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.