Aby-a-Day – 5 Augusti 2020: Wordless Wednesday (“And if you like to piss outside this is definitely the place for you”)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 Augusti 2020: Marlin recycled (Cartoon Tuesday)

On Saturday, I got an email from Iris asking for a picture of Marlin on a laptop for the flyer for NEMO’s upcoming virtual online show. She needed it, like, yesterday. I knew I didn’t have time to make a new Marlin from scratch…but I had an idea.

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I started with the Jackpot Marlin from last year’s show program cover…and removed his celebratory arms. I then drew laptop-typing arms in Procreate.

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Transferring the image back to Photoshop, I added the fur layer. I also touched up bits of the base Marlin’s fur.

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I used the laptop from this cartoon and cleaned it up a bit.

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Then I put the Abyssinian that was on the original flyer on the laptop’s screen and gave it a little drop shadow…

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…Add the new arms to Jackpot Marlin, find a photo of a plain table (in Nemo’s signature orange, even!)…and here’s the final image. Considering how quickly I put it together, I am pretty pleased with it; Iris likes it, which is the important thing.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Augusti 2020: While Freddy was filming (Movie Monday)

Whilst Alfred was busy recording yesterday’s post, everyone else was busy outside, too…even if Freddy didn’t capture any of it.

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In the shady areas of our område, right now there are a lot of house flies in the shady areas. And Lorelai was hunting them.

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She is an excellent fly-hunter inside, as well.

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Probably better than outside, since there are no birds to distract her in the house.

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Angel was watching everything from the balcony…lately, she’s been happy to join us via the balcony instead of going outside with the rest of us. But hey, she’s participating; who am I to complain?

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Meanwhile, Izaak was busy in the front of the building.

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He found a crane fly and had a lot of fun hunting it.

Speaking of hunting, here’s a video of Rory and Zak hunting flies, with some additional footage of Freddy with the GoPro.

Happy 17th birthday, Tessie!

Today is Tessie’s 17th birthday! Can you believe it? Apart from her eyesight, which seems to be failing, she’s very healthy and happy back in Boston. I miss her, but she’s with her BFF Kylie. Happy birthday, Tessie!

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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Freddy’s little buddy showed up!

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That got him to run…straight into the bushes.

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

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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 – 1 Augusti 2020: And they called it puppy love (Swedish Saturday)

The other day when we were outside, a man with a black Schnauzer puppy walked by. Alfred happened to be looking for birds in the bushes nearby, and walked up to the pair.

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It was actually pretty funny; the man didn’t even notice Freddy until Björn told him that Freddy was behind him.

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Then Lorelai saw the puppy.

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As we have seen in the past, Rory loves dogs.

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She bolted towards the puppy.

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It was the puppy’s first experience with cats, and the owner used it as a teaching tool. He gave the puppy treats for staying in the sit position.

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I was surprised that Rory didn’t get any closer to the puppy than this. I guess she was social distancing.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Juli 2020: The day Jacoby came to stay (Friday Flashback)

Tomorrow will be the eleventh anniversary of the day Sherry brought us Jacoby

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He basically walked in, said, “Okay, this is home?” and that was that. He was completely unfazed by Kylie, Tessie and Angel.

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Typical Jake. Bulletproof from the start.

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And, as a bonus, here are two videos my ex took that I never even watched before. Look at him go! Click on the images to view the videos in another tab on Flickr.

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He really did just walk in and take over our apartment.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juli 2020: Sand warriors (Thursday Things)

Lorelai’s love affair with the sand area under the swings continues.

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Rory ran over to the sand area all by herself. Unbeknownst to her, Izaak followed her. He thought it was an excellent chance to practice his stalking.

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It was pretty easy, considering Rory was completely oblivious, busily digging in the sand.

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At one point, she seemed to notice Zak sneaking up on her.

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And then she just went back to rolling around.

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Rory takes her sand rolling very seriously.

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Step by step, Zak drew closer.

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Well, that was anticlimactic.

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After Zak’s epic stalk and pounce, Rory felt the need to do some more rolling around. Zak was not impressed.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Angel in a box)

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Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli 2020: Isn’t it romantic? (Cartoon Tuesday)

This weekend I finished that romantic sketch I did of Lorelai and Io after their (hopefully) romantic weekend.

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First I made the heart-shaped art-deco frame using elements I found online. I checked it against the coloured sketch to make sure it was the right proportions, as you can see above. On the frame, I added a glow and a metallic gradient to make the different pieces I used coherent.

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I wanted to keep the style very 1920’s and simple. This is the ink.

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Then I coloured in the outline.

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You may remember from the drawing I did of Rory as a Vegas showgirl that Procreate has some really fun sparkly brushes. I thought this portrait could use a little sparkle.

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After the sparkle was added, I took it to Photoshop and added the red background.

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I decided not to use my regular fur brushes, because I wasn’t necessarily going for realism on this drawing. I left the colouration flat instead.

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I then added a pink glow around the happy couple, and applied the oil paint filter.

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I’m not 100% happy with it…but I do like it.

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As always, I saved the video Procreate saves. I also discovered that it can make a gif of your drawing. I am not sure what I’m going to do with that, but it’ll be a fun thing to play with in the future.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Juli 2020: Turning garbage into gold (Hipstamatic Monday)

Even with the impressive camera on the iPhone 11 Pro, it’s still possible to take a bad photo. Despite the auto-focus and auto-lighting technology, the camera still occasionally makes a mistake. The other day, the lenses somehow centered on the wrong thing, and some photos of Dashiell came out dark and underexposed.

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This is something Hipstamatic is great for. Look at how much clearer Dash is now. You can actually see his eyes!

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These two shots of Lorelai running almost look like they were taken with bad film! I have no idea what happened, but the auto-correct didn’t work at all.

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Hipstamatic doesn’t magically make them good photos, but it makes them better, and it turns them into art. Which is better than just having a bad photo, I guess.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Juli 2020: “Consequences: If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree” (Silly Sunday)

The other day when we went outside, Alfred suddenly ran up a tree!

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We were all surprised at his feat…I think Freddy was the most surprised of all of us. Look at his face!

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He didn’t seem sure of what he wanted to do.

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At first, Freddy thought he might try to climb higher.

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But in the end, he decided to jump down. What goes up, and all that…

Aby-a-Day – 25 Juli 2020: Wait, what? (Silly Saturday)

As you’ve seen this week, Dashiell is becoming increasingly comfortable with going outside, but he’s still rather easily startled.

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The other day, Dash was standing out in the open on the lawn when Lorelai came speeding past him.

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It happened so fast.

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And then, in hot pursuit, Alfred came barrelling past.

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Look at Dash’s body language. He’s completely thinking, “What just happened?”

Aby-a-Day – 24 Juli 2020: The start of an amazing experience (Friday Flashback)

This memory came up in my Facebook feed today. Seven years ago today, I was contacted by Leslie and Sheila of the Westchester Feline Club because they wanted Jacoby to be the 2013 Westchester Feline Club Cat of the Year.

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I have to admit, I really had no clue what a huge honour it was to be named Cat of the Year, but fortunately I’m a fast learner. Of course, seeing his face on the Jumbotron was a pretty big hint.

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I was constantly talking to people, or doing something with Jake. Besides the Cat of the Year, Jake was also entered in the show (we only missed two rings, which is a bit of a miracle) and he participated as a model in the Fashion Show which was held both Saturday and Sunday. Jake is actually the first Cat of the Year to do all three things in the same show!

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The show was good; Jake made a few finals. And the fashion show was fantastic. They originally wanted Jake to wear a Santa outfit…but when we saw how he rocked this turkey confection, everyone agreed that it was the costume for him! The person who made it even gave it to him afterwards, because he owned it so hard.

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The list of previous Cats of the Year is impressive, indeed.

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Jake was given an incredible rosette – the Scarlett Ribbon – with a photo of Scarlett, who was the very first Cat of the Year and the reason the award was created.

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He was also given this certificate…

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…and this poster. I was NOT prepared for all of it!

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It was truly a once in a lifetime experience…but I didn’t realise that in July!

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juli 2020: Joy, personified (Thursday Things)

Lorelai loves to run outside. I have said, since we have had her, that to watch her run outside is to witness joy, personified.

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Rory outside is the happiest thing that ever happied.

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She is never happier than when she is running outside.

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Even when she isn’t actually running in it, you can tell…this little girl loves being outside.

Abys are Everywhere: There’s a puma in the kitchen!

Today I discovered that there was an entire television episode devoted to an Abyssinian!

Not sure how I didn’t know about this, but there is an episode of Mad About You from 1998 titled “There’s a Puma in the Kitchen” that features an Aby. I used to watch that show, and I have no memory of this episode! Unfortunately, Cinema Cats has little information on the Aby(s) who acted in this episode.

The best bits are at 6:34 and then from 9:01 on. Also be sure to watch the end credits, where the director argues with the Aby.

Aby-a-Day – 22 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (And then, a miracle occurred!)

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Aby-a-Day – 21 Juli 2020: Happy 10th birthday, Emma! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn’s daughter Emma’s 10th birthday is on Thursday. Usually, she and her mom come here to celebrate and Björn makes her a special cake. But because of Covid-19, that’s not happening, so Björn mailed her a birthday card today. As usually, I did a quick cat sketch…it’s meant to be Izaak, but meh. Also rethinking my choice of gold pen. But here it is.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Juli 2020: More photos of Lorelai and Io (Hipstamatic Monday)

Since it was fun last week, I thought I’d post some more Hipstamatic photos of Lorelai and Io from this past weekend.

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I love the variety of styles in Hipstamatic. Of course, I have been using it for over ten years now, so I’ve amassed a large collection of films and lenses.

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You can also edit regular photos after the fact in Hipstamatic now, and turn a photo you might trash into something artistic.

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I love this one. It changed all the greens to red, and desaturated everything else. I really like how this one turned out.

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You can get some fun effects.

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In the Hipstamatic app, you can apply more than one film and lens, and get results you could never get using the Hipsta camera.

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I like this one, too. Nice shade of green.

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Rory saying goodbye to Io. I hope they made kittens.

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This was a blah photo of Rory on Björn’s shoulder. Now it’s cool and interesting.

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This is another of my favourites in this batch.

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It’s interesting that one combination turns greens red, while another filter turns the reds green.

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Rory and Angel when we finally got home. My girls.

Aby-a-Day – 18 & 19 Juli 2020: Bringing Lorelai back home (Special Swedish Saturday and Cinema Sunday)

Yesterday, we drove back to Överum to collect Lorelai from her sleepover with Io. When we got there, everyone was outside; Rory in her car cage and Io on his leash.

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Look at how handome Io is in the sunshine!

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We aren’t sure if they actually mated during the past week

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As soon as we got there, we put her harness and leash on so she could say farewell to her beau.

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They weren’t unfriendly towards each other…

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…But Rory wasn’t all googly-eyes over Io, either.

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Rory was super happy to see us again. I wonder if she thought we’d left her and gone forever?

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Rory was VERY happy to go for a little walk around Karin’s yard.

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Rory said her goodbyes to Io and we were back on the road. If Rory hasn’t gotten pregnant from this visit, we’ll make the trip again in a few weeks. I hope she is knocked up, though; we didn’t get home til after 10pm, which is why this is another two-day post!

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On the way back, we stopped at Björn’s brother Örjan’s house.

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Looks like someone really missed her daddy!

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When we got home, we brought Rory into the apartment still in her car carrier. Izaak and Alfred were the first to greet her. I think Zak missed her!

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After her evening chicken neck, Rory was acting like she hadn’t been away for a week. We just need to wait and see if anything developed between her and Io.

I guess the LivePhoto function on my iPhone got switched on again, because all the photos I took of Rory’s journey were also saved as LivePhotos. I compiled them into one video, so take a look at what just might be the origin story of Rory’s kittens.