Aby-a-Day – 6 Maj: Cat Scanner app (Thursday Things)

Yesterday in one of my Facebook cat groups, someone posted about an app, Cat Scanner, that claims to identify what breed your cat is from a photograph. So of course I had to try it out.



It worked great with the Abyssinians.


It even identified Angel correctly.


And it got Markis pretty well, too.


I was disappointed with how it did with Tessie. I was expecting perhaps a Burmilla…but I guess at least it could tell she’s a tortie?


And then…there was Izaak. Complete and utter fail. I was expecting a Singapura to be a fairly easy ID…at worst, maybe a Burmese or Aby…but a Bengal!? Seriously? Well, you know I clicked that “Am I right?” link to tell them they weren’t. And the explanation was…the app only really works with FIFe-recognised breeds.


Um….what!? Singas have been recognised in FIFe since 2014…SEVEN YEARS!


Which, naturally, I felt the need to tell them. Haven’t gotten a response yet, but I can’t wait to see what they say.

Aby-a-Day – Make a mini Warrior Cat! (Miniature Monday)

The Warriors Cats website has just released a Warriors cats miniature maker, where you can make a Warrior cat in the style of their new new rubber Warriors miniatures.


So of course I had to make Warriors minis of our cats. Although, I did have to modify some in Photoshop; I couldn’t do Angel’s one eye or get Alfred’s colour exactly right using the mini-maker alone.



Dashiell and Lorelai required much less touching up.


My favourite, though, is Izaak. Somehow, the default pose and eyes just suit him!

Abys (and Somalis) are Everywhere – Weather Whiskers

I am so behind on my “extra” posts, because I’ve been concentrating quite a bit on the cartoons. I have a collection of “other Aby” things to share, and this is one I’ve been meaning to get to for some time.

Weather Whiskers is a smartphone app that my sister got me hooked on last year. It’s just a weather app like the default one all phones come with…but with cats. It’s free, and it’s much more charming than the usual clouds, suns and lightning bolts that regular weather apps give you.

That’s right. Regular, as-accurate-as-any weather…

…just illustrated with cute, dressed up LOLcats.

Like this Oriental Shorthair.

And this Bombay.

But you know I wouldn’t be posting about this app if it was just random cats, no matter how awesome it was. Of course there’s an Aby connection.

I’ve seen this Somali for Fog and also for Hot & Sunny. I have not seen an actual Abyssinian yet, but…

…Weather Whiskers does feature this Frida Kahlo Aby on their Facebook page banner!

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:


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…


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


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


…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.


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 – August 26: Ready for his close up (Hipstamatic Monday)

I love taking photos of Jacoby’s feet.


What is it about cat’s paws, anyway?


Why are we so mesmerised by those soft toe pads?


I got a new iPhone app called iMicroscope that is meant to take super close-ups of things like a real microscope would.


So of course I tried it out on Jake.


The iMicroscope pictures weren’t that great…


…Even considering that it’s possible a moving cat isn’t the best test subject.


But it was interesting, and not bad for 99c.


Well…I thought it was interesting.