Aby-a-Day – 21 Maj: Singapura Stinkeye, Pixie-style (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I did some sketches of Izaak in the style of Pixie from the webcomic Pixie and Brutus. There is one particular cartoon that really inspired me to do a Singapura Stinkeye PixieZak. So…here it is.

I tried to do this entirely in Procreate on my iPad Pro, but I had to do a couple of things in Photoshop after I had finished. One, Björn thought Zak’s eye was too big, so I made it a little smaller…and two, I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to paste my signature into the drawing on Procreate.

However, whilst Procreate may be lacking in layer-pasting abilities, it does have a very nifty feature: it records your drawing, which you can then export as a video! So…here is me drawing Zak as Pixie.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Maj: Another set of pro photos from Djurmagazinet (Fashion Friday)

You may remember last year when I bundled everyone up in the Strollercat stroller and got professional photos taken of everybody. Well, they had another photo shoot last month, so I took everyone back in for another round of photos.

I mainly wanted to get photos of Angel and Alfred, because they don’t go to shows, and we don’t have as many opportunities to have them photographed. Angel actually did really well, considering she doesn’t get out much.

Lorelai, of course, is a natural.

She’s been getting professional photos taken since she was 11 weeks old!

Still, even a seasoned poser can take an slightly awkward photo every once in a while.

Izaak is pretty good at the posing thing, too.

*Sigh* At least, when he isn’t throwing the Singapura Stink-Eye around.

And then there’s Freddy. He is an excellent poser.

Except…when he isn’t. It’s really hit or miss with this silly boy! Still, I would rather have goofy photos of them than no photos at all. It’s funny…the last time we got the photos done, we had just four cats (because Zak hadn’t joined us yet)…and this time, we also had only four cats. SOMEday I hope we’ll be able to a photo of the whole family of five.

Aby-a-Day – 15 December: Jólakötturinn (Swedish Cat Show Saturday)

There’s an interesting holiday custom in Iceland: the Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn). According to legend, the Yule Cat eats people who don’t get new clothes for Christmas.

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It’s actually kind of hilarious. When I went to Sweden for Christmas in 2015, I had a stopover in Reykjavik and I saw him for myself. It’s like happy little santas and elves, pretty white angels, sparkly snowflakes and snowmen…and then, WHAM! ANGRY BLACK CAT!

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The Yule cat is associated with the Yule Lads, thirteen troll-imp brothers who show up starting 12 December and don’t leave until 6 January. They harass livestock, steal random objects, and generally do bad things. It’s so different from any other holiday tradition I know of. I absolutely love it.

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Drinking is also a significant part of Scandinavian Jul celebrations…so naturally, Yule Cat bottle covers are a thing.

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Of course, I had to buy some Yule Cats whilst I was there!

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Since seeing the Yule Cat for myself in Iceland, those ornaments have become a part of my holiday tradition. He plays a prominent part of our decorations. And to that end, I made my own Yule Cat. When I discovered the Japanese Scratch cats, plushies with scowly faces and extended claws who generally look pissed at the world who were designed by artist Tamiho Maita, I knew the black one would make a marvelous Yule Cat. So I took one of Jacoby’s Santa hats and scarves, and voilà! One Yule Cat plushie!

On a whim, I brought him along to the cat show last weekend. He attracted a bit of attention, and one of the club’s members even posted his photo on the club’s Facebook event page!

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I tried to get Lorelai and Izaak to pose with him in their show cage…it didn’t go as well as I hoped.

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Look at Zak’s face! He looks like he’s trying to out-anger Angry Black Cat!

Aby-a-Day – 19 September: Wordless Wednesday (Pro photos from last weekend’s show)

Aby-a-Day – 2 September: “Everyone knows that if you’ve got a brother, you’re going to fight” (Cinema Sunday)

While Alfred and Izaak will never have the relationship that Alfred and Logan had, they are still the two youngest male cats in the house. They may not be brothers from another mother…but they are brothers, nonetheless.

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And one thing brothers do, regardless of species, is wrassle.

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As of today, Freddy weighs 4.1 kg (9 lbs) and Zak weighs 2.3 kg (5 lbs). Almost double!

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Our little Zak can hold his own against Freddy, though.

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Freddy chews on Zak’s ear, and Zak just waits him out.

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Freddy starts grooming Zak, trying to throw him off and lull him into complacency…

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…It didn’t work.

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In fact, Zak turned on Freddy.

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“The first test is the element of surprise! You FAILED!”

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Zak held Freddy off for a while with nothing more than his Singapura stink-eye.

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The fighting action was so awesome, and it was so hard to capture in a still photo, I decided, hey, let’s make a video! Yeah…that was not one of my best ideas (Click image to view movie in a new window).

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And then, five minutes later…we had this. Boys.

Aby-a-Day – 27 April: Cats with tiny faces is a thing (Photoshop Friday)

Well…it has been a depressing couple of weeks around here, hasn’t it? Time for something pointless and silly. I found this a while ago: Apparently, cats with tiny faces is a thing now. Okay, I’m game. Let’s play.

I don’t think it works well with Abyssinians…

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Oh, that’s just silly.

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Oh, that’s not too bad.

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Yeah, just as I suspected. It works better on solid (or mostly solid) coloured cats.

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And last but not least, a tiny little Singapura stink-eye. Well, it was kind of fun to do…not sure how impressed I am with the results, though.

Aby-a-Day – 22 April: The Watch that Ends the Night

Alfred was so lonely after Logan went to the Djursjukhuset in Jönköping.

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I got a call from the vet in Jönköping on Friday the 13th, of all days, that Logan was going to die. He had a surgical biopsy of his mesenteric lymph nodes. In his belly, they found gelled fluid indicative of FIP. After Pyret, and the way all the cats paid their respects to her, I knew I couldn’t let Logan die without saying good-bye to his brother from another mother.

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So I bundled Freddy up and took him with me to Jönköping to say good-bye to our Logan.

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We had to wait in the cats-only waiting area first, where there were lots of certificates announcing how cat-friendly the hospital is.

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They also had this awesome poster showing Cats of the World. The Abys were much better than on the last poster I saw in a vet’s office…and there is a Singapura on it, too!

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Eventually, we were taken to a room. Not a hospital room, but an office-type room, with computers and a comfy leather sofa.

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The vet tech brought Logan in, and Freddy was right there to greet him.

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Then I cradled my baby and cried over him.

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Being on his back was uncomfortable for him, so I held him turned over. I wore my Porg T-shirt because Logan was my little Porg.

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Freddy didn’t care that Logan was wearing the Cone of Shame. He was just happy to see his brother from another mother.

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Logan struggling to get into the carrier with Freddy after the vet tech took off the Cone of Shame. I have no words to express how much I miss his love of Freddy. And his funny faces.

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We had to wait a while before it was our turn. We didn’t mind.

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Logan was so weak and tired. He had had surgery, blood tests and so much else done to him those last few days. But still he hung on.

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He was happy to be with Freddy.

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Finally, the vet tech came back with all the syringes. Because the doctor was tied up with an emergency, she was going to administer the drugs.

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She flushed out his port with saline before starting the euthanasia procedure. I didn’t take photos of that. I wouldn’t normally have taken as many photos of all this as I did, but Björn was away that weekend on his Hemvärnet exercises, and he couldn’t be there to see Logan that last time. So I took these for him, and also for Lisa, his breeder.

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All clear.

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He started receiving the sedatives first. While they started to work and make Logan drowsy, Freddy was right there with him.

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Brothers to the end.

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Finally the last needle was given, and Logan left us. They gave us a blue towel to wrap him in, and Freddy said his last goodbye.

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I hated to leave him alone in that empty room, so I left one of his favourite fishes with him. It’s been just a little over a week since he died, and Freddy and I are so lost. He was our little dude, and we miss him.