Aby-a-Day – March 26: Beggar

I have a really bad habit of eating while standing up.

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Want to see how that bad habit evolved?

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Well…

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…this little grabby dance is what happens every time I eat something he wants (which is pretty much anything I eat). If he can reach, he’ll try to grab. So…I eat standing where he can’t reach. But that doesn’t stop him from trying!

Aby-a-Day – March 24: If New York is the city that doesn’t sleep, Boston must be the city with narcolepsy (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is another one that I should have done earlier, back when the MBTA was shut down because of the snow.

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The problem was, to finish this concept I needed a photo of the Broadway T station with the gate closed during the day, which doesn’t happen very often. Finally, it happened the Sunday of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, so I was able to get this cartoon out of my head and into this blog.

And this is a town that thinks it can handle the Summer Olympics. It can’t even keep its transit system running on a random Tuesday.

Strollercat is NOT amused with the T’s shenanigans.

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

Aby-a-Day – March 23: Snow Angel (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we went out on our snow adventure, I tried to take some Hipstamatic shots with my iPhone.

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However, my iPhone is getting old, and it’s been doing this thing lately where it gets to between 40% and 60% charged and then it just…dies…saying it needs to be charged! When two seconds earlier it was showing it had plenty of remaining battery life.

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Apparently, this phenomenon is exacerbated by cold weather.

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It’s really a pain. I need a new iPhone. But we’re waiting for the 6s to come out. That and I’m not crazy about the iPhones becoming bigger and bigger.

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Talk about reverse evolution! Cellphones started out as enormous bricks, and as they improved on them, phones gradually became smaller and smaller…until they became “smart.” Then they started getting huge again. Thin…but huge. Pretty soon we’re all going to be walking around talking into our iPads.

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I’m also kind of annoyed that Apple doesn’t make a yellow leather case for the 6 or the 6 plus. My 5 has a yellow leather case to match my iPad’s yellow leather case (which, apparently, they also no longer make.)

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I love the leather cases for iPhones and iPads, by the way. There’s something kind of awesome about puttting something so modern and high tech into a case made of something so primal and natrual. Leather is a truly amazing material. It can be made as soft as a piece of silk or as hard as armour. Humans may have invented the iPhone, but they haven’t invented anything quite like leather.

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If only humans could invent a damn iPhone battery that would hold a charge…

More Embroidered Abys (and other kitties, too)!

You may remember that last fall I posted about my friend Lee’s marvelous cat embroidery. Well, she’s just gotten some new Abyssinian patterns and has some wonderful new items in her inventory.

Like this wonderful memorial pillow! They come in many colours and they’re wonderful – I have a pair on our sofa already (and now I have three).

She’s also got a range of embroidered shirts, towels, pot holders and tote bags available in both her online store and eBay. Check them out – they are really wonderful.

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Remember, I have her embroidery on my therapy shirts…now, we just have to get back to visiting…

Aby-a-Day – March 22: I love the winter weather

It may be spring according to the calendar, but it actually snowed in Boston yesterday.

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Jacoby seems to really enjoy going out in snow.

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As I posted last week, he’s been out in the snow several times. He’s always been very interested in the cold white stuff.

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Maybe it’s his Canadian heritage, but he’s a regular snow cat.

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Most of the time, anyway. Hey, snow is slippery!

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I think I see why he dislikes his boots, though.

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Look at that grabby hand action! I don’t like wearing shoes or gloves, either, so I can see his point.

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The snow was deep, and at one point Jake was exploring my boot prints.

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I guess he figured if I’d been there, it must be safe to walk there. After all, he’s smaller and lighter than I am, so if I didn’t sink in, he wouldn’t either.

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I understand he doesn’t like wearing his boots, but I do worry about his feet getting cold without them. I know cats’ paws are better insulated against cold and heat than our feet are, but they still can’t handle snow as well as their wild, snow-loving cousins like lynxes and snow leopards.

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After all, domestic cats are descended from desert cats, not snow cats.

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Luckily, Jake loves wearing his coats and sweaters.

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We’re going to need to work on the wearing boots thing, I think.

Aby-a-Day – March 21: “Beam” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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We have open-beam ceilings in our apartment. They are part of the original building which was built in 1906. The wall-climbers we’ve installed in the living room let the cats get right up next to the ceiling.

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Apparently, this is not good enough for our Jacoby.

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He’s starting to regularly walk on the heating duct. I have some sisal pads that we need to install up there to give him something to grip.

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The problem is that now the duct doesn’t seem to be enough for Jake, either.

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Now he’s got his eye on the sprinkler pipe!

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And I mean, he’s really trying to walk on that pipe!

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I really don’t know what to do about this. When I see him doing it, I tell him NO, and I try to get him down with the promise of treats.

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That usually works.

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I just wonder if he’s trying this when I’m NOT home. You know he probably is.

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“What?”

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“Oh, all right, I’ll get off the pipe. Sheesh, Mom.”

The thing is, I have no idea why Jake wants to walk on the sprinkler pipe. There’s nothing over there for him to sit on or do. He can’t even really look out the window from up there. I think he just wants to see if he can do it. Typical male.

Aby-a-Day – March 20: Two into one (Photoshop Friday)

Here’s a simple one for you:

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I had this photo of Jacoby…

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…And this photo of Angel…

Which, cropped, make two absolutely lovely photos:

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One of Angel in the snow…

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…and one of Jake.

But I was rather intrigued with the little bit of Jake visible in Angel’s photo, and the little bit of Angel’s tail that you could see in Jake’s photo, so…

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…I put them together! Actually, I put the photos back together, as this is how they were standing when I took the original photos. I just knitted the two photos back together by making the canvas double the original width and pasting them next to each other (with a natural overlap), cleaning up the scene, merging the layers and then cropping them as a single image with the original proportions. I will say, though, that it is much easier to do this with a winter scene than with a summer one!

Abys in Need – Yes, ANOTHER one! Hendriz in San Antonio, TX

Would you believe…there’s another Aby in a shelter? This time it’s a Fawn in San Antonio.

“Pet ID: A324710, Spay/Neuter”

There is not a lot of information on his Petfinder page, but he’s at the Animal Care Services Division Of San Antonio, 4710 State Hwy 151, San Antonio, TX 78227, 210-207-6666.

Abys in Need – URGENT! Harley in Orlando, FL

Oh, this is just too sad. Poor guy. And you know “due out date” is probably a euphemism for the “E” word…It looks like his front leg may have been injured, too.

Animal ID: A313516 Room No.: WCI21

Hi, my name is Harley. I am an approximately 9 year old ruddy and white neutered male. I am fearful and I weigh approximately 7 pounds. I have been at Orange County Animal Services since Monday, March 16, 2015. My due out date is Sunday, March 22, 2015.

Find out more about our adoption process here. Each animal may be available for adoption, pending acceptable temperament testing and a health screen.

If you are looking for me, please come to Orange County Animal Services
at 2769 Conroy Road, Orlando, FL. The phone number is (407)836-3111.”

I know people on the Aby Facebook Club are working on getting him out, but I wanted to share him here, as well. Florida is really bad for older pets – especially cats – being turned out to fend for themselves when their humans die and the children come down to take care of their parents’ belongings. The adult children either don’t realise how much the cat meant to their parent, or they don’t care…but it happens a lot down there.

Aby-a-Day – March 19: California girl in the snow

Angel and I have one thing in common: we’re both native Northern Californians.

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Of course it does snow in California; they once even hosted the Winter Olympics. But it only rarely snows in the Sacramento Valley or the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where both Angel and I were born.

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I absolutely love the snow. After 15 years, I still haven’t gotten over the thrill of seeing a white-coated landscape.

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Angel, on the other hand…not so much, I think.

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At the very least, she has a lot to say about the snow.

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And I don’t think very much of it is G-rated.

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She was actually sitting on my lap, here.

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She did go off an explore the snow, though.

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It was deep, and there were many interesting holes.

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While Angel isn’t as outgoing and gregarious as Jacoby is, I do think she enjoys the occasional outing.

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Despite what she may tell you!

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After all, Abys are busy, curious and full of energy. It’s good for all cats to get a change of scenery and a little fresh air once in a while, and I think it’s especially good for Abyssinians.

Aby-a-Day – March 17: “St Patrick – one of the few saints whose feast day presents the opportunity to get determinedly whacked” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This cartoon was actually a lot funnier when I thought of it two weeks ago before the snow started melting. Still, despite last week’s meltdown, there were still some significant snow piles on the ground, the parade route was shortened because of the snow we’ve had, and it did actually snow later in the afternoon on parade day Sunday.

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So, maybe it’s not as funny as it might have been, but it’s still funny. It’s funny because it’s true.

Also, the interesting thing about snow piles is, when they melt, they kind of shrink. So they’re still there, they just become shorter and shorter.

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

Aby-a-Day – March 16: I’m good here on the sofa, thanks (Hipstamatic Monday)

Yesterday, the infamous Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade happened right outside our windows.

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Of course, Jacoby dressed appropriately for the occasion in his shamrock T-shirt.

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It was pouring rain outside.

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Later in the afternoon, it actually snowed.

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It didn’t get above 40°F/5°C all day.

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Despite the fact that it was cold and raining, it was still insanely madhouse outside.

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How would you like this outside your front door? At least it’s only once a year…when my husband lived behind Fenway, it was kind of like this 82 days a year (more if they made the playoffs)!

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So yeah, between the rain and the craziness, Jake and I were fine on the sofa watching CSI.

Moderncat Photo of the Week – Vote for Angel & Jake!

I entered one of the photos of Angel and Jacoby in the snow in the Moderncat Photo of the Week contest.

If you’d like to vote for them, please do! You can vote for them here.

According to the contest rules, you may vote once every 12 hours from each device/IP address; I voted once from my computer and once from my iPhone, and each vote counted. The top cat has 10,000+ votes…but it’s only Monday.

Thanks!

Aby-a-Day – March 15: “Let’s go home…”

I thought this was cute. Once I decided we’d all had enough of playing in the snow, I stood up and told Jacoby it was time to go home.

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“Come on, Jake, let’s go! Get in your stroller, buddy!”

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Once I’d gotten Jake to where he could actually see his stroller, he started trotting down the path to where I’d left it.

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(Pausing to examine an interesting hole, of course!)

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But the most adorable thing was, as soon as Angel saw Jake walking towards the stroller, she started to follow him.

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I think she was following him more to see where he was going, rather than because she knew where the stroller was, though.

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It was awfully cute to watch her trundle along after Jake down the little path. They’re such good friends when I take them outside together…I wish she’d get along with him in the apartment like she does when they’re out in the park!

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“Come on, Angel! Hurry up!”

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“Okay, Mom! We’re all ready…let’s go home!”

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Also, just for fun…here’s what this area looks like in the summer!

Aby-a-Day – March 14: “Nest” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Jacoby’s stroller makes a nice, warm, rolling nest for trips out to play in the park in the winter.

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Not only is it cozy and warm with two cats inside, but…

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…there’s a little heating pad inside to warm up little kitty toes after walking through the snow!

Aby-a-Day – March 13: Jacoby’s first snow experiences (Fashion Friday Flashback)

The first time I took Jacoby out in the snow, it wasn’t really very snowy at all.

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It was a very light snowfall, but enough to let him get the feel of it.

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Jake didn’t have a coat of his own then (this was only December 2009, just four months after he came to live with us).

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So, he wore Gun-Hee’s old parka. That parka has gotten a lot of use!

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Gun-Hee was never as big as Jake is (Gun-Hee was 9 pounds at his heaviest), and even though Jake was only 8 months old here, the jacket was already a little short for him.

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I think he was a little surprised at how cold the snow was!

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This was actually when I got the idea to try to find him some boots…

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The second time Jake went out in the snow, he didn’t even need a coat!

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There was still snow on the ground but it was a balmy 54° – on New Year’s Day!

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It was melting fast, though!

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Still, there was enough to get a real “snow” experience.

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It’s kind of fun to play in the snow without a coat!

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I don’t think Jake was cold at all.

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Just a few weeks later, it snowed again, and this time, Jake was dressed for it.

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We had gone to the post office on the T, and walking back through South Station, I set Jake down on a bench to take some photos, and he dove right into the snow!

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The snow was deep there – up to his chest.

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There’s a reason you don’t see him wearing this coat very often. It hasn’t got a leash hole, so the leash tends to pull the coat up over his shoulders.

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I finally got him back onto the bench for some photos.

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He poses so nicely…

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Most of the time!

Aby-a-Day – March 12: “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show. “

Last Saturday was bright and fairly warm – almost 40°f/5°c – so I took Jacoby and Angel out for some more snow photos.

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We were going to try to go into the courtyard, but the snow was still blocking the door, so we went to our little spot near Rolling Bridge Park behind the Welder’s place.

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Jake has been to this little park many, many times, and Angel has been there, too…but never with snow on the ground.

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Since it was fairly warm, I didn’t make Jake wear his boots (and I didn’t even try to put them on Angel). I think he was actually happier without them!

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It was really cute the way Angel stuck to Jake like glue. In the house, she hisses and growls at him if he even looks in her direction. But outside…

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…she loves him!

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(You may remember this from June 2013…at the same park!)

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Jake, of course, knew where we were, and went off to explore.

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Angel did not like that.

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When we’ve been here in the summer, Jake likes to go watch the cars go by through the chain link fence.

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At least, I think he’s watching cars. I really have no idea.

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I’m not sure why he likes to do this…

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…but sometimes he sees his friend Romeo from the welders’ place next to the park.

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Winter is apparently no different than summer to Jake.

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He went to the fence to watch the cars (or whatever), the same as always.

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So Angel went, too.

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I’m not sure if she wanted to see what he was looking at, or if she just didn’t want to be alone…

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…but dammit, she was going to go look at whatever Jake was looking at!

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She had a hard time finding a place to settle where she could see.

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I don’t think Angel knows what Jake’s looking at, either.

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Jake decided to move to a different part of the fence.

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“Are you kidding me!?”

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Apparently there were better things to look at through the fence over under the trees.

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Needless to say, Angel went trudging after him.

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And off they went to look through the fence, together. I wish they got along this well in the house, because it really is cute to see them as a team.