Aby-a-Day – 20 Maj: It’s not as easy to make a 29 second video of a cat running down a hill as it looks…(Movie Monday)

So I am pretty proud of my Little House on the Prairie spoof with Izaak running down the hill that I posted yesterday. Mainly because it looks so perfect…but it wasn’t as easy as it looked.

Someone on Facebook asked me why I put Zak in Slo-Mo. Well…the reason is…he runs too fast when he gets going. This is the first part of what I ended up using…a whopping five seconds.

Here’s the ending bit. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. So yeah, you can see why it was slowed down.

But it really took a lot more work than it looked. We had Lorelai and Alfred out there, too…my original thought was to have Rory and Zak running together down the hill. That just didn’t work out. Here are all the takes we did…with the original sound.

Aby-a-Day – 20 July: “Having one eye makes you see the world in unusual ways” (Flashback Friday)

Yesterday’s post about that horrific situation in Rhode Island naturally reminded me of Angel’s situation. It was ten years ago this October that I collected her in California, but it was around mid-July that I was being approved to adopt her. This is her story, as I was told it by Purebreds Plus, her rescue:

“The story behind Angel’s eye and foster situation is sad; The breeder had a couple of tough years with her mother who was sick and dying and in the midst of this her pregnant females in December of 2006 – January 2007 were getting sick. Almost 75% of the kittens born were dead or died shortly after birth. She had never had this problem before and only when the pet food information came did she begin to put things together as she was feeding some of the recalled foods. When she bred her females (and a couple of the kittens born to them), health problems showed up in the lines – Herpes infections like none seen before with ulcerated eyes and very sick cats. Not being as careful as usual, her numbers increased and unhealthy cats increased.

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I met the breeder at a cat show in October 2007 and we talked about me taking some of her cats. I knew nothing about the situation. A week before Christmas she called me and we set January 1 as the day I would take 5 of her cats. The very next day she took 4 other cats to the Humane Society and asked that 3 be put down and the other (Angel) be put up for adoption. Two days later the Humane Society paid a visit and found a house with over 60 cats, spotlessly clean. She gave up the sickest cats and others, totaling 18 cats. The Humane Society called us, and on Friday December 20th, we spent 3 hours there bathing cats’/kittens’ eyes that were horribly stuck together and gave meds. They could only allow us to take the original 4 as there is a 72 hour rule in California. Sunday the 23rd we went back and took the other 16 (2 had died). Then at the breeder’s house we took 5 more cats – a total of 14 kittens and 11 others between 5 months and 14 months. We separated the kittens by illness levels and 9 of the healthiest kittens went to Southern California Aby Rescue. Unfortunately 5 of those died. Of the 5 that we kept, 2 died over the next 3 months, both of FIP. The other 3 were adopted. Of the other Abys 2 of the younger ones died and the others were adopted except Angel, who had many problems over the months finally with an eye ulcerating in April. She has been healthy since..

(Angel also had another medical problem: when they removed her ulcerated eye, the veterinarian – for a reason I can’t fathom – put a prosthetic eye into Angel’s eye socket. Her body rejected it. So she had to undergo another surgery to remove her fake eye!)

The problems:

· Upper Respiratory Infections that finally healed, then eyes ulcerated. Some eyes were saved and a couple had the eye removed. This was different than the normal herpes infections that we had seen in rescue where the conjunctiva was swollen and goopy. The eyes ulcerated seemingly overnight and it was a relentless treatment regime that could save then (if it did) (Angel is in this group, obviously).

· Bordatella – took 6 weeks of Doxycycline to go away

· Some of the cats were vaccinated (for FIP). Of the cats that died, they all had vaccines and 3-6 weeks after got sick and then died of FIP. The breeder begged us not to vaccinate because she had the same problem.

· Ringworm – Over the 7 months we have taken 35 cats and have about 10 more coming. The ones we have seen since April have not been as ill and that is what we expect of the remaining 10.”

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It’s been ten years…Finally, after moving to Sweden and being in a hierarchy where she is, at long last, the oldest female, Angel seems to be becoming “comfortable” in her home…or, at least, more comfortable. I don’t think she’ll ever be a “normal” Abyssinian…but at least with us, she can be herself. Whoever that is.

Aby-a-Day – 12 April: My first wedding – Part 2 (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted the cartoon I did for the holiday card I sent out just before I got married to my first husband.

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This is the drawing I did on the invitation. Again, Harri the Siamese is prominently featured. I sent Björn and his then-fiancee an invitation…but they weren’t able to attend.

Aby-a-Day – 5 April: My first wedding – Part 1 (Cartoon Tuesday)

Despite meeting Björn in 1992, he will be my – gasp! – third husband! My first husband and I were both members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and we got married in medieval garb. Our wedding was held on New Year’s Eve; we had the reception first and then got married just before midnight. The SCA’s big holiday celebration (and dress-up event) is Twelfth Night, and in the West Kingdom it’s typically held the first Saturday in January.

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This was my Christmas/12th Night card to our friends in 1992, and of course I sent one to Björn. He recently found it and, since we’re getting married in less than two weeks, I thought I’d share it because it also shows my Siamese, Harri. Harri actually came to the wedding as Best Cat and had a wonderful time. Harri was actually quite the party cat – I think he and Jacoby would have been great friends.

Aby-a-Day – 18 March: Approaching the Finish Line (Friday Flashback…sort of)

One month from today, on Marathon Monday, Björn and I are getting married (finally!) in Manchester, NH.

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The 18th is a day for us. On 18 March 1992, I responded to that first letter he sent me, which started our 24-year-long friendship. We say that’s when it officially started, because it wasn’t a friendship until I wrote back. Before that, it was just a letter he sent to someone in the States.

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18 June 2014 is when we reconnected and started messaging each other again after a few years of just thinking about each other, but not doing much more than liking the occasional photo on Facebook and sending Christmas cards. 18 June 2015 is the day we got engaged, in part because that’s the day his ring arrived. And 18 December 2015 is when I landed in Sweden for our first Christmas holiday together.

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And now, 18 April will be our wedding. Considering how long we’ve been heading in this direction, what more appropriate date to start our marriage than on the day of the Boston Marathon?

Aby-a-Day – 8 March: Angel in the hallway (Cartoon Tuesday)

More behind-the-scenes sketches of cartoons…

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When I got the idea for this, it was actually a combination of Jacoby and Kylie who did this in real life. After we moved to a different floor in our building, the cats were confused and tried to return to our old apartment on the new floor.

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I drew it with Angel, though, because she runs very funny. It’s sort of a trot, but her legs fly out kind of sideways…it’s hard to describe, but it’s hilarious to watch. I found a bunch of photos and used them as a basis for my sketches.

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I’m too lazy to draw backgrounds, so I used photos of the hallway. Here’s Angel going home in the final version of the cartoon.

Aby-a-Day – 26 January: Work in Progress (Cartoon Tuesday)

I’ve been postponing showing you all this one because I swore I’d finish it…but that was almost 8 months ago, so I thought I’d at least show you the sketch.

This goes back to when I met our friend Summer last May at BlogPaws.

As you may recall, I wasn’t allowed to bring Jacoby with me.

So I had to bring Flat Jake instead. This cartoon – which I had been planning to do about Jake and Summer finally meeting – is the result.

In some respect, Jake not going to BlogPaws is the reason I haven’t actually been able to finish this cartoon. Ever since I came back, things have been rather…interesting. But you know all about that.