Aby-a-Day – 1 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Canada day, down Canada way)

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Aby-a-Day- 31 Januari 2020: The manbun that wouldn’t die (Photoshop Friday)

You know, say what you will about the internet and Facebook in particular, but sometimes it can be a very silly and hilarious place. Remember Jacoby’s manbun? The other day I found a Facebook group called This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED.

Well, of course I had to join! By way of introduction, I posted the close-up photo of Jacoby with his manbun.

And it BLEW UP. I posted it on Wednesday, and as of this evening, my post has had 1,568 reactions and 98 comments. Wow.

Some of the comments on my post were awesomely hilarious:

“Khajiit has wares, if you have coin.”

“This cat has a 100% chance of stealing your girlfriend”

“This Cat is STEVEN SEAGAL”

“That’s one sexy cat! 🔥🐈
I am a little concerned about the fact that I think a cat is sexy though…”

“Jason Momoa in cat form?” “Jason MeowMeowa”

“He looks like he became a millionaire from Bitcoin but has since spent most of it on cocaine.”

And then, people started commenting with Photoshops they’d done including Jake and his Manbun.

Miroslav created a dating profile for Jake, with the caption “Unpopular opinion, Jacoby.” Someone else responded, “Nah, he vapes catnip in enclosed public spaces”

Micaela included Jake in a collage of celebrity manbuns.

Abigail had Smudge the cat confront Jake. Someone commented on her work, “I’m just here, trying to enjoy my salad, and I’m getting upstaged.”

Angela envisioned him as part of the cast of 90210.

But perhaps my favourite was the first photo comment, which started with Jessica asking me, “Can I use this photo for my religion? (ask me what my religion is). When I said, “Ohhhkay…what is your religion?, she responded with this:

I’m interested.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Juli: Remembering Jake’s man bun (Photoshop/Fashion Friday Flashback)

The other day, watching TV, a commercial for small loans came on, featuring “typical Swedes.” The man in the advert is meant to be Lars Johansson (the Swedish version of “Joe Average”), complete with manbun. I laughed and said, “Jeez…And of course he has a manbun! Manbuns are so 2016!”

Which reminded me of the time I Photoshopped a manbun on Jacoby. I’m still pretty proud of this one.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juni: Who wore it best? (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Glad Midsommar, allihopa! It’s all downhill from here…

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Today is the greatest Swedish holiday apart from Jul, the day when we get the longest day and the latest sunset, and in a country known for winter, this is a big deal. When I posted about Midsommar last year, I included photos of Jacoby wearing the traditional flower crown.

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I recently found the floral crown again (it had fallen behind some books) this spring. I was thinking Jake could model it again, perhaps outside…but obviously that can’t happen. So I decided to try it on everyone else, and see who, potentially, could be my next hat model. I started with Angel.

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After all, Angel does have hat wearing experience.

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She wasn’t in the mood today…

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…this is the best I could get from her.

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So, Alfred, how are you at wearing a flower crown? You are a native born Swede, after all…this should be natural for you!

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Er…Where are you going?

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Oh, you think the top of the balcony tree is a better background?

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You may be right. Okay, give me looking off into the distance.

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Great! Now give me sensitive and thoughtful.

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Awesome! And now…give me the money shot!

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Perfect!

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Okay. Let’s try the other Swedish Aby. Lorelai, your turn.

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Once again, without the crazy eyes?

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Okay…better. But let’s keep going…

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Demure…demure is good…or it would be if you weren’t so frowny.

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There you go! That’s perfect!

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And, now…let’s see how the Polish contestant does. Here you go, Izaak.

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Oooookay…could you sit up, please?

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And could you lose the attitude?

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That’s a little better…keep going…

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…better…

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Okay Zak, now you just look like a Tribble with flowers.

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And…yeah, I think that’s the best we’re gonna get from you today. Thank you!

So, who wore the Midsommer flower crown best?

Aby-a-Day – 5 April: “The mobile’s life is hanging by a thread” (Fashion Friday)

When we went to Denmark last summer, one of the best souvenirs I brought home was an amazing cat mobile from the famous Flensted Mobiles of Copenhagen.

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Mostly, the cats pay it no mind, because, generally, no one ever looks up.

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But when they do look up, they find it fascinating.

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Especially Lorelai.

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When she notices it, though, she cannot get enough of it. She’ll jump up on Björn’s shoulders to get a closer look.

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It’s kind of cute…two of the cats actually look just like Rory reaching for the mobile.

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Of all the things I brought back from that trip, this mobile is one of the best things I got. I love looking at it every day. I also got a similar kitten mobile by Flensted that I donated to the NEMO show raffle. I hope whoever won it enjoys it as much as we enjoy ours!

Aby-a-Day – 22 Mars: Kit-Tea (Fashion Friday)

Björn had a wonderful Scottish bone china tea mug featuring men with dogs hunting quail made by Dunoon. Sadly, the mug was accidentally knocked off the counter and broken a month or so ago. It really is the best mug for drinking tea, but that particular design has been discontinued.

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Whilst searching for a suitable replacement for his dearly departed mug, Björn also found the perfect mug for me! It features every breed of cat imaginable. Some are featured around the inside edge of the rim, and also in larger illustrations with descriptions on the sides of the mug. As you can see, the Somali is one of the featured breeds.

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As you can see it’s a fairly tall mug. It holds a half litre of beverage!

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Other breeds are shown along the base of the mug, including the Abyssinian…

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…And the Singapura.

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The Aby and the Singa are actually kind of next to each other, both next to the handle of the mug, which has a collection of “Cat Facts.” It’s an absolutely lovely mug, and I think it makes the tea taste better. Thank you, Björn, for introducing me to these awesome mugs!

Aby-a-Day – 4 Januari: Cast iron cat bowl holder (Fashion Friday)

I really like using elevated cat bowl stands. I have a couple of different ones, a low silicon one with steel bowls from Granngården that’s perfect for Lorelai, and a Pet Lounge Bambu diner that Jacoby uses.

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But recently, I found this really cool, cast iron metal cat-shaped bowl holder on Tradera (kind of a Swedish local eBay). I love it and I’m fascinated by the workmanship. Believe me, I looked, but I couldn’t find any information on who manufactured it or when it was produced. According to various eBay and Etsy posts I found, it is apparently “vintage,” and you can find plenty of images of the bowl on Pinterest and Google Images searches.

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But know nothing of its age, origins or anything else. It is, however, awesome.

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It now lives out in the kitchen, where it is eaten from, twice daily, by Alfred and Angel.

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They were using Bambu feeder, but this one works better in the kitchen, because it’s heavier. These bowls don’t budge now.

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Angel and Freddy seem to appreciate their new dining partner, anyway.

Aby-a-Day – 7 December: “I joined the Navy to see the world…what did I see? I saw the sea” (Fashion Friday)

When I first moved to Sweden, I found a Baltic pet life jacket at a second-hand shop. Björn’s brother has a boat, so who knows? Jacoby might go on a boating trip some day. Besides, it was too good a deal to pass up. In pet shops, these vests are at least 200kr (about $22), but I got this one, in perfect shape, for 25kr (about $2.75).

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Not only that, but it’s a perfect fit, and Jake rocks it.

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He knows how good he looks in it, too.

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That feel when you know you’re spectacular.

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Then Björn got the idea to put a little sailor’s hat on Jake to finish the outfit.

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Which, of course, Jake wore with panache.

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If anything, he was even prouder of himself than he was before!

Aby-a-Day – 30 November: Jacoby’s Don Draper suit (Friday Fashion Flashback)

Can you believe it’s been FIVE years since Jacoby got his United Bamboo retro suit that he, famously, wore as JFK to my Marilyn?

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But it’s true…it was five years ago this year that I got Jake his “Don Draper” suit.

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My, how time has flown, right?

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Can you believe it’s been that long since Jake got his cool suit?

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Because I can’t.

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It seems like he’s always had it…and yet, at the same time, it feels like he just got it. Time is funny that way, isn’t it?

Aby-a-Day – 23 November: “Who’s a pretty bird? WHO’S a pretty bird?” (Friday Fashion Flashback)

Facebook, in its infinite algorithmic wisdom, reminded me this morning of Jacoby’s invitation to be Cat of the Year at the famed Westchester Cat Show and the fashion show where Jake first wore his fabulous Turkey costume.

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Hard to believe that it’s been FIVE YEARS since then! So much has happened since then!

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Jake clearly thought he looked amazing in his festive outfit.

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The beautiful cat costume, made by Golden CouturePet, was only meant to be a loaner for the fashion show…

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…But it seemed to be custom-made for Jake. The minute he put it on, it was his. The creator agreed and gave it to Jake as a gift because it suited him so very well.

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Jake being named Cat of the Year was such an incredible honour.

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We will never forget it.

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And we have this sparkly confection of a costume to remember it by. Thank you, Westchester Feline Club!

Aby-a-Day – 21 September: Arrrrrrgh! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Friday Fashion Flashback)

Wednesday was Talk Like a Pirate Day. But as you know, Angel has always been our pirate.

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She has had her pirate dress, hat and eyepatch for over five years now!

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That’s kind of mind-boggling to me. It feels like we just got everything yesterday!

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But in fact, last year I had to replace the feathers on Angel’s hat because they were just starting to disintegrate.

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However, I think the new feathers look a lot better than the old ones! Feathers are a big part of the Swedish Easter celebration; they are used to make Påskris, birch twigs decorated with colourful feathers. So every spring I will be able to easily find replacement feathers for Angel…

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…as long as I can remember in October where I put them when I bought them in April!

Aby-a-Day – 7 September: Hold that tiger! (Fashion Friday)

At the same venue our last cat show was held, there was a “loppis” (flea market) held outside during some horse racing. And of course we had to go check it out! I was lucky enough to discover this really cool tiger rug in one of the stalls for only 50kr (about $5.50)!

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It came originally from a chain called Rusta, and according to a quick Google search for “Rusta Tiger Mattor,” it seems to have been available, and, apparently, a very popular Jul gift between 2009 and 2011.

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Of course the moment I put it on the floor, it attracted a cat.

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And then it attracted another.

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As a cat-trap, it works fairly well. At least, it works better than a circle of tape on the floor.

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And then, the cutest thing happened. Oh, Jacoby tried to hide it with his tail…

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…but he couldn’t hide it completely. Nope, he was licking Lorelai on the top of the head!

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After that, Jake wandered off, and Izaak decided that the tiger needed a mousie, too.

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Look at Rory’s face!

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She’s like, “Really? We have this cool tiger rug to play with, and you bring a mousie?”

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But back to the tiger…it’s really well made, with a nicely-shaped, probably styrofoam-based head with really nice eyes, nose, and whiskers. The fur is pretty high quality, too.

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The tail is well done, too. It’s nearly exactly the way they lay out real animal-skin pelts for rugs.

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It’s also really long. It reaches all the way to the back of his head.

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Zak thought it was fun to play with, too.

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As you can see, compared to Zak, it’s a very good size.

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Oh, look. Rory’s back.

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Let’s wrassle!

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Okay back to examining the tiger…oh, wait…

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Oh, hey! My mousie!

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“What?”

Aby-a-Day – 10 August: My humans went to Copenhagen and all I got was this lousy T-shirt (Fashion Friday)

Björn and I went to Copenhagen for a short holiday last week. We stayed in a nice (but HOT) hotel right next to Copenhagen’s Central Station. It was a perfect location, walking distance to everything, close to everything…including the famous Tivoli Gardens. It opened on 15 August 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world (the oldest is also in Denmark. Apart from having the oldest wooden roller coaster, it has shows, Halloween and Christmas festivals, fireworks, an adjacent hotel, and a number of restaurants and shops.

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Including the only Build-a-Bear store in Scandinavia.

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As you may recall, Jacoby loved going to the Build-a-Bear shop in Faneuil Hall, so when I saw souvenir T-shirts there, I knew I had to get him one.

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It’s been a while since Jake’s worn any of his outfits, but as you can see, he’s still got it!

Aby-a-Day – 13 July: Life imitates art (Fashion Friday Flashback)

An unsung hero of cat art history is Girard “Gig” Goodenow. I can’t even find a biography of him online, but a Google search of his name will give you plenty images of his art. I had a set of four of his “Pity Kitties” with huge, sad eyes in my bedroom when I was four years old. But a few years ago I found a print of one of the series of cat prints he did for Women’s Day…the Abyssinian, of course.

Well, I finally got around to finding a frame for it, and, after I unrolled it to look at it after years of it being packed away, both Björn and I were struck by how much it looked like a portrait of…Alfred. Eerily so, considering the print is 53 years old.

So we got Freddy to pose next to his two-dimensional doppleganger.

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Or, rather, I should say we tried to get him to pose. It didn’t start off well…

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This is one of the best photos of them together!

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At last Freddy took a good look at the portrait.

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“Wow! That really kinda does look like me!”

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“This is amazing..! It’s like looking in a mirror!”

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I think Freddy has a new-found appreciation for vintage cat art. I wonder if this Abyssinian was based on one of Freddy’s ancestors?

Aby-a-Day – 15 June: Hi, I’m Mat (Fashion Friday)

I bought a new doormat last week. I found it at Rusta, a Swedish chain of clearance/dollar stores, the sort of place that gets discontinued merchandise from other stores and sells it on the cheap. You also have no guarantee of finding the same thing twice.

But is it an Abyssinian mom and kit, or just something that looks vaguely Aby-like.

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This is our front door. The black wooden cat sillhouettes are made in Sweden, and the stickers say “Warning for cat,” “Warning for cat hair,” and, on the newspaper shelf, “Welcome, I live here.” We also have a Royal Canin sticker advising firemen how many cats are in our apartment. So yeah, we’re known as the “cat family” the same way that the people on the third floor with the incessantly barking dogs are known as the “annoying dog family.”

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Lorelai was the first to check out the new doormat.

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She seemed particularly interested in the eyes.

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Okay, Rory, what do you think? Aby, or not?

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Alfred checked the mat out next, but didn’t give an opinion on whether or not the cats on it were Abys.

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Jake was the last to examine the new doormat.

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But he still didn’t give me any advice as to whether or not these are Abys. So what do you think? Abys, or not?

Aby-a-Day – 2 February: Who wore it better? Mistletoe edition (Friday Fashion Flashback)

I know Christmas (or Jul, as it’s called in Sweden) has been done and gone for over a month, but I couldn’t resist this comparison. Remember the first time Jacoby wore his mistletoe hat? He wore it like a pro. And later on?

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Yeah, he was still wearing it like a pro.

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Even as late as our first Christmas in Sweden…

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…Jake was still rocking that mistletoe hat like a boss.

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But the first time Logan donned the famed mistletoe hat?

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Yeah…not so much with the rocking and the bossing.

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Although, to be fair…Jake had his moments with the hat, too.

Aby-a-Day – 8 April: Angel’s new leash (Fashion Friday)

I finally got Angel her very own leash made by my friend Sally at HiTide Creations.

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She’d been using Jacoby’s old one, but I really wanted to get her a purple one to match her collar.

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Like Jake’s leashes, it has some gorgeous, hand-made beads in colours that match the leather.

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It also has the adjustable handle that I designed, based on a leash I found when I went to Seoul, Korea. As a hand loop, it can be fastened to something, like the stroller’s handlebars.

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And like Jake’s leashes, it can be fastened around my waist for a hands-free leash. This innovation I came up with when Jake was doing therapy work. The first rule of therapy visits is “Never drop your leash” but sometimes that’s harder than you’d think. Having the leash around my waist means I never let go of the connection.

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Angel’s new leash looks so great with her Finnish harness and her new collar.

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She knows she looks great with her new leash.

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I can’t wait to take her out and test it once the weather gets better!

Aby-a-Day – 4 March: Outside Lord & Taylor (Fashion Friday)

When we were strolling through Back Bay, Jacoby took a particular interest in the window display at Lord and Taylor.

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Apparently, our Jake not only like wearing fine fashion, but he likes to look at it, too.

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It’s nice to see a boycat so in touch with his inner fashionista.

Aby-a-Day – 12 February: Jake’s man bun (Photoshop/Fashion Friday)

So okay. Man buns, stupid as they may be, are a thing. Björn sent me this gallery of politicians rocking the man bun, and I was hit with inspiration.

Oh, yes I did. I took this photo of Jacoby and this Pinterest photo of a sad, sad hipster and brought the magic.

And there you have it: Jake with a man bun. Now can we stop this madness?

Aby-a-Day – 15 January: Sanna-Leena’s new tattoo (Fashion Friday)

Our friend Sanna-Leena has an fabulous tattoo featuring her two boy Abys Sketsi and Kossi.

This week, she got a new tattoo featuring her red/sorrel girl Aby Kiipi! I love her eyelashes! Check out the video on Sanna-Leena’s Instagram to see the rest of this amazing tattoo done by Ravi-Lassi in Oulu, Finland. Well, I know where I’m getting my next tattoo!