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).


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



She’s so cute when she’s curious.


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.


Yep, Angel is Angel!


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


Angel watches as Björn takes Pyret out of her carrier.


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


Abys are so different from other cats at the vet.

Aby-a-Day – 5 March: Pyret at the vet (Medical Monday)

For a cat who lived such a long life, Pyret only went to the vet a handful of times. When she was young, of course, she got her routine vaccinations and her spaying. And then after I moved her, we brought her along with the Abys. She always hated the vet, and medical attention of any kind (as she demonstrated with alacrity when I gave her that pill one time), so it’s very fortunate that she was very healthy and had good, strong teeth.


She was a good traveller to the vet, anyway.


When we took Pyret to the vet this year, she had a panic attack.


She hyperventilated.


And the vet was very concerned.


Apparently, being examined by a vet threw Pyret into a panic attack.


So I brought Pyret in for her own, private vet appointment.


At the time, she weighed 3.05 kilos. When she died, she was only 2.6 kilos.


Because Pyret was so old, we wanted to get a blood sample to check all her levels. And to do that, we needed to draw blood. And to do that, Pyret needed to be sedated.


The vet used a short-term drug to knock her out.


Once she was unconscious, they worked quickly to get a blood sample.


Ultimately, the results were positive, with some low-grade kidney failure – nothing unexpected in a cat of her age. She was prescribed a special renal/hepatic medicinal diet, but was otherwise given a clean bill of heath

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.


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


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.


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!


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


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


He took a good, close look.


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

Aby-a-Day – 19 February: Better living through chemistry (Medical Monday)

Today is a special day in all our lives, especially Logan. We went out to Skultorp to visit Min Veterinär for a very special reason. Logan got a Supralorin implant. Supralorin is chemical castration…temporary, but as good as the real thing.


Obviously not aware of the size of the needle he was about to have stuck into his shoulder blades, he hopped down to greet the vet.


So very blissfully unaware of what is about to happen…

Before the implantation, our vet sprayed between his shoulder blades with lidocaine. Logan is a very fastidious cat, and he is constantly grooming himself (which is one reason he hates wearing his diapers). So, naturally, he wanted to groom off the stuff the vet sprayed on him.


Apparently, lidocaine tastes nasty.


Really, really nasty.


He sulked about that for quite a while.


Vocally. Very vocally.


He was pretty annoyed at me.


Given that he was suffering from lidocaine-taste flashbacks…



…Which from his expression were just as bad as the first taste.


Once the lidocaine had had time to take effect, the vet came back and prepared for the implant. Logan looked at me like I was violating his every right. What he doesn’t know is, the implant will make him happier, and he won’t have to wear the diapers that he hates.


He blamed me. Look at that body language.


The vet prepared the implantation needle.


And then, in it went. It will take two to three weeks for the implant to take effect, but after that, Logan will be like a surgically neutered cat in every way. After that, he will be a stud cat in my breeder Lisa’s program.


The best part is, we have up to two years to show him and earn titles in the Champion (unaltered) class. But eventually, he will be surgically neutered, and when he is, we can start over from the beginning and show him in the Premiership (alter) classes and earn the titles all over again. He’ll have a nice long showing career!

Aby-a-Day – 12 February: Bus ride to Skultorp (Medical Monday)

A week or so ago, Logan and I went to visit our vet in Skultorp. Nothing serious, just a quick check of his urine, and to get “a veterinary certificate confirming that both testicles are normal and are descended into the scrotal sac,” as per FIFe’s Breeding & Registration Rules


Logan is an excellent traveller. We have a Hatch carrier from a Kickstarter we backed, and it’s been really great.


Of course I went from living in the same building as my vet to a 36-minute (with one transfer) long bus ride to the furthest reaches of Skövde. That being said, it’s a pretty easy bus ride, and the stops are close to both our apartment and the vet’s office.


When we got there, I let him out to explore the waiting room…and he stalked around like a person who just got bumped off his business flight to Milwaukee.


Apparently, Logan does not like to wait.


And he had to wait.


and wait.


“What is taking them so long!?”


Finally, we were taken back to an exam room.


“Okay…let’s get this over with.”


“Wait…you wanna look at my WHAT, now?


Okay that was…not fun. Can we go home now?


To make it up to him, I let him walk a little outside on the way home. He doesn’t enjoy outside in the snow as much as Alfred does…


…but it did cheer him up!


Look at the happy tail!


But he was still really happy when we went inside and I unlocked our door.

Aby-a-Day – 27 January: The tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth

I have posted before about about Angel’s horrific dental situation. Angel has serious Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions. She’s had them since I adopted her, and she had few teeth left.


She had most of her teeth extracted before we moved to Sweden, but she was still having problems with her teeth. And there is NO WAY I can brush her teeth! Believe me, I have tried. So has my vet back in Boston.


Angel has had a chipped canine for a while which hasn’t really bothered her, but her remaining molars were starting to dissolve, so we were referred by our vet to a dental specialist in nearby Falköping.


Angel and I took the train to Falköping. The specialist checked both her eyes and her teeth, and then she was sedated for her oral surgery.


Her molars were too dissolved to save, but her chipped canine was salvageable, and the vet saved it for me.


Angel now has only three teeth left in her head – one canine on the top and two on the bottom. It makes her smile a little crooked, but, amazingly, it doesn’t impair her eating in the slightest. She still demands dry food with every meal, and she begs for raw meat scraps when I am cutting meat for supper. If anything, she seems happier to have gotten those bad teeth out of her mouth.

Aby-a-Day – 13 January: Planes, Trains and Automobiles Part 1 (Swedish Saturday)

You know that I flew to Sweden with the two Abyssinians, Jacoby and Angel. But I’m willing to bet you are very curious as to HOW we came here. I flew IcelandAir, which, because Iceland is an island and because of rabies concerns, requires all animal passengers fly in a specially climate controlled pet cargo hold. I know many people have misgivings about airline cargo holds, with good reason. But I have had only good experiences with cargo travel (my two Siamese, Harri and Patrick, from San Francisco to Atlanta, and then Tessie from Portland, Oregon, to Boston). It’s actually easier than travelling with a cat in-cabin, especially when you are travelling with more than one!

I started acclimatising them to the crate very early, by leaving it out for them to nap in. Tessie didn’t really need to practice, but she did anyway.


I also locked Jake and Angel in the crate for longer and longer periods to get them ready for an eight hour trip.


Although I think Angel wanted to get out.


Then, days before the big trip, we had a practical practice, I used the crate to take Jake and Angel to the vet for their pre-travel visit.


It was a perfect opportunity to practice shlepping the crate somewhere.


Ironically, my vet, South Boston Animal Hospital, changed location from a 10 minute bus ride away to…ACTUALLY IN THE BUILDING I LIVED IN on 1 June. I left for Sweden on 17 June. Sigh.



They were their usual selves at the vet, and of course, they got a clean bill of health.


Finally, the day arrived! We went to Logan Airport to start our new life.


We all went into a back room at IcelandAir and the cats were checked out, to make sure that they were who I said they were, and to make sure that nothing was being smuggled in the carrier.


The flight went without incident, apart from the souvenir shop being closed, dammit. But I was lucky enough to see Jake and Angel’s crate being loaded onto the next plane at Reykjavik.


And then, at long last, we were all reunited at Arlanda airport in Stockholm. What happened next? Tune in tomorrow, same cat time, same cat channel!