Aby-a-Day – 30 September: Tiger by the tail (Silly Cinema Sunday)

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A month or so ago, Izaak and Alfred were lazing together on the sofa next to us when Zak idly started to play with Freddy’s tail.

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It reminded me of those videos of young lions playing with the head male lion’s tail.

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Zak went from attacking Freddy’s tail, to licking it lovingly…

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…and back to biting it again.

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It was super cute to watch.

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And you know Freddy was twitching his tail for Zak to play with.

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Zak seemed to be having an excellent time with Freddy’s tail.

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Oh…and, we’re back to licking.

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When Zak went from biting Freddy’s tail to biting his leg, Freddy started to object.

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Okay, Freddy…back to the tail, then.

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Wait…just one more bite to your leg, okay?

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Then Zak got a little distracted by his own tail.

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…Annnnddd…back to Freddy’s tail.

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“Oh no! It’s getting away! Get it! GET IT!”

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The photos were looking so great and funny that I thought I should take a little video, too.

You can probably guess what happened next…

Aby-a-Day – 29 September: Why we don’t let Alfred outside off leash (Swedish Saturday)

People have asked why we don’t take Alfred out on our off-leash walking training with Lorelai and Izaak.

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This is why. He bolts. The second he’s let outside, he heads for the trees at the bottom of the slope.

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And naturally the kittens follow him into the exciting jungle. I was too busy capturing Freddy to get any good photos. But he spent the rest of the outing on his leash.

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He was good-natured about it. But he tried to go back into the woods again despite his leash.

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Freddy is an excellent leash walker, though.

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You can see how far those trees are…and how Freddy longs to go back down there. Sorry, Freddy.

Aby-a-Day – 28 September: Behind the artwork (Photoshop Friday)

I thought you might be interested in how I create a cartoon. I only rarely ever draw a complete drawing in one go. At least not when I am drawing on paper and scanning the the result.

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When I draw on paper, I do a sketch and then trace the sketches in ink. I sometimes do more than one trace of the sketch on the inking sheet.

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Then I assemble the best parts and start colouring.

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Other bits, like the BBQ grill and the apron, are drawn and assembled on separate layers. But when it’s all assembled, it looks like the image at the top.

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The next year, I added Dory. While Marlin is a cream Maine Coon, Dory is a blue Oriental Shorthair. I actually did draw Dory in one go, so her layer is not as exciting.

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For the newest NEMO iteration of Marlin, I realised I didn’t need to redraw all of Marlin, but only certain parts. Just his head, both arms, and some whiskers. But it worked. And it was so much easier than reinventing the wheel. Thanks to Photoshop, I didn’t have to.

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The Singapuras were a bit more tricky.

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I drew each one separately and three of them are complete, stand-alone cats. Only the one in the very back is a partial Singapura.

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The whiskers were done separately.

Aby-a-Day – 27 September: Role reversal (Thursday Things)

When we were outside the other weekend, Lorelai encountered a very sweet, very well-behaved Papillon.

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At first, she was a bit on the defensive. Yet, she still approached him.

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They even almost touched noses!

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Rory wasn’t sure how she felt about that.

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Meanwhile, Izaak…

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…Zak was not having any of this dog nonsense.

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The dog’s owner tried to continue on their walk, and pulled the dog along with her.

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But Rory chased after the dog! Have you ever seen a cat chase a dog before?

Aby-a-Day – 26 September: Wordless Wednesday (Run, Izaak, run!)

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A vaccine for FIP? Compound GC376 may be the answer

There may be a vaccine to prevent FIP in the future. Researchers at Kansas State University, together with a medicinal chemist at Wichita University and Dr. Neils Pedersen at UC Davis, have been working on an FIP vaccine, and last week it was announced that they had licensed their compound GC376 to Anivive Lifesciences, which is a major step towards developing the compound into a commercial vaccine available to veterinarians.

Remember, though, that getting the compound to a pharmaceutical developer is just the first step. Clinical trials need to be run, and then the vaccine needs to be approved by the FDA before it will be available for sale. That will probably take a few years. But still…we may very well see a vaccine in our lifetimes that will prevent FIP in our feline companions!

Aby-a-Day – 25 September: My new tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today we started work on my memorial tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan. Yesterday, Linus, my artist, sent me the above outline drawing…

…and this complete drawing- I was blown away. Linus thought that just their heads worked better as a tattoo than showing their whole bodies…and he was right.

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These are the photos Linus used as a reference.

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Here is the tattoo after the lines were done.

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Linus working. He wanted to make sure he looked “ugly” before I took the photo.

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Here is Gun-Hee and his leaves coloured in.

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And here is Gun-Hee’s part done completely with blue shading. On 10 October, Logan will get coloured in and it will be finished.