Sparta and Bob Hunt with StarClan

Sad news. Two of the world’s most famous cats have died this week. Sparta the Mean Kitty and Bob the Street Cat have died.

Sparta became famous when his human, Cory (aka Mr. Safety) posted his Mean itty song on YouTube in September 2007. That video, as of today, has had 91,004,261 views!

But on Sunday, 11 June, Sparta apparently had a saddle thrombosis and his back end was paralysed. Sobbing, Cory posted a short video to let Sparta’s fans know what was happening before he rushed to the vet. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done, and he had to be euthanised.

After Sparta was gone, Cory posted his last video on his Mean Kitty channel. He described what had happened, and thanked his followers. Sparta went from Southern California to Alaska to Oklahoma with Cory and his family. Over the span of 13 years, we followed the life of a man and his cat.

Then, today, Hodder & Stoughton and James Bowen announced the death of Bob the cat on 15 June at the age of at least 14 years on their Facebook page.

I’m sure most of you know about Bob from his books and movie. A busker living rough in Covent Garden selling newspapers meets a cat who decided that he wanted to adopt that human.

James Bowen says “Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing. The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous. He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again. I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.” And oh, how I understand how he feels…Jacoby wasn’t as famous as Bob…but I feel his light going out in his life sentiment.

2020 can bite my shiny metal ass.

May StarClan light your path, and you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep, Sparta and Bob. You will be missed.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Juni 2020: More Magpies (Movie Monday)

I know I posted about magpies just yesterday, but by sheer coincidence we had another magpie encounter this afternoon.

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Björn and I were outside with the cats, when the magpies started yelling. We looked over, and sure enough, they were yelling at Alfred.

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Freddy noped out, but Izaak was very interested in what was going on up in the branches.

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The magpies yelled at Zak, and Zak yelled right back at them.

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Lorelai, of course, was also interested in the screeching birds.

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She looked like she wanted to go up after them, but she didn’t go any higher in the tree.

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Zak, on the other hand…

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…I think even Rory was impressed with how high Zak was willing to climb.

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Zak is a deceptively good climber.

Here is a video of the entire encounter with the magpies. It’s sometimes hard to see them in the leaves, but you can certainly hear them!

Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj 2020: Izaak in the Duvet Cover (Silly Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The funniest, cutest thing happened this morning.

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Izaak got inside Björn’s duvet cover and was trying to get to me for a cuddle. He got his head through the hand hole…and then got stuck.

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Which is funny, because I always thought that if a cat could get his head through a hole, the rest of the body would fit, too. Apparently, not so much.

I had to make a video of him for Björn, who was making his breakfast and couldn’t come to see Zak in the duvet. I thought you all would like to see it, too.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Maj 2020: Walking home after taking out the recyclables (Cinema Sunday)

We’ve trained Alfred, Lorelai and Izaak to come along with us when we take out the garbage and recyclables.

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And they know, when we let them out when we’re carrying bags, that we’re not just “going outside,” but we’re going out to the bins. These three all know how to walk home from the bus stop from vet visits, and the bins are just next to the bus stop.

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They love it…and they do know the difference. Dashiell hasn’t had enough practice outside to do this…and Angel is happier at home.

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Rory so loves to run free outside. I say she is the very embodiment of joy when she runs.

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Sometimes, she even climbs trees!

Here’s the video I made on the way back (note the Swedish social distancing).

Aby-a-Day – 15 Maj 2020: Gun-Hee and his tail (Photoshop Friday Flashback)

Gun-Hee loved chasing his tail. I posted a video of him chasing it in 2007, and then, a few months later, I posted a
“non-video” version of him chasing his tail.

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Later, I took my three favourite shots…

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…separated them from their background…

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…and made a sort of action-collage of the three.

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I was so proud of this at the time, I even put it on a T-shirt…but looking at the original PSD file…YIKES! Those edges are so bad! I guess I have learned a thing or two in 13 years.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Maj 2020: Just some cats outside in springtime…(Cinema Sunday)

Yesterday, we took the cats outside for some exercise. We’ve had some days of rain, but even though it was a bit cloudy yesterday, the cats wanted to go out, so out we let them…

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Lorelai, of course, LOVED it.

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As did Alfred.

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Dashiell, as I posted yesterday, had his own kind of fun outside.

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When Izaak wasn’t striking poses…

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…he was exploring the great outdoors with Rory.

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I wish I could be as joyful as Freddy running outside in the daisies.

Here’s a short video of the four of them outside.

Aby-a-Day – 26 April 2020: Lorelai REALLY loves sand (Cinema Sunday)

As I posted last week, Lorelai loves the sand in the play areas in our apartment område.

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The other day, Rory and Izaak helped me take out some recyclables (they love doing that, and they always know what we’re doing when they see the bags), and on the way back, we had to stop at the sand at the bottom of the slide near our building.

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Once again, Rory rolled around in her beloved sand.

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Zak…seemed perplexed.

I made a little video of her rolling about so you could see her in action.

Aby-a-Day – 29 Mars 2020: Izaak and Angel outside (Cinema Sunday)

It seems like an odd pairing, but when we go outside, Izaak and Angel pair up together.

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It’s actually pretty adorable, because they generally weigh almost exactly the same, around 3.4kg (7.5lbs), which makes them roughly the same size. Alfred and Dashiell are the big boys, and Lorelai is our tiny little girl.

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You can see how much bigger Dash is compared to the two of them.

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But look how cute this is! They’re almost holding tails!

Here’s a video of the two of them. It’s accidentally slow motion, but you can see how they make a sweet, if strange, couple.

Aby-a-Day – 26 Mars 2020: Reach out and touch someone (Thursday Things)

The other day, we were watching YouTube videos on the television, and I wanted to show Björn the video of Lorelai stalking the geese, which he hadn’t seen yet.

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After that, YouTube autoplayed the next video, which was the one of Izaak sitting on top of Dashiell.

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Dash was intensely interested in seeing him and his buddy on TV. And then the cutest thing happened.

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He reached his paw out and touched Zak! It was so sweet, so tentative…but he definitely recognised his friend.

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Then a different video autoplayed, one of Angel and Zak outside. And Dash patted Zak’s image again! I have never seen a cat do this before. I have seen them play with images on screen, but not recognise another cat that they know.

I made a little video of him…but he went behind the screen looking for the cats. I did finally capture him patting Zak.

Other People’s Singas: Life with Misha

Today in the Facebook Singapura Group, a Polish man named Lucasz posted a link to a YouTube video showing him trying to work on his laptop wish Misha, his Singapura.

Yeah…I know that feel.

Aby-a-Day – 22 Mars 2020: Lorelai and the Geese (Cinema Sunday)

It started with Alfred.

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He’s the first one who ran towards the lake.

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But Lorelai took it to a whole other level.

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She decided to HUNT the geese. Who probably outweigh her. Here’s a video of Freddy, but mainly Rory, stalking the geese.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Februari 2020: Singapuras don’t share (Singapura Cinema Sunday)

The other day, a little drama unfolded right on our living room sofa.

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Dashiell was happily napping in the corner closest to the television, which also happens to get the best sunshine in the early afternoon.

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But Izaak wanted to nap there.

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So he pulled out the super-stealth licking manoeuver. You start out with just a little friendly licking on the top of the head.

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Then, when the target is lulled into docility…

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…Zak starts to make his move.

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And there you go: Singapuras always get the best napping spot in the house. Regardless if someone is already napping there.

Here’s a little video of Zak assimilating Dash’s napping spot. Resistance is futile!

Aby-a-Day – 16 Februari 2020: iPhone 11 Pro Live Photos

One feature of the new iPhone 11 Pro is that when you take a regular photo, the camera also takes what Apple calls a “LivePhoto,” which is the photo you took time-lapsed for three or four seconds with a little motion. It’s kind of like those moving pictures in Harry Potter.

I thought it would be interesting to string a bunch of these LivePhotos together into a movie. So…here is what a string of iPhone LivePhotos looks like, put together into a movie.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Februari 2020: “That’s when they come for your whole neck” (Cinema Sunday)

I’ve written before about how much Izaak enjoys his raw chicken necks.

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I mean, he REALLY loves them. Here he is, trying to grab a neck from the bowl.

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He actually did manage to snag one!

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But then Lorelai happened.

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The funny thing is, Dashiell is just as mad for chicken necks as Zak is. He just expresses it differently.

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Bone appetit!

Here’s the full video showing what happens when it’s neck o’clock.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Januari 2020: A kitchen mystery (Mischievious Movie Monday Mystery)

So the other day I walked into the kitchen, and the cabinet above the refrigerator, where we store the dry food we give Angel as a treat, was open. And the bag was…somehow…on the kitchen counter. Pretty sure it was Alfred, but he tried to frame Dashiell for the crime. For some reason, most of the photos I took were “Live Photos,” so here they are as a short YouTube video:

Happy International Cat Day! (Abys are Everywhere)

Today, 8 August, is International Cat Day. In honour of this important day, my friend Robin sent me this video created by e-on, a Swedish electric company.

Of course I checked it for Abys.

This guy kind of looks like an Abyssinian…but then, that might just be the spacesuit.

However, THIS video, made by target=#>Whiskas UK (who, I discovered whilst in London, make a LOT of awesome commercials that are so good you almost forget they’re trying to sell you something) definitely features some Abyssinians.

Like this handsome chap, as well as the lad at the top of the page.

Happy International Cat Day!

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli: “Just like birds, hunters know no borders” (Cinema Sunday)

As I have mentioned before, Lorelai is our little huntress. She especially likes to hunt birds when we’re outside.

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But she also likes to hunt birds when we’re inside. We have these bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups, and Rory in particular really loves to “watch the birdies.”

I wanted to capture her banging into the window on video, but I failed. You can hear her fearsome chatter, though…

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juli: Another Bee Movie (Movie Monday)

When I made the video of Izaak and Lorelai playing with the bumblebee, Björn was making one, too.

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It’s kind of interesting, to see someone’s photos and videos taken at the same time you were taking photos and videos…it’s just from a slightly different perspective.

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It’s actually kind of fascinating. The exact same scene playing out, the same events…but, different.

Compare the two videos and you’ll see what I mean.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni: A memory of Jacoby (Cinema Sunday)

Today’s photos and video were not really ever going to be posted. I didn’t think that they were really good enough. But time changes photos, did you know that? What seems like a crap photo today can turn into a treasured memory with time. This is back from February, when Meg sent me a package that included some pretty superb catnip toys.

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Jacoby took an interest in the paper the toys were wrapped in. Izaak came to see what was so interesting…he didn’t see it.

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And when I say Jake was “interested”…

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…I mean, he was really interested in it.

It was so funny that I made a video to show Meg. But now, I want to share it with everyone. Jake was such a goof.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juni: The birds and the bees (Cinema Sunday)

When we were outside with the Kittens a while back, they found a bumblebee.

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Izaak seemed more interested in it than Lorelai was, at first.

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They were adorable, studying the little insect. Zak went so far as to pat it with his paw, but luckily neither cat got stung.

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When it didn’t move, Zak got a little bored, but Rory knew it had potential and studied it intently.

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Finally: the big payoff! The bee started to fly!

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Rory is incredibly agile and athletic when she is chasing a bug. She actually catches flies (and eats them) in the apartment without knocking over anything.

Here’s a video of Zak, Rory and the Bee.

Later that day, Rory went to the area behind our apartment…I could tell because the birds were going crazy with their “Cat!” warning cries. It was really loud…I took video, but I don’t know if you can hear them. I worry about the bigger birds dive-bombing her; when I was a kid we had outdoor cats (not my idea), and one got a massive abscess on his head from either a scrub jay or a mockingbird. Rory’s only 2½ kg, our smallest cat, and your average crow weighs around half a kilo…but they have force and gravity on their side. One peck from a crow or jackdaw’s bill could do some serious damage.

That being said…Rory really wants to catch a bird someday.

We’re trying to teach Alfred to go outside with us offleash…but in the meantime, sometimes he joins us via the balcony. Here he is complaining about being left out.