Aby-a-Day – August 19: “Come Together” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Sometimes the most obvious cartoon ideas take the longest to think of…

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Yeah. ABY ROAD. Duh!

This was inspired, in part, by this LOLcat, and this Bittersweet Candy Bowl homage.

The background comes courtesy of Rabbittooth on DeviantArt, who wanted to do an Abbey Road parody and wanted to help others with the same ambition. Thank you!!

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – August 18: Sleeping with one eye open (Hipstamatic Monday)

A few weeks ago I made a joke about Angel sleeping with one eye open.

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That’s kind of exactly what she does, though!

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Even though she’s safely up high, on one of the wall shelves, she still keeps watch.

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Just.

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In.

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Case.

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I guess the coast is completely clear. Sweet dreams, Angel!

Aby-a-Day – August 17: Wallflowers

I thought this was really cute.

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Jacoby and Angel were both up on the cat shelf that houses the memorial wool sculpture of Gun-Hee.

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It’s not often that Angel will stay on the same wall climber with Jake (she was there first and he joined her) so I was glad I managed to capture this.

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It’s the closest I’ll ever come to a family portrait of all three Abys together.

Aby-a-Day – August 15: Neckerchiefs for the well-dressed Cat Scout (Fashion Friday)

We haven’t been very active in the Cat Scouts recently, but we did just receive our very own custom neckerchiefs and woggles in the mail this week!

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They’re quite well made, and of course include all the Cat Scout symbolism.

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It’s all there: the sun and the tree, the river, the fleur-de-lis…

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…and of course, a hiking kitty and the words “CAT SCOUTS.”

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Here you see Scout Jacoby modelling his neckerchief.

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He’s such a good poser!

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The green goes well with his fur, too.

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Angel proudly shows off her woggle, which includes her Bobcat rank badge.

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You don’t need two eyes to be a good scout!

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Angel also thinks the orange in the fleur-de-lis and on the Bobcat badge matches her fur much better than it does Jake’s.

Aby-a-Day – August 14: Look! Up in the sky!

I thought this was just the most awesome thing…

Toki Poki did a series of Superhero Pets trading cards, which, of course, Jacoby was involved in…

Room 16 pupils from Otumoetai Primary in Tauranga, New Zealand were sent sets of the Superhero Pets cards, and they sent back letters and drawings in response.

I love the one girl who was so taken with Jake:

“Jake is really funny!” she says, and then goes on to mention her three kitties, Ripley, Echo and Rosie.

Jonathan was also impressed with Super Jake. “My favourite card was Captain Tripod and Super Jake because he can jump really high.” Jonathan has two cats, Paws and City Puss.

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I thought it was so cool that Jake got to “meet” kids in New Zealand. Someday, I would like to take him to visit schools in person as part of his therapy work, but at least he gets to do it through the magic of Toki Poki.

Abys in Need – Pregnant girl in MI and an update on Abe in GA

One foster Aby…and an update for you today…

I don’t have much information on this girl. All the email said was: “Can anyone take this possibly pregnant cat for foster? Let me know asap, she needs to get out.”

Basically, all we know is she’s probably an Aby, she’s possibly pregnant, and she’s in the Mid Michigan area. If you can foster this girl, or have any questions, please email Jean Gzybowski at gzybowsk@msu.edu.

I posted about Abe the Aby almost a month ago, and now he’s listed on Petfinder as ready to be adopted! The rather canine-centric listing on Petfinder says:

“Abe is about to get a new grill! Although he is only 4 years old he needs almost all of his teeth removed. Abe doesn’t care though, he’ll still be able to eat and head butt your chin. Abe is an Abyssinian cat, so basically a dog. He loves water and following you around the house. He was living outside for a long time without any claws, so we think he is a survivor! Abe is a special dude that must live indoors only and he does get along well with dogs. Aby cats are a active breed, always slender and regal looking – but definitely more dog than cat. Email blabauve@gmail.com for more info on adopting Abe!”

I think they want to keep him in the Atlanta area.

Aby-a-Day – August 12: “What’s in a name?” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This week’s cartoon will need some explanation…

You see, on Saturday morning, right when I starting to work on the cartoon, this happened:

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I have a 15-inch early 2011 MacBookPro, and all of a sudden the screen split. Then the display developed a lot of lines. And then it crashed. And when I restarted, I could only work for about 5 minutes before it would do it again. So, off to the Apple Genius Bar I went…where they told me it was either the logic board, or the display, or both, and I could either have it fixed in 3-5 days in-house for at least $500…or, they could keep it up to a week, send it out, and no matter what was wrong with it, it would “only” cost a flat repair fee of $310 (plus tax, of course). Needless to say, I went with the “keep-it-a-week” option…

…which meant I was left with no way to do my cartoon this week. So I improvised. Using my iPad, I found an old cartoon idea I’d sketched using 53’s Paper app. It wasn’t a great idea, but it was an idea that could be drawn without Photoshop. All the same…I can’t wait to get my laptop back…

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This is the sketch I’d done a while back. Not the best idea I’ve ever had…but it’s an idea.

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Paper is a more painterly app, with more of an ink and watercolour feel to it. I fleshed out my sketches…

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…And added one for the punchline frame. To make the actual comic frame itself, I used Strip Designer, which actually works really well for this sort of thing. It even comes with the same font, Noteworthy, that I use for the speech bubbles in Photoshop. I hadn’t used it before this weekend, and I didn’t have much time to really play around with it.

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Still…I managed to create a reasonable cartoon for this week. The joke (which may not be clear to anyone outside of New England) is that when Jacoby Ellsbury was on the Red Sox, the local announcers and sports reporters would refer to him by his first name, but now that he plays for the Yankees (Boston’s bitter rivals in pretty much everything), they only call him by his last name. It’s the modern update to this cartoon

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – August 11: Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’… (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we’re on our way home from a therapy visit, Jacoby can’t seem to stay in his stroller.

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He’s perfectly content to sit nicely in the passenger section on the trip there, but on the way home, he wants to get as close to the sidewalk as possible.

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His particular stroller is a three-wheeled model, with a little platform over the front wheel.

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I’m pretty sure the pet stroller designers didn’t plan for that platform to be used as a seat.

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Jake loves sitting down there, though.

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He’s gotten really good at holding on and ignoring the traffic.

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He just cracks me up. Most cats wouldn’t even want to ride inside the stroller on a busy bridge like the one near our building, let alone sit over the front wheel!

Aby-a-Day – August 10: Sleepy Sunday

This is what our apartment looks like on any random summer Sunday afternoon:

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Angel, asleep in the window seat…

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…next to Kylie, who’s napping in the cloth basket.

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Tessie, meanwhile, is in a bed in the other window seat, with Handsome Panther.

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Jacoby prefers to sleep on his own, in the art room, in the big leopard bed. It’s funny, when they’re all in their napping spots, you almost forget there are any cats in the apartment at all!

Aby-a-Day – August 9: “Lacy” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Lacy.”

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We don’t really have much around the house that is lacy. It’s not really our style.

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We do, however, have this catnip butterfly on a springy piano wire with these kind of lacy streamers…

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…that’s close enough to “lacy,” I guess.

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This isn’t Jacoby’s favourite toy…I think it’s because we have it fastened to one of the wall climbers, and it’s just there all the time.

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I guess having it so easily accessible just makes it kind of boring.

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Angel, on the other hand, seems to like it as long as I’m moving it for her.

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Gotcha!

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In our old apartment, this toy was on the bedroom doorknob. It wasn’t ever the most popular toy there, but I thought it was just the location. I was hoping they’d like it better hanging in the living room.

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I guess they really like it better when I make it move for them.

Aby-a-Day – August 8: Sharing the sun (Friday Flashback)

Once upon a time, Angel and Jacoby would sleep together.

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Well, mostly. Angel wasn’t entirely welcoming when Jake first tried to join her on the windowsill.

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But after a while…

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…she’d relax and they’d snooze together.

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These photos were taken in September 2009, and I had such high hopes that Jake and Angel would turn out to be the best of friends.

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Guess I should have picked up on the warning signs!

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And he looked so innocent, too…

Aby-a-Day – August 7: This is your cat on nip.

Abyfriend Wendy sent me a birthday package, but the best gift was a Yeowww! catnip fish.

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It also just happened to arrive on Jacoby’s “gotcha” day, so I think he was expecting something in there for him.

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He may be a mature five year old now, but he’s not above rolling around on the floor with a toy now and again.

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He started out playing with it on the S-curve scratcher…

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…but it managed to get away from him.

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Luckily, Jake was able to recapture it.

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He certainly gave it a good licking.

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Yep. A really good licking.

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I love the look Jake gets on his face when he’s nipped out.

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I really wonder what they think about when they play with a catnip toy.

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I never understand the whole “rubbing the toy on the head” thing, though…what’s that about?

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Jake’s not the only one who does it. Kylie and Tessie, do, too, and Patrick was the king of rubbing his toys on his head.

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This must be some seriously good catnip!

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I mean, look at this face.

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There was also some great Aby grabby hand action during this battle with the catnip fishy.

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He was having so much fun.

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The longer Jake played with it, however, the stronger it seemed to become. It was putting up quite the fight!

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Whoops! It got away again!

Aby-a-Day – August 5: “Every Bite You Take” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This week’s cartoon was inspired by a photo and a caption that Mike Ruemmler posted on the Abyssinian Cat Club Facebook page. The combination of his photo and the lyrics he provided was just too much to resist…

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“Every bite you take, every meal you make, if you broil a steak, anything you bake, we’ll be watching you…. Oh can’t you see? That ham belongs to me. Oh how my poor heart breaks with every bite you take…”

If eating with Abys had a theme song, this would be it.

This is also the first cartoon I drew using my new Wacom Intuos tablet. It’s not easy though; this cartoon was simple, so I did about half of it the old way, and half with the tablet. It’s a learning process, but I do like drawing without paper. Also, just for fun, the font I used is called “Glutton Man.”

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – August 4: Silly Selfies (Hipstamatic Monday)

After our visit at Tufts on Thursday, I couldn’t resist taking some selfies of myself and Jacoby.

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Jake was in such a good mood, purring and kneading and headbonking and rolling around in his stroller, I just had to try to capture it for posterity.

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Easier said than done!

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Especially since Jake wanted to rub all over my phone when I held it out for a photo.

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It’s really hard to get a good shot when someone’s bonking the camera with their head!

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Interestingly enough, Huffington Post just featured a video of a “greedy” Abyssinian who begs for headbonks and, when he doesn’t get them, reaches out and pats his human’s face. Yeah, I have no idea what that’s like at all.

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Love is blind, especially when it headbonks your glasses off.

Aby-a-Day – August 3: You know, for kids

Jacoby really seems to like children.

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I really don’t know why he does – he’s not actually around them all that much and we don’t know a ton of people with little kids, but he tolerates them well.

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He actually does more than tolerate them, to be honest. I don’t know if he just intuitively knows they’re “kittens” or if something about their size appeals to him, but he has never hissed at a child or given any indication that they make him feel at all uncomfortable.

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Sometimes, I think he’s better with kids than I am!

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Of course when we go out to parks with his stroller, kids love to see and pet the kitty. They like the cards I give them, too.

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Jake just soaks up the attention like a big attention sponge.

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He doesn’t mind the sticky hands, either.

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Petting is petting, I suppose.

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And even when the children don’t know he’s there, Jake likes to watch kids play. It’s just so interesting to me that he is so rarely around children, but he so great with them.

Aby-a-Day – August 1: Five years ago today…(Friday Flashback)

It was just five years ago today that Jacoby came to live with us.

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Right from the start, I knew he was going to be just like his half-brother Gun-Hee.

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A little bundle of kitteny energy!

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Well, most of the time, anyway.

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He fit in right away. Even though the girls were much bigger than he was, he walked around the apartment like he owned the place…

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…Sharing their beds and favourite perches as though he’d always been there.

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Jake decided pretty much from day one that the “no cats on the counters” rule did not apply to him.

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He was always good at finding a loophole, too.

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“I’m not ON the counter!”

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The one thing he did that I always remember is, he decided he was my kitten pretty much as soon as he came into the house.

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He likes my husband, and he likes the other cats…but he and I have a special bond, and we always have.

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Happy gotcha day anniversary, little buddy!