Aby-a-Day – 14 Juni: All Angel’s birthdays (Flashback Friday)

As you saw from Wednesday’s post, Angel turned 12 this year. When we got her from Purebreds Plus Rescue, they didn’t know her birthday, so I chose 11 June as the day she could have been born on. Last year, I got confirmation that she was most likely actually born on 4 July 2007, but my dad’s birthday is the 4th of July, so I just keep celebrating on 11 June. She was a year and three (or two) months old when I adopted her, so we missed her first birthday…but here is a photo of me with her on her second birthday.

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Angel on her 3rd birthday…still not used to those candles.

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Here is Angel and me on Angel’s 4th birthday.

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Angel’s 5th birthday fell on a Monday, so we celebrated with Hipstamatic photos.

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Look how proud Angel looks to be 6 years old!

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Angel’s 7th birthday was her first in our new apartment, and she had her cake on the window seat.

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Angel couldn’t wait to eat her 8th birthday cake! I’m surprised she didn’t singe her whiskers!

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Her 9th birthday was our last in Boston. She seemed a little intimidated by all the candles.

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So, of course, Angel’s 10th birthday was her first in Sweden.

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Last year’s birthday…I can’t remember what was going on with the candles. Either her birthday took us by surprise, so we used whatever oddball candles we had…or I was just matching the colours. And now she is 12…that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juni: Cats love hotels (Thursday Things)

I don’t know what it is, but every cat I’ve ever known has loved staying in hotel rooms.

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They always say that cats like stability, familiarity, routine…so why they love strange new hotel rooms, foreign beds, and different window views? Perhaps cats are more adventurous than we give them credit for. All I know is, going back to my Siamese, Harri, who was born in 1991, every cat I’ve ever taken to a hotel has loved it. And I hear that from almost every other cat person I’ve talked to at shows.

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Izaak and Lorelai are no exception. The minute we walk in the room, they’re off excitedly checking out every corner. Jacoby would actually be cranky at cat shows during the day because he’d stayed up all night whooping it up in the hotel room.

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The first batch of photos were taken Friday night. On Saturday night, Zak decided to play with the decorative blankets on both beds.

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He didn’t just pull them off onto the floor, though; he also bit them, bunny-kicked them and dragged them around the room. Unfortunately, none of those photos turned out.

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I don’t know if Zak thought those blankets worked better as rugs or what…

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…but he is just so damn cute when he’s being naughty.

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Meanwhile, Rory was exhausted after her big show day and just wanted to nap.

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And yes, she dug this comforter cave all by herself. She does that at home, too. She is the queen of quilt forts.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juni: Wordless Wednesday (Happy 12th Birthday, Angel!)

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Aby-a-Day – 11 Juni: The Incatibles (Cartoon Tuesday)

Our new kitten, Dashiell, is named after the author of The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett. When I lived in San Francisco, I lived a block away from the apartment building Dashiell Hammett lived in at 891 Post Street). But our kitten isn’t the only one named after him: Dash, the older son of The Incredibles is named Dash, too (full name: Dashiell Robert Parr). And I got to thinking…okay, Dash…we’ll have five cats…two girls and three boys…hmmmmmm….

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So, using this image of the Incredible family, I came up with this. Alfred, our biggest cat, is Mr. Incredible; Angel, of course, is Elastigirl; Lorelai is perfect as Violet, Izaak is Jack-Jack (or, if you prefer, Zak-Zak)…and Dash is, well…Dash. Now I just need to colour it in!

Aby-a-Day – 10 Juni: Another way to look at the show (Hipstamatic Monday)

I keep forgetting to do Hipstamatic photos when we’re at FIFe shows. I used to take them at cat shows regularly back in New England. But they’re fun…and it’s interesting to see what Hipstamatic does…like this one. You’ve seen our show curtains, they’re shades of green. But Hipstamatic turns them into shades of red!

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I also love the randomness of it. Sometimes it really improves the photo.

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I used to take photos with the cameras Hipstamatic is meant to emulate, back when I was a kid. You would take the photo…but never know what you were going to get. It’s a kind of fun we don’t have nowadays (although I wouldn’t want to go back to film EVER).

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Sometimes it makes a good photo even better…I really like the way the focus is shifted to Izaak and his BIV trophy in this one.

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Some of the films have frames that are a lot of fun. This one flips the original photo around the edges and sort of “shatters” them. It’s a neat effect.

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Hipstamatic can make a boring photo more interesting…

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…and it can save a photo you might have kept. When Hipstamatic saves a photo, it also saves the original, “normal” version of the shot. In this photo, Zak moved his head and his face was blurred. But in the Hipstamatic version…that motion blur is not an issue.

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Some of the different films play with colour, as I mentioned before. This one only keeps red and blue and discards everything else.

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This film makes your photo look like it was printed on an old newspaper, which can be a cool effect on the right shot.

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I also like this film a lot. It makes this cute photo of Zak even cuter, somehow.

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Once, ages ago back in the States, someone asked me, “So…What’s this Hipstamatic Monday all about?” This. This is what it’s all about.

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 – 8 Juni: Double play! (Cat Show Saturday)

Today we are at our first cat show since Örebro in January – four and a half months is a long time to not go to a cat show! We were supposed to go to a show in Falköping last month…but someone missed some kittens’ vaccination boosters, so we couldn’t go. So here we are in Gislaved at the DackeKatten show.

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And what a great show it is! Lorelai was first up, and the first thing that happened when she got onto the table was…another judge brought a cat over to our judge’s table for a second opinion on the cat’s colour.

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Even though a strange cat was just inches away from her, Rory didn’t even notice. This is why Jacoby didn’t like FIFe…he didn’t like having to see other cats. Being close to them was right out. But that happens in FIFe. Luckily, Rory and Izaak, having grown up in FIFe, don’t mind being held out in the open with other cats.

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Rory’s judge today was Alexey Shchukin from the Netherlands.

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He had a judge-in-training, Hannah Jensen, with him, so he spent a lot of time explaining what he was doing as he went along.

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He explained what he saw in Rory as she listened intently.

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Then Hannah looked at Rory herself, trying to see what Alexey saw.

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During her judging, Rory decided Alexey need a hug. He kept explaining things to Hannah despite the schmoozing.

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Rory supervised as Alexey wrote down his judging notes.

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Then it was Zak’s turn on the judge’s table.

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His judge was Thea Friskovec, from Switzerland.

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I didn’t know it until the end of the day, but she actually breeds Singapuras herself.

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Zak sat nicely whilst Thea wrote her notes on the judging sheet.

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Our friends Stellan and Hans Owe from S*Kustens were at the show, too, with their two girls, SW GIC S*Kustens Chi Sarà Con Te and IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. We’ve seen these two girls at shows many times before.

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Because there were three Singapuras in the show, we got to compete for Best in Variety (BIV).

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It was a very close competition. Stellan and Hans Owe breed amazing Singas. But, to our shock…

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Our Zak was named BIV!

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And whilst I was watching that happen…Lorelai got a Nomination in her class (Unspayed Females)!

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Then Zak was up for his Nomination, and his competition was stiff: He was up against a sweet Egyptian Mau and a stunning Bengal.

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But the Singapura was the one Nominated to the panel! Both Rory and Zak have gotten one Nom each…but this is the first time both our cats were Nommed in the same show.

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Not only that…but Rory became a Champion today.

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After lunch, it was time for the panels. Rory went up first.

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For Best in Show, Category 4, Unspayed Female, Rory was up against a very nice Cornish Rex.

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And she won!

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This is Rory’s very first Best in Show win.

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Next up was Zak.

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I mean, we were still over the moon about Zak getting his BIV. And now he was going to the panel!

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Zak was up against a very nice Burmilla in Category 3 Unneutered Males.

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And the judges’ choice was…

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Our Zak!

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Both of our cats were Nominated, and both were named Best in Show. AND one got BIV! We were stunned…

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We had a really good day at the show today…probably the best since we showed Jake.