Aby-a-Day – 23 April: Release the Flerken! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Warning…this post contains spoilers for the film Captain Marvel. However, if you have read the comics, it’s not really that much of a spoiler.

I am not a huge fan of superhero comics (I’m more of an Archie’s Gang kind of girl) or the “Marvel Universe.” I enjoy Deadpool (because he’s funny) and I love Big Hero 6 (because Disney animation and because San Fransokyo is awesome). And it’s kind of cool for me that I used to work with Chris Evans’ mother’s sister (she lived in Somerville) and now he’s Captain America…but by and large the who Avengers/X-Men/Spiderman movie monopoly just leaves me feeling…meh.

Until I discovered Captain Marvel. Of course, I had heard of her, but didn’t know much about the comic. Then I discovered that she’s a Red Sox fan and she has a cat. So of course I had to see this movie, right? Well…in the movie, she’s in LA and the desert and someplace in the South, and there is no mention of baseball or the Red Sox, so it was a bit of a let-down on that front. But the cat…oh, the cat more than made up for it!

Goose the cat (a female, but played by four cats, mainly a boy tabby named Reggie, along with Rizzo, Gonzo, and Archie) is easily the best part of the film. Goose even has her own poster!

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For years I avoided Funko Pop! figures when I saw them in stores, because they are a) cute, b) have something for EVERY fandom you can think of (I am not kidding…they even have a figure of Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes!), and c) they are exactly the kind of thing I could get totally addicted to. But after seeing The Last Jedi, I had to get a Porg figure, because the Porgs in the movie reminded us so much of Logan

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And now, I have Goose the cat and Goose the Flerken figures.

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Aren’t they cute?

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But wait, there’s more! The Flerken version is swallowing a blue glowing cube called the “Tesseract”…which glows in the dark! There’s also a third version I like to call “The Slurp” with Goose retracting her tentacles. I haven’t gotten that one yet…but I will.

One last thing…movies like this almost always have a special extra scene after all the credits have rolled (and which most people miss because they leave to early). About halfway through the film, I knew what the bonus scene would be…and if I was wrong, Marvel would have missed the best opportunity for a joke ever. I was not wrong, and I was not disappointed. Here it is if you would like to see it (yes, it’s sideways, but it’s apparently the only one on YouTube):

Aby-a-Day – 22 April: Where the boys are (Hipstamatic Monday)

I needed to fix a couple of things on my bicycle, so I let Lorelai and Izaak come outside with me whilst I was working.

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In Sweden, however much it may seem like New England, we haven’t really got a spring. We go from winter to full-blown summer. And so it is this year. We went from freezing cold to OMG where are my shorts and sandals!? Björn says that Sweden is in the BiPolar Zone.

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The kids who live in our apartment complex love our cats and love to play with them.

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Usually, it’s the girls who go nuts over the kittens running around outside.

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But today, it was the boys. One of them told me his friend had a cat with kittens, and he got to hold them when they were one week old. Later, he told me he was going to get one of those kittens.

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We had told them that Zak will fetch his mousies and bring them back, so they wanted to see that. Of course, outside, Zak had zero interest in playing with IKEA toys.

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The boys didn’t listen to us, and tried Zak’s favourite toy on Rory. It was, I think, disappointment.

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But watching them play and interact with the kittens was adorable.

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The boys went between romping with Rory and Zak like they would with puppies (and which Rory and Zak were totallly down with)…

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…to the sweetest one-on-one play you have ever seen.

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It really warmed my heart, watching boys running around playing with cats.

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I hope we are fostering our next generation of cat daddies.

Aby-a-Day – 21 April: You CAN teach an old cat some new tricks!

I apologise in advance for the blurriness of these photos, but I was lucky to capture them at all!

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This actually started before Jacoby died, but last week was the first time I managed to have my camera ready.

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You see, Angel, who will be twelve this year, has actually started playing with the younger cats!I haven’t seen her play with another cat voluntarily since Jake was a kitten!

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But here she is…

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…playing chase and catch with Lorelai! And Angel started it!

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It’s truly amazing.

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The old lady’s got some moves!

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Rory, having escaped up the hallway, returns to see where Angel is.

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“Where are you, Angel..?”

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Oh. Hello.

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Sometimes Alfred and Izaak join in; it’s not just a girl thing. Still, it’s so wonderful to watch Angel play with the other cats on her own terms as opposed to someone chasing her.

Aby-a-Day – 20 April: Don’t be so sad, Mommy…(Silly Singapura Saturday)

I have been asked how the other cats are dealing with the loss of Jacoby. They definitely know he’s not there…but they don’t seem to miss him. He was sort of a loner, although he would sleep with the others, especially Alfred and Izaak. Jake of course was mainly bonded with me, and Zak has kind of decided that I’m his, too.

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As you can see, Zak decided it was okay for Jake to let him share me with him (this was how I woke up on St. Patrick’s Day).

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But since Jake’s been gone, Zak (who as we know loves playing with furry plush toys) has started playing with one of my Pusheen dolls. I found she had been dragged into the living room. And there was no question who had done it…He looked too proud of himself!

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Zak has a very specific way of playing with Pusheen, too. First, he pretends to ignore her…

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…and then he whips around and SMACKS her!

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And after that…

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…it’s pretty much on like an early video game involving gorillas and barrels.

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After a brief spar, the opponents retreat into their neutral corners, eyeing each other cautiously.

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And then bite,

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bite,

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bite,

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ATTACK!

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Uh oh, looks like Pusheen may be winning…

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…Oh, no, Zak’s got this.

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It’s so funny to watch Zak drag Pusheen around. She’s almost as big as he is!

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Well…Zak wasn’t wrong. It did help cheer me up a bit.

Aby-a-Day – 19 April: ” Every time I see your face, it reminds me of the places we used to go…but all I’ve got is a photograph, and I realise you’re not coming back any more” (Friday Flashback)

There are just so many reminders of Jacoby around the house. I have plushies, T-shirts and even jewellery featuring his image.

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But one big thing I have are the special plaques I made using Shutterfly.

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The first one I made was to commemorate Jake’s ascension to Grand Premiership.

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The second was made after Jake was featured on Page One of the Boston Herald (during a week that featured Hurricane Sandy, Halloween, the Patriots, and…some election involving an incumbent and a former governor of Massachusetts).

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Then I made one to remember the time Jake was featured in the Workman Page-a-Day Calendar. That one was especially special, since I had been getting that calendar – and sending in photos – since the early 80’s.

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Another plaque I made was a matched pair to honour the two-page spread Jake earned in the British cat magazine Your Cat.

All of these plaques were kept in my office when I lived in Boston, but since moving to Sweden, they are displayed on our hallway bookshelves, where I see them every day.

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But I also have the ultimate souvenir…a Pancake Pet I got via Toki Poki. It’s Jake, life-sized!

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Izaak was interested in the Jake-sized cutout…

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…as was Alfred.

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Freddy was a bit disturbed when I first got Pancake Jake out.

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Cordial…but a but disturbed.

I have so many reminders of Jake…but that’s only because he was an amazing cat. I miss him so much.

Aby-a-Day – 18 April: Eulogy for Jacoby (Thursday Things)

Jacoby was such a great poser. He just seemed to understand what I wanted, and I could set him some place and he would sit there perfectly. I never trained him to do that, he just knew that the camera meant that he should hold still.

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When I saw the cat on the carousel in Boston Common, I knew I had to get a shot of Jake riding it. In between rides, they let me put him on the cat and were quite impressed with how cooperative he was.

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He struck this pose when he was only six months old.

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I used it to make this.

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He posed wonderfully without even trying.

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This photo became the iconic #strollercat T-shirt.

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He could be very dramatic at times…

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very dramatic!

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He was so wonderfully patient when I asked him to pose in his clothing.

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Jake loved riding the T.

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When it came to agility…Jake was a little too good at posing!

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Some of the best photos of him were in snow. The first one, with the hat, was published in Boston magazine.

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The current lot are photogenic, and Alfred in particular can throw some awesome poses… but they don’t have that understanding that Jake had. What were a team. We did so much together. I wonder if I’ll ever have that again with another cat.

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It’s not impossible…I said the same thing after Harri died, the last cat I had that kind of bond with. I just don’t know what the magic formula is for finding a cat like that.

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Jake was just so…bulletproof. I could set him anywhere and back away to take a photo, and I knew he wouldn’t jump down. We trusted each other implicitly.

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I love our current LunaTicks dearly, of course. Angel is not really bonded to anyone (she cuddles on her own terms) and Freddy is bonded to everyone. The kittens are also bonded to everyone, Izaak slightly more to me and Lorelai slightly more to Björn. But as much as we love them and they us…none of them have that connection, that spark, that undefinable something that elevates them to another level of human-cat interaction.

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On the simplest level, no other of our cats head bonk me. With Jake, I would put my head down and we would bonk our skulls together like a cranial fist bump. We did it fairly hard, too. When I try to do that with the others, they either back up, or sniff me, or rub their sides against my head…well, Freddy will sometimes pat me on the head. But no bonks.

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I hope I can find another Aby to bonk heads with some day.

Aby-a-Day – 17 April: Wordless Wednesday (Jacoby and Logan)

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