Happy International Cat Day! (Abys are Everywhere)

Today, 8 August, is International Cat Day. In honour of this important day, my friend Robin sent me this video created by e-on, a Swedish electric company.

Of course I checked it for Abys.

This guy kind of looks like an Abyssinian…but then, that might just be the spacesuit.

However, THIS video, made by target=#>Whiskas UK (who, I discovered whilst in London, make a LOT of awesome commercials that are so good you almost forget they’re trying to sell you something) definitely features some Abyssinians.

Like this handsome chap, as well as the lad at the top of the page.

Happy International Cat Day!

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli: “Just like birds, hunters know no borders” (Cinema Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Lorelai is our little huntress. She especially likes to hunt birds when we’re outside.

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But she also likes to hunt birds when we’re inside. We have these bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups, and Rory in particular really loves to “watch the birdies.”

I wanted to capture her banging into the window on video, but I failed. You can hear her fearsome chatter, though…

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juli: Another Bee Movie (Movie Monday)

When I made the video of Izaak and Lorelai playing with the bumblebee, Björn was making one, too.

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It’s kind of interesting, to see someone’s photos and videos taken at the same time you were taking photos and videos…it’s just from a slightly different perspective.

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It’s actually kind of fascinating. The exact same scene playing out, the same events…but, different.

Compare the two videos and you’ll see what I mean.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni: A memory of Jacoby (Cinema Sunday)

Today’s photos and video were not really ever going to be posted. I didn’t think that they were really good enough. But time changes photos, did you know that? What seems like a crap photo today can turn into a treasured memory with time. This is back from February, when Meg sent me a package that included some pretty superb catnip toys.

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Jacoby took an interest in the paper the toys were wrapped in. Izaak came to see what was so interesting…he didn’t see it.

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And when I say Jake was “interested”…

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…I mean, he was really interested in it.

It was so funny that I made a video to show Meg. But now, I want to share it with everyone. Jake was such a goof.

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.

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This Yarrow plant is entwined with a bicycle rack, so it misses getting mowed. This is what it looks like when it’s allowed to grow. 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.