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.

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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 – 1 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Canada day, down Canada way)

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Aby-a-Day – 28 Juni 2020: The Mighty Izaak (Singapura Sunday)

When the cats go outside, the Abyssinians bolt out the door and run as fast and as far as they can.

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But not Izaak. Zak…well, the best way to describe it is, Zak marches out the door and onto the grass.

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He also loves to hunt when he’s outside. Wonder what he sees?

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Oh! A honey bee! Zak, please leave that little guy alone…we need all the bees we can get!

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That’s not to say that Zak doesn’t run. He does.

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He’s usually chasing one of the other cats, but oh, he runs.

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He’s such a sturdy little man. As I mentioned before, someone compared him to Ron Swanson…and apart from the lack of mustache, it’s an apt comparison.

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I mean, look at him.

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Finally, I have this photo. In my opinion, this is Zak’s first iconic photo. Jacoby had a few: Sitting on the carousel, posing in his hat and boots, and the one of him wearing his parka in the snow, among others

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juni 2020: Chris lost his head (Friday Flashback)

Bear with me, here…I am sad and not just a little bit angry. Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Christopher Columbus statue in Boston’s Christopher Columbus Park was beheaded. It will now be going into storage for an undefined period of time.

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I have posted about this statue back when I lived in Boston. Politics aside, I have always admired the workmanship on this statue. It never felt like a “white man’s burden” statue to me (unlike so many other racist statues). Made or marble imported from Carrara, an ancient quarry in Tuscany, and erected by the Knights of Columbus, an organization dominated by Italian Americans, the statue (which is in Boston’s North End, the Italian neighbourhood), always seemed to be more about being of Italian descent than about Colonialism.

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We didn’t go to Christopher Columbus Park very often, as there were closer parks along the Harborwalk, but I always liked going there with Jacoby.

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It’s Boston’s oldest waterfront park. I wish we had gone there more often.

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But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the unconditional trust I had with Jake. I could put him anywhere and he’d pose for a photo.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Juni 2020: Has it been four years already? (Friday Flashback)

As you probably remember, four years ago this month, Jacoby, Angel and I moved to Sweden.

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The movers came on 31 May. Angel was remarkably chill.

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The movers coming in and packing everything up didn’t faze her one bit.

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Jake, of course, was very helpful.

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Tessie wanted to keep the scratching posts.

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But mostly, the Abys just napped whilst the movers worked.

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I was quite impressed watching the movers watching the movers wrap up the big cat tree.

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A week and a half later, it was our turn to go.

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We travelled to Sweden on IcelandAir, which requires all animals to travel in a designated animal area in the cargo hold due to Iceland’s quarantine laws. I was lucky enough to see Angel and Jake’s carrier transferring to our plane during the layover.

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We arrived in Sweden just fine.

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And we made it home to our apartment in Skövde. And here we are, four years later, living our happily ever after.

Well…except we no longer have Jake…but still.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Maj 2020: The Frankentree (Fashion Friday Flashback)

This morning, Facebook reminded me of the creation of the Frankentree that we keep on the balcony.

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Angel loves sunning herself on there.

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But then, she liked it before it was upgraded.

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Alfred and Jacoby were also ond of the Frankentree…

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…although it was a bit awkward when Freddy tried to nap in the cubby.

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Logan loved the Frankentree.

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But Angel and Lorelai continue to be the biggest fans of the Frankentree.

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Although Angel doesn’t seem to enjoy sharing it with anyone.

Aby-a-Day – 22 Maj 2020: Facebook has all the memories! It has the best memories! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, Facebook reminded me of the time we got bored at a cat show and put some of the hair I had groomed off Jacoby and put it on his head.

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After I did that, we noticed that the pile of hair on Jake’s bore a striking resemblance to a certain American president.

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Especially from the side.

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Jake was always such a good sport…

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…and he really could rock anything he wore, too. I miss that.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Maj 2020: Behind the scenes of a classic (Cartoon Tuesday)

I know you’ve all seen my version of Tessie, Kylie, Angel and Jacoby as the main characters of Frozen. I wish I had the Photoshop file with all the layers…but somehow, all the PSD files of my cartoons after number 80 have disappeared.

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When I got the idea, it started as Kylie being Elsa and Jake being Kristoff…and it just took off from there.

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Elsa (Kylie) and Anna (Angel) went through a few test sketch ideas, but Jake’s Kristoff and Tessie’s Sven were pretty much set from the beginning.

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This sketch is where I finalised Angel’s Anna pose.

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Not wanting to waste paper, I would do pencil sketches and final inks on the same page. This is one of those.

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I worked on getting Kylie’s arms just exactly right. A LOT.

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I also drew Kylie separate from her clothing (Jake and Angel were always drawn with their outfits on). I wanted to be sure her body looked right under the translucent costume layer.

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When I was inking Jake’s face, I did a few trials before settling on his final face. In some ways, it’s way easier to draw on the iPad than it was to draw on paper!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Maj 2020: *Tips hat* M’leggie (Photoshop Friday Flashback)

10 years ago today, I posted this photo of Jacoby’s amusing leggie pose.

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But what I never posted was a Picasso-inspired artistic version of this photo. So, here it is.

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.

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

Aby-a-Day – 30 April 2020: A memory came up today…(Thursday Things)

This memory came up today on Facebook: Jacoby’s and my last Seacoast Cat Show in New Hampshire. It was a great show; Jake got 136 points at that show.

That show, and the one CFA show we went to in Sweden where he made every final, was enough to make him 10th Best Abyssinian in Premiership for the 2016-17 show season, on top of his 8th Best placement the season before.

I know I have some awesome cats now…but I still miss my Jakey.

Aby-a-Day – 24 April 2020: Fancy face masks (Fashion Friday)

As everyone on the planet knows, we are experiencing a pandemic and we’re all being held hostage by a familiar virus. Unlike the rest of the world, Sweden is managing the Covid-19 situation in a…unique way. Most businesses are still open, high schools and universities are teaching online but all other schools are still in session, there are markings on the floors near the checkouts in shops, but there are no measures taken in the aisles to keep people apart. And nobody is wearing masks. But I am. I have asthma, and everytime I get a cold, it doesn’t go away. It settles in my lungs, and turns into bronchitis or pneumonia. I know how insidious coronaviruses can be. I have been reading studies of one certain type of coronavirus for twelve years now, and I am not taking any chances.

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I bought sa box of 50 semi-disposable medical masks on Amazon.de to tide me over until I can get some cuter ones. On a whim, I thought I would try one on Izaak. Whoops…sorry, Zak, you can’t see with it on like that!

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Okay, that’s better. Zak actually wore it pretty well, but I am not going to lie, I miss Jacoby. He would rocked this mask!

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Even though he’s not the pro Jake was, Zak did finally strike a couple of pretty good poses for me.

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Of course Alfred had to come check out what Zak and I were doing.

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Huh. That’s rude. Guess he’s not a fan of masks.

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Given his reaction, of course I made him model it, too. He only kept it on long enough for one good photo, though, and I didn’t have time to adjust it so it wasn’t covering his eyes. Again, sometimes I really miss Jake.

But I really want a better mask than these disposables. One of my Facebook friends sent me a link to a super cute face mask with Abyssinians wearing masks on it! I love that a blue Aby is the main cat on the mask. (There is also one with Somalis on it.)

But look what else they have! A Singapura face mask! I ordered one of each. I know they seem a bit expensive ($24.95), but each mask comes with three replaceable filter pads, to give a little more protection when you go outside, and you can always get more filters. I can’t wait to try them on!

Aby-a-Day – 17 April 2020: This Jake is PHOTOSHOPPED (Photoshop Friday)

Since Jacoby’s deathday and birthday are so close together, I posted some photos of him on Monday In Meöwmorium on the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. I included some cutouts I’d already made along with some favourites…and wow, the other members did not disappoint! I especially love the image Trisha Pettingill made with Jake in the Red Sox dugout.

Lucia Robson made this one of Jake in Baseball Heaven (which of course is in Fenway Park).

Helen Yang, who had so much fun with Izaak and Lorelai a few weeks ago did this amazing one of Jake on the field with Rally Cat II at an Angels-Cardinals game in Anaheim!

She also did these of Jake in various forms of heaven. So sweet!

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And then there are my challenges…this cat was named Pirate, so…

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Dangles’ human wanted her to have legs, but I gave her eggs instead.

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This was an amazing photo on its own…most people went with an ascension or jet pack theme, but I went in a different direction.

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Mr. Kringle’s human wanted him to run for president. That was easy!

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This isn’t really a Photoshop challenge per se, but I had to do it.

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Sophia’s smile made me think of second grade.

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Someone commented on this photo of Bebby that Yoda the trapeze artist should be dancing with her. So here they are at the Bolshoi.

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Switch’s photo reminded me of Theda Bara.

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But this is my favourite of my projects this week. When I saw Reginald in his cowboy hat, I instantly thought of A Million Ways to Die in the West. I knew what I wanted to do: Reginald with Seth MacFarlane’s Albert and Doc Brown. It was a lot harder to get the parts to match than I expected…but I think I finally got it to look pretty good in the end.

Aby-a-Day – 16 April 2020: The blanket boys (Thursday Things)

Izaak and Dashiell spend a lot of time in the bedroom, since they eat their meals and chicken necks in there. And after they finish, they snuggle under the comforters.

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Zak generally naps on top of the covers (he prefers to sleep under the covers when humans are there.

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Dash likes to sleep under the comforters, which is easy since we have the Scandinavian double duvet system.

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And Dash is so damn cute when he comes out from underneath.

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I mean, just look!

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What’s funny is, Jacoby used to like to sleep under the covers like that, too. It’s kind of nice.

Aby-a-Day – 15 April 2020: (Mostly) Wordless Wednesday (Dr. Jake says…)

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(Uncensored Version)

Happy Birthday, Jacoby…

…it should have been your 11th birthday today. I will always love you, Strollercat.

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Aby-a-Day – 11 April 2020: A terrible anniversary (Special Saturday)

This is a terrible, terrible day.

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Last year on the 11th of April, my heart-cat Jacoby died whilst I was getting a pedicure and talking to his vet on the phone. My feet in warm swirly water, while he was dying in Jönköping. I was planning on going to visit him the next day, but there wasn’t any time. I didn’t know that the last time I saw him, when we left him at the animal hospital, that it would be the last time I would see him alive.

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We were such a team.

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We had adventures.

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He was bulletproof. I could put him somewhere and he would just pose for me.

We became minor celebrities…in Boston!

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He was the Westchester Cat Club’s Cat of the Year.

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He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

I miss him every day.

Aby-a-Day – 10 April 2020: More PHOTOSHOPPED cats (Photoshop Friday)

Continuing last week’s Photoshop Friday, I did some more Photoshop challenges on the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. I also posted the meme about the green screen dress Queen Elizabeth wore when she gave her COVID-19 speech last Sunday.

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And, of course, I had to give Her Majesty a Three Jake Moon shirt.

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When I saw this photo of Mya the Sphynx, I had only one thought and one thought only. Isn’t she precious?

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Jezebel’s original photo had her on her scratching post. I thought she needed a real tree.

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THIS is one of my favourites from this week. When I saw this chonky girl, my brain instantly went to…well, Manchester Township, New Jersey. One member said that it should be a poster. It’s always interesting to work in greyscale.

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Athletic Yoda reminded me of a trapeze artist.

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This face! I had to do this.

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This cat’s name is Chandler, so I had to do this…

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I didn’t think that sofa looked “Central Perk” enough, so I used this one instead. Much better!

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Then Björn made a comment…eh, it was inevitable.

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Harley and Powder’s human wanted them ‘Shopped onto a rock album. Hey, no problem.

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I had saved this photo of the bear and was waiting for a cat to fill it. I thought it was Mia…but I wasn’t so sure after I finished it. But her human loved it, so that’s good enough for me.

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Peso is a semi-celebrity in the group – I mean, look at those eyes! Behold, the majestic Peso Owl in flight.

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Willie’s human wanted him Photoshopped riding something “bad ass”…well, what’s more bad ass than Joust? This was a lot of fun…I learned how to pixilate photos with this one. It’s always nice when one of these challenges teaches me a new trick.

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Then, someone in the comments posted a photo of Putin, shirtless, riding a horse, and said, “Someone please put him on the horse with Putin!” Challenge accepted.

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Gilligan reminded me of an ancient Egyptian cat, so I put him in the temple at Abydos. Not super happy with how it turned out…but Gillgan’s human loved it. Again, that’s kind of the point.

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This is Colonel Gentleman. His original photo looked like he was sitting behind a desk, so… Fun fact: the base I used was a photo of Socks sitting behind Bill Clinton’s Resolute Desk.

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Another person posted her adorable foster kittens Meeps, Sully and Toque….it was the obvious choice. I wish Toque’s photo had been larger, though.

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Another obvious choice. I had fun with the bubbles.

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Daniel had to have his back leg shaved for an operation, and his owner wanted us to cover it up. I used a photo of a peacock I took at Borås Djurpark last summer, and used feather brushes to fill in spots.

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This is today’s project. Bailey’s human wanted him to turn his blep against evil. This was the most evil I could think of.

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Well, either that, or this. Potato, potahto.

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.

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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?

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

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

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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.

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

Aby-a-Day – 15 Mars 2020: A little time capsule (Cinema Sunday)

I am not sure where it came from, exactly, but a while ago I discovered a short little video my ex took with his iPhone. It’s just Angel being cute, kneading a blanket on the sofa in our old (tiny) apartment, with a cameo by Jacoby.

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It seems to have been taken around the same time as the other photos in this post, sometime between January and March 2011.

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Jake would have still been recovering from his escalator incident when these were taken; he and Angel were getting along fairly companionably, too.

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Here they are on Valentine’s Day 2011. Two weeks later, Jake would be going to his first cat show…where I met my friend Meg, as it happens.

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In any case, here’s the little blast from the past I found on a random jump drive. Click on the image to view it in another tab.