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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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The Baby Yoda doll also makes sounds.

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Lorelai did not like the sounds!

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

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

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

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Rory still doesn’t trust it, though.

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I love it, though. Thank you, Björn!

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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 – 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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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…Here is Izaak wearing the Singapura mask.

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I absolutely love that this mask features BLUE Abyssinians.

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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.

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

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Look at this in close-up.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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First Lorelai came to check it out.

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Look at how Zak watches her.

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

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…and then tried to take it over.

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Zak was more than ready for him.

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

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

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…Zak was NOT falling for it.

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“Really Freddy? REALLY!?”

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“Okay, dude. Back off!”

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

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

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

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Clearly, this attack is Freddy playing a long game.

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

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“Just how stupid does he think I am?”

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

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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!)

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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See all the dead alligators? Good times.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Juni 2020: More Magpies (Movie Monday)

I know I posted about magpies just yesterday, but by sheer coincidence we had another magpie encounter this afternoon.

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Björn and I were outside with the cats, when the magpies started yelling. We looked over, and sure enough, they were yelling at Alfred.

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Freddy noped out, but Izaak was very interested in what was going on up in the branches.

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The magpies yelled at Zak, and Zak yelled right back at them.

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Lorelai, of course, was also interested in the screeching birds.

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She looked like she wanted to go up after them, but she didn’t go any higher in the tree.

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Zak, on the other hand…

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…I think even Rory was impressed with how high Zak was willing to climb.

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Zak is a deceptively good climber.

Here is a video of the entire encounter with the magpies. It’s sometimes hard to see them in the leaves, but you can certainly hear them!

Aby-a-Day – 14 Juni 2020: Lorelai and the Magpie (Swedish Sunday)

One thing I missed whilst living in New England was magpies.

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I grew up in the Northern California valley, the only place on the planet that is home to Yellow-Billed Magpies, and they are my favourite bird. The ones we have in Sweden are the usual Black-Billed sort…but it’s stlll nice to have them around.

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When we go out with the cats, the resident magpies keep a sharp eye on us.

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Mostly. When we went out the other day, this magpie brazenly decided to watch the cats from the ground.

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At first, Lorelai didn’t see the magpie.

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Until she did.

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Rory stalked the magpie for a while.

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And then, oddly, she just stopped. I am not sure why.

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She didn’t chase the magpie, but the magpie didn’t fly away, either. They just sort of looked at each other.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juni 2020: The Ministry of Silly Runs returns (Silly Sunday)

Cats. Graceful, elegant cats.

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Until you freeze their action in 1/30 of a second.

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Then, as Dashiell demonstrates, they can look a little…well, goofy.

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Izaak, too, has a fairly silly run.

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Lorelai can look like poetry in motion…

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…or, not.

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This is her impression of a dolphin…I think? Or an otter. Something aquatic.

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And then we have Alfred.

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It’s like he was re-enacting his run at that same corner when we had snow on the ground back in March.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juni 2020: Chris lost his head (Friday Flashback)

Bear with me, here…I am sad and not just a little bit angry. Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Christopher Columbus statue in Boston’s Christopher Columbus Park was beheaded. It will now be going into storage for an undefined period of time.

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I have posted about this statue back when I lived in Boston. Politics aside, I have always admired the workmanship on this statue. It never felt like a “white man’s burden” statue to me (unlike so many other racist statues). Made or marble imported from Carrara, an ancient quarry in Tuscany, and erected by the Knights of Columbus, an organization dominated by Italian Americans, the statue (which is in Boston’s North End, the Italian neighbourhood), always seemed to be more about being of Italian descent than about Colonialism.

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We didn’t go to Christopher Columbus Park very often, as there were closer parks along the Harborwalk, but I always liked going there with Jacoby.

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It’s Boston’s oldest waterfront park. I wish we had gone there more often.

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But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the unconditional trust I had with Jake. I could put him anywhere and he’d pose for a photo.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Juni 2020: Happy 13th birthday, Angel! (Thursday Things)

Despite strong evidence to the contrary, 11 June is the day we celibrate Angel’s birthday, and today she is 13.

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Despite having done this eleven times before, Angel was still a bit wary of the candles.

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She got over it pretty quickly. You know, food…Abys…

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I blew out her candles, but she was still a little skeptical.

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But eventually Angel tucked in.

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Once she started to eat, it was game over.

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And now, she is a woman.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Lorelai and the Cycle)

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Aby-a-Day – 9 Juni 2020: Freddy the cat burglar (Cartoon Tuesday)

I had an idea today that I just had to sketch out. I was musing that I draw a lot of cartoons witch feature Lorelai and Izaak (especially Zak), but not so many starring Alfred. And I had a lightbulb go off in my head. I started out with the above sketch and a sneaky walk animation sequence I found online.

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This is my final sketch. Freddy the cat burglar! He’s got keys and a crowbar because his specialty is breaking and entering.

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Because Procreate has a recording feature, and I did all this work on my iPad (unlike some other drawings that go back and forth between Procreate and Photoshop), I also have a video of the drawing developing. Click on the image to watch it in a new tab/window on Flickr.