Aby-a-Day – 3 Maj: Look at this smexy boi! (Hipstamatic Monday)

Sometimes the simplest things make beautiful photos.

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Dasshiell was at the end of the sofa, just grooming himself, but something about his pose, and the lighting, intrigued me.

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His fur is growing back on his belly, by the way. The Zylkene seems to be working.

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As I have said before, Hipstamtic can salvage a bad photo…but Hipstamatic also transforms good photos into art.

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And apparently, Dash has inherited a bit of Jacoby’s ability to work a camera. Look at these poses!

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That is some steamy side-eye Dash is giving me.

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Pure smoulder. Yeah, baby!…Oooh, behave!

Aby-a-Day – 18 Mars: Lorelai in a box (Thursday Things)

Last weekend, we had a little box of various cheeses. The box was pretty nice for putting little things in, so we put it on the kitchen table.

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And sure enough, a little thing ended up in the box.

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Lorelai loves to chew on her claws.

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I think that’s why she hates it when I clip them for her.

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“I can do my OWN nails, Mom!”

Aby-a-Day – 11 Februari: King Kong (Thursday Things)

A few months ago, Dashiell started over grooming himself. We think Lorelai being in heat may be stressing him out on some level, although their interactions are fairly normal and they play chasing games along with Izaak and Alfred every day.

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He started in on his belly. I tried giving him Amitriptyline (which I had on hand for Angel in case she has urinary issues), but the process of catching him and getting the pill down his throat once a day seemed to only cause him more stress, which seemed to defeat the purpose. Same with spraying his belly with Bitter Apple, plus I ended up getting the stuff on me, too (FWIW, it really does taste vile).

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I also tried the ThunderShirt, but he just over groomed parts of his body the shirt didn’t cover, like his arms.

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After careful observation, I determined his over grooming wasn’t likely caused by internal belly pain (when Tessie over groomed her belly, it turned out she was constipated and she was trying to make it feel better), especially after he started in on his arms. Out of ideas, I asked on my new Facebook Aby/Somali group, and several people suggested I try Zylkene, which is given as a powder in food. Dash’s licking lessened after a week or so, but it didn’t stop completely.

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Zylkene takes a few months to really take effect, according to other Aby owners who have used it, so I added the cone of shame, which he tolerates quite well. He isn’t able to reach the places he was over grooming, but he can wash the bits he needs to. I put his cone on upside-down, like a cape; Dr. Natalie at South Boston Animal Hospital suggested that for Tessie, so the cone would bother her less and to avoid whisker fatigue. He’s been wearing the cone for a few days now, and I think we’re finally getting some results!

Aby-a-Day – 26 November 2020: Sausage party (Thursday Things)

The other day, I went into the bedroom for something, and I discovered all the boys in a pile on the middle of the bed.

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I joked that there was a sausage party going on in our bedroom.

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Then Alfred started to…move.

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Freddy, I don’t need to see any sausages..!

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Completely non-plussed, Freddy carried on with his grooming. I love the expressions on the other two boys’ faces.

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Also, can we all just take a moment to admire Freddy’s grabby hands action?

Aby-a-Day – 4 Maj 2020: Mani-Pedis are supposed to be relaxing! (Medical Monday)

Okay…maybe claw clipping isn’t exactly “medical,” but it does contribute to a cat’s health and wellbeing.

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Our lot don’t exactly enjoy getting their biweekly claw trim, but they usually handle it well. After all, they have been getting their claws clipped every other week for as long as they’ve lived with me. Alfred, however…

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…is not a fan of getting his mani-pedi. Usually, he sits quietly and self-soothes with purring, but yesterday he decided to squirm and pull faces.

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It may have been the audience. Björn came in the bathroom to talk to me and captured Freddy in action.

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In case you’re wondering, I always sit on the edge of the tub facing in when I clip claws…that way, the end bits just go down the drain when I’m done.

Aby-a-Day – 27 April 2020: So much for THAT Hallmark moment (Hipstamatic Monday)

It all started so innocently…

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…Alfred and Izaak were cuddling on the sofa, and Freddy lazily started to groom Zak.

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And then Zak started grooming Freddy in return.

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It was so sweet. It reminded me of Freddy with Logan.

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I mean, okay, they are a year apart in age, so not quite “brothers from another mother” the way Freddy was with Logan…

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…but at least Freddy still has a Singa pal who’s fun to be with.

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Zak, of course, loves all the Abys in the house. He happily cuddles with everyone.

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However, all of a sudden things took a turn. Freddy started to groom Zak a little…

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too enthusiastically.

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Zak had had enough! He way weigh around three pounds less than Freddy does…

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…but with true Singapura stubborness, Zak can stand up to anyone when enough is enough!

Aby-a-Day – 27 Mars 2020: “You have to stop the Q-Tip when there’s resistance!”

I don’t remember exactly where I came across these (I think it was probably Kickstarter), but the idea of a reusable Q-Tip was very appealing to me. So when I discovered LastSwab, I had to try it.

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Originally, I was intrigued on my own behalf, because I use a Q-Tip every time I take a shower (full disclosure: They clean well, but they don’t soak up the water I get in my ears, so not perfect). But then I realised they would be awesome to use on the cats’ ears when I do their biweekly grooming (claw clipping, toothbrushing, ears, anal glands and combing). Depending on the cat, I use two to three Q-Tips per ear! So I got a LastSwab for each cat.

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Each cat has varying degrees of waxy build-up. Alfred, like Jacoby, has the dirtiest ears. Lorelai and Dashiell are next, then Angel and finally Izaak. So I used Freddy as my model.

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They are a little more “grabby” than cotton swabs, with those little nubs.

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Look how much wax they collect! Jake had chronic yeast infections in his ears, and I suspect Freddy has the same; problem is, Freddy’s insanely hard to give drops to. So I usually do an extra cleaning on his ears on the off weekends.

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On Freddy and Jake, I could use three or four swabs in a go. Add in the other cats’ ears…that’s a lot of swabs. I can get all of Freddy’s wax in one go with these. They clean easily with just soap and water, and if you think about it, it’s not much different from having a toothbrush.

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There you go, Freddy…all clean!

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Okay, Freddy…that’s a little too much enthusiasm.

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Postscript…Rory’s LastSwab case suffered a broken clip the first time I used it. I reached out to the company…and they are sending me a whole new LastSwab! All I wanted was a new case. That’s pretty great customer service!

Aby-a-Day – 13 Maj: The fine line between peace and war (Hipstamatic Monday)

This afternoon, the cutest little scene unfolded on the sofa next to me.

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Izaak came to join Lorelai on the Ikea cat bed where she was alternating between napping and birdwatching.

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And Zak started to groom Rory.

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It was so adorable and sweet.

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At one point, Rory seemed to be a little over Zak grooming her.

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But then she succumbed to the ministrations of Zak’s tongue.

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It really was a touching, lovely moment…

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…until, suddenly, it wasn’t.

Aby-a-Day – 3 October: Wordless Wednesday (Pre-judging preparations)

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Aby-a-Day – 1 October: Happy Singapura Day!

On this day in 2014, the Singapura was officially accepted as a breed in FIFe.

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While the Singapura was accepted for registration by the TICA in 1979 for championship competition and accepted in CFA in 1982 as a provisional breed and was granted championship status in 1988, Singas took longer to be accepted in Europe.

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The GCCF (the British cat registry organisation) finally granted Singapuras championship status in June 2005.

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And then, at long last, the Singapuras were accepted by FIFe, Europe’s purebred cat registry.

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Because I have known about Singas – and seen them at CFA shows – since I was in high school (at least 35 years), it’s a bit odd to me that they are a “new” breed here in Europe. In Sweden, Singapuras were registered in Sverak (Sweden’s branch of FIFe) since the early 1980’s, but in all that time, only 355 Singapuras have been registered in Sweden. And, as of right now, Sverak’s newest Singapura is…our Izaak.

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Which makes our little Polish import a special little cat, indeed!

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“Well DUH…of COURSE I’m special! Just look at me!”

Aby-a-Day – 18 May: Splish splash, I was taking a bath (Fashion Friday)

One of the first things I do when bringing home a new kitten is to give them a bath. I know that may sound strange and a little non-intuitive, but it was actually something Sherry did when she brought us Jacoby (and which I wish I had taken photos of). She said it ensures that the new kitten doesn’t introduce anything to the resident cats from the cattery, it reduces the kitten’s “different” smell, and it distracts the kitten from being homesick at all. Ever since Jake, I have done that to every new kitten we’ve gotten, and it seems to work like a charm.

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So I introduced Lorelai to the cats and apartment, clipped her claws and popped her into the laundry room sink. I hadn’t gotten any Jerob Parisian Purple shampoo yet, so I had to make do with their Snowy Blue, which I use on Alfred and used on Logan. I certainly wasn’t going to wash her with Jake and Angel’s Mahogany Gold!

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First, I got her completely wet.

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Then I turn the water off and lather her up. Jerob shampoos should be diluted, and I usually add some of the De-greasing shampoo as well, to clean up the oils from hands petting their fur.

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Never put soap on a cat’s face though. I don’t lather beyond the ears.

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(Pause while all of you go Awwwwwwwww…)

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After she’s good and clean, it’s time for the rinse cycle.

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It is essential to make sure your cat’s fur is completely free of shampoo, or the fur will be dull and sticky.

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When you’re sure you’ve gotten out every last bit of soap, rinse one more time.

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After we’re all rinsed, it’s time to dry off.

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I use microfibre pet towels, and they really do suck up a lot of water.

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Finally, a little playtime with big brother Freddy…and the bath is forgotten.

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“Bath? What bath?”

Aby-a-Day – 11 February: Angel’s spa day

On Sunday, I decided to give Angel a bath.

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The second I shut the bathroom door with her inside, she knew something was up.

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She hasn’t had a bath in a very long time…at least two years (and probably more like four or five). Her fur was starting to look and feel a little greasy in a way that Jacoby’s fur never does.

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Angel’s spa day started off with a mani-pedi, and then a good Furmination. I actually got this Furminator with an “eject button” as a free gift from Blog Paws, and I have to say, it’s much better than the non-ejecting model.

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Don’t worry, Angel. Your hair won’t go to waste. I have plans to make Jake a Trump wig out of it. It’s just the right colour!

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Then, I put her into the tub…she wasn’t thrilled with that. I have to say, though, having sliding glass doors on the bathtub really makes bathing cats a lot easier!

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See? She can’t escape!

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No matter how hard she tries…

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…she can’t get the doors open.

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It really makes a difference. I can bathe a cat without any help. It’s nice. When we move, we’ll be back to shower curtains…but we’ll also have a hand-held shower head, so rinsing will be easier. It’s a trade-off I can accept.

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Finally it was time to dry off.

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I usually blow-dry Jake, but if I tried that with Angel she would freak out.

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So with her, it’s towel dry, lick, and shake.

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Angel, doesn’t it feel good to be all clean and sparkly?

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Er…I’ll ask you again once you’re all dry.

Aby-a-Day – 8 February: Floppy grooming (Hipstamatic Monday)

Sometimes, Jacoby can be so silly.

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I was on the bed, on my laptop…

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…and he just came in and sat next to me.

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He sat there in that elegant, majestic way that only an Aby can.

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And then, also in a way that only an Aby can, he just flopped over and started rolling around on the comforter like a goof.

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Then he started grooming, starting with his toes.

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Then he moved to more…er…

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…sensitive areas.

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Like his tail.

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No, really! I mean he was really working on his tail.

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The entire time he was grooming himself, though, I kept hearing growling. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. He almost never growls.

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Then, I looked behind the screen of my laptop.

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And there was Angel, watching Jake groom himself, growling incessantly. Abys are weird.

Aby-a-Day – October 28: Wordless Wednesday (Tail wash)

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Aby-a-Day – October 9: Rub-a-dub-dub (Fashion Friday)

Getting all pretty for a cat show requires some effort.

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Namely, a bath. Luckily, Jacoby doesn’t mind baths. Of course, his baths are a lot less work than our showcat friend Summer‘s baths!

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It’s especially easy now that we have a sliding glass door on the tub instead of a shower curtain. He just sits in the tub and lets me wash and rinse him.

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I think he likes the bathing better than the blowdrying, to be honest. Luckily, he air dries fairly quickly.

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I feel very fortunate that he is such an easy cat to bathe. They’re all pretty easy, but he’s the only one I can really wash without another person helping me. I often brag I can wash him with one hand…or, actually, no hands.

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I wish I had photos of his very first bath. I don’t know what I was thinking, not taking any. Sherry brought him down from New Brunswick, and gave him a quick bath in our kitchen sink. He was completely unfazed by it. It was adorable.

Aby-a-Day – July 11: “Elegant” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Abyssinians are widely considered to be one of the most elegant breeds of cat.

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No, really.

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I’m serious!

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No, I really AM serious.

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Look, you can even Google it.

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I can hear you laughing, you know.

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I can still hear you.

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Oh, now you’re just hurting his feelings.

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Whoops…almost rolled right off the bed there…

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Yeah, all right.

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So maybe I don’t have the best example…

Aby-a-Day – April 30: Bathing beauty

You may recall a couple of years ago when provided photographic evidence that I can bathe Jacoby with one hand. Well, as easy as it was to bathe him in our old apartment…

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…It’s about 100 times easier in our new apartment!

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The secret is the sliding glass doors.

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Which Jake cannot open.

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So I don’t need to hold onto him at all, unlike when we only had a shower curtain.

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This is so awesome. The only thing that would make bathing him even easier would be if we had a Shower Massage or some other kind of sprayer. Unfortunately, our building has some crazy Euro-fixtures and nothing we can buy will fit.

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So I have to rinse him under the faucet, or with cups.

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Having a door that shuts, though, makes a huge difference. I almost look forward to our pre-catshow bath, now.

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Can’t exactly say the same for Jake, though.

Aby-a-Day – April 2: The sun is a lie

We’ve had a few sunny days in amongst the rain and snow.

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Despite the sun, it’s still wicked cold outside. It’s barely cracked 60° this “spring.”

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The morning I took these photos, it was about 25°F.

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In general, when you see a bright, sunny day in winter or early spring it usually means it’s cold outside. Clouds bring warmth.

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Which is exactly the opposite of what Angel and I learned growing up in Northern California. There, clouds (especially fog) = cold.

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It takes some getting used to. Fifteen years of living here and sometimes I still forget.

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So, yeah, the sun is a lie.

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At least, the sun outside is a lie.

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The sun inside, however…

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that sun is lovely and warm and perfect for bathing and napping. Even if the glass is a bit cold to lie against…

Aby-a-Day – October 26: Cats use laptops too, they just type with their butts

As I’ve mentioned before, Angel really loves sitting on my laptop.

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If I don’t remember to close it, Angel will sit on it. She’s messed up a lot of my settings (once she changed accessibility preferences and I had enormous text that kept speaking to me – it took me two days to figure out how to turn that off), and she’s even managed to reorganise my desktop icons.

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And I know she’s not the only one; there’s an entire website devoted to cats on laptops.

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While I wish Angel wouldn’t sit on my laptop when it’s open, I know it’s my own damn fault for forgetting to close it. And at least she doesn’t barf on it, the way my Siamese Harri used to do. So it could be worse.

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Still…bathing on my open laptop seems a bit much.

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I fell asleep on the sofa and forgot to close the laptop…and woke up to Angel taking a full-on bath all over my keyboard.

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She was really going at it, too.

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This was a serious bath…

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…she was even doing the biting thing with what’s left of her little front teeth.

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There wasn’t much I could do about it…so I did what any cat owner would do. I grabbed my camera and documented the scene thoroughly.

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She was also completely unrepentant.

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I swear she’s actually smiling in this photo.

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“What?”

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“Oh, well, back to it, then…”

Aby-a-Day – June 24: “Better slip with foot than tongue.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Another cartoon based on a real Aby posted on Facebook!

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The drawing in this particular case is Angel, but it’s based on Nancy Moore’s boy cleaning his foot on a hot day. Angel would totally do something like that.

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Just for fun…here’s the original sketches I did for this cartoon. I don’t always like the way these turn out, but I really like the way I translated the photo on this one.

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