Aby-a-Day – 30 April 2020: A memory came up today…(Thursday Things)

This memory came up today on Facebook: Jacoby’s and my last Seacoast Cat Show in New Hampshire. It was a great show; Jake got 136 points at that show.

That show, and the one CFA show we went to in Sweden where he made every final, was enough to make him 10th Best Abyssinian in Premiership for the 2016-17 show season, on top of his 8th Best placement the season before.

I know I have some awesome cats now…but I still miss my Jakey.

Aby-a-Day – 29 April 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Cuddly Izaak)

zakcuddle_2126

zakcuddle_2127

zakcuddle_2130

zakcuddle_2133

zakcuddle_2135

zakcuddle_2141

Aby-a-Day – 28 April 2020: The Maltese Dashiell (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today I finished that special portrait of Dashiell I started almost a month ago. Because Dash is named after the author Dashiell Hammett, who wrote The Maltese Falcon famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the film version, I had an idea I wanted to make real. Above is the fur texture layer along with a neutral grey background.

DashHamFalconShadow

Then I added a shadow of the Maltese Falcon based on one of the two photos of Bogie I used as reference.

DashHamHat

Of course, Sam Spade needs a dashing fedora.

DashHamTrench

And a trench coat.

DashHamFinal

Then the final touch, to give the portrait a real Film Noir feel…the shadows.

DashHamFinalFinal

But something was bothering me. I went back to my other Bogie reference photo and realised what was missing: There is a dark shadow of his hat, and the original background had a shadowy texture. I went back and fixed those two things and…voilà!

DashHamFullsize

However, I generally crop my drawings to a standard size, but I draw on a larger canvas. This is the full-size version. Not really different, apart from the proportioning. It’s such a great feeling to finally get the image out of your head so others can see it.

Aby-a-Day – 27 April 2020: So much for THAT Hallmark moment (Hipstamatic Monday)

It all started so innocently…

hipstafreddyzak2

hipstafreddyzak3

…Alfred and Izaak were cuddling on the sofa, and Freddy lazily started to groom Zak.

hipstafreddyzak4

And then Zak started grooming Freddy in return.

hipstafreddyzak5

hipstafreddyzak6

hipstafreddyzak7

hipstafreddyzak8

hipstafreddyzak9

hipstafreddyzak10

It was so sweet. It reminded me of Freddy with Logan.

hipstafreddyzak11

hipstafreddyzak12

I mean, okay, they are a year apart in age, so not quite “brothers from another mother” the way Freddy was with Logan…

hipstafreddyzak13

hipstafreddyzak14

…but at least Freddy still has a Singa pal who’s fun to be with.

hipstafreddyzak15

hipstafreddyzak16

Zak, of course, loves all the Abys in the house. He happily cuddles with everyone.

hipstafreddyzak17

hipstafreddyzak18

hipstafreddyzak19

However, all of a sudden things took a turn. Freddy started to groom Zak a little…

hipstafreddyzak20

too enthusiastically.

hipstafreddyzak21

Zak had had enough! He way weigh around three pounds less than Freddy does…

hipstafreddyzak22

…but with true Singapura stubborness, Zak can stand up to anyone when enough is enough!

Aby-a-Day – 26 April 2020: Lorelai REALLY loves sand (Cinema Sunday)

As I posted last week, Lorelai loves the sand in the play areas in our apartment område.

zakrorysand_2179

The other day, Rory and Izaak helped me take out some recyclables (they love doing that, and they always know what we’re doing when they see the bags), and on the way back, we had to stop at the sand at the bottom of the slide near our building.

zakrorysand_2180

Once again, Rory rolled around in her beloved sand.

zakrorysand_2181

Zak…seemed perplexed.

I made a little video of her rolling about so you could see her in action.

Aby-a-Day – 25 April 2020: “Beep, beep. Beep, beep. His horn went, beep, beep, beep! (Silly Saturday)

The last time I took the cats outside, one of the neighbour boys was fixing a toy car for his little brother out on the lawn.

freddycar_2184

He asked me if I had a 13mm socket wrench. I don’t use those, but I know Björn has them, so I told him to wait until he got home, which was only in a few minutes.

freddycar_2188

At that point, everyone else had gone inside, and only Alfred was still outside. When the boy went to chase after his little brother, I got an idea. It took a few tries to get Freddy to pose properly (again, I was really missing Jacoby)…

freddycar_2193

…But he finally figured it out.

Aby-a-Day – 24 April 2020: Fancy face masks (Fashion Friday)

As everyone on the planet knows, we are experiencing a pandemic and we’re all being held hostage by a familiar virus. Unlike the rest of the world, Sweden is managing the Covid-19 situation in a…unique way. Most businesses are still open, high schools and universities are teaching online but all other schools are still in session, there are markings on the floors near the checkouts in shops, but there are no measures taken in the aisles to keep people apart. And nobody is wearing masks. But I am. I have asthma, and everytime I get a cold, it doesn’t go away. It settles in my lungs, and turns into bronchitis or pneumonia. I know how insidious coronaviruses can be. I have been reading studies of one certain type of coronavirus for twelve years now, and I am not taking any chances.

zakmask_E2281

I bought sa box of 50 semi-disposable medical masks on Amazon.de to tide me over until I can get some cuter ones. On a whim, I thought I would try one on Izaak. Whoops…sorry, Zak, you can’t see with it on like that!

zakmask_E2282

Okay, that’s better. Zak actually wore it pretty well, but I am not going to lie, I miss Jacoby. He would rocked this mask!

zakmask_E2286

Even though he’s not the pro Jake was, Zak did finally strike a couple of pretty good poses for me.

freddyzakmask_E2292

Of course Alfred had to come check out what Zak and I were doing.

freddyzakmask_E2291

Huh. That’s rude. Guess he’s not a fan of masks.

freddymask_E2294

Given his reaction, of course I made him model it, too. He only kept it on long enough for one good photo, though, and I didn’t have time to adjust it so it wasn’t covering his eyes. Again, sometimes I really miss Jake.

But I really want a better mask than these disposables. One of my Facebook friends sent me a link to a super cute face mask with Abyssinians wearing masks on it! I love that a blue Aby is the main cat on the mask. (There is also one with Somalis on it.)

But look what else they have! A Singapura face mask! I ordered one of each. I know they seem a bit expensive ($24.95), but each mask comes with three replaceable filter pads, to give a little more protection when you go outside, and you can always get more filters. I can’t wait to try them on!

Happy birthday, Kylie!

Today is Kylie’s 15th birthday! She and Tessie are both healthy and happy back in Boston.

Aby-a-Day – 23 April 2020: Dashiell strikes out on his own (Thursday Things)

Dashiell has a complicated relationship with going outside. He’s still rather skittish and timid at times. While the other Abyssinians (even Angel!) and Izaak eagerly rice to the door when I open the front door, I almost always have to catch Dash and drag him outside to get some fresh air and play. If I didn’t know better, I would think he had a cellphone and was playing video games!

dashzakoutside_2028

When I finally do get him outside, he sticks to the paved path next to the building. He also tends to stay close to Zak.

dashoutside_2023

He also sometimes tries to go back inside.

dashoutside_1945

But once he gets used to the idea…

dashoutside_1946

dashoutside_1947

…he really loves being outside.

roryzakdashoutside_1934

He hasn’t done anything like run down the hill, but he will explore the trees with Lorelai and Zak.

roryzakdashoutside_1935

roryzakdashoutside_1940

We’d had very strong winds recently and there were a lot of fallen branches. Apparently they were very interesting to investigate.

freddydashoutside_1917

Okay, maybe he doesn’t have as much fun outside as Alfred does, but he does enjoy himself outside.

Aby-a-Day – 22 April 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Angel and Alfred outside)

freddyangeloutside_2019

freddyoutside_2014

freddyoutside_2013

freddyoutside_2012

angeloutside_2006

angeloutside_1962

Aby-a-Day – 21 April 2020: Dash’s portrait project, the colour layers (Cartoon Tuesday)

I’m still working on that special portrait of Dashiell I shared two weeks ago. While it isn’t finished, I have actually got more done that I am posting today. Above is the colour layer, ink layer and whiskers layer.

<DashHamJustColourWIP

This is the only the colour layer, which is underneath the ink layer. Instead of painting inside the lines, I painted under them. It’s a neat technique. This was all done in Procreate using what fur brushes I have there; now I need to add a texture layer (for his ear furnishings and ticking) with my fur brushes in Photoshop, but I think I got his base colouring pretty well. As someone commented last week, getting the markings and colours right on an Aby is not easy!

And, of course is just the Dash part…there’s still the background and the other details to be finished.

Aby-a-Day – 20 April 2020: Dash is a smol bol (Hipstamatic Monday)

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, one of Dashiell’s favourite afternoon napping spots is at the end of the sofa.

hipstadashbol2

He’s a big, gangly yearling, but he manages to get his legs rolled up in a tight ball.

hipstadashbol3

…And, the camera woke him up. Sorry, Dash!

Aby-a-Day – 19 April 2020: “Like sands through the hourglass…” (Silly Sunday)

It’s been wicked crazy windy all week, but it finally died down enough yesterday and we were able to let the cats out for a much needed run. And of course, Lorelai had to say hello to her favourite sandy place, because she loves to play in the sand.

roryoutside_1981

And when I say she loves the sand…I mean she really LOVES the sand!

Aby-a-Day – 18 April 2020: Izaak and Angel up a tree, round two (Silly Singapura Saturday)

As I posted last Sunday, Izaak and Angel’s cat tree battle has become an afternoon ritual.

zakangeltree_144207

Angel goes to hang out and chill on the top of the cat tree, Zak tries to unseat her, and she defends herself.

zakangeltreeClose_144207

And she is 100% capable of defending herself. I mean, look at that hiss! She may have only two teeth, but this girl is FIERCE!

zakangeltree_144208

zakangeltree_144209

Angel has no problems keeping Zak in his place.

zakangeltree_144210

Zak attempts to take over the top again…

zakangeltree_144216

…but look at Angel’s cocked arm. She’s more than ready for him.

zakangeltree_144242

Zak makes one last half-hearted feint at Angel…

zakangeltree_144245

…and nearly falls out of the hole in the bottom of the house.

zakangeltree_144618

zakangeltree_144619

zakangeltree_144621

…and…Zak out.

Aby-a-Day – 17 April 2020: This Jake is PHOTOSHOPPED (Photoshop Friday)

Since Jacoby’s deathday and birthday are so close together, I posted some photos of him on Monday In Meöwmorium on the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. I included some cutouts I’d already made along with some favourites…and wow, the other members did not disappoint! I especially love the image Trisha Pettingill made with Jake in the Red Sox dugout.

Lucia Robson made this one of Jake in Baseball Heaven (which of course is in Fenway Park).

Helen Yang, who had so much fun with Izaak and Lorelai a few weeks ago did this amazing one of Jake on the field with Rally Cat II at an Angels-Cardinals game in Anaheim!

She also did these of Jake in various forms of heaven. So sweet!

pirate

And then there are my challenges…this cat was named Pirate, so…

hencat

Dangles’ human wanted her to have legs, but I gave her eggs instead.

clawmachinecats

This was an amazing photo on its own…most people went with an ascension or jet pack theme, but I went in a different direction.

Kringle-obama-hope-poster

Mr. Kringle’s human wanted him to run for president. That was easy!

hellobook

This isn’t really a Photoshop challenge per se, but I had to do it.

sophiagradeschoolphoto

Sophia’s smile made me think of second grade.

catscandance

Someone commented on this photo of Bebby that Yoda the trapeze artist should be dancing with her. So here they are at the Bolshoi.

switch1920s

Switch’s photo reminded me of Theda Bara.

ReginaldSethDoc2

But this is my favourite of my projects this week. When I saw Reginald in his cowboy hat, I instantly thought of A Million Ways to Die in the West. I knew what I wanted to do: Reginald with Seth MacFarlane’s Albert and Doc Brown. It was a lot harder to get the parts to match than I expected…but I think I finally got it to look pretty good in the end.

Aby-a-Day – 16 April 2020: The blanket boys (Thursday Things)

Izaak and Dashiell spend a lot of time in the bedroom, since they eat their meals and chicken necks in there. And after they finish, they snuggle under the comforters.

zakbed_1264

Zak generally naps on top of the covers (he prefers to sleep under the covers when humans are there.

dashbed_1265

Dash likes to sleep under the comforters, which is easy since we have the Scandinavian double duvet system.

dashbed_1267

And Dash is so damn cute when he comes out from underneath.

dashbed_1269

I mean, just look!

jakebedfortIMG_3132

What’s funny is, Jacoby used to like to sleep under the covers like that, too. It’s kind of nice.

Aby-a-Day – 15 April 2020: (Mostly) Wordless Wednesday (Dr. Jake says…)

drjakeCovid19G-rated<

(Uncensored Version)

The mask crusader

Imma just leave this here…

Aby-a-Day – 14 April 2020: Emma’s Baby Yoda (Cartoon Tuesday)

The other day, Titti sent us an Easter drawing Emma made. Little creatures in Easter eggs: a lion, an elephant, and…

…Baby Yoda! This kid is going to grow up to be awesome!

The 14th of April is a bittersweet day…

Not only is today Jacoby’s birthday, but it’s also the day Alfred and I went to Jönköping to say goodbye to Logan.

loganfreddyjkpingvetIMG_3031

It was two years ago, and Izaak is a wonderful Singapura and friend to everycat…but I think Freddy still misses his brother from another mother, Logan.