Aby-a-Day – 11 July: Wordless Wednesday (Angel on the balcony)

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Aby-a-Day – 10 July: The Girl with the Aby and Singa Tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

You might recall a few weeks ago I was about to go in and get a magpie tattoo on my arm and plan my next tattoo with Linus, my new tattoo artist here in Slövde. Linus is amazing, and tomorrow I am going to get it coloured in. I can’t wait! Since the 21st, I’ve had a half-done, just black lines and shading. It’s going to be amazing to finally have it finished.

In the meantime, I have worked up two better-coloured versions of my original sketch. The one above was coloured in on my iPad Pro using pencil and an incredible app called Art Set which works well…except it hasn’t got layers. So I did more colouring using Photoshop…and the result is above.

Then I thought my rough-sketched maple leaves, pussy willows and cherry blossoms were kind of…lazy. So I found some Photoshop brushes and line art and created a better background. At least I have something to show Linus tomorrow during my appointment.

Aby-a-Day – 9 July: “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero” (Medical Monday)

The last time we all went to the vet, we encountered a gorgeous German Shepherd in the lobby. He was so huge compared to Lorelai!

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But Rory was her usual fearless self.

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In fact, she barely seemed to notice him at all. “Dog? What dog?”

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Alfred, on the other hand…

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…did not like the looks of that enormous predator at all.

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In fact, he put his body between the dog and Rory to protect her.

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The dog had the good sense to look appropriately intimidated.

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“Don’t worry, little sister. I won’t let this beast hurt you.” Not that Rory looks at all concerned.

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The Shepherd was actually a well-trained tracking and guard dog, and he and his human volunteer with the canine unit at their local Hemvärnet battalion. Hemvärnet dogs are very disciplined, and he wouldn’t have hurt a kitten.

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Freddy didn’t still didn’t trust him. The entire time we were there with that dog, he remained vigilant, protecting Rory from harm.

Aby-a-Day – 8 July: “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Last Saturday, as I posted, Lorelai made her first show appearance.

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What was interesting, though, was that her half brother Lord was being judged at the same time on the judging table next to ours. The ruddies and the blues were judged separately on Saturday, and together on Sunday.

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It was fun to watch him be judged while Rory was being judged.

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Rory is a cat show natural! She was fearless, playful, and utterly charming.

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The judge, Marie Westerlund, actually breeds Abys (her cattery name is S*Rackarkattens) and she fell in love with Rory.

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In FIFe, the owner displays the cat to the judge, and the judge talks to the owner and explains what she’s looking for and how the cat meets the standard. It’s a bit different from CFA, where of course the judges know who the owners are, but there’s a sort of invisible wall of tacit anonymity. A show judge is not supposed to see or even know what cat is entered in the show. After the cat is judged, it’s okay to hang out with the judge. Also, in CFA, judges dress up. Men wear ties, and women wear nice suits and dresses. In FIFe, the judges seem to wear whatever they want. Men wearing jeans and a polo shirt is not uncommon.

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Marie seemed to examine Rory for ages

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Meanwhile, Rory’s half-brother was still on his judging table.

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Then something odd happened. Rory’s judge went over to talk to Lord’s judge! I hadn’t ever seen that happen before. Not sure what they were talking about, but it was cool to see them close together!

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As you can see, Rory is a natural star. And you can see how smitten Marie was by her.

I also shot a movie of her being judged. As I said, she was on the table a really long time!

Aby-a-Day – 7 July: “Once you get a kitten, the natural thing you do is take a billion photos” (Cat Show Saturday)

Because of this blog’s hiatus, I have an incredible backlog of photos to go through.

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Lorelai is not making getting through the backlog any easier.

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I mean, LOOK at her. She is stupidly photogenic, isn’t she?

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Oh, and yeah…she was so totally stressed out by being a showcat. Can’t you tell?

Aby-a-Day – 6 July: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”

It’s common in Sweden for apartment complexes to have several rug-beating frames so that residents can beat their carpets.

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We have one right outside our apartment, and of course Lorelai had to jump up to the top of it.

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She was walking the galvanised steel tightrope walk pretty well there for a while…

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…but it just takes one misstep.

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…and then your paws don’t behave…

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…and after that, the rest of your paws second-guess themselves…

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…and once that happens…

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…yeah, you’re gonna fall.

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So the art is in falling gracefully. Or at least, non-embarrassingly…

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Nailed it!

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“Okay, so…that was fun. Now what?”

Aby-a-Day – 5 July: Alfred and Markis (Thursday Things)

Alfred is a very protective big brother. And free whatever reason, he has decided that Markis from upstairs was a threat to Lorelai.

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Of course, Markis was just outside minding his own business…

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…but when he heard Freddy growling he decided to let discretion be the better part of valour.

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He tried to hide amongst the bicycles, but Freddy followed him…

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…growling…

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…with his tail puffed and his hackles raised! When Jacoby and Markis meet, they just sniff each other and Markis will hiss and growl. I am not sure what Freddy sees that Jake doesn’t.

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This toddler, though. He kept wanting to pet the kitties. The snarling, growling, hissing, clearly angry and preoccupied kitties. I tried to get him to move away, but I don’t think he understands English or Swedish yet, and his mother was right there (you can see her in the background), so I thought her maternal instincts would kick in.

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…NOPE. So of course the kid gets too close, Markis hisses and lunges, kid sit-falls onto his bum and starts crying and only then does she intervene. He wasn’t hurt, but he could have been.

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After that, Markis was done. He trotted off across the grass.

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Freddy kept an eye on him for a while.

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Finally, he decided that Markis was far enough away and relaxed.

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A little later, however, Markis moved to the base of one of our trees.

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Freddy did not like this at all and started stalking Makis again even as Markis moved out into the field.

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Freddy kept walking towards Markis until he was what Freddy felt was a safe distance away.

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Poor Markis! All he wanted was to enjoy the sun and grass and maybe catch a mouse. It’s a good thing Freddy doesn’t go outside without a human on a leash!