Aby-a-Day – 1 Juli: Another Bee Movie (Movie Monday)

When I made the video of Izaak and Lorelai playing with the bumblebee, Björn was making one, too.

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It’s kind of interesting, to see someone’s photos and videos taken at the same time you were taking photos and videos…it’s just from a slightly different perspective.

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It’s actually kind of fascinating. The exact same scene playing out, the same events…but, different.

Compare the two videos and you’ll see what I mean.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Juni: Another way to look at the show (Hipstamatic Monday)

I keep forgetting to do Hipstamatic photos when we’re at FIFe shows. I used to take them at cat shows regularly back in New England. But they’re fun…and it’s interesting to see what Hipstamatic does…like this one. You’ve seen our show curtains, they’re shades of green. But Hipstamatic turns them into shades of red!

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I also love the randomness of it. Sometimes it really improves the photo.

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I used to take photos with the cameras Hipstamatic is meant to emulate, back when I was a kid. You would take the photo…but never know what you were going to get. It’s a kind of fun we don’t have nowadays (although I wouldn’t want to go back to film EVER).

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Sometimes it makes a good photo even better…I really like the way the focus is shifted to Izaak and his BIV trophy in this one.

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Some of the films have frames that are a lot of fun. This one flips the original photo around the edges and sort of “shatters” them. It’s a neat effect.

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Hipstamatic can make a boring photo more interesting…

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…and it can save a photo you might have kept. When Hipstamatic saves a photo, it also saves the original, “normal” version of the shot. In this photo, Zak moved his head and his face was blurred. But in the Hipstamatic version…that motion blur is not an issue.

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Some of the different films play with colour, as I mentioned before. This one only keeps red and blue and discards everything else.

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This film makes your photo look like it was printed on an old newspaper, which can be a cool effect on the right shot.

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I also like this film a lot. It makes this cute photo of Zak even cuter, somehow.

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Once, ages ago back in the States, someone asked me, “So…What’s this Hipstamatic Monday all about?” This. This is what it’s all about.

Happy Gotcha Day, Alfred! (Thursday Things)

Two years ago today, we met Karin at Stockholm Centralen and collected Alfred on our way back from a cat show in Tallinn.

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But I haven’t ever posted how Freddy coped once he got to our apartment.

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And the short answer is…he was completely unfazed.

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No mum? No littermates?

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No problem!

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I think Freddy was the easiest kitten we’ve integrated into our family, but then none of our kittens have been that hard to introduce to the others.

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But Freddy is just so laid back and easy-going…He integrated himself. Of course, five days later, we got Logan, and he had a built-in best friend, but even without Logan, Freddy would have done just fine.

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And here’s our Freddy, almost two years later, on the same sofa with Izaak. He’s our genius philosopher, and I love him.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juni: A birthday frame-up (Swedish Saturday)

Today is my birthday! Not a very eventful one (that’s next year), but a birthday nonetheless.

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Most of the “celebrating” will be done next week, as Björn has to work this weekend, but next weekend we’ll be at a cat show. But I did get a gift: Björn had my magpie print framed! It’s an unusual size, so he had to have it done custom.

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A bit of backstory, now, since apparently I never really posted about the magpie tattoo that was my introduction to my fabulous artist Linus. When I went in for the very first consultation, I was hopeful that the person I met with could really do magpies with Japanese maple leaves really well. Well, walking up to the house, the first thing I saw was a gorgeous red Japanese maple tree planted in the yard. Then, I went inside, and saw a trio of gorgeous prints, including the magpie at the top of this post. Then I met Linus, and when I mentioned that I loved the magpie print, he proudly told me that he had drawn it!

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Well, needless to say, I knew I had found my artist! Here is the finished tattoo…these are actually Yellow-Billed Magpies, which are only found in the Sacramento/San Joaquin valley of Northern California, where I grew up. Everywhere else, magpies have black beaks. This is similar to my Western Grey Fox tattoo, which is also a native California species.

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Whilst trying to capture my newly-framed print, of course somecat had to come investigate…

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Okay, I think the frame is Singapura approved!

Aby-a-Day – 26 Maj: Outside with Alfred (Cinema Sunday)

When I share the photos of Lorelai and Izaak running around outside, people ask why we don’t let Alfred run free, too.

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The reason for that is he was never trained to go outside offleash. We worked on leash training with him and Logan, not offleash training. It’s something I never thought to do again until I met Rory. My Siamese Harri was the last cat I trained to stay close offleash. It helped that he hated me to be out of his sight, so all I had to do was hide behind a tree, and he’d yowl and come running.

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Zak is the same way Harri was. Rory is a little more free-spirited; she knows when we want to go in, but she tries to stretch her time outside as long as she can. If I go back into the building, though, she always comes up to the doorstep trying to find me.

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But if Freddy gets out off leash, he runs off to explore on his own. This is partly because I never trained him to be off leash, and because, being the evil genius he is, when he was young he managed to open the kitchen window and the balcony sliders a couple of times without our knowing and roamed around alone for hours until we noticed him missing. Jacoby also did this; the first time he escaped, he was gone for over an hour!

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So, sorry, Freddy…you need to stay on your leash.

But really, he doesn’t seem to begrudge the kittens their offleash time. He’s perfectly happy to be outside at all, even if it’s on his leash.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj: “Scattered pictures…of the smiles we left behind” (Friday Flashback)

As I posted earlier this month, the Memories that Facebook shows you can be bittersweet. Lately, they’ve been showing me a lot of Jacoby memories. It started with this one, of Strollercat on the way to a cat show in Göteborg in 2017.

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I never actually posted these photos here, as this was during the blog’s hiatus.

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This is another photo that popped up, I think as one of Björn’s Memories. I called it “Conversations on a train.”

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Then there is this one I posted whilst we were at that cat show.

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I found this photo of Jake crashed out in the hotel room after the first day of the show was over whilst I was looking for the other ones from this week’s Memories. I had forgotten it…but it is SO Jake.

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This is the Memory that came up yesterday…

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…another one I forgot about that is such a classic Jake moment. I found Angel sunning herself in a little square of sunshine in the kitchen.

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The square was just the right size for one little cat loaf.

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And then…along came Jake.

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And he decided that he wanted the sun square. I wasn’t able to capture what happened next.

And this last one is the most bittersweet of all, from five years ago Wednesday. Jake loved riding on the front of his stroller on our way home from our therapy visits. I posted the photos here in the blog at the time, but I only posted the video to Facebook. Apologies for the vertical video…I forgot to turn the camera sideways.

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.