Aby-a-Day – 8 Juni: Happy Color (Cartoon Tuesday)

My friend Pat plays with a colour-by-numbers app called Happy Color and often posts her favourite creations. Last week, she posted this cat painting and asked the hive mind if we thought it was an Abyssinian. Of course, everyone agreed that it definitely was! I may have to try this app out!

Aby-a-Day – 4 Juni: Paulo and some ‘Shop requests (Photoshop Friday)

Our friend Kinsey posted this photo to the “This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED” facebook group and asked to have Paulo wearing a mask.

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Welp. That was easy. Then I had an idea.

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LOL why not, right?

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But then I got the idea to put my Singapura mask on Paulo.

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Pretty cute, eh? Then…Kinsey asked for Paulo to be dressed up in a tux for prom.

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Considering I already have the perfect cat-sized tuxedo bib and tie, top hat, and cuffs with cufflinks…not a hard ask.

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The shadows are already perfect, too. This was fun.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Maj: Family portrait (Photoshop Friday)

Our friend Kinsey shared some professional photos that were taken of Izaak’s brothers, Paulo and Keiko. I instantly knew what had to be done.

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A family portrait, of course! Since all three boys came from Poland, I chose a Polish flag as my background.

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Then I decided to set the scene…literally.

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Finally, every portrait needs a frame, right? Can you tell who is who?

Aby-a-Day – 15 Maj: Tampopo (Singapura Saturday)

The other day, a friend posted an infomeme about dandelions. I think it has some very important things to know.

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We are lucky that our område’s lawn is a natural mix of grass, moss, yarrow, clover, and many different flowers including dandelions. They don’t mow it super-short or super-often, so it gets really nice and natural. There’s also no sprinkler system. If it doesn’t rain, the grass turns brown…c’est la vie. It’s so much nicer than those perfect, manicured lawns in the States.

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Dandelions are also wicked fun to gallop through. Just ask Izaak.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Maj: Cat Scanner app (Thursday Things)

Yesterday in one of my Facebook cat groups, someone posted about an app, Cat Scanner, that claims to identify what breed your cat is from a photograph. So of course I had to try it out.

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It worked great with the Abyssinians.

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It even identified Angel correctly.

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And it got Markis pretty well, too.

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I was disappointed with how it did with Tessie. I was expecting perhaps a Burmilla…but I guess at least it could tell she’s a tortie?

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And then…there was Izaak. Complete and utter fail. I was expecting a Singapura to be a fairly easy ID…at worst, maybe a Burmese or Aby…but a Bengal!? Seriously? Well, you know I clicked that “Am I right?” link to tell them they weren’t. And the explanation was…the app only really works with FIFe-recognised breeds.

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Um….what!? Singas have been recognised in FIFe since 2014…SEVEN YEARS!

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Which, naturally, I felt the need to tell them. Haven’t gotten a response yet, but I can’t wait to see what they say.

Aby-a-Day – 5 April: Thanks for the memories (Monday Memory)

Facebook gave me some wonderful memories this morning. The first was the time a shirty MBTA conductor made me miss my stop to meet Meg for a cat show.

The second was of Tessie, happy with a box. Facebook can be evil…but it’s good for something, at least.

Aby-a-Day – 3 April: Here comes Zakky Cottontail (Silly Saturday)

In the Abyssinian and Somali Facebook group I admin, every Saturday is Caturday, the day where people can post non-Aby/Somali cat photos. Every week, I make a fresh banner, featuring Izaak, that’s a different colour scheme so people can tell them apart.

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Since this weekend is Easter, I added bunny ears on Zak’s head. I was pretty pleased to find a photo of a rabbit that was almost the exact same colour as Zak. I wonder if rabbits come in sepia?

Aby-a-Day – 2 April: Welcome to 2021, the year of the silly memes (Photoshop Friday)

2021 seems to be defining itself as the Year of the Meme. First, we had Bernie Sanders and his mittens, and then, last week, we had , an enormous container carrier ship the size of the Empire State Building stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking all other carriers and stopping roughly 10% of global trade. So, of course, “Boaty McStuck-Face” launched a fleet of silly memes. Of course, I had to make one…and a cat sitting on top of a bunch of boxes with the ubiquitous “If I fits I sits” caption. I posted this in the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED, and so far it’s had almost 2,000 (!) reactions.

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And then, I did this. Because of course I did.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Februari: Another memorial (Cartoon Tuesday)

Back in 2014, I drew the cartoon above based on a photo and caption a Facebook friend of mine, Mike Ruemmler posted in the old Abyssinian Cat Club. Sadly, we all learned that Mike was found dead in his home last week. My friend Kristen posted to the New England Abyssinian Rescue page:

“Sad news for our NEAR family and the larger community of Aby owners. Last night we learned that our dear friend, Mike Ruemmler, passed away over the weekend.
Mike fostered and transported several Abys for us. He foster-failed one of our seniors because he couldn’t bear the thought of putting her through another transition. I once sent him on a grand overnight adventure to transport an Aby only to have the owner change her mind at the last minute. He worried about that Aby as much as I did. A year later that same Aby came into rescue after the owner had placed her in a bad home. If I asked for help, he said yes without hesitation.

If you were friends with Mike, you often received a cat meme in your mailbox to brighten your day. Mike retired last Fall and seemed to be making the most of everyday, even in these trying times. He was dedicated to his cats and friends. A wonderful person who will be deeply missed.
NEAR’s Max, Lucy, Pele, and Ellie were all saved through Mike’s help. Give them a chin scratch or two if they are in your home today.
Mike left behind 4 Abys. A friend of Mike’s quickly took the cats in and contacted us for help. The cats are safe and being appropriately spoiled. Now we need to begin finding the right homes for these special Abys.

Gregor and Soska are 11 year-old male litter mates. They will be placed together.

Pop-Tart is a red female. We are waiting on vet records to confirm her age.

She can be placed with Gregor and Soska or on her own. She would do best in a home with a limited number of cats and no other females.
Pele is the red female Mike adopted from us. She is 16 and doesn’t readily accept other cats.
All of Mike’s cats were spoiled, loved, and received veterinary attention whenever needed. They are in St. Louis, MO. We will only consider adopters who can physically pick these cats up.

If you are interested in any of these cats, please submit an application: www.neabyrescue.com/application
Mike, I picture you in a beautiful garden reunited with many of your feline family members. You will be fondly remembered and forever missed.”

I really enjoyed his posts about his cats. Once again, my heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Januari: Misty watercolour memories (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is by no means a cartoon, but I wanted to share this ethereal watercolour of Bugsie that was done by her friend Arlven Leonardor. I think it captures Bugsie’s spirit perfectly.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Januari: The REAL Abyssinian and Somali Club (Serious Saturday)

This week has been tumultuous for a number of reasons…not the least of which is, through a series of unfortunate events, I was banned from a Facebook Abyssinian group (without cause, but no matter)…and created a group of my own, of which I am the leader and head admin. Never having done anything like this before, it’s a bit…revolutionary. That I did it on Inauguration Day was particularly fitting.

So that happened. If my posts have been a bit patchy, that’s why. It’s a whole new world for me. It’s so much faster than a blog.

If you would like to join, search Facebook for the name (which is the title of this post), request to become a member, and answer the three questions. I still haven’t gotten the answer I was expecting for question #3.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Januari: Remembering Jacoby’s last CFA show (Friday Flashback)

Four years ago, Björn, Jacoby and I were at our first (and Jake’s only) CFA show in Region 9 (Europe). There in only one CFA show in Sweden annually, and it’s inconveniently located and so close to the beloved Örebro show, so we only entered it the one time.

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It was fun, though, and Jake really enjoyed himself. He always preferred CFA’s format to FIFe’s. And, entered in the show, were three Abyssinians descended from Instincts cats.

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It was fun to see old friends again. Pam DeLaBar, a CFA judge, is also another American expat living in Finland.

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There was also a lot of snow. When Jake started getting bored, we went out and played in it.

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This show was also the only show where Jake finalled in every ring. There were only nineteen cats entered in Premiership, and, interestingly, they were almost all older than five years. It was a fun time…even though the rosettes were printed on cardboard.

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We went outside again on Sunday to play in the snow. This time, I didn’t bother to put Jake on his leash. He went on a bit of a walkabout before I was able to catch him!

I’ll share more photos from that show weekend tomorrow and Sunday.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Januari: Happy New Year’s memories (Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook greeted me with this memory of Gun-Hee and Patrick on New Year’s day 2007. Pretty remarkable, actually, considering I wasn’t even on Facebook back then!

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Gun-Hee LOVED Patrick, right from the very beginning.

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Trick, on the other hand…well, they were 12 years apart in age, and he’d recently lost his best friend Harri, so it took him a little while to warm up.

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But Gun-Hee persevered. Or, to be more honest, he wore Trick down.

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And when an Abyssinian puts his mind to something…resistance is futile.

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A year later, they were the best of friends. Patrick, who for some reason preferred boycats to females, was particularly sad when Gun-Hee died less than two years after Harri. Perhaps the three of them are together with Jacoby in StarClan.

Aby-a-Day – 25 December 2020: God Jul, Allihopa! (Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of Christmas three years ago. We didn’t know it at the time, but it was our last Jul with Logan, and it was also our last Christmas at Björn’s mother’s house.

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We took the train to Jönköping Julafton morning. It was fairly chilly, so he wore Jacoby’s old snowflake hoody.

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Jake had a snazzy new sweater of his own.

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Jake had been to Björn’s mom’s house once before, but this was Logan’s first time.

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As I’ve said before, Björn&’s mom always made the perfect traditional Swedish Julbord, and it was marvellous. We had the cold courses (hard-boiled eggs with caviar, pickled herring, and smoked salmon)…

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…mustard-crusted ham, Jul cheese and red beet salad…

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…prinskorv and meatballs (before cooking, here)…

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…and sausage, cabbage rolls and Janssons frestelse, which is basically scalloped potatoes that are julienned instead, with anchovies added. It’s delicious, I promise.

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Anyway, I had found this special Jul apple at the grocery store, and brought it to Björn’s mom because I thought she’d like it.

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Christmas morning, Logan was sitting on a kitchen table chair, and he looked so cute I had to pose him with the apple. The rest is (Facebook) history.

Aby-a-Day – 11 December 2020: Remembering Jacoby’s helpfulness (Friday Flashback)

As Facebook does, it reminded me this morning that four years ago today, I was trying to put the duvet covers and fitted sheet away.

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However, my attempts were thwarted by a very cozy Jacoby.

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Somehow, I was not bothered by this interference then, and I am still pretty okay with it.

Aby-a-Day – 8 December 2020: Create your own tabletop gaming minifigure (Kind of Cartoon Tuesday)

Well…I woke up this morning full of ambition to work on my Dashiell-xander Hamilton drawing, only to have a Facebook friend post the minifigure she made on Hero Forge.

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So, you know I had to make one, too.

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Annnnnd…I spent most of my afternoon creating what I would look like as my dream player character. Well, it’s kind of like drawing a cartoon…a 3D cartoon.

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Basically, you can create pretty much any character you can imagine (with a few limitations).

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Of course I made myself as a humanoid feline (or, if you prefer, a felinoid human) with a cute skirt, lots of jewellery, a pen and an iPhone.

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Yes, that is a PEN, and yes, I know what it kind of looks like. And she has an iPhone because they didn’t have a laptop as an option.

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Maple leaves are scattered on the maple-wood flooring, of course.

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The interface on the website is super awesome. You can look at your character from virtually any angle. Cool, right?

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You can purchase your character 3D-printed in full colour for $44.99, but the colours aren’t quite as vibrant as they are in the creator.

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Still…I think it’s pretty cool. I’m getting one!

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 – 22 November 2020: Remember when we travelled? (Cat Show Sunday)

Today Björn posted a memory from this day last year, with the comment, “It’s a year since the last cat show we attended, and when we could travel like so many times before. How things can change in a year…”

This was the train to the ferry to a Turku, Finland, where Izaak and Lorelai earned their International Champion titles. We haven’t been to a show since then. A whole year without a cat show…hard to believe. And I haven’t been anywhere at all since July! Because of my asthma I stay in as much as possible, especially since the health officials in Sweden are still saying masks don’t help against the coronavirus…especially on public transportation.

“We don’t see that we are at a point where we might recommend general use of face masks on public transport,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Public Health Agency in Stockholm, told reporters on Thursday. “Face masks shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to keep a distance.” That’s a direct quote. Yeeeeaaahhhh…I’m not going anywhere by train for a while.

Aby-a-Day – 20 November 2020: Photoshop fun with the professional photos (Photoshop Friday)

I submitted some of the professional photos we had taken at DjurMagazinet to the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. I thought they’d have a bit of fun with them, and I was right. I made the one at the top of this post…and here are the rest.

Miguel thought Dashiell belonged on a record album.

Another person said Dash looked “toasty,” and Laurel made him into a marshmallow.

Ashley thought Dash’s tail looked like a knife.

The photo of Lorelai standing up was rather a hit, too. Beatrice thought she looked like one of the mice from Coraline.

Renee turned Rory into a kangaroo.

Tom put Dash and Rory into a scene with Godzilla.

LaLa had Rory playing piano with Tom Jones.

Lita put everyone into a dinosaur scene, and turned Dash into a boss.

Lala turned Alfred, Izaak, Dash and Rory into emperors and an empress.

Beau thought Zak looked like a gargoyle.

And this one is my absolute favourite…but I can’t find who made it. Zak on Ron Swanson’s desk! I love it.

Aby-a-Day – 6 November 2020: Do you want to build a snowman? (Friday Flashback)

Along with everything else going on today, Facebook helpfully reminded me that, four years ago today, we had snow. That made me chuckle; today the high was 13°C (56°F), and snow is nowhere on the horizon.

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Four years ago, though, there was enough snow to build a snowman.

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So of course Jacoby and I had to go out and look at it.

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The kids were clearly trying to make Olaf, the snowman from Frozen. How adorable is that?

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Jake seemed to like him. Look at his smile.

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I miss how good he was at posing…I could just set him anywhere, and he knew what to do.

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I miss that face. I know Dashiell looks like Jake…but I can tell the difference.