Aby-a-Day – 18 Januari: “I climbed a tree to see the world” (Movie Monday)

When we were outside yesterday, I noticed that Izaak’s tree was looking pretty darn picturesque with all the snow and everything. Zak loves to pose in that tree, so I thought we’d have a little photo session.

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I was right.

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Since I lost Jacoby, Zak is pretty much my best poser. I can put him in his tree, and he’ll stay there and let me snap photos.

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He really likes this tree. It’s just the right height, and it has a little spot between the branches that he feels quite comfortable in.

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People were sledding down the hill, and Zak watched them from his vantage point.

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For being an engineered purebred cat, he looks really natural in a snowy tree. I love the snow flakes frosting his fur.

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I also love that I am reflected in his eyes.

After he got down from his tree. I made a little video of him walking back to our front door.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Januari: Let’s go outside! (Swedish Cinema Sunday)

We went outside with the cats today. Lorelai was the most eager, as usual…

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She has zero fat and thin, sleek fur, but she doesn’t seem to feel the cold at all.

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The boys, on the other hand, kind of hovered by the door.

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Finally, Alfred decided to explore. Seeing as he’s got the most insulation, he should do…

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Our upstairs neighbours were outside sledding. Oksana is always happy to see Freddy.

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He and Rory explored their sleds.

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Eventually, everyone decided they had had enough snow and wanted to go back inside.

I also made a little video of our outing. Enjoy!

Aby-a-Day – 16 Januari: Sometimes, you just need a partner to nap with (Swedish Saturday)

It’s been a busy week…and I got to today and couldn’t think of anything to post.

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So, here are Alfred and Izaak, the nap partners.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Januari: Looks like 2020 doesn’t believe in a peaceful transition of power, either (Photoshop Friday)

So, after the last two Wednesdays, there hasn’t been a whole lot to laugh about…but this meme resurrecting Smudge and the yelling woman, 2021-style, really did make me LOL. Just one thing bothered me about it…the crap Photoshopping. I knew I could do better.

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Yep. I think that’s better. And, I learned a little bit more about painting realistic fur, touching up the “shaman’s” coyote-tail headdress.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Januari: More snow, more fun (Thursday Things)

Since I posted last week, we’ve had a bit more snow here. I took the cats outside again on Tuesday; it was actually rather warm and the snow was perfect and not too wet or icy.

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Lorelai, of course, went pelting off into the whiteness.

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The boys, however, were less enthusiastic (and yes, I made Dashiell come out with us).

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Eventually, Alfred stretched his legs.

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Dash even took a little walk around the building.

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Izaak…was displeased.

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Rory, on the other hand, was playing with the snow.

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She was having so much fun out there.

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One cool thing happened, though. Watching Rory run, I saw some movement in the background. At first I thought it was Freddy, but it was a hare! I wish one of the cats had seen it, though. I’d love to see what their reaction would be!

Aby-a-Day – 12 Januari: Zak sleeps with the fishes (Cartoon Tuesday)

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to see Men in Black: International on television. At the very beginning of the film, we see a cute little blue Terrantian in the lead character’s childhood bedroom. Molly helps the little guy escape from the Men in Black and as he leaves, he says something to her.

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He was a stocky little guy with big, round eyes…so of course I had to draw Izaak as him.

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I did most of the work on this in Procreate; just the background, signature and lighting effects were done in Photoshop. Playing with feathers was a lot of fun. Here’s the time-lapse of the drawing process for those who are interested (click on the image to watch in another tab on Flickr).

Aby-a-Day – 11 Januari: Serious cuddle puddle (Hipstamatic Monday)

The other evening there was a pretty serious cuddle puddle going on at the end of the sofa involving Dashiell, Izaak and Lorelai. The whole his was pretty adorable.

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But the absolute cutest thing was Dash’s leg over Zak’s back.

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I mean, isn’t it just the sweetest thing?

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At least, it is until you realise that Dash was probably sleeping on the bed all by himself until Zak wormed his way in there.

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Rory joined them afterwards.

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However it happened, it still makes for some super cute photos.

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All right, Rory…you can go back to sleep now.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Januari: Snow day! (Thursday Things)

So, as you saw yesterday, we finally got a little bit of snow.

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Alfred, along with Lorelai and Izaak (who haven’t been outside in forever) were eager to get out, even if there was snow on the ground.

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Rory, of course, burst out the door. She never seems to feel the cold at all.

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Zak was happy to be outside, but he wasn’t happy about the cold. He mostly stuck close to the building.

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You can see the difference in their happiness about being out.

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Freddy immediately went around back to check out his bush. There wasn’t much to check out.

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At one point, Rory couldn’t hold it in anymore, and she burst off in her signature flying joyful bound.

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Look at her go! It doesn’t matter if it’s cold and snow-covered or the hottest day of summer…she loves to run outside.

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Eventually, she came trotting back to the shelter of the building.

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“Well? Was it fun?”

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Freddy also took off in his goofy gallop, and Zak followed behind him.

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We didn’t stay outside for very long, because it was breezy and felt colder than the -2°C that it actually was.

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Markis was also outside enjoying the snow.

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As were the neighbourhood children. Despite there being barely enough snow to cover the grass, they were all out there sliding down our hill.

Aby-a-Day – 6 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (It finally snowed…kind of)

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Aby-a-Day – 5 Januari: Izaak the Üumlaut (Cartoon Tuesday)

One of the bright spots of quarantining has been Disney+. I’ve been watching all sorts of movies and shorts, one of which was Tangled: The Series. It’s set between the events of the original Tangled movie and the short Tangled Ever After. I had no idea this series existed, and binge-watched it over the last few weeks. I was intrigued with the art style in the series. And then, I saw the episode The Way of the Willow…featuring an odd little creature called Üumlaut. Well…when I saw Üumlaut and her rattle, I knew what had to be done. So here is Üumzak.

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And, because I know some of you like to watch the process, here’s the Procreate video (click on the image to view it in Flickr). The only things I did in Photoshop were straightening the Üumzak and creating the shadow on the rattle. This was actually more of a challenge than it looks; borderless characters are harder to do than you’d think, and I learned how to do a couple of new things in Photoshop. Still, I think I captured the style of the series pretty well.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Januari: Happy 2nd birthday, Dashiell!

Today is Dashiell’s second birthday, and of course he got the usual cat food cake. He was a lot less intimidated by the flame than he was last year.

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If anything, he was almost too unintimidated. We were afraid he was going to singe his ears!

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We gave him his cake in the bedroom, for two reasons: one, he was already on the bed and he feels secure in there; and two, to protect the other cats from trying to eat his cake before he had a chance to even sniff it (and by “other cats,” I mean Alfred).

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Izaak, however, insisted on being with Dash for moral support. I reckoned that was okay, because Zak doesn’t really like regular wet cat food.

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So Dash got to celebrate with his best friend.

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Zak did check out the food…but once he sniffed it, he retreated, uninterested. Maybe he’ll change his mind in three weeks when it’s his birthday.

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“Oh, well…more for me!”

Aby-a-Day – 20 December 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Warriors plushies!)

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Aby-a-Day – 27 December 2020: Welcome to the rat race (Cinema Sunday)

We got the cats a remote-controlled rat toy for Christmas. We thought it would be a lot of fun for them.

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It…didn’t go quite as planned.

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I’m not sure if it was the motor noises or the crazy, self-righting wheels, but they seemed a little intimidated by the thing.

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So, Björn got the idea of putting a bit of ham on the back of the rat. Well, that got Alfred’s attention.

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And then the ham fell off.

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And…then Freddy ate the ham. So much for that idea.

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So we stopped the rat to see what they would do when it wasn’t moving.

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Dashiell grabbed it and started dragging it off.

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He was growling as he pulled it along!

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I don’t think any of us saw that coming.

Here’s the video of the whole encounter. I sped it up a little bit, so you may not be able to hear Dash growling.

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

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Aby-a-Day – 19 December 2020: Getting better all the time (Singapura Saturday)

Even when she was a kitten, Lorelai has been a very skilled shoulder cat. She can jump from the ground to your shoulder in one easy leap and stick the landing, without sticking your shoulder.

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Izaak…not so much. But he really wants to be a shoulder cat. And he’s been practicing.

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“Aw yeah, I got this.”

Aby-a-Day – 17 December 2020: Merry Fishmas (Thursday Things)

Pickled Herring is one of the traditional foods on the traditional foods on the Swedish Julbord (Christmas table)…so of course there’s a version of Julsill for cats!

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It’s made by Mjau, the “low-rent” version of Bozita, which I’ve mentioned before (Both Bozita and Mjau are made by Doggy AB in Vårgårda). The main difference between the two brands seems to be the range of flavours and the ingredients labels. Mjau lists “meat and animal by-products” and “fish and fish by-products,” with 4% actual herring. Bozita lists the specific animals used, and doesn’t include “by-products.”

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But do the cats mind if they get a little Julsill along with their raw? Apparently not…well, except maybe for Izaak.

Aby-a-Day – 16 December 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Jul katter)

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Aby-a-Day – 13 December 2020: Nothing says waking up like kitties in your face (Sort of Selfie Sunday)

This is how I wake up most mornings. Izaak is usually involved, and then it’s either Alfred, Lorelai and/or Dashiell. I tried to take a selfie one morning…but it did not go well. The front camera, even on an iPhone 11 Pro, is really not that great.

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So I had Björn take the photos with the back camera.

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So, okay, not technically selfies…but credit for intent. And I absolutely adore the way Zak tries to hold my hand.

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Isn’t that adorable?

Aby-a-Day – 12 December 2020: Izaak meets Bruce the Spruce (Silly Saturday)

Seven years ago this Christmas, I found Bruce the Spruce, the plush Christmas tree who dances and sings Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. We didn’t put up all our decorations last year, but we bought a new tree this year, and we brought up about half our decorations from the basement.

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Bruce was one of the decorations. I don’t think Lorelai had seen him before.

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I don’t think Izaak had seen him before, either.

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Given his plushie obsession, Zak was fairly fascinated.

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Or frightened. Could be either.

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Nah…I’m going with fascinated.

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Don’t stick your tongue out at Bruce, Izaak!

Aby-a-Day – 10 December 2020: Sad news in the Singapura world

The other day I learned that Jana Baldwin Katzalano Singapuras passed away. She was such a force in the Singa world…Katzalano is in so many Singapura pedigrees.

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Although Izaak has no Katzalano cats in his pedigree, Logan did, and our friends Stellan and Hans Owe have some Katzalano cats. Although I only knew her through Facebook, she will be missed.