Aby-a-Day – 4 Juli 2020: A holiday I don’t much feel like celebrating

My dad’s birthday is the 4th of July, so I have always thought of today as that first, and then the holiday celebrating the independence of the United States. My dad is 91 today, which is amazing. I haven’t seen him since 2007. I was planning a trip back to visit him…but then Trump was elected. So, lately…I don’t see very much to celebrate, quite honestly.

angel-4th

Boston has cancelled their world-renowned Boston Pops Concert and Fireworks Spectacular, which is amazing to me. It’s broadcast coast to coast, and it’s such a July 4th tradition. Maybe now people will take this pandemic seriously.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juli 2020: I miss cat shows (Friday Flashback)

These are photos from when Lorelai got a NOM at the very first show she was entered in.

roryNOMväkC07702

We had Izaak at this point, but he hadn’t gotten his SVERAK registration yet, so he couldn’t be entered. This was the only show she went to alone.

roryNOMväkC07699

roryNOMväkC07700

roryNOMväkC07701

The photos of Rory trying to nom her NOM ribbon are among my favourite photos of her.

We haven’t been able to go to a cat show since last November (thank you, global pandemic), and I really miss it. I think the cats do, too.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Juli 2020: My birthday present finally arrived! (Thursday Things)

My birthday was a month ago, but my big gift from Björn arrived today: a Baby Yoda doll!

zakbabyyoda_3584

Izaak (rather amusingly) was quite interested in the little green doll.

zakbabyyoda_3587

zakbabyyoda_3588

The Baby Yoda doll also makes sounds.

roryzakbabyyoda_3589

Lorelai did not like the sounds!

babyyodax2_E3592

I have a little Lego-compatible Baby Yoda in his Sphere, so…yeah.

babyyoda_E3597

He (or she) has a cup of bone broth and a Sorgan frog.

babyyoda_E3601

The detail on this doll is spectacular. Hard to believe it’s meant for children over three.

rorybabyyoda_E3599

Rory still doesn’t trust it, though.

babyyoda_E3602

I love it, though. Thank you, Björn!

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Canada day, down Canada way)

jakemittensE_8852

jaketeamcanada10

jakemittensE_8841

jaketeamcanada21

jake4thC02417

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni 2020: Hall of fame (Cartoon Tuesday)

I was so proud of my portrait of the Maltese Dashiell, I wanted to get an art print made with it. So, I went to Japan Photo‘s website (they’re a Swedish photo printing company, like Shutterfly) website and ordered something. I had to do it in Swedish, but I managed all right. One nifty feature they have is allowing you to see your artwork on a wall in a virtual room. That really helped me figure out what size to get. I thought about getting it printed on canvas, but ended up getting it printed on a metal plate.

dashhamwall_3542

Today, Björn and I hung it in our entryhall, above the mirror.

dashhamwall_3545

It works really well there, I think. It’s next to the 1965 print of an Abyssinian that bears a striking resemblance to Alfred.

roryhallway_3546

Finally, my vintage Australian Cat From Outer Space movie poster (that…apparently I have never posted about. Oops) completes our entry hall. I think Lorelai approves of our arrangement.

abyprint_3548

I almost forgot! On the opposite wall, above the keybox, we have this small Abyssinian print I picked up years ago; it was done by Braldt Bralds, a Dutch artist. I’ve also seen this print as a greeting card.

I guess now I need to find a Singapura print to really complete the ensemble.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Juni 2020: An exciting announcement (Medical Monday)

I have an exciting announcement to make…in two weeks, our Lorelai is going to meet a lovely gentleman called Io, who just happens to live with Alfred’s breeder, Karin.

rorynap_3209

We don’t know if Rory carries Cinnamon or if Io carries dilute, but it looks like a very good match. Of course I will keep you posted…but our Rory is going to be a mom!

(Edit: Someone asked about Io. He is a year old, sorrel, and he LOVES kittens. Her Somali, Iris, got out while she was in heat and met a handsome black tom. Io helped her care for them.

He also loves to go outside on his harness and leash. Because kittens’ temperaments are influenced by their father, even if they never meet him, these are two of the reasons I chose him. And since we already have a relationship with Karin, it was kind of a no-brainer.)

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juni 2020: The Mighty Izaak (Singapura Sunday)

When the cats go outside, the Abyssinians bolt out the door and run as fast and as far as they can.

zakoutside_3386

zakoutside_3387

But not Izaak. Zak…well, the best way to describe it is, Zak marches out the door and onto the grass.

zakoutside_3388

He also loves to hunt when he’s outside. Wonder what he sees?

bee_3393

bee_3393

Oh! A honey bee! Zak, please leave that little guy alone…we need all the bees we can get!

zakoutsideClose_3465

zakoutsideClose_3466

That’s not to say that Zak doesn’t run. He does.

freddyzakoutside_3450

He’s usually chasing one of the other cats, but oh, he runs.

zakoutside_E3329

He’s such a sturdy little man. As I mentioned before, someone compared him to Ron Swanson…and apart from the lack of mustache, it’s an apt comparison.

zakoutside_3319

I mean, look at him.

zaktree_3377

Finally, I have this photo. In my opinion, this is Zak’s first iconic photo. Jacoby had a few: Sitting on the carousel, posing in his hat and boots, and the one of him wearing his parka in the snow, among others

Aby-a-Day – 27 Juni 2020: An Angel watching from on high (Swedish Saturday

On one of our forays outside, Angel was on the balcony, and, as I knew she was happy there, I didn’t bring her out with us.

angeldashoutside_3363

And I was right. She joined us, in her way.

angelfreddyzakoutside_3372

She perched on the balcony and watched the other cats below.

angeloutside_3369

She was perfectly happy to be with us, but by herself.

roryzakdashoutside_3358

I love this photo of Dashiell looking back up at her.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Juni 2020: “Face masks in public spaces do not provide any greater protection to the population” (Fashion Friday)

You may recall my post back in April about cat-themed face masks to wear as a defence against spreading Covid-19. Even though Sweden has been famously against face masks (I went out shopping today and saw ZERO masks apart from my own), the tide may be changing; Dr. Tengele may be changing his opinion on masks (finally).

The above mask came from a link on Facebook. It’s cute, and a double layer of cotton. Unfortunately, it’s too hot to wear in the summer.

abyfacemask_3443

singafacemask_3444

I love these two masks featuring a (Singapuras and BLUE Abyssinians wearing masks…but they are also double-layer (and have a pocket for a charcoal filter), and way too hot to wear in summer.

bluecatsfacemask_3445

my favourite mask was made by my friend Airie of Simply Sphynx. It’s a single layer cotton mask with a cute kitty print on.

bluecatsfacemask_3446

It’s very breathable and comfortable to wear – my favourite thing about this mask is that it doesn’t loop around the ears like all the others. When you wear glasses, that can be a real issue.

zakmask_E3497

But nobody reads this blog to see photos of me, so…

zakmask_E3495

…Here is Izaak wearing the Singapura mask.

rorymask_3503

I absolutely love that this mask features BLUE Abyssinians.

rorymask_3502

Lorelai…not so much.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Juni 2020: More magpies (Thursday Things)

The other day when we went outside, poor Alfred was the target of magpie harrassment.

freddymagpie_3440

He ran down the hill and the magpies were ON him.

freddymagpieClose_3440

Look at this in close-up.

freddymagpie_3441

I don’t think Freddy even noticed the angry birds attacking him.

freddymagpieClose_3441

Here’s a close-up of the second magpie attack.

magpie_3402

After that second attack, they stood down, but remained watchful.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Lorelai found a feather!)

roryzakfeather_3418

roryzakfeather_3419

roryzakfeather_3421

roryzakfeather_3422

roryzakfeather_3423

roryzakfeather_3424

roryzakfeather_3425

roryzakfeather_3426

roryzakfeather_3427

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni 2020: A quick editorial sketch (Cartoon Tuesday)

Chatting with a group of friends yesterday evening, I had a sudden thought that I needed to draw immediately, because I knew it would amuse them. I drew this in almost exactly an hour; I asked for a breed suggestion at 19:33 and shared it with my friends at 20:31. I am not going to explain it here…if you get it, you get it. That’s the nature of editorial cartoons.

MCGA

I also exported the drawing stream, because they are so much fun to watch. Remember that this is all one hour, and you can see my idea evolving as I draw it (Click on the image to watch it in Flickr).

Aby-a-Day – 22 Juni 2020: Izaak and the blanket (Mischievous Monday)

The other day when we went outside, one of our neighbours had left a blanket under a tree. We picked it up and hung it on the rug beating frame. There was a bit of a breeze, and the blanket had a fringe, so Izaak started playing with it.

zakblanket_3270close

Or attacking it. It’s open to interpretation.

zakblanket_3271

Sometimes I forget that Zak is only two years old…Logan was such a little old man, even though he only lived 13 months, I am always surprised at how playful Zak is.

zakblanket_3271close

Look at that concentration. That blanket is going to regret its life choices.

zakblanket_3273

It was so much fun watching him “hunt” the blanket.

zakblanket_3274

zakblanket_3274close

Bite! Bite! Bite!

zakblanket_3275

It’s amazing how much fun cats can have with ordinary household objects.

zakblanket_3276

zakblanket_3277

It was funny that he used his mouth more than his hands. I think Abys would be more handsy and less mouthy.

zakblanket_3279

…And just like that, Zak was done.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juni 2020: Izaak and his family (Singapura Sunday)

Today on Facebook, Anna (Izaak’s breeder) posted a photo of her newest litter of kittens.

Turns out, these kittens are Zak’s full siblings! Their father is Tinytoy Rus Mafoj*PL
and their mother is Angelina Minimali*PL.

Zak also has two older, famous brothers. Paolo and Keiko, five years older than Zak, are famous for their adventures. And they had another adventure (of sorts) today: Paolo and Keiko got neutered!

p+kcones

It wasn’t long before they escaped their Cones of Shame, but their human Kinsey sent me this video of them. Just click on the image to watch the video in another tab on Flickr.

It’s so cool to be part of such an illustrious family!

Aby-a-Day – 20 Juni 2020: Happy Gotcha Day! (Special Saturday)

Two years ago today, I travelled to Stockholm to collect our little Izaak.

zakIMG_3612

His harness was almost too big for him, even adjusted to the smallest size..

zaktrainIMG_3630

He was so tiny…

zakrorydishwashC06728

Zak and Lorelai bonded over leftovers. This is the day after he arrived.

zakrunC07073

zakfreddyrunC07026

Two days after that, he had his first outside adventure.

zakmousieC07297

He quickly discovered his favourite, IKEA mice. This was his fifth day with us.

zak1stvet_3779

The day after that…

zak1stvet_3795

…we had our first trip to the vet…

zak1stvet_3800

…our first visit to DjurMagazinet…

zak1stvet_3821

…and our first walk home. Little Zak did a LOT in his first week with us!

kylie-home

But it isn’t just Zak’s Gotcha Day. Fifteen years ago today, we answered a Craigslist ad and brought Kylie home from Quincy. We had to stop at Petco on the way home to buy a carrier!

kylietess2020_7093

This is her and Tessie today, back in Boston. I can’t believe she is 15! And, in a month and a half, Tessie will be 17!

Harri-baby

But wait, there’s more! 29 years ago, today, I got Harri, my very first Siamese. We were on our way to an SCA event, and we picked him up on the way.

harriSCA0153a

He camped with us for his first several days with us before we got him home. That’s probably why he was such a good traveller.

harrikylieleg

He was 14 years old when we got Kylie…but he was very fond of her. Seems that 20 June is a good day to get a kitten!

Aby-a-Day – 19 Juni 2020: Glad Midsommar, allihopa! (Fashion Friday)

This weekend is one of Sweden’s two most important holidays: Midsommar, which celebrates the Summer Solstice.

zakmidsommer_E3294

Much like Jul, the Winter Solstice celebration, the main celebration is on the day before the actual holiday. This year, Midsommmarafton is today.

zakmidsommer_E3295

One of the Midsommarafton tradition is the making and wearing of flower crowns. You may recall last Midsommar, when everyone modeled a silk flower crown.

zakmidsommer_E3296

So, the other day when I was outside with the cats, I sat on the lawn and made a little daisy chain with some buttercups woven in for more colour. Izaak came over to see what I was doing.

zakmidsommer_E3297

So, when I finished the crown, I put it on his head to try it out. It wasn’t great. Sigh. Sometimes I miss the way Jacoby would pose with ANYthing on his head.

zakmidsommer_E3298

I posted the top photo on this IS an airport, please announce your departure: aeroplane ear posting, and it’s even more popular than the one of Zak with Alfred! I posted the top photo 18 hours ago…and there are 2058 reactions!

And, oh…the comments! This one in particular really got me, because I just started watching Parks and Recreation a month or so ago.

This was my response…I love Ron Swanson.

(Editor’s note: Since this is a public Facebook group, I didn’t block out the names on the screenshots in this post. If you want your name blocked out on my post, please comment and I’ll edit the photo. But if you are here from the Earplane group…thanks for all the love this week! I really needed it!)

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juni 2020: King of the Dustbowl (Thursday Things)

On one of our outside adventures, Izaak discovered a wicked awesome dustbowl at the base of a tree.

zakdustbowl_3230

It wasn’t in the sun, but oh, it was still perfect. And Zak was going to keep it all to himself, prepared to fight it with everything he had.

zakrorydustbowl_3225

First Lorelai came to check it out.

zakrorydustbowl_3226

Look at how Zak watches her.

zakfreddydustbowl_3223

Alfred tried a sneakier method. He pretended he was scratching the tree…

zakfreddydustbowl_3235

…and then tried to take it over.

zakfreddydustbowl_3224

Zak was more than ready for him.

zakfreddydustbowl_3237

Freddy wasn’t about to give up to a cat he outweighs by 70% after only one attempt.

zakfreddydustbowl_3239

I am not sure what he was trying to accomplish with this move, but…

zakfreddydustbowl_3239close

…Zak was NOT falling for it.

zakfreddydustbowl_3240

“Really Freddy? REALLY!?”

zakfreddydustbowl_3242

“Okay, dude. Back off!”

zakfreddydustbowl_3243

zakfreddydustbowl_3245

“Okay, that’s technically still my dust, but fine. But like a good neighbour, STAY OVER THERE.”

zakfreddydustbowl_3244

“I can’t even with you right now, Freddy.”

zakfreddydustbowl_3246

zakfreddydustbowl_3249

After his roll, Freddy made another siege on Zak’s dustbowl.

zakfreddydustbowl_3250

Clearly, this attack is Freddy playing a long game.

zakfreddydustbowl_3252

Obviously, it’s the old “yeah, keep your dumb dustbowl” trick.

zakdustbowl_3254

“Just how stupid does he think I am?”

zakfreddydustbowl_3258

Freddy walked around the tree and was right back in Zak’s face. Clearly, Zak was expecting him.

zakfreddydustbowl_3257

And then, adding insult to injury, Freddy had the nerve to do Zak a heckin’ blep! A BLEP! I loved this last photo so much, on Sunday I posted it to a wonderful Facebook group called this IS an airport, please announce your departure: aeroplane ear posting (as you can see in the top photo), and as of this writing, 1,130 people have reacted to it!

Some of the comments people made were brilliant, too. I laughed so hard at this thread.

I particularly love this comment thread, because indeed, this is a classic Singapura stink-eye.

(Editor’s note: Since this is a public Facebook group, I didn’t block out the names on the screenshots in this post. If you want your name blocked out on my post, please comment and I’ll edit the photo. But if you are here from the Earplane group…thanks for all the love this week! I really needed it!)

Sparta and Bob Hunt with StarClan

Sad news. Two of the world’s most famous cats have died this week. Sparta the Mean Kitty and Bob the Street Cat have died.

Sparta became famous when his human, Cory (aka Mr. Safety) posted his Mean itty song on YouTube in September 2007. That video, as of today, has had 91,004,261 views!

But on Sunday, 11 June, Sparta apparently had a saddle thrombosis and his back end was paralysed. Sobbing, Cory posted a short video to let Sparta’s fans know what was happening before he rushed to the vet. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done, and he had to be euthanised.

After Sparta was gone, Cory posted his last video on his Mean Kitty channel. He described what had happened, and thanked his followers. Sparta went from Southern California to Alaska to Oklahoma with Cory and his family. Over the span of 13 years, we followed the life of a man and his cat.

Then, today, Hodder & Stoughton and James Bowen announced the death of Bob the cat on 15 June at the age of at least 14 years on their Facebook page.

I’m sure most of you know about Bob from his books and movie. A busker living rough in Covent Garden selling newspapers meets a cat who decided that he wanted to adopt that human.

James Bowen says “Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing. The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous. He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again. I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.” And oh, how I understand how he feels…Jacoby wasn’t as famous as Bob…but I feel his light going out in his life sentiment.

2020 can bite my shiny metal ass.

May StarClan light your path, and you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep, Sparta and Bob. You will be missed.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (“Kill no more pigeons than you can eat”)

freddypigeon_3106

freddypigeon_3107

freddypigeon_3108

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni 2020: Clan of Cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

When I woke up this morning, I had every intention of working on either my drawing of Kiipi and her kitten, or my drawing of Alfred the Cat Burglar.

CoC2

But instead of that, do you know what I did? I played a game

CoC1

I downloaded the game Clan of Cats years ago, but I never played it. Until today. For some reason, I randomly decided to give it a spin. And it’s actually a lot of fun. You’re a cat, and you gather your clanmembers, build your home base (apparently these cats use fire and build log forts, but okay), fight creatures to get magic, fight bosses and conquer other clans.

CoC4

It could be so much more; you could be able to interact with other players, you could be able to play it on a Mac or a PC, you could be able to really customise your cat…but hey. You can fight alligators in water and kill them with fireballs.

CoC5

See all the dead alligators? Good times.