Aby-a-Day – 3 June: Brotherhood of thieves (Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, I posted Jacoby’s latest caper, breaking into my Redbones takeaway and stealing and eating a whole rib!

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Well, he isn’t the only Aby I’ve had with a criminal history. His half-brother Gun-Hee was quite the thief himself. Like the time he stole hot dogs and dragged them into his house

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…or the time he stole a butter wrapper

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…or the time he stole a hunk of lamb while I was bleeding…yeah, you get the idea.

Aby-a-Day – 7 May: “Mum” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Mum.” Remember, both Jacoby and Gun-Hee were Canadian born and bred. So they both have mums.

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Here is Gun-Hee with his mum, Amber, and his siblings.

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And here is Jake with his mum, Catalina, and his siblings.

Both of these photos were taken by Sherry, for which I am eternally grateful. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers…human, feline, and mixed-species.

Aby-a-Day – 29 April: Loafing around with the upper crust (Friday Flashback)

Apparently bread-eating runs in Jacoby’s family. Almost nine years ago, Gun-Hee attacked a loaf of bread.

Hello, Abys…what part of “obligate carnivore” escapes you?

Aby-a-Day – 29 March: Here comes the bride (Cartoon Tuesday

Last month I shared some sketches I did during work meetings, including this one of me in my wedding dress with Gun-Hee back in 2008.

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Well…my divorce will be final on 6 April, and then Björn and I will be married. So I was doodling today while on the phone and sketched this…

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Which I like…but Jacoby looks so BIG! So I went into Paint for just a moment…

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Well. It ain’t Photoshop…but it’s kind of cute.

Aby-a-Day – 27 March: Gun-Hee’s Easter

So today is Easter, which isn’t really that big of a deal for me or my family.

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But I always think of Gun-Hee’s first Easter.

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I had bought Kylie some of those plastic eggs last year for her first Easter, so I found them again and brought them out for Gun-Hee.

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He had such a good time playing with them!

Aby-a-Day – 26 February: Gun-Hee’s leap (Friday Flashback)

Back on Leap Day, 2008, I posted photos of Gun-Hee leaping for Leap Year.

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He was really great at jumping – and he could jump really high!

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He was also really, really fast…

Aby-a-Day – 23 February: Office sketching – Part 3 (Cartoon Tuesday)

And now, some notebook doodles of Jacoby!

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It’s funny, but without even looking at the dates, I can tell which sketches are Gun-Hee and which are Jake. They may be half-brothers, but they look different.

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Like this one. It could easily be either one…but something about the ears and the sassy expression tell me it’s Jake and not Gun-Hee.

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Of course, I did a sketch of Jake at this most recent meeting, too. Here he is!

Aby-a-Day – 16 February: Office sketching – Part 2 (Cartoon Tuesday)

Here are some more sketches of Gun-Hee that I did during meetings at work.

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I really like this one. I think I actually used it as an icon back when I was active on LiveJournal.

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Not sure what this is…I think I was trying to draw Gun-Hee as Peter Hasselbom’s infamous Raptor Kitten.

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A little drawing of Gun-Hee with a ball.

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And then there’s this one – before I got married and before Gun-Hee died – with me and my Best Cat in our wedding finery. I never got the chance to do this, though. Maybe I will with Jacoby when Björn and I have our Swedish wedding.

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Last but not least, this little scene – which actually happened. Gun-Hee was standing over my head while I was sleeping and he sneezed all over me…Thanks, kitten.

Aby-a-Day – 9 February: Office sketching – Part 1 (Cartoon Tuesday)

A couple of weeks ago, I had to go to a meeting in our Manchester office, and I brought along my notebook in case I needed to write anything down. I’ve had this notebook ever since I started working at this company back in 2007, and, looking back through the pages, I discovered a lot of little margin sketches starring Gun-Hee and then Jacoby.

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Some of my little drawings are super simple. I’ve always done little drawings while taking notes. Somehow, looking at them helps me remember what was said. I wish I still had some of my old high school and college notebooks!

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Some are much more detailed. Tessie occasionally makes an appearance, too.

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This was doodled shortly after our first Seacoast show, where Tessie was the Best Household Pet in the show. She won a plaque.

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Apparently I had an editorial comment on one part of this meeting…

Aby-a-Day – 2 January: “Ring” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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When I got engaged to my soon-to-be ex husband, I took a rather special engagement photo with Gun-Hee.

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When I got engaged to Björn, Jacoby and I took our own engagement photo.

But then…disaster! The stone fell out! It turns out, it was only glued in, not bezel-set. And then my jeweller, the wonderful Florin Ghita, was not able to find a good trillion stone to fit. So we changed it to a lovely, dark-green oval Peridot.

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And of course, Jake and I had to take another photo…

Aby-a-Day – December 25: First Christmases with Gun-Hee and Jacoby

I just never get tired of remembering Gun-Hee’s first Christmas.

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We had only had him with us for ten days at that point. He was so different from any other kitten I’ve ever had!

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For one thing, he is the only cat I’ve ever had who tried to climb the Christmas tree…much less succeed at it!

Gun-Hee was a lot more agile and graceful than Jacoby is. Luckily, Jake’s never tried to climb the tree. No, he prefers to eat it.

Or play underneath it.

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Or simply chill and look at all the lights. In some ways, they’re so alike…but in other ways, they couldn’t be more different.

And then, there’s this…well…Merry Christmas, everyone!

Aby-a-Day – November 22: Hey that’s MINE! (Selfish Sunday)

Yep, you read that right. Instead of Selfie Sunday, we’re having SELFISH Sunday.

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I had put a package of delicious blueberry and maple syrup chicken breakfast sausages out on the counter to warm up before I cooked them. I thought that Jacoby would be in mid-afternoon nap mode, and wouldn’t notice them…and if he did, I figured the air-tight sealed package would have a fairly inert scent, and the blueberry and maple syrup would deter him. Yeah…right.

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I was doing something in the bathroom when I heard Jake playing with something. It sounded like he was having fun and I wanted to see what he was doing…and I found my dinner on the carpet! The little fiend was trying to open the package!

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I snatched it back and put it back in the kitchen. Do you think he was repentant?

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Are you kidding?

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He tried to steal it again, right in front of me! I ended up putting them inside the microwave (aka the Aby-proof food safe).

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This is what they looked like when I took them out of the package to cook them.

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MMMmmm…nothing like ABC* sausages! But it is funny…he is just like his brother Gun-Hee when it comes to sneaky thievery! The only difference is, Gun-Hee would take things to his house, while Jake’s safe place is the bedroom, apparently.

*Already Been Chewed.

Aby-a-Day – October 17: “Jazzy” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Our friends Stan and Patty’s cattery name is Jazzy Abys. This is Jazzy Abys Buddy Rich when he was a kitten at the Seacoast Cat Club Show in 2012.

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Buddy became a CFA Grand Premier at Mansfield show in August that same year.

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It took Buddy a little longer to earn his Grand Champion Alter title in CFF.

Buddy Rich is a grandson of the famous Grand Champion JazzyAbys Fats Waller (aka “Wally”), against whom Gun-Hee competed in the kitten class. Gun-Hee actually competed against Wally at his first show. This video shows Gun-Hee (#28) earning second best of breed in a ring with Wally (#30) being awarded best Aby in that kitten ring.

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Gun-Hee also met Eszencia TheCountess of Jazzy Abys in his second show as a kitten.

Aby-a-Day – September 18: Gun-Hee and the Refrigerator Repairman (Friday Flashback)

As you saw in last week’s Wordless Wednesday post, we got a new refrigerator.

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I couldn’t help but be reminded of the time our fridge broke back when we still had Gun-Hee.

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He was so helpful!

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I’m sure the repairman really appreciated his help, too.

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But the best moment came when Gun-Hee discovered that, once the fridge was pulled out from its niche in the wall, he could get on top of it.

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He had never been so high up in his life!

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It gave him the perfect vantage to supervise the repairman’s work.

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Gun-Hee was very much an Aby when it came to overseeing things that went on in the house.

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He was also a daredevil – and he was much less clumsy than his half-brother Jacoby is. Here he is on the freezer door.

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Finally, when it was all fixed, he was able to go back to using it for its original purpose: FOOD!

Aby-a-Day – September 17: Gun-Hee’s 9th Birthday

Yesterday would have been Gun-Hee’s 9th birthday.

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Poor kitten…he only had one birthday.

Aby-a-Day – September 16: Wordless Wednesday (Gun-Hee’s Birthday Party)

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Aby-a-Day – June 28: Remembering Gun-Hee

Today is the 8th anniversary of Gun-Hee’s death.

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Actually, he was murdered. Murdered by that malicious serial killer known as FIP.

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He was so miserable when he was sick.

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It’s true what they say. They do tell you when it’s time.

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I still miss him every day. I wish Jacoby could have met his half-brother.

Aby-a-Day – May 2: “Youth” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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In my youth, I used to love to go to cat shows.

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I showed my Siamese mix, Sgt. Pepper, as a household pet.

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I showed Gun-Hee when he was a kitten.

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8 years ago this weekend, Gun-Hee and I were at the Seacoast Cat Club CFA show in Concord, NH. They had Feline Agility at this show, and Gun-Hee came in 4th place. He was also Best Kitten in Marge Collier’s ring.

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Sherry was at that show with us, too. This was the last show we’ve been to together (at least, so far). As you can see from Sherry’s hand, we were at this show with Gun-Hee’s (and Jacoby’s) father, Scar, and their Uncle Whitey.

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Here is Scar being judged by Marge Collier.

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We also took Tessie to this show as a HHP and she was the Best HHP overall in that show. She was awarded a plaque and a little scratching toy – which we still have (and which is still used, especially by Jake and Kylie) in our entryway. This is the ring she did worst in, as luck would have it: she was 7th best in this ring.

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Gun-Hee really liked cat shows as a kitten.

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Jake started showing later in his life, when he was almost two – after he’d become a therapy cat and after his escalator accident. Most show cats are starting to think about retiring at that age. We didn’t go to the Seacoast show, though, until 2012, when Jake was three.

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Coincidentally, Jake and I are at that same show this weekend. I always think of the Seacoast show as “the show in which Jake completely failed at agility.”

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Still, it’s a fun show, and I get to hang out with my friend Karen who lives in Manchester, too. It’s always a lot of the same faces – in a good way – and it’s kind of a way to celebrate the CFA new year.

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It just never gets old.

Aby-a-Day – April 24: Kylie’s 10th Birthday (Friday Flashback)

Today is a very special day – it’s Kylie’s 10th birthday!

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Of course, we don’t know her exact birthday, but we got her on June 20, and she was about 7 or 8 weeks old. So, counting back, we decided that her birthday was April 24.

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My husband wanted a tiny girl kitten. I found a Craigslist post for free kittens in Quincy, and when I emailed the man, he said he had mostly white kittens and one grey tabby. My husband kind of wanted a tabby, but by the time we got to the house, only the white kittens were left. We saw them running around, and then heard a tiny “mew” from a side table behind us. The tiny mew came from a tiny, white kitten with two grey stripes on her head. And that was that.

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Kylie was tiny when we got her, too.

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She was literally the same size as a Beanie Baby cat! We got to meet her mother, who was a very petite, slender all-white shorthair with odd-coloured eyes, one green and one blue. Her name was Mary Jane, and she was so pretty. To this day, I wish I’d taken a camera along and gotten a photo of her.

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At the time, I had my two Siamese, Harri, aged 14, and Patrick, aged 11. We had just gotten Tessie a month before, and she was meant to be Kylie’s mother figure and playmate, since the boys were a little old to be much fun for an active, lively kitten. This is one of Kylie’s first encounters with Tessie…it got better.

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Kylie was a very lively kitten.

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She was the type who would play with anything.

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Anything!

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A piece of plastic foil wrapping paper was an awesome toy. I think she played with this for days.

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Despite being 14 years older than Kylie, Harri really loved her. He always loved other cats and kittens; even though he was an only cat until he was 3, Harri was the most welcoming, friendly cat I’ve ever known – he never minded having other cats around him.

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Kylie looked up to Tessie as her role model.

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“This is how you lie on a hot day, Kylie.” “Okay, Tessie, am I doing it right?”

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Like I said…Kylie was tiny. Look at her compared to Tessie in this photo!

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She was tough, though. She could hold her own against Tessie, despite the size difference.

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Tessie was so patient with her. Of course, Tessie had one litter of kittens before I adopted her, so she knew how to handle Kylie.

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Kylie and Tessie were almost always together. Even today they still sleep together.

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Kylie was also fond of Patrick.

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They would play together. At the time, Patrick was our largest cat; he was a bit chunky at 13-14lbs. It was comical to watch Kylie and Patrick play together because of their size difference.

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Patrick was always the last cat to accept a newcomer. I guess Kylie won him over.

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Trick even shared the cave at the top of the cat tree with her!

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This photo of the four of them sleeping together on my bed in my old apartment was my Christmas card in 2005.

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Kylie loved to play and cuddle with stuffed kittens. This was one of her most favourite “dollies.”

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Harri died in August of 2006, and then that following December, Gun-Hee joined the family. Kylie was only a year older than Gun-Hee, so they were pretty close.

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She took on the role that Tessie had taken with her.

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You would find them together a lot.

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They used to play together all the time.

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They had projects, like trying to open the dishwasher. Gun-Hee was the brains and Kylie was the muscles of the operation.

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They hung out together.

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She helped him celebrate his first birthday. She was really sad when Gun-Hee died and she mourned him. She didn’t eat treats for a week.

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She was quick to accept Jacoby, too. I think she was happy to have another Aby to play with.

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Kylie and Jake have always gotten along.

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She was one of the first to not hiss at him and let him play with her, actually.

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They like to go out to the park together, too…although Kylie isn’t as brave around dogs as Jake is.

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But since Kylie is four years older than Jake, their bond isn’t quite the same as the one she and Gun-Hee’ shared.

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They share a love of high places.

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This is also a common sight at our house: Jake cuddling with Tessie and Kylie.

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Angel always seems to be the odd cat out. Of all the cats, Kylie and Angel probably interact the least. I think that’s more Angel’s doing than Kylie’s, though.

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I had Kylie’s DNA tested at UC Davis. We think her father was a tabby Maine Coon. Since her mother was a white shorthair, those dominant traits covered up anything her father was carrying. I know that she does carry the genes for long hair, dilute, and tabby, and that her ancestors originated in England rather than the Middle East or Asia. Underneath her dominant white, she is probably a non-dilute tabby, and she may actually be a torbie (UCD doesn’t have a test for sex-linked red). While Kylie is small like her mother, she is built like a Maine Coon, with a long tail, lanky legs and a boxy muzzle. She’s just a miniature shorthaired version.

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She also does a mean Hello Kitty impersonation!

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It’s hard to believe she’s 10 years old. Happy birthday, Kylie!

Aby-a-Day – March 13: Jacoby’s first snow experiences (Fashion Friday Flashback)

The first time I took Jacoby out in the snow, it wasn’t really very snowy at all.

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It was a very light snowfall, but enough to let him get the feel of it.

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Jake didn’t have a coat of his own then (this was only December 2009, just four months after he came to live with us).

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So, he wore Gun-Hee’s old parka. That parka has gotten a lot of use!

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Gun-Hee was never as big as Jake is (Gun-Hee was 9 pounds at his heaviest), and even though Jake was only 8 months old here, the jacket was already a little short for him.

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I think he was a little surprised at how cold the snow was!

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This was actually when I got the idea to try to find him some boots…

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The second time Jake went out in the snow, he didn’t even need a coat!

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There was still snow on the ground but it was a balmy 54° – on New Year’s Day!

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It was melting fast, though!

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Still, there was enough to get a real “snow” experience.

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It’s kind of fun to play in the snow without a coat!

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I don’t think Jake was cold at all.

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Just a few weeks later, it snowed again, and this time, Jake was dressed for it.

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We had gone to the post office on the T, and walking back through South Station, I set Jake down on a bench to take some photos, and he dove right into the snow!

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The snow was deep there – up to his chest.

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There’s a reason you don’t see him wearing this coat very often. It hasn’t got a leash hole, so the leash tends to pull the coat up over his shoulders.

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I finally got him back onto the bench for some photos.

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He poses so nicely…

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Most of the time!