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).


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.


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.


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 – March 23: Snow Angel (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we went out on our snow adventure, I tried to take some Hipstamatic shots with my iPhone.


However, my iPhone is getting old, and it’s been doing this thing lately where it gets to between 40% and 60% charged and then it just…dies…saying it needs to be charged! When two seconds earlier it was showing it had plenty of remaining battery life.


Apparently, this phenomenon is exacerbated by cold weather.


It’s really a pain. I need a new iPhone. But we’re waiting for the 6s to come out. That and I’m not crazy about the iPhones becoming bigger and bigger.


Talk about reverse evolution! Cellphones started out as enormous bricks, and as they improved on them, phones gradually became smaller and smaller…until they became “smart.” Then they started getting huge again. Thin…but huge. Pretty soon we’re all going to be walking around talking into our iPads.


I’m also kind of annoyed that Apple doesn’t make a yellow leather case for the 6 or the 6 plus. My 5 has a yellow leather case to match my iPad’s yellow leather case (which, apparently, they also no longer make.)


I love the leather cases for iPhones and iPads, by the way. There’s something kind of awesome about puttting something so modern and high tech into a case made of something so primal and natrual. Leather is a truly amazing material. It can be made as soft as a piece of silk or as hard as armour. Humans may have invented the iPhone, but they haven’t invented anything quite like leather.


If only humans could invent a damn iPhone battery that would hold a charge…

Aby-a-Day – March 22: I love the winter weather

It may be spring according to the calendar, but it actually snowed in Boston yesterday.


Jacoby seems to really enjoy going out in snow.



As I posted last week, he’s been out in the snow several times. He’s always been very interested in the cold white stuff.


Maybe it’s his Canadian heritage, but he’s a regular snow cat.


Most of the time, anyway. Hey, snow is slippery!


I think I see why he dislikes his boots, though.


Look at that grabby hand action! I don’t like wearing shoes or gloves, either, so I can see his point.


The snow was deep, and at one point Jake was exploring my boot prints.



I guess he figured if I’d been there, it must be safe to walk there. After all, he’s smaller and lighter than I am, so if I didn’t sink in, he wouldn’t either.


I understand he doesn’t like wearing his boots, but I do worry about his feet getting cold without them. I know cats’ paws are better insulated against cold and heat than our feet are, but they still can’t handle snow as well as their wild, snow-loving cousins like lynxes and snow leopards.


After all, domestic cats are descended from desert cats, not snow cats.


Luckily, Jake loves wearing his coats and sweaters.


We’re going to need to work on the wearing boots thing, I think.

Aby-a-Day – March 15: “Let’s go home…”

I thought this was cute. Once I decided we’d all had enough of playing in the snow, I stood up and told Jacoby it was time to go home.


“Come on, Jake, let’s go! Get in your stroller, buddy!”


Once I’d gotten Jake to where he could actually see his stroller, he started trotting down the path to where I’d left it.


(Pausing to examine an interesting hole, of course!)


But the most adorable thing was, as soon as Angel saw Jake walking towards the stroller, she started to follow him.




I think she was following him more to see where he was going, rather than because she knew where the stroller was, though.



It was awfully cute to watch her trundle along after Jake down the little path. They’re such good friends when I take them outside together…I wish she’d get along with him in the apartment like she does when they’re out in the park!


“Come on, Angel! Hurry up!”


“Okay, Mom! We’re all ready…let’s go home!”


Also, just for fun…here’s what this area looks like in the summer!

Aby-a-Day – March 12: “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show. “

Last Saturday was bright and fairly warm – almost 40°f/5°c – so I took Jacoby and Angel out for some more snow photos.


We were going to try to go into the courtyard, but the snow was still blocking the door, so we went to our little spot near Rolling Bridge Park behind the Welder’s place.


Jake has been to this little park many, many times, and Angel has been there, too…but never with snow on the ground.


Since it was fairly warm, I didn’t make Jake wear his boots (and I didn’t even try to put them on Angel). I think he was actually happier without them!


It was really cute the way Angel stuck to Jake like glue. In the house, she hisses and growls at him if he even looks in her direction. But outside…


…she loves him!


(You may remember this from June 2013…at the same park!)



Jake, of course, knew where we were, and went off to explore.


Angel did not like that.


When we’ve been here in the summer, Jake likes to go watch the cars go by through the chain link fence.



At least, I think he’s watching cars. I really have no idea.



I’m not sure why he likes to do this…


…but sometimes he sees his friend Romeo from the welders’ place next to the park.



Winter is apparently no different than summer to Jake.



He went to the fence to watch the cars (or whatever), the same as always.




So Angel went, too.


I’m not sure if she wanted to see what he was looking at, or if she just didn’t want to be alone…



…but dammit, she was going to go look at whatever Jake was looking at!




She had a hard time finding a place to settle where she could see.





I don’t think Angel knows what Jake’s looking at, either.


Jake decided to move to a different part of the fence.



“Are you kidding me!?”



Apparently there were better things to look at through the fence over under the trees.


Needless to say, Angel went trudging after him.




And off they went to look through the fence, together. I wish they got along this well in the house, because it really is cute to see them as a team.

Aby-a-Day – March 11: Wordless Wednesday (Walking in an almost spring wonderland)













Aby-a-Day – November 23: “Over” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Over.”


A couple of weeks ago, Jacoby and I went for a little walk out to Rolling Bridge Park and on the way home we walked along Foundry Street.


There’s a chain link fence there at the back of a little park.


For some reason, Jake decided he felt like climbing!


I bet dog people never have this problem when they go out for walkies!


He totally would have gone up and over, too, if I hadn’t stopped him!

Aby-a-Day – November 16: Wordless Wednesday (Carpe diem nichil faciendo)


Aby-a-Day – October 11: Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

Jacoby is a master at looking silly and dignified at the same time.


Like when he went into a rosebush in full bloom.


Pink roses.


And he got a petal on his head.


It stayed on for quite a while, too.



Aby-a-Day – October 5: Time to go home (Wordless Wednesday)


Aby-a-Day – October 4: The cement is always greener

Jacoby is fascinated by the chain-link fence at the park.


There’s nothing on the other side except Gillette’s guest parking lot, the sidewalk, and Dorchester Ave.; basically, a bunch of concrete and asphalt.



But he wants to go there instead of explore the grass. Guess he really is an urban feline. Or maybe he’s just looking for his friend Romeo.


I like that cat philosophy: “If it happened once, it could happen again. Better check.”

Aby-a-Day – October 2: It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird…

Jacoby strikes a pose for me on a bench in the park.


Of course, when does he not pose?


The afternoon sun lights up his ruddy fur like a firebrand. This is what the cat show judges mean when they say that Abyssinians “sparkle.”


But what is he talking about?


And what does he see?


A Mockingbird!


Who’s watching Jake rather closely.


And who’s not alone.


Better be careful, Jake. Mockingbirds can actually hurt cats. When I was a teenager, my mom wouldn’t let us have cats in the house. One of our cats, Paul (a brown mackerel tabby) developed a huge abscess on the top of his head which was started by a deep puncture wound. The vet was pretty certain it had been caused by a bird’s beak, possibly a Scrub Jay, but most likely from an attack by one or two Mockingbirds divebombing his head. Even though they’re “just harmless songbirds,” I watch them carefully when Jake and I are outside.

Aby-a-Day – September 29: Farewell, summer

Baseball season is over, Sunday is runined dominated by football, and the carcasses of dead leaves litter the ground. Autumn is here, it seems. And once it falls, winter is never far behind.


I am sad that summer is over; because of my surgery and the nerve in my hip, I haven’t been able to walk as much as I usually do, and Jacoby and I weren’t able to have as many adventures as we should have.


Not, of course, that we can’t still go out now that it’s October, but we do live in New England and with every day that passes, we have to bundle up a little bit more. It’s not as easy to go out in the cold as it is to go out in warm weather.


And you can’t just lounge on the grass, basking in the sunshine on a lazy afternoon when the sun is already starting to set at 3pm.


Ah, well. As we like to say in Boston (and we seem to have to say it a lot), there’s always next year.

Aby-a-Day – Day 172 of 365

Jacoby poses in front of the deceptively turquoise-hued waters of Fort Point Channel.


Aby-a-Day – Day 170 of 365

I love this photo of Jacoby looking down a drainage grate at Rolling Bridge Park.

Part of why I love it is because his half-brother Gun-Hee was also fascinated by a similar grate at that same park.

Aby-a-Day – Day 146 of 364

When we go to Rolling Bridge Park, the circle of stones I call BenchHenge is an endless source of entertainment as far as Angel and Jake are concerned.


Aby-a-Day – Day 137 of 365

Jacoby and I went out on Saturday to Rolling Bridge park. When we got there, there were two terriers running around offleash. They pretty much ignored us, and when they started towards Jake, their owners would call them and they’d run back. Not a problem, but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with them, and I’d actually seen a cute little grassy area on the other side of the cove near the Post Office guard house and the Red Line trainyard on our way to Rolling Bridge. It had more sun and the grass was unmown and full of clover, and it was far too small for dogs, so we could hang out and not be bothered.

Or so I thought.

I set our things in a back corner, close to the fences at the base of a tree. Jake started exploring and eventually went up to a patch of longer grass near the sidewalk, which was adorable because he sort of slithered into it on his belly like a snake, and when he did that the grass was almost tall enough to cover him.

So I laid down on my stomach and took a bunch of photos of him in the grass. We were having an awesome time lying in the grass when suddenly, a lab-collie cross – not on a leash, of course – came running up. No people in sight. He saw Jake and me and started to come up to us.

This was a big dog (he looked a lot like this), and I was flat on my belly in the grass. I wasn’t sure if I should move or not, so I yelled “NO” in a commanding voice. The dog seemed perplexed. For a second, the scene was frozen.

Then his people (a man and a pregnant woman, who I think was carrying the leash) came around the corner and everything started moving at once. The dog moved towards Jake, I started to get up, the people kept walking, the dog went to grab Jake, and I lunged towards Jake and sort of covered him with my body and started shrieking at the dog’s owners. “Could you keep your dog on a leash? This isn’t a dog park – this isn’t even a park! There’s a leash law in Boston! What the hell were you thinking!? Seriously, what the hell?!”

(Hey, I had just seen a big dog make a move towards Jake. I was just envisioning the dog dragging Jake off, Jake hanging limp in the dog’s jaws, rushing to the emergency vet…yeah, I was totally freaking out.)

And the people just sort of fumbled around like they were sleepwalking. The man went to grab his dog, the woman tried to deal with the leash, and they kind of wandered off, all without saying a word to me. No apology, no admission of guilt…nothing! I mean, I can almost see letting your dog off leash in a park, maybe, but on the WAY to the park? Near a road where Post Office trucks go zooming by? Yeah, no.

To give you an idea, here is a Google Earth shot of where we were in relation to Rolling Bridge Park and Dorchester Ave. The X is the bench where a homeless guy was sitting, and the # is where our pile of stuff was:

It’s not even about Jake being a cat. I could have been in the park with a smaller dog, or even a little kid; this dog was running around loose and his people did not have him under control. I know we’re lucky nothing happened, but nothing SHOULD have happened! We’re in a little grass patch, not even a real park! My animal is on a leash and under my control. We were doing everything right, minding our own business, and it almost went horribly wrong.

I actually called Animal Control today and spoke to Mark Giannangelo. He’s going to look into it, so we’ll see what happens. He did sound concerned, and he said he would see about getting some signage.

These are a couple of the photos I took just before the dog charged up.



Aby-a-Day – Day 135 of 365

This is just a really sweet moment between Angel and her dad at the park.



Aby-a-Day – Day 134 of 365

Angel and Jacoby at Rolling Bridge Park again. Here, we’re sitting at the base of the red-painted section of the old Fort Point Scherzer rolling lift bridge that gives Rolling Bridge Park its name.

Angel got cold or insecure (I can’t remember which) and curled up in her carrier.

You can also get a good look at Angel’s Roxy carrier (which I mentioned on Wednesday) in this shot. I think the photo really shows how the roll-up door works.

I love that she still considers her bag as a “safe haven” after spending 6+ hours in that thing when we flew back to Boston from Sacramento.

Aby-a-Day – Day 131 of 365

When we go out to Rolling Bridge Park, Angel’s favourite thing is the rock circle I call “BenchHenge.” While Jake likes to roam around and explore the whole park, Angel could happily spend all day playing in and among the stones.



She loves to curl up in between them and watch things move in the breeze.


She also likes to poke around and see if there’s anything grabbable underneath them.


In case you were wondering, she also talks a lot when she’s out on her leash,
just like Jacoby. I swear that Abys actually talk more than Siamese!