Aby-a-Day – 17 Juni: The nose knows (Medical Movie Monday)

This happened two summers ago. Jacoby was acting like he had something stuck in his nose or throat. I checked his mouth to make sure a string or something hadn’t gotten caught under his tongue, but there was nothing there. The way he was acting reminded me of when I’ve gotten a grain of rice stuck in the back of my throat in my nose; Jake was coughing and snorting in the same way.

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This is what he was doing (click the photo to watch the video in Flickr). We were growing cat grass on the balcony that summer, so I suspected that Jake might have inhaled a blade of grass and gotten it stuck in his pharynx or nasal passages.

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So we went to the vet, and they flushed out his nose and checked him out. They noticed some irritation, but didn’t find any grass or plant matter. They prescribed antibiotics, just in case.

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After we got home, however, I found what looked like some dried, clear cat barf on the floor in the room Jake ate in. But it wasn’t like a regular hairball or food barf…it was a tiny leaf! I had been right – Jake did have something stuck in his nose! He just managed to get it out by himself before the vet appointment.

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So, I did a little research and discovered that it was a small leaf of Yarrow! I only know Yarrow from the Warriors books (the medicine cats use it, and there’s a cat named Yarrowleaf in the more recent books, but I had no idea it was growing in our lawn! Because they mow once a week, it never gets a chance to grow tall or flower. Jake must have accidentally inhaled the little leaf when we went outside – he loved chewing on the grass, and the yarrow is mixed into the lawn. It was an interesting mystery, and I’m glad I was able to solve it.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.

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Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.

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They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.

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When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.

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Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!

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Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Juni: Sunday at the Cat Show (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Today at the cat show was…well, not as exciting as yesterday.

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Lorelai was the first up again, and she had the same judge, Thea Friskovec, that Izaak had yesterday.

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Lorelai charmed her, but ultimately lost the Nomination to a friend’s Cornish Rex.

This is what her judging looked like…so different from CFA!

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Next up was Izaak.

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Like yesterday, since there were three Singapuras entered, he was up for Best in Variety, but today he lost out to IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (on the far right). That’s cat shows: one day, you’re top of the world, another day…not so much. You can’t win them all.

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After the BIV, Zak had to compete for the Nomination, against the Burmilla from yesterday and a snow Bengal.

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The competition was stiff…

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But today, Zak lost to the Burmilla. Ultimately, no Singapuras were Nominated to Panel, where yesterday we had two (who both won Best in Show). But that’s okay; with neither cat Nominated, we were able to leave the show early! That’s always a bonus.

Here is a video of Zak being judged. I think I like FIFe’s style better than CFA, to be honest; not only do you get an honest conversation about your cat’s strengths and weaknesses, but you also get a written copy to save in your cat’s show book. Only being judged by one person a day vs. the CFA method of a cat getting several judges’ opinions in a day is…different, and admittedly, a little hard to get used to. But the fact that you get the judges’ notes to keep for posterity is pretty awesome and makes the shift a little easier to handle. Plus, it’s nice having a written record of what a judge thought about your cat.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Maj: It’s not as easy to make a 29 second video of a cat running down a hill as it looks…(Movie Monday)

So I am pretty proud of my Little House on the Prairie spoof with Izaak running down the hill that I posted yesterday. Mainly because it looks so perfect…but it wasn’t as easy as it looked.

Someone on Facebook asked me why I put Zak in Slo-Mo. Well…the reason is…he runs too fast when he gets going. This is the first part of what I ended up using…a whopping five seconds.

Here’s the ending bit. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. So yeah, you can see why it was slowed down.

But it really took a lot more work than it looked. We had Lorelai and Alfred out there, too…my original thought was to have Rory and Zak running together down the hill. That just didn’t work out. Here are all the takes we did…with the original sound.

Aby-a-Day – 29 April: Lorelai and Markis (Movie Monday)

Lorelai has never met an enemy. She likes dogs, people, and other cats.

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She’s always happy to encounter our upstairs neighbour, Markis.

Markis, as you can see in this video, isn’t really interested in playing with her.

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Later on, she tried again.

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This time, Markis started to run away from her instead of holding his ground again.

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Oh, well…

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…At least Rory got a game of chase out of the deal.

Aby-a-Day – 14 April: Happy Birthday, Jacoby (Cinema Sunday)

Today would have been Jacoby’s 10th birthday. We had candles already for such a special birthday. I made a cake anyway, for all the other cats to share.

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Unlike Jake, the other cats were a bit taken aback by the burning candles.

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Naturally, Alfred was the least afraid of the fire, because it was on food.

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Once the flame was extinguished, though, they all tucked right in.

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Jake loved the birthday ritual. He was never afraid of the candles and usually had a few singed whiskers after the candles were extinguished.

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He also loved plastic springs.

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I gave him a fresh package of them last year.

However where as most cats bat them, chase them or carry them around in their mouths, but not our Jake. A still photo could never capture his technique, so here is a video I managed to capture.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Mars: Some are born Singapura, some achieve Singapuraness… (Cinema Singapura Sunday)

Not to make a generalisation about Singapuras, but both Logan and Izaak decided they wanted to be friends with Angel and Jacoby…no matter what.

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In Angel’s case, it means Zak gets in her favourite bed with her.

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And then he grooms her.

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He’s quite serious about it, too.

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With Jake, Zake just sleeps with him wherever he is, be it our bed or the sofa.

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Does Jake want Zak’s company? I have no idea. But I also don’t think he has much of a say in the matter.

Because still photos can’t quite capture that lovin’ feeling, here’s a video of Zak forcing his affection on Jake and Angel.