Aby-a-Day – 22 Januari: Feel the Bern! (Photoshop Friday)

The best thing to come out of the Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday (apart from the obvious, of course), was this image of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in full-on New England winter gear, including mittens made from recycled materials by one of his constituents. The minute the cameras turned on Bernie, Twitter and the internet went berserk (in a good way).

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When I saw Bernie, the first thing I thought of was Logan in his coat. I thought maybe Bernie just needed some company at the Inauguration.

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But then I realised that the real meme is more about putting Bernie in places, including practically any place on Earth. So…Here’s Bernie sitting in my front yard, watching Jacoby and Olaf.

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Bernie loves him some Social Democracy, but maybe Sweden’s a little too far away for him to commute from his day job. Better keep him in New England. He seems like he’d enjoy Rolling Bridge Park. And if you were wondering what Bernie’s reaction is to all this, Seth Myers asked him about that, and here’s what he had to say.

Aby-a-Day – 20 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (History has its eyes on you)

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Aby-a-Day – 15 Januari: Looks like 2020 doesn’t believe in a peaceful transition of power, either (Photoshop Friday)

So, after the last two Wednesdays, there hasn’t been a whole lot to laugh about…but this meme resurrecting Smudge and the yelling woman, 2021-style, really did make me LOL. Just one thing bothered me about it…the crap Photoshopping. I knew I could do better.

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Yep. I think that’s better. And, I learned a little bit more about painting realistic fur, touching up the “shaman’s” coyote-tail headdress.

Aby-a-Day – 4 December 2020: #tinydesk (Photoshop Friday)

On Thanksgiving, the current president held a bizarre press conference sitting behind an odd tiny desk. Naturally, #tinydesk trended on Twitter, and the photo launched a thousand memes.

So, of course I had to make one, too.

Aby-a-Day – 24 November 2020: Izaak Bar Sinister (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is one of those ideas that seemed better in my head. I was going to work on my Dashiell as Hamilton piece, but the meme of Rudy Giuliani looking like villian Simon Bar Sinister from the old Underdog cartoons…and I had an idea.

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I thought I’d try to draw Izaak as Simon, adding the whatever it was that was dripping down the side of Giuliani’s head last week…but meh. Not sure I like how it turned out. I think I need to go back to the late 1700’s.

Aby-a-Day – 13 November 2020: Make America rake again (Photoshop Friday)

Okay, so the US election happened, Biden won, Trump won’t accept it. Even so, the goofiest, quirkiest, most surreal news story of the past week is the press conference that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, held in Philadelphia on Saturday at the Four Seasons…Total Landscaping. It’s the event that launched a thousand memes…

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…So, yeah. I had to do this.

Aby-a-Day – 10 November 2020: Izaak and Major (Cartoon Tuesday)

Just an idea that popped into my head this morning…Izaak as Pixie, and Joe Biden’s Shepherd Major as Brutus. I used a Pixie and Brutus fan art by DiviantArt user Space Meme Stardust as my reference for the first rough sketch.

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Because my new MacBook Pro hasn’t arrived yet, and because I hated the hand-drawn speech bubbles, I turned on my laptop for a few minutes just to add them (and my signature) in Photoshop.

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I also saved the video of my drawing process, just for fun (ie, because Procreate lets me). Click on the image to watch it on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 4 November 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Speechless)

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#pethatestoys

Aby-a-Day – 31 Oktober 2020: A most memorable Halloween

This being an election year, I am especially reminded of Halloween 2012, the day Jacoby and I were interviewed by the local NBC affiliate and the Boston Herald.

Meg messaged me first thing Thursday morning…OMG, she said. Jake is on the front page of the Herald. Okay, I figured, he was in a little sidebar photo. Nope.

Here’s the online article (the actual newspaper article was too big to scan).

Not only that…there was a second story and yet another photo of me with Jake.

The crazy thing was…it was most definitely not a slow news week. Besides Wednesday being Halloween, that Sunday, the Patriots has just played a game in Wembley Stadium in London, the worst of Hurricane Sandy hit Boston on Monday, and there was also some sort of election thingy happening the following Tuesday. But yeah…Strollercat was the Herald’s Page One story on Thursday, 1 November 2012.

It was, hands down, the most surreal week of my life. As the Boston Globe’s Michael Morisy so aptly described it, “It’s stuff like #StrollerCat that keeps me simultaneously in love with & terrified of this amazing city.” Yeah, I may have grown up in California, but Boston is my home.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Oktober 2020: “No… no, that would be awful” (Photoshop Friday)

This morning I came across the above retweet from The Lincoln Project saying “We definitely shouldn’t Photoshop Don Jr” accompanied, conveniently, with a handy blank.

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So I definitely didn’t spend the rest of the day Photoshopping Don Jr…

Aby-a-Day – 9 Oktober 2020: Pretty fly for a white guy (Photoshop Friday)

As you probably are aware, there was a Vice Presidential debate on Tuesday. The thing that has the media and the internet abuzz, though, is the fly that landed on Pence’s head and stayed there for two whole minutes. As you might imagine, the event inspired a swarm of memes. So I thought I’d wing it and make one, too…so here are Izaak and Lorelai doing what cats do when they see a flying insect.

(I posted this to the Facebook group This Cat Is PHOTOSHOPPED, and it’s already gotten over 900 reactions…and someone is now using it as their userpic! I feel so honoured!)

Aby-a-Day – 22 September 2020: National Voter Registration Day (Cartoon Tuesday)

Tonight, on a very special episode of the Daily Abyssinian…

Today is National Voter Registration Day in the States. I may be living in Sweden now, but I am still an American and I still vote as a Massachusetts resident. In fact, I am filling out my ballot right now.

If you are living in the US…please vote. That is all.

(Sidenote: the image I posted is available as a T-shirt…)

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 – 26 Juni 2020: “Wearing a mask is not only important, it’s life-saving” (Fashion Friday)

You may recall my post back in April about cat-themed face masks to wear as a defence against spreading Covid-19. Even though Sweden has been famously against face masks (I went out shopping today and saw ZERO masks apart from my own), the tide may be changing; Dr. Tengele may be changing his opinion on masks (finally).

The above mask came from a link on Facebook. It’s cute, and a double layer of cotton. Unfortunately, it’s too hot to wear in the summer.

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I love these two masks featuring a (Singapuras and BLUE Abyssinians wearing masks…but they are also double-layer (and have a pocket for a charcoal filter), and way too hot to wear in summer.

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my favourite mask was made by my friend Airie of Simply Sphynx. It’s a single layer cotton mask with a cute kitty print on.

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It’s very breathable and comfortable to wear – my favourite thing about this mask is that it doesn’t loop around the ears like all the others. When you wear glasses, that can be a real issue.

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But nobody reads this blog to see photos of me, so…

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…Here is Izaak wearing the Singapura mask.

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I absolutely love that this mask features BLUE Abyssinians.

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Lorelai…not so much.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni 2020: A quick editorial sketch (Cartoon Tuesday)

Chatting with a group of friends yesterday evening, I had a sudden thought that I needed to draw immediately, because I knew it would amuse them. I drew this in almost exactly an hour; I asked for a breed suggestion at 19:33 and shared it with my friends at 20:31. I am not going to explain it here…if you get it, you get it. That’s the nature of editorial cartoons.

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I also exported the drawing stream, because they are so much fun to watch. Remember that this is all one hour, and you can see my idea evolving as I draw it (Click on the image to watch it in Flickr).

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 – 2 Juni 2020: “Face masks in public spaces do not provide any greater protection to the population” (Cartoon Tuesday)

I have been very frustrated at the fact that Sweden doesn’t think masks work to control Covid-19. The State Epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, has said repeatedly that “masks don’t make sense” and has literally scoffed at the very idea of wearing a mask in pubic.

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So, since I have been using my Izaak Baby Yoda and Zak Toothless as my Facebook userpic and cover photos…I took out a little of that frustration by putting masks on their faces.

Didn’t work. I am still frustrated. And I am still wearing my mask.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Februari 2020: The weather, it’s a’changing (Swedish Saturday)

As I have mentioned previously, we’ve been having what can only be described as a crap winter. It’s only snowed four times all winter (if you can call it that), and the fourth time it didn’t even stick.

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This. This right here is what’s wrong with winter in Sweden. I took these photos on 11 February. Those are DAISIES.

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Daisies don’t usually pop up in February. There’s usually still snow on the ground in February. Daisies don’t usually pop up until late March, early April. And, yet, here they are.

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So, it’s wet and muddy…but it’s also green and warm. So, cats got to go outside.

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They weren’t as excited about being outside as usual…but it was muddy and wet.

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You could see them being picky about where they put their feet.

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Still, even though it was kind of sloshy outside, it was also 6-7° C (about 43-45°F) which, for February, is pretty damn warm, especially in Sweden. But, you know…climate change isn’t a real thing, right?

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Regardless, I think they enjoyed getting outside so early in the year.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juli: Getting grabbed by a pussy (Silly Singapura Saturday)

Yesterday, I showed you the cat toys I found in London to bring back for the cats.

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But what did the cats think of them?

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I got our resident soft toy expert, Izaak, to examine them. First I gave him the Donald.

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Zak really liked “killing” this toy…even before I had a chance to take it off the cardboard!

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So what did he think of Donald when I took him off the card?

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Yep, still good.

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Putin was also a hit. Not as much as Donald, but still worthy of a solid kicking.

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The Catmium credit card and the Catberry were…okay. Zak liked the card’s rattle.

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But which was the “best” toy?

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ALL of them, apparently! Although I think Zak’s favourite is Donald. The hair probably reminds him of his mousies.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juli: Cat toys trump all (Fashion Friday)

In Kensington High Street, I discovered a brilliant card shop called Scribbler. But not only did they have cards (of which I purchased many), but they also had cat toys. I was not expecting that.

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And these weren’t just any cat toys…these were none other than the leader of the flea world, Donald Trump cat toys.

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Well of course I had to. In case you were wondering, the UK really dislikes Trump – the rumours are true. He’s the only non-UK political figure to be made into a cat toy. That’s saying something.

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It was our last full day in London, and it occurred to me that we hadn’t gotten any souvenirs for the cats. So, I Googled “best cat shop London” and found Pet London. It’s not a big, fancy store, but it is awesome and a definite must-see on a trip to London if you need souvenirs for the kitties, especially since most of the shops I found catered more to the canine crowd.

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It’s definitely a hidden gem of a shop. It’s on the top floor of a rather ordinary office building in Marleybone. We almost didn’t see it.

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You ring the buzzer to be let in. There’s a tiny elevator (Björn and I were very cozy) and, of course, stairs.

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But it is so worth it! They had an amazing collection of cat items – including kitty clothing!

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A lot of their items were their own designs, too. They even have a plushie of their feline mascot (I told them that if they ever mass-produced them to save me one).

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That’s not all they had…they had a different Trump toy, this time for dogs.

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And they also had a catnip Vlad Putin to go with that catnip Trump I bought earlier!

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Shirtless, of course…complete with cowboy boots. Of course I had to buy it. Oh, yeah.

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And nifty story, the catnip Putin and Trumpy chew toy are from a company based in Vermont.

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I also got this Catnium credit card…

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…and a Catberry, both with their signature kitty on them.

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Both of them have catnip inside of them. The credit card rattles, and the Catberry has feathers on its antenna.

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But, as we’ve seen before, cat toys that appeal to humans don’t always appeal to their target audience. So, did the cats enjoy their British gifts? To be continued…