Aby-a-Day – 9 April: Timing is everything (Part one) (Medical Monday)

As most of you, I think, know, I moved from my beloved Boston to Sweden in June 2016. But what I haven’t had a chance to explain yet is…

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…my beloved Boston veterinary clinic, South Boston Animal Hospital, moved from East Broadway between H and I Streets (which is now, rather disconcertingly, a nail salon so fancy it calls itself a “nail bar”) to…

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…Yeah. Right. In. The. Building. I. Was. LIVING. In.

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It’s one of the few things I really, really miss about my life back in the US. The fact that, for 15 short, precious days, my vet’s office was in the first floor of the building I lived in. I mean, literally…all we had to do was go down the elevator, go out the front door, walk a few steps outside…and yeah. You’re at the vet. The awesome vet that you love, not the sucky one you go to because you have no options.

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We were lucky enough to go there three times before we left.

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The opening was supposed to be on my birthday, 1 June, but it was delayed because of…reasons. We visited on 6 June and work still wasn’t quite finished. There were caution cones all over the place.

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They did have impressive wifi set up already, though!

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Jacoby was eager to check everything out.

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Angel was…rather less enthusiastic about exploring.

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This was our fist visit to the new location before moving. Next week, come along with Jake and me to the SBAH grand opening party!

Aby-a-Day – 5 June: Travelling with a Singapura (Swedish Sunday)

When Björn was in Boston for our wedding in April, my friend Linda (who is also a member of NEMO) asked if we could help her out.

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Linda, along with her husband Chuck, breed Singapuras (their cattery name is Mystiquecats), and she wanted to know if Björn would be willing to help two other Singapura breeders. Pat, of (Sopan Singapuras had a 10 month old girl kitty who needed to fly to live with a breeder in Sweden. And, as luck would have it, Björn was returning home and flying into Stockholm at just the right time!

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Well, naturally we jumped at the chance, not only to help out friends, but because just two months later, I would be making the exact same journey – on Icelandair – with Jacoby and Angel, and what better way to try out the flight accommodations with a cat than to actually take a cat on the flight?

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So, Björn and I met Pat and Naina, the girlcat, at Logan. I know Singapuras are small cats, and Naina was only 10 months old…but she was TINY!

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Pat had sent cats abroad before, and gave me excellent advice on how to outfit the carrier for a long trans-Atlantic flight. From her I learned that a bag of dry food should be attached to the outside of the crate, and the water bowl should be filled with water and frozen the night before, so the bowl would be filled with non-spillable, slowly thawing ice that the cats can lick if they are thirsty.

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After checking in, we got to go behind the scenes with an Icelandair employee. We went into a back room and a TSA employee checked Naina and her carrier to make sure that nothing was being smuggled in with the cat. Then they took her to the plane. On Icelandair, pets travel in a special pet hold rather than in the cabin. This is because Iceland is an island, and has very strict animal import laws and impose a quarantine on imported mammals. Animals need to be monitored by official airline personnel at all times and cannot be on the ground more than three hours. When I booked my flight to Sweden later this month, I had toyed with the idea of having a seven-hour layover in Reykjavik and actually go into the city, but since I’ll be travelling with the Abys, I can’t do that. So, I’ll have just enough time to go through customs, grab a snack, and get on my next plane.

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However, in our case, the cats having to travel in the pet hold is actually an advantage. Two animals of the same species, weighing less than 40 kg (88 lbs), can share one crate, so Jake and Angel will be able to travel together in one carrier rather than me having to manage two separate bags with cats in them along with my laptop and carry-on bag.

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Naina flew like a champ. When Björn landed in Stockholm and picked her up, she was as cheery and relaxed as she had been in Boston. He was impressed that after eleven hours flying and changing of planes, she was just meowing a little, but mostly was just curious about her new surroundings.

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Björn met up with Lisa, of Melur Singapuras, at Arlanda and Naina was swiftly taken to her new home.

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As you can see from these photos Lisa posted on Facebook, Naina settled in almost immediately! She took to being in Sweden right away. Just like I hope that Jake and Angel will!

Aby-a-Day – 1 June: Wordless Wednesday (This is what happened yesterday)

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Aby-a-Day – 19 April: Sketches on a train (Cartoon Tuesday)

I drew this on the train back from Washington DC last Wednesday after my residency permit interview at the Swedish Embassy. I used Adobe Sketch…it’s actually rather a frustrating program! I used my iPad Pro and Pencil…which should have been like drawing on paper. Not so much.

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It does have different media, though. I started out with a pencil…then I inked it in.

I also drew this whole thing, from scratch, TWICE because somehow I managed to delete the first one. Seems there are sketches and projects in Sketch, and once you delete a project – a whole set of sketches – there is no way to get it back! Arrrrrgh…

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However, it was definitely easier than drawing on a Wacom tablet and having to look at a screen away from where you’re drawing to see what you’re doing. I just need more practice. Anyway…here’s a little doodle of what poor Jacoby must be thinking since I couldn’t bring him to our wedding in Manchester yesterday. Don’t worry, Jakey! You’ll be Best Cat at our Swedish wedding!

Aby-a-Day – 18 April: The Honeymoon Crasher (Miniature Monday)

Today Björn and I were married in Manchester, NH!

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We got a lovely room at the Manchester Radisson which included Champagne along with a cheese plate and chocolate-covered strawberries.

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We weren’t able to bring the real Jacoby along (he’ll come to the wedding we have in Sweden), but mini-Jake crashed our little honeymoon.

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He tried to act like he was helping us open the Champagne.

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And he swore he wasn’t interested in the strawberries or the cheese…

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…He just thought the decorative orchids made lovely hats.

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He wanted to check out our rings, but of course they weren’t in the box anymore.

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They were on our fingers!

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My friend Mary sent me a “lucky sixpence” for my shoe.

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It’s a 1965 sixpence – the same age as Björn and me!

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Our friends Molly, Kelli, Meg, Barb and Donna were all able to to come to Manchester to help us celebrate. It was a simple, yet moving, ceremony at City Hall…but it was wonderful! Thank you all!

Aby-a-Day – 15 April: Tag, you’re it! (Fashion Friday)

Last week, I posted about Angel’s new leash. I also got everyone new collars, and Jacoby and Angel also got new tags!

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I’m working on getting them silver tags, made by the same person who made them before, but she hasn’t been able to do it yet, so I had these made by Jen at K9 Stamp Art.

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These are brass, and the lettering is done in colour, which I think is a nice touch. They have crystals embedded instead of gemstones.

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I also got Pyret a collar, BlanketID tag, and a nametag. Pyret’s colour is yellow (Angel’s is purple and Jacoby’s is green), and she’s never worn a collar before, but I thought it would be nice for her to fit in with the Abys.

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All the tags have our new Swedish address on the backs, too…just in case someone sneaks out the door.

Aby-a-Day – 12 April: My first wedding – Part 2 (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted the cartoon I did for the holiday card I sent out just before I got married to my first husband.

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This is the drawing I did on the invitation. Again, Harri the Siamese is prominently featured. I sent Björn and his then-fiancee an invitation…but they weren’t able to attend.