Aby-a-Day – 16 March 2020: Smol bols and pretty poses (Hipstamatic Monday)

I am kind of loving how the language of the internet is evolving. From L33t speak in the 1990’s to LOL cat speak, it’s really been a lot of fun to watch develop.

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And now we have the newest internet dialect: DoggoLingo. Just as LOL cat speak was applied to dogs, DoggoLingo is being co-opted by kitties. It’s a world of heckin good bois, chonks, bleps and peets, and, of course, smol bols

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Lorelai and Dashiell, especially, love to sleep curled up into the smallest balls they can. Rory making herself a tiny ball isn’t that hard; she’s a small cat, weighing only 2.6kg (just under 6lbs).

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But Dash, who is almost as big as Alfred (who is 4.6kg, just over 10lbs), can make himself into a pretty smol bol.

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I don’t know what he does with those gangly legs of his…but it’s impressive.

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Freddy and Izaak tend to do a double bol. I am not sure if Freddy has much say in the matter.

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Then we have the pretty poses. They have nothing to do with the language stuff above.

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They’re just pretty.

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Zak manages to make some pretty poses himself.

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For about five seconds. Then he goes and ruins it. Way to go, Zak.

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Yeah? Well…what you think is a moo point. You know, like a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter. It’s moo.

Grumpy Cat hunts with StarClan…

Sad news. Tardar Sauce, known worldwide as Grumpy Cat and possibly the most famous cat on the planet, died on Tuesday from complications from a urinary tract infection. She was seven years old.

She was an inspiration to all cats who wanted to become a meme, and if it wasn’t for her, Boston may never have had Strollercat. I was pleasantly surprised by her Lifetime show, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever and I love the Grumpy Cat Weather App. I can’t believe she died so young.

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I drew her, once, in a cartoon about the “Aby smile.” She was surprisingly difficult ti draw!

May StarClan light your path, and you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep, Tardar.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Februari: “We don’t care what people say, LOLcats are here to stay” (Thursday Things)

So I have been an avid fan and follower of LOLcats since they first appeared on the internet in 2007 (Yeah. Think about that. They’ve been around for 12 years already). I love them. So, when I got the most recent professional photos of Lorelai and Izaak (taken by Madelene Jonsson at the Örebro show in January), I couldn’t help but notice that some of them were infinitely LOLcat-able.

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Rory had two photos that fell into two classic meme categories.

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But Izaak had the best shots of all. Taking two shots together, it made a classic “I Love to Sing-a” meme, only made stronger by the fact that it stars an actual Singa!

Aby-a-Day – 4 July: Wordless Wednesday (Nom, nom, NOM)

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Aby-a-Day – March 31: Three April Fool’s Moon (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is not actually based on the (in)famous Three Wolf Moon T-shirt. It’s actually based on the even more awesome Three Grumpy Cat Moon T-shirt and the equally hilarious (if slightly illegal) Three Keyboard Cat Moon T-shirt.

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It had to be done. And I am going to try to get a shirt made, too. I’m holding my breath to see if Zazzle will let me make this – if they do, I’ll try to make a version for sale:

The moon background is actually two different moon photos by Moon-WillowStock on DeviantArt.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – March 6: On the wings of a woodpecker (Photoshop Friday)

So, I’m sure you’ve all seen the incredible and internet-infamous photo of a weasel riding a flying woodpecker by now.

If not, you probably saw my Wordless Wednesday post this week.

However, after I posted this on Wednesday, I got to thinking that…while it was good, it could be better. So, last night I went back and fixed it. And while I was doing that, I thought people might be interested in what I’d done to make Jacoby ride the woodpecker.

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For the quick original version, I went through all my photos of Jake looking for one of him in a pose similar to that of the weasel’s on the bird’s back. I finally decided on this one of Jake playing with the kittens in the Kitten Bowl.

Then, I found the biggest, highest-res image of the #WeaselPecker on the internet that I could, and I erased the weasel, leaving only the bird.

Then I scaled Jake down, put him on the bird’s back, and filled in the “holes” with colours taken from the bird and painted on underneath Jake using a feather brush. I also refined Jake’s edges using the “Refine Edge” tools under the “Select” menu. Then I toned Jake down to match the lighting on the bird a little better and put a slight motion blur (1 pixel) on him using the Motion Blur filter.

And it was good…but I knew I could do better. Jake’s front arm didn’t look right to me, his shoulder looked Photoshopped – even though it really wasn’t! – and I didn’t like the way his tail looked. So I went through the photos again, looking for arms and tails that would look better on my flying Jake.

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I found this photo of Jake hooking a toy with his paw, so I selected just his arm and shoulder, copied it onto a new layer over the current Jake and sized it down.

Then I erased the original arm, and blended the new arm in. Using the “Warp” function under the Transform menu, I tweaked the arm a little bit to make it look like Jake was holding onto the woodpecker’s neck (despite what National Geographic might think, it’s not that hard to make a mammal virtually hug a woodpecker).

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I also wasn’t happy with Jake’s tail. Even though that’s how it really looked in the original photo, on the back of the woodpecker it looked odd. So, I took Jake’s tail from this photo of him and Angel.

Just as I’d done with the arm, I selected the tail and part of Jake’s rump, pasted it onto a new layer, and blended in to the rest of Jake.

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I still wasn’t happy with Jake’s neck and shoulders in the original version. Even though they weren’t Photoshopped at all, they looked like they were – it looked like I’d attached Jake’s head and shoulders to a different body, even though I hadn’t. So I took a nice shot of Jake’s body that I had considered as a possible arm donor…

This time, I didn’t need to flip it. I sized the body piece down, placed it over the rest of the body, and blended it in using the eraser in brush mode, with one of my fur brushes.

I did one more tiny tweak to Jake’s tag, bending it back with the “Warp” tool to make it look like it was being blown back by the wind. Then, when I had all the body pieces blended together the way I wanted them, I merged the layers to create a consolidated Jake.

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I turned the woodpecker layer back on, placed Jake on the bird’s back, and touched up the empty spaces underneath Jake with the rubber stamp tool. Then I added a slight motion blur to Jake as well as a slight drop shadow. And there you go: Jake riding a woodpecker!