Aby-a-Day – 15 Augusti: A quick visit to the cat show

On Sunday, we spent some time at the cat show in Lempäälä (near Tampere) that Russell and Carol, along with my friend Pam, were judging. Because we had to catch the ferry back to Sweden at 16:45, and it was a long drive from the show hall to the ferry terminal, we couldn’t enter Dashiell in the show – it didn’t matter, pointwise, because he’s still a kitten, and exhibitors aren’t allowed to leave until the show’s posted closing hour. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t drop by for a visit.

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It was a very small show, held in a shopping mall (which was actually rather cool). One-day shows in CFA aren’t common, but they happen; however, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show with only three rings!

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My friend Anne set us up with a small pop-up tent and a litter box for Dash. While in Sweden, people mostly use the metal show cages and spectators view the cats on the same side of the cage as the exhibitors, in Finland, people use SturdiShelters and pop-up tents with a clear back, and the spectators view the cats from the back whilst the exhibitiors sit with their cats by the cages’ doors. It feels a bit strange, not really being able to interact with the people coming to see the cats except over the top of your cage.

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Dash has been to shows before, so he knew what to do.

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He was very interested in this one little boy who stopped to see him.

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Dash wanted to make friends with the kid, but it’s hard when you’re behind plastic.

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If it had been a metal cage, Dash would have reaching out to touch the boy.

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I think both kitten and child were equally fascinated with each other. It was adorable.

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We were only able to stay for about an hour and a half (the show, being so small, didn’t start until 11), but it was nice to hang out with Meg and Anne a little bit more. I also managed to get a photo of Anne’s stunning tattoo…isn’t it lovely?

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 – 6 July: Poetry in Paris (Special Saturday)

On one day of our trip to London, we took a daytrip to Paris on the Eurostar.

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We were only in Paris for nine hours. Not long; just enough time to see some sights, grab a bite (about which more later), and wander the streets looking for adventure. At one point, we came upon Shakespeare and Company, the famed English bookstore and sister store to San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore (you can see a tribute to the SF store above the door). I used to walk down Jack Kerouac Alley, alongside City Lights, when I was living in SF and swing dancing almost every night. So seeing this bookstore kind of resonated with me.

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They have interesting snippets from news articles written on chalkboards on either side of the storefront. This was my favourite.

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But the best thing about the bookstore was this guy outside with his manual portable Remington typewriter. His name is Leo, and as you can see, he would write you a poem upon request. Leo only asked that you decide to pay what you think it’s worth only after you’ve read the poem. So I asked him to write a poem based on my tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan. He was impressed with the concept, and only asked what the breeds of the cats were, and confirmed that the plants were maple leaves and pussywillows. Then he thought a moment and started typing.

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This is what he wrote:

singapore, abyssinia
maple leaf and pussy willow

meeeeeoooooow

stare into these eyes
deeper than the wisdom
collected through the course of
nine lives
wider than the stream of
time into which so much is
washed away

meeeeeeoooooow

we are they who traverse
the limits you imagine

we are they who were once
worshipped and are glorified
still, have you discovered
why, in the course
of your one
life?

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Leo signs the back of every poem he types.

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Of course I loved it, and I paid him 10€ for his work. I also explained the story behind the tattoo, how these two boys died ten years apart from the same awful disease. About a year or so ago, I found an awesome antique glass frame that I’ve been saving for the perfect thing to put into it. I think I finally found what the frame has been needing.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juni: A birthday frame-up (Swedish Saturday)

Today is my birthday! Not a very eventful one (that’s next year), but a birthday nonetheless.

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Most of the “celebrating” will be done next week, as Björn has to work this weekend, but next weekend we’ll be at a cat show. But I did get a gift: Björn had my magpie print framed! It’s an unusual size, so he had to have it done custom.

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A bit of backstory, now, since apparently I never really posted about the magpie tattoo that was my introduction to my fabulous artist Linus. When I went in for the very first consultation, I was hopeful that the person I met with could really do magpies with Japanese maple leaves really well. Well, walking up to the house, the first thing I saw was a gorgeous red Japanese maple tree planted in the yard. Then, I went inside, and saw a trio of gorgeous prints, including the magpie at the top of this post. Then I met Linus, and when I mentioned that I loved the magpie print, he proudly told me that he had drawn it!

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Well, needless to say, I knew I had found my artist! Here is the finished tattoo…these are actually Yellow-Billed Magpies, which are only found in the Sacramento/San Joaquin valley of Northern California, where I grew up. Everywhere else, magpies have black beaks. This is similar to my Western Grey Fox tattoo, which is also a native California species.

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Whilst trying to capture my newly-framed print, of course somecat had to come investigate…

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Okay, I think the frame is Singapura approved!

Aby-a-Day – 30 April: Jacoby’s tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

Yesterday, I went to see my tattoo artist, Linus, about my next tattoo…Jacoby’s memorial. I had settled on two photos of him that I love. One is the almost iconic photo of him in the snow, wearing his amazing United Bamboo fishtail parka. I absolutely love this photo. It is the epitome of Winter Jake.

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But I also love this photo of Jake on the 4th of July in a bunch of pink flowers in our favourite little grassy spot behind the welders’ next to Rolling Bridge Park. It’s just…the perfect photo of Summer Jake.

I couldn’t decide (I was thinking maybe both of them blended), so I left it up to Linus. And he thought the best tattoo would be…

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Winter Jake!! I’ll make the appointment sometime next month.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Februari: Fox finished…plus a little extra (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, Linus finished up my fox tattoo. I really love the way it turned out.

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Here is a close up, showing where the snake used to be.

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I am so glad to be rid of that snake! Even though I adore Barnaby, the artist who did it (and who did my Octopus, Koi and Tiger tattoos)…but it was a mistake.

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Whilst I was there, Linus also touched up the memorial tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan (Logan’s eyes were made greener, and the background was touched up.

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But best of all, he also touched up my very first tattoo, which I got on my first trip to New York City at the end of 1995. Naturally, being almost 25 years old (Day-uuuuuuummmmm!), poor Harri has faded quite a lot.

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Now he looks like he did when I first got him! Thank you, Linus!

Aby-a-Day – 15 January: Tattoo foxers (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is only tangentially related to Abys, or even cats, but I thought you might find it interesting.

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I had this snake tattoo…and I really didn’t like it. I got it for the wrong reasons, it hasn’t aged as well as most of the other ones I have, and it really doesn’t go with the other tattoos I have.

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So I finally decided to do something about it. I decided to get the snake covered up with a traditional Japanese fox design.

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Today was the first session. We got the outlines done, and then we coloured in the fox. I am not going to lie…this was the most painful tattoo I have ever gotten.

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Instead of a red fox, though, I wanted a North American grey fox. I have always loved the grey and orange colouration of these foxes.

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Also, the colouration of the grey fox is quite similar to Alfred’s…I call him my grey fox.

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When I got home, I was drained and exhausted. I was lying on the sofa and Jacoby instantly came and lay on top of me…and on top of the tattoo. But it was nice, actually. Soothing. We’ll finish this tattoo up next month.