Aby-a-Day – 2 Augusti 2020: Alfred and the GoPro (Cinema Sunday

On one of our outdoor adventures, I got the idea to get a GoPro camera and put it on one of the cats. Alfred, being the largest cat, was the obvious choice…but the GoPro Fetch harness was clearly designed for a Labrador or Husky. It was a series of straps that were designed for an animal with a chest and shoulders.

We tried it anyway, and it was a disaster, even with cutting the straps (so bad I didn’t even bother to take any photos). So, I took the straps off the back mounting plate and tried riveting it to one of Jacoby’s old jacket harnesses. That was better, but still pretty crappy; the fabric was too soft to support the camera and mount. Here’s the video from the test run (ignore me picking up the empty cat bowls). So I gave it another go. Using the straps from the harness, I sewed the mount onto one of Jake’s therapy Yap Wraps. I thought the patches might help stabilise the mount on Freddy’s back.


We put the new version on him and went outside. The first thing Freddy did when we went outside was go to his dust rolling place.


Oh, well…that’s going to be interesting to watch.


And then, he actually managed to get out of it! I couldn’t believe it!


I finally managed to catch him and put it back on. Dashiell was curious about the camera…but not curious enough to look at the front of it.


No matter what we did, the camera kept slipping sideways. Apparently, this is a common problem.


The other problem was, Freddy wouldn’t run with the harness on. Until…


Freddy’s little buddy showed up!


That got him to run…straight into the bushes.


As you can see, it was still having listing problems.


Jeez, Freddy…it’s not that heavy!

Despite all of the problems, the camera kept filming. I ended up with over a half hour of footage. I’ve edited it down and sped it up so the final video is only about five minutes long (the blurry bit towards the end is Freddy climbing halfway up a tree). I hope it doesn’t make you seasick!

Don’t worry…I am going to rethink the harness and mounting situation (possibly trying something with the chest mounting piece). Stay tuned!

Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj 2020: Izaak in the Duvet Cover (Silly Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The funniest, cutest thing happened this morning.


Izaak got inside Björn’s duvet cover and was trying to get to me for a cuddle. He got his head through the hand hole…and then got stuck.


Which is funny, because I always thought that if a cat could get his head through a hole, the rest of the body would fit, too. Apparently, not so much.

I had to make a video of him for Björn, who was making his breakfast and couldn’t come to see Zak in the duvet. I thought you all would like to see it, too.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Mars 2020: Reach out and touch someone (Thursday Things)

The other day, we were watching YouTube videos on the television, and I wanted to show Björn the video of Lorelai stalking the geese, which he hadn’t seen yet.


After that, YouTube autoplayed the next video, which was the one of Izaak sitting on top of Dashiell.


Dash was intensely interested in seeing him and his buddy on TV. And then the cutest thing happened.



He reached his paw out and touched Zak! It was so sweet, so tentative…but he definitely recognised his friend.


Then a different video autoplayed, one of Angel and Zak outside. And Dash patted Zak’s image again! I have never seen a cat do this before. I have seen them play with images on screen, but not recognise another cat that they know.

I made a little video of him…but he went behind the screen looking for the cats. I did finally capture him patting Zak.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Februari 2020: Singapuras don’t share (Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The other day, a little drama unfolded right on our living room sofa.


Dashiell was happily napping in the corner closest to the television, which also happens to get the best sunshine in the early afternoon.


But Izaak wanted to nap there.


So he pulled out the super-stealth licking manoeuver. You start out with just a little friendly licking on the top of the head.


Then, when the target is lulled into docility…


…Zak starts to make his move.


And there you go: Singapuras always get the best napping spot in the house. Regardless if someone is already napping there.

Here’s a little video of Zak assimilating Dash’s napping spot. Resistance is futile!

Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj: Outside with Alfred (Cinema Sunday)

When I share the photos of Lorelai and Izaak running around outside, people ask why we don’t let Alfred run free, too.


The reason for that is he was never trained to go outside offleash. We worked on leash training with him and Logan, not offleash training. It’s something I never thought to do again until I met Rory. My Siamese Harri was the last cat I trained to stay close offleash. It helped that he hated me to be out of his sight, so all I had to do was hide behind a tree, and he’d yowl and come running.


Zak is the same way Harri was. Rory is a little more free-spirited; she knows when we want to go in, but she tries to stretch her time outside as long as she can. If I go back into the building, though, she always comes up to the doorstep trying to find me.


But if Freddy gets out off leash, he runs off to explore on his own. This is partly because I never trained him to be off leash, and because, being the evil genius he is, when he was young he managed to open the kitchen window and the balcony sliders a couple of times without our knowing and roamed around alone for hours until we noticed him missing. Jacoby also did this; the first time he escaped, he was gone for over an hour!


So, sorry, Freddy…you need to stay on your leash.

But really, he doesn’t seem to begrudge the kittens their offleash time. He’s perfectly happy to be outside at all, even if it’s on his leash.

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.


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 – 22 July: “I have one speed, I have one gear: go!” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

In a couple of weeks, Lorelai and Izaak will be going to their first show together, held by the Järva Kattklubb in Stockholm. This was Logan’s first show last year.



It was a fun show, and it was held as part of a larger animal fair called Djurens Helg, with dogs, horses, small mammals, birds, reptiles and even insects! There was a lot to do and see during the show downtimes. Sadly, though, this year Djurens Helg is the weekend before the cat show.


But the best thing of all about this show was that they had cat agility set up! I hadn’t seen that since I was back n the States.


Now, you may remember that Jacoby absolutely sucks at agility. But Gun-Hee was really good at it, and came in fourth place as a kitten at our first Seacoast show. So when I saw the agility set up, I had to give Logan a go.



And, after getting himself oriented in the cage…



…he did really, really well!


But at the end of the day, he had come in third place! Unfortunately, there were only trophies for first and second places, but still, he ran the course in 4 seconds!


It wasn’t a circle, like the one in New Hampshire; it was just a straight line, but he did it perfectly. We are hoping it will be back again this year, because we cannot wait to show it to Zak and Rory!


Oddly, as with Gun-Hee, we didn’t manage to get a very good video of Logan running it. This is the best we could manage.


So, here is a video of Logan playing in his benching cage. (Click on the images to see the videos on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – 25 March: The Case of the Buried Bowls (Cinematic Sunday)

When Alfred and Logan joined our family, they ate together in our guest room, also known as the Kitten Room. This was because I didn’t want the big Abys eating the high-calorie kitten food, and I wanted to give the older cats a little break from the rambunctious kittens.


Every time I went to let them out and collect the bowls, I would find them covered in a pile of toys. Both of them will make the motions of burying old food by scraping the floor around the dishes, so I couldn’t be sure who was doing it.


Logan would usually follow me when I collected the bowls, but he seemed almost as mystified as I was. He didn’t give me any clues as to whether or not it was him. So finally, I set my camera up on a tripod, started it up, and left it running while they ate. The original video was 23 minutes long, so I edited out the times that no cats were in the shot and nothing was happening. Even after clipping the boring bits out, the video is still almost 6½ minutes long!

So, if you don’t want to watch it in realtime, here is a sped-up version that takes half the time.

Either way, mystery solved! It’s Freddy, although Logan helps. And Freddy still buries his bowls, even now that he’s over a year old. He’s been eating on his own in the Kitten Room, and when I come to collect his dish, I always have to dig it out from underneath a pile of toys.

Even funnier, it seems to be a family trait. Freddy’s older half-sister, Hera, also covers up her food bowls when she’s finished eating!

Aby-a-Day – December 25: First Christmases with Gun-Hee and Jacoby

I just never get tired of remembering Gun-Hee’s first Christmas.


We had only had him with us for ten days at that point. He was so different from any other kitten I’ve ever had!


For one thing, he is the only cat I’ve ever had who tried to climb the Christmas tree…much less succeed at it!

Gun-Hee was a lot more agile and graceful than Jacoby is. Luckily, Jake’s never tried to climb the tree. No, he prefers to eat it.

Or play underneath it.


Or simply chill and look at all the lights. In some ways, they’re so alike…but in other ways, they couldn’t be more different.

And then, there’s this…well…Merry Christmas, everyone!

Abys are Everywhere: Meet the Abyssinian on Denver Morning TV

Check out these two Abyssinian ambassadors on Colorado’s Own Channel 2 yesterday morning!

Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald introduced the Denver metropolitan area to the Aby. Wonder if that will cause a surge of kitten enquiries?

Aby-a-Day – July 23: Wordless Wednesday (Happy to be here)









Update: Playful rescue Abys in NSW, Australia

Phyll, the woman who adopted the two rescued Aby brothers in Australia, posted a new video of them playing (yes, playing!) this weekend on the Facebook Aby group.

Odin and Loki (they have names, now, too!) seem to be having a lot of fun with this donut toy. Poor lads, it looks as though they haven’t had much play in their lives.

They are also so polite when they play! They take turns and everything. I’m sure that will change as they become more settled. And according to Phyll, they do seem to actually be brothers: “The vet puts them at the same age, and given the mutilations to their ears, and the fact they were found together and are inseparable, would have to say they are brothers. But, their coats are so different. Odin has a beautiful soft, silky coat which is improving all the time and Odin’s coat is quite course but also getting more of a shine to it. If not full brothers, they are definitely brothers from different mothers :-)”

Oh, if only this pair could talk and tell us what they’ve been through!

Aby-a-Day – December 15: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Cat Tree

We aren’t setting up the big Christmas tree this year, but, using one of our scratching posts, I built a sort of “Christmas cat tree” with our swirly light trees.


It’s not as nice as the big tree, but it’s better than no decorations at all!


I hope Jacoby isn’t too disappointed with this year’s holiday display.


I also found an adorable dancing Christmas tree at Macy’s. When you push a button on its foot, it lights up and dances while singing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”



I thought the cats, especially Jake, would be enthralled by Bruce the Spruce.

As you can see by this video, however…well, I guess Jake’s a little too calm and used to weird things and sounds to really get excited over a singing and dancing tree. When I finally showed him the tree in action, it was anticlimactic, to say the least…

I was expecting something more like this!

The 2013 Friskies – Jacoby’s Boots are in the running

So, I thought I’d enter a video in this year’s Friskies cat video competition. I mean, what the heck, rignt?


It’s trickier than it seems, though. You can only enter a video that’s under two minutes, and it can’t include any music you don’t own the rights to. That’s quite a limitation – turns out, most of my best videos are over two minutes.

In the end, I decided to enter “Jacoby’s Boots Were Made for Walking”, the little video I made of him walking while wearing his snow boots, jacket and hat. Not the greatest (my first choice would have been Gun-Hee and the MBTA), but it fits the criteria.

So please, vote, share, or like it and maybe Jake will win a prize! And if you want to enter something, too, the deadline is noon ET on July 15th.

Abys are Everywhere: Oops!

I was in Koreatown on 32nd Street, NYC this weekend and after a wonderful dinner at Shilla we stopped in for dessert (bingsoo – Korean shaved ice) at a little Korean bakery called Tous Les Jours. What has this to do with Abyssinians? You might well ask…

The bakery is a hip, happening place, with a big screen on the back where they show the latest K-Pop videos. I look up, and I see G.NA‘s latest hit, Oops, and…a cat. But not just any cat, of course. A pretty blue Aby!

Apparently, the cat is actually G.NA? But it also shows a Korean cat guy loving on his kitty, which you gotta love. Maybe he’s loving on his little Aby BFF a little too much, though…If you’re interested in the lyrics, translations abound online.

Still…random Aby sightings never fail to make my day!

Copy Cat Festival in Somerville February 17!

I just thought I’d post a little reminder about the upcoming Copy Cat Festival in Somerville, MA on 17 February…

Tickets went on sale today at noon, and they’re bound to go quickly, so if you’re in the area and want to partake of the second cat video film festival and a celebration of all things feline, snap up your tickets sooner rather than later! At 12:45pm today, there were about 160 tickets left, and the ticket sales started right at noon! The tickets are very reasonable: $5.50 including a service fee.

In case you’ve forgotten: “Finally, an event to celebrate the profound cultural contributions of cats. Inspired by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which held an Internet Cat Video Festival last year that was attended by over 10,000 people and featured in the New York Times, we proudly announce the Somerville Copy Cat Festival. Yet our feline extravaganza will feature not only cat videos—produced locally and globally—but also cat stories, cat limericks and a slideshow of local cats. Emcee will be Jef Czekaj, who will kick off the event by reading his book Cat Secrets for cat-crazy kids. There will also be a cat costume table and most likely an appearance from a famous local cat.”

You don’t want to miss this!

Somerville Copy Cat Festival – 17 February 2013

This is awesome, and right in my old stomping grounds! Somerville Arts Council to host “Copy Cat Festival” next month!

(Jake at ArtBeat 2010)

“Launch your cat’s cinematic career! Apply now

Finally, an event to celebrate the profound cultural contributions of cats. Inspired by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which held an Internet Cat Video Festival last year that was attended by over 10,000 people and featured in the New York Times, we proudly announce the Somerville Copy Cat Festival. Yet our feline extravaganza will feature not only cat videos—produced locally and globally—but also cat stories, cat limericks and a slideshow of local cats. Emcee will be Jef Czekaj, who will kick off the event by reading his book Cat Secrets for cat-crazy kids. There will also be a cat costume table and most likely an appearance from a famous local cat. Stay tuned.

Until then, please get involved by submitting/creating cat videos, writing cat limericks or crafting cat stories, or snapping photos of your cat. Download the pdf application here.

Don’t miss this chance to launch your cat’s cinematic career!”


(Jake at ArtBeat 2011)

Hmmm…I wonder if Jacoby is the “famous local cat” they mention in that last paragraph? Well, I’ve emailed them, so we’ll see.

Of course, Jake and I have a long history with Somerville…I lived there for nine years, and we both go to ArtBeat in Davis Square every year. And Somerville is right on the Red Line, Strollercat’s main drag!



(Jake at ArtBeat 2012)

Obviously, I’ll be going to this event, if for no other reason than to see the cat videos on the big screen…but how cool would it be if Jake could be involved?

Aby-a-Day – April 27: Angel and Jacoby, a love story (Friday Flashback)

When Jacoby was a kitten, he and Angel used to playfight together tirelessly…

















They used to be so much fun to watch…they would just chase each other for hours. I even managed to capture it on video…this is when Jake’s a bit older than the photos above, however.

They need to start playing like that more; Angel’s becoming a bit of a butterball lately! A little workout with a ruddy sparring partner might be just the thing.

Aby-a-Day – April 20: Bring in the Fun, Bring in the Toys! (Friday Flashback)

On one of the Aby lists, Hinka Chapman shared the following quote, said to her by one of her pet owners:

“Where there is no fun, Abys will create their own fun!”



Yep…sounds about right!



Jacoby has always had a fascination with plastic shopping bags.



He doesn’t seem to be outgrowing it, either. We have to hide bags from him because he chews the handles apart and he also gnaws holes in them, making them pretty useless for scooping the cat box (which is the reason we don’t always use more “green” shopping bags – if we did, we’d have nowhere to put the poop).

You may recall this documentary on what happens when Jake gets a hold of a bag…

Felis Navidad!

This video greeting card sent to one of the Aby lists…it’s silly, but it really cracked me up!