Aby-a-Day – 8 Mars 2020: Alfred, Lorelai and the boys (Swedish Sunday)

When we went outside with Emma and the cats yesterday (just Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak; Angel and Dashiell didn’t want to go outside…hell, Zak didn’t really want to go out, but I wanted him to get some fresh air), we ran into the two brothers who LOVE Freddy. I really wish I could remember their names; I have trouble remembering the names of most of the kids who play with the cats, partly because of the language barrier.

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The older boy really loves cats, but the younger one has been in love with Freddy for almost two years.

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He hasn’t really learned that the best way to get a cat to let you pet him is NOT to chase them, but he’s only around four years old (I think).

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After a while, the little boy wanted to see Rory. Of course he did. She is the most difficult cat to catch! But it kept the boys occupied, so Freddy was happy with that.

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Freddy eventually went around front to hang out with Emma.

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Interestingly, the boys didn’t seem to be interested in Zak. And he was mostly hanging out by the front door, waiting to go back inside the house. When we go out and the neighbourhood girls are out, he’s the one they all want to hold.

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Eventually, Rory made a mistake, and tried to hide in the stroller that is perpetually parked outside our building.

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That allowed the older boy to pick her up.

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The little boy was so happy to hold Rory! He wasn’t holding her perfectly, but he was gentle and doing the best he could. Having bathed her, clipped her claws and medicated her, I knew she was perfectly capable of twisting free from his hands.

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I think she understood how happy it made him to hold her.

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And he was so happy. He even hugged her! His older brother has said that they want to get a cat, but I think their parents won’t let them. However, the older one told me that they did get a hamster, and it’s really cute. So at least they have a pet. I think they could grow up to be wonderful cat guys.

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And don’t worry about Rory…she was perfectly fine.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Januari 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Friendly Freddy and the Cat Boys)

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Aby-a-Day – 22 April: Where the boys are (Hipstamatic Monday)

I needed to fix a couple of things on my bicycle, so I let Lorelai and Izaak come outside with me whilst I was working.

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In Sweden, however much it may seem like New England, we haven’t really got a spring. We go from winter to full-blown summer. And so it is this year. We went from freezing cold to OMG where are my shorts and sandals!? Björn says that Sweden is in the BiPolar Zone.

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The kids who live in our apartment complex love our cats and love to play with them.

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Usually, it’s the girls who go nuts over the kittens running around outside.

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But today, it was the boys. One of them told me his friend had a cat with kittens, and he got to hold them when they were one week old. Later, he told me he was going to get one of those kittens.

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We had told them that Zak will fetch his mousies and bring them back, so they wanted to see that. Of course, outside, Zak had zero interest in playing with IKEA toys.

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The boys didn’t listen to us, and tried Zak’s favourite toy on Rory. It was, I think, disappointment.

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But watching them play and interact with the kittens was adorable.

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The boys went between romping with Rory and Zak like they would with puppies (and which Rory and Zak were totallly down with)…

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…to the sweetest one-on-one play you have ever seen.

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It really warmed my heart, watching boys running around playing with cats.

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I hope we are fostering our next generation of cat daddies.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Januari: More from Örebro (Thursday Things)

Saturday was not a great day for Lorelai and Izaak; apart from Zak earning his Champion title, neither he nor Rory were even up for a Nomination.

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But Sunday, both of their judges loved them. Here is Polish judge Robert Nowak admiring Rory.

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There were five females up at the Nominations. It was a very close competition.

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At the end, the judge chose a lovely Siamese to go to the panel.

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This is a shot from Saturday. Rory is Number 664. Number 663 is GIC DK*Saltvig’s Oona. We have been a little concerned that Rory small for her age (she’s smaller than Zak!), but Oona is over two years older than Rory and they are the same size! Oona was chosen over Rory on Saturday, but Rory was the judge’s pick on Sunday.

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Zak’s judge on Sunday was Gerardo Fraga y Guzmán, from Spain. He loved Zak, but he was especially enamoured with his coat texture.

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He even called the judge next to him over to feel Zak’s coat. That’s a particular compliment to the owner as well as the breeder, because the cat’s condition is a reflection of diet and grooming as much as it is genetics and breeding. It’s nice to know you’re doing a good job!

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The Nomination in Zak’s category was also stiff. There were two British Shorthairs (one disqualified himself by almost biting his owner), a stunning white Kurilean Bobtail, and Zak.

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The judge had a cat teaser made with a bobcat’s tail that a Danish merchant sells at shows. We have one at home, too, and I have to hide it from the cats when we aren’t using it. Zak really wanted that tail! He actually jumped out of my arms in an attempt to catch it.

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But in the end, the judge felt that, while both cats were excellent, the Kurilean matched the standard for his breed just a bit better than Zak matched the Singa standard. But it was close…and the Kurilean ended up winning Best in Show for male cats in Category 3! So…losing to a cat who ended up being BIS? Yeah, that’s not bad at all.

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On the way back to our benching cage, we met a little girl who was meowing at all the cats.

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I thought she might like to pet one, so I knelt down so she could pet Zak. I know that if an exhibitor had done that to me when I was kid at a show, I would have been over the moon, so I hope we made that little girl’s day.

Aby-a-Day – 16 February: Downtown stroller town…Gonna shut your stroller down (Friday Flashback)

Two years ago this month, Boston had an unseasonably marvelous Sunday afternoon. I needed to go to the Apple Store on Boylston, and I decided to walk there with Jacoby. Apple Stores, as a whole, are known to be pet-friendly, and the Boston flagship store is no exception.

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We were walking home after having my MacBook Pro checked by the lovely Geniuses, just enjoying the still-warm February evening and enjoying Boston, when…

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…We met a boy.

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A boy in a stroller. It was adorable. Jake was checking out the kid’s stroller, and the kid was checking out Jake’s. It was like when two vintage car owners see each other on the street, comparing chrome and fin height.

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It took him a little while to screw up the courage, but finally the boy reached out and petted Jake. I couldn’t tell with the pacifier in his mouth, but I think he was smiling.

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After we parted ways, Jake went back to looking at the fancy windows at Lord and Taylor. He always liked looking at those windows.

Aby-a-Day – 31 March: Stroller Derby

This was an awesome little thing that happened when Jacoby and I were walking home from the Apple Store last month.

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We were walking down Boylston Street and saw a little boy in a stroller out with his mother and aunt.

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The boy saw Jake in his stroller and started to wave at him!

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His mom and aunt thought it was so cute that the boy recognised that the kitty was in a stroller just like he was.

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I asked if he wanted to pet Jake, and they thought he might, so I pushed his stroller closer to the boy’s stroller.

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He was a very nice, gentle boy, and of course Jake was so patient.

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If anything, I think Jake wanted the boy to pet him harder. He was giving Jake those soft, tentative pats and Jake wanted some nice, heavy petting.

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I love watching Jake interact with children, though. He has so little experience with them, but he’s always just so good!

Aby-a-Day – August 15: “Kid” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Kid.”

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Kids really love seeing Jacoby in his stroller…especially if they are also riding in their own stroller.

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Last month at ArtBeat, we had a little stroller party right in the middle of the street.

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It was actually pretty funny. And, I’m sure, really cute.

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This one little girl really loved Jake. She was actually really good at petting him, too.

Aby-a-Day – November 6: Babysitting

Back when we were just moving into our new apartment, our contractor had to come over a couple of evenings to finish painting and other detail work.

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When he did, he brought his two children. While my husband helped the contractor…

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…Jacoby helped watch the kids.

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Jake’s a very good babysitter.

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I think he enjoyed it as much as the little girl did.

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She and Jake played with just about every wand toy we have.

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I wonder how long after her visit that little girl asked her parents for a kitty of her own, though?

Aby-a-Day – September 15: Jacoby gets all the girls (Hipstamatic Monday)

The best thing about taking Jacoby to the SoWa Open Market on Sundays is watching him with children.

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Like this little girl.

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She absolutely loved Jake.

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She was thrilled that there was a kitty at the market.

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When her mother finally told her they had to go, she gave Jake a sweet goodbye hug. I think it made everyone’s day.

Aby-a-Day – August 14: Look! Up in the sky!

I thought this was just the most awesome thing…

Toki Poki did a series of Superhero Pets trading cards, which, of course, Jacoby was involved in…

Room 16 pupils from Otumoetai Primary in Tauranga, New Zealand were sent sets of the Superhero Pets cards, and they sent back letters and drawings in response.

I love the one girl who was so taken with Jake:

“Jake is really funny!” she says, and then goes on to mention her three kitties, Ripley, Echo and Rosie.

Jonathan was also impressed with Super Jake. “My favourite card was Captain Tripod and Super Jake because he can jump really high.” Jonathan has two cats, Paws and City Puss.

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I thought it was so cool that Jake got to “meet” kids in New Zealand. Someday, I would like to take him to visit schools in person as part of his therapy work, but at least he gets to do it through the magic of Toki Poki.

Aby-a-Day – August 3: You know, for kids

Jacoby really seems to like children.

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I really don’t know why he does – he’s not actually around them all that much and we don’t know a ton of people with little kids, but he tolerates them well.

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He actually does more than tolerate them, to be honest. I don’t know if he just intuitively knows they’re “kittens” or if something about their size appeals to him, but he has never hissed at a child or given any indication that they make him feel at all uncomfortable.

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Sometimes, I think he’s better with kids than I am!

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Of course when we go out to parks with his stroller, kids love to see and pet the kitty. They like the cards I give them, too.

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Jake just soaks up the attention like a big attention sponge.

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He doesn’t mind the sticky hands, either.

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Petting is petting, I suppose.

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And even when the children don’t know he’s there, Jake likes to watch kids play. It’s just so interesting to me that he is so rarely around children, but he so great with them.

“Aby” is just “Baby” without the “B”

A couple of days ago, someone posted this amazing photo to one of the Abyssinian Facebook groups:

Isn’t this fabulous? I love how all the Abys, regardless of age, so thoroughly accept this baby! What a lucky little kid…and I’d just love to give this photo to all those idiots who think that they HAVE to get rid of their cat(s) just because they’re pregnant. Cats and babies are not mutually exclusive.

Of course, there may be an adjustment period in some families…

Fear not, though: Once baby Kennedy was born, Dexter fell in love with his little human sister:

Proof that cats and babies can co-exist!

Aby-a-Day – March 7: Friends and Family at the TICA show

We had a wonderful surprise at the TICA show in Providence last weekend…we ran into our friend Matthew from the Mansfield show last August!

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Jacoby remembered him, too.

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Sadly, we didn’t see him until the very end of the second day, as we were packing up to go home.

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Still, it was awesome to see him again!

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We also met this red Abyssinian named Eastwick Deja Reve of Khamsin. His father is Anubis Lew Zealand – Cousin Taz’s brother!

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What’s interesting is that his mother is from Finbheara – Finbheara Be Witched of Eastwick. I have been doing some sleuthing and I suspect that Angel may be from Finbheara and Abytopia.

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And it was a strange thing, because Deja Reve is a two-eyed boy, and Angel is a one-eyed girl…but his face really reminded me of Angel’s.

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This is an extreme zoom-and-crop, and it’s pretty grainy as a result, but doesn’t he look a bit like Angel in this photo? It definitely gives my theory that her mother is a Finbheara cat a little more credence!

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Last but not least, I have a couple more photos of our friend Sparkle’s relative”Bones” (aka RW, NW SGCA Front Range Leonard H McCoy)!

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His grandmother is Sparkle’s mother – Tajhara Tina Turner! They live on opposite ends of the country, but they’re only a generation apart. Isn’t that amazing?

Aby-a-Day – January 27: The Cat From Davis Square

It turns out there have been Abyssinians on the T a lot longer than anyone realised.

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In a few T stations, there are ceramic tiles made by local schoolkids. Broadway Station is one of them. and Davis Square Station in Somerville is another. I always enjoy looking at them, especially one little group of cat tiles (and one skunk) in the middle of the Davis Square collection.

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I was looking at them again the other day and it suddenly dawned on me what one was depicting…

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It’s meant to be Jake, the Cat From Outer Space! I’m not sure how I didn’t see it before! I mean, I’ve always thought it looked like an Aby because of the colour, but…

No! I’m serious! It really is supposed to be Jake! Check it out: The Davis Square Tiles Project took place during the 1978-79 school year, and the child who made this tile, Estelle Passamonte, was an 11-year-old girl. I was 13, and my sister was 8, and during the second half of 1978 we were obsessed with Abyssinians, Jake, and talking intergalactic felines in general…so it’s not too huge a leap to conclude that little Stella was a fan, too.

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(I also suspect this one is meant to be Zunar-J5/9-Doric-47, too, but since he’s got a sun and not a space helmet it’s not quite the logical slam-dunk that Estelle’s tile is. But look at those ears!)

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And this one…those eyes seem like Aby eyes. And again with the big pointy ears, too.

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I think that movie made quite an impact on girls aged 8-13…

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It’s something I think about every time I ride the train with Jacoby.

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There’s a long history of Abys and the red line! Who knew?

Aby-a-Day – June 16: More fun in Boston Common

When we went to Boston Common last weekend, we met a lot of children. Two of them were brothers who really liked cats.

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They had cats of their own at home, which they told me all about. They also asked me a lot of questions about Jacoby.

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One thing they asked me about, oddly, was about Jake running. I thought that was pretty funny. But I told them about how Jake likes to run in the hallway and then FLOP. They loved that. The older boy asked me, “Does he do it like this?” and then ran across the grass and flopped on his side.

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I was laughing so hard! I said, “Actually…that’s pretty much exactly what he does and what it looks like.” The kid was so proud.

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It’s so much fun to watch kids interact with children. He really likes them. And they really like him, too. It’s so much fun to take Jake out where there are little kids.

Aby-a-Day – June 15: Commonality (Friday Flashback)

The recent trip to Boston Common Jacoby and I took last weekend, and the children we met with, reminded me of the first time we went to the Common.

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This was our first outing of the spring, the first day it was warm enough to go outside after a long Boston winter. Jake, having been born in April, didn’t get a lot of outdoor leash-walking practice during the previous summer before it got too cold to go out.

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Nevertheless, he marched around the park like a pro. I always say that he’s a natural when it comes to walking on a leash, and this is why. I’ve had a lot of leash-trained cats in my life, but Jake has always been the most at-ease.

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When we met this little boy, it didn’t faze Jake one bit.

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That’s another thing about Jake that has always amazed me. He just likes little kids. I think, in fact, that this was the first child he ever really met. And he was so good with the boy, and so relaxed, it was like he had been raised around children.

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This is why I want to find a therapy gig working with kids. I think Jake would really be awesome at it. He just naturally seems to appreciate human kittens.

Aby-a-Day – June 14: Boston Pride

Jacoby and I went to Boston Common this past weekend. It just so happened to be Boston Pride Weekend, and there were quite a lot of people in the park enjoying one of the first really nice days of the year.

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Jake and I met this little girl, who was adorable, and who loved kitties.

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She found a long, shiny metallic magenta streamer, likely an escapee from the parade, and asked if she could play with Jacoby with it.

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It was super cute the way she danced around him with the streamer. He was too busy looking at and smelling all the things, but he still seemed to appreciate her attention.

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I am always blown away by how good Jake is with little kids.

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He just seems to get children. I don’t know if it’s because they’re small, or he somehow understands that they’re “kittens,” but he’s always especially gentle with them and never seems to mind if they make sudden movements or don’t pet him exactly right. Considering apart from our outings he isn’t around children a lot, it’s incredible.

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I think they were both a little sad when the little girl had to say goodbye.

Aby-a-Day – June 13: Wordless Wednesday (Pretty in Pink)

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Aby-a-Day – March 5: “He loves going wherever trains are at” (Hipstamatic Monday)

Jacoby loves to ride the train. He’s been on the Commuter Rail a few times; we’ve gone to Mansfield and Providence for shows, and we’ve also met my husband in Natick for other trips. We also took a daytrip to Gloucester just for fun.

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He doesn’t like to be in his carrier, though.

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He wants to sit on a seat like everyone else.

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And he does sit so nicely, too. Sometimes he looks out the window, and he’s always interested in the train’s stoppings and startings.

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On the train home from Providence, we met the cutest little boy. He asked how old Jake was, and when I said he was almost three, the boy proudly told me he was four.

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He meowed to Jake, and he also took his photo with his mom’s phone.

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Of course, Jake posed for him! I told the little boy that I started taking photos when I was exactly his age, four years old, and I mostly took pictures of cats even then. And, I continued, I still take lots of photos, so he was starting on a long and happy hobby. I thought it was cool he wanted to take pictures of Jake. They weren’t bad, either. Kid’s got a good eye.

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I think it’s awesome that the MBTA allows pets on the trains, both the T and the Commuter Rail. It makes life so much easier. I wish Amtrak would allow pets, too. I would probably take it a lot more often if they did, since taking trains with a cat is so much easier than flying these days.

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And Jake really does enjoy it.

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He is truly the King of the Rails!