Aby-a-Day – 31 Oktober 2020: A most memorable Halloween

This being an election year, I am especially reminded of Halloween 2012, the day Jacoby and I were interviewed by the local NBC affiliate and the Boston Herald.

Meg messaged me first thing Thursday morning…OMG, she said. Jake is on the front page of the Herald. Okay, I figured, he was in a little sidebar photo. Nope.

Here’s the online article (the actual newspaper article was too big to scan).

Not only that…there was a second story and yet another photo of me with Jake.

The crazy thing was…it was most definitely not a slow news week. Besides Wednesday being Halloween, that Sunday, the Patriots has just played a game in Wembley Stadium in London, the worst of Hurricane Sandy hit Boston on Monday, and there was also some sort of election thingy happening the following Tuesday. But yeah…Strollercat was the Herald’s Page One story on Thursday, 1 November 2012.

It was, hands down, the most surreal week of my life. As the Boston Globe’s Michael Morisy so aptly described it, “It’s stuff like #StrollerCat that keeps me simultaneously in love with & terrified of this amazing city.” Yeah, I may have grown up in California, but Boston is my home.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Augusti 2020: Celebrating International Cat Day with Jacoby, International Cat of Mystery (Special Saturday)

As most of you know, Jacoby was a very international cat.

jakepassporttrainfinland_6572

He even had a passport to prove it!

kittenpile

He was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada…

jacobycustomhouse

…and moved to Boston, Massachussetts, USA.

jacobycommuterrailIMG059

jacobyN8287

jakewaterfrontparkN0808

jakeprovidenceparkIMG_1453

Jake travelled extensively throughout New England.

He also went to New York and Pennsylvania for cat shows

jakeringenstockholmC02742

Later, he moved to Sweden, where he visited Stockholm…

jakeGöteborgmapC09266

…Göteborg…

jakehamnparken_6589

…and Jönköping.

jakehelsinkiC02854

jakebjornhelsinkiC02852

He saw Helsinki in Finland…

jaketaillinnC00170

jaketaillinnC00252

…and Tallinn in Estonia.

jakemilfordhotelN2502

jakehotel_7537

Jake was no stranger to hotel rooms.

carrierKEFIMG_5236

jakeangelarlandaIMG_5243

Jake travelled by air…

jakefinnferry-fromC03463

jakefinnferryC03617

…sea…

jakeopday-trainIMG_4205

jakembtaIMG_4055

jakebusIMG_4006

jakebackseatIMG_8657

jakedrivehome070

jakeredlineC02688

…and land, most famously by subway in Boston.

jakebroadwayC02863

jakefinnferryC03553

Jake also loved elevators.

jakecoco-stockholmIMG_5270

I’m sure there are cats in the world who are more well-travelled than Jake…but Jake’s the one I got to travel alongside with.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Juli 2020: A holiday I don’t much feel like celebrating

My dad’s birthday is the 4th of July, so I have always thought of today as that first, and then the holiday celebrating the independence of the United States. My dad is 91 today, which is amazing. I haven’t seen him since 2007. I was planning a trip back to visit him…but then Trump was elected. So, lately…I don’t see very much to celebrate, quite honestly.

angel-4th

Boston has cancelled their world-renowned Boston Pops Concert and Fireworks Spectacular, which is amazing to me. It’s broadcast coast to coast, and it’s such a July 4th tradition. Maybe now people will take this pandemic seriously.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Juni 2020: Glad Midsommar, allihopa! (Fashion Friday)

This weekend is one of Sweden’s two most important holidays: Midsommar, which celebrates the Summer Solstice.

zakmidsommer_E3294

Much like Jul, the Winter Solstice celebration, the main celebration is on the day before the actual holiday. This year, Midsommmarafton is today.

zakmidsommer_E3295

One of the Midsommarafton tradition is the making and wearing of flower crowns. You may recall last Midsommar, when everyone modeled a silk flower crown.

zakmidsommer_E3296

So, the other day when I was outside with the cats, I sat on the lawn and made a little daisy chain with some buttercups woven in for more colour. Izaak came over to see what I was doing.

zakmidsommer_E3297

So, when I finished the crown, I put it on his head to try it out. It wasn’t great. Sigh. Sometimes I miss the way Jacoby would pose with ANYthing on his head.

zakmidsommer_E3298

I posted the top photo on this IS an airport, please announce your departure: aeroplane ear posting, and it’s even more popular than the one of Zak with Alfred! I posted the top photo 18 hours ago…and there are 2058 reactions!

And, oh…the comments! This one in particular really got me, because I just started watching Parks and Recreation a month or so ago.

This was my response…I love Ron Swanson.

(Editor’s note: Since this is a public Facebook group, I didn’t block out the names on the screenshots in this post. If you want your name blocked out on my post, please comment and I’ll edit the photo. But if you are here from the Earplane group…thanks for all the love this week! I really needed it!)

Aby-a-Day – 5 Maj 2020: Sink-o De Mayo (Cartoon Tuesday)

Okay, so admittedly, this is a repeat of a cartoon I did five years ago. The original sketch is above.

abycartoon174

Since Cinco de Mayo happens to fall on a Tuesday this year, I thought I would share it again.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Mars 2020: Probably our last pub quiz for a while…(Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Wednesday, we did our usual pub quiz since Björn was working downtown and I had an appointment. Seems like such a long time ago, now.

zakpubquiznoname_1215

It seemed a little quieter than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. I sketched some cats without names whilst I was waiting for Björn, as a bit of a test. He actually guessed wrong at first. Take a look at the two sketches above. Can you tell who they are?

dashpubquizname_1219

Well…this one is Dashiell. You can tell by his funny back legs.

zakpubquizname_1218

And this one is Izaak. You can tell by his cheetah markings around his eyes.

foldpubquiz_1217

The quiz started out being focused on Scotland and Scottish things, and one of the questions was “Vad är en ‘Scottish Fold’?” Well, of course we knew that one! And of course I had to illustrate what a Scottish Fold is, too. We won the quiz – 800kr, which paid for our dinner and drinks. I wonder if we got extra credit for the fold sketch.

abycartoon65

And, since today is St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a rerun from seven years ago. Sláinte!

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.

jake-sunshineN2713

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!

jacoby4378

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?

jake-stpatsN9718

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

jakestpatsE_3575

jakestpatsE_3580

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

jakeparadeN9804

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.

angelparadeN9753

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

jakestpats2014E_9410

jakestpats2014E_9417<

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.

abycartoon167

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!

stpatsIMG_3411 1

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.

angelstpatsIMG_3421 1_Fotor

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

jakeparadeE_3647

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 – 14 Februari 2020: Happy Valentine’s Day! (Photoshop Friday)

I find it cute that Izaak and Dashiell sleep together in a heart shape.

zakdashvalentines_0809

I think it’s a Zak thing. He does it with Alfred, too.

zakdashvalentines_0810

They are so adorable together.

zakdashvalentines_0814

How can you NOT draw a heart around these cuddle buddies?

Aby-a-Day – 1 Januari 2020 – Wordless Wednesday (Happy New Year!)

zakfreddyheartcuddle_0276

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year (and watch out for the Jólakötturinn!)

Hey there…remember us? Sorry it’s been a while…after we brought Dashiell home from Finland, I came down with, of all things, walking pneumonia! Björn and Kalle were sick with coughing, too…but of course, mine had to turn into pneumonia.

zakjul_0238

After that, we had a couple of little veterinary issues with some of the cats. Nothing major…Dash had an ear infection, Lorelai had a runny eye, and Alfred had an odd coughing spell. All of them are fine…but it was a lot to deal with all at once. I also had some other health issues in that space of time – nothing major, but between me and the cats, it was mentally and physically exhausting. Oh, and I also got a new iPhone 11 Pro, and getting the hang of the fancy camera took some practice (it’s awesome, by the way, better even than my DSLR).

roryjul_0149

Then, of course, we had some cat shows, including one in Turku, Finland. We had entered Dash, but the entry cut-off was in October, and I wasn’t sure his ear would be completely recovered in time. Also, the show didn’t really count for him, and I didn’t want to risk the round-trip ferry ride to cause a relapse. So it was just Izaak and Rory. But they both earned their International Championship titles, and Zak was Nominated on the first day, so it was an excellent show. The very next weekend, we had the mini-show at our DjurMagazinet on Saturday with Zak, Rory and Zak, and then another of the photo shoots on Sunday with everyone. That was a five-ring circus!

zakxmasmouse_0130

zakxmasmouse_0132

One thing that came of spending all day at a pet shop was that Zak picked out his very own new favourite mousie – a Christmas one that jingles!

zakxmasmouse_0164

This is the best shot I could get of him fetching it. Sorry. I’m actually sick again right now with a staph infection, on antibiotics that make me nauseous…GREAT fun at Christmas! Oh, well…at least I won’t gain much holiday weight. The cute thing is that Zak’s been bringing his mousie to me over and over to distract me from the nausea.

freddystockings_0247

Because of all that, Christmas really kind of snuck up on us. We put up our Swedish window candles, and our wreath on the front door, but it wasn’t until Monday night that we put up the stockings.

freddystockings_0254

Not having Jacoby here had a bigger impact on my holiday cheer than I ever expected. He was always such a big part of my Christmases…even the one I spent away from him, in Sweden. I just couldn’t summon the energy to put up the tree and all our decorations. Yes, we have Angel, and Freddy, and Zak, and Rory and wonderful, wonderful Dash (who is friends with everyone)…but Christmas without Jake seems…strange. I’m sure it will be better next year.

Freddy and the Stockings

Which is not to say our Christmas is sad – not at all! After we put all the presents in the stockings, Freddy noticed that some of them had treats in them, and tried to get them down! Click on the unfortunate black square above to see the video in a new tab…sorry for the vertical orientation, but it was a sort of vertical situation. Also be warned that there is some rather bad language in the background; Channel Six was showing Die Hard for Jul, and they don’t censor movies on TV here.

I’ll be back next week, and, hopefully, The Daily Abyssinian with actually be daily again!

Happy International Cat Day! (Abys are Everywhere)

Today, 8 August, is International Cat Day. In honour of this important day, my friend Robin sent me this video created by e-on, a Swedish electric company.

Of course I checked it for Abys.

This guy kind of looks like an Abyssinian…but then, that might just be the spacesuit.

However, THIS video, made by target=#>Whiskas UK (who, I discovered whilst in London, make a LOT of awesome commercials that are so good you almost forget they’re trying to sell you something) definitely features some Abyssinians.

Like this handsome chap, as well as the lad at the top of the page.

Happy International Cat Day!

Aby-a-Day: June’s over? Julying! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Four years ago, I posted about how Canadian-born Jacoby tended to get a little confused about what to wear the first few days of July.

jake4thC02423

To prove this point, I dressed him up in an Uncle Sam hat along with a maple leaf bandanna and Team Canada sweater.

jake4thC02424

He was such a legend at posing with outfits on.

jake4thC02426

And his eyes…so expressive!

jake4thC02392

And then…someone came and photobombed our little modelling session. Jake knew it immediately.

jake4thC02378

“Tessie’s right behind me, ruining my photo, isn’t she..?”

jake4thC02380

“Tessie, do you mind? I’m kinda doing a thing here.”

jake4thC02416

“Right. Let’s get back to the posing.” I’m just sorry I never found a Sweden jersey for him to pose in.

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

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

jakemidsommerIMG_5363

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

angelmidsommarC08386

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

angelmidsommarC08388

After all, Angel does have hat wearing experience.

angelmidsommarC08390

She wasn’t in the mood today…

angelmidsommarC08401<

…this is the best I could get from her.

freddymidsommarC08360

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

freddymidsommarC08362

Er…Where are you going?

freddyangelmidsommarC08365

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

freddymidsommarC08368

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

freddymidsommarC08377

Great! Now give me sensitive and thoughtful.

freddymidsommarC08375

Awesome! And now…give me the money shot!

freddymidsommarC08379

Perfect!

rorymidsommarC08304

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

rorymidsommarC08313

Once again, without the crazy eyes?

rorymidsommarC08311

Okay…better. But let’s keep going…

rorymidsommarC08315

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

rorymidsommarC08320<

There you go! That’s perfect!

zakmidsommarC08321

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

zakmidsommarC08325

Oooookay…could you sit up, please?

zakmidsommarC08326

And could you lose the attitude?

zakmidsommarC08331

That’s a little better…keep going…

zakmidsommarC08335

…better…

zakmidsommarC08338

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

zakmidsommarC08347

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

So, who wore the Midsommer flower crown best?

Aby-a-Day – 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.

rorylitter

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

logan-naina1

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

zakmama4

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

catalina+babies1

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

gun-hee-kitten family

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 – 17 Mars: The return of the Silly Shamrock Hat (Silly Sunday)

You may remember that silly Guinness St. Patrick’s Day floppy hat I posed Alfred, Logan and Jacoby with last year?

roryfreddyStPatsHatC06060

Well, it’s baaaaaaaaack!

roryfreddyStPatsHatC06059

Freddy was a lot less intimidated by the hat this year than he was the first time.

roryStPatsHatC06051

Rory was…

roryStPatsHatC06082

…not impressed, shall we say.

roryfreddyzakStPatsHatC06083

…Izaak, on the other hand…

zakStPatsHatC06083

zakStPatsHatC06095

zakStPatsHatC06092

…Zak really seemed to have fun with it.

zakStPatsHatC06065

It actually has a lining in it so it will fit on a person’s head, but if that wasn’t there, Zak would have gone all the way inside it.

zakroryStPatsHatC06072

Zak playing with the hat renewed Rory’s interest in it…a little.

zakStPatsHatC06075

But ultimately she just left it to Zak and found something else to play with.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Februari: Presidential Photography (Hipstamatic Monday)

Back in the States, today is President’s day. Of course, there’s not much to celebrate lately, but in honour of the holiday, Hipstamatic released a special free Hipstapak with the Lincoln lens and TR Roosevelt 26 film, a subtle reminder of two good Republican presidents.

hipsta-angelKOQH3116

Well, I didn’t have an idea for a Monday post, so I figured I’d try it out. Usually, I use Hipstamatic on random, mixing and matching lenses and films, but today I only used the new lens and film. Not sure what I think of the results…but here is Angel.

hipstazakTPHK4757

It does do a great job on Izaak, though.

hipstazakQZPZ9892

Of course, it’s hard to take a bad photo of Zak.

hipstajakeroryjakeJRXW7955

Recently all the cats have taken to sleeping in our bedroom. Most of them like our bed, but Angel, as you see above, prefers to sleep in a cat bed that’s on our clothing hamper. But it’s not uncommon to find everyone else on our bed, especially Jacoby and Lorelai, who like to burrow under the comforters.

hipstajakeroryOLCO3394

Now that she’s no longer a super crazy kitten, Jake has become more tolerant of Rory…

hipstajakeroryWZLJ4382

…Well, mostly.

hipstafreddyTLPA5933

When I was taking these photos, Alfred was sitting right outside our bedroom and next to the kitchen, hopefully awaiting a snack.

hipstafreddyBTHR0295

Good ol’ Freddy.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Februari: Alla hjärtans dag (Very Aby Holidays)

Just in time for Valentine’s day, Björn found a package of chicken hearts in the “Ät Snart” (past date meats) bin at our loval ICA. He thought the cats might like them…

chickenheartsC05409

…Gee. Raw meat. What’s not to like? We served them to the LunaTicks on Valentine’s Day (of course). So I rinsed the hearts off…

zakroryfreddyheartsC05414

…And served them to our feline family.

angelzakfreddyheartsC05421

Angel, Alfred and Izaak, not too surprisingly as they are our biggest raw food eaters.

everyoneheartsC05429

Still, Jacoby and Lorelai joined in to eat some hearts.

angelheartsC05433

Angel gets nervous eating close to the other cats (probably something to do with someone stealing her food in her foster home), so she took her heart a little ways away to eat it.

everyoneheartsC05431

Not that anyone was looking at her specific heart. There was enough for everyone.

everyoneheartsC05441

I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed their Valentine’s Day hearts.

Aby-a-Day – 22 Januari: Answer your cats’ questions day!

Today is Answer Your Cats’ Questions Day! I did this last year with Pyret, Angel, Jacoby, Alfred and Logan, but this year we lost Pyret and Logan and gained Lorelai and Izaak, so…I thought I’d do it again this year.

angelquestion1

Angel’s question, whilst about a different Singapura, is the same as last year…

angelquestion2

No, seriously.

jakequestion

Jake’s question is fairly basic…

freddyquestion

Cuddly Freddy has a friendly, helpful question.

zakquestion1

Zak asks me this question every single day.

zakquestion2

Everytime I go into the kitchen.

rory-howfast

Finally, Rory just wants to know one thing…

Aby-a-Day – 1 Januari: “For breakfast she makes coffee that tastes like Cham – poo…” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is a repeat cartoon, but it’s one of my favourites. In case you missed it the first time, I hope you like it!

Aby-a-Day – 23 December: “Momma, don’t make me wear that old thing again…I got them ugly sweater blues” (Silly Sunday)

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you know that one of our holiday traditions is dressing up the cats. This year is no different. Especially since I have this little red dress with a plaid skirt that I knew would be just perfect for Lorelai.

roryxmasclothesC03903

And I was right. She rocked it.

roryxmasclothesC03905

…And then she went off to fight with Izaak, still wearing the dress…like the tomboy she is (She won, too).

jakexmasclothesC03965

Jacoby, of course, put on his Santa sweater and Mistletoe Hat like the pro that he is.

jakexmasclothesC03962

jakexmasclothesC03958

jakexmasclothesC03955

He gave me all his best poses.

jakexmasclothesC03948

I love him so much. Good old stable, reliable Jake.

jakexmasclothesC03939

What would I do without him?

angelxmasclothesC04056

Angel, too, is no stranger to the annual holiday dress-up routine.

angelxmasclothesC04049

She’s not quite the show-off Jake is, but she knows how to pose. Her ears aren’t really mad, though. That’s just the elastic on the hat.

angelxmasclothesC04026

She also knows that if she gives me a few good poses, I’ll take off the stuff and let her go.

fredxmasclothesC03981

Alfred didn’t get dressed up last year, so this was his first experience with our tradition.

fredxmasclothesC03985

It took him a second to really get the hang of it.

fredxmasclothesC04006

But he soon realised it really wasn’t all that bad. In fact, it was kind of fun!

fredxmasclothesC03990

“Freddy the Elf…what’s your favourite colour?”

zakxmasclothesC03938

Zak got to wear the infamous Christmas Tree Costume.

zakxmasclothesC03927

He…was less than thrilled.

zakxmasclothesC03918<

He decided he wanted to leave.

zakxmasclothesC03919

I tried to tell him that trees have roots and can’t move, but he wasn’t having any of it.

loganxmasclothesC08168

Logan also wore the tree costume last year.

loganxmasclothesC08160

Who do you think wore it better?