Aby-a-Day – 8 June: “Come, Ferries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind” (Fashion Friday Flashback)

We have gone to cat shows in Helsinki twice and Tallinn once since I moved to Sweden. To get to these cities, we travelled by ferry from Stockholm. It’s quite a fun way to travel; you get on the ferry in the early evening, do a bit of duty-free shopping (alcohol, perfume and watches are the main reason many people take the ferry as the selection and prices are so much better), have dinner at one of the restaurants or at the fabulous buffet, lose some loose change at the casino slot machines whilst having a cocktail, then go to bed. When you wake up, you’re in your destination city. It’s brilliant, really. But the best part is that, when you board, they take your photos, and later on in the evening, you can go round and check out the photos and choose to buy the ones you like.

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The ferries also carry cars, of course, and allow pets. So when you board with a cat, the photographers, who are likely quite bored of taking photos of arguing middle-aged couples and squalling children, light up and put extra effort in their snapshots.

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Sometimes they make the photos into false magazine covers. I really love how this one turned out. This was on our first trip to Helsinki in October 2016.

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And this photo was the only one we really liked from the return trip from Helsinki to Stockholm…but we both really loved it. Sadly, when we took the ferry to Tallinn, the photographers packed up early, both directions! We were quite disappointed, and actually complained about it. They missed out on making some money, too, we pointed out; we would have purchased at least one taken each way!

The next time we went to Helsinki, we took Logan, as Jacoby had decided he was finished showing for the time being.

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It was a bit chilly when we left Stockholm, so Logan had his parka on. He enjoyed the warmth the parka gave him…but he wasn’t thrilled about wearing it.

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The photos are a bit awkward, but I love them anyway.

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The problem with the cat photos is, they always look good in them, so you want to buy them all. It’s the ones of ourselves we never really like. This one was tolerable, mainly because Logan looked so happy to be boarding the ferry and have his photo taken on the way back!

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Either that, or because it was warmer, and he didn’t need to wear his parka. These are a bit blurry, but I love them because of how utterly happy he looks in them.

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This one turned out lovely as well. I can’t wait to see how Lorelai looks on her first ferry trip!

Aby-a-Day – 7 June: Lorelai’s first professional photos

I got a delightful surprise today: Lorelai’s breeder, Eva, sent me the first professional photos she had taken of Rory and her littermates when they were 11 weeks old (and of course, that’s Rory front and center in the above photo).

The photos were done by Maria Westling and ArtPhoto, and they really capture Rory’s personality.

There was an event at our DjurMagazinet a couple of weeks ago, and I took everyone to have photos done. It was especially important to get professional photos of Alfred and Angel, since it’s much easier to get photos done at cat shows. Angel cannot be entered in a FIFe show, as cats missing parts aren’t allowed in shows, even as Household Pets. Not that Angel would like being shown at all. Freddy is FIFe-registered, and could be shown as a Abyssinian, of course, but his colour is so dark that he’d be laughed off the judging stand. He also has some barring on his front legs and his eyes are somewhat round. He’s a great Aby…he’s just not a show Aby. And that is okay.

There’ll be a post about that circus eventually (Björn had to work and Kalle was sick, so I had to wrangle all four cats on my own. Which was oh so much fun.

I wasn’t aware that Rory had done that before. She certainly didn’t act like she’d ever had profressional photos done!

She seems to have done wonderfully on this first go.

I love that she had these done! This was the week before we got her, and it’s so great to have pro photos from before we actually got her.

She seems to be a natural.

Pretty sure that’s her with the toy, though.

Aby-a-Day – 14 May: Logan’s last professional photos

At the Scandinavian Winners Show, Logan had his second set of professional photos taken.

I had absolutely no idea that they would be his last set of professional photos.

I mean, look at him! He doesn’t even look sick in these photos.

This one, he’s talking with that voice of his…I can still hear it.

Hard to believe that only two weeks later, Alfred and I said goodbye to him. He’s so alive in these shots! It’s only slightly ironic that I got them one month to the day that he died.

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But the best part is…

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…while the photographer was snapping his photos…

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…I was taking photos of Logan getting his photo taken!

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I think it’s kind of cool to see both sides of the same photo session.

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I haven’t tried to match up my photos to the professional’s.

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I’m not sure I ever can, but I am so glad to have both sets of photos.

Aby-a-Day – November 7: Bottoms Up! (Friday Flashback)

I didn’t even know this photo existed until this summer!

This is Jacoby…this photo was taken by Gary Weekes in Fredericton, NB, before Jake came to live with us…I think he was about 8 weeks old here?

Jake isn’t the only Aby kitten Gary has photographed, either. I don’t know who these two are…but I bet Sherry does!

Edit: Sherry DID know – the smaller one is Scarlett (Jake’s sister) and the larger kit is either Jake or his brother Dillin. Sherry also sent me another photo of little Scarlett…

Aby-a-Day – October 27: Ready for his close-up

One of the best things about cat shows is the raffle table. Some of the prizes are really great, and there’s actually a decent chance of winning the prize you’re interested in. At the NEMO show, I bought 100 tickets and really wanted to win two prizes: the Thundershirt on Saturday, and the photo session with Bille Axell, the show photographer, on Sunday. Coincidentally, these were the two prizes I won!

The photo shoot was the most awesome prize I’ve ever won at a cat show raffle. Jacoby’s had a few professional sessions at shows, including two with my idol, Chanan, but this was one of the most fun.

Part of the fun was that the raffle winners were announced before all the judging was completed. Bille is a candid photographer as well as a studio photographer, so he was more than willing to take some extra photos as part of my prize package.

Russell Webb’s finals hadn’t been announced yet, and Jake has historically done well in Russell’s rings. This year, we’ve seen him at two shows (Seacoast in Concord, NH back in May, and Sanguine Silver/Half Moon in Boxborough in August) he was Best Cat in Premiership and Second Best Cat in Premiership. So I asked Bille to wait to see how Jake did in Russell’s shorthair specialty ring.

And it was worth waiting for…Jake was Best Shorthaired Cat in Premiership on Sunday!

Bille was also very open to suggestions and improvisation, which made it that much more fun. When he asked what colour background I wanted, I suggested we use Jake’s signature leopard print instead of the conventional solid. Bille thought that was an awesome idea…and I think it turned out really well.

Bille also thought it would be fun to take a few shots of Jake with my camera. I love these.

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Bille also let me take a few photos of him taking photos of Jake.

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If you’ve ever wanted to know what it looks like behind the scenes of those amazing studio portraits you see of cats online and in magazines…well, this is what happens! And be sure to check out Bille’s website to see more of his wonderful photos!

Aby-a-Day – May 12: “The hardest working cat in Boston”

The other day, my friend Lee, who also does pet therapy, asked me if she could interview me about Jacoby’s participation in the BAA therapy event we went to a couple of weeks ago for an online magazine. It was published yesterday: “A Purr Massages the Heart: A Therapy Cat Story From The Boston Bombing.” I think it’s a wonderful article; I always feel so awkward when people interview me for articles about Jacoby for some reason. I like how she wrote it from Jake’s point of view, and there are some really nice comments on it, too.

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On Friday, we got a certificate in the mail from Pet Partners for that visit!

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Look how proud Jake is! I swear he’s smiling in this photo.

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We also just got some professional therapy photos taken by Picture People (we had a Groupon for a portrait sitting). We got some wonderful shots, two of which I’m using on a new set of therapy cards to give to the people we visit.

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Some of them turned out really great!

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Others are pretty dorky. But I’m glad I paid extra to have the CD of all the photos taken in our session, because they really do show the bond he and I have.

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And that makes this a pretty good Mother’s Day post, too.