Aby-a-Day – December 31: When the clock strikes 13 (Hipstamatic Monday)

Well, here it is: New Year’s Eve.

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Interestingly enough, it was Jacoby, not Angel, who was on the ledge in front of the TV as we got closer to midnight.

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He seemed unimpressed with Carson Daly’s rockin’ New Year’s Eve.

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In fact, he was really sleepy.

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He could barely keep his eyes open!

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With two minutes to go, Jake was actually dozing sitting up.

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And then, a New Year’s miracle occurred: Angel joined Jake and he gave her kisses!

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Apparently, she was just waiting for the countdown.

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And, of course, for the ball to start dropping.

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Happy 2013, everyone!!!
(And no, I’m not telling who I kissed first at midnight!)

Aby-a-Day – December 30: I like to Roomba, Roomba, Roomba

Every year, the house gets a Christmas present. This year, it was so large it needed to be wrapped in two of those giant blue bags you get from IKEA!

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Jacoby was very interested in this mysterious package!

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He was also a little miffed when we didn’t open it right away so he could see what was inside.

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“HEY!!! Will someone unwrap this, please!? I’m dyin’ over here!”

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And look what it was! An iRobot Pet Series 562 Roomba!

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Jake was, if anything, more interested in this new machine out of the box than he was when it was still boxed up!

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He examined it thoroughly, as only an Aby can.

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He gave it far more than the third degree (There is a fifth degree, beyond that which is known to man…you’ve just crossed over into The Aby Zone).

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He practically did handstands trying to look at the Roomba’s undercarriage!

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However, when the Roomba was fully charged and started doing its job, Jake wasn’t quite as fearless as he usually is.

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In general, I’ve found that Abys aren’t typically afraid of vacuum cleaners; they seem less intimidated by them than the other cats are. Even Angel holds her ground against a running vacuum.

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It must be the fact that it is self-propelling, rather than being moved by a human.

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The way it swept around the kitchen seemed to unnerve Jake somewhat…and Jake is not a cat who unnerves easily. It was interesting to watch.

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And now, the $64,000 question, which I know you’re all dying to know: “Did Jake ride the Roomba?”

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And, sadly, while there are cats who love riding Roombas, Jake does not seem to want to be one of those cats.

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(And, yes, I was a little disappointed…I had high hopes of a “Jake and the Roomba” video, if I am to be completely honest.)

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Finally, Jake decided the safest place to watch the Roomba was up off the floor where it couldn’t get him.

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I guess it’ll take some getting used to. This should be interesting!

Aby-a-Day – December 29: Meeting the welders

Jacoby and I took a walk to the Post Office on Christmas Eve for a final mail check, and on the way we stopped to take a few photos to use for the illustrations for my “Romeo & Jacoby” story (which, yes, I know I need to finish)…

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…and we got to actually meet the welders! They happened to be just leaving as we were there, and we started taking. “They” are Brad and Jason, his son. I also got to meet Jason’s daughters, Natalie and Gwendolyn. Brad was kind enough to let me inside the gate to take photos, and he told me the real names of some of the cats: Mama Cat is Fuzzy, the torbie I call Ginger is named Baby, and the longhair black kitten twins are Booger (the boy) and Boogie (the girl).

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I think this is the boy, Booger.

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And this, I think, is his sister, Boogie. Both of them are huge, glossy, healthy cats…I remember them from when they were kittens.

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Here’s Baby, aka Ginger. She is super skittish. When I came in, she ran away. This is the closest I could get to her.

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She’s such a gorgeous cat. It was so cool to go inside the gate and see all the little cat beds and hidey-holes that Brad has built for the cats that you can’t see from the outside. And I got a lot of good background photos for the story’s illustrations. That’s one of my New Year’s resolutions, to work on the Romeo & Jacoby story…and I have plenty of illustrations to work on now!

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Jake didn’t get to go inside the gate with me, of course; he waited in his stroller while I took all the photos. And we didn’t see his friend Romeo this time, either…but it was amazing to go inside the cats’ territory and see them up close.

Aby-a-Day – December 28: Fishing on the Fishtail (Fashion Friday)

One of Jacoby’s Christmas presents this year was the marvellous United Bamboo Cat Club Fishtail Parka that I was lucky enough to buy for him during their flash parka sale a couple of weeks ago.

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The workmanship on this little coat is just breathtaking.

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There are a lot of human coats that don’t have this kind of attention to detail.

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The thick, soft, black boa lining is attached with tiny, hand-sewn buttons and can be removed for warmer weather.

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The natural raccoon fur ruff on the hood is also detachable with the same tiny buttons.

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The drawstring toggles on the “fishtail” and the waist are real, heavy-gauge polished cowhide.

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The zipper and the snaps are heavy duty and solidly attached. The pockets aren’t real (they’re just flaps), but that’s the only thing about this coat that isn’t genuine.

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The sleeve cuffs even have velcro closures.

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The fishtail hem of the coat fits nicely with Jake’s tail.

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As usual, Jake knows full well how great he looks wearing his new parka!

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And it fits him perfectly, too. I was afraid that it would be too small…Jake’s a big boy and I was worried it would be too tight in the shoulders and chest. But it’s just right.

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He’s such a natural model for this coat, don’t you think?

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I hope we get another invitation to United Bamboo’s calendar photoshoot next year…and I hope that, this time, we can make it to NYC!

Aby-a-Day – December 27: “Rip it open in a second and it’s time to play”

Christmas, as Garrett Morris might have said, was Berry Berry Good for the cats this year.

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You can see how satisfied Jacoby looks as he surveys the spoils.

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Tessie got, among other things, two refurbished Kittenator Neko Flies toys. She’d torn all the original fur off of them, so I re-furred them for her.

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She prefers her Kittenators off the rod.

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Kylie was just overwhelmed by all the goodies.

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One of the toys the cats got was a nifty little treat puzzle toy from, of all places, Target. Tessie was the first to check it out.

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She got bored with it pretty quickly, though. She didn’t even eat the treats!

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Guess who didn’t get bored with the new toy?

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Jake quickly sussed out what the point of the toy was and got to work.

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Nom, nom, nom…

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My husband got a remote-controlled helicopter as one of his gifts. Jake shared it with him.

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Or he tried to share it, anyway…

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Jake also got a fabulous Buddy the Elf cat hat from Etsy’s ScooterKnits. This is the same person who made Jake’s mistletoe hat and his pom-pom hat.

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Like his other hats, Jake modeled his new elf hat proudly. “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favourite colour?”

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Angel got an elf hat, too. Hers is a replica of Jovie’s elf hat.

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Angel, however, did not model her hat as proudly as Jake did his.

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She much preferred her other gifts. She got a collection of toys…

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…and a new catnip mat.

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I got an awesome present, too – two plush Abyssinians from Japan! They’re roughly life-sized and oh, so soft. They’re called 癒しねこは、本物そっくりのかわいい猫のぬいぐるみです(アビシニアン), which, according to Google, translates roughly as “Healing lifelike cat”…Proving once again that all the best Abyssinian things seem to come from Japan.

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One has open eyes and one is sleeping. They both have fabulous detail, including little black paw pads. They were also quite happy to wear Jake and Angel’s elf hats!

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Although snow was predicted for Christmas Day, we did not get any significant snow here in Boston. This was closest Jake got to having a White Christmas…

Aby-a-Day – December 26: Wordless Wednesday (Aftermath)

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Aby-a-Day – December 25: …And an Aby in a fake tree! (Cartoon Tuesday)

I can’t ever think of Christmas trees without remembering Gun-Hee running up the tree – repeatedly – on his first Christmas. Once he figured out how to do it the first time, there was no keeping him down on the floor!

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