Aby-a-Day – 16 Januari 2020: Autumn leaves (Thursday Things)

Autumn in Skövde is beautiful.

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The trees are easily as lovely as the trees in New England.

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And the orange and yellow leaves carpet the lawn.

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By October, Dashiell was confident enough outside to go offleash.

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At first, he stayed close to the side of the building with Angel.

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But then he got brave and started to explore. It was so heartening to see!

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At one point, I was looking for Alfred and thought I saw him in the middle of the lawn.

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But it wasn’t Freddy. It was a hare!

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I tried to get both Dash and Freddy to notice it, to see what they’d do…but neither of them saw it. Too bad.

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I guess Dash was too busy exploring!

Aby-a-Day – 21 Augusti: Wordless Wednesday (Dashiell’s first outdoor adventures)

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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 – 26 August: Logan at Min Veterinär (Cinema Sunday)

Whilst I was going through last year’s photos, looking for all of the pictures of my finger, I found some photos and some videos of Logan going to the vet in the middle of all of it. Full disclosure, I have used some of these photos of Logan in a previous post, but the videos are all new.

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My Facebook post from 15 September: Logan was a little listless and had no appetite (to the point where he wouldn’t even eat treats!) the past couple of days, so, paranoid overprotective mom that I am, I managed to get a vet appointment this morning. Feel a bit silly now. This weekend is claw clipping, which also includes ear cleaning for the LunaTicks, and bum checks and teeth cleaning for the boys. So this morning I figured, start with Logan, so he’ll have nice short claws at the vet, right?

So I get to the tooth cleaning bit in the routine, and… yeah, super loose premolar and slightly bleedy gums. Teething! 45 minute (each way) bus ride to Skultorp… well, at least they didn’t charge me, and it’s better to have him checked out, especially before a show!

Anyway, here’s Logan in the exam room, showing off his grumpy old man voice. I think he sounds like Walter Matthau.

Watching these videos and looking at these photos, I can see how different Logan and Izaak are. They look alike…but they are still so different.<

For this video, I posted: Logan is getting pretty good at leashing…and he knows where he lives!

Compare Logan walking home to Izaak walking the same route. He has to be under my feet!!!

Aby-a-Day – 17 June: “I’m walkin’ here! I’m walkin’!” (Cinema Sunday)

Lorelai is a wonderful leash-walker. She may even have a better follow instinct than even Logan had.

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Rory has a slight “kitty cold,” so we went to the vet. When we got back, Rory walked all the way home from the bus stop!

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On the way, she found a pigeon feather.

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“Please, Mom, can we bring it home?” (Spoiler alert: yes, we brought it home and I dipped it in Virkon as soon as we got home.)

Below is a video of Rory’s impressive walk home…She is such a good walker!

Aby-a-Day – May 16: Bulletproof

People ask me how I trained Jacoby to wear a harness and go out on his leash. Truth is, I really didn’t. I just put a harness and leash on him when he was 3-1/2 months old and he did the rest.

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It was just a matter of taking him out, doing things with him, and exposing him to all sorts of different things. The other night, walking home from the hospital, we walked across a bridge while a Commuter Rail train passed underneath. Jake didn’t so much as twitch an ear as it rumbled under his feet.

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Sometimes I get spoiled by how bulletproof he is. This was Sunday at the cat show while I was packing up. Jake didn’t want to be in his carrier, and I’d taken down his cage already, so I just let him sit on the table. And he just sat there. I think he knew it was either stay put or be shut up in a bag!

Aby-a-Day – August 7: Ask not for whom the clicker clicks… (Cartoon Tuesday)

I have always wanted to clicker train Jacoby. I haven’t actually started yet, but I’ve got several books on the subject and I attended a lecture last month on how to clicker train an animal.

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I can totally see Jake grasping the concept and turning it to his advantage.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Sparkle Claws Down Cat Myths

I had to post a shout-out to our friend Sparkle’s post this morning on Common Misconceptions about Cats, because in it, she perfectly expresses the way I feel:

Cats Are Not as Friendly as Dogs
I look at it this way: would you want to be friends with someone who liked everyone indiscriminately, or would you prefer to have someone befriend you because she decided you were special and worth it? Would you want a friend who was needy and always begging for attention, or would you prefer someone who had your back, but most of the time made no big deal out of it? When a cat likes you, it is a gift not to be taken lightly. We are friendly to the people we trust, and isn’t that a better way to be?

You would not believe the number of people who just couldn’t believe there was a CAT at the St. Patty’s Parade yesterday. And I hear it all the time: “OMG I’ve never seen a cat out a leash like this! How do you do it? Is he specially trained?”

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Nope. He’s just my cat and I’m his person. Kind of like Catalyst and Catacombs, without the telepathy.

Most people don’t understand, but Jacoby does the things he does because I ask him to, and he likes to do them. I keep wanting to try to clicker train him…but then, I wonder what that would really do, since he already cooperates with me. Although I would like to teach him things like “Leave it”…

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The one thing I would add is this: I have always said “Cats live up to your expectations of them. If you expect to have a cat who’s afraid of strangers, going out, being in a carrier, not come when called, not understand things like “Get down” or “Get off” and hide under the bed when you have company, well…that’s what sort of cat you’ll have. But if you expect a cat to be sort of a partner, a roommate, a creature that you can take out to the park, call over to you when you want to show them something, understand what you ask of them and comply because of your relationship, well…then you’ll have that sort of cat. Since I was in junior high, I’ve been leash-training cats; my cat in high school would go on bike rides with me in his own special basket. Harri, my Siamese, camped with me for 5 years when I was active in the SCA, and even when he was older he travelled with me.

And now Jake (and his brother Gun-Hee) rides the subway with me, helps me run errands and takes walks in the park, and also runs to the door when I come home to give me headbutts.

What cat myths do you hear all the time that really drive you batty? I’d love to hear them.

Aby-a-Day – March 10: FEED ME!

Speaking of the ways cats manipulate humans…since Jacoby’s been on a diet, he’s picked up a neat little trick. When he has decided it’s time for his nightly serving of canned cat food, he jumps up onto the TV table and sits as tall as he can, staring at me until I get the message and go get a can for him.

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It works amazingly well, as you might imagine. People say I have him well-trained…but I have to say, I think we have each other well-trained! That article wasn’t kidding when it said “that cats and their owners strongly influenced each other, such that they were each often controlling the other’s behaviors”!

“Is That a Rat on the End of That Leash?”

I subscribe to the Catster Blog and get updates by email. Today’s email came with a very timely link to an entry about walking cats on leashes.

Even better, it features Radar, the Aby from the Upper West Side. I actually posted about Radar back in June 2008.

I love this photo of Radar and Court, his human:

Aby-a-Day – Day 81 of 365

As I said in yesterday’s post, Jacoby and I had an encounter with an irresponsible Dachshund owner. She drove up with her two overweight, unneutered, unleashed dogs Leo and Wolfie. We’d had a run-in with her once before back in August, and knew she was one of those dog owners, so we packed up and started to walk away.

It did no good, because the dogs ran after us, barking like mad. I happened to have my video camera running at the time, though…

For the record, my husband never kicked her dog. He did yell at her to get her dogs away from Angel (who was panicking), though.

Despite all the stupid, I can’t help but point out what an awesome little cat Jacoby is. Watch him during the whole dachshund debacle; his ears are back, but he’s calm and not puffed up, hissing, or nervous at all, despite these dogs surrounding him and barking at him. He even continued to walk on home:

(Pardon my editorial comments…I was a pretty proud momma!)

Here’s Jake and those two dogs back in August when we first encountered them:

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And here he is on Saturday, once again fearless in the face of canines:

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Right now, I’m looking into what I can do about her (that park is not a dog park; the nearest one to our part of Boston is in the South End).

I will say this, though: It bodes well for Jake becoming a therapy cat.

Aby-a-Day – Day 29 of 365

Right off the bat, I have to apologise for the quality of today’s photos. All I had time to use was my phone’s camera, and I didn’t want to miss getting any photos of this. I am so proud of Jacoby! When I got home, two of my nearest neighbours (next door and across the hall) were coming back from walking their dogs (Tank, a brindle and white English Bulldog, Kona, a black and white French Bulldog, and Sadie, a black brown and white Bassett Hound). As usual, Jake wanted to come play in the hallway when I opened the door, and I saw the two Bullies charging up the hallway. “All right, Jakey, come see your friends.

He made a beeline for Tank, who’s about the same age as Jake, but massive. I was amazed – Jake walked right up to Tank and headbutted him in the jowls! I was stunned. I said, “I wish I had a camera,” and then realised I had my iPhone in my hand.

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I’m so glad I remembered it! Look at Jacoby’s body language…tail up, ears forward. These dogs may all be bigger than Jake, but he knows them, and he’s unfazed.

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Here’s Jake touching noses with Kona while Tank tries to reach him; this is as close as I got to a repeat performance of the headbutt.

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Just when I couldn’t feel any more proud of my little boy…he flopped over and started rolling on his back! Now, that’s a cat who’s not intimidated by dogs!

I felt so…serendipitous. I mean, it was just in yesterday’s post that I mentioned Jacoby not being as fearful of dogs as his brother Gun-Hee was. Today, he goes and proves it!

Aby-a-Day – Day 28 of 365

I wanted to train Gun-Hee to be a therapy cat, but he died before we got the chance. However, Jacoby seems to have an even more suited temperment (he’s not afraid/intimidated by dogs, where Gun-Hee was). This summer we’ll be spending a lot of time out and about, gettng used to going out and being in different environments, so I bought him a little “Therapy Animal In Training” vest. Here he is showing it off.

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What really cracks me up is the way he poses for these photos. I really think he knows what cameras are for. He’s the most camera-friendly cat I’ve had since my Siamese Harri.

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I mean, look at these! Tell me he’s not striking model poses!

More photos of Gun-Hee in his coat

Last weekend, when it finally stopped raining, I took Gun-Hee out for his first walk wearing his parka.


In his carrier before going outside…


Outside on the grass…it was a little chilly,
and I think he was glad to be wearing his coat.
I forgot about the time change, too; it was already getting dark when we went out.

Cat about town

Gun-Hee and I tried out his carrier yesterday. We took the T to Downtown Crossing and walked back. He loved it. He was purring the whole time and didn’t try to jump out til we got to the Harbourwalk, which he recognised as a place he could walk around.

People were entertaining. We passed quite a few weary workers on their way home after another tough week, and when they realised there was a kitten in the pouch, they got these big grins on their faces. A lot of people stopped to ask what sort of cat he was, and one woman exclaimed, “Oh! I wish my cat would do that! That’s awesome!” My favourite was when we passed a woman with a baby in a similar front carrier; I said to Gun-Hee, “Look! That baby’s riding the same way you are!” but the woman didn’t notice us. Still, it amused me.

I need to get some photos of him riding around in his pouch…

“And he’ll ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston…”

Gun-Hee rides the T from Park Street to Central Square…

Gun-Hee up a tree!

We took Gun-Hee to Rolling Bridge Park again last weekend.


A nice pose with the park’s namesake.


He was fascinated by the flowering trees…

Gun-Hee on the T

It was 70° in Boston today! I needed to run some errands, and the weather was just too nice to leave a certain kitten at home, so…I took him with me. We took a walk along the Boston Harborwalk…he did so well! We ran into four Labs and even that didn’t faze him…much. The puppy kind of set him off (and it was kind of cute, because they were about the same age)…but Gun-Hee held his own, hissed and spit at little Bailey, and Bailey didn’t do that again. Good kitten!

Gun-Hee loves riding the T. It’s amazing…you can see how comfortable he is on the trains now. Here’s a couple of photos of us…

The flash was too close, so this looked better in black and white.


This was taken without the flash…and it was a little blurry. So I took care of that.
But he’s really kissing me in this photo…awwww…

Gun-Hee takes a Harborwalk

A couple of weeks ago, on a rare warm (ie, over 50°) day, we took Gun-Hee out to Rolling Bridge Park on Boston’s HarborWalk.


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Gun-Hee’s big day out

It was a really nice day today, and I had some errands to run. I hated to leave Gun-Hee at home, so…I took him with me. We walked to the post office (he rode in his backpack carrier because I had boxes to carry) and while we waited for our number to be called, I let Gun-Hee out to explore on his leash.

It was then that I discovered, to my dismay, that I had left my camera card in the card reader at home. No photos of our big day out! But I used the camera on my phone to capture these, at least…


The post office was a little busy; there were some little kids running around and a baby crying, and several people…but he handled it like a champ. He wasn’t fazed at all! He just explored as much as I would let him. He got also got to meet some of the regular postal workers I see on a daily basis, which was nice; they’d been hearing about him for months!

After we sent our packages off, we got on the red line to go to Cambridge. Gun-Hee is really starting to love riding the T. We managed to get a single seat at the end of a car and I let him out, but I’d only allow him to go on the windowsill or my lap. He was okay with that…and when we got to Charles/MGH he got to look out the window, which he loves.

We got off at Davis; I needed to pick up some more L-Lysine for him. It was kind of nice, going to the vet when he didn’t have an appointment. It was a chance to show him that something bad doesn’t necessarily happen to him every time he goes in there.

We went to my apartment; he napped on the cat tree while I went to Porter Square to do some shopping. Then, after a little lunch, we got back on the T and headed south. I let him out on his leash on the train again, and when we got back to the building I didn’t bother to put him back in his carrier; I just let him ride in on my shoulder. He walked on the elevator all by himself (I was so impressed!) and then we walked back to our place.

The other three cats sniffed the new smells off of him while I put away the groceries. Then he crashed out on his heating pad bed – big day for a little kitten!

But I am so proud of him. He was so good today. Only a couple of people asked if they could pet him, and when they did he was very gracious. And I was impressed by the number of people who came up to me and asked, “Is he an Abyssinian?” I guess the general public is more up on their cat breeds than I gave them credit for.

I know part of it is his personality…but part of it, too, is the bond that he and I are developing. I can take him out and ask him to do these things because he loves me and trusts me…and he does the things I ask and ends up enjoying them because he trusts me and knows I wouldn’t ask him to do anything that would hurt him. It’s a heady feeling…scary, but all together awesome.