Aby-a-Day – 25 Januari 2020: “Get you a cat who can do it all” (Silly Saturday)

So, you may have noticed there’s a new social media challenge meme going around. Of course I had to do it…and of course, I had to do it with Jacoby. So…here you go: Jake’s profile photos on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juli: In memory of Jacoby Stealin’ Home (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I got my memorial tattoo of Jacoby.

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Whilst in London, I realised that the Red Sox logo needed to be a part of his tattoo, because the Red Sox were such a part of who Jake was. I mean, his name and identity was based upon an event in Red Sox history.

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This is the photo that the tattoo was based upon…The time we went out in the courtyard and played in the snow five years ago. It’s one of the most iconic photos I ever took of Jake.

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Linus started with the Red Sox logo and then worked on Jake’s parka.

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Then Jake himself was filled in.

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The parka’s fur ruff was the last to be done.

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Here it is, almost finshed, where you can see how it looks on my calf.

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And this is Jake, finished.

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Linus made a little video of the tattoo. Click on the image above to view it in Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Juli: Sketches in London (Cartoon Tuesday)

Even though the posts have been coming regularly every day, Björn and I have been in London since last Thursday evening. We came mainly because I got tickets for both games of the two-game series of MLB games between the Yankees and the Yankees, the first time major league baseball has been played in Europe. Even though Boston was the official home team for both games, and despite there being more Red Sox fans in attendance than there were Yankees fans…the Evil Empire ended up winning both games. But it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ll be home Thursday afternoon.

When we weren’t at the games, of course, we have been doing a lot of sightseeing and shopping. One necessary stop, of course, was Harrod’s. Whilst in the souvenir shop, there was a display of pens, 3 for the price of 2. Whilst Björn hunted for pens, I decided to test them out on the provided pads.

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First, I drew Jacoby…but I didn’t like the way it turned out; the ears were too small. So I tried again, with Izaak. This one turned out much better. Still not as good as I’d have liked…but then, the pen I was using wasn’t the best.

Harrod’s is known for its souvenir shopping bags. I bought a rather generic one back in 2002 the last time I visited…but this time I found something much, much better! And, not to mention, Cartoon Tuesday-appropriate.

One last thing: at the first baseball game, we were sitting just in front of a Red Sox fan, Charles, from Connecticut who had come all the way to London to see a game. After the first inning, he started sketching, saying he was “a bit bored.” He was a wonderful artist! Here is the drawing he did of the game; Björn is in it, but I am not…the lines to buy merchandise were insane, so I sucked it up and went to stand in those. For four innings! If you ever happen upon this post, Charles…it was great to meet you!

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 – 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 – 23 April: Release the Flerken! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Warning…this post contains spoilers for the film Captain Marvel. However, if you have read the comics, it’s not really that much of a spoiler.

I am not a huge fan of superhero comics (I’m more of an Archie’s Gang kind of girl) or the “Marvel Universe.” I enjoy Deadpool (because he’s funny) and I love Big Hero 6 (because Disney animation and because San Fransokyo is awesome). And it’s kind of cool for me that I used to work with Chris Evans’ mother’s sister (she lived in Somerville) and now he’s Captain America…but by and large the who Avengers/X-Men/Spiderman movie monopoly just leaves me feeling…meh.

Until I discovered Captain Marvel. Of course, I had heard of her, but didn’t know much about the comic. Then I discovered that she’s a Red Sox fan and she has a cat. So of course I had to see this movie, right? Well…in the movie, she’s in LA and the desert and someplace in the South, and there is no mention of baseball or the Red Sox, so it was a bit of a let-down on that front. But the cat…oh, the cat more than made up for it!

Goose the cat (a female, but played by four cats, mainly a boy tabby named Reggie, along with Rizzo, Gonzo, and Archie) is easily the best part of the film. Goose even has her own poster!

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For years I avoided Funko Pop! figures when I saw them in stores, because they are a) cute, b) have something for EVERY fandom you can think of (I am not kidding…they even have a figure of Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes!), and c) they are exactly the kind of thing I could get totally addicted to. But after seeing The Last Jedi, I had to get a Porg figure, because the Porgs in the movie reminded us so much of Logan

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And now, I have Goose the cat and Goose the Flerken figures.

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Aren’t they cute?

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But wait, there’s more! The Flerken version is swallowing a blue glowing cube called the “Tesseract”…which glows in the dark! There’s also a third version I like to call “The Slurp” with Goose retracting her tentacles. I haven’t gotten that one yet…but I will.

One last thing…movies like this almost always have a special extra scene after all the credits have rolled (and which most people miss because they leave to early). About halfway through the film, I knew what the bonus scene would be…and if I was wrong, Marvel would have missed the best opportunity for a joke ever. I was not wrong, and I was not disappointed. Here it is if you would like to see it (yes, it’s sideways, but it’s apparently the only one on YouTube):

Aby-a-Day – 16 November: Remembering Gun-Hee’s World Series (Friday Flashback)

Of course Jacoby is a Red Sox fan – his very name commemorates a magic moment at Fenway that happened 12 days after he was born. But what we tend to forget is that Gun-Hee watched them win the World Series, too.

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He was a pretty good fan, too. Look – he knows where the ball is!

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He was fascinated with the players, too.

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Ummm…maybe a little too fascinated?

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He was so adorable, you didn’t really even mind that he was blocking your view of the game. Of course, we didn’t have the Red Sox wardrobe that Jake later acquired, but that didn’t make him any less of a fan.

Aby-a-Day – 2 November: A Red Sox Therapy Visit (Fashion Friday Flashback)

On Sunday, the Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series in fourteen years, which is incredibly awesome. Even more awesome, I was able to watch them every step of the way, because just this year, Swedish television started showing MLB games. I mean, I have been here for over two years, but when I saw they were (finally) showing baseball, I was so happy.

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It also reminded me of when they won five years ago. About a week before they won, at the beginning of the series against the Cardinals, Jacoby and I went on a therapy visit to the Fuller Center in full Red Sox regalia.

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We rocked it – I even found some real baseball pants to go with my jersey.

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Jake was so good about wearing his Red Sox hat.

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He actually wore it for most of the visit. He’s such a good boy.

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I actually miss going on therapy visits, with Jake or with anyone else (Lorelai and Izaak, I think, would also be great therapy cats), but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that in Sweden. Too bad, too…because Skaraborg’s Sjukhuset is really close to where we live and super easy to get to by bus

Aby-a-Day- 28 October: Here we go again…(Series-us Sunday)

And we’re here again. Up 3-1 after two epic games in Los Angeles. Tonight could be the night, but if not, we go back to Fenway where we will win at home. Just as we did five years ago, we all put on our Red Sox gear to cheer the Sox on. I posed everyone with BallGuy™, my Red Sox mascot I got in 2004, and who went to the “Who’s your daddy game at Yankee Stadium.

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When I got the kitty Red Sox things out and dressed Jacoby, he was all, “Oh, this again? Right, okay.”

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“Just put me where you want me, and tell me where to look. I got this.”

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He is so awesome. I won’t ever have a cat quite like him.

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Jersey, socks, hat…no prob.

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Alfred…not so much.

You may remember that Alfred doesn’t like wearing clothes, even if they keep him warm.

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You think the jacket is bad? Freddy absolutely hated the hat.

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The fact that I got him to pose at all is a miracle.

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Lorelai, on the other hand, was fine with wearing a shirt.

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The hat, however…

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…not so much.

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I think she looks intent on getting an errant foul ball, though.

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The Red Sox fleece jacket was the best I could manage with Angel.

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Still, she posed well with BallGuy.

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Then we have Izaak.

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He didn’t mind the T-shirt, but he hated the hat.

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I managed to get a few shots before he got rid of it.

GO RED SOX! BEAT LA!

Aby-a-Day – GO SOX! (Photoshop Friday Flashback)

You may recall my post a couple of weeks ago, remembering the last time the Red Sox were in the the World Series in 2013. Well, the good news is, the Red Sox are in the World Series against the LA Dodgers, and they are up 2-0!

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I had this one awesome shot of Jake looking at the TV when they were showing the Prudential Building with “GO SOX” spelled out in the lighted windows. The shot was great…the photo, not so much. The flash went off, and the photo…sucks.

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So, I thought I would try to fix it using Photoshop. First I tried to fix the flashlight eyes; they are hard to fix when they are really shining, but I did my best using a soft black brush, the band-aid tool, and the rubber stamp. Then, I needed to fix the Pru. I went through photos I had taken when I was down by Fenway earlier that evening. The Pru was lit up with red and blue lights…so I am pretty sure they were using an old shot of the building. So I went through my older photos and found one I took during the 2003 playoffs – that’s the one at the top of this post.

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I tweaked the perspective on the building and adjusted the opacity and blended it in…and voilà! I’m not completely happy with Jake’s eyes, but I did manage to turn a crap photo into a much better and passable picture.

Aby-a-Day – 12 October: “Unbelievable – No more going to Yankee Stadium and having to listen to ‘1918.’” (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Five years ago this month, the Boston Red Sox won their third World Series in 10 years, and of course our Jacoby wore his jersey to cheer the team on.

Well, this year the Red Sox have had an amazing season and just beat the Yankees in the first playoff round and face the Houston Astros at Fenway on Saturday night. I’m lucky in that just this year they actually started broadcasting MLB games on Swedish television! They’re shown live, which is…challenging, given that they start at 1 or 2 in the morning, but I usually DVR them and watch them the next day.

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Of course, it being October and the Sox being in the ALCS reminded me of the last Boston World Series game we watched.

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I found a bunch of photos of Jake watching that game that, apparently, I never posted here. Of course, Jake was excited to watch the game.

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Nothing like Boston during a playoff game – especially one at Fenway!

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The Dropkick Murphys sang the National Anthem. That was awesome.

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This was Game 6, and Boston was leading St. Louis 3-2.

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Checking out the Cardinals’ line-up.

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Make sure you have your bat, Jake!

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Let’s just hope that the Red Sox can get past the Astros. GO RED SOX!

Aby-a-Day – August 12: “What’s in a name?” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This week’s cartoon will need some explanation…

You see, on Saturday morning, right when I starting to work on the cartoon, this happened:

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I have a 15-inch early 2011 MacBookPro, and all of a sudden the screen split. Then the display developed a lot of lines. And then it crashed. And when I restarted, I could only work for about 5 minutes before it would do it again. So, off to the Apple Genius Bar I went…where they told me it was either the logic board, or the display, or both, and I could either have it fixed in 3-5 days in-house for at least $500…or, they could keep it up to a week, send it out, and no matter what was wrong with it, it would “only” cost a flat repair fee of $310 (plus tax, of course). Needless to say, I went with the “keep-it-a-week” option…

…which meant I was left with no way to do my cartoon this week. So I improvised. Using my iPad, I found an old cartoon idea I’d sketched using 53’s Paper app. It wasn’t a great idea, but it was an idea that could be drawn without Photoshop. All the same…I can’t wait to get my laptop back…

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This is the sketch I’d done a while back. Not the best idea I’ve ever had…but it’s an idea.

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Paper is a more painterly app, with more of an ink and watercolour feel to it. I fleshed out my sketches…

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…And added one for the punchline frame. To make the actual comic frame itself, I used Strip Designer, which actually works really well for this sort of thing. It even comes with the same font, Noteworthy, that I use for the speech bubbles in Photoshop. I hadn’t used it before this weekend, and I didn’t have much time to really play around with it.

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Still…I managed to create a reasonable cartoon for this week. The joke (which may not be clear to anyone outside of New England) is that when Jacoby Ellsbury was on the Red Sox, the local announcers and sports reporters would refer to him by his first name, but now that he plays for the Yankees (Boston’s bitter rivals in pretty much everything), they only call him by his last name. It’s the modern update to this cartoon

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

Aby-a-Day – December 4: Wordless Wednesday (Ellsbury went WHERE!?)

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Aby-a-Day – November 8: The last time the Red Sox won the World Series… (Friday Flashback)

Everyone compares the most recent Red Sox World Series win to their 2004 victory, but nobody seems to talk about the 2007 World Series. That was Gun-Hee’s World Series.

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Gun-Hee loved watching baseball on television, and I think he got more interested in the playoffs because we were so interested in them.

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He decided to get a closer look during the first inning of Game 1.

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Gun-Hee knows where the ball is!

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Not Big Papi’s best side.

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Getting up-close and personal with Dice-K.

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There’s only one October!

He got interested again after the Red Sox won the World Series on Sunday night…

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Posing with the starting pitchers.

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He seemed to be rather taken with Papelbon.

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Even though Paps wasn’t dancing this time!

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This was, you may recall, the series where Jacoby Ellsbury was the first player to steal a base and won everyone in the States a free Taco Bell taco…this may also have been the genesis of “Jacoby” as a name for an Aby.

Aby-a-Day – November 5: “In the catbird seat” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Did you seriously think I would let the World Series happen and NOT do a cartoon about it?

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All the photos in this cartoon were taken by me: Wally at Fenway, Fenway Park at sunset (from the Budweiser right field roof deck) and the confetti and the sign from the parade. And yeah, I’ve been waiting a while to use that photo of Wally.
(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Congratulations Boston Red Sox! 2013 World Series Champions!

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Aby-a-Day – October 30: Wordless Wednesday (Let’s Go Red Sox!)

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Aby-a-Day – October 28: A city holds its collective breath (Hipstamatic Monday)

When the Red Sox are in the World Series, Boston holds its breath. Especially after Saturday’s game.

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Usually, things don’t end well; we’ve been spoiled in the past nine years, though. Before 2004, the Red Sox didn’t win the World Series much.

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What’s nice, though, is that EVERYONE is into the games. From little kids to grandmothers, everyone in Boston is watching the Sox play the Cardinals.

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And everyone is wearing whatever Red Sox gear they happen to have.

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Everyone.

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Including cats.

Aby-a-Day – October 24: There can only B one

So last night, the World Series started. Kind of a big deal here in Boston

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It was also our “Halloween” visit to Fuller, so we went in costume. I was torn between the Red Sox unis and the Egyptian set, but given the current climate…

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I thought wearing the Red Sox stuff was more appropriate.

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Jacoby actually wore his hat for most of the visit.

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He may not love wearing his hat…but he definitely doesn’t mind it.

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The staff really enjoys seeing Jake every other week, too. This is Jake with one of the occupational therapists, Keith.

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And here’s Jake and I in our matching Red Sox outfits.

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I just wish I’d had time to make Jake his own beard…and gotten one for myself as well. I also need to get him some red socks…well, there’s always next year.

Aby-a-Day – May 10: Cat in the Hat (Fashion Friday)

As I mentioned on Sunday, Jacoby wore his Red Sox cap for a while at the cat show last weekend.

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I just put it on him, and he just dozed with it on until we had to go into a ring.

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“Yeah, I’m wearing a hat. And?”

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He really doesn’t seem to mind wearing hats at all, does he?

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Of course, sometimes he gets a little carried away with the whole hat thing. Jake, that’s a tie!

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He’d better be careful, or he’s going to become like that internet rabbit who poses with random crap on its head!