Aby-a-Day – 7 May: Kittens!

This is another guest post by my husband Björn, describing what it’s like to have a new kitten.

With kittens, you never know what to expect but the unexpected. As followers of this blog know, we have lost two cats this year. My old Pyret gave in after 18½ years in early March. It was sad, but I knew that day would come. When Koshka suggested that we should get a new cat, bringing our total back up to five, and that she knew of a breeder with kittens to sell, I wasn’t just positive to the idea, but interested in getting a show quality cat. That kitten was to become Logan’s show buddy, giving us two cats to show and more to do at the shows. The deposit was paid. Then Logan got sick, and lost the fight to FIP after just a couple of weeks. Suddenly, we only had three cats, where we had had five just six weeks before.

bjornroryC04555

When the two of us took the train to Stockholm to pick up our new kitten, Lorelai (“Rory” for short), we both felt that it wasn’t like last year when we got Logan and Alfred. Sure, we were happy to get a new cat, but losing Logan still cast its shadow. We weren’t prepared for the force of nature in the form of a small, blue Aby girl…

bjornroryC03462

bjornroryC03477

We met her breeder, Eva, at a cat show. She was to deliver two kittens to new forever homes. The cats were kept in a motor home, and we and the other family all squeezed in to meet the cats and sign papers. Little Rory was there along with her mother and sister, Maya. The first thing that struck us what how small she was. Then we saw how fearless and active she was… We were smitten.

mayafamilyC03404

mayapapersC03500

Rory’s sister, Maya, is larger and lighter in colour than she is. Maya will have a little boy to be her best friend in her new home!

rorytrainC03635

cocororytrainC03706

bjornrorytrainC03736

rorytrainC03745

A twelve week old girl kitten, she became ours, and we brought her in a carrier to the railway station. Rory didn’t appear to mind leaving her family behind, or the busy surroundings of Stockholm Central Station. Other travelers who saw her were charmed by the tiny but perfect cat. We got on the train for the two-hour ride back. Rory was let out, and she began to explore her surroundings.

freddyjakeroryeatC04510

freddyjakeroryeatC04518

Back in Skövde, we introduced her to the other cats. Jacoby hissed a little, but then he’s been grumpy recently. Angel seemed nonplussed. Alfred, on the other hand (paw?), perked up visibly. He had missed Logan, but when he saw Rory, he began to follow her and play with her. But it was the humans who were most affected by the little Aby…

bjornroryC04544

bjornroryC04555

Last year, when we got Logan and Freddy, they became best buddies. Logan was bossy and underfoot, while Freddy was a good-natured goofball with a penchant for inadverently pushing things to the floor. Rory proved to be more like a fearless Energizer bunny. She stole our hearts in no time.

bjornroryC04568

Koshka and I share Rory, and it’s gratifying that she seems to like both of us equally. She has the makings of a shoulder rider, and she’s very social.

freddyrorystrollerC04262

bjornfreddyrorystrollerC04271

bjornroryC04438

The day after she came to our house, we took her to our local pet store in order to get a harness and collar that was small enough to fit her and to introduce her to the staff. She hadn’t ridden in a stroller before, but that didn’t faze her. Neither did walking on a leash, when she had adjusted to wearing a harness. For being a newbie at it, she walked really well – no, she walked like a pro.

cocofreddyrorywalkC04498

cocofreddyrorywalkC04495

When I first saw an Aby many years ago, I fell in love with the breed. When Koshka moved here, bringing Jake and Angel, I got to see first hand what a great breed Abys are. Still, I wasn’t really prepared for Rory. All the traits of the breed packed into that little body – who can resist?

rorywalkC04485

Koshka says that she hasn’t had a kitten quite like Rory. Jake and Gun-Hee were active, charming kittens, but Rory is an Aby squared. For my part, she has won my heart. The first night, she curled up next to me in the bed and slept, displaying 100% trust. She is the perfect kitten, and we couldn’t be happier. After a depressing period of losing the oldest and the youngest cats, we feel joyous again. It’s sad that Rory and Logan never met or got to go to shows together, but our little blue girl brightens our lives and home.

Aby-a-Day – 6 May: “Ok, let’s be organized. Make it fast, make it snappy, and if there’s any impulse buying, make it chocolate.” (Cinema Sunday)

Lorelai was too small for both the collar and harness I had for her, so we went to DjurMagazinet to get her something that fit.

freddyroryDjurMC04282

We’re regulars there, of course (we can see the store from outside our house), and they love it when we bring our cats in.

roryfreddycocoDjurM

So we got personal help in fitting a harness and collar to Rory.

roryDjurMC04285

Unlike Alfred, who was leash-trained before we got him, this is the first time Rory had on a collar, harness, or leash.

roryDjurMC04309

She was…mostly a natural.

roryDjurMC04379

But Rory is also a quick learner.

roryDjurMC04304

And she enjoyed checking out the cat trees in the store.

freddyrorystroller04434

Here’s a video of Rory and Freddy riding in the stroller. Click on the image to view it.

Aby-a-Day – 10 February: Welcome to Big Market! (Swedish Saturday)

We are very lucky in that we live extremely close to a very good pet supplies store. Skövde’s DjurMagazinet is the equivalent of five Boston blocks from our apartment.

jakeDjMC03892

And they carry almost everything we need. The rest we can order online.

jakeDjMC03901

But they have our Bozita, our Vaisto raw, and everything else we need on a regular basis.

jakeDjMC03902

And of course they welcome pet visitors. And you know how Jacoby loves to help me shop.

jakeDjMC03906

He always makes sure we have gotten everything we need before we pay.

jakeDjMC03890

The staff all know Jake, of course.

jakeDjMC03916

With our purchases safely stowed in Jake’s light stroller, we’re homeward bound!

Aby-a-Day – 1 February: Findus och Pettson (Miniature Monday)

While I was in Sweden, I got a set of Pettson and Findus figures.

sverigexmas-goteborgfindusC04316

Pettson and Findus are the main characters in a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Sven Nordqvist. They are very popular – this photo is from a display in a book store in Göteborg. Pettson is an old farmer who live alone with his cat, Findus, some chickens and some little house creatures. Findus gets his name from a brand of frozen foods; when Pettson got Findus as a kitten, he was in a box labelled “Findus Green Peas.”

sverigexmas-findusIMG_2001 1

I’ve had this small plush Findus since I visted Björn in 2000. He went back to Sweden with me for Christmas.

jakepettsonC04513

Naturally, I adore Findus…

jakepettsonC04511

…I mean, what’s not to like? He’s a cat, he can talk, and he’s a sassy troublemaker. Someday, I want to get Jacoby a pair of green striped pants like Findus wears.

jakepettsonC04502

I think Jake would make a great Findus.

jakepettsonC04500

But what does Jake think of Pettson and Findus?

jakepettsonC04499

He likes them!

Aby-a-Day – December 5: “Market” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Market.”

jakeangelRBbagIMG_7697

Angel and Jacoby love it when I come home from the market.

jakeangelRBbagIMG_7694

Angel is always interested in whatever is going on.

angelRBbagIMG_7703

She may be a little tentative about it, but she’s still a curious Abyssinian.

jakestretchIMG_7706

Jake just gets so excited when I’m unpacking the bags he just has to…

jakestretchIMG_7705

…streeeeecccchhhh! It’s like he’s so excited he has to do something physical while he’s waiting.

jakeRBbagIMG_7687

Because you know what he’s waiting for, right?

jakeRBbagIMG_7691

Of course!

jakeRBbagIMG_7680

The shopping bags!

jakeRBbagIMG_7682

And this market, as I’ve mentioned before, has really awesome shopping bags.

RocheBrosIMG_7679

So, even though I still really miss Filene’s Basement, I’m happy we have a food market in Downtown Crossing now – it certainly came in handy when I was looking for my Thanksgiving pheasant!

Aby-a-Day – November 23: Cat scratch fever (Miniature Monday)

A regular feature at almost every New England cat show is Arubacat‘s vendor’s booth. Arty is a great guy, and I’ve come to rely on him for so many things…I end up needing to buy something he has at every show.

NEMObjdIMG_0533 1

Of course, he was at the NEMO show. So mini-Jacoby and I went to check out the goods.

NEMObjdIMG_0534 1

These little barrel scratchers are awesome. Tessie won one at the Seacoast show in 2007 when she was Best Household Pet and it still gets daily use.

NEMObjdIMG_0518 1

Arty has cat trees in all shapes, sizes and colours…including patterns!

NEMObjdIMG_0537 1

But he has more than just cat trees. I get my chamois and bay rum to groom Jake from him, as well as various other grooming supplies. He also has treats, toys and other accessories. And it’s amazing…he shleps all this stuff all over New England nearly every weekend.

NEMObjdIMG_0538 1

I don’t know what we’d do without Arty. But I’m glad we have him. Thanks, Arty!

Aby-a-Day – October 8: The cat’s in the bag

So Roche Bros. opened a store in Downtown Crossing. This instantly became the easiest place to buy groceries, because it’s only two T stops from our building.

jakerochebrosC03631

The last time I went, I forgot to bring any bag with me.

jakerochebrosC03630

So I picked up this cool, folding, box-bag thing. I think it’s meant for the trunks of people’s cars. Jacoby clearly thought it was for him.

jakerochebrosC03637

So I gave him a little ride in his box-bag.

jakerochebrosC03638

As you can see, he hated that.

jakerochebrosC03639

Jake just loves to go for rides in things.

jakerochebrosC03641

He seemed a little disappointed when I set the box-bag down on the floor and went to put away the groceries I’d bought.