Aby-a-Day – 30 Oktober 2020: Jacoby’s diva scarf (Friday Fashion Flashback)

This week, Facebook reminded me of the time Jacoby modelled a scarf my ex brought back from a business trip to India.

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And oh, how he wore it.

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Jake was such an awesome model.

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He just…got it.

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Jake was just so…special. I don’t know how or why, but together, we could do anything. Some days I really miss him.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Oktober 2020: Logan and the refrigerator (Friday Flashback)

A memory of Logan came up in my Facebook feed today.

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Logan was a lot more agile than Izaak is. This is Logan on a tiny ledge on the top of the door to the cabinet above our refrigerator.

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Not to say he was 100% confident up there, but the fact that he got up there at all is huge.

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I cannot imagine Izaak even thinking of trying to go up there, let alone actually doing it.

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He even started to groom himself up there!

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As similar as Singapuras seem to each other…they are definitely individuals!

Aby-a-Day – 16 September 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Today would have been Gun-Hee’s 14th birthday)

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Aby-a-Day – 11 September 2020: Facebook memories of Logan and Jacoby (Friday Flashback)

This week Facebook has been inundating me with memories of Logan. The above screenshot is from 10 September 2017, Logan’s six month birthday. Except it isn’t; Logan’s birthday was 9 March. I am not sure why I posted that on the 10th (which is Björn’s birthday).

This, though…this was 8 September 2017. Logan wanted to sleep where Jacoby was…and in typical Singapura fashion, he got what he wanted.

Then, three years ago today, Jake wanted to sleep where Logan was, so this happened. I miss them.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Augusti 2020: It’s only been a year? (Friday Flashback)

This memory came up on Facebook today; on this day last year, Alfred opened the front door. Now, we have to keep it locked at all times, even if we’re just going to get the mail.

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I know we call Freddy our “Extra Cat”, but he is a very special boy. Karin called him a “philosopher.”

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He’s also wicked smart.

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Sometimes he’s a little too smart. Yesterday, I woke up to a crash and found Freddy had opened the kitchen cabinet, dragged out two bags of cat treats, and spilled a box of fusilli all over the floor. Thanks a lot, Freddy.

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Wonder what his next grand plan is?

Aby-a-Day – 31 Juli 2020: The day Jacoby came to stay (Friday Flashback)

Tomorrow will be the eleventh anniversary of the day Sherry brought us Jacoby

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He basically walked in, said, “Okay, this is home?” and that was that. He was completely unfazed by Kylie, Tessie and Angel.

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Typical Jake. Bulletproof from the start.

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And, as a bonus, here are two videos my ex took that I never even watched before. Look at him go! Click on the images to view the videos in another tab on Flickr.

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He really did just walk in and take over our apartment.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Juli 2020: The start of an amazing experience (Friday Flashback)

This memory came up in my Facebook feed today. Seven years ago today, I was contacted by Leslie and Sheila of the Westchester Feline Club because they wanted Jacoby to be the 2013 Westchester Feline Club Cat of the Year.

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I have to admit, I really had no clue what a huge honour it was to be named Cat of the Year, but fortunately I’m a fast learner. Of course, seeing his face on the Jumbotron was a pretty big hint.

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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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The show was good; Jake made a few finals. And the fashion show was fantastic. They originally wanted Jake to wear a Santa outfit…but when we saw how he rocked this turkey confection, everyone agreed that it was the costume for him! The person who made it even gave it to him afterwards, because he owned it so hard.

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The list of previous Cats of the Year is impressive, indeed.

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Jake was given 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.

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He was also given this certificate…

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…and this poster. I was NOT prepared for all of it!

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It was truly a once in a lifetime experience…but I didn’t realise that in July!

Aby-a-Day – 10 Juli 2020: A hot day in July (Friday Flashback)

Today this memory came up in my memories on Facebook. I wasn’t even on Facebook in 2005, but okay. But it reminded me of that apartment I had in Somerville. It wasn’t the best, but I loved it.

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It was SO hot in that apartment in summer, though. The middle room was the coolest, because I had a window air conditioner…but it was still hot.

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Tessie turned two a month and a half after we got Kylie. Kylie loved her and copied everything she did.

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And here they are now, last week. They are still BFFs and have been for fifteen years. Tessie will be 17 next month. I do miss them, but they are so happy where they are.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Juli 2020: 12th Night in July (Cartoon Tuesday)

Back when I was active in the SCA, instead of Christmas cards, I made Twelfth Night cards, since this is the SCA’s “Chrstmas.”

I have posted a few of these drawings back in 2015, but I just found another card I sent to Björn in 1993. I had totally forgotten that I drew this! The joke was that Harri, my Siamese, was more popular than we were…so he got all the Twelfth Night gifts.

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Like most of my old SCA cartoons, it wasn’t exactly an exaggeration…

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The original card was red ink on forest green cardstock. I did a lot of cartoons on…interesting…colour combinations, and I don’t have any black and white copies. Thank goodness for Photoshop!

Aby-a-Day – 3 Juli 2020: I miss cat shows (Friday Flashback)

These are photos from when Lorelai got a NOM at the very first show she was entered in.

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We had Izaak at this point, but he hadn’t gotten his SVERAK registration yet, so he couldn’t be entered. This was the only show she went to alone.

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The photos of Rory trying to nom her NOM ribbon are among my favourite photos of her.

We haven’t been able to go to a cat show since last November (thank you, global pandemic), and I really miss it. I think the cats do, too.

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

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Aby-a-Day – 5 Juni 2020: Has it been four years already? (Friday Flashback)

As you probably remember, four years ago this month, Jacoby, Angel and I moved to Sweden.

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The movers came on 31 May. Angel was remarkably chill.

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The movers coming in and packing everything up didn’t faze her one bit.

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Jake, of course, was very helpful.

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Tessie wanted to keep the scratching posts.

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But mostly, the Abys just napped whilst the movers worked.

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I was quite impressed watching the movers watching the movers wrap up the big cat tree.

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A week and a half later, it was our turn to go.

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We travelled to Sweden on IcelandAir, which requires all animals to travel in a designated animal area in the cargo hold due to Iceland’s quarantine laws. I was lucky enough to see Angel and Jake’s carrier transferring to our plane during the layover.

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We arrived in Sweden just fine.

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And we made it home to our apartment in Skövde. And here we are, four years later, living our happily ever after.

Well…except we no longer have Jake…but still.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Maj 2020: The Frankentree (Fashion Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of the creation of the Frankentree that we keep on the balcony.

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Angel loves sunning herself on there.

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But then, she liked it before it was upgraded.

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Alfred and Jacoby were also ond of the Frankentree…

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…although it was a bit awkward when Freddy tried to nap in the cubby.

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Logan loved the Frankentree.

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But Angel and Lorelai continue to be the biggest fans of the Frankentree.

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Although Angel doesn’t seem to enjoy sharing it with anyone.

Aby-a-Day – 22 Maj 2020: Facebook has all the memories! It has the best memories! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, Facebook reminded me of the time we got bored at a cat show and put some of the hair I had groomed off Jacoby and put it on his head.

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After I did that, we noticed that the pile of hair on Jake’s bore a striking resemblance to a certain American president.

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Especially from the side.

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Jake was always such a good sport…

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…and he really could rock anything he wore, too. I miss that.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Maj 2020: Gun-Hee and his tail (Photoshop Friday Flashback)

Gun-Hee loved chasing his tail. I posted a video of him chasing it in 2007, and then, a few months later, I posted a
“non-video” version of him chasing his tail.

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Later, I took my three favourite shots…

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…separated them from their background…

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…and made a sort of action-collage of the three.

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I was so proud of this at the time, I even put it on a T-shirt…but looking at the original PSD file…YIKES! Those edges are so bad! I guess I have learned a thing or two in 13 years.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Maj 2020: *Tips hat* M’leggie (Photoshop Friday Flashback)

10 years ago today, I posted this photo of Jacoby’s amusing leggie pose.

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But what I never posted was a Picasso-inspired artistic version of this photo. So, here it is.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Mars 2020: A little time capsule (Cinema Sunday)

I am not sure where it came from, exactly, but a while ago I discovered a short little video my ex took with his iPhone. It’s just Angel being cute, kneading a blanket on the sofa in our old (tiny) apartment, with a cameo by Jacoby.

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It seems to have been taken around the same time as the other photos in this post, sometime between January and March 2011.

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Jake would have still been recovering from his escalator incident when these were taken; he and Angel were getting along fairly companionably, too.

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Here they are on Valentine’s Day 2011. Two weeks later, Jake would be going to his first cat show…where I met my friend Meg, as it happens.

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In any case, here’s the little blast from the past I found on a random jump drive. Click on the image to view it in another tab.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Mars 2020: Coronavirus 1, St. Patrick 0 (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been cancelled out of concern for COVID-19. This is the first time in 26 years the parade has been cancelled. The city of Boston is also postponing the Boston Marathon next month and even the Red Sox spring training and regular season will be delayed.

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I went to my first parade when I moved to Boston in 2000, and stood in front of what at the time was a vacant building. Little did I know that I would eventually live in that very building!

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Naturally, St. Patrick’s Day and the parade was a big part of Jacoby’s life. Our apartment overlooked one of the staging areas, and Jake loved to watch the activity below. His first St. Patrick’s Day, I got him a T-shirt from a shop in Faneuil Hall. What could be more Boston than that?

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Later on, Jake added a shamrock tie and a Celtics jersey to his holiday wardrobe.

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I had actually forgotten about this shamrock sun-hat. I think he only wore it that one time, just for photos.

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He also had his shamrock patterned walking harness. When we lived on the 5th floor, we didn’t face West Broadway, so Jake and I would go downstairs to see the parade in person.

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Angel, on the other hand, was content to watch the parade on television.

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When we moved to the new apartment on the 4th floor, we could just watch the parade from our windows. I think Jake kind of missed going outside to experience it; Angel, meanwhile, was perfectly content watching the parade from our windows.

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It’s a little surreal to think of the parade just not happening. I mean, they even held it the year we had the record snowfall! Okay, it wasn’t as bad as in my cartoon, but it did snow on the day of the parade!

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The last year we lived in Boston, we just watched it from the windows again. Now, though, I kind of wish we’d gone downstairs.

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I’m pretty sure Angel wishes we’d gone downstairs, too.

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In a way, it feels a little bit right, not having the parade the first year Jake isn’t alive for it.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Mars 2020: The Northuldra (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted Izaak as Olaf the snowman from the Frozen movies. But there are some new characters in Frozen 2, and I had two cats who hadn’t been cast yet. Lorelai and Alfred are perfect as the Northuldrian brother and sister Honeymaren and Ryder. As always, I started with a sketch in Procreate.

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Then I did a preliminary ink outline. I had a LOT of fun with this, because, unlike Zakolaf, I got to draw clothing, too. The Northuldra were based on the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia, and I have long had an interest in them from my SCA days (in fact, that was one of the reasons Björn and I became penpals). Drawing their clothing, and especially the knives (I have a collection of Puukkot, the traditional Finnish utility knife), was awesome.

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And then, the clean ink layer. More fun refining the clothing.

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Switching to the laptop and Photoshop, I did a flat colour layer.

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This was done underneath the clean ink layer.

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Then the ticking, and texture on the clothing. This took a long time, because I needed to experiment with fabric textures. For some parts, such as the trim on the neck and shoulders, and the puukkot, I found photos of actual Samí trim and knives, and overlaid and blended them into my drawing.

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You can see how the puukkot are slightly photographic.

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Then I switched to the background. As with Zakolaf and the Zakdalorian, I took a generic Frozen 2 background and painted over it.

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As always, on a separate layer, I added the whiskers and eyeshine.

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And then, their shadows and the obiquitous leaf swirl.

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And here’s the final version. As with Zakolaf, I find it a bit dark…but the Enchanted Forest was shrouded in fog and mist, so it’s kind of supposed to be dark.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Mars 2020: The Big Boston Blizzard of 2015 (Friday Fashion Friday Flashback)

Five years ago this week, Jacoby and Angel experienced what would be Boston’s record snowfall for the first time.

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I couldn’t take them in the courtyard as usual because reasons. So I took them just in front of the building.

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Of course, they were fully decked out in their coats.

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It was…a less than optimal photo location. but we did our best. I am still proud to have lived in Boston the year of the record snowfall.