Aby-a-Day – 25 Maj 2020: Anticipating the vet (Medical Monday)

Tomorrow is our annual vet visit. Luckily, I was able to schedule it for a day Björn is off from work this time, so hopefully I won’t have as many problems on the bus as I had last year.

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Mentally preparing for the visit, I’m trying to think of the things we’ll have to discuss tomorrow. I know that everyone needs at least one vaccination (either rabies or FVRCP). Nobody has any major issues; their weights are all good, their teeth and ears seem fine, and theire’s no diarrhea or anything like that. Angel, who will be 13 in a couple of weeks(ish), is pretty healthy for her age. Her weight has been stable and she’s quite active. Her eye seems to be the same as ever, and apart from her having lost that tooth, bringing her down to two, she seems to be in perfect health.

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Alfred is probably overweight. Last time I weighed everyone, he was 5.1 kg (11.25 lbs), and he looks heavy. He’s also been wheezing and coughing, so he may have asthma after all.

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Izaak and Lorelai are fine, but I have questions about their fertility and birth control. I am wondering if Zak’s Suprelorin chip is wearing off, and if he should get another one of if he needs to be neutered. I hope he can get another chip; I wanted to show him as long as I could as a Champion before going to Premiership…but the pandemic is making that difficult. As for Rory, she should not be on the pill too long, and she will be meeting a nice young boycat later this summer. Depending on how that litter goes, we may have one or two more, but it’s definitely something to discuss for with the vet.

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As for Dashiell, he’s a healthy horse of a year old cat. He’s a little goofy, and still a bit skittish; I would like them to check his teeth because he doesn’t let me get a really good look at them, but apart from that, I don’t think he’s going to need much attention tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Augusti: Wordless Wednesday (Dashiell’s Ferry Photos…and one of Jacoby)

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Aby-a-Day – 3 Juni: “Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive health” (Medical Monday)

As I posted on Thursday, we all took a trip to the vet last week to get check-ups and vaccinations. As soon as I parked the stroller in the exam room and unzipped it, all four of the cats jumped right out to investigate.

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Lorelai and Izaak, not having had as many vet visits as Alfred and Angel have had, explored the room fearlessly.

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As I’ve posted before, Angel becomes very brave in veterinary exam rooms.

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Zak was the first to jump up on something.

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Then he took it to the next level.

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Rory is turning into quite the little princess of posing…

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…except when her curiosity gets the better of her.

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Whilst the cats explored the exam room, I got all their passports organised with the relevant vaccination pages opened. Everycat needed their FVRCP vaccines, and Zak also needed his rabies vaccine.

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Freddy, of course, had to sit on the passports…

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For some reason (and I honestly have no earthly idea why), the sink was of particular interest. And not only to Rory and Zak…

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…but Freddy, too. They see sinks every day…I have no clue what was so fascinating about this one.

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When Dr. Birgitta came in, the younger cats all rushed to greet her.

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Angel, having had more experience in this situation, hid in the corner behind the cabinet.

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Nurse Camilla and I weighed everyone.

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Freddy could stand to lose a bit…but otherwise, we’re all good. In fact, the doctor commented on how solid and muscular Rory and especially Zak are. I told her how they eat (raw and Bozita, and a daily chicken neck) and how they regularly go outside to run. She was quite impressed with their condition.

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After they all got their jabs (no photos of that, since I was helping to hold them), Camilla carefully updated all of their passports. Freddy helped.

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One last note about our Freddy…

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…when he wasn’t exploring the room, helping the nurse, or getting injected, he was trying to break into this cabinet. He worked at it from both the top and the bottom of the tambour door, but he couldn’t manage it.
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He even checked the trash can! He is relentless in his quest for food. It’s no wonder he could stand to lose a few.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Maj: Stroller Rage (Thursday Things)

Yesterday, I had an appointment to take everycat to the vet for a check-up and jabs. Björn didn’t have the day off, so I had to manage on my own. Naturally, I took them all in our new stroller. Our appointment was in the middle of the afternoon (not that Skövde really has a “rush hour,” unless you count when all the kids get out of school), so the bus wasn’t crowded at all.

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We have to take two buses to get to our vet, and the first leg of our journey was uneventful.

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The buses we have in Västra Gotalands have a dedicated space for strollers, with room for two (theoretically, as we will see).

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This isn’t the first time we’ve taken all four in this stroller (we had a trip to DjurMagazinet in April), and it was vastly easier than trying to do it with Jacoby’s old stroller! Still, I did feel a bit like that man in Tokyo who takes his nine Persians out in a stroller.

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As you can see, everyone fit very comfortably in the stroller. We also got lucky with the weather. It was sunny and warm. Today it’s grey and rainy.

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On the second bus (also empty), we started out comfortably.

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And then…it happened. Another stroller wanted to get on the bus.

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Of course, I instantly shifted over as much as I could, but she wasn’t very good at manoeuvering her stroller (it was one of those awkward raised car seat/stroller combo things).

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In fact, she was having so much trouble getting on the bus, the driver got up to see what was taking so long. And he glared at me like it was my fault and told me to let her on, like I was deliberately blocking her. As you can see, I was jammed in as much as I could possibly be.

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And then, on the way home, it happened AGAIN! This time, it was one of those awful double stroller, with one kid who looked about five…isn’t that a little old to be needing a stroller? Again, I shifted over and jammed in, but this woman was a LOT better at managing her stroller, and her older boy (the one not in the stroller, behind me) seemed to really love the cats.

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I understand that people with little kids need strollers, because I need a stroller to schlep multiple cats around. I couldn’t even imagine what it would have been like trying to manage three (we have one that’s a double) cat carriers on my own! And believe me, I am no stranger to controversy about cat strollers. My resentment and annoyance is not anything against parents or children. It’s the attitude I get from people (like the driver, and sometimes the other stroller owner) that somehow their strollers are somehow more important than mine. I have as much of a right to bring my stroller full of cats on the bus as they do with their stroller full of baby or child(ren), especially if I am running an errand that requires multiple cats to be with me. And I always shift as much as I possibly can. Yet, in these situations, the person with the non-humans in the stroller is always the “bad guy” taking the space away from “the person who NEEEEEEEDS it”. (Sidenote, it’s even more fun when we’re on a bus back from a cat show with other cats in strollers and a baby stroller comes on. The entitlement on the baby people and the shade thrown doubles.) Basically, it’s a case of “All strollers are equal, but some strollers are more equal than others,” which really isn’t fair at all.

To that end, I posted a couple of these photos to Facebook as events unfolded, and made a flippant comment that 4 > 1, and then added “Cats Before Brats.” A friend said, “That should be a bumper sticker!” So…

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…I made one. It’s available on Zazzle, and at the moment, you can get 15% off with code ZSWEETTREATS.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Februari: Wordless Wednesday (Portable territory)

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Aby-a Day – 25 Januari: Look at that Cadillac! (Fashion Friday)

We have been wanting to get a new stroller for a while now; the small brown stroller has been having problems with its folding mechanism, and Jacoby’s StrollerCat™ stroller is extremely difficult to fold, which we need to do when we travel by train or taxi. So, after looking around at cat shows to see what other people use, we had a bit of a Christmas splurge and upgraded to a Petstro Safari pet stroller.

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We picked it up last weekend and I assembled it on Monday. It’s been parked in the kitchen awaiting our maiden voyage to our first cat show of 2019 in Örebro all week. And even before taking it outside and trying it out for real, we knew it was perfect. It’s almost effortless to push, and the removable grooming table will come in wicked handy.

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Lorelai, Izaak and Alfred thought so, too. They have been playing on and in it all week.

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Tonight we tested it out for real. And it was AWESOME. Not only is it easy to push, but you can steer it ONE-HANDED! That was the biggest problem with both the brown travel stroller and Jake’s stroller – they were SO hard to steer one-handed. The brown one was so bad, we called it the broken shopping cart more than once.

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It’s also amazing in snow. We were a bit surprised that Örebro had so much snow (Skövde has barely any, and both towns are having similar temperatures), but the new stroller handled it like a champ.

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The new stroller also folds up really well…and if we need it to fold down flatter, the wheels are super easy to take off.

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Because, of course when we are on the train, the cats don’t stay in the stroller.

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They either sit together on a seat…

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…Or, if it’s Zak, on Björn.

Aby-a-Day – 13 October: “They call me baby driver, once upon a set of wheels…” (Silly Saturday)

These photos are from May, when we first got Lorelai.

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She was pretty adorable riding in Jacoby’s big yellow stroller.

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First we have her ridesharing with Alfred.

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He was so much bigger than she was, back then.

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She was really adorable in the stroller with Freddy.

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But a couple of weeks later, Rory was in the stroller with Angel.

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That time, she was really working the cute. Look at her chill!

Aby-a-Day – 13 September: Backstory to Wordless Wednesday (Thursday Things)

Yesterday’s post showed professional photos I had taken of Angel, Jacoby, Alfred and Lorelai back in May.

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When I saw the poster at our local DjurMagazinet, I jumped at the chance. Not so much for Jake, who has had his photos taken by Chanan as well as other professionals, or Rory, who will have plenty of opportunities to have photos taken at shows throughout her career, but for Angel and Freddy, who won’t ever get to go to a show.

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Unfortunately, Björn had to work that Saturday, so I was on my own with the four LunaTicks. I packed up the lot and put them in Jake’s Strollercat stroller.

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There was just one teensy problem with that. Jake didn’t want to share. This was the early days of his mystery illness, and he was cranky. So I let him ride on top of the stroller. He was actually fine with that arrangement.

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It was not at all easy to wrangle them over to DjurMagaznet…but at least it was scenic. Look at those gorgeous poppies!

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When we got to the store, Jake didn’t want me to unzip the stroller and let the others out.

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Too bad, Jake.

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Of course, all the LunaTicks were instant hits with staff and other shoppers.

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It’s one of the idiosyncrasies of Sweden that there are ice boxes full of ice creams for sale in all kinds of random stores. Even pet shops will sell you an iced lolly. And Freddy wanted one.

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He was disappointed- “Aw…Mooooooommmmmmm…!”

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Meanwhile, Jake occupied his stroller.

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And pretended to ignore that Rory was still in there.

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Meanwhile, Angel and Freddy were exploring the little café that the store has set up for customers.

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And Angel and Rory spent some girl-time together as well.

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This was Rory’s first really big outing with other cats.

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I wonder if she saw Angel as a sort of mother figure? She’d only been with us three weeks…

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Yeah.

Stay classy, Freddy.

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Rory especially drew a lot of attention from people…kittens have that effect on people.

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Jake occupied his stroller whilst shooting daggers at the other cats.

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When it was our turn to have photos taken, I had some help transferring the cats to the photo room. There are, of course, no “behind the scenes” photos…I was too busy trying to herd four cats!

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Towards the end of the session, Rory was starting to get sleepy.

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On the walk home, I was able to open the stroller and let them walk. They didn’t all avail themselves of the privilege right at first.

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Eventually, they all got out and walked a bit.

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Although it would have been a lot easier if they all wanted to go in the same direction at the same time, but hey.

Aby-a-Day – 9 September: Into the woods (Part 2) (Swedish Sunday)

As you’ll remember from yesterday’s post, two years ago last August, Jacoby, Angel, Kalle and I went out for an adventure around the lake near our apartment. We found a nice place to park, and Jake couldn’t wait to get out into the forest.

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We unhooked him from the stroller, and he couldn’t wait to get out and explore. Angel, on the other hand, was perfectly content to sit in the stroller.

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The forest behind the lake was like a fairy tale, so lush and green, with moss-covered boulders and lots of ferns.

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It was so beautiful out there.

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And, naturally, the photographer in me was stunned by the way Jake’s gorgeous ruddy coat looked against the lush greenery.

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Could you ask for anything more picturesque?

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Jake was fascinated by the wilderness.

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He and Kalle walked all over, exploring.

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They made quite a pair.

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I think Jake was a little frustrated by the length of his leash, however.

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Who knows how far into the woods he would have gone had it not been for that cord of braided leather?

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Finally, it was time to get moving again.

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Jake was a little cranky at having to get back into the stroller after getting to feel like a warrior for once.

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So I appeased him by letting him peruse the bird menu.

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After that, we got drenched in a random thunderstorm. I managed to keep the cats relatively dry, but Kalle and I were pretty soaked. On the way back, Kalle went to investigate a pond.

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Jake and Angel watched him with interest.

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It was a pretty impressive pond, though.

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Even though we’re living in the 20th largest city in Sweden, we still get views like we’re in the middle of nowhere.

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You can see the rainfall on the pavement as we head home.

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When we got close to home, Jake and Angel recognised where we were and hopped out of the stroller.

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Oh, now Angel wants to explore!

Aby-a-Day – 8 September: Into the woods (Part 1) (Swedish Saturday)

These are some more photos from August 2016, a couple of months after I moved here.

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One day, Kalle was home during summer vacation, and he said we should take the cats out for a walk around the small lake near our house.

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So, we got the stroller out…

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…and we headed towards the lake.

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Jacoby and Angel seemed happy to be going out on an adventure.

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The lake is not at all far from our apartment buildings.

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Even so, I hadn’t been down there yet, so Kalle lead the way.

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Around the lake there are signs showing the kinds of birds and other wildlife that can be found in the area. I laughingly joked that they were “cat menus.”

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Jake was, perhaps, a bit more excited about going exploring than Angel was…

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Around all lakes of a certain size in Sweden, live preservers are posted at the ready in case of emergency.

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Even if it’s not a lake that anyone might possibly swim in on a whim, at least in summertime (and who would want to swim any other time), because look at these reeds!

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Here’s the stroller for comparison.

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The forest is a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees. For being so close to two apartment complexes, it’s all the more impressive.

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At least, Jake and Angel were impressed.

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Kalle showed me this wicked cool spot under the trees…and oh, it was awesome!

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We parked the stroller and prepared to explore…what we saw will be posted tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 9 June: Logistics (Swedish Saturday)

When we go to the vet, we always go by bus. It’s not a bad bus trip, just a long one, but the stops are convenient at either end.

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I prefer to take Jacoby and Angel in the stroller. It’s easier than having to carry them both.

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The very first time we went to the vet here in Skövde, we tried taking Jake and Angel in the double Sturdi carrier Meg gave me.

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I mean, it works…

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…but it’s a pretty heavy bag to carry around with the both of them in it!

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It’s also a lot harder for Jake to greet his adoring fans.

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No, it’s much easier to have the two big cats in the stroller.

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In fact, it’s easier to have all the cats in strollers. Since Jake doesn’t like to share his stroller with the younger cats, we took both strollers to our annual vet visit!

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 – 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).

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

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She’s so cute when she’s curious.

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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.

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Yep, Angel is Angel!

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

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Angel watches as Björn takes Pyret out of her carrier.

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

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Abys are so different from other cats at the vet.

Aby-a-Day – 26 February: “It is the life of a crystal” (Medical Monday)

Jacoby has had one attack of his UTI crystals since we moved to Sweden. It was back in October 2016.

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Okay, he doesn’t seem that sick in this photo, but trust me…he was having issues back at home.

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This was actually the first time we visited our veterinarian. We came here because the vet Björn used to take Pyret to couldn’t make room in their busy schedule for a UTI emergency.

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I have to say, I was impressed.

I mean…they got my phone number wrong in their system…

…so they sent me a post card because they couldn’t ring or text me!

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When we went back, Jake got an ultrasound of his bladder. My vet back home in Boston was jealous of their in-house ultrasound equipment.

I thought I had gotten a photo of Jake getting his ultrasound, but I can’t seem to find them. I did get this illustration of what was going on with him, however. It wasn’t actually a crystal problem at all this time…he had a polyp in his bladder. The vet illustrated it for me.

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On the way out, we passed a cat food company’s ad and Jake wanted to check it out.

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He took a good, close look.

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Perhaps too close. Okay, Jake, we get it…you are one with your virtual, plastic model of your UTI.

Aby-a-Day – 16 February: Downtown stroller town…Gonna shut your stroller down (Friday Flashback)

Two years ago this month, Boston had an unseasonably marvelous Sunday afternoon. I needed to go to the Apple Store on Boylston, and I decided to walk there with Jacoby. Apple Stores, as a whole, are known to be pet-friendly, and the Boston flagship store is no exception.

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We were walking home after having my MacBook Pro checked by the lovely Geniuses, just enjoying the still-warm February evening and enjoying Boston, when…

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…We met a boy.

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A boy in a stroller. It was adorable. Jake was checking out the kid’s stroller, and the kid was checking out Jake’s. It was like when two vintage car owners see each other on the street, comparing chrome and fin height.

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It took him a little while to screw up the courage, but finally the boy reached out and petted Jake. I couldn’t tell with the pacifier in his mouth, but I think he was smiling.

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After we parted ways, Jake went back to looking at the fancy windows at Lord and Taylor. He always liked looking at those windows.

Aby-a-Day – 6 April: Wordless Wednesday (It’s so shiny!)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 April: Strollercat rides again (Hipstamatic Monday)

When Jacoby and I went to the Apple Store, I took some Hipstamatic photos of him on the red line train.

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I love how riding the T is No Big Deal to him.

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Jake was so happy to be back in his stroller!

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He could not stop rubbing and head butting it.

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He could do without the really screechy wheels, though.

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He may look like a typical, blase commuter…

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…but he can be as outraged at the T’s service as any Bostonian. This is why we’ll never get the Olympics.

Aby-a-Day – 31 March: Stroller Derby

This was an awesome little thing that happened when Jacoby and I were walking home from the Apple Store last month.

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We were walking down Boylston Street and saw a little boy in a stroller out with his mother and aunt.

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The boy saw Jake in his stroller and started to wave at him!

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His mom and aunt thought it was so cute that the boy recognised that the kitty was in a stroller just like he was.

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I asked if he wanted to pet Jake, and they thought he might, so I pushed his stroller closer to the boy’s stroller.

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He was a very nice, gentle boy, and of course Jake was so patient.

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If anything, I think Jake wanted the boy to pet him harder. He was giving Jake those soft, tentative pats and Jake wanted some nice, heavy petting.

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I love watching Jake interact with children, though. He has so little experience with them, but he’s always just so good!

Aby-a-Day – 25 March: The first time Strollercat went to the Apple Store (Friday Flashback)

The very first time Jacoby went to the Apple Store was back in 2011, when we went to get our brand new iPhone 3. It was a Massachusetts sales tax holiday, so everyone was trying to get a phone to save money, and we had to stand in line for a while.

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That was his first, tiny stroller.

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He seemed to enjoy himself.

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And then, just for comparison, here we are on our most recent trip.

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He still enjoys coming out on errands with me!