Aby-a-Day – November 24 – Breed sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

I found these sketches I did during a therapy visit at Tufts last year with Jacoby, probably around the time some patients did portraits of Jake.

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On this one, I was explaining how different the body types and skulls of different breeds are. I also explained how ticking on an Abyssinian hair looks.

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Then I was asked if I had any other cats, so I drew Angel, Kylie and Tessie and showed how different each of them look – both when compared to Jake and when compared to each other.

Other People’s Abys – Nigel the therapy cat

One of our friends, Nigel and his human Janet, were featured in a news story on Houston TV because of their work as a therapy team!

I simply love the fact that Nigel has the exact same stroller (in the exact same colour) that Jacoby has.

When she posted the link to the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook, Janet thanked me and Jake for being the inspiration for her and Nigel to start visiting nursing homes.

Janet is actually a veterinarian, too, so she has a medical background which helps when you’re doing therapy visits.

You can watch the entire segment here.

I love this photo so much…I can’t wait til March when Jake and I can try to get our certification renewed again. Thank you Janet, for sharing this!

Fashion Friday: Embroidered Abys

My friend Lee does some wonderful embroidery. She has patterns for several breeds of cats and dogs, including, of course, Abyssinians.

You can order embroidered items from her online shop or on eBay. This shirt was recently for auction on eBay, but I think it’s still available.

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She will also do your own shirts if you send them to her. I had our therapy shirts done with our names and her “Aby and Heart” design, and I love them. We have the Pet Partners logo on the other side, and it makes us look like a very polished team. If you’re interested, you can contact Lee by email.

Aby-a-Day – September 17: Wordless Wednesday (Visiting with Vincent)

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Aby-a-Day – August 11: Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’… (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we’re on our way home from a therapy visit, Jacoby can’t seem to stay in his stroller.

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He’s perfectly content to sit nicely in the passenger section on the trip there, but on the way home, he wants to get as close to the sidewalk as possible.

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His particular stroller is a three-wheeled model, with a little platform over the front wheel.

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I’m pretty sure the pet stroller designers didn’t plan for that platform to be used as a seat.

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Jake loves sitting down there, though.

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He’s gotten really good at holding on and ignoring the traffic.

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He just cracks me up. Most cats wouldn’t even want to ride inside the stroller on a busy bridge like the one near our building, let alone sit over the front wheel!

Aby-a-Day – August 4: Silly Selfies (Hipstamatic Monday)

After our visit at Tufts on Thursday, I couldn’t resist taking some selfies of myself and Jacoby.

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Jake was in such a good mood, purring and kneading and headbonking and rolling around in his stroller, I just had to try to capture it for posterity.

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Easier said than done!

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Especially since Jake wanted to rub all over my phone when I held it out for a photo.

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It’s really hard to get a good shot when someone’s bonking the camera with their head!

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Interestingly enough, Huffington Post just featured a video of a “greedy” Abyssinian who begs for headbonks and, when he doesn’t get them, reaches out and pats his human’s face. Yeah, I have no idea what that’s like at all.

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Love is blind, especially when it headbonks your glasses off.

Aby-a-Day – August 2: “Cloudy” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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After 16 years of living on the east coast, I still can’t get used to cloudy summers.

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Jacoby doesn’t mind clouds…as long as they don’t drop rain on him!

Aby-a-Day – July 23: Wordless Wednesday (Happy to be here)

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Aby-a-Day – July 7: Master of his domain (Hipstamatic Monday)

Despite being an indoor cat, Jacoby has a marvelous sense of direction.

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He knows where he is when we’re outside and he knows when we’re close to home.

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And when Jake feels certain he knows where he is, he likes to hop out of his stroller and start walking home.

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There are different places in Boston where he feels secure enough to do this. One of these is the James M. Kelley (“Broadway”) Bridge, which we cross when we go to therapy visits at Tufts Medical Center.

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I’m sure he considers the bridge part of his territory.

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Even a passing bus doesn’t faze him.

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He surveys his kingdom of concrete like a lion regarding the savannah.

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Until his feet get tired.

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Then Jake hops right back into his stoller, thank you very much.

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“Yeah, I guess I can see my kingdom just fine from right here…”

Aby-a-Day – July 5: “Sunset” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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When the sun sets, the lights come on in Boston. Specifically, light projections underneath I-93

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Jacoby and I walk underneath this part of I-93 every time we go on our therapy visits. These lights are not only pretty, they make the area feel safer, too. And the different themes (they change from week to week) make a boring underpass cheerful.

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Jake and I appreciate the lightshow. This past Thursday, the theme was wonderfully red, white and blue; the week before, it was a gentle green light filtered through leafy tree branches. Boston.com published a video about the light installation back in January.

Aby-a-Day – June 18: Wordless Wedneday (Patients’ drawings of Jacoby)

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Aby-a-Day – June 14: “Dusk” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Cats are crepuscular creatures. That means they really like dawn and dusk.

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Jacoby and I usually walk home from our therapy visits at dusk. Of course, the duskiness varies depending on the time of year.

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Jake always seems a little more lively on the walk home.

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Okay…a lot more lively.

Aby-a-Day – June 12: The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra-la

Springtime in Boston is just so much more appreciated than springtime in most places I’ve lived. Jacoby and I were walking home from our visit at Fuller, and were just slammed by the scent of flowers. A lot of flowers.

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We turned a corner and saw this.

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A huge pile of amazingly fragrant purple flowers.

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Jake had to get out and check them out.

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He’s a firm believer in stopping to smell the roses…or, in this case, purple flowers.

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I don’t know what kind of flowers these are, but they sure smelled great.

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And they were in such an unexpected place!

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Jake enjoyed checking them out, too.

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He always enjoys taking little adventures on the way home from visits.

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And it’s a good thing we stopped to appreciate them, too. The next time we went past this place, the flowers were almost entirely gone. Just like springtime in Boston, flowers are ephemeral and fleeting.

Aby-a-Day – June 7: “Azure” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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The harness Jacoby wears when we go on visits at Tufts Medical Center is azure and turquoise.

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These are the colours of Tufts, and he wears them well.

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Blue was also his brother’s Gun-Hee’s colour. It was also Harri’s, but he doesn’t know that.

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In case you were wondering…Jake really enjoys going on visits…

Aby-a-Day – June 4: Wordless Wednesday (National Hug Your Cat Day)

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Aby-a-Day – May 29: On the Dais

I just got the photos that were taken of us during the AARP Life @ 50+ event at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center that we participated in earlier this month. All of these photos were taken by Scott Amundson Photography for United Healthcare especially for the event and are used with permission.

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Before the presentation, we just mingled with visitors and other United Healthcare participants.

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Including this box character, who was wearing those flashing tentacle head boppers.

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Turns out, Mr. Box is a cat person! Who knew? I asked him if he was related to the Progressive Insurance box, but he declined to answer.

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The presentation explained the benefits of animal-assisted therapy, not just for the elderly in nursing homes but also for people affected by disaster (the Boston Marathon bombing, the Newtown shootings) and children learning to read.

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While the presentation was going on, the animal therapy teams sat at a table.

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Jake, of course, was completely fine with this. This is basically what he does at cat shows, too.

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Sit on a table, look out at the audience, and generally be awesome.

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Interestingly, during the presentation, people would come up and talk to us. I hadn’t seen that happen at presentations before, but it was cool. Jake was happy to have some more attention.

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Unless, of course, there was something interesting on the screen!

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After the presentation, there was a short Q&A session, moderated by Christine.

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And then more people came up to talk to us.

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I loved talking to this woman! I’m so happy they got a photo of her. She was from California and we had a lot in common. I didn’t get her name, though, but I did give her a blog card.

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Jake wasn’t the only star of the show, of course. Here’s Sophie and her human LeeAnn – you can see Jake’s stroller in the background.

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Ralphie (the “other Abyssinian”) and his human Nikki made a lot of friends. A lot of people have owned Guinea Pigs in their lives!

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Since Boo is so short, she and her human Deb sat on the floor. Deb is the program coordinator of Paws for People, the local chapter of Pet Partners.

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After the presentation, we wandered around the United Healthcare booth (as I posted on 15 May) and then we had our portraits done. I LOVE this one of Jake and I. I want to use it as our new ID badge photo when we renew our Pet Partners certification in July. Of course, I’ll need to Photoshop the lettering behind my head out of the picture before I do!

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There was a group portrait, too. Here we all are!

Aby-a-Day – May 21: Wordless Wednesday (Homeward Bound)

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Aby-a-Day – May 16: Flashing tentacle head bopper redux (Fashion Friday)

As is common at every convention-type event I’ve ever been to, there were a lot of goodies handed out at the AARP Life @50+ event that Jacoby and I went to last week.

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One of these was a set of flashing tentacle head boppers, given out by our hosts United Healthcare at their booth.

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You may recall that we had a previous encounter with one of these back around Halloween 2012.

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You can see a United Healthcare human sporting a set of the same tentacle boppers in the background.

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Jake had a harder time keeping his on his head than she did, however.

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As always, Jake finally managed to keep it balanced.

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Bystanders were very impressed that he would keep the head bopper on!

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We, of course, know better. Jake can wear a lot more impressive things than a mere headdress!

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And in case you’re wondering, it was actually lit up and flashing. You just can’t see it in these photos because of the lighting in the hall.

Aby-a-Day – May 15 – AARP Life@50 2014

Last Thursday, Jacoby and I were invited to participate in the United Healthcare booth at the AARP 2014 Life@50 National Event in Boston. It was held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, only a mile and half from where we live!

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It was a nice day so we walked over to the convention center, where we met up with our host from United Healthcare, Christine, and another PetPartners therapy team, Lee Ann and Sophie.

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Sophie, a King Charles Spaniel, is deaf. She was excited to meet the famous Strollercat, though.

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The other therapy teams were Deb and Boo, a Shitzu, and Nikki and Ralphie, an Abyssinian guinea pig. The convention center is HUGE (it’s the largest in New England), and we had to walk a good way to get to the area the event was actually being held.

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Good thing we have a stroller!

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Like I said, the hall is huge, but we’ve been to big convention halls before. Jake was eager to explore…

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But I made him stay in his stroller.

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“Aw, geez Mom…”

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I got a United Healthcare shirt to wear, so I took this selfie of Jake and I. We participated in a panel about therapy animals, sitting on the stage at a table while there was a slideshow presentation. I don’t have photos of that yet, but I should hopefully be getting some that I can share later.

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After the presentation, we hung out at the United Healthcare booth. There were several different stations in the booth, which was quite large. There was a Boston photo booth, so Jake and I posed for this…it needed a little Photoshop touch-up because the flash lit up Jake’s eyes (and yeah, while I was in there, I might have added a little lens flare).

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Another part of the booth was set up for visitors to create cheerful cards to send to children in hospitals.

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This is the one Jake and I drew.

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The inside says “Sending you sunshine.”

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Yet another section had a whiteboard for people to write their “What’s Next” moment.

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I cannot pass a whiteboard without doodling a cat on it, so I drew this…

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We also met Ralphie the Abyssinian guinea pig, of course!

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Ralphie and Nikki visit at the Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Center too, but we haven’t run into each other there, yet.

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Jake and Ralphie sat next to each other on the table at the panel. Despite being at different ends of the food chain, they seemed to have no instinctual problems with each other.

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I know it may not seem that way in these photos, but…

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…the BEST photo turned out blurry. I saved it by turning it into “art.”

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Abyssinian guinea pigs are “Abyssnian” because of their hair, not their colour. It has whorls and sticks up in odd places. They can be any colour that regular guinea pigs are, but Ralphie just happens to be whatever the guinea pig equivalent of ruddy is. I wonder what an Aby cat would look like with Aby guinea pig fur?

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After our duties at the United Healthcare booth were fulfilled, we were allowed to explore the rest of the event.

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There was a lot to see!

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We even met the Geico gecko!

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We stayed until 6pm, when the event closed for the day. We’d been there since 1:30, so it was a pretty long day for Jake.

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Despite that, he was still perky and cheerful.

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It was a great event and we had a wonderful time. I’m so glad that Jake and I were able to be a part of it all!

Aby-a-Day – May 14: Wordless Wednesday (Overlooking AARP)

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