Aby-a-Day – 25 Maj: Goodbye, FooPets (Cartoon Tuesday)

Yesterday, I discovered something very sad. FooPets, the online game I discovered 11 years ago and fell in love with because it featured Abyssinians, has shut down completely. Rumour>/a> has it that when Flash stopped being supported, the game stopped working and/or the original creator (a veterinarian) just didn’t renew the domain. I used to have a shortcut on my browser and I accidentally clicked on it yesterday; trust me, do NOT try to visit the site. It now directs to some…unsavoury images.

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I hadn’t really checked in on my flock of Abys since last year, but I always thought about them.

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The main reason I stopped going to the site was because they got rid of my favourite thing, Heart Park, which is the closest thing I ever found to a cat-themed online role-playing game.

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It was a simple game, really, but I liked it.

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You could even have kittens!

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I wish I had taken screenshots the last time I visited the site. My main apartment was a loft in Cambridge with a view of Boston! I never thought about it going away, so I never took any of that view.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Mars: Here we go again…(Medical Monday)

So, we got a little bad news last week…Lorelai’s boyfriend Ritchie has been neutered.

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Because of snow, medical issues and other things in January and February, we weren’t able to organise another meeting with him in Stockholm.

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It’s really disappointing, especially since, this time, I absolutely saw it happen, more than once. And he was such a lovely, sweet boy. They would have made wonderful kittens. So now we need to find another boy for Rory. Siiiiighhh…who knew it was so hard to get a cat knocked up?

Aby-a-Day – 2 Februari: Another memorial (Cartoon Tuesday)

Back in 2014, I drew the cartoon above based on a photo and caption a Facebook friend of mine, Mike Ruemmler posted in the old Abyssinian Cat Club. Sadly, we all learned that Mike was found dead in his home last week. My friend Kristen posted to the New England Abyssinian Rescue page:

“Sad news for our NEAR family and the larger community of Aby owners. Last night we learned that our dear friend, Mike Ruemmler, passed away over the weekend.
Mike fostered and transported several Abys for us. He foster-failed one of our seniors because he couldn’t bear the thought of putting her through another transition. I once sent him on a grand overnight adventure to transport an Aby only to have the owner change her mind at the last minute. He worried about that Aby as much as I did. A year later that same Aby came into rescue after the owner had placed her in a bad home. If I asked for help, he said yes without hesitation.

If you were friends with Mike, you often received a cat meme in your mailbox to brighten your day. Mike retired last Fall and seemed to be making the most of everyday, even in these trying times. He was dedicated to his cats and friends. A wonderful person who will be deeply missed.
NEAR’s Max, Lucy, Pele, and Ellie were all saved through Mike’s help. Give them a chin scratch or two if they are in your home today.
Mike left behind 4 Abys. A friend of Mike’s quickly took the cats in and contacted us for help. The cats are safe and being appropriately spoiled. Now we need to begin finding the right homes for these special Abys.

Gregor and Soska are 11 year-old male litter mates. They will be placed together.

Pop-Tart is a red female. We are waiting on vet records to confirm her age.

She can be placed with Gregor and Soska or on her own. She would do best in a home with a limited number of cats and no other females.
Pele is the red female Mike adopted from us. She is 16 and doesn’t readily accept other cats.
All of Mike’s cats were spoiled, loved, and received veterinary attention whenever needed. They are in St. Louis, MO. We will only consider adopters who can physically pick these cats up.

If you are interested in any of these cats, please submit an application: www.neabyrescue.com/application
Mike, I picture you in a beautiful garden reunited with many of your feline family members. You will be fondly remembered and forever missed.”

I really enjoyed his posts about his cats. Once again, my heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Januari: Junie-Purr, Bugsie…and StarClan (Thursday Things)

After a day of joy…a day of sadness.

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Dashiell’s sister, Junie-Purr, had a singleton kitten five weeks ago. She was very sick with pneumonia during her pregnancy and needed emergency antibiotics. Then, suddenly, last Friday, Meg found Junie dead in her bed cuddling her kitten. She isn’t sure what caused it, as Junie seemed to be doing better, but she has sent Junie’s body to Tufts Veterinary for a necropsy to find out what happened.

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Yesterday, Bugsie, Dash’s little niece, started refusing to eat.

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Meg cuddled her and kept her warm and tried to get her to eat whilst watching the Inauguration.

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Later in the evening, little Bugsie seemed to be perking up a little. She cuddled Meg and they watched the Inauguration Celebration together. Then they went to bed.

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Unfortunately, this morning, little Bugsie was gone. She just wasn’t strong enough. Meg’s vet says it is likely she was damaged from the strong antibiotics the ER vets had to use to save her mother. Her little gut was not able to handle solid food, and her little bones were soft.

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear, sweet Junie, with your beloved kitten Bugsie.

Aby-a-Day – 10 December 2020: Sad news in the Singapura world

The other day I learned that Jana Baldwin Katzalano Singapuras passed away. She was such a force in the Singa world…Katzalano is in so many Singapura pedigrees.

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Although Izaak has no Katzalano cats in his pedigree, Logan did, and our friends Stellan and Hans Owe have some Katzalano cats. Although I only knew her through Facebook, she will be missed.

Tiuku hunts with StarClan

Yesterday, my good friend Anne posted on Facebook: “Tiuku 12.5.2001 – 13.7.2020
(EC, Ch Habibin TirNanOg DM)
She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.”

Tiuku was 19 years, 2 months and 1 day old, but no matter how long you have with them…it’s just never enough.

Tiuku with her grandkittens; Anne said she was a grandmother twelve times! I never met her in person, but I feel as though I knew her. My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear, sweet Tiuku.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Juli 2020: A holiday I don’t much feel like celebrating

My dad’s birthday is the 4th of July, so I have always thought of today as that first, and then the holiday celebrating the independence of the United States. My dad is 91 today, which is amazing. I haven’t seen him since 2007. I was planning a trip back to visit him…but then Trump was elected. So, lately…I don’t see very much to celebrate, quite honestly.

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Boston has cancelled their world-renowned Boston Pops Concert and Fireworks Spectacular, which is amazing to me. It’s broadcast coast to coast, and it’s such a July 4th tradition. Maybe now people will take this pandemic seriously.

Sparta and Bob Hunt with StarClan

Sad news. Two of the world’s most famous cats have died this week. Sparta the Mean Kitty and Bob the Street Cat have died.

Sparta became famous when his human, Cory (aka Mr. Safety) posted his Mean itty song on YouTube in September 2007. That video, as of today, has had 91,004,261 views!

But on Sunday, 11 June, Sparta apparently had a saddle thrombosis and his back end was paralysed. Sobbing, Cory posted a short video to let Sparta’s fans know what was happening before he rushed to the vet. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done, and he had to be euthanised.

After Sparta was gone, Cory posted his last video on his Mean Kitty channel. He described what had happened, and thanked his followers. Sparta went from Southern California to Alaska to Oklahoma with Cory and his family. Over the span of 13 years, we followed the life of a man and his cat.

Then, today, Hodder & Stoughton and James Bowen announced the death of Bob the cat on 15 June at the age of at least 14 years on their Facebook page.

I’m sure most of you know about Bob from his books and movie. A busker living rough in Covent Garden selling newspapers meets a cat who decided that he wanted to adopt that human.

James Bowen says “Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing. The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous. He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again. I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.” And oh, how I understand how he feels…Jacoby wasn’t as famous as Bob…but I feel his light going out in his life sentiment.

2020 can bite my shiny metal ass.

May StarClan light your path, and you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep, Sparta and Bob. You will be missed.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juni 2020: Chris lost his head (Friday Flashback)

Bear with me, here…I am sad and not just a little bit angry. Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Christopher Columbus statue in Boston’s Christopher Columbus Park was beheaded. It will now be going into storage for an undefined period of time.

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I have posted about this statue back when I lived in Boston. Politics aside, I have always admired the workmanship on this statue. It never felt like a “white man’s burden” statue to me (unlike so many other racist statues). Made or marble imported from Carrara, an ancient quarry in Tuscany, and erected by the Knights of Columbus, an organization dominated by Italian Americans, the statue (which is in Boston’s North End, the Italian neighbourhood), always seemed to be more about being of Italian descent than about Colonialism.

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We didn’t go to Christopher Columbus Park very often, as there were closer parks along the Harborwalk, but I always liked going there with Jacoby.

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It’s Boston’s oldest waterfront park. I wish we had gone there more often.

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But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the unconditional trust I had with Jake. I could put him anywhere and he’d pose for a photo.

The 14th of April is a bittersweet day…

Not only is today Jacoby’s birthday, but it’s also the day Alfred and I went to Jönköping to say goodbye to Logan.

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It was two years ago, and Izaak is a wonderful Singapura and friend to everycat…but I think Freddy still misses his brother from another mother, Logan.

Happy Birthday, Jacoby…

…it should have been your 11th birthday today. I will always love you, Strollercat.

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Aby-a-Day – 11 April 2020: A terrible anniversary (Special Saturday)

This is a terrible, terrible day.

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Last year on the 11th of April, my heart-cat Jacoby died whilst I was getting a pedicure and talking to his vet on the phone. My feet in warm swirly water, while he was dying in Jönköping. I was planning on going to visit him the next day, but there wasn’t any time. I didn’t know that the last time I saw him, when we left him at the animal hospital, that it would be the last time I would see him alive.

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We were such a team.

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We had adventures.

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He was bulletproof. I could put him somewhere and he would just pose for me.

We became minor celebrities…in Boston!

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He was the Westchester Cat Club’s Cat of the Year.

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He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

I miss him every day.

Loki Hunts With StarClan

Do you remember back in 2014, two Abyssinians in Australia who were who were rescued by my friend Phyll. They settled into their new home quickly, and were named Loki and Odin (because Odin lost an eye).

So it was very sad for me to see Phyll’s post yesterday morning in the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club: “Hi all, it is with a broken heart that I let you know that Loki, one of the Renbury Rescue Abys that you all helped save in 2014, has passed tonight. I am heartbroken, he was such a gorgeous boy, but know I was with him at the end and after. The photos are of him when he was in the pound and the other, his life with me after you all helped save him and his litter mate. My new job is to help little Odin understand that his brother will not be back. Odin was given the chance to say goodbye to Loki as he came home with me. Arrangements have been made and Loki will be picked up tomorrow to be cremated and returned home. Not sure little Odin understands that Loki has gone as he is not the smartest of cats in the world, but I am hoping. Thank you all that helped these boys and remember Loki with love.”

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear Loki.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Mars 2020: Coronavirus 1, St. Patrick 0 (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been cancelled out of concern for COVID-19. This is the first time in 26 years the parade has been cancelled. The city of Boston is also postponing the Boston Marathon next month and even the Red Sox spring training and regular season will be delayed.

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I went to my first parade when I moved to Boston in 2000, and stood in front of what at the time was a vacant building. Little did I know that I would eventually live in that very building!

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Naturally, St. Patrick’s Day and the parade was a big part of Jacoby’s life. Our apartment overlooked one of the staging areas, and Jake loved to watch the activity below. His first St. Patrick’s Day, I got him a T-shirt from a shop in Faneuil Hall. What could be more Boston than that?

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Later on, Jake added a shamrock tie and a Celtics jersey to his holiday wardrobe.

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I had actually forgotten about this shamrock sun-hat. I think he only wore it that one time, just for photos.

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He also had his shamrock patterned walking harness. When we lived on the 5th floor, we didn’t face West Broadway, so Jake and I would go downstairs to see the parade in person.

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Angel, on the other hand, was content to watch the parade on television.

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When we moved to the new apartment on the 4th floor, we could just watch the parade from our windows. I think Jake kind of missed going outside to experience it; Angel, meanwhile, was perfectly content watching the parade from our windows.

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It’s a little surreal to think of the parade just not happening. I mean, they even held it the year we had the record snowfall! Okay, it wasn’t as bad as in my cartoon, but it did snow on the day of the parade!

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The last year we lived in Boston, we just watched it from the windows again. Now, though, I kind of wish we’d gone downstairs.

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I’m pretty sure Angel wishes we’d gone downstairs, too.

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In a way, it feels a little bit right, not having the parade the first year Jake isn’t alive for it.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Mars 2020: Happy birthday, Logan

Today would have been Logan’s third birthday had he not gotten FIP.

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We only got to light one candle for him.

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He only got one birthday present.

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I know we have great cats, and I love Izaak, and Dash and Lorelai…but sometimes I miss Logan.

Bertil Hunts With Star Clan

Freddy’s breeder Karin posted today:
“Lilla Bertil (bror med Märta, Alfred, Greta och Kerstin) har somnat in.
2½ år ung. Urinstopp.
Enl ägarna var han den bästa katten ever.”

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Which means “Little Bertil (brother with Martha, Alfred, Greta and Kerstin) has fallen asleep.
2 1/2 years young. Urinary blockage.
According to the owners he was the best cat ever.”
Apparently, it came on very quickly, as urinary blockages can do.

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I can’t imagine how we would feel to lose Freddy, our lovable boss chonk and break in artist, and I can’t imagine how Bertil’s owners must feel. We actually had first choice between the two brothers…

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend, Freddy’s littermate, has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, darling Bertil.

(PS…fear not, regular posts will return shortly. Between the Finland trip and acclimating Dashiell, I had a little bout of pneumonia. But I promise to get the posts back on track soon!)

Bonk hunts with StarClan

My friend Anna posted yesterday:
“It’s with heavy heart I’m writing this. Bonk left us at Friday when he got worse again. He was a very special guy and this is how we want to remember our beautiful always positive guy who never missed the chance to snuggle and headbutt someone.”

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S*Xanthomelas Bonkap Mercur, Bonk to his friends, was diagnosed with diabetes towards the end of May. He had been sick for a week or so with complications related to that, and he’d spent a few days in the animal hospital getting tests and IV fluids. He went up and down (much like Jacoby in his last days), and finally took a steep downturn on Friday.

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Bonk was an amazing cat. We were often neighbours with him, Anna and Peter at shows, and Bonk was well named. He would headbonk you with very little provocation. I am really going to miss hanging out with him at cat shows.

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Bonk wasn’t even all that old; he would have turned 7 in September. Too early, too soon. He was so like Jake in personality, and he was just an amazing cat. My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, my buddy Bonk.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni: A memory of Jacoby (Cinema Sunday)

Today’s photos and video were not really ever going to be posted. I didn’t think that they were really good enough. But time changes photos, did you know that? What seems like a crap photo today can turn into a treasured memory with time. This is back from February, when Meg sent me a package that included some pretty superb catnip toys.

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Jacoby took an interest in the paper the toys were wrapped in. Izaak came to see what was so interesting…he didn’t see it.

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And when I say Jake was “interested”…

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…I mean, he was really interested in it.

It was so funny that I made a video to show Meg. But now, I want to share it with everyone. Jake was such a goof.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj: “Scattered pictures…of the smiles we left behind” (Friday Flashback)

As I posted earlier this month, the Memories that Facebook shows you can be bittersweet. Lately, they’ve been showing me a lot of Jacoby memories. It started with this one, of Strollercat on the way to a cat show in Göteborg in 2017.

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I never actually posted these photos here, as this was during the blog’s hiatus.

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This is another photo that popped up, I think as one of Björn’s Memories. I called it “Conversations on a train.”

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Then there is this one I posted whilst we were at that cat show.

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I found this photo of Jake crashed out in the hotel room after the first day of the show was over whilst I was looking for the other ones from this week’s Memories. I had forgotten it…but it is SO Jake.

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This is the Memory that came up yesterday…

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…another one I forgot about that is such a classic Jake moment. I found Angel sunning herself in a little square of sunshine in the kitchen.

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The square was just the right size for one little cat loaf.

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And then…along came Jake.

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And he decided that he wanted the sun square. I wasn’t able to capture what happened next.

And this last one is the most bittersweet of all, from five years ago Wednesday. Jake loved riding on the front of his stroller on our way home from our therapy visits. I posted the photos here in the blog at the time, but I only posted the video to Facebook. Apologies for the vertical video…I forgot to turn the camera sideways.

Grumpy Cat hunts with StarClan…

Sad news. Tardar Sauce, known worldwide as Grumpy Cat and possibly the most famous cat on the planet, died on Tuesday from complications from a urinary tract infection. She was seven years old.

She was an inspiration to all cats who wanted to become a meme, and if it wasn’t for her, Boston may never have had Strollercat. I was pleasantly surprised by her Lifetime show, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever and I love the Grumpy Cat Weather App. I can’t believe she died so young.

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I drew her, once, in a cartoon about the “Aby smile.” She was surprisingly difficult ti draw!

May StarClan light your path, and you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep, Tardar.