Aby-a-Day – 21 February 2020: Freddy and Bruno meet again (Swedish Saturday)

The first time Alfred and Bruno met, it got a little…tense. But since Lorelai has befriended him, Freddy’s been cutting Bruno a bit of a break.

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But he’s still not really sure about this canine.

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…And, there it is…

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Look at Freddy, getting his fierce on.

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Bruno’s used to being put in his place by cats…after all, he was raised by Markis…so, yeah.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Augusti: Dash on the Silja Line

At long last we boarded the Silja Symphony ferry to Stockholm. First we rode the elevator to our cabin to put our luggage away and set up Dashiell’s food and litter.

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Dash really seemed to enjoy the windowed lift.

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This is kind of a dark photo, but you can see the shopping promenade and the cabins with overlooking windows. We stayed in one of those cabins on the way to Helsinki and it was kind of fun do have that view. They don’t have pet rooms in that block of cabins, though.

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After we got our room set up, we went up to the deck to say goodbye to Helsinki.

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This is what the ferry looks like from Helsinki. We happened to be at the waterfront the day before when the ferry was leaving for Sweden.

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Here is me with Dash.

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I posed almost the exact same way with Jacoby in 2016.

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Björn posed with Dash as well.

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On the aft deck, there is a little sandbox for dog owners to let their dogs go to the toilet.

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I have to say, it was pretty amusingly decorated. I have seen dog toilet areas on other ferries, but none decorated like this.

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Dash was not impressed.

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He was more interesting in people-watching from the vantage of a deck chair.

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Just then, a dog passed by on his way to the toilet. I guess we took a look at it in the nick of time.

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Despite what it says on the website, the crew staff assured us that cats were allowed anywhere onboard the ship. We thought a nice refreshing beer would be nice before taking Dash back to the cabin and checking the duty-free store.

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Dash was happy to sit in his carrier and watch Björn pour his beer.

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Dash never even tried to get out of his carrier.

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After our drinks, we took the elevator back to our cabin.

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I think Dash was happy to go back to the cabin and take a nap after all the excitement of the cat show and boarding the ferry.

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Ferry rides are a lot of fun. They go overnight, and some people treat it as a party. On this trip, there was what looked like a stag do going on. Not sure which guy was the groom, but my money’s on the guy in the bell bottoms.

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We had seen them in the bar earlier. They were going around to people in the bar with a straw, asking if they could have a sip of their drink, taking photos of it. It was pretty funny.

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There was also a new machine in the ferry’s casino – Diamond Cats! It’s a bit like Kitty Glitter except with no Somali. It was not a bad game; at least the Siamese have blue eyes on this game. But it was fun to play and I ended up winning a little, which is always nice.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Augusti: “Railroad trains are such magnificent objects, we commonly mistake them for Destiny”

The thing about going to cat shows in Sweden is, you have to travel all over the country (and also to other countries). We sometimes rent a car, but usually the rail and bus system is good enough that we don’t have to. It’s tough sometimes because the luggage for cats and humans gets heavy, and if the elevators are broken it can be a struggle.

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But our new super stroller makes it a million times easier. We can put things on top of it, or inside with the cats, and it can be steered with one hand (that was a problem with the previous strollers).

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And we get to see a lot of interesting things. This is Södertälje Syd station, closest to the show and our hotel. The swoopy thing is just a shelter to wait for taxis or cars to pick people up.

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I just thought it was wicked cool. It could have been plain and boring, but instead they made it look interesting. I like that.

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Riding the train is nice. Sometimes it can be crowded, or there can be screaming children or annoying people having FaceTime conversations. Since we have to travel in the pet compartment, sometimes we share it with dogs.

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Usually the dogs are well-trained and polite, but on the trip to Södertälje, there was a Labradoodle who was not so nice. His human was seated across the aisle from us, and he was on the floor at my feet. Lorelai was chilling on Björn’s bag under the table, and Izaak was on my lap, closer to the dog. Zak’s okay with dogs, but he’s more used to small dogs. At one point the Labradoodle lunged at the cats with no warning! It even surprised the dog’s owner, it was that sudden. After that, Zak decided to sit on the table and shoot stinkeyes at the designer mutt. (I wanted to get a photo of it, but after the altercation I was afraid the woman would see me take the picture. But it looked almost exactly like this.)

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Even Rory, who likes dogs, decided that sitting on the seat next to Björn was a better idea after that.

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Sometimes Zak gets bored on the train and walks around. He likes to climb up the backs of the seats, too.

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This is from the trip home, which was blessedly canine-deficient. Rory was fascinated by the passing scenery.

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Zak also had to check it out. I love watching them crawl all over Björn…it just shows how comfortable they are riding the rails.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Juli: It’s official – Lorelai likes dogs (Thursday Things)

As I have posted before, Lorelai has never minded seeing dogs on trains. She has also always been rather fond of our neighbours’ dog, Bruno. And then there was that time that Rory chased the Papillion

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The other day, Lorelai, Izaak and Alfred were outside exploring when we met a new black dog. At first, Freddy tried to do the big brother thing, protecting the younger cats.

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But, rebelling against Freddy’s protectiveness, Rory decided she was going to meet this new dog.

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She marched right out and went to touch noses with this new dog.

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The dog was actually a little thrown off by this very forward, very outgoing, little cat.

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Emboldened by Rory, Zak also came to meet the dog.

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He wasn’t as sure about the dog as Rory was…but he at least managed to stay calm in the dog’s presence. That’s at least progress, right?

Aby-a-Day – 27 December: Of Somalis and Schipperkes (Thursday Things)

I have a few more photos from the little mini show we went to at our local DjurMagazinet I wanted to share.

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They’re on two completely different topics…but hey, just like most meals between Christmas and New Years, there’s no reason not to mix them up. Leftovers are always better that way.

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First off, we have Izaak in his Christmas bow tie, playing with a fun toy.

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Look at that concentration!

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He really liked that toy!

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But even more than the toy, I think he liked the little girl who was playing with him using the toy.

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She was pretty charmed with him, too.

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The next thing I wanted to share is this Somali, Tootsie, and her friend.

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You almost never, ever, see dogs at cat shows…for, well, obvious reasons.

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Tootsie was wonderful at walking on her leash…almost as good as her puppy pal.

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Oh! I am SO sorry…Tootsie, you obviously taught that dog everything he knows about walking on a leash!

Aby-a-Day – 13 December: Strangers on a Train (Travel Thursday)

Travelling in the pet car on a Swedish train is always interesting.

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You never know with whom you’ll be sharing the car.

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I love how Izaak and Lorelai are not at all fazed by other animals, especially dogs.

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At most, they’re just curious.

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On the train to the show on Friday, we shared the car with a woman and her lovely Japanese Spitz.

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He looked like a fox! It was so much fun watching the cats look at him, completely unafraid and only curious.

Aby-a-Day – 7 November: Wordless Wednesday (Lorelai likes Bruno)

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Aby-a-Day – 27 September: Role reversal (Thursday Things)

When we were outside the other weekend, Lorelai encountered a very sweet, very well-behaved Papillon.

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At first, she was a bit on the defensive. Yet, she still approached him.

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They even almost touched noses!

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Rory wasn’t sure how she felt about that.

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Meanwhile, Izaak…

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…Zak was not having any of this dog nonsense.

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The dog’s owner tried to continue on their walk, and pulled the dog along with her.

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But Rory chased after the dog! Have you ever seen a cat chase a dog before?

Aby-a-Day – 16 September: Dogs on a train (Cat Show Sunday)

Still processing everything from the show. On Sunday, neither Lorelai nor Izaak were nominated, so it was a fairly peaceful show day. We just sat and talked to people. I got to talk to Göran, my one-time nurse, and found out an interesting fact that no one bothered to mention before: Not only could I have lost my finger or hand from the infection caused by the cat bite…I could have lost my life! So, everyone reading, please remember: If you are bitten in the hand or finger by a cat and it becomes at all swollen…go to an ER immediately. Don’t waste time at a local urgent care.

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Our train ride home was interesting, though. On Swedish trains, there are special pet compartments that are the only places animals are allowed. In this particular pet car, there were only nine seats…and we had two cats and four dogs! We boarded the train in Göteborg with a very well behaved rescue dog from Greece. He lived with cats and was not at all fazed by Zak and Rory. When a Border Collie got on a few stations later, though, the dog reacted. The Border Collie and his human sat in the doorway. Then in Falköping, we were joined by a Bedlington Terrier and a Chinese Crested!

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Their human was delighted to see a Singapura in person and had to have a photo. She said her friend, who had a Somali, would be so jealous that she had met a Singa.

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Rory in particular was fascinated by the Chinese Crested. She never puffed up, growled or hissed, and she actually got up the nerve to touch the dog’s ear with her nose!

Aby-a-Day – 18 August: “Getting there is half the fun” (Cat Show Saturday)

We’re at a cat show this weekend, but I am still processing the photos I took today, so I don’t have a show report prepared yet.

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So instead, let’s talk about getting to the show, which is a two-hour train ride to Stockholm and then a commuter train to a hotel near the show hall.

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We took the train from Skövde to Stockholm. This was Lorelai’s second train ride with us, and Izaak’s first since I collected him from Arlanda’s cargo department back in June. It’s Rory’s second show, and Zak’s first.

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In our car, there was another animal passenger, a black French bulldog. This was very interesting to Rory and Zak.

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Although perhaps not as interesting as Björn’s sandwich…

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Our first train ride with two kittens was mostly uneventful.

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“Mostly” being the operative word. Zak managed to slip his harness and hide under a seat in another section of the train. That was fun.

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There was also an interesting moment when the Frenchy got off the train.

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It was pretty late when we finally checked into our hotel room (Rory’s second, Zak’s first), but they wasted no time getting comfortable.

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And they were adorably comfortable…

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…until Zak decided he would rather be comfortable with his IKEA mouse…

Aby-a-Day – 9 July: “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero” (Medical Monday)

The last time we all went to the vet, we encountered a gorgeous German Shepherd in the lobby. He was so huge compared to Lorelai!

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But Rory was her usual fearless self.

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In fact, she barely seemed to notice him at all. “Dog? What dog?”

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Alfred, on the other hand…

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…did not like the looks of that enormous predator at all.

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In fact, he put his body between the dog and Rory to protect her.

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The dog had the good sense to look appropriately intimidated.

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“Don’t worry, little sister. I won’t let this beast hurt you.” Not that Rory looks at all concerned.

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The Shepherd was actually a well-trained tracking and guard dog, and he and his human volunteer with the canine unit at their local Hemvärnet battalion. Hemvärnet dogs are very disciplined, and he wouldn’t have hurt a kitten.

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Freddy didn’t still didn’t trust him. The entire time we were there with that dog, he remained vigilant, protecting Rory from harm.

Aby-a-Day – 6 June: Wordless Wednesday (“We’re not supposed to be friends, you and me. We’re meant to be enemies. Did you know that?”)

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Aby-a-Day – 16 May: Wordless Wednesday (When Lorelai met Bruno)

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Aby-a-Day – 24 February: Cats on a train (Swedish Saturday)

Since Jacoby has decided he doesn’t like FIFe’s way of showing and has declared himself retired, Logan is the only show cat in the house now. But, when Logan and I are going to a show in or near Stockholm, we take Jake along and he stays with Kalle at Kalle’s mother’s house just outside of Stockholm.

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Jake and Logan have become comfortable travel companions. They don’t always get along at home, but on the road they are the best of friends.

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Train rides are rather lulling. It’s easy to fall asleep to the rhythm of the clickety-clack.

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Until…what could the matter be!?

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A dog! On the train!

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Animals are allowed in only certain cars on Västtraffik and SJ trains, so it’s not unusual to have several cats and dogs in one car.

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I guess someone forgot to alert Logan that his train ride might include non-humans and non-felines.

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I love how upset, offended, even, that Logan is about the presence of a dog on his train. Meanwhile, Jake is like, meh, whatever. Dogs, man, what are you gonna do? They’re everywhere.

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Look at Logan’s tail!

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No, I mean it…Look at it! I’m pretty sure he’s seen dogs before. I guess he just hasn’t ever see a dog on a train.

Aby-a-Day – 16 January: “Dog” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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When I was in Sweden, I noticed that there were a lot of dogs in public places – indoors!

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And not just places like trains and subways, either. This dog was in a mall in Stockholm. He was very well behaved, and he wasn’t the only dog I saw in that mall that day.

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However, as you can see, he’s waiting in a queue with his master in a coffee shop that serves food! That’s a big no-no in the States. This bodes incredibly well for Jacoby and I having shopping adventures in Skövde. We may even become regular fixtures at the shopping mall that’s only several meters from Björn’s apartment! At least, we’ll have to visit Dad at work on Saturdays when Björn works at that mall…

Aby-a-Day – September 1: So not a dog person… (Cartoon Tuesday)

Someone mentioned to me that in all the drawings I did of cats when I was a child, the cats are all smiling and happy.

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I hadn’t really noticed it, but yes, it does seem to be true. All my cats are very happy.

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The dogs…not so much.

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It’s not that the dogs I drew never smiled…but they were always on a leash. In this drawing, it looks as though the cat has spare leashes, just in case. I’m not really sure what’s going on there…

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I just know that I didn’t relate to dogs at all. We tried to have a puppy for a while, but I didn’t like the way it jumped on me and licked me. I guess I just found dogs too “pushy” and preferred cats’ more reserved attitudes.

Aby-a-Day – July 17: Jacoby’s first visit to the vet (Friday Flashback)

Jacoby first visited Dr. Natalie at South Boston Animal Hospital on 4 August, 2009.

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While he was checking out the waiting area, he met a little Chihuahua puppy.

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The puppy wasn’t much bigger than Jake, and they were almost the same colour.

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I’m not entirely certain that Jake knew that the puppy was, in fact, not a cat.

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Of course, Jake gravitated towards the cat food for sale on the shelves.

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Six years later, Jake still explores the lobby like he owns it.

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And, of course, he’s still very interested in the prescription dry food they have on display!

Aby-a-Day – June 4: “Lackadaisy Homage” (Cartoon Thursday)

As I mentioned a couple of cartoons ago, I am absolutely head over heels in love with Lackadaisy, a webcomic by Tracy J. Butler. Imagine the 1920’s – bootleggers, gangsters, flappers…but with cats.

I love Tracy’s intricate and detailed style and I could never hope to compare, but I did find this pastel illustration from a 1927 J.L. Taylor men’s fashion catalog which I could mimic.

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And so, here you have Jacoby and Angel as they might appear in a contemporary illustration in the Lackadaisy universe.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – April 28: “Well, dog my cats!” (Cartoon Tuesday)

You’ll find in many, many books and websites about cats in general or specific to Abyssinians, that this breed is often described as being “dog-like.”

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I mean, there’s even a YouTube video about it!

And while it is true that Abyssinians are one of the oldest breeds (going all the way back to 1860), and Abys have probably lived alongside humans for more of the breed’s history than other “natural” breeds (Abys are the first breed that was based on human’s desire to make a cat look a certain way rather than being based on a genetic trait like tailessness or thermo-restrictive partial albinism)…somehow, I don’t think they’d find being called “dog-like” exactly complimentary.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – February 10: ROTFL (Cartoon Tuesday)

So it’s still snowing. It’s been snowing, on and off, for about three weeks now. In fact, today, I had to work from home because the MBTA was closed.

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Weather like this makes me exceedingly glad that I am not a dog owner. I think Jacoby is equally happy that he is not a dog.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)