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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aby-a-Day – 23 December 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Gone but not forgotten)

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

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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 – 7 Februari 2020: Shadows of Gun-Hee (Friday Flashback)

Looking for something else, I found these neat silhouette photos of Gun-Hee. This was out on the Harborwalk at sunset.

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This was when our refrigerator broke. Gun-Hee of course had to supervise the repairman as he worked.

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And this, of course, was the Red Sox in the 2007 World Series. Just like Jacoby, Gun-Hee was good luck for the team. I miss them both.

Aby-a-Day – 6 July: Poetry in Paris (Special Saturday)

On one day of our trip to London, we took a daytrip to Paris on the Eurostar.

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We were only in Paris for nine hours. Not long; just enough time to see some sights, grab a bite (about which more later), and wander the streets looking for adventure. At one point, we came upon Shakespeare and Company, the famed English bookstore and sister store to San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore (you can see a tribute to the SF store above the door). I used to walk down Jack Kerouac Alley, alongside City Lights, when I was living in SF and swing dancing almost every night. So seeing this bookstore kind of resonated with me.

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They have interesting snippets from news articles written on chalkboards on either side of the storefront. This was my favourite.

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But the best thing about the bookstore was this guy outside with his manual portable Remington typewriter. His name is Leo, and as you can see, he would write you a poem upon request. Leo only asked that you decide to pay what you think it’s worth only after you’ve read the poem. So I asked him to write a poem based on my tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan. He was impressed with the concept, and only asked what the breeds of the cats were, and confirmed that the plants were maple leaves and pussywillows. Then he thought a moment and started typing.

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This is what he wrote:

singapore, abyssinia
maple leaf and pussy willow

meeeeeoooooow

stare into these eyes
deeper than the wisdom
collected through the course of
nine lives
wider than the stream of
time into which so much is
washed away

meeeeeeoooooow

we are they who traverse
the limits you imagine

we are they who were once
worshipped and are glorified
still, have you discovered
why, in the course
of your one
life?

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Leo signs the back of every poem he types.

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Of course I loved it, and I paid him 10€ for his work. I also explained the story behind the tattoo, how these two boys died ten years apart from the same awful disease. About a year or so ago, I found an awesome antique glass frame that I’ve been saving for the perfect thing to put into it. I think I finally found what the frame has been needing.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Maj: “Kittens are wide-eyed, soft and sweet, with needles in their jaws and feet”

Whilst Sweden celebrates two weeks later, today is Mother’s day in North America. To celebrate, here is everyone with their mother. First we have Alfred with his brother Bertil with their mother, S*Truly Cosmic Nailah.

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Here we have Lorelai with her brothers and sister and their mother, S*Primuz-Zezam Kajza.

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Here is Logan with his Boston-born mum, Sopan Naina-of-Melur.

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Here is Izaak being taught to scratch properly by his mum in Poland, Angelina Minimali*PL.

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Jacoby, his sister and brother, and their mother, Instincts Catalina of Pellburn.

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And finally, one of my favourite family photos of all time…Gun-Hee with his brother and sisters and their mom, Marica’s Bright Amber of Pellburn. I am grateful to the breeders who took all the above photos except the one of Freddy and his mum…it means so much to be able to see them with their littermates when you can’t always see them all together in person. I wish I had a kitten photo of Angel…with her mother or without. But at least I think I know who Angel’s mother is, so that’s something.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Mars: Logan’s only birthday (Friday Flashback)

Tomorrow would have been Logan’s second birthday. Sadly, he only had one birthday, just like Gun-Hee.

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This was me and Gun-Hee with his first birthday “cake,” twelve years ago. My, how things have changed since then!

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Unlike Izaak, Logan had no fear of his lit candle.

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Logan looks so much smaller than Zak, too.

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Logan’s birthday toy was a little ladybug that still sits atop our microwave. Unlike Zak and his furry mousies, Logan liked shiny toys.

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Kalle’s birthday is on the 7th, and Björn’s is on the 10th of March, so Logan having his birthday on the 9th meant we had a “birthday bunch” and we saw it as one of the signs that we were meant to get Logan. Whilst I am happy we have Zak, who makes me laugh every day, I still miss the first Singapura I loved.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Februari: Fox finished…plus a little extra (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, Linus finished up my fox tattoo. I really love the way it turned out.

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Here is a close up, showing where the snake used to be.

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I am so glad to be rid of that snake! Even though I adore Barnaby, the artist who did it (and who did my Octopus, Koi and Tiger tattoos)…but it was a mistake.

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Whilst I was there, Linus also touched up the memorial tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan (Logan’s eyes were made greener, and the background was touched up.

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But best of all, he also touched up my very first tattoo, which I got on my first trip to New York City at the end of 1995. Naturally, being almost 25 years old (Day-uuuuuuummmmm!), poor Harri has faded quite a lot.

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Now he looks like he did when I first got him! Thank you, Linus!

Aby-a-Day – 11 Januari: 12 years ago this week…(Friday Flashback)

12 years ago this week, on 7 January 2007, I posted about Gun-Hee’s first visit to Petco.

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He was quite impressed with the mice.

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The birds…not so much.

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Those were always more Tessie’s thing.

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And Jacoby’s, too.

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I’m just glad that nobody tried to buy him for $3.99, though!

Aby-a-Day – 28 December: Remembering my Christmas kitten (Friday Flashback)

Every year about this time, I have to remember my Christmas kitten, Gun-Hee.

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We collected him on 15 December 2006, only 10 days before Christmas.

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I’ll never forget the way he discovered climbing the Christmas tree.

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He was so proud of himself!

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And now, 12 years later, Gun-Hee is still in my Christmas tree every year…thanks to this Fancy Feast frame ornament.

Aby-a-Day – 16 November: Remembering Gun-Hee’s World Series (Friday Flashback)

Of course Jacoby is a Red Sox fan – his very name commemorates a magic moment at Fenway that happened 12 days after he was born. But what we tend to forget is that Gun-Hee watched them win the World Series, too.

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He was a pretty good fan, too. Look – he knows where the ball is!

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He was fascinated with the players, too.

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Ummm…maybe a little too fascinated?

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He was so adorable, you didn’t really even mind that he was blocking your view of the game. Of course, we didn’t have the Red Sox wardrobe that Jake later acquired, but that didn’t make him any less of a fan.

Aby-a-Day – 19 October: Come on kitties now…Everykitty get together (Flashback Photoshop Friday)

This morning, Facebook greeted me with a reminder of a post I made four years ago. I was challenged to post five photos of my cats, and I decided to post five group photos. Getting a photo of all the cats in the house together at the same time is harder than some might think. So, because of the reminder that Facebook sent me, I decided to post all the “family photos” I have been able to capture over the years.

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The oldest is this, of Sigrid, Harri, and Patrick cuddled together on my sofa. This was taken in autumn 1997. It looks cuddly, but actually Sigrid and Tricky were sleeping there, and Harri decided to squeeze in between them. Still cute, though.

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This is after I’d moved to Boston. Harri and Patrick had been joined by Tessie and Kylie. This is the first photo of all of them together.

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This is my favourite photo of this group. I even used it as a Christmas card.

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…And this would be the outtake of that photo…

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This was Christmas 2006. Harri had died in August and we had just adopted Gun-Hee.

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This photo is less posed, but more my favourite. Love Kylie’s arm!

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Another photo of Gun-Hee with Patrick, Kylie and Tessie, this time all gathered on our bed.

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This is another shot from that session, “arted up” in Photoshop.

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One evening, all the cats lined up on the back of the sofa.

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I had this shot…but Gun-Hee moved his head.

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Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to replace Gun-Hee’s head and make this into a usable image.

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This is another “art” composite photo. All of them were on the tree together, but this is multiple shots combined so each cat looks good.

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Food and the kitchen is a great way to get everyone together. Here we have (anticlockwise) Jacoby, Angel, Tessie and Kylie.

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However, they did have other motivations to gather together.

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After we moved to Sweden, the kitchen was more a gathering point than ever. Here we have Alfred, Jake, Angel, Logan and Pyret.

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And then, suddenly…our five cats became Jake, Freddy, Lorelai, Angel and Izaak.

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A collection that was also easier to gather in the kitchen.

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But they also gathered spontaneously on our bed! No Photoshop required.

Aby-a-Day – 25 September: My new tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today we started work on my memorial tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan. Yesterday, Linus, my artist, sent me the above outline drawing…

…and this complete drawing- I was blown away. Linus thought that just their heads worked better as a tattoo than showing their whole bodies…and he was right.

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These are the photos Linus used as a reference.

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Here is the tattoo after the lines were done.

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Linus working. He wanted to make sure he looked “ugly” before I took the photo.

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Here is Gun-Hee and his leaves coloured in.

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And here is Gun-Hee’s part done completely with blue shading. On 10 October, Logan will get coloured in and it will be finished.

Aby-a-Day – 14 September: Gun-Hee’s 12th Birthday

This Sunday, 16 September, would have been Gun-Hee’s 12th birthday.

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These photos are from his first and only birthday in 2007.

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I had gotten these balloons from some sort of work-related function. I brought them home to see if Gun-Hee would enjoy them.

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As you can see, he did!

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Compared to Jacoby, Gun-Hee was far more agile. He could jump very high and often would leap onto your shoulder.

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He also tended to stand on his back legs more than Jake ever does.

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Even though he’s been gone 10 years, I will never forget him. Happy birthday, Gun-Hee.

Aby-a-Day – 22 July: “I have one speed, I have one gear: go!” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

In a couple of weeks, Lorelai and Izaak will be going to their first show together, held by the Järva Kattklubb in Stockholm. This was Logan’s first show last year.

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It was a fun show, and it was held as part of a larger animal fair called Djurens Helg, with dogs, horses, small mammals, birds, reptiles and even insects! There was a lot to do and see during the show downtimes. Sadly, though, this year Djurens Helg is the weekend before the cat show.

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But the best thing of all about this show was that they had cat agility set up! I hadn’t seen that since I was back n the States.

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Now, you may remember that Jacoby absolutely sucks at agility. But Gun-Hee was really good at it, and came in fourth place as a kitten at our first Seacoast show. So when I saw the agility set up, I had to give Logan a go.

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And, after getting himself oriented in the cage…

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…he did really, really well!

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But at the end of the day, he had come in third place! Unfortunately, there were only trophies for first and second places, but still, he ran the course in 4 seconds!

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It wasn’t a circle, like the one in New Hampshire; it was just a straight line, but he did it perfectly. We are hoping it will be back again this year, because we cannot wait to show it to Zak and Rory!

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Oddly, as with Gun-Hee, we didn’t manage to get a very good video of Logan running it. This is the best we could manage.

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So, here is a video of Logan playing in his benching cage. (Click on the images to see the videos on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – 10 July: The Girl with the Aby and Singa Tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

You might recall a few weeks ago I was about to go in and get a magpie tattoo on my arm and plan my next tattoo with Linus, my new tattoo artist here in Slövde. Linus is amazing, and tomorrow I am going to get it coloured in. I can’t wait! Since the 21st, I’ve had a half-done, just black lines and shading. It’s going to be amazing to finally have it finished.

In the meantime, I have worked up two better-coloured versions of my original sketch. The one above was coloured in on my iPad Pro using pencil and an incredible app called Art Set which works well…except it hasn’t got layers. So I did more colouring using Photoshop…and the result is above.

Then I thought my rough-sketched maple leaves, pussy willows and cherry blossoms were kind of…lazy. So I found some Photoshop brushes and line art and created a better background. At least I have something to show Linus tomorrow during my appointment.

Aby-a-Day – 29 June: Mourning anniversary (Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, 28 June, was the 10th anniversary of Gun-Hee’s death. He succumbed to FIP at the age of 1 year, 9 months, 1 week and 5 days. He had such a short life, but he made a huge impact on my life, and he is the reason that this blog exists.

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Sherry took this photo of Gun-Hee and his littermates. It’s one of my favourite photos.

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This was the only litter that Pellburn Scarface Cat Pacino and Marica’s Bright Amber of Pellburn had together. Scar is, of course, Jacoby’s father as well. Amber was actually imported from Denmark and had Finnish, German, Norwegian and Australian cats in her pedigree. I made this image of them together in the style of those cheesy wedding photos set against fake backgrounds.

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It was love at first sight when I met him. He was named after the title character in the Korean serial “First Love of a Royal Prince” because we were adding him to a household with two female cats and he would be spoiled rotten, much like Choi Gun-Hee in the series. I loved that character, and the name Pellburn Prince Gun-Hee was such an awesome name…so that’s why I gave him a Korean name.

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He was there when I got engaged.

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But he still only had one birthday.

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In his short life, he did everything Jake did. If I had known about cat strollers back then, he would have been Strollercat.

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He was a part of my life for such a short time…but he has affected my life for over 12 years. And I still think of him every day.

Aby-a-Day – 22 June: Sugar Oh Honey Honey (Fashion Friday)

When Gun-Hee died, I got a couple of different charms to put a bit of his ashes in, and I wanted to get something similar so I could carry a bit of Logan with me, too. Browsing different types of ash jewellry, I discovered Sugar Oh Honey Honey. They are a small workshop in Swindon, Oxfordshire, England, who make personalised photo and ashes jewellery. I am not sure how they make the ash jewellery (it seems like it might be resin casting, but it could be glass), but the results are stunning. Even better, there is a black Sphynx named Coco Beane supervising all the humans as they make everything!

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As “Boss Lady” Vicky Rose explains, she started her company in memory of her daughter Honey so she could help people through jewellery. And it really shows. The packaging was exquisite. I opened the little box to see a happy yellow card and sparkly tinsel.

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Jacoby was there to help me open it, of course.

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On the back of the card was a hand-written note from Vicky.

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This is what I found underneath the card. Of course, Lorelai was very interested in the shimmery, rustly tinsel.

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Nestled in the tinsel were two drawstring bags and a box.

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I opened this one first.

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It was a bracelet with a charm with Logan’s photo on it! This was such a lovely surprise because I didn’t order it! They just threw it in as a bonus. Isn’t that amazing?

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I opened this bag next. It contained Logan’s leftover ashes that weren’t used in the pendant. I mean, they could have just tossed them and said they used them all, but instead they sent them back in a pretty bag.

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Finally I opened the box. WOW! Isn’t it beautiful?

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And the best part is, it glows in the dark!

After I ordered it, the “Tech Girl,” Megan Chase, sent me an email explaining how to send in a bit of Logan’s ashes and added, “We would also love to know more about the pet/person you are sending to us along with a name and pictures (if you have any) and a favourite song, as we like to play music while making each individual piece.” So of course I directed her to this blog, because clearly it’s the best way to learn about who Logan was. In a follow-up email, Megan told me, “Your blog is so lovely to read, I’ve found myself spending some of my spare time reading it,” which is just so sweet! So, Megan, I hope you liked this post!

Angel added this whilst I was away from my laptop: äòp0y………………u. I think it may be a message to Megan.

Aby-a-Day – 19 June: A tattoo for FIP (Cartoon Tuesday)

I have wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate Gun-Hee for years, but I never came up with a design. And then I got Logan, and he also died because of FIP. So my tattoo idea changed. It needed to include both Gun-Hee and Logan. So I came up with the above sketch. I am actually getting a tattoo on Thursday by Linus at Magic Man Tattoo here in Skövde…not cats, but magpies. I have always loved magpies, and I had one on my SCA arms (sable, on a maple leaf argent, a magpie displayed gules, marked and breasted argent (or, in other words, a black shield with a white maple leaf with a red magpie on it).

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It looks like this…this is an enamel piece I made in university, sometime around 1988. But I digress. When I go in for my magpie tattoo, I want to talk to Linus about my next tattoo…the one I have wanted since Gun-Hee died.

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This is my first colourised version of the sketch; I want to make a second version before I see Linus, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do it before Thursday. I can’t decide about the banner; I want to have something about FIP, but I don’t know if I like the location of the banner no matter where I put it. I want to have it done on it on my right calf. I am really pleased with the way Logan’s profile turned out, and Gun-Hee looks like Jacoby…but still looks like himself (it’s hard to explain). I can’t wait to hear what Linus says about it!