Aby-a-Day – 18 Maj: Marlin’s back! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Yesterday, Iris sent NEMO club members a draft of the flyer for our first post-Covid in-person show. It’s only open to exhibitors, and masks will be required unless eating or drinking. When I saw it, I knew what I had to do.

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So here is the new, improved, mask-wearing Marlin doing his BBQ thing.

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Here’s how it looks on the flyer itself. Not bad, eh?

Aby-a-Day – 14 Maj: How it started (Friday Flashback)

Since last Sunday was Mother’s Day, I thought I’d post this. I was always Daddy’s girl. Also a tomboy. Also hated dresses and pink. And dolls. That was Tabby, my version of a doll. They tried to give me dolls. I took their clothes off and put them on Tabby. This was 1969. You can see the look in my eyes…He’s taking the photo and I’m begging him through the lens to get me out of this and take me fishing or something.

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This is where my love of Siamese, and by extension, purebreeds began. My dad’s sister had two: Bippie and her son Caesar. This is me napping with Caesar on my uncle’s lap. Also 1969.

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This was my cat, Baby Puss, on Easter.

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This is when I met Baby Puss in 1967. She is named after the Flintstones’ cat. We also had a black male cat named Bagheera. I was always an avid television watcher.

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My mom was ALL ABOUT the matching outfits. This was for my aunt’s 25th anniversary up in Edmonton in 1971.

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And, in case you’re wondering…this was my reaction when my dad tried to get a puppy.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Maj: “Awesome. Wow.” (Photoshop Friday)

The other day in This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED, someone posted this picture of Froot Loop and asked if anyone could give him a throne to sit on.

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I could not resist. It’s silly, and it’s not really one of my best…but it made me laugh so I thought I would share it.

Aby-a-Day – 16 April: This wasn’t the way I wanted to go viral (Photoshop Friday)

So, since I posted last week, Björn is still in the hospital (he may get out tomorrow), and I have tested positive for Covid. Despite having asthma, my lungs and breathing are remarkably all right; my biggest reaction has been in my gut. Nausea, a metallic taste in my mouth, and zero appetite. Since the last time I weighed myself (the last time I weighed the cats), I have lost 5kg (11lbs). Hey, every cloud has a silver lining, right? Anyway, the other night at about 4am, I had this brilliant idea for a 1950’s-style weight-loss ad…it doesn’t include a cat, but it’s a pretty decent Photoshop if I do say so myself.

Aby-a-Day – 8 April: Siberian Tigers at Borås Djurparken (Thursday Things)

This is the last installment of the series about the big cats at Borås Djurparken. This week, it’s the Tigers’ turn.

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Unfortunately, unlike the other cats, the Tigers were…underwhelming.

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But at least we got to see them at all. We did not get to see the African Wild Dogs or the Wolves at all that day.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Mars: Vintage Swedish postcard cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

This isn’t really a cartoon, but it’s pretty cool. Björn’s sister mailed him some old postcards which arrived today. They had been sent to him back in the 1960’s, and, interestingly, they all featured cats.

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I guess even back then, Björn was a cat guy.

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This card is my favourite. This cat is completely done with your nonsense. And no, it’s not at all creepy to think about these cards are over fifty years old, and the cats are…well, you know.

Aby-a-Day – 17 November 2020: Bruno Liljefors’ cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Saturday, Björn went to the second-hand store and discovered this amazing replica painting by Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors. It’s called “A Cat and a Chaffinch” and was painted in 1885. I was surprised to discover how old it is…it looks a lot more modern!

From Wikipedia: “Liljefors was a pioneer at a time when wildlife art was still emerging from its association with scientific depiction and taxidermy. He also set a standard of identification with the landscape that substantially influenced the development of wildlife art in the twentieth century.” Liljefors mainly painted wildlife and hunting scenes, but he also did a few cats.

Liljefors was a life-long hunter, and many of his works explored the predator-prey relationship. Interestingly, he also did sequential story paintings, and is considered one of Sweden’s earliest comics creators! So this post may not have any Abyssinians or Singapuras…but it is kind of a cartoon!

Aby-a-Day – 24 Oktober 2020: Making the World Sweeter (Cat Show Saturday)

Last December, we went to a “mini-show” at our nearby pet store, DjurMagazinet, similar to the one we went to in 2018.

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One fun thing about these “pet store” shows is, there is no judging, and a lot more downtime. So we get to explore the store.

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Including the cat trees.

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But Izaak wasn’t the only one exploring the cat trees. If you recall, we met a lovely sorrel Somali named Tootsie at the last show we went to at DjurMagazinet.

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Both Tootsie and Zak were (literally) all over the cat trees at the show.

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It was fun to watch Tootsie and Zak interact.

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They both live with other cats and (used to, anyway) go to cat shows often, so they were quite civil with each other.

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They mostly explored the trees individually, but near each other.

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Zak really liked how high he could get.

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He also really liked the hanging puffball toys, while Tootsie explored the cubbyhole.

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Zak then moved to one of the hammocks, and from there seemed to notice Tootsie.

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He came down to say hello.

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I think they could be friends!

Aby-a-Day – 20 Oktober 2020: A forgotten illustration (Cartoon Tuesday)

I can’t believe I never posted this illustration I did for CFA’s Cat Talk magazine in 2015. I mean, I posted the other Persian illustration I did for Cat Talk! This drawing was done to accompany a reminiscence written by a known Himalayan breeder about the first cat show she attended. I’m a bit proud of this; I found original ads for Minqua Cattery in old Cats magazines to include in the illustration.

This is the article, written by Diane Castor, that my drawing accompanied:

My mother used to laugh and say, “Diane is my Aunt Mame reincarnated”. I used to beam as Aunt Mame was a famous cat lover and I’d nod my head with pleasure to be compared to this wonderful woman who gave me through her genes, my love for cats.

Cat breeders are not born, cat lovers are.

Suffice to say, I spent my young life in search of any cat that just might want to come and live with us. They followed me home, they turned up on our door step, they walked through the snow. Any excuse I could find, I tried. Only to meet the resistance of both my parents. “No cats.” The pestering kept up for years and finally is desperation, my father promised that when I got married and had a home of my own, he would buy any kind of cats I wanted. There, it was finally done and I shut up.

Life inched by and I finally met and married my husband, Bruce in 1960. By February 1961, I was pregnant and we bought our first house and moved from our adult apartment complex to our new home that Spring. The time had come to make the telephone call to my father.

To say that he was surprised was an understatement, but he agreed to the bargain and I found a red tabby Persian Kitten locally and promptly named him Punkin.

In the summer afternoons, I would sit on the sofa with Punkin on my belly and read. As the baby grew, so did Punkin and in late October, Bruce Jr. was born and Punkin was almost an adult. I adored him.

As any young mother knows, a bit of respite from mothering can be very beneficial to her health. In February 1962, Bruce and I decided to take a long weekend in Atlantic City and his mother would come and care for Bruce and Punkin.

Ah, freedom. Saturday morning, it looked like we were going to have to contend with rain. But we were young and willing to chance a walk on the Board Walk. As the rain fell heavier, we ducked into a small card shop and there on the window sill sat a big fat calico spay snuggled in her basket. Naturally, while petting this lovely cat, we engaged the owner in conversation. As we chatted, she told us there was a Cat Show in town in case we wanted to go. I nearly leap out of my high heeled pumps. I most certainly did want to go!

We were on the move and shortly were surrounded by cats and people. It was the most thrilling moment of my life. I was surrounded by cats in cages, on tables, on people’s laps and cats being carried over people’s arms to Judging rings. Cats of all colors and breeds. I didn’t know which way to look first. I was beside myself with joy. My cup runneth over! As we walked the aisles together, I stopped in front of a cage that held the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen! She was standing up with her paws out between the bars. She looked at me with emerald green eyes and I looked at her and my heart fell into her paws. She had to be mine. I opened the cage door and she came directly to me and into my hands. I fell in love as I held her to my heart and murmured into her ear how beautiful she was and now much I loved her. At that moment, we were alone together.

Into this moment of reverie, a hand touched my shoulder and a gentle voice said, “would you mind putting my kitten back into her cage?” My reply was, “but she loves me.”

“I can see that.” This wonderful, kind gentleman was Tom Markinke. We spent all afternoon with Tom talking about Persians. He introduced us to his wife Jane, who was clerking and by the end of Saturday, we knew we would be back the next day.

On Sunday we continued our fledgling friendship. I learned that this kitten I loved was a silver tabby Persian. Her name was Minqua’s Palmyra. I can still see her in my mind’s eye as I write. We did offer the huge sum of $150! I learned that no amount of money could by this lovely little girl as a silver tabby female was extremely rare. Palmyra was not to be mine after all.

We asked Tom to keep us informed as to where they were going to be showing so that we could come and see them again. We parted as solid new friends with a future cemented together.

Over fifty years have passed since this meeting took place. Tom and Jane Martinke have been dead for many years, but I think of them so often for their kindness to a young cat person. Now, looking back, my meeting them was the very first step in learning just how new people should be treated in the Fancy. A loving lesson I have never forgotten. I was finally learning to listen and to learn from those who knew more than I.

They continued to teach and to take us under their wing. We joined the Eastern Tabby-Tortie Club and we were able to meet other well known breeders who also took an interest in our love for the Persian.
We spent a number of years with the Martinkes before we felt comfortable buying a show kitten and in the Spring of 1967, we found just the kitten we wanted to use as our first show male. We finally had our new baby boy and his name was Jumbies Charlie Brown, a brown tabby Persian. Bred by Dr. Judith Stoyle, who was to become our closest friend until her death a few years ago. I miss her terribly.

In the fall of 1968, we registered our Cattery, Playwickey. We were ready to begin our long journey in the Fancy.

Aby-a-Day – 22 September 2020: National Voter Registration Day (Cartoon Tuesday)

Tonight, on a very special episode of the Daily Abyssinian…

Today is National Voter Registration Day in the States. I may be living in Sweden now, but I am still an American and I still vote as a Massachusetts resident. In fact, I am filling out my ballot right now.

If you are living in the US…please vote. That is all.

(Sidenote: the image I posted is available as a T-shirt…)

Aby-a-Day – 1 September 2020: Something I saw today when I was downtown (Cartoon Tuesday)

I was downtown today, and, on a whim, I thought I would check out the bookstore in the mall, and something caught my eye.

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There was a table where children could draw, and then a tree where they could hang their drawings. I almost didn’t take a photo of this drawing, but I remembered my motto: “The only photo you regret is the one you didn’t take.” So here is an adorable drawing of a kitty done by a random Swedish child.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Juli 2020: A hot day in July (Friday Flashback)

Today this memory came up in my memories on Facebook. I wasn’t even on Facebook in 2005, but okay. But it reminded me of that apartment I had in Somerville. It wasn’t the best, but I loved it.

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It was SO hot in that apartment in summer, though. The middle room was the coolest, because I had a window air conditioner…but it was still hot.

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Tessie turned two a month and a half after we got Kylie. Kylie loved her and copied everything she did.

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And here they are now, last week. They are still BFFs and have been for fifteen years. Tessie will be 17 next month. I do miss them, but they are so happy where they are.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Juli 2020: 12th Night in July (Cartoon Tuesday)

Back when I was active in the SCA, instead of Christmas cards, I made Twelfth Night cards, since this is the SCA’s “Chrstmas.”

I have posted a few of these drawings back in 2015, but I just found another card I sent to Björn in 1993. I had totally forgotten that I drew this! The joke was that Harri, my Siamese, was more popular than we were…so he got all the Twelfth Night gifts.

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Like most of my old SCA cartoons, it wasn’t exactly an exaggeration…

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The original card was red ink on forest green cardstock. I did a lot of cartoons on…interesting…colour combinations, and I don’t have any black and white copies. Thank goodness for Photoshop!

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni 2020: A quick editorial sketch (Cartoon Tuesday)

Chatting with a group of friends yesterday evening, I had a sudden thought that I needed to draw immediately, because I knew it would amuse them. I drew this in almost exactly an hour; I asked for a breed suggestion at 19:33 and shared it with my friends at 20:31. I am not going to explain it here…if you get it, you get it. That’s the nature of editorial cartoons.

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I also exported the drawing stream, because they are so much fun to watch. Remember that this is all one hour, and you can see my idea evolving as I draw it (Click on the image to watch it in Flickr).

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni 2020: Clan of Cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

When I woke up this morning, I had every intention of working on either my drawing of Kiipi and her kitten, or my drawing of Alfred the Cat Burglar.

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But instead of that, do you know what I did? I played a game

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I downloaded the game Clan of Cats years ago, but I never played it. Until today. For some reason, I randomly decided to give it a spin. And it’s actually a lot of fun. You’re a cat, and you gather your clanmembers, build your home base (apparently these cats use fire and build log forts, but okay), fight creatures to get magic, fight bosses and conquer other clans.

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It could be so much more; you could be able to interact with other players, you could be able to play it on a Mac or a PC, you could be able to really customise your cat…but hey. You can fight alligators in water and kill them with fireballs.

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See all the dead alligators? Good times.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juni 2020: Happy Birthday to me! (Miniature Monday)

Today is my birthday! A fairly important one (I was born in 1965; you do the math)…and Björn gave me gifts that coordinate with my art in the past year. First…the one that was released today and hasn’t shipped yet: a Baby Yoda doll!

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My next gift was a small plushie of Toothless, who I also drew as a versiom pf Izaak.

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Besides Baby Yoda and Toothless, Björn also got me a black Lucky Cat.

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Okay…so, angry black Lucky Cat may not connect to any cartoon I’ve done, but he’s still adorable. I love them all!

Aby-a-Day – 14 April 2020: Emma’s Baby Yoda (Cartoon Tuesday)

The other day, Titti sent us an Easter drawing Emma made. Little creatures in Easter eggs: a lion, an elephant, and…

…Baby Yoda! This kid is going to grow up to be awesome!

Aby-a-Day – 10 April 2020: More PHOTOSHOPPED cats (Photoshop Friday)

Continuing last week’s Photoshop Friday, I did some more Photoshop challenges on the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. I also posted the meme about the green screen dress Queen Elizabeth wore when she gave her COVID-19 speech last Sunday.

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And, of course, I had to give Her Majesty a Three Jake Moon shirt.

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When I saw this photo of Mya the Sphynx, I had only one thought and one thought only. Isn’t she precious?

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Jezebel’s original photo had her on her scratching post. I thought she needed a real tree.

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THIS is one of my favourites from this week. When I saw this chonky girl, my brain instantly went to…well, Manchester Township, New Jersey. One member said that it should be a poster. It’s always interesting to work in greyscale.

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Athletic Yoda reminded me of a trapeze artist.

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This face! I had to do this.

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This cat’s name is Chandler, so I had to do this…

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I didn’t think that sofa looked “Central Perk” enough, so I used this one instead. Much better!

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Then Björn made a comment…eh, it was inevitable.

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Harley and Powder’s human wanted them ‘Shopped onto a rock album. Hey, no problem.

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I had saved this photo of the bear and was waiting for a cat to fill it. I thought it was Mia…but I wasn’t so sure after I finished it. But her human loved it, so that’s good enough for me.

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Peso is a semi-celebrity in the group – I mean, look at those eyes! Behold, the majestic Peso Owl in flight.

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Willie’s human wanted him Photoshopped riding something “bad ass”…well, what’s more bad ass than Joust? This was a lot of fun…I learned how to pixilate photos with this one. It’s always nice when one of these challenges teaches me a new trick.

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Then, someone in the comments posted a photo of Putin, shirtless, riding a horse, and said, “Someone please put him on the horse with Putin!” Challenge accepted.

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Gilligan reminded me of an ancient Egyptian cat, so I put him in the temple at Abydos. Not super happy with how it turned out…but Gillgan’s human loved it. Again, that’s kind of the point.

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This is Colonel Gentleman. His original photo looked like he was sitting behind a desk, so… Fun fact: the base I used was a photo of Socks sitting behind Bill Clinton’s Resolute Desk.

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Another person posted her adorable foster kittens Meeps, Sully and Toque….it was the obvious choice. I wish Toque’s photo had been larger, though.

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Another obvious choice. I had fun with the bubbles.

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Daniel had to have his back leg shaved for an operation, and his owner wanted us to cover it up. I used a photo of a peacock I took at Borås Djurpark last summer, and used feather brushes to fill in spots.

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This is today’s project. Bailey’s human wanted him to turn his blep against evil. This was the most evil I could think of.

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Well, either that, or this. Potato, potahto.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Februari 2020: It finally snowed! Actual real snow! (Thursday Things)

As I may have mentioned before, we’ve been having a pretty crap winter with almost no snow

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But on Tuesday, finally, it snowed all day Tuesday!

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And on Wednesday morning, when I looked out the window, I saw the cutest thing.

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Our upstairs neighbours’ girls were sledding down the small hill in our område, and Markis was just hanging out nearby, playing in the snow.

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He really looked like he was happy we finally had snow, too.

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He really seemed to be enjoying himself out there.

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All the while keeping his eye on his smol hoomans.

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Markis’ fun was not unnoticed by Dashiell, however.

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Although I am not sure if he was wishing he was out there too…or if he was happy someone else was out there in the cold, wet snow.

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Markis really seemed to be having a good time, though.

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He just plowed back and forth out there in the snow. It was adorable.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Januari 2020: Castle Cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

So, on our way to see Frozen 2 downtown, I couldn’t help but notice a power box decorated with the very lovely Castle Cats.

I had no idea what they were or what they referred to, and come to find out that they’re part of a video game designed by PocApp Studios, based right here in Skövde!

How cool is that? I am not much of a gamer, but I may have to check out this game!