Aby-a-Day – 24 April 2020: Fancy face masks (Fashion Friday)

As everyone on the planet knows, we are experiencing a pandemic and we’re all being held hostage by a familiar virus. Unlike the rest of the world, Sweden is managing the Covid-19 situation in a…unique way. Most businesses are still open, high schools and universities are teaching online but all other schools are still in session, there are markings on the floors near the checkouts in shops, but there are no measures taken in the aisles to keep people apart. And nobody is wearing masks. But I am. I have asthma, and everytime I get a cold, it doesn’t go away. It settles in my lungs, and turns into bronchitis or pneumonia. I know how insidious coronaviruses can be. I have been reading studies of one certain type of coronavirus for twelve years now, and I am not taking any chances.

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I bought sa box of 50 semi-disposable medical masks on Amazon.de to tide me over until I can get some cuter ones. On a whim, I thought I would try one on Izaak. Whoops…sorry, Zak, you can’t see with it on like that!

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Okay, that’s better. Zak actually wore it pretty well, but I am not going to lie, I miss Jacoby. He would rocked this mask!

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Even though he’s not the pro Jake was, Zak did finally strike a couple of pretty good poses for me.

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Of course Alfred had to come check out what Zak and I were doing.

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Huh. That’s rude. Guess he’s not a fan of masks.

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Given his reaction, of course I made him model it, too. He only kept it on long enough for one good photo, though, and I didn’t have time to adjust it so it wasn’t covering his eyes. Again, sometimes I really miss Jake.

But I really want a better mask than these disposables. One of my Facebook friends sent me a link to a super cute face mask with Abyssinians wearing masks on it! I love that a blue Aby is the main cat on the mask. (There is also one with Somalis on it.)

But look what else they have! A Singapura face mask! I ordered one of each. I know they seem a bit expensive ($24.95), but each mask comes with three replaceable filter pads, to give a little more protection when you go outside, and you can always get more filters. I can’t wait to try them on!

Aby-a-Day – 23 August: After the vet visit

On the way home from the vet, when we changed buses, we took a detour through our downtown shopping mall Commerce. We stopped at Systembolaget (the state-run liquor store)…

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…and basically smuggled Dashiell in the store. As they say in The Paper,” “A clipboard and a confident wave will get you into any building in the world!” Which is, act like you belong there and you’re not doing anything questionable, bringing a cat into a shop is easy. Of course, I have a lot of practice with that and Jacoby.

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Dash seemed really interested in the wine…that’s my boy!

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After buying our wine, we stopped in at Björn’s work so his coworkers could meet Emma and Dash.

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Then we went to wait for our bus home. Emma wanted to carry Dash.

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She did an excellent job managing Dash in his carrier.

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On the walk from the bus stop to our apartment, we tried to walk Dash the way we walk home from the stop with the other cats. He wasn’t very enthusiastic about walking. But he does like trees.

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So Emma carried him instead.

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We ran into a mother and a small child who were interested in our kitten. Look at Emma introducing Dash to them!

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I was especially impressed at how Emma introduced Dash to the child.

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If therapy cats ever become a thing in Sweden, I think Emma would be a natural.

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I wish Emma lived closer to us…she and Dash make a great team.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juli: Louis Wain (Cartoon Tuesday)

In London, we spent a good bit of time looking for treasures in second-hand shops. I was on the hunt for anything regarding the early Abyssinians, and I figured England might be the place to find it. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any Victorian-era cat breeding books, but I did find a print by the pre-eminent cat artist Louis Wain. There were a couple of different ones, actually, but I thought the limerick was charming:

A girl, who was dreadfully flustered,
Helped Ma-in-law to a spoonful of mustard!
Her Ma-in-Law stared,
Asked how she dared!
But she told her she thought it was custard.

The print was marked as being from 1910.

When I got it home and framed it, however, I discovered it wasn’t just a print…it was a page from a book! And the other side was also very cute…but there’s a mark on it that I Photoshopped out when I scanned it, so I kept the limerick side out. Louis Wain is known for more than just his drawing…he also had some sort of mental issues (possibly dementia or schizophrenia; mental illness wasn’t as sophisticated 100 years ago), and, even though he was put in an asylum, he kept drawing cats that became more and more psychedelic as his illness progressed. In the filigree decoration on the back of page seems to presage his future drawings.

He was an incredibly prolific cat artist, and his work was published in books and as postcards. I found this very Aby-looking fellow online as a part of series of postcards celebrating “taking the waters” at Harrogate, one of the first ever “spas” where people went every summer for sulphur treatments. The treatments involved both drinking and soaking in the water, and Wain did four series of six cards each as souvenir/advertising. After finding the Abyssinian “sulphurer,” I became fascinated by these little glimpses into history…probably because, as a kid my dad tricked me into drinking sulphur water from the Lithia water fountain in Ashland, Oregon. I know what it tastes like!

In researching Louis Wain’s work (I was unable to find my images online anywhere, believe it or not, so I don’t know what book my page came from), I also came across this happy little guy. I know know much about him…but doesn’t he look like Izaak!? It actually kind of reminds me of that sketch of Zak I did back in March.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juli: Fuzzy Tongue Flicker (Thursday Things)

One of the supermarkets I shop at has old-school, red-painted metal and glass Beaver vending machines with toys and candy in them.

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A few weeks ago, one of the machines was filled with Fuzzy Tongue Flickers (which, amazingly enough, is actually a safe set of words to Google). Little fuzzy balls with googly eyes and a red tongue that sticks out when you squeeze them. Yup, looks like a cat toy to me.

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So, when I got home, I showed it to Izaak.

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He definitely found it interesting.

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Okay, get a room.

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Then the batting commenced.

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Apparently, the Fuzzy Tongue Flicker is an excellent toy for batting.

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Oooops…

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…And was the last time I saw Fuzzy Tongue Flicker. I think he’s somewhere under the sofa. I think I need to go and find him.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juli: Cat toys trump all (Fashion Friday)

In Kensington High Street, I discovered a brilliant card shop called Scribbler. But not only did they have cards (of which I purchased many), but they also had cat toys. I was not expecting that.

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And these weren’t just any cat toys…these were none other than the leader of the flea world, Donald Trump cat toys.

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Well of course I had to. In case you were wondering, the UK really dislikes Trump – the rumours are true. He’s the only non-UK political figure to be made into a cat toy. That’s saying something.

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It was our last full day in London, and it occurred to me that we hadn’t gotten any souvenirs for the cats. So, I Googled “best cat shop London” and found Pet London. It’s not a big, fancy store, but it is awesome and a definite must-see on a trip to London if you need souvenirs for the kitties, especially since most of the shops I found catered more to the canine crowd.

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It’s definitely a hidden gem of a shop. It’s on the top floor of a rather ordinary office building in Marleybone. We almost didn’t see it.

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You ring the buzzer to be let in. There’s a tiny elevator (Björn and I were very cozy) and, of course, stairs.

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But it is so worth it! They had an amazing collection of cat items – including kitty clothing!

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A lot of their items were their own designs, too. They even have a plushie of their feline mascot (I told them that if they ever mass-produced them to save me one).

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That’s not all they had…they had a different Trump toy, this time for dogs.

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And they also had a catnip Vlad Putin to go with that catnip Trump I bought earlier!

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Shirtless, of course…complete with cowboy boots. Of course I had to buy it. Oh, yeah.

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And nifty story, the catnip Putin and Trumpy chew toy are from a company based in Vermont.

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I also got this Catnium credit card…

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…and a Catberry, both with their signature kitty on them.

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Both of them have catnip inside of them. The credit card rattles, and the Catberry has feathers on its antenna.

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But, as we’ve seen before, cat toys that appeal to humans don’t always appeal to their target audience. So, did the cats enjoy their British gifts? To be continued…

Aby-a-Day – 11 Juli: Ashes to ashes (Thursday Things)

When I got Jacoby’s ashes back from the vet, I knew I wanted to get ash jewellery made by Etsy seller Sugar Oh Honey Honey, the same as I had made with Logan’s ashes. Meg also sent me some of Taz’s ashes, so Jake and Taz would be together forever. I ordered two bracelets, one for me and one for Meg.

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The box came today.

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I couldn’t wait to open it!

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In the box was a card from Vicky.

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And tea. I love that the tea is from Waitrose.

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This is everything that was in the box. The flowered bags contain the leftover ashes. The ash charms are in small boxes, and there are cards commemorating trees planted in Jake’s and Taz’s names.

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Vicky also included silver bonus bangle bracelets with Jake and Taz’s names on them. Two of them, one for me and one for Meg. I love that so much. Vicky also sent two replacements of the Logan photo charm she sent me earlier, which broke. I am overwhelmed.

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This is what the bracelet looks like. The orange charm is Taz’s ashes, the green charm is Jake’s ashes, and the one in the middle, the half-orange, half-green charm, is Jake’s and Taz’s ashes mixed together…so they will be together forever. Considering they were such good friends, it’s only fitting.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Juli: Sketches in London (Cartoon Tuesday)

Even though the posts have been coming regularly every day, Björn and I have been in London since last Thursday evening. We came mainly because I got tickets for both games of the two-game series of MLB games between the Yankees and the Yankees, the first time major league baseball has been played in Europe. Even though Boston was the official home team for both games, and despite there being more Red Sox fans in attendance than there were Yankees fans…the Evil Empire ended up winning both games. But it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ll be home Thursday afternoon.

When we weren’t at the games, of course, we have been doing a lot of sightseeing and shopping. One necessary stop, of course, was Harrod’s. Whilst in the souvenir shop, there was a display of pens, 3 for the price of 2. Whilst Björn hunted for pens, I decided to test them out on the provided pads.

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First, I drew Jacoby…but I didn’t like the way it turned out; the ears were too small. So I tried again, with Izaak. This one turned out much better. Still not as good as I’d have liked…but then, the pen I was using wasn’t the best.

Harrod’s is known for its souvenir shopping bags. I bought a rather generic one back in 2002 the last time I visited…but this time I found something much, much better! And, not to mention, Cartoon Tuesday-appropriate.

One last thing: at the first baseball game, we were sitting just in front of a Red Sox fan, Charles, from Connecticut who had come all the way to London to see a game. After the first inning, he started sketching, saying he was “a bit bored.” He was a wonderful artist! Here is the drawing he did of the game; Björn is in it, but I am not…the lines to buy merchandise were insane, so I sucked it up and went to stand in those. For four innings! If you ever happen upon this post, Charles…it was great to meet you!

Aby-a-Day – 16 Mars: Bear necessities (Swedish Saturday)

In Sweden, we have a thing called REKO-Ring. REKO means “Real Consumption” (Konsumtion in Swedish) and is a way to shop for locally produced food, without intermediaries. Consumers and producers merge and start a REKO ring where locally produced products are sold directly from producer to consumer. In Skövde, our local REKO-Ring has a Facebook page where the producers post what they have available, and then people who want to buy something comment on the post saying what they want to get. Then, on alternate Wednesdays, we meet in a parking lot at a hockey arena two stops on the bus line from our house.

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Well, just as I despairing of finding a really great birthday present for Björn, I happened to check the REKO-Ring Skövde Facebook page. And I found a post from Lilla Spännefalla, and they had all kinds of game for sale. Including bear meat from Jämtland in the north of Sweden.

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I ordered a “Bear Box” and got steaks, ground bear meat, and chunks.
I have only had bear a couple of times, and it is delicious. The first time was in 2000, when I found it for sale in an Asian grocery store in Boston. I then had it again when we canned bear meat for sale in the duty-free on the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Then I got to eat it again when we went to a medieval restaurant in Taillinn. But the thing is…The name Björn is the same as the Swedish word for bear. So when I found bear meat available for sale just before Björn’s birthday, I knew I had the perfect gift.

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Bear meat is delicious. You have to make sure all the fat is removed, because it can add a slightly rancid flavour to the meat. The basic rule of thumb is, “Season like beef, cook like pork.” This is because like pigs, bears and raccoons are omnivores, and their meat can cause Trichinosis if it is not cooked well.

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So, sorry guys…you don’t get to try it raw.

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Despite not getting to try it raw, the bear meat attracted quite a crowd.

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Lorelai, of course, had to get on Björn’s shoulder to supervise.

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Izaak made sure Björn cooked it thoroughly.

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And he did.

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Served with plain potato wedges and mushrooms, it was a delicious birthday dinner…

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…which some people in the house were eager to sample.

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Zak was the first to taste bear meat whilst the plates were still on the coffee table.

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Everyone else got their tastes in the kitchen. Rory LOVED it.

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Jacoby tried to steal her piece, but she managed to keep it for herself. But don’t worry, Jake got a couple of pieces of the bear meat.

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Alfred took his piece so quickly…

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…I couldn’t even capture it with my camera. Fast Freddy!

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Angel took her sample gingerly…

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…and ran away from all the other cats to eat it in peace.

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It took her a little longer to finish it, because of her three teeth, so she wanted to eat it someplace safe.

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I guess we can add bear meat to the things Abyssinians (and Singapuras) will eat.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Januari: 12 years ago this week…(Friday Flashback)

12 years ago this week, on 7 January 2007, I posted about Gun-Hee’s first visit to Petco.

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He was quite impressed with the mice.

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The birds…not so much.

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Those were always more Tessie’s thing.

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And Jacoby’s, too.

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I’m just glad that nobody tried to buy him for $3.99, though!

Aby-a-Day – 6 Januari: Flying food from Flying Tiger (Cinema Sunday)

About a year and a half ago, Skövde got a Flying Tiger store. If you haven’t gotten one of these near you (there are something like 900 stores in the world and counting), you have missed a treat. Flying Tiger stores are filled with awesome things you never knew you needed. It doesn’t help that everything costs 10kr/$1/€1 – 40kr/$4/€4…

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So, of course, I had to buy one. I stashed it away and ended up putting it in Jacoby’s Christmas stocking. Today, I brought it out.

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It was a thing full of dry cat food. What’s not to like?

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Of course, it attracted an audience.

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Including Izaak, who doesn’t eat dry food and only eats raw.

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Jake cottoned onto the system pretty quickly. Instead of chasing the pellets being shot from the gun, he sent straight to the source.

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He basically went up to the crunchy gun, licked it, and tried to open it. That’s my boy.

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Lorelai especially loves to hunt and catch the dry pellets. We have played “chase the dry food” many times, but it’s way more fun to use the gun.

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At least we had a better response to it than this Sphynx blogger in Finland had with her cats.

Here’s a video of everyone chasing little bits of kibble all over our kitchen.

Aby-a-Day – 16 August: “Scars are simply modern battle wounds. Sometimes the enemy happens to be inside us.”

As you saw from yesterday’s post, Jacoby came home from his exploratory surgery with no problems.

When I came to collect him, the first thing that happened was that I was handed a folder with Jake’s aftercare instructions.

They were detailed, but completely manageable.

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However, as you saw yesterday, AniCura sent him home with a hard plastic “Cone of Shame*.” Nobody wants to wear that, least of all our Jake. So on our way back to the bus stop, we stopped off at a conveniently located pet shop, but they didn’t have any soft cones, so I ended up buying him a Trixie Surgery Suit. We dressed him at the shop, but, sadly, I didn’t take any photos when we tried the onesie on Jake.

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But, as you saw yesterday, Jake had zero issues with wearing his onesie. In fact, he probably had fewer issues with it than he would have had with the hard cone!

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This morning, I woke up to…this. Jake was in a cuddle puddle on our bed with Alfred and Izaak!

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I think Jake was as surprised about that as I was. I blame his (prescribed) post-op opioid painkillers.

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But it wasn’t just Freddy and Zak. Angel was on the bed, too!

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She didn’t join the boys’ cuddle puddle, but she clearly approved of it.

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Okay, Angel. Back off…

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Meanwhile, on my stomach…we had Lorelai. Which means all five cats were on our bed at the same time!

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It may be Jake’s medication, but I’m taking it as a solid win!

* Or “Cone of Courage,” as one friend called it.

Aby-a-Day – 31 July: You’re never done learning (Cartoon Tuesday)

I am endlessly amazed at how popular the Warriors series is in Germany and Holland. I mean, it’s way more popular than it is in the UK or the States. If you search Amazon.de, you can find all sorts of Warriors merchandise.

Look at all this! Sticky notes, badges, notebooks, gloves…I have the laptop stickers and I love them. You can’t get any of this on the other Amazons (.com and .uk.co), trust me. I looked.

Because I order my (English) Warriors books from Amazon.de, they send me emails when new Warriors items are released. Usually, they’re translations of the series books in German, but a few weeks ago they sent me an email about an interesting book entitled Warrior Cats – Katzenzeichnen: Von den Grundformen bis zur Clankatze (Warrior Cats – Cat Drawing: From Basic to Clan Cat).

Now, I have been drawing cats for over 50 years, and apparently I’m pretty good at it, since people like the drawings I do. But this book is amazing, even for someone like me. Because you can always learn more drawing techniques. Look at the instruction on drawing paws (well, hands, if you’re doing Abys).

The book goes into great detail about all aspects of cat life, and it even has blank pages for you to practice on. Unfortunately for me, it’s in German, and it’s a translation of the original publication…in Dutch. So there is no English edition of this book yet. Considering that the original books were English, it’s a bit interesting that the Germans and Dutch have taken to the cats so much that they’re coming up with all kinds of original items and books that aren’t available in English!

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Using some of the book’s recommendations, I did this sketch of Izaak. What do you think?

Aby-a-Day – 15 June: Hi, I’m Mat (Fashion Friday)

I bought a new doormat last week. I found it at Rusta, a Swedish chain of clearance/dollar stores, the sort of place that gets discontinued merchandise from other stores and sells it on the cheap. You also have no guarantee of finding the same thing twice.

But is it an Abyssinian mom and kit, or just something that looks vaguely Aby-like.

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This is our front door. The black wooden cat sillhouettes are made in Sweden, and the stickers say “Warning for cat,” “Warning for cat hair,” and, on the newspaper shelf, “Welcome, I live here.” We also have a Royal Canin sticker advising firemen how many cats are in our apartment. So yeah, we’re known as the “cat family” the same way that the people on the third floor with the incessantly barking dogs are known as the “annoying dog family.”

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Lorelai was the first to check out the new doormat.

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She seemed particularly interested in the eyes.

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Okay, Rory, what do you think? Aby, or not?

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Alfred checked the mat out next, but didn’t give an opinion on whether or not the cats on it were Abys.

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Jake was the last to examine the new doormat.

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But he still didn’t give me any advice as to whether or not these are Abys. So what do you think? Abys, or not?

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.

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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

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She was…mostly a natural.

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But Rory is also a quick learner.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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The staff all know Jake, of course.

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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.

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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.”

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

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Naturally, I adore Findus…

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…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.

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I think Jake would make a great Findus.

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But what does Jake think of Pettson and Findus?

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He likes them!

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

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

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

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Angel is always interested in whatever is going on.

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

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

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

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

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Of course!

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The shopping bags!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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As you can see, he hated that.

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Jake just loves to go for rides in things.

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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.