Aby-a-Day – 2 Mars: Remembering the Cat Pack (Cartoon Tuesday)

The other day I was reminded of the “Cat Pack” of 2013. They included Strollercat (of course), Rosie and Louis, my friend Kathy’s two Abys; Jafari the jogging cat, my friend Christopher’s Aby; and, of course, Jacoby’s cousin Toki Nantucket, my friend Julie’s supermodel Aby. I did a little sketch of the famous cohort.

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2009 was a good year for Abyssinians.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Oktober 2020: A most memorable Halloween

This being an election year, I am especially reminded of Halloween 2012, the day Jacoby and I were interviewed by the local NBC affiliate and the Boston Herald.

Meg messaged me first thing Thursday morning…OMG, she said. Jake is on the front page of the Herald. Okay, I figured, he was in a little sidebar photo. Nope.

Here’s the online article (the actual newspaper article was too big to scan).

Not only that…there was a second story and yet another photo of me with Jake.

The crazy thing was…it was most definitely not a slow news week. Besides Wednesday being Halloween, that Sunday, the Patriots has just played a game in Wembley Stadium in London, the worst of Hurricane Sandy hit Boston on Monday, and there was also some sort of election thingy happening the following Tuesday. But yeah…Strollercat was the Herald’s Page One story on Thursday, 1 November 2012.

It was, hands down, the most surreal week of my life. As the Boston Globe’s Michael Morisy so aptly described it, “It’s stuff like #StrollerCat that keeps me simultaneously in love with & terrified of this amazing city.” Yeah, I may have grown up in California, but Boston is my home.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Februari: Our three seconds of Swedish fame (Thursday Things)

When we went to the Ädelkatten show in Västra Frölunda back in December there was a celebrity spectator in the show hall.

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Glenn Hysén is a retired footballer, manager and commentator who, along with his sons (also footballers) Tobias and Anton and his wife Helena, go to places around Göteborg and film their interactions for a Swedish reality show. It’s a bit like the Kardashian show, but less sleazy and more silly.

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Of course they captured typical scenes from a typical cat show…the last cat, the Cornish Rex, is our friend our friend Sully!

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They also caught my friend Peter on film as well.

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I am not entirely sure what they said, but from the video, they did a good job capturing a show.

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They even covered a final.

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Our friend Stellan, one of the top Singapura breeders in Northern Europe, was the emcee for the finals, so of course he was featured on the show.

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And so were we!

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They actually filmed us for a while, and interviewed Björn, but all we got was about three seconds.

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But hey, we were on television! In Sweden!

You can see the cat show segment here; it starts at 23:08, but you can’t fast forward though the ads (you can jump to the beginning of the third segment, but you have to watch the ads). The link will work on computers in North America, but not on phones.

Aby-a-Day – 15 February: Supermodel Lorelai (Fashion Friday)

Yesterday, I got a Facebook message from Madelene Jonsson, the photographer who took the marvelous photos of Izaak and Lorelai that I posted on Wednesday (and macroed yesterday). She wanted to show me her ad for the next cat show where she’ll be taking photographs. And look who is prominently featured! I am so proud of our little girl! Thank you, Madelene!

Other People’s Singas: Noodle the paddle boarder, Paolo the Brave and his brother, Keiko

This really awesome video of a Singapura paddle boarding with her human in the UK popped up on Facebook yesterday. Noodle and her human, Nigel, go paddle boarding regularly on rivers in Essex and Sussex. They even have an Instagram page.

But as cool as this story is, it gets cooler. Noodle (Singaneko Artemis) comes from a British cattery, and her father is Bakardi Minimali*PL (“Keiko”). Kinsey, the breeder, has also written two children’s books about Keiko and his littermate brother Paolo (Bolt Minimali*PL). I discovered – and bought – these books last year after we got Logan, delighted to find any books starring Singas.

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Of course, you know that our Izaak also comes from Minimali*PL. But if you look at Paolo’s, Keiko’s and Zak’s pedigrees, you’ll find that all three boys’ parents are Tinytoy Rus Mafoj*PL (father) and Angelina Minimali*PL (mother)…so Zak is Paolo and Keiko’s full brother, and Noodle is his neice! Paolo and Keiko are three years older than Zak…but how amazing is it to discover that Zak’s brothers are children’s book stars!? And his neice is a famous paddle boarder!? I guess Zak has a lot to live up to.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport celebrates International Cat Day…with Jacoby!

In honour of International Cat Day, a representative of Arlanda International asked me if they could use this photo I took of Jacoby and Angel in their crate just when we arrived in Sweden two years ago. So today Jake is featured on their Facebook page and on their Instagram account! Be sure to like him!

Aby-a-Day – September 28: Boston has not forgotten Strollercat (Hipstamatic Monday)

Ever since my bicycle accident a couple of months ago, my bike has felt a bit “off,” so I finally took it to Urban Adventours’ bike shop to get it looked at.

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They have a really great bike shop, and it’s especially convenient for a city dweller. They’re open til 8pm Monday – Saturday, and they’re right on the Greenway near the Carousel, which is wicked convenient.

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They also do repairs for a reasonable price, which is brilliant considering their location and convenience. It turned out, I was right: the rear wheel needed truing and the gears needed tightening. I also got her cleaned and lubed, and the whole thing only cost me $50. But the best part came when one of the young men working there wheeled out my bike. “Okay, I just gotta ask…” he started.

“The front basket? Yep, it’s for a cat or small dog! It’s a Dutch-made – of course! – pet bike carrier.”

“Okay,” he said, “Because I have a cat, but he would just jump out.”

“Well,” I said, “There’s a leash hook right here, so it’s like a seatbelt and they can’t jump out.” He then asked if I’d ever taken my cat for a bike ride in the basket. “No…” I explained, “But he has a stroller, and he loves to ride in that.”

“Oh, okay, so he’s been outside and he doesn’t freak out?”

“Nope, he loves going out. In fact, we got on the cover of the Herald once because we rode the T with his stroller…” I started telling the story of that fateful Tuesday T ride.

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As I was relating the tale, the other guy working at the shop interrupted. “Wait…You’re STROLLERCAT lady!?”

“I…uh…yeah? Yep, that’s me. I’m Strollercat’s mom.” I gave him a blog card with a photo of Jake in his stroller.

“OMG!!! I can’t believe I’m meeting Strollercat’s person! OMG!” Then he texted someone. “I have to tell my friend, she’s going to DIE.”

At that moment, a young woman came in with a bike. “Hey, I just texted you! You know who this is? This is the woman wit Strollercat!” And the girl was also very impressed and happy to get a card.

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It kind of blew me away…I mean, that was almost three years ago, and people still remember it. It’s almost like Jacoby and I have become a Boston urban legend!

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So this is kind of cool…I stumbled across this today looking up @lolmbta and #strollercat on Twitter:

MBTA Bingo! And…check out N-1! Cat in a stroller? That can only be the infamous Strollercat, right? So, in a way, Jacoby’s made the Boston Globe as well as the Herald!

Look who’s on the CFA homepage!

Meg emailed me yesterday to let me know that Jacoby is featured on the CFA website’s homepage. Check it out:

The CFA sent out an email asking for photos of cats “dressed for winter,” but I didn’t know what they were going to use them for. Now I know!

Other People’s Abys: Six Degrees of Abyssinian

So this is cool. Yesterday was Kevin Bacon’s birthday, and guess what?

He has an Aby! So now, when you play the Kevin Bacon game, you can factor in his kitty and figure out how many degrees of separation any actor is from an Abyssinian! If only we knew the cat’s pedigree…then we could figure out how closely our Abys are related to Kevin Bacon’s Aby…

Aby-a-Day – June 22: Sunday surprise!

So this morning, when I checked my email I found this in amongst the spam:

“CONGRATULATIONS

Your cat, PELLBURN JACOBY STEALIN HOME has won the following awards in TICA’s Northeast Region:

2014 BEST ABYSSINIAN ALTER OF THE YEAR

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Your certificate may be picked up at the Northeast Regional Awards Banquet to be held at the Yarmouth House Restaurant, Yarmouth, MA. If you are unable to attend the banquet, you may arrange for someone else to pick up your award(s) for you or you may request the certificates be mailed to you by emailing or calling Francine Hicks. Awards will be mailed after your request and the receipt of a suggested donation to the region to offset mailing costs.

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All Best of Breed winners, Top 20 in each category including top 20 LH and SH cats are featured in the slide show during the awards ceremony. Please send your picture to Suzanne Philbrick. All information regarding the Regional Show and Banquet can be found at our own Northeast Website.

I hope to see you at the Cape for our year end celebration!!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Francine Hicks
TICA Northeast Regional Director”

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So Jake’s a regional winner…in TICA! Who knew? I think we only went to two TICA shows this season…we certainly weren’t trying for a TICA regional award…but look what happened! I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend the banquet in person (it’s on September 6th), but what a nice surprise!

Aby-a-Day – May 1: Banner Day

I got the following email a couple of days ago:

Hello

Pet Partners will be updating our Facebook header on Thursday to include several photos of our registered therapy animals. You’ll be pleased to know that your pet’s photo has been chosen as one of those featured.

A few of these photos have been in our files for years and some of those pets are no longer with us. The inclusion of their photos is a tribute to all the benefits they provided during their years as therapy animals.

I hope you enjoy the look of the new header – we look forward to your comments.

How very cool!

Jacoby and I are also going to participate in an AARP Event next week at the Boston Convention Center in South Boston. We’ll be with the UnitedHealthcare booth providing stress relief to attendees and passing out Pet Partners information highlighting the importance of therapy animal visitation. It should be very interesting – and it’s close to home!

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Pet Partners sent me a thank you note and a tote bag for Jake and my service.

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As you can see, Jake likes it!

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We didn’t really need a thank you gift to take Jake on therapy visits, but it’s a pretty nice totebag.

Abys are Everywhere: Can Cats Be Therapy Animals?

Hey, wait a minute…that’s not just any Aby…

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My friend TJ Banks interviewed Jacoby and me for this article she wrote for PetsAdviser: “Hooray for Cats! More and More Are Becoming Therapy Animals”. Check it out!

The polls are closed…

The Moderncat “Star Cat” contest closed today at 3pm Eastern time. There were some cats who collected over 40,000 votes…but our Jacoby didn’t do too badly…

…he hit 1600 votes this afternoon! I don’t know what his exact final total was, but the highest number I heard for him was 1613.

Thank you to everyone who voted as many times as you could…now I guess we just wait and see what happens next…

Aby-a-Day – December 22: Weruva, Jake’s new BFF

The other day, Jacoby got a box in the mail.

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He knew it was for him as soon as I brought it into the apartment, too. Of course, it said “For the Cat of the Year” on it, but I didn’t know Jake could read.

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The box was full of Weruva Cat Food and treats!

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Weruva is based in Natick, MA, and they also make Best Feline Friend cat food. I love that the company is named after three cats: WEbster, RUdi and VAnessa. I also love that there is a cat named Vanessa.

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This was part of Jake’s “Cat of the Year” award from the Westchester show last month. I didn’t know Jake was getting food as part of his honours and was very surprised when the Weruva rep announced it during the ceremony.

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Jake inspected the contents of his box thoroughly.

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Very thoroughly.

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Very very thoroughly!

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He was much more interested in the treat canisters than he was in the food packets. Typical.

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Weruva food prides itself on not being “mystery mush.” As they explain on their website: “We do not blend our ingredients into the meatloaf-style pate. We instead flake our protein cuts off the bone, and they are then hand placed into cans along with other food ingredients that may be in the formula. Our philosophy is ‘what you see is what you get.’ We want you to see and identify the quality of the ingredients that we list on the ingredient statement.” I do have to say, some of their food looks (and smells!) pretty good to me…and the cats love it, too.

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Since I wasn’t opening any of the packets or tubes of food, the box took on a more immediate interest to Jake.

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He really fell in love with this box, too. I guess Webster, Rudi and Vanessa gave it some extra good smells before they sent it off. Natick is only about 20 miles from Boston, so the box didn’t have to travel far.

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It isn’t like we don’t have any other boxes lying about the place, but this box was special.

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And the fact that it came with a food supply (which Jake diligently monitored, just in case they spontaneously burst open) only made it that much more attractive.

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Perhaps a little too attractive.

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Look at Jake’s face! I think he’s more concerned that Angel’s going to try to take away his box than he is about her taking the food!

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“I didn’t want your stupid old box anyway,” Angel says as she stalks away.

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Of course, we had to try some of the grain-free, all-meat treats…as you can see, they earned the Aby Housekeeping Seal of Approval!

Vote for Jacoby to be featured in Moderncat Magazine!

Please, please, please vote for Jacoby to win a professional photo shoot and a two-page spread in an upcoming issue of Modern Cat magazine!

VOTE FOR JAKE!

Don’t hold back! The cat receiving the most votes in Moderncat’s Star Cat competition will appear in a two-page feature in an upcoming issue of Moderncat magazine and will take part in a photo shoot orchestrated by Moderncat. The contest closes on 21 January, 2014, and here’s the best part: You can vote for each cat once every 12 hours! According to the rules, votes made from computers on a shared internet connection are counted as a single vote (i.e one vote per office/home per 12 hours).

Let’s get our Jake into a magazine! Vote, please!

Aby-a-Day – December 2: No business like it (Hipstamatic Monday)

When Jacoby and I were at the Westchester Cat Show, it seemed like everyone knew who he was.

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Even when he was just chilling out in his borrowed show cage, Jake was a center of attention.

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A lot of people wanted to take his photo.

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Of course, Jake was completely fine with that. I’ve never seen him turn down a photo opportunity!

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Like this young man, who asked if he could take some photos of Jake.

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Of course, I said yes…and he took more than a few photos.

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I thought he was going to stick his head right into Jake’s shelter!

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I really wonder how his photos turned out. I wish I’d thought to give him my card so he could send me copies.

Aby-a-Day – November 24: “But there are ten letters in White Plains.” “No…eleven.”

What a weekend!

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There’s so much to share, but right now both Jacoby and I are exhausted. We left yesterday morning at 6:40 and our train got back into Boston at 9:20 tonight, so we have had two very long days.

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Being the Cat of the Year’s human is a big job! It was a little surreal to be part of a celebrity team. I mean, he was on the Jumbotron! I was constantly talking to people, or doing something with Jake. Besides the Cat of the Year, Jake was also entered in the show (we only missed two rings, which is a bit of a miracle) and he participated as a model in the Fashion Show which was held both Saturday and Sunday. Jake is actually the first Cat of the Year to do all three things in the same show!

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He is in very good standing…the full list of all the previous cats isn’t online anywhere (yet), but it was at the show…and what an impressive list it is.

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Jake got an incredible rosette – the Scarlett Ribbon – with a photo of Scarlett, who was the very first Cat of the Year and the reason the award was created. It’s an honour to be on the same list with that brave little cat – and all the other amazing cats who have been Westchester’s Cats of the Year.

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He also got a certificate that I’ll need to frame…

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…and this poster.

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And Weruva Cat Food is sending us some of their awesome cat food! They gave us some cans and some treats – which Jake loved (of course).

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Our good friend Matthew and his mom even came to the show to see Jake get his award! On top of that, today he finally got his 6th TICA final…and he is not a Grand Champion Alter. He actually has enough points to be a Double Grand Champion Alter…but he just needs to make one. More. Final. Oh, well. There is another show in February in Framingham…

HUGE THANK YOUS to Sheila and Mike Dentico, Leslie Masson, Claire, Jan, Katherine, Artie, Joe and Marvy…and the Westchester Feline Club for EVERYTHING!

Aby-a-Day – November 22: Cat of the Year (Fashion Friday)

This is the weekend the gigantic CFA World Show is being held in Novi, MI, but Jacoby and I are headed to New York to attend the Westchester TICA Cat Show in White Plains instead.

But this isn’t just any cat show…Jake’s been named the Westchester Cat Club’s Cat of the Year for 2013! This award is a pretty big deal. It started in 1996, and Westchester’s first Cat of the Year was Scarlett, the cat who saved her kittens from a burning building (the award was created for her), and other honourees have included Nora the Piano Cat and Ginny the Dog who Saved Cats; last year’s winner was Nina, who helps autistic children.

In 1997, the Cat of the Year was a half Aby, half Munchkin named Cleo! Cleo was born with a cleft palate, but she had such a will to live and she was so good natured that she would take her feeding tube on her own when it was time to eat!

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This year, it’ll be our very own Jacoby Stealin’ Home!

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Since they’re calling Jake “Boston Strong,” I took his St. Patty’s shamrock harness and sewed a “B Strong” patch on it. I figured he could wear it at the show.

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I think it works well, especially since we live in Southie.

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Not only will this be perfect for him to wear to the show, but it will also be appropriate at next year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Here’s a video from the 2011 show featuring an interview with Sheila Dentico; she’s a friend from one of my Aby email lists and it was she who nominated Jake for this prestigious honour.

And look who else was at the 2011 show!

Of course, there will be tons of photos when we come home, never fear. Jake’s also entered in the show, and as you might recall, he still needs to make three more finals in order to become a Grand Champion Alter in TICA. This’ll be his third TICA show, too…so maybe the third time’s the charm? I do know that at this show he’s the only Aby Alter…the last two shows, he was up against two different Supreme Grand Champion Alters (Dexter and Abracadabra). Perhaps he’ll just get those last three finals after all…

There is just one thing I’m nervous about, though…we’ll be taking Amtrak. While we had no issues the last time we took America’s Railroad, I’ll have to be ready to show all of Jake’s documentation if we run into an unfriendly conductor.

Cartoon Tuesday Extra: The man behind the cat

I had the incredible good luck last night to meet Simon Tofield, the man behind Simon’s Cat at an event at the Brookline Booksmith.

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As someone who has also been drawing pretty much her whole life, it was really interesting to listen to him talk about how he got his start drawing animals – any animals – as a child. Simon was interviewed by Jef Czekaj, who also emceed the Copy Cat Festival last February. During his introduction of Simon, Jef even mentioned “Boston’s famous Strollercat” which was fun…wish I’d actually been able to bring Jacoby along with me…but I’d come straight from work and wasn’t able to.

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I also wish I’d remembered to bring my good camera! I remembered it about halfway to the office. At least I have an iPhone. I had him sign my copy of “Kitten Chaos” because the Booksmith was selling pre-signed copies of his new book (clever, no? Now I have two signed books).

I was able to capture a video of Simon drawing his cat and the kitten (I forgot to hold my camera horizontal, so don’t hate…but really, the visual is more suited to vertical orientation). They’re based after his cats Hugh and Teddy; he has four all together, besides Hugh and Teddy, there are Jess the 13 year old torte and Maisy his “wildcat.” He’s actually got photos of them in his latest YouTube release:

He also makes all the kitty sounds you hear in the videos – purring, meowing, chirping, growling and hissing, it’s all Simon!

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Here’s the finished Simon’s Cat and kitten. I think the bookstore is going to have them framed (I know I would).

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Interestingly enough, this event was originally scheduled for Patriot’s Day, April 15…but then the Marathon Bombing happened, and it needed to be cancelled. I’m so glad that Simon was able to come back to Boston…and that I was able to attend!

Edit: And OMG…Simon was an impromptu celebrity judge for the Cat Scout Cardwood Derby! I wonder if he’ll remember that Jake is the same cat he saw photos of in Boston?