Aby-a-Day – 27 November 2020: Jake’s fabulous turkey outfit (Fashion Friday Flashback)

I know I’ve posted Jacoby and his fabulous turkey outfit many times before, but the memory came up again on Facebook this week, and I couldn’t resist sharing it again.

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Preparing for the fashion show at the Westchester Cat Club show, Jake didn’t just wear that thing. He owned it. So much so that the creator gifted it to Jake after the show.

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He posed so perfectly on that green sofa.

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Jake was so confident, he didn’t mind sharing the sofa with another contestant.

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My favourite thing about that turkey outfit is that even Jake himself knew how good he looked wearing it.

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He looked at himself for the longest time, admiring himself. I know they say cats don’t recognise themselves in mirrors, but I think Jake definitely did.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Oktober 2020: Jacoby’s diva scarf (Friday Fashion Flashback)

This week, Facebook reminded me of the time Jacoby modelled a scarf my ex brought back from a business trip to India.

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And oh, how he wore it.

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Jake was such an awesome model.

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He just…got it.

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Jake was just so…special. I don’t know how or why, but together, we could do anything. Some days I really miss him.

Aby-a-Day – 18 September 2020: Sorry I’m late…(Fashion Friday)

You know those ads for customisable T-shirts on Facebook? Well, I clicked on one. And then I made a shirt…”just to see what it would look like.”

Yeah, right.

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Well, it came on Wednesday. I love it…I am particularly fond of the way Alfred looks.

Aby-a-Day – 17 September 2020: Me and my shadow (Thursday Things)

Because he follows me everywhere, I call Izaak my “little shadow.” But there are times when he is literally my shadow.

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When the sun is just right…

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…Zak’s shadow shadows me.

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There goes my shadow…and his shadow.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Augusti 2020: “It is very dangerous to believe face masks would change the game when it comes to COVID-19”

Hello from Sweden, where the nation’s head epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, tells the citizenry that face masks are “dangerous.” Well, he’s started to come under fire for his stubborn failure to change the advice he’s been giving since February. At least some Swedes are starting to stand up to him and wear masks!

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You may remember my post back in June where I showed off my collection of masks.

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Well, I just got this new “Six feet, people” mask from a company called Gossby. It’s a fun site, acutally: you can choose the phrase that appears on the mask, and you can choose the colours of the cat. Of course, I chose Abyssinian colours.

I also ordered this mask from them, but it hasn’t arrived yet. Sure looks like an Aby/Somali to me!

They have some cute masks, though. There are even some you can customise to look like your own cats and include their names. I like the wording on this one…the cats, not so much.

Especially when you have this mask, where the cats actually look like breeds. I mean, look at the Izaak cat; that is totally a Singapura! And the Dashiell and Angel cats…well, all of them! But I want the quarantining wording with these cats, so I am conflicted. Maybe I’ll send them an email.

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But, as I always say, no one reads this blog to see photos of me, so here is Alfred wearing my new mask.

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Be honest: Who wore it better?

Aby-a-Day – 7 Augusti 2020: The cats and the hat (Funny “Fashion” Friday)

The other day when we went outside, I found someone’s old prismatic New Year’s Eve hat from 2017 (it was written inside the brim; I’m not psychic).

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Izaak was the first to investigate it.

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And when I say he investigated it, he thoroughly investigated it.

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I am not sure what his final analysis was.

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Next up to check out the hat was Lorelai.

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“Um…what?”

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Big brother Alfred swooped in to protect Rory if there had proved to be a threat.

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All three cats seemed perplexed by the silly hat.

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Later on, they simply ignored it as Zak started to stalk and chase Rory.

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They sped past it like it was just another tree or bush.

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In case you’re wondering, Zak caught 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 – 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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 – 29 Maj 2020: The Frankentree (Fashion Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of the creation of the Frankentree that we keep on the balcony.

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Angel loves sunning herself on there.

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But then, she liked it before it was upgraded.

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Alfred and Jacoby were also ond of the Frankentree…

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…although it was a bit awkward when Freddy tried to nap in the cubby.

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Logan loved the Frankentree.

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But Angel and Lorelai continue to be the biggest fans of the Frankentree.

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Although Angel doesn’t seem to enjoy sharing it with anyone.

Aby-a-Day – 22 Maj 2020: Facebook has all the memories! It has the best memories! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, Facebook reminded me of the time we got bored at a cat show and put some of the hair I had groomed off Jacoby and put it on his head.

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After I did that, we noticed that the pile of hair on Jake’s bore a striking resemblance to a certain American president.

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Especially from the side.

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Jake was always such a good sport…

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…and he really could rock anything he wore, too. I miss that.

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.

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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!

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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!

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

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

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

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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!

Aby-a-Day – 27 Mars 2020: “You have to stop the Q-Tip when there’s resistance!”

I don’t remember exactly where I came across these (I think it was probably Kickstarter), but the idea of a reusable Q-Tip was very appealing to me. So when I discovered LastSwab, I had to try it.

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Originally, I was intrigued on my own behalf, because I use a Q-Tip every time I take a shower (full disclosure: They clean well, but they don’t soak up the water I get in my ears, so not perfect). But then I realised they would be awesome to use on the cats’ ears when I do their biweekly grooming (claw clipping, toothbrushing, ears, anal glands and combing). Depending on the cat, I use two to three Q-Tips per ear! So I got a LastSwab for each cat.

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Each cat has varying degrees of waxy build-up. Alfred, like Jacoby, has the dirtiest ears. Lorelai and Dashiell are next, then Angel and finally Izaak. So I used Freddy as my model.

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They are a little more “grabby” than cotton swabs, with those little nubs.

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Look how much wax they collect! Jake had chronic yeast infections in his ears, and I suspect Freddy has the same; problem is, Freddy’s insanely hard to give drops to. So I usually do an extra cleaning on his ears on the off weekends.

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On Freddy and Jake, I could use three or four swabs in a go. Add in the other cats’ ears…that’s a lot of swabs. I can get all of Freddy’s wax in one go with these. They clean easily with just soap and water, and if you think about it, it’s not much different from having a toothbrush.

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There you go, Freddy…all clean!

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Okay, Freddy…that’s a little too much enthusiasm.

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Postscript…Rory’s LastSwab case suffered a broken clip the first time I used it. I reached out to the company…and they are sending me a whole new LastSwab! All I wanted was a new case. That’s pretty great customer service!

Aby-a-Day – 20 Mars 2020: Toothy Towels (Fashion Friday)

This was back in 2017, but Björn found the cutest embroidered towels in the That’s Sew Creative shop on Etsy.

Just look at these cute designs…and don’t they look like Abys? We had been using my Yoga Cat towel on the tub, but the minute I saw these, I knew we had to have them.

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I had only two requirements…we had to have dark grey towels, and her machine needed to be able to make the Ö in Björn. Which, as you can see, she could do.

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Here’s mine. I love the bow on the tail. They make me smile every time I go into the bathroom.

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But are they Abyssinians?

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Alfred seems to think so.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Mars 2020: Coronavirus 1, St. Patrick 0 (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been cancelled out of concern for COVID-19. This is the first time in 26 years the parade has been cancelled. The city of Boston is also postponing the Boston Marathon next month and even the Red Sox spring training and regular season will be delayed.

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I went to my first parade when I moved to Boston in 2000, and stood in front of what at the time was a vacant building. Little did I know that I would eventually live in that very building!

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Naturally, St. Patrick’s Day and the parade was a big part of Jacoby’s life. Our apartment overlooked one of the staging areas, and Jake loved to watch the activity below. His first St. Patrick’s Day, I got him a T-shirt from a shop in Faneuil Hall. What could be more Boston than that?

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Later on, Jake added a shamrock tie and a Celtics jersey to his holiday wardrobe.

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I had actually forgotten about this shamrock sun-hat. I think he only wore it that one time, just for photos.

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He also had his shamrock patterned walking harness. When we lived on the 5th floor, we didn’t face West Broadway, so Jake and I would go downstairs to see the parade in person.

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Angel, on the other hand, was content to watch the parade on television.

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When we moved to the new apartment on the 4th floor, we could just watch the parade from our windows. I think Jake kind of missed going outside to experience it; Angel, meanwhile, was perfectly content watching the parade from our windows.

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It’s a little surreal to think of the parade just not happening. I mean, they even held it the year we had the record snowfall! Okay, it wasn’t as bad as in my cartoon, but it did snow on the day of the parade!

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The last year we lived in Boston, we just watched it from the windows again. Now, though, I kind of wish we’d gone downstairs.

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I’m pretty sure Angel wishes we’d gone downstairs, too.

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In a way, it feels a little bit right, not having the parade the first year Jake isn’t alive for it.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Mars 2020: The Big Boston Blizzard of 2015 (Friday Fashion Friday Flashback)

Five years ago this week, Jacoby and Angel experienced what would be Boston’s record snowfall for the first time.

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I couldn’t take them in the courtyard as usual because reasons. So I took them just in front of the building.

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Of course, they were fully decked out in their coats.

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It was…a less than optimal photo location. but we did our best. I am still proud to have lived in Boston the year of the record snowfall.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Februari 2020: New collars and travel leashes (Fashion Friday)

I thought I had posted about this here, but apparently I only ever mentioned it on Facebook: I am bereft. I just discovered my friend, Sally Keats, died last month. She was the person who made all my leashes and collars…I have “known” her for at least 10 years. I just can’t even.

I had been in the middle of a conversation with her about a new collar for Dashiell. She had gotten a new shade of green leather and we were excited to use it on Dash’s new collar, so he would have something a little different from Jacoby. She had beat cancer, and when she didn’t respond to my messages, I got concerned…and discovered she had died.

Reluctantly, I had to find a new person to make collars and leashes for the cats. So I went to Etsy and looked for people who make kangaroo leather show leads and collars. I looked for people in Europe…and, serendipitously, I found Emoticon Leads, and Jessica…in Jönköping!

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When I had been trying to contact Sally, besides Dash’s own collar (and not one of Jake’s hand-me-downs), I had wanted short leashes for the show cats, because the long ones we have are a bit unmanageable on the train. After finding Jessica, I decided to get everycat a new collar (it’s been a while for all of them, especially Angel) as well as the travel leashes for Izaak, Lorelai and Dash.

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They arrived last week. Angel and Alfred’s collars on their own, and the others in lovely silk bags. Jessica also made little paracord tassels to match the three leashes.

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Jessica uses smaller rings on the collars than Sally did. It’s kind of nice. A little more dainty and cat-like. I really like the purples on Angel’s collar.

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Zak’s collar and leash in shades of blue. Jessica made the leash handles openable adjustable, the same way Sally did.

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Rory’s collar and leash in shades of red. Jessica has bronze hardware as well as brass, and she used the bronze for Rory.

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And here is Dash’s collar and leash. Jessica had the same new green that Sally had. I think it’s really pretty, and perfect for Dash. It’s also different from all the collars and leashes Jake had, which is kind of nice.

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And here are all the new collars in action! Angel’s purple always looks so good with her sorrel fur.

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Freddy’s new collar has more grey and less black. It suits him.

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Rory’s collar looks like it’s just red, but it’s actually three different, subtle, shades of red.

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I love Zak’s combination of blues. Blue really goes with sepia.

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And here is Dash, proudly wearing his very first, all his own, green collar.

Aby-a-Day- 31 Januari 2020: The manbun that wouldn’t die (Photoshop Friday)

You know, say what you will about the internet and Facebook in particular, but sometimes it can be a very silly and hilarious place. Remember Jacoby’s manbun? The other day I found a Facebook group called This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED.

Well, of course I had to join! By way of introduction, I posted the close-up photo of Jacoby with his manbun.

And it BLEW UP. I posted it on Wednesday, and as of this evening, my post has had 1,568 reactions and 98 comments. Wow.

Some of the comments on my post were awesomely hilarious:

“Khajiit has wares, if you have coin.”

“This cat has a 100% chance of stealing your girlfriend”

“This Cat is STEVEN SEAGAL”

“That’s one sexy cat! 🔥🐈
I am a little concerned about the fact that I think a cat is sexy though…”

“Jason Momoa in cat form?” “Jason MeowMeowa”

“He looks like he became a millionaire from Bitcoin but has since spent most of it on cocaine.”

And then, people started commenting with Photoshops they’d done including Jake and his Manbun.

Miroslav created a dating profile for Jake, with the caption “Unpopular opinion, Jacoby.” Someone else responded, “Nah, he vapes catnip in enclosed public spaces”

Micaela included Jake in a collage of celebrity manbuns.

Abigail had Smudge the cat confront Jake. Someone commented on her work, “I’m just here, trying to enjoy my salad, and I’m getting upstaged.”

Angela envisioned him as part of the cast of 90210.

But perhaps my favourite was the first photo comment, which started with Jessica asking me, “Can I use this photo for my religion? (ask me what my religion is). When I said, “Ohhhkay…what is your religion?, she responded with this:

I’m interested.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Juli: Remembering Jake’s man bun (Photoshop/Fashion Friday Flashback)

The other day, watching TV, a commercial for small loans came on, featuring “typical Swedes.” The man in the advert is meant to be Lars Johansson (the Swedish version of “Joe Average”), complete with manbun. I laughed and said, “Jeez…And of course he has a manbun! Manbuns are so 2016!”

Which reminded me of the time I Photoshopped a manbun on Jacoby. I’m still pretty proud of this one.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juli: Cat toys trump all (Fashion Friday)

In Kensington High Street, I discovered a brilliant card shop called Scribbler. But not only did they have cards (of which I purchased many), but they also had cat toys. I was not expecting that.

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And these weren’t just any cat toys…these were none other than the leader of the flea world, Donald Trump cat toys.

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Well of course I had to. In case you were wondering, the UK really dislikes Trump – the rumours are true. He’s the only non-UK political figure to be made into a cat toy. That’s saying something.

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It was our last full day in London, and it occurred to me that we hadn’t gotten any souvenirs for the cats. So, I Googled “best cat shop London” and found Pet London. It’s not a big, fancy store, but it is awesome and a definite must-see on a trip to London if you need souvenirs for the kitties, especially since most of the shops I found catered more to the canine crowd.

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It’s definitely a hidden gem of a shop. It’s on the top floor of a rather ordinary office building in Marleybone. We almost didn’t see it.

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You ring the buzzer to be let in. There’s a tiny elevator (Björn and I were very cozy) and, of course, stairs.

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But it is so worth it! They had an amazing collection of cat items – including kitty clothing!

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A lot of their items were their own designs, too. They even have a plushie of their feline mascot (I told them that if they ever mass-produced them to save me one).

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That’s not all they had…they had a different Trump toy, this time for dogs.

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And they also had a catnip Vlad Putin to go with that catnip Trump I bought earlier!

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Shirtless, of course…complete with cowboy boots. Of course I had to buy it. Oh, yeah.

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And nifty story, the catnip Putin and Trumpy chew toy are from a company based in Vermont.

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I also got this Catnium credit card…

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…and a Catberry, both with their signature kitty on them.

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Both of them have catnip inside of them. The credit card rattles, and the Catberry has feathers on its antenna.

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But, as we’ve seen before, cat toys that appeal to humans don’t always appeal to their target audience. So, did the cats enjoy their British gifts? To be continued…

Aby-a-Day: June’s over? Julying! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Four years ago, I posted about how Canadian-born Jacoby tended to get a little confused about what to wear the first few days of July.

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To prove this point, I dressed him up in an Uncle Sam hat along with a maple leaf bandanna and Team Canada sweater.

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He was such a legend at posing with outfits on.

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And his eyes…so expressive!

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And then…someone came and photobombed our little modelling session. Jake knew it immediately.

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“Tessie’s right behind me, ruining my photo, isn’t she..?”

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“Tessie, do you mind? I’m kinda doing a thing here.”

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“Right. Let’s get back to the posing.” I’m just sorry I never found a Sweden jersey for him to pose in.