It’s time for NEMO’s Costume Contest again!

Next weekend, Jacoby and I are going back to Sturbridge, MA to enter The New England Meow Outfit’s third annual CFA show. As always, the best and most fun feature of this show is the cat-human team costume contest.


At last year’s show, Jake and I went all out: I was Marilyn Monroe, and Jake was President John F. Kennedy.


We had a lot of fun with that combination. I worked hard to come up with the quintessential Marilyn ensemble, researching how her makeup was done and rewatching the famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” video.


I could barely walk in those shoes!


Even with all that preparation, we still didn’t win the competition, which shows you how good the other costumes entered are!


At NEMO’s first show, Jake and I actually wore three different outfits. We started out the morning as ancient Egyptians.

At NEMO’s first show, Jake and I actually wore three different outfits.


Then, we changed into Nellie and Billis from South Pacific to perform “Honey Bun.”


Finally, our entry for the contest: A sushi waitress and, well, sushi. In retrospect, we should have gone with Honey Bun.

And what will we do for this year’s contest? Well…you’ll see. Jake, to his dismay, will need to wear pants again for this one. But as for me, while I’ll still need to wear a wig, and I’ll need to carry a prop, I won’t need to wear any makeup, and I’ll be able to walk in my shoes this year!

Aby-a-Day – Toothless Carnivore

There is one thing that can turn Angel from a skittish kitty to a fierce and fearless cat.


Raw meat!


Angel absolutely loves raw meat, especially beef and lamb.



She does have a bit of a hard time with eating it, though, since she only has about nine teeth left in her head. She also likes to touch it with one paw to make sure where it is before she eats it. Sometimes, she’ll even bat it around a little, so she can “hunt” and “catch” it.


Even though it takes her a little longer to eat her raw meat snacks now, than it used to, she still defends it ferociously.


Although, she prefers to be given her meat someplace that’s protected from the other cats.


Nom, nom, nom…all gone!

Aby-a-Day – September 29: Christmastime is here, by golly! (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is the actual illustration for the Christmas card I was talking about last week.


This is San Francisco, the intersection of Geary and Stockton in front of Union Square, 1996. My then-boyfriend, Eric, and I are doing Harri and Sigrid’s holiday shopping for them. Also, if you look at the background, there is another cat sitting on the sidewalk; that is Fagin and his human Mario, who would panhandle with his lovely blue-point Siamese mix. I used to bring fagin cat food, and Mario liked that better than the money! Mario wasn’t homeless, but he had been a construction worker until he started to lose his eyesight. I wonder what he’s doing now…and if he still has a kitty buddy.

That intersection is completely torn up now for light-rail construction, but here’s how it looked in 2011:

I can’t believe how much time I spent on this drawing! Nowadays, I’d just use a photograph and be done with it. I also used old-school Chartpak shading film on this…oh, man, I do NOT miss that stuff!

Aby-a-Day – September 28: Boston has not forgotten Strollercat (Hipstamatic Monday)

Ever since my bicycle accident a couple of months ago, my bike has felt a bit “off,” so I finally took it to Urban Adventours’ bike shop to get it looked at.


They have a really great bike shop, and it’s especially convenient for a city dweller. They’re open til 8pm Monday – Saturday, and they’re right on the Greenway near the Carousel, which is wicked convenient.


They also do repairs for a reasonable price, which is brilliant considering their location and convenience. It turned out, I was right: the rear wheel needed truing and the gears needed tightening. I also got her cleaned and lubed, and the whole thing only cost me $50. But the best part came when one of the young men working there wheeled out my bike. “Okay, I just gotta ask…” he started.

“The front basket? Yep, it’s for a cat or small dog! It’s a Dutch-made – of course! – pet bike carrier.”

“Okay,” he said, “Because I have a cat, but he would just jump out.”

“Well,” I said, “There’s a leash hook right here, so it’s like a seatbelt and they can’t jump out.” He then asked if I’d ever taken my cat for a bike ride in the basket. “No…” I explained, “But he has a stroller, and he loves to ride in that.”

“Oh, okay, so he’s been outside and he doesn’t freak out?”

“Nope, he loves going out. In fact, we got on the cover of the Herald once because we rode the T with his stroller…” I started telling the story of that fateful Tuesday T ride.


As I was relating the tale, the other guy working at the shop interrupted. “Wait…You’re STROLLERCAT lady!?”

“I…uh…yeah? Yep, that’s me. I’m Strollercat’s mom.” I gave him a blog card with a photo of Jake in his stroller.

“OMG!!! I can’t believe I’m meeting Strollercat’s person! OMG!” Then he texted someone. “I have to tell my friend, she’s going to DIE.”

At that moment, a young woman came in with a bike. “Hey, I just texted you! You know who this is? This is the woman wit Strollercat!” And the girl was also very impressed and happy to get a card.


It kind of blew me away…I mean, that was almost three years ago, and people still remember it. It’s almost like Jacoby and I have become a Boston urban legend!

Aby-a-Day – September 27: Don’t shoot the Messenger

Björn and I keep in contact via Facebook Messenger when we aren’t on Facetime. Since we reconnected last year on 18 June, we’ve sent nearly 50,000 messages back and forth. Granted, many of these were just emoticons or typo corrections, but it’s still pretty impressive for a 15-month period.

However, it has created a rather unique relationship between me and my iPhone…one that I’m not entirely sure Jacoby approves.


“Holy crap, are you still Messaging him?”


“Seriously? Mom, seriously?”


“Ugh! Such romantic drivel!”


“Yeah, I’m taking away your phone privileges. Time to pet the cat instead. Or, better yet, how about fetching some treats?”

Aby-a-Day – September 26: “Quaint” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


It’s funny, but when you go to Google the word “quaint,” one of the first things that comes up is “Quaint towns in MA.” The words “Quaint” and “New England” just seem to go together.


And nothing is more quaint than the little miniature New England town at the Sturbridge Host Hotel, site of the NEMO CFA cat shows.


Jacoby and I will be going to the third NEMO show in a couple of weeks, and it will probably be our last NEMO show and our last cat show in the United States.


Of course, Sweden is another place that gets described as “quaint” fairly frequently.


Wonder if Jake and I will be able to find a cute little cat-sized village to explore over there?

Aby-a-Day – September 25: Angel we have heard on high (Friday Flashback)

I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised at Angel embracing our wall climbing system.


The very first night I adopted her and brought her to my mom’s house, Angel did this…


…and this…


…and this!


And then the next morning, she got up the nerve to jump the gap and stand on top of the TV cabinet!


A few months later, we were installing an IKEA Pax wardrobe, and before it was even finished, she was on top of it! I don’t even know how she got up there!


And she tried to go even higher!


For such a skittish kitty, Angel really loves to climb.


I guess this is kind of anti-clime-actic…

Aby-a-Day – September 24: Angel up a wall

Angel has been spending a lot of time up on the wall lately.


I do worry a little because she’s not got the best depth perception and she’s a little clumsy (although not as clumsy as Jacoby).


But she seems to do okay. I don’t think she’s ever fallen off.


But she certainly does seem to take some chances!


Be careful up there, Angel!


Oh, so you DO listen!


Is that some sort of rude arm gesture?


Ah, yes…the old “looking cute” trick…





I must go, my people need me. Or there’s food. Something.

Honourable Mention

This was a nice little surprise this morning!

I get the calendar, but I had no idea that they were going to mention Jacoby until Marty commented on last night’s post to tell me! My friend Wendy asked why they didn’t show a photo of Jake on the page, but well…I missed the deadline to enter photos this year, so that’s on me, not them. But hey, nice of them to remember!

Aby-a-Day – September 22: Jake and Angel are the new Harri and Sigrid (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn has been going through his basement storage, in order to make room for all the crap that I’m dragging with me to Sweden. In the process, he’s found all the old letters and cards I sent him over the years. Including this little sketch from the back of my Christmas card from 1996:


This, of course, is my two Siamese, Harri and Sigrid (this was before I adopted Patrick). But what struck me when I saw this drawing (which I’d completely forgotten), was how similar the dynamic of Harri and Sigrid was to the dynamic of Jacoby and Angel in my current cartoons.


Harri, like Jake, is the boyish, over-the-top goofball, while Sigrid, like Angel, is the feminine cool head of reason.


I’m completely in love with the fact that I drew Harri wearing hockey skates while Sigrid wears figure skates. And I know that if I drew Jake and Angel ice skating, I would do the exact same thing.

Abys in Need: Northeast Aby Rescue (NEAR)

Filling a need that’s long needed filling, Northeast Aby Rescue (NEAR) started up early this year to rescue, foster and find homes for abandoned or otherwise needful Abyssinians and Somalis in the northeastern United States. I’m meant to be working on a logo for them, but so far have only completed a sketch…

All of these lovely Abyssinians (and one Somali) are currently available:

Sasha age 13 in Chicago, IL; ruddy female with special needs (blind). Adoption Pending

Cri Cri

Cri Cri age 12 in Chicago, IL; ruddy male. Adoption Pending

Darby age 6 in Philadelphia, PA; red female. Adopted Today!

Downton Abby

Downton Abby age 12 in Washington, DC; red female.

Elsa age 10 near Hartford, CT; black silver female. Speacial needs: No other female cats.


Eilonwy age 3 in Philadelphia, PA; red Somali female with special needs (urinary). Adopted Today!

Aby-a-Day – September 21: Angel and Mini-Jake (Miniature Monday)

We all know Angel isn’t Jacoby’s biggest fan. All he wants to do is play with her, and all she does is hiss at him. But what about a mini-Jake?




..Pretty much the same, but without the hissing. Angel sure knows how to cast some shade, though, doesn’t she?

Aby-a-Day – September 19: “Wed” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Back when I was engaged to my current (soon to be ex-) husband, I took this photo of my engagement ring with Gun-Hee.


I recreated it with Björn’s engagement ring and Jacoby. We aren’t sure exactly when we will wed…but it will be as soon as we can.

Aby-a-Day – September 18: Gun-Hee and the Refrigerator Repairman (Friday Flashback)

As you saw in last week’s Wordless Wednesday post, we got a new refrigerator.


I couldn’t help but be reminded of the time our fridge broke back when we still had Gun-Hee.



He was so helpful!


I’m sure the repairman really appreciated his help, too.


But the best moment came when Gun-Hee discovered that, once the fridge was pulled out from its niche in the wall, he could get on top of it.


He had never been so high up in his life!


It gave him the perfect vantage to supervise the repairman’s work.


Gun-Hee was very much an Aby when it came to overseeing things that went on in the house.


He was also a daredevil – and he was much less clumsy than his half-brother Jacoby is. Here he is on the freezer door.


Finally, when it was all fixed, he was able to go back to using it for its original purpose: FOOD!