Aby-a-Day – 8 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Sand battle!)

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Aby-a-Day – 22 Juni 2020: Izaak and the blanket (Mischievous Monday)

The other day when we went outside, one of our neighbours had left a blanket under a tree. We picked it up and hung it on the rug beating frame. There was a bit of a breeze, and the blanket had a fringe, so Izaak started playing with it.

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Or attacking it. It’s open to interpretation.

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Sometimes I forget that Zak is only two years old…Logan was such a little old man, even though he only lived 13 months, I am always surprised at how playful Zak is.

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Look at that concentration. That blanket is going to regret its life choices.

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It was so much fun watching him “hunt” the blanket.

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Bite! Bite! Bite!

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It’s amazing how much fun cats can have with ordinary household objects.

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It was funny that he used his mouth more than his hands. I think Abys would be more handsy and less mouthy.

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…And just like that, Zak was done.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj 2020: Walking home after taking out the recyclables (Cinema Sunday)

We’ve trained Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak to come along with us when we take out the garbage and recyclables.

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And they know, when we let them out when we’re carrying bags, that we’re not just “going outside,” but we’re going out to the bins. These three all know how to walk home from the bus stop from vet visits, and the bins are just next to the bus stop.

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They love it…and they do know the difference. Dashiell hasn’t had enough practice outside to do this…and Angel is happier at home.

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Rory so loves to run free outside. I say she is the very embodiment of joy when she runs.

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Sometimes, she even climbs trees!

Here’s the video I made on the way back (note the Swedish social distancing).

Aby-a-Day – 1 Mars 2020: Izaak and the snölykta (Swedish Sunday)

When we were playing outside in the snow on Friday, I noticed that someone had built a little snölykta (snow lantern) in the yard. I thought it would be cute to take Izaak out to look at it. It seemed about his size.

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At first I tried to put Zak in the middle of the lantern, but I couldn’t get him to stay in it without knocking over the snowballs.

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You can see his pawprints in the middle of the lantern.

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Just because he wouldn’t stay inside the lantern doesn’t mean that he didn’t find the little snowball pile interesting.

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(I put the snowballs Zak kicked over back.)

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Zak and I hung out for a while. Look at his little pawprints!

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“This IS an airport, please announce your departure…”

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Then, Zak discovered another use for the snow lantern.

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It made a great cover for him to stalk Alfred in the snow.

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Look how sneaky he is! He’s doing a heckin stealth.

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And then, suddenly, he just gave up his hunt. But it was cute to see him playing in the snow when he usually tends to stay along the side of the building.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni: “Have you ever held a snake? They are so strong. You can see why there are so many myths about them: they are unlike any other creature” (Silly Singapura Cinema Sunday)

You may recall a few months ago, I had bought some catnip snakes on Etsy. I gave one to “everybody,” which Izaak promptly claimed, and then put one away for Jacoby’s birthday…which never happened.

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The other day, whilst tidying up my clothes cupboard, I happened to find Jake’s green birthday snake. I had forgotten about it.

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So, I called Zak to come and play with it.

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He was all over that action.

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Lorelai wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

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Zak was not about to share his new toy.

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One of Zak’s little quirks is, he loves to roll around on the entryway rugs. I have no idea why, but he does it almost every day…I just haven’t captured it on camera yet.

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Apparently, rolling about on the rug is much improved with a catnip snake.

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He really likes this snake!

When I posted about the first snake, I lamented not catching it on video. So this time, I made sure to sort that. Here’s Zak in action with Jake’s snake.

Aby-a-Day – 29 April: Lorelai and Markis (Movie Monday)

Lorelai has never met an enemy. She likes dogs, people, and other cats.

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She’s always happy to encounter our upstairs neighbour, Markis.

Markis, as you can see in this video, isn’t really interested in playing with her.

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Later on, she tried again.

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This time, Markis started to run away from her instead of holding his ground again.

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Oh, well…

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…At least Rory got a game of chase out of the deal.

Aby-a-Day – 21 April: You CAN teach an old cat some new tricks! (Swedish Sunday)

I apologise in advance for the blurriness of these photos, but I was lucky to capture them at all!

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This actually started before Jacoby died, but last week was the first time I managed to have my camera ready.

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You see, Angel, who will be twelve this year, has actually started playing with the younger cats!I haven’t seen her play with another cat voluntarily since Jake was a kitten!

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But here she is…

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…playing chase and catch with Lorelai! And Angel started it!

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It’s truly amazing.

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The old lady’s got some moves!

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Rory, having escaped up the hallway, returns to see where Angel is.

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“Where are you, Angel..?”

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Oh. Hello.

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Sometimes Alfred and Izaak join in; it’s not just a girl thing. Still, it’s so wonderful to watch Angel play with the other cats on her own terms as opposed to someone chasing her.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Mars: Laser strike (Cinema Sunday)

Last year at a cat show, we won a blue laser pointer in one of the raffles.

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I’ve always thought blue and green laser pointers were better for cats than red ones because cats see blues and greens much better than they see reds.

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Lorelai loves the laser pointer, regardless of colour. She really loves the green one, which is also Jacoby’s favourite. She loves it so much that she assumes her pounce position in the hallway, stares at us (Björn, mostly) and meows at us to “make the light go!” We run it up and down the hallway, into the kitchen, and into our bedroom.

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The lighting in our bedroom isn’t great, so we tried capturing her with the flash on. Flash photos didn’t capture her frenzy very well, so we tried without the flash.

That didn’t really work, either…so here’s a video of Rory playing on the bed with the green laser pointer.

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Our hallway is even less well-lit than our bedroom, but I had to show her other trick.

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She gets going so fast when the laser pointer goes up the door…

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…that she leaps higher than the door handle!

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She runs so fast when she’s chasing the laser pointer, and her run includes these little “flying leaps” in the middle of her gallop. It’s amazing to watch her.

We tried to capture it in the video above, but I am not sure that it really captures the way she runs. But what it does capture is something more unusual and rare: Angel playing with Rory and Izaak!

Aby-a-Day – 9 February: Playing with Izaak (Singapura Saturday)

Whilst Emma was busy playing with Lorelai, Björn and Izaak played together with the Ferocious Friends mousie on a stick. It’s very well made and sturdy enough to play with outside.

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Zak just loves mousies of any sort, as you know.

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This mousie is no exception.

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I often wonder what Zak would do if he ever saw a real mouse.

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Look how intent he is on his prey!

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…uh, Zak..?

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…Where are you going…? The mousie is back there…

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Oh. Leaves.

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Okay, well, I guess those are fun, too.

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I think Zak had almost as much fun playing with the leaves as he did with the mousie on a stick!

Aby-a-Day – 7 November: Wordless Wednesday (Lorelai likes Bruno)

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Aby-a-Day – 4 August: No allen wrench required (Silly Swedish Saturday)

Back in April, I posted about Malt, a Japanese Singapura who loves to drag his favourite toy all over the house.

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It seems Izaak and Malt have something in common.

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Zak absolutely LOVES IKEA mice and rats.

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LOVES them.

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He also loves to carry them around.

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We are always finding them in our bed.

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Apparently, this is the best place to play with them.

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It’s tempting to call his mousies his “friends,” but he doesn’t see them that way. When he picks them up, he tends to go for the backs of their necks. And then he shakes them. So…probably not friends.

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Whatever they are, he loves to carry them around the house.

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What’s funny is, we had a load of mice and one rat that lay around the house for over a year, because nobody ever played with them. The best they could hope for was to end up helping to bury the food bowls when Alfred was done eating. So now, whenever we go to IKEA, we of course have to get Zak some new mousies.

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The last time we went, we got one of each colour mice, plus a black and a grey rat. And a lion, because why not?

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Zak immediately decided he liked the big grey rat the best.

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He picked it right up and carried it off.

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He had a bit of a struggle with it on the balcony floor…

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…and then he carried it into the living room.

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His ultimate goal was this little tent we have set up in the living room.

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There was a little bit of distraction involving a brown mouse from an earlier IKEA trip.

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But in the end, Zak got his rat into his tent.

Aby-a-Day – November 6: Babysitting

Back when we were just moving into our new apartment, our contractor had to come over a couple of evenings to finish painting and other detail work.

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When he did, he brought his two children. While my husband helped the contractor…

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…Jacoby helped watch the kids.

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Jake’s a very good babysitter.

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I think he enjoyed it as much as the little girl did.

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She and Jake played with just about every wand toy we have.

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I wonder how long after her visit that little girl asked her parents for a kitty of her own, though?

Aby-a-Day – June 25: Last night I had the strangest dream I ever dreamed before (Cartoon Tuesday)

Hey, a cat can dream, can’t he? This was inspired by our experiences at the park the other weekend and a conversation on the Abyssinian Cat Club Facebook group. And this cartoon. But wouldn’t it be great if we could take our cats out to a cat park? Sadly, all we cat people have is the internet.

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I do have to comment on the one sign that’s on the fence of Jacoby’s dream park. That’s an actual sign in front of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitor’s Kiosk. Needless to say, I loved it and took a photo of it…and managed to work it into a cartoon!

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

Aby-a-Day – January 25: There’s gonna be a rumble tonight (Friday Flashback)

Earlier this week I was going through some old photos and waxing nostalgic for the days when Angel used to play with Jacoby.

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While their “play” was fairly combative, it was still better than the way they do it now.

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Now, Jake tries to play with Angel, and Angel responds by hissing, growling (yes, actual angry-cat growling) and whapping the crap out of him while running away to her haven.

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Back then, Angel would play with Jake.

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Of course, her playing still involved smacking him around, but at least she seemed to be enjoying it.

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It was so much fun to watch.

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*Sigh* I wish they’d play like that again.

Here’s a video of one of their epic floor matches…of course, Jake’s a little distracted by the camera…But weren’t they cute?

Aby-a-Day – July 16: Fun with feathers (Hipstamatic Monday)

As I’ve said before, Jacoby’s favourite toys are those that used to be alive. Toys made of fur, feathers, bone and other animal parts are the most attractive to him, and therefore the most fun.

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It’s actually very easy to get natural cat toys; fly-tying supply shops carry all kinds of feathers and fur scraps.

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Feathers are widely used in tying flies, and feathers are frequently sold on preserved bird skins.

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I found a domestic canary skin for sale on eBay.

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Jake thought it was awesome!

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He carried it all over the bedroom.

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The downside to these fun bird toys is they are very fragile, and they don’t hold up well to a cat’s boisterous play. And they get a little messy as the feathers tend to fall out.

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Still, they’re a lot of fun while they last.

Aby-a-Day – June 13: Wordless Wednesday (Pretty in Pink)

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Aby-a-Day – March 16: Cautiously playful (Friday Flashback)

When we first brought Angel home, she was very nervous. We didn’t have the two tall cat trees then, and the only two places she really felt safe were the sofa and the bed.

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But when she was on one of those two “safe places,” she felt completely safe.

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(You might notice that Angel feels so secure playing on the sofa that she doesn’t even notice that she’s got a white-eared audience watching her and her toy!)

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This wand toy was one of Gun-Hee’s favourites. Not only does it catch the light as it moves, but it makes a very satisfying “swooshing” sound when you wave it through the air.

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Because of this, it quickly became one of Angel’s favourite toys, too.

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Angel had only been living with us for about a month and a half when these photos were taken, so she was still pretty skittish; in fact, we kept her sequestered in the bedroom away from the other girls when we weren’t home. It was fun to see her play with complete abandon like this.

Aby-a-Day – Day 336 of 365

We had an epic Aby battle over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Jacoby uses Lazors!

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It’s not very effective!

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Jake seems to spend a lot of time on his back when he and Angel playfight. It doesn’t seem to work that well for him as a battle tactic, but for some reason he sticks with it. You never see Angel on her back like that.

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I love that Angel basically takes him down with just one arm. She also always twists around so that her eye is on the same side he is – it’s amazing to watch.

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Not sure what this move is meant to accomplish.

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Jake tries his Lazors again.

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With much the same result. Angel seems to always win the Aby battles, even though Jake outweighs her now.

Very Aby Holidays – Get Your Kitty Geek On

I’m always pleasantly surprised when I find cat toys and furniture where I’m not expecting to find them. One of my favourite non-pet store places to buy my cats presents is that headquarters for all things geeky, ThinkGeek. You may not have known, but along with their Star Trek 3D chess boards, their Dungeons & Dragons dice ice cube trays and their collection of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory’s T-shirts, they carry quite a few awesome toys for geeky kitties, too.

To help your cat channel his inner Godzilla, their Cats Attack! Scratching Post may be just the thing. Add one of their micro-mini radio-controlled helicopters, and you’re well on your way to filming the epic YouTube video “Kit Kong!”

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You’ve already seen Jake’s Cat Play House fighter plane, which I bought for him from ThinkGeek. They also have a tank and a firetruck available, if your cat gets airsick. I can personally vouch for the popularity of this glorified cardboard box – Jake still plays with it, as you can see in this photo taken October 30th!

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ThinkGeek was also the first place I saw the invaluable Bolt laser toy. The best thing about this toy is that when you turn it on, it runs for a good 15 minutes and then turns itself off. It’s the perfect distraction if you have a cat who tries to sneak out the front door – turn the Bolt on in a back bedroom and make your getaway while the dancing beam of light holds kitty in its thrall. The Bolt’s creators also make the Sway, a magnetic toy, and they have recently unleashed a new laser toy on the market just in time for the holidays: the Dart.

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If you’re looking for a gift for the dog owner on your list, check out the Canine DNA Breed Identification Kit, which is supposed to tell you exactly what breeds are mixed into your mixed breed. I wish they had one for cats – I’d have Kylie tested in a heartbeat!

This is something I’ve never understood: cats see greens and blues better than other colours, but most laser pointers are red. Leave it to ThinkGeek to solve that problem and offer Green laser pointers. Of course, at the moment, Green laser pointers are rather more expensive than the common red ones, but if you’re in a mood to spoil your kitty, this one could very well be the geekiest gift for the cat who has everything.

ThinkGeek also carries the Pet’s Eye-View Camera (aka the “Cat Cam”), if you’ve been thinking of getting yourself a little stocking stuffer.

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Apparently Abys and geeks go together…who knew?

Aby-a-Day – Day 190 of 365

I have a ton of new photos on my camera to go through (and I’ll have even more tomorrow), but I don’t have any new and fresh photos with Angel in them. It’s a combination of Jacoby being a camera-hogging goofball and Angel more dignified and and reserved.

That and I can’t always remember if I’ve already posted one already or not, so if it’s an older photo that’s pretty decent, I just assume I must have used it already and move along.

To that end, today’s photo is one I hope don’t think has been featured before.

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And, coincidentally, it also illustrates my point above.