Aby-a-Day – January 24: “Fan” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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My husband is a Green Bay Packers fan.

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Since Jacoby is the only boy in the house, and the only other person in the house who will watch football on a regular basis, he is also a Green Bay Packers fan.

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You may remember when the Packers won the Super Bowl, and Jake dressed up in a Green Bay jersey and helmet.

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Now he also has an official Cheesehead to wear.

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Not that it did a lot of good last Sunday.

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In case you didn’t hear, it will be Seattle and not Green Bay who will play the New England Patriots next week on Superbowl Sunday.

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I would explain why Jacoby is not a New England fan (when he is all about everything else Boston)…but it’s a very long story. Let’s just say it’s because of his dad and leave it at that.

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Hey, at least there’s always Kitten Bowl II and the Kitty Halftime Show to look forward to!

Aby-a-Day – January 23: Two heads are better than one (Photoshop Friday)

Yesterday’s post gave me an idea for a new Friday posting theme: Photoshop Friday. I’ll mix in with Friday Flashbacks and Fashion Fridays.

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So here is another photo of Jacoby and Angel riding on the cart. A lot of people ask me how I always manage to get them to pose so nicely. Well, the answer is, I don’t always get them to pose nicely. I take a lot of photos (and always have…you should have seen how much I spent on film back in the day!) and then end up deleting about half of them.

But sometimes, you get a situation like I had with several of the photos of Jake and Angel on the wagon, where one cat looked great and the other one moved their head just as the shutter went off.

As you can see, in this photo Jake looks pretty good, but Angel moved and, in the low light of the elevator lobby, she’s blurry.

And then in this photo, Angel looks great…but now Jake’s the blurry one.

So there’s two half-crappy photos. Combined, they’d make one pretty good photo. Which is what I did. Basically, I just put Angel’s good photo over her bad one, blended out the background and flattened the image down.

First, I copied a section of the background (the one where Jake is good and Angel is blurry). Using the cloning stamp (aka the “rubber stamp” since that’s what it looks like), I covered Angel up with the background carpet pattern.

Then I selected the good Angel and part of her background from the other photo and pasted it onto a new layer.

I also made a copy of the elevator and hallway background from the original photo and saved it to a second layer.

Finally, I made an extra copy of Angel’s foot and shadow, and put those on a third layer.

Going back to the Angel layer, I used a soft brush eraser to erase some of the background. I actually do the erasing with the background layer visible, so that I can see what I’m doing, but I’ve hidden it here so you can see the working layer clearly.

Using the rubber stamp, I removed Angel’s head from the hallway background layer, so that it became a clean background with only the walls around the elevator.

I erased the edges of the paw-and-shadow layer so that they blended into the background.

Once I’d gotten the three layers looking the way I wanted them to, I put them together. This is the Angel layer.

Now, with the Jake background layer turned on and the Angel layer placed over top, you can’t really tell that this was two lousy photos anymore. Well, you probably could if you blew it up to 800% and analysed the pixels. I didn’t really spend a lot of time on this, maybe 20 minutes, so it’s not a perfect job by any means…but it’s good enough!

Aby-a-Day – January 22: Storage cart built for two

As I’ve mentioned many times, Jacoby loves riding the storage cart when I take it back down to the closet on the first floor.

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One evening, Angel was nosing around the cart, too, and my husband said, “Angel wants to go, too!” and he put her harness on her so she could go with Jake (this was before Jake got his new green harness in the latest box from our friends).

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So Jake and Angel went for a ride to the first floor. Jake’s leash has clasps at both ends, so I just used the one leash for both of them.

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Jake’s leash has clasps at both ends, so I just used the one leash for both of them.

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Angel wasn’t so sure about riding on the cart at first.

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She seemed to adjust fairly quickly, though.

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This is where Angel fascinates me. Despite her harsh kittenhood, and her experiences that we can only guess at, in some ways she is clearly an Abyssinian.

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Wearing a harness and leash doesn’t faze Angel one bit, and she’s fearless in the face of things that would freak regular cats out.

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The elevator wasn’t any big deal, either.

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Even after we’d parked the cart back in the first floor storage room, riding the elevator back upstairs was taken in stride. I thought it was funny that they each chose a door…Angel on one side…

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…and Jake on the other. Even funnier, with all the elevator-riding that Jake does, he picked the door that doesn’t open on our floor (the side he’s on opens only to the street)!

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I find it endlessly interesting that Angel hisses and growls at Jake whenever he comes near her when we’re inside the apartment…

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…but out in the hallway, she seems to tolerate him fairly well.

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Even after almost a year, their first instinct was to head towards where our old apartment was.

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Angel moreso than Jake.

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Of course, when you’re both clipped to each end of a leash, it’s hard to get lost.

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They found our door easily enough in the end.

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Hi honey, we’re home!

Aby-a-Day – January 21: Wordless Wednesday (21st Century Mouser)

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Other People’s Abys – Nigel the therapy cat

One of our friends, Nigel and his human Janet, were featured in a news story on Houston TV because of their work as a therapy team!

I simply love the fact that Nigel has the exact same stroller (in the exact same colour) that Jacoby has.

When she posted the link to the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook, Janet thanked me and Jake for being the inspiration for her and Nigel to start visiting nursing homes.

Janet is actually a veterinarian, too, so she has a medical background which helps when you’re doing therapy visits.

You can watch the entire segment here.

I love this photo so much…I can’t wait til March when Jake and I can try to get our certification renewed again. Thank you Janet, for sharing this!

Abys in Need – Rescued Aby needs new human in Roanoke, VA

Brace yourselves…you’re about to become incensed. This came through the NAR Aby Email list and somehow got netted in my spam weir; it was originally sent last Friday.

“We rescued an Aby from the kill shelter in Roanoke. The shelter had her on the kill list because she had not eaten since she was brought in and was losing weight. Since I have had her, she is eating like a little horse and is gaining her weight back.

Her owner (who lived in Roanoke) passed away and no one in her family wanted her. In fact, her owner’s son brought her into the shelter, slammed the carrier down on the counter, and said, “My mother paid a thousand dollars for this F****** cat!” He said she was 5 or 6 years old.

She is now up to date on her shots, spayed and I am looking for a good home for her. She is a ruddy, very friendly, outgoing, a little talkative.

Can you help me find a good home for her?”

Can you believe that? Poor woman dies, thinking her kids will take care of her beloved Aby…and this is what happens. Incredible. And she’s the same age as Jacoby! I wonder who the breeder is – I’m sure they don’t know about any of this.

If you’re interested in this poor girl (I don’t know her name or have a photo of her), please contact Sandy Scheurer in Beford, VA at 540-586-8735 or email her at sansiaby@aol.com.

Aby-a-Day – January 20: “Stupid American Cat…” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Look at Sketsi’s face! Every time I look at Jacoby enjoying the toys, treats, clothes and cat bed from Sanna-Leena and her kitties in Helsinki, I can’t help but think of Sketsi enjoying his things that we’ve sent from Boston!

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I guess next time I’ll have to send him some boots?

Sketsi is actually fairly closely related to Gun-Hee (on Gun-Hee’s mother Amber’s side); one of Sketsi’s great-great grandfathers, Marica’s Mister Macon, was Gun-Hee’s grandfather! Jake and Sketsi are related, too…but more distantly. I don’t think Sketsi cares that Jake’s his cousin here, though…

Just for fun…this is the photo that inspired this cartoon, with a little added commentary.

And here’s the sketch I did of Jake to go with with it.

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