandlesC03859

He’s got the “looking into the candles thoughtfully” thing down cold, for sure.

zakjulcandlesC03828

Until he, like Rory, gets bored. Kittens these days…no attention span whatsoever!

pyretjulcandlesC07547

Even Pyret was pretty good at the candle-posing thing!

logangodjulapple_1638

I never did get a photo of Logan with the Jul candles…but I did get one of him with this Jul Äppel!

Aby-a-Day – 15 November: Pyret’s Pillow (Thursday Things)

A couple of years ago, Sherry sent me a Dean Russo Abyssinian print cushion cover for Christmas. We thought it would be the perfect cover for Pyret’s pillow…and she agreed.

pyretpillowC06085

Sometimes, though, she sat next to it, rather than on it. Not sure why, but okay…

jakepillowC06159

Occasionally, when Pyret was sleeping in one of her other spots, Jacoby would commandeer her pillow, but he was the only cat who ever slept on it apart from Pyret. After she died, nobody slept on it. For months, it just sat there unused.

freddypyretspillowC03133

Until recently. In the past month or so, Alfred has taken to using Pyret’s pillow. It’s near the radiator, so perhaps that’s a factor, or maybe it’s to do with the afternoon sun…but I have no idea why it sat empty for so long, or why Freddy decided to start napping there.

freddypyretspillowC03134

Cats are so inscrutible.

Aby-a-Day – 19 October: Come on kitties now…Everykitty get together (Flashback Photoshop Friday)

This morning, Facebook greeted me with a reminder of a post I made four years ago. I was challenged to post five photos of my cats, and I decided to post five group photos. Getting a photo of all the cats in the house together at the same time is harder than some might think. So, because of the reminder that Facebook sent me, I decided to post all the “family photos” I have been able to capture over the years.

harritricksigrid1

The oldest is this, of Sigrid, Harri, and Patrick cuddled together on my sofa. This was taken in autumn 1997. It looks cuddly, but actually Sigrid and Tricky were sleeping there, and Harri decided to squeeze in between them. Still cute, though.

4inbed

This is after I’d moved to Boston. Harri and Patrick had been joined by Tessie and Kylie. This is the first photo of all of them together.

family1

This is my favourite photo of this group. I even used it as a Christmas card.

family2

…And this would be the outtake of that photo…

gunhee-everyone677

This was Christmas 2006. Harri had died in August and we had just adopted Gun-Hee.

gunhee-everyone652

This photo is less posed, but more my favourite. Love Kylie’s arm!

gun-heefamily

Another photo of Gun-Hee with Patrick, Kylie and Tessie, this time all gathered on our bed.

4family0348

This is another shot from that session, “arted up” in Photoshop.

catsinarow2

One evening, all the cats lined up on the back of the sofa.

catsinarow3

I had this shot…but Gun-Hee moved his head.

catsinarow

Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to replace Gun-Hee’s head and make this into a usable image.

4-familytreeARTv

This is another “art” composite photo. All of them were on the tree together, but this is multiple shots combined so each cat looks good.

4catsN4541

Food and the kitchen is a great way to get everyone together. Here we have (anticlockwise) Jacoby, Angel, Tessie and Kylie.

wallcatsE_0946

However, they did have other motivations to gather together.

mobsceneC08793

After we moved to Sweden, the kitchen was more a gathering point than ever. Here we have Alfred, Jake, Angel, Logan and Pyret.

everyone-kitchenC00817

And then, suddenly…our five cats became Jake, Freddy, Lorelai, Angel and Izaak.

starflowerC01365

A collection that was also easier to gather in the kitchen.

everyonebedIMG_4420

But they also gathered spontaneously on our bed! No Photoshop required.

Aby-a-Day – 27 July: Evolution of a Catio (Fashion Friday)

When I first moved here in 2016, Björn’s balcony was a rather Spartan affair.

jakebalconyIMG_5818

jakebalconyIMG_5819

There was only a wooden bench, a makeshift cat tree made from natural tree parts, a basket and…not much else.

jakebalconyIMG_5812

jakebalconyIMG_5813

jakebalconyIMG_5815

It was pretty barren. Once my things came from the States, we put my redwood burl table out there, and my floor-to-ceiling cat tree bumped Björn’s old cat tree out there as well. The balcony was open to the elements, so we couldn’t keep much else out there, but we put a tarp over the table, and it was fine out there. And so were the cats…until Jacoby taught himself to jump off the balcony. After that, we had to keep the balcony door closed until we could get it glassed in.

jakebalconyIMG_8248

Finally, May last year, we got the balcony glassed in. Jake was out there in a heartbeat.

pyretbalconyIMG_8433

So was Pyret. The basket on the bench was her favourite spot…

pyretbalconyC01735

…which is one reason we kept her body there until we could get her cremated.

angelbalconyIMG_8288

For a while after it was glassed in, we used it as storage for the chairs until we could get it organised.

angelbalconyIMG_8286

angelbalconyIMG_8287

Angel didn’t mind. She had sun and a cushy place to nap. She was good.

angelbalconyC09358

angelbalconyC09355

Even now, you can usually find her in one of the chairs on the balcony.

angelbalconyC09255

Either a chair, or the cubby in the cat tree.

fredbalconyC09359

Alfred…well, he tries to fit in there sometimes, too.

loganbalconytreeC04623

Logan also really loved the cubby.

loganbalconyIMG_2736

loganbalconyIMG_2740

Logan loved the balcony.

loganbalconyIMG_2887

He spent a lot of time out there in the sun before he died.

freddyjakebalconyC08917

Jake and Freddy love being out there, too…but they’re usually trying to work out a way to escape.

rorybalconyC08868

We got the basic layout of the balcony done last summer after the glass was installed, and we hung curtains and icicle and fairy lights, which actually give enough light to read by, but this year we have been focusing on really getting it set up to be a catio. I fell in love with this artificial pine tree at IKEA, and I found a reindeer hide for 125kr (around $14, about 1/10 what they should cost) which I love…but which sheds too much to live in the apartment. It looks great out on the balcony, though!

freddybalconyC08993

One of the biggest things we did this year is lay down wooden tiles.

freddybalconyC08908

Those tiles made a HUGE difference in the overall feel of the balcony. It feels warmer and more homey – more like a part of the house rather than “outside.” There was just one more thing we needed to do…and you’ll see what we did tomorrow!

Aby-a-Day – 27 April: Cats with tiny faces is a thing (Photoshop Friday)

Well…it has been a depressing couple of weeks around here, hasn’t it? Time for something pointless and silly. I found this a while ago: Apparently, cats with tiny faces is a thing now. Okay, I’m game. Let’s play.

I don’t think it works well with Abyssinians…

jaketinyfaceC06858

Oh, that’s just silly.

angeltinyfaceC08753

Oh, that’s not too bad.

pyrettinyfaceIMG_8033

Yeah, just as I suspected. It works better on solid (or mostly solid) coloured cats.

logantinyfaceC06064

And last but not least, a tiny little Singapura stink-eye. Well, it was kind of fun to do…not sure how impressed I am with the results, though.

Aby-a-Day – 26 April: The two holes in our house (Thursday Things)

Remember what you were doing in February? In February, we had a happy household with five cats.

Now, we only have three. It feels very empty. We will get another Aby soon…it was in the works before we knew Logan was even sick. And we do want to add another Singapura someday. They are so much fun to show!

pyretloganC01847

But that is all in the future. Right now, it’s just too hard to stop looking at the past.

Aby-a-Day – 19 March: Angel at the vet (Medical Monday)

The first time we took Jacoby and Angel to the vet was in September 2016. We went to introduce ourselves (which turned out to be pointless since we ended up going to the other vet in in town), to get a refill of Angel’s Amitriptyline prescription, and to get both Jake and Angel their EU Passports (about which more in an upcoming post).

angelvetIMG_6408

Angel can be a little skittish and fearful at home, but she loves to explore when we’re at the vet.

angelvetIMG_6410

angelvetIMG_6416

She’s so cute when she’s curious.

angelvetscanIMG_6421

Before the passport can be issued, the vet needs to scan her microchip to make certain she is really herself and not an imposter. Microchips are much more important in Europe than they are in the States. Besides being listed as the cat’s version of a social security number, they are also required for pet insurance, and every cat’s microchip is scanned when you check in at a cat show.

angelvetIMG_6423

Yep, Angel is Angel!

pyretangeljakevetIMG_6428

Jake is happy to just chill on a chair while Angel explores.

pyretangelbjornvetIMG_6430

Angel watches as Björn takes Pyret out of her carrier.

angelvetIMG_6435

While the vet and Björn attempt to have Pyret examined, Angel checks out the floor again.

jakeangelvetIMG_6438

Abys are so different from other cats at the vet.