Aby-a-Day – 26 Augusti: Izaak and his new rat (Thursday Things)

Björn rented a car, and we went to Fallköping and Jonköping today.

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One of the things we do when we go to Jonköping is to go to IKEA.

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IKEA may have discontinued their mice, but they still have rats.

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There’s only one colour now, a sort of shiny beige, but Izaak doesn’t care. It’s an IKEA rodent plush…he loves it.

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And Zak violently loves his IKEA rodents.

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Even though we have about a dozen of these things around the house, this is now his favourite.

Following up on Monday’s post…

On Monday, I posted about the underground recycling station in our område.

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Well, today I happened to walk past it whilst they were emptying the bins.

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I thought you might like to see how they empty the bins, so I took a few photos. Basically, a big truck comes, pulls them up and dumps them. I am not sure how they pick them up, but i think it might be magnets.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Augusti: Salta Katter (Cartoon Tuesday

Back when I was in SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) classes, they had a really cool poster of the Salta Lakritsfigurer cat. It was created by Tommy Hallgren, a Swedish graphic artist who designed several Swedish candy brands, among other things.

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A couple of weeks ago, Björn found a framed print of the same poster at the second-hand store – signed by the artist!

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Izaak, of course, had to “help” me take a photo of our poster.

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This is how the Salty Cat looks on the actual candy boxes. But take a close look at the box on the right.

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See the holes? Yep…Alfred, with his fierce belief that anything in plastic is food, bit the box.

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Of course, Zak had to “help” me with the candy boxes, too.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Augusti: “When you put the whole picture together, recycling is the right thing to do” (Hipstamatic Monday)

Sweden is well-known for its recycling system. We used to have to go to several different places to recycle (paper and cardboard were in our område, but metal, glass and plastic were in other areas around town.

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But two years ago, we got two consolidated underground recycling stations in our område. It is so much more convenient!

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And, we can take the cats with us, turning a mundane chore into a fun outing.

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The stations have kiosks for regular household trash, food garbage (which is turned into fuel for buses and home heating), coloured glass, clear glass, metal, cardboard, paper, and plastic.

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It’s also an amazingly clean and odourless place, too, considering it’s a place people bring their trash.

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The stations also don’t attract scavenging corvids, seagulls, or rats. Just Abyssinians and Singapuras.

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One other nice thing about the recycling stations is that you can meet your neighbours. I think the whole concept of these tidy little stations is brilliant.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Augusti: “The lion crouches in the tall grass. The gazelle sniffs the air. The awful stillness before the strike” (Swedish Saturday)

This afternoon, we took the cats outside. The grass on the hill is really tall right now, and Izaak was looking at it longingly.

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Because he always follows me everywhere, I went down the hill myself to give him a little push.

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And, of course, Zak marched down the hill to meet me.

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I love watching him move through the grass. It’s almost like he’s swimming through it.

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Meanwhile, Alfred was coming back up the hill.

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The grass where Freddy was is even taller than the grass Zak was in.

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Lorelai was in the tall grass, too. Even though she was restricted by her leash, her joy at being outside after a week of rain was undiminished.

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Everytime I see the cats in the tall grass, I wonder what it must be like to be a small cat in the big world, where walking through tall grass is like strolling through a jungle.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Augusti: Happy Birthday, Pyret (Thursday Things)

Today would have been Pyret’s 22nd birthday.

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She only saw 18 birthdays, but no matter how long they’re gone, you always remember their birthdays.

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Pyret was an only cat for many years…until she had a couple of Abyssinians thrust upon her.

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She adapted well, though.

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And then…she met Logan.

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Right from the start, they had a sort of bond, those two.

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Of course, when there’s a Singapura involved, bonding is not exactly an option.

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When Pyret started dying, Logan watched over her closely.

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Even after Pyret died, Logan spent time with her body. It was especially poignant in hindsight, as Logan died a month later…almost as if he knew.

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So, happy 22nd birthday, Pyret.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Augusti: I joined the Navy to see the world, but what did I see? I saw the sea (Photoshop Friday)

When Emma was here, we rented a car and took a trip around Skaraborg, the area between the two lakes in Västra Gotaland. One town we visited was Hjo, a little lakeside town that is over 600 years old.

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As we were walking around the harbour, we noticed a sailboat with a red flag on it. Curious, we took a closer look, and realised that the boat was from Singapore! so of course I had to put Izaak on board.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Juli: A lucky find at the second-hand store (Miniature Monday Memory)

Facebook reminded me that five years ago today, I found a perfect Lisa Larson cat at the second-hand store. It was a great score; I paid 350kr (about $40 USD now…so probably even less five years ago)…and someone on Etsy is asking 1475kr (about $170 USD)!

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I was particularly thrilled because this was the one vintage cat from the Lilla Zoo collection I didn’t have. I had the others; the tall sitting cat that Björn sent me when I lived in Boston.

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I also had the little curled up cat…times three! So, five years ago today was an excellent day; thank you Facebook for this memory.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Juli: Lunch with the movers (Swedish Sunday)

Five years ago this week, the movers brought my things from Boston.

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Swedes take their lunch breaks very seriously. Right at noon, they all stopped and sat down to eat their lunches at our table. Of course, Jacoby had to join them – always the gracious host.

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The movers were bemused, but charmed, by Jake’s curious and friendly manner. That’s the thing I remember most about that day.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juni: Five years ago today…(Friday Flashback)

Five years ago today, Jacoby, Angel and I landed in Stockholm.

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We took IcelandAir, which requires pets to travel in crates in a special pet cargo hold. It’s actually really great, because they allow two pets of the same species in one carrier. When we changed planes in Reykjavik, I actually saw them being loaded on the new plane.

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We had a LOT of luggage. That was fun on the train to Skövde.

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But once we had it all stashed, it was a very comfortable ride. Jake was enjoying the view immensely.

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And then…

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…we were home.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juni: How I spent my birthday (Thursday Things)

Björn asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. I said, “go to the second-hand store and to eat at Max (Sweden’s best burgers)“. And so we did.

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Björn gave me a Schleich Bengal (I collect Schleich cats)…

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…a paint-by-numbers kit and some vintage cat books.

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At the second-hand store I scored a beautiful Egyptian cat statue (which Lorelai was quite taken with)…

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…and a Rosa Ljung ceramic cat.

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But the BEST thing we found was when we checked out a new pet store in town, Dogman. There I found FREEZE-DRIED Vaisto cat food (I have been wanting to give Angel freeze-dried instead of raw, but couldn’t find it in Sweden), some dried chicken treats, and an interesting duck “cat sausage” that I am hoping Izaak will eat, because it will be easier to travel with that than with frozen raw food.

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AND we found 1kg bags of frozen chicken necks! We had been buying Vaisto Mush necks in 800g bags, but they’ve been in short supply lately, and these are much better (and cheaper). Zak, as you know, LOVES his necks! All in all, not a bad birthday.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Maj: Dashiell with hair brighter than the sun (Swedish Saturday)

As I mentioned the other day, Dashiell is gradually becoming more comforatble outside.

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You can see it in his eyes and in his gait.

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He’s getting much braver. We still have to catch him and bring him outside – he doesn’t eagerly race out like the other three – but once he IS out, he enjoys it.

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But look how incredibly shiny his coat is! I don’t remember Jacoby being quite this shiny. I think it’s because Dash eats more raw food. Jake refused to eat it. He would eat his other food and leave just the raw behind (kind of like Izaak in reverse). I can’t wait to take him to a cat show!

Aby-a-Day – 22 Maj: First, we had Strollercat…now we have Strolling Cat (Swedish Saturday)

Following up on Thursday’s post about about Izaak’s bouncy gait, here is Alfred casually walking across the grass.

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Freddy saunters when he walks with very little bounce.

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You can see it in the line of his back.

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He keeps it fairly level with each step.

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Freddy walks like a cat on a mission.

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Even when he’s only leisurely strolling down our hill.

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This is what Freddy walking looks like from the front. Look at the determination in his eyes. He’s so intelligent, and you can see that in his face.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Maj: “If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.” (Swedish Sunday)

All my life, I thought boycats were more friendly, outgoing and social than girlcats. The females I had, apart from Crystal, were all aloof and, if we’re being honest, a little neurotic. Tessie and Kylie changed that preconception a bit, but they had their moments.

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And then I met Lorelai.

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We’ve been keeping her on a leash because of her heats, as you know. Which means when the neighbourhood children want to pet one of our cats, she’s kind of a sitting duck. Luckily, she doesn’t mind at all.

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In Sweden, at least where we live, kids run around outside and play all day long, a lot like I did when I was a kid, (*Ahem*) in the 1970s. It’s nice to see, especially compared to how sheltered children are in the States. It’s also a little annoying; why do kids feel the need to SCREAM when they’re playing?

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The last time we went outside, one of the kids asked Björn if they could hold Rory’s leash…and it lead to a little parade.

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And Rory loved it.

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It’s also really great PR for what cats as pets are capable of. Hopefully, when these children grow up, they’ll be cat people.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Maj: A bird in the paw (Swedish Saturday)

Because of Covid, I have not had the energy to clip the cats’ claws on our regular schedule (it takes a LOT of energy to clip five cats’ claws and do all the other necessary grooming).

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That turned out to be a good thing when we took the cats out for the first time in forever last Thursday.

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Because Lorelai ran right up a tree with the intent to catch a wood pigeon!

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She actually got wicked close, too.

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She was also fearless and überconfident up in the tree.

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Rory was in complete control up in that tree.

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And when she decided to come down out of the tree, even that was deliberate and measured.

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I mean, look at the focus on that face. She’s in complete control.

Aby-a-Day – 8 April: Siberian Tigers at Borås Djurparken (Thursday Things)

This is the last installment of the series about the big cats at Borås Djurparken. This week, it’s the Tigers’ turn.

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Unfortunately, unlike the other cats, the Tigers were…underwhelming.

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But at least we got to see them at all. We did not get to see the African Wild Dogs or the Wolves at all that day.

Aby-a-Day – 1 April: Adult Cheetahs at Borås Djurparken (Thursday Things)

Continuing >the series about the big cats at Borås Djurparken. Last week, I focused on the Cheetah kittens, and this week we’ll look at the adult Cheetahsthey have at the park.

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I don’t remember how many adults there were in the enclosure; I think there were two adults to the several kittens. I think it may have been two mothers with their combined litters.

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Interestingly, the adult Cheetahs didn’t really interact with the kittens all that much.

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They just walked on past the kittens, staying in their own bubble.

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I love this shot. You can see the muscles in the hind legs; they are like coiled springs. The power of the Cheetahs' speed is obvious.

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The park also had an informational Cheetah display with information on wild Cheetahs’ territories and life styles.

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There was also an articulated Cheetah skeleton. You can really see how big their carnassials compared to the rest of the skull.

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Cheetahs are the only cats whose claws don’t retract. But look how heavy and thick their claws are – they give them excellent traction when they’re chasing down prey.

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Still, as interesting as the insides are, looking at the outsides of the Cheetahs is a lot better.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Mars: Cheetah kittens at Borås Djurparken (Thursday Things)

Continuing the series about the big cats at Borås Djurparken (which, admittedly, I totally forgot about last week). This week, I have a little more about the Cheetah kittens they have at the park.

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It was a little hard to tell how many kittens (I refuse to call baby cats “cubs”) there were; I think there were four or five.

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I’m also not sure how old they were.

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Compared to the mother Cheetah, I would say they were a few months old.

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They were wicked cute, though.

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Most of them were lounging out in the open. Look at this guy, just chilling.

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One interesting thing I did not know about Cheetah kittens is that when they speak…they chirp like little birds!

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I love Cheetah kittens, with their fluffy fur.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Mars: More about the Borås Lions (Thursday Things)

Continuing last week’s post about the Lions, I’m sharing more of the big cat photos I took at Borås Djurparken. This week, I have a little more about the Lionesses and Lions at the park.

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The Lions have a house they can shelter in.

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The Lion and a couple of Lionesses wandered over to the house and jumped in.

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…And then this happened.

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Afterwards, they just all hung out like it was just business as usual.

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And then, several minutes later…

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…He did it again!

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I’m not even sure if that’s the same Lioness.

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Although, I gotta say, those two creepers watching are…interesting.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Mars: Lions at the Borås Djurpark (Thursday Things)

Continuing last week’s post about the Lionesses, I’m sharing more of the big cat photos I took at Borås Djurparken. This week it’s the Lion.

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Isn’t he handsome?

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I’ve always been fascinated with Lions’ manes. No other male cats have them; I mean, sure, tomcats have jowls and other cats have heavier neck fur, but no other cats have the manes Lions do.

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Have you ever wondered why that is?

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Since Lions are the only cats that live in large groups, they are also the cats that fight each other the most often. The Lions’ manes evolved to protect their throats, so when the males fight, it’s not as easy for them to land a fatal bite on each other. Also, the size and colour of the mane conveys strength to rivals and health and virility to the females.

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Although this guy doesn’t look like much of a fighter. He looks more like Izaak when he’s snuggled up sleeping next to Dashiell or Alfred.