Aby-a-Day – 1 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Canada day, down Canada way)

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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 – 15 Maj 2020: Gun-Hee and his tail (Photoshop Friday Flashback)

Gun-Hee loved chasing his tail. I posted a video of him chasing it in 2007, and then, a few months later, I posted a
“non-video” version of him chasing his tail.

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Later, I took my three favourite shots…

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…separated them from their background…

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…and made a sort of action-collage of the three.

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I was so proud of this at the time, I even put it on a T-shirt…but looking at the original PSD file…YIKES! Those edges are so bad! I guess I have learned a thing or two in 13 years.

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 – 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 – 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.

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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!

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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?

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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 – 6 Mars 2020: The Big Boston Blizzard of 2015 (Friday Fashion Friday Flashback)

Five years ago this week, Jacoby and Angel experienced what would be Boston’s record snowfall for the first time.

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I couldn’t take them in the courtyard as usual because reasons. So I took them just in front of the building.

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Of course, they were fully decked out in their coats.

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It was…a less than optimal photo location. but we did our best. I am still proud to have lived in Boston the year of the record snowfall.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Februari 2020: First Snows (Friday Flashback)

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Now that we finally have snow, I was thinking about the first times all the cats saw their first snows. The most recent, of course was the first time Izaak and Lorelai saw snow.

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Rory, of course, loved it.

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She loves any chance to go outside…and she honestly seems completely immune to the cold.

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Zak, however…

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…was less than impressed. I never bothered to put coats on Rory and Zak when we went outside, because of what Alfred did the first time he went out in snow

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I tried to put a coat on him. Oh, how I tried.

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Fred would have none of it.

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He preferred to experience the snow au naturel.

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Like Jacoby, Logan appreciated having a coat in the snow.

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He probably would have enjoyed wearing boots, too.

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Jake never went out in the snow without a coat.

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That was such a fun thing about Jake. He did love his coats.

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Angel’s very first snow did not involve going outside.

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But she eventually went out and experienced snow first paw.

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She was less than enthused. Well, she was born in California.

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But she did seem to have fun out in the snow with Jake. I’ll give her that.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Februari 2020: Shadows of Gun-Hee (Friday Flashback)

Looking for something else, I found these neat silhouette photos of Gun-Hee. This was out on the Harborwalk at sunset.

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This was when our refrigerator broke. Gun-Hee of course had to supervise the repairman as he worked.

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And this, of course, was the Red Sox in the 2007 World Series. Just like Jacoby, Gun-Hee was good luck for the team. I miss them both.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari 2020: Déjà vu (Friday Flashback)

We brought Dashiell home in mid-August, and we took him outside as much as we could before the weather turned too cold and the afternoons got too dark.

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At first, of course, we started him out on a leash.

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He soon learned to go outside without one.

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But it was so cute to see him interact with Angel outside.

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For several weeks after Dash joined our family, Angel looked at him like she’d seen a ghost.

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With good reason.

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Look at Angel with Jacoby, when he was the same age as Dash in these photos. No wonder she thought she was seeing a ghost!

Aby-a-Day – 14 Juni: All Angel’s birthdays (Flashback Friday)

As you saw from Wednesday’s post, Angel turned 12 this year. When we got her from Purebreds Plus Rescue, they didn’t know her birthday, so I chose 11 June as the day she could have been born on. Last year, I got confirmation that she was most likely actually born on 4 July 2007, but my dad’s birthday is the 4th of July, so I just keep celebrating on 11 June. She was a year and three (or two) months old when I adopted her, so we missed her first birthday…but here is a photo of me with her on her second birthday.

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Angel on her 3rd birthday…still not used to those candles.

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Here is Angel and me on Angel’s 4th birthday.

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Angel’s 5th birthday fell on a Monday, so we celebrated with Hipstamatic photos.

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Look how proud Angel looks to be 6 years old!

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Angel’s 7th birthday was her first in our new apartment, and she had her cake on the window seat.

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Angel couldn’t wait to eat her 8th birthday cake! I’m surprised she didn’t singe her whiskers!

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Her 9th birthday was our last in Boston. She seemed a little intimidated by all the candles.

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So, of course, Angel’s 10th birthday was her first in Sweden.

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Last year’s birthday…I can’t remember what was going on with the candles. Either her birthday took us by surprise, so we used whatever oddball candles we had…or I was just matching the colours. And now she is 12…that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment.

Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj: A date that will live in infamy (Friday Flashback)

This time of year is always special to me because my birthday is tomorrow, but for the past three years, the 31st of May is special, too; it’s the day the movers came to pack up all my belongings to be sent to Sweden…

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…And it’s the day I was granted my temporary Swedish residency permit. I got the email first thing in the morning, but I had to wait for the Swedish Embassy to open their phones at 11 am before I could find out what the decision actually was.

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The movers arrived fairly early with their boxes, bubble wrap and tape and got right to work.

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As you can see, Angel was unfazed by all the activity.

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Tessie watched for a while, and then retired to the bedroom, where it was quieter.

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Jacoby was his usual, bulletproof self.

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He even went out in the hallway to help the movers do their job!

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They did a very thorough job. This is my bicycle, all wrapped up.

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The movers didn’t seem to mind Jake helping at all. They were just amused.

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Jake took his supervisory position very seriously, as you can see.

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He made sure the movers marked all the boxes correctly…

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…noted down properly on the list…

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…and he made sure they didn’t leave anything behind. Jake was such a good helper!

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Unfortunately, Jake couldn’t help us when were were finished at the apartment and moved over to the storage unit. Too bad, too; he would have enjoyed helping to pack up the floor-to-ceiling cat tree!

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj: “Scattered pictures…of the smiles we left behind” (Friday Flashback)

As I posted earlier this month, the Memories that Facebook shows you can be bittersweet. Lately, they’ve been showing me a lot of Jacoby memories. It started with this one, of Strollercat on the way to a cat show in Göteborg in 2017.

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I never actually posted these photos here, as this was during the blog’s hiatus.

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This is another photo that popped up, I think as one of Björn’s Memories. I called it “Conversations on a train.”

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Then there is this one I posted whilst we were at that cat show.

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I found this photo of Jake crashed out in the hotel room after the first day of the show was over whilst I was looking for the other ones from this week’s Memories. I had forgotten it…but it is SO Jake.

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This is the Memory that came up yesterday…

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…another one I forgot about that is such a classic Jake moment. I found Angel sunning herself in a little square of sunshine in the kitchen.

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The square was just the right size for one little cat loaf.

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And then…along came Jake.

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And he decided that he wanted the sun square. I wasn’t able to capture what happened next.

And this last one is the most bittersweet of all, from five years ago Wednesday. Jake loved riding on the front of his stroller on our way home from our therapy visits. I posted the photos here in the blog at the time, but I only posted the video to Facebook. Apologies for the vertical video…I forgot to turn the camera sideways.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Maj: Tacoby Friday (Friday Fashion Flashback)

In the States, Taco Tuesday is a thing. But here in Sweden, it’s Taco Friday.

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Because of Jacoby’s namesake, tacos always remind me of Jake.

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When he was a kitten, I had to get him some catnip taco toys.

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He loved those things! I wish I knew whatever happened to them. These photos were taken just a couple weeks after he joined our family.

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He even had a little taco charm that he used to wear on his collar with his tag. You can see it in this photo.

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A few years later, I found Jake a taco costume.

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Which he wore with his usual aplomb. Look at him! It might as well be a silk tuxedo the way he’s modelling it!

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Jake was always so chill when it came to wearing his outfits. People always used to ask me how I got him to wear his costumes. I would always kind of shrug and say, “I just ask him to, and he does it, because we’re partners.”

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Damn. Now I really miss Jake…and I am dying for some tacos!

Aby-a-Day – 2 Maj: Thanks, Facebook…(Travel Thursday)

Love it or hate it, Facebook is a reality. It’s annoying as hell, but it’s also a great way to stay in touch with friends and family (like friends from second grade and several of my cousins in Canada). And then there’s the “Memories” it likes to show you.

This photo was today’s memory, four years ago. Jacoby and I were on our way to the Seacoast show in New Hampshire, one of our favourites. We’re riding the T on our way to meet the friend I was staying with. Interestingly enough, I never included this photo in a blog post about the show (and I made several posts about it, too)!

So bittersweet…a happy memory, to be sure, but I miss that way he gazed at me.

Aby-a-Day – 26 April: The night Jacoby Stole Home (Photoshop Friday Flashback

Ten years ago tonight, Jacoby Ellsbury did more than juststeal home against the Yankees at Fenway Park on ESPN’s nationally-televised Sunday Night Baseball…he also gave my 12-day old ruddy kitten his name.

We had been discussing names for the kitten, and my ex wanted to call him Jake. I thought that was a little too Cat From Outer Space (You know, like naming a Collie “Lassie” or naming a Siamese “Pyewacket,” “Tao,” or “D.C.” But the moment I saw Ellsbury steal home…I knew what the kitten’s name would be. But, as I explained, I did not name my Jacoby after the player. I named him after the amazing thing that player did that time because someday he’ll probably betray us…but that thing he did will never not be awesome. And, sure enough…in 2014, Ellsbury did precisely that: he joined the Yankees!

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But back to happier times. For the 2011 April Fool’s Day post, I put Jake together with the real Jacoby, playing a little ball.

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Then, in 2012 the Improper Bostonian Jacoby Ellsbury on its cover of the end of March/early April issue. How could I resist?

It would have been fun to, just once, have the human Jacoby meet the feline Jacoby…

Aby-a-Day – 19 April: ” Every time I see your face, it reminds me of the places we used to go…but all I’ve got is a photograph, and I realise you’re not coming back any more” (Friday Flashback)

There are just so many reminders of Jacoby around the house. I have plushies, T-shirts and even jewellery featuring his image.

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But one big thing I have are the special plaques I made using Shutterfly.

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The first one I made was to commemorate Jake’s ascension to Grand Premiership.

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The second was made after Jake was featured on Page One of the Boston Herald (during a week that featured Hurricane Sandy, Halloween, the Patriots, and…some election involving an incumbent and a former governor of Massachusetts).

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Then I made one to remember the time Jake was featured in the Workman Page-a-Day Calendar. That one was especially special, since I had been getting that calendar – and sending in photos – since the early 80’s.

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Another plaque I made was a matched pair to honour the two-page spread Jake earned in the British cat magazine Your Cat.

All of these plaques were kept in my office when I lived in Boston, but since moving to Sweden, they are displayed on our hallway bookshelves, where I see them every day.

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But I also have the ultimate souvenir…a Pancake Pet I got via Toki Poki. It’s Jake, life-sized!

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Izaak was interested in the Jake-sized cutout…

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…as was Alfred.

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Freddy was a bit disturbed when I first got Pancake Jake out.

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Cordial…but a but disturbed.

I have so many reminders of Jake…but that’s only because he was an amazing cat. I miss him so much.

Aby-a-Day – 18 April: Eulogy for Jacoby (Thursday Things)

Jacoby was such a great poser. He just seemed to understand what I wanted, and I could set him some place and he would sit there perfectly. I never trained him to do that, he just knew that the camera meant that he should hold still.

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When I saw the cat on the carousel in Boston Common, I knew I had to get a shot of Jake riding it. In between rides, they let me put him on the cat and were quite impressed with how cooperative he was.

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He struck this pose when he was only six months old.

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I used it to make this.

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He posed wonderfully without even trying.

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This photo became the iconic #strollercat T-shirt.

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He could be very dramatic at times…

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very dramatic!

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He was so wonderfully patient when I asked him to pose in his clothing.

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Jake loved riding the T.

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When it came to agility…Jake was a little too good at posing!

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Some of the best photos of him were in snow. The first one, with the hat, was published in Boston magazine.

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The current lot are photogenic, and Alfred in particular can throw some awesome poses… but they don’t have that understanding that Jake had. What were a team. We did so much together. I wonder if I’ll ever have that again with another cat.

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It’s not impossible…I said the same thing after Harri died, the last cat I had that kind of bond with. I just don’t know what the magic formula is for finding a cat like that.

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Jake was just so…bulletproof. I could set him anywhere and back away to take a photo, and I knew he wouldn’t jump down. We trusted each other implicitly.

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I love our current LunaTicks dearly, of course. Angel is not really bonded to anyone (she cuddles on her own terms) and Freddy is bonded to everyone. The kittens are also bonded to everyone, Izaak slightly more to me and Lorelai slightly more to Björn. But as much as we love them and they us…none of them have that connection, that spark, that undefinable something that elevates them to another level of human-cat interaction.

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On the simplest level, no other of our cats head bonk me. With Jake, I would put my head down and we would bonk our skulls together like a cranial fist bump. We did it fairly hard, too. When I try to do that with the others, they either back up, or sniff me, or rub their sides against my head…well, Freddy will sometimes pat me on the head. But no bonks.

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I hope I can find another Aby to bonk heads with some day.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Mars: So alike…yet so very different (Friday Flashback)

Izaak is so very different from Logan in so many ways. But they look so similar. Logan’s eyes were a bit more green, and Zak has a stockier build, but it’s hard to tell them apart in photos. In some pictures, I can only tell them apart by looking at their collars, and, of course, the date the photo was taken.

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But their personalities and mannerisms are so different.

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One major difference between Logan and Zak is Logan was a climber. He loved to go up on top of things: the cat tree, the hallway coat rack, the top of the bookshelf in the kitten room. And the tiny ledge on top of the refrigerator.

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That’s a hard ledge to get up onto, let alone stay on!

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Much harder than just sitting on top of the fridge door!

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Another difference between Zak and Logan is that Logan was extremely fastidious. He hated to be “dirty” and would stop to groom anywhere, anytime. You may remember what happened when Logan got his Suprelorin implant as opposed to when Zak got his.

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Even on the ledge of the fridge.

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Logan was such a climber. He was so athletic.

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He loved to be as high as he could.

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Meanwhile…Zak “The Sausage” Hellqvist can barely jump up onto the counter.

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And he is incredibly food-oriented, which Logan was not…but he’s also an extremely picky eater. I have never seen a cat who didn’t like dry food (it’s considered a special treat in our house), but Zak won’t touch it. He doesn’t even seem to recognise it as food. It makes cat shows challenging, to say the least.

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I wish they could have known each other. It would have been interesting to see them interact. But of course, if Logan hadn’t gotten FIP we wouldn’t have Izaak. But it would have been interesting to see them together.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Februari: In memory of Walter Hutzler (Hipstamatic Monday)

Sad news…CFA judge Walter Hutzler has passed away. He was a great cat judge and person. I didn’t know him well, but he lived in Region 1 and I was lucky to have seen him judge and have Jacoby judged by him a few times.

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The thing I remember about Walter is his flamboyant style of dressing. He also often wore scarves, which I thought was cool, and a nice change from the usual ties CFA judges wear.

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He was even featured in the 2006 PBS documentary Standard of Perfection: Show Cats. It’s always fun to see judges you know on TV shows.

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Walter was a really fun judge to watch.

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He really interacted with the cats as he judged them.

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Since it was Monday, I remembered I had taken some Hipstamatic photos of Walter judging Jake at a show in Groton, CT in October 2011 (the same weekend I met Molly and Mosey and Jake Gbecame a Grand).

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My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, Walter.