Aby-a-Day – 18 Januari: “I climbed a tree to see the world” (Movie Monday)

When we were outside yesterday, I noticed that Izaak’s tree was looking pretty darn picturesque with all the snow and everything. Zak loves to pose in that tree, so I thought we’d have a little photo session.

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I was right.

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Since I lost Jacoby, Zak is pretty much my best poser. I can put him in his tree, and he’ll stay there and let me snap photos.

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He really likes this tree. It’s just the right height, and it has a little spot between the branches that he feels quite comfortable in.

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People were sledding down the hill, and Zak watched them from his vantage point.

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For being an engineered purebred cat, he looks really natural in a snowy tree. I love the snow flakes frosting his fur.

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I also love that I am reflected in his eyes.

After he got down from his tree. I made a little video of him walking back to our front door.

Aby-a-Day – 18 December 2020: Good fortune in the fashion show (Fashion Friday)

This morning, I got the following email: “Thank you for participating in the 2020 CFA International Top Cat Challenge, benefitting the WINN Feline Foundation. Your cat has WON in the Haute Cat-ture competition! We will be sending your cat a treat or toy via Amazon Prime, sponsored by ZYMOX pet products, in the near future.

Here are our top 10 winners:

Coconut
PinUpCats Pichu
Khufu
Jasper
Milo
Leonidas (Abysaurus Rex)
Pellburn Jacoby Stealin Home
Snowball
Fury
Gememerald A Million Voices”

Yep, Jake made it into the the top ten…twice! He was Ninth Best in his snow boots and knit cap, and Third Best wearing his Don Draper suit. I had also entered him in his turkey outfit and in his Red Sox uniform (including socks), but those two photos didn’t make the final.

You can watch the final, narrated by CFA Region 9 judge Teo Vargas Huesa, on You Tube.

Aby-a-Day – 16 December 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Jul katter)

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Aby-a-Day – 6 December 2020: International Top Cat Challenge (Cat Show Sunday)

I finally got around to entering the CFA International Top Cat Challenge finale. After the results of the last show, I was a bit hesitant, but ah, what the hell?

So I entered Izaak,

and Lorelai in the Championship class,

and Dashiell in the Premiership class, using the regular photos.

The entry fees were $10 each, with the fourth entry being free. So, I entered Angel in the Household Pet class.

But the main reason I entered this show was for the “Haute Cat-ture” fun class. Cats…posing in costumes? Um, yes please! I entered Jacoby in four different outfits: His Red Sox uniform…

…His Don Draper suit…

…His super posey snow photoshoot wearing his knit cap and his boots…

…and of course, Jake’s fabulous Thanksgiving outfit! Wish me luck!

Aby-a-Day – 27 November 2020: Jake’s fabulous turkey outfit (Fashion Friday Flashback)

I know I’ve posted Jacoby and his fabulous turkey outfit many times before, but the memory came up again on Facebook this week, and I couldn’t resist sharing it again.

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Preparing for the fashion show at the Westchester Cat Club show, Jake didn’t just wear that thing. He owned it. So much so that the creator gifted it to Jake after the show.

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He posed so perfectly on that green sofa.

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Jake was so confident, he didn’t mind sharing the sofa with another contestant.

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My favourite thing about that turkey outfit is that even Jake himself knew how good he looked wearing it.

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He looked at himself for the longest time, admiring himself. I know they say cats don’t recognise themselves in mirrors, but I think Jake definitely did.

Aby-a-Day – 3 September 2020: Won’t you pose for my camera, lookin’ like a model, lookin’ like a superstar (Thursday Things)

Dashiell has this interesting quirk: he “poses” when he’s outside.

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And I am talking poses of the sort you wish he would make we’re in front of a professional photographer!

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Look at his back legs and tail…he looks like a stacked show German Shepherd!

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Lorelai saw Dash and tried to pose along with him.

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I think Dash approves of Rory’s stance.

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And…here is Izaak’s opinion of posing.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Juli 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Angel in a box)

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

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Aby-a-Day – 28 Juni 2020: The Mighty Izaak (Singapura Sunday)

When the cats go outside, the Abyssinians bolt out the door and run as fast and as far as they can.

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But not Izaak. Zak…well, the best way to describe it is, Zak marches out the door and onto the grass.

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He also loves to hunt when he’s outside. Wonder what he sees?

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Oh! A honey bee! Zak, please leave that little guy alone…we need all the bees we can get!

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That’s not to say that Zak doesn’t run. He does.

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He’s usually chasing one of the other cats, but oh, he runs.

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He’s such a sturdy little man. As I mentioned before, someone compared him to Ron Swanson…and apart from the lack of mustache, it’s an apt comparison.

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I mean, look at him.

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Finally, I have this photo. In my opinion, this is Zak’s first iconic photo. Jacoby had a few: Sitting on the carousel, posing in his hat and boots, and the one of him wearing his parka in the snow, among others

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 – 10 Juni 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Lorelai and the Cycle)

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Aby-a-Day – 6 Maj 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Portraits of Lorelai)

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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: June’s over? Julying! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Four years ago, I posted about how Canadian-born Jacoby tended to get a little confused about what to wear the first few days of July.

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To prove this point, I dressed him up in an Uncle Sam hat along with a maple leaf bandanna and Team Canada sweater.

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He was such a legend at posing with outfits on.

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And his eyes…so expressive!

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And then…someone came and photobombed our little modelling session. Jake knew it immediately.

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“Tessie’s right behind me, ruining my photo, isn’t she..?”

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“Tessie, do you mind? I’m kinda doing a thing here.”

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“Right. Let’s get back to the posing.” I’m just sorry I never found a Sweden jersey for him to pose in.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juni: Who wore it best? (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Glad Midsommar, allihopa! It’s all downhill from here…

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Today is the greatest Swedish holiday apart from Jul, the day when we get the longest day and the latest sunset, and in a country known for winter, this is a big deal. When I posted about Midsommar last year, I included photos of Jacoby wearing the traditional flower crown.

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I recently found the floral crown again (it had fallen behind some books) this spring. I was thinking Jake could model it again, perhaps outside…but obviously that can’t happen. So I decided to try it on everyone else, and see who, potentially, could be my next hat model. I started with Angel.

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After all, Angel does have hat wearing experience.

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She wasn’t in the mood today…

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…this is the best I could get from her.

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So, Alfred, how are you at wearing a flower crown? You are a native born Swede, after all…this should be natural for you!

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Er…Where are you going?

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Oh, you think the top of the balcony tree is a better background?

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You may be right. Okay, give me looking off into the distance.

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Great! Now give me sensitive and thoughtful.

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Awesome! And now…give me the money shot!

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Perfect!

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Okay. Let’s try the other Swedish Aby. Lorelai, your turn.

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Once again, without the crazy eyes?

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Okay…better. But let’s keep going…

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Demure…demure is good…or it would be if you weren’t so frowny.

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There you go! That’s perfect!

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And, now…let’s see how the Polish contestant does. Here you go, Izaak.

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Oooookay…could you sit up, please?

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And could you lose the attitude?

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That’s a little better…keep going…

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…better…

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Okay Zak, now you just look like a Tribble with flowers.

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And…yeah, I think that’s the best we’re gonna get from you today. Thank you!

So, who wore the Midsommer flower crown best?

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 – 24 Januari: Jacoby explores Göteborg’s future

Time to explain yesterday’s post. Last year we were at a cat show in Göteborg that was held in a venue behind Central Station. Walking over to it, we discovered a 3D map of the projected growth of the city in the next 15-20 years, including the renovation of the transportation hub and surrounding area. Called Västlänken (the West Link), the project is basically Göteborg’s version of Boston’s Big Dig.

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The map shows the existing city, the changes made by Västlänken, and then an imaginative projection of what Future Göteborg might look like.

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I call it a map, but it’s is actually more like an ironwork sculpture. It’s really cool to look at…and interestingly cat proportioned.

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It kind of reminded me of the chase scenes in Zootopia/Zootropolis when Judy and Nick chase the weasel.

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Jacoby seemed to really enjoy exploring it.

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Included on the map is the Hisingsbron Bridge, currently under construction and planned for completion in 2022. It will replace the existing Göta älv Bridge, which is falling into disrepair…again, very similar to Boston!

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Jake’s been over the Zakim Bridge in Boston…I wonder if he recognised the similarity?

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Erm…Jake? You do realise you’re standing in the harbour, right?

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I really like the little model of the Barken Viking. It’s actually a hotel now!

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I love how the model even has little trees along the waterfront.

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And here we have Jake bridging the bridge!

Aby-a-Day – 23 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (King of the World! Or at least Göteborg…)

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Aby-a-Day – 23 December: “Momma, don’t make me wear that old thing again…I got them ugly sweater blues” (Silly Sunday)

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you know that one of our holiday traditions is dressing up the cats. This year is no different. Especially since I have this little red dress with a plaid skirt that I knew would be just perfect for Lorelai.

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And I was right. She rocked it.

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…And then she went off to fight with Izaak, still wearing the dress…like the tomboy she is (She won, too).

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Jacoby, of course, put on his Santa sweater and Mistletoe Hat like the pro that he is.

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He gave me all his best poses.

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I love him so much. Good old stable, reliable Jake.

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What would I do without him?

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Angel, too, is no stranger to the annual holiday dress-up routine.

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She’s not quite the show-off Jake is, but she knows how to pose. Her ears aren’t really mad, though. That’s just the elastic on the hat.

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She also knows that if she gives me a few good poses, I’ll take off the stuff and let her go.

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Alfred didn’t get dressed up last year, so this was his first experience with our tradition.

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It took him a second to really get the hang of it.

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But he soon realised it really wasn’t all that bad. In fact, it was kind of fun!

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“Freddy the Elf…what’s your favourite colour?”

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Zak got to wear the infamous Christmas Tree Costume.

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He…was less than thrilled.

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He decided he wanted to leave.

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I tried to tell him that trees have roots and can’t move, but he wasn’t having any of it.

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Logan also wore the tree costume last year.

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Who do you think wore it better?

Aby-a-Day – 22 December: Julljusstaken (Swedish Saturday)

A huge holiday tradition in Sweden is putting up Julljusstaker in every window.

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Jacoby, unsurprisingly, is a master at posing with the Jul candles.

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He’s got the contemplative gaze and the slight smile down pat.

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Somewhat more surprisingly, Angel is pretty good at it, too.

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I mean, who knew, right?

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“What? Don’t look so surprised…I AM an Abyssinian, you know!”

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Alfred is also pretty good at it…

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…when he can keep his focus and not get distracted.

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I wasn’t sure how well Lorelai would pose with the candles (she flitters about almost as quickly as her caffeinated namesake), but she did really well.

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She’s a natural!

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For about a minute. Then she gets bored and goes off to do something else.

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Izaak did pretty well, too, for his first time.

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He’s got the “looking into the candles thoughtfully” thing down cold, for sure.

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Until he, like Rory, gets bored. Kittens these days…no attention span whatsoever!

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Even Pyret was pretty good at the candle-posing thing!

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I never did get a photo of Logan with the Jul candles…but I did get one of him with this Jul Äppel!