Aby-a-Day – October 31: “Indian clothes are better” (Fashion Friday)

My husband brought back many things from his trip to Bangalore.

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Like this little handwoven mat he brought back for the cats.

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It only cost 25 rupees, which is about 38c USD.

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Still, proving once again that price doesn’t always equal value…

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…Jacoby loves this mat. I told my husband he should have gotten more, since I foresee many whappypaws in the future over this little thing.

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My husband also brought back this little hat for Jake.

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Jake’s not quite as in love with the hat as he is with the mat.

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Still, he wears it well. If you look closely at the second photo, you can see that there is a tiny jingle bell embedded in the hat’s brim. I have no idea why this is.

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My husband got this at Bannerghatta National Park, an amazing wildlife preserve with elephants, monkeys, leopards, butterflies, and, yes…

…tigers!

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I think Jake’s hat was meant to be for a human baby, to protect it from the sun, but it looks pretty good on Jake, don’t you think?

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But that’s not all he brought back.

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One thing Bangalore is known for is its textiles (especially Mysore silk), and my husband brought me some scarves and a saree.

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This is the “everyday” scarf, which is either pashmina or a pashmina/cotton blend (the label only says “pashmina” on it). I love the colours.

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And, apparently, so does Jake.

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Tell me this cat doesn’t love to pose for fashion shots.

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Dramatic cat is dramatic.

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I really want to take one of these photos and Photoshop Jake into some sort of Lawrence of Arabia type background.

Aby-a-Day – October 30: “When we talk about India, we talk about tigers.”

My husband went on a business trip to Bangalore earlier this month, and, as you might expect, he brought back some wonderful souvenirs. The most wonderful of these was a hand-woven silk rug.

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He bought it and had it shipped home, since it was too large to bring home on the plane. Guess who was right there, helping him open the parcel?

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Why, Jacoby, of course! Shocking, I know.

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The rug came wrapped in pages of the Bangalore Times, which was pretty interesting, too. Especially the grocery store ad.

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I’m not sure how helpful Jake was while my husband unpacked the carpet.

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He was fascinated by the unfolding, though.

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It’s really a beautiful carpet.

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Jake appreciated the details my husband pointed out.

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Of course, no matter how beautiful the rug…

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Jake, is, after all, a cat.

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And you know what cats love to do with rugs (beside puke on them, I mean).

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Yep. Jake and Tessie had a great time playing with it. We haven’t decided where we’ll put it, so for now it’s rolled up…but I have a feeling Jake is going to adopt it as his own when it does get its permanent place in our apartment.

Jake’s littermate brother Dillin on the news!

Check this out!

Jacoby’s littermate brother, GC Pellburn Johnny Dillinger, was featured on the Halifax 6 o’clock news last Sunday. It was actually a story on the Fundy Fanciers CCA show, and it also features Nofuratu the Nakedcat, a Sphynx friend of ours.

It’s always so much fun to see pictures of Dillin…after all, he is Jake’s closest relative. I wonder if they would remember each other if we could reunite them?

Other People’s Abys – Tribute to Uma

Tracy Weed posted this tribute to her blue Abyssinian, Uma, on the Abyssinian Cat Club group on Facebook, and it was so lovely I wanted to share it here.

UMA THE PUMA
I met Uma in early April 2006. Her breeder, Diane Jackson of Hill Street Blues, was retiring her after an early life of shows, prizes and litters. Her official name was Lil Devil In Bluejeans, Devi for short but I renamed her Uma. She was just 7 years old but she had already lived a life time. I never asked how many kittens she had birthed, only now am I curious. I brought her home with me to begin again, to live as a beloved pet with no demands on her at all.

As sensitive and possessive as Abyssinians are, Uma’s adjustment was very slow. She had her own room and still chose to live in the back of the closet. She came into a home with a cat-loving dog and Batman, my 14 year old black beauty, who was very ill and would die three months later from heart failure. Until Batman died I really didn’t see Uma, she was so deeply ensconced in her closet, and I only monitored her progress through empty food dishes and her deposits in her litter box.

After Batman died the door to Uma’s room was opened permanently. I would catch glimpses of her out of the corner of my eye, skirting the baseboards exploring her home but never approaching me or letting me approach her. And oh, she was so lovely, tiny and squirrel-like, with her soft, blue, puma color and bright green eyes. This was how we lived together for months, she would scoot away from me and only allow me to pet her when she was in a sun drenched sleeping spot.

Uma was not a typical boisterous clown of an Aby. I never knew if her calm demeanor was because of her age or if she was born that way. Our vet always commented on how unusually still and thoughtful she was. Uma’s guarded behavior lasted nearly a year, until I broke my leg and was laid up in a hospital bed in the living room. One day I awoke to find her asleep on the bed and the rest is history. Once she knew she owned me she called the shots.

I began letting Uma explore the garden when I was there working. She never once failed to come when I called her, if she had ignored me even once she would have lost her outdoor privileges. I had never had a cat who consistently came when called, but Abys are different. Uma began to be the mightiest of hunters, mostly lizards but an occasional bird, too, with the wonderful side affect of having been an Aby breeder she was toothless by seven years of age. Uma never killed her prey. They would escape her toothless maw when she’d open it to announce her catch. I never laughed at her, she was far too serious and dignified, but I was always delighted to see the catch scurry off or fly away.

Uma came to relish her life as a pet, and I fell more and more in love with her and her dainty feminine ways. She taught me to turn on the faucet for her whenever I was in the bathroom, and that she preferred to drink water out of a glass so there were always several scattered around the house. Her ‘love couch’ was the one place (except my bed at night) I could pet her, brush her, and snuggle her; otherwise she didn’t tolerate being picked up and never sat on your lap.

Uma began to have health problems when she was 10. First there were 3 cancer lumpectomies, one after another a year apart that she bounced back from nicely. But a year ago she had a bout of pancreatitis and that was the turning point. She had another last January and I believe that was the beginning of the kidney disease that killed her.

I haven’t mentioned how Uma created the deepest bond I’ve ever experienced with a cat, or how she trained me to love her just the way she wanted. She has only been gone a month and I still look for her and cry each night she isn’t there.

Thank you, Tracy, for allowing me to share this on my blog.

Another response about the Pet Shop Abys from Animalis

I got another response from Animalis on the four Aby brothers they have for sale in a pet shop in a Paris suburb:

“Dear Madam,
I would like to explain you how we work, because this information is important for everybody.

First of all, the staff in charge of our animals must be able to. They own a “capacity certificate” that means they are professionals.

When a person is interested on a dog or cat or any other animal, they explain the animal’s profile, to match with their living style. Even if you don’t believe it, we have already refused to sell an animal… more than once!


They also do adoptions at their stores through local shelters

If a dog or a cat didn’t find an owner, we take important measures to find a family as quickly as possible. It is our engagement. There is no return to the breeder.
A good integration is also important to us. It’s our procedure to call the owners to know if everything is going right. For dog’s owners, we offer every month “dog education lessons”, to show them how to live in harmony with their pets.


Animalis’ booth at a recent pet expo in Paris

And a month ago, we have inaugurated our animal protection association, the APA. So if one day something bad happens to the owner of one of our dogs or cats (if he gets ill, or homeless, or divorced), the association will find them a new home. Of course it is just a start, but we are working on this project because we care.


They carry Chi’s Sweet Home litter boxes! They can’t be all that bad… :-)

I understand you don’t like pet shops, but you must know our staff is really loving and taking care. They are doing more than you think, even when the store is closed…
Best regards”

So. What do you think?

Aby-a-Day – October 28: The Escalator Incident (Part 5) (Cartoon Tuesday)

Here is the fifth and final page of the illustrated retelling of Jacoby’s escalator accident.

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Page 1 can be found here
Page 2 is here.
Page 3 is here.
And Page 4 is here.

You would never know Jake ever got his foot caught in an escalator to see him today. He was extremely lucky, I know. He easily could have lost his foot – or worse. But all he has is a little scar on one toe and a funny deformed claw. And…well, and a pretty good story to tell.

All these drawings are based on photos I took of Jake during this time. Here is Drama!Jake, Jake at the vet, and Jake as an ancient Egyptian mummy cat.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Update on the Aby kittens in France: Response from Animalis

So the pet store that has four Abyssinian kittens which I posted about yesterday responded to me through Facebook. Here is what they said:

“Dear Madam,
Unfortunately, I can’t answer what you would like to read. But we can guarantee the staff from our store (we spoke to Lognes since the first message) is taking care of them. They receive affection and caresses. The little brothers sleep together and they are safe every night.
You must know that your message has been transmitted to the people concerned in our company.
Best regards”


(They have this stock photo of Aby kittens on their Facebook page, too.)

So, basically, no answer at all. Abyfriend Max (she was Moose E. Puss‘s human) beat me to a response, and commented, “These little brothers are left alone together, in a cage, in a closed shop at night, for how many hours???!!!! Not acceptable.” So far, they haven’t responded to that.

I also responded: “Be that as it may…these poor kittens are not getting the socialisation they desperately need. And what will happen if they are not sold (at €1100 each, this is a distinct possibility) and they are no longer cute little kittens but rangy adolescents? Will the breeder take them back? Will you keep them until they do sell, whenever that is, no matter how old they are? What happens if they don’t sell until they become adults? And that doesn’t even begin to cover what happens to them if they ARE sold to someone who has no idea what Abyssinians are like. They’re not exactly like other cats, and they have some traits and habits that, if one isn’t prepared for them, can be difficult to handle. Do you follow the care of the kittens once they ARE adopted? Will you take them back if the people who buy them decide they cannot handle their quirks? Or will the purchasers end up dumping these kittens in an animal shelter? This is a question for ALL cats and dogs being sold in pet shops, but Abyssinians are my breed and I know them well…and I know they are NOT meant to live in a cage with little human interaction.”

And, shockingly, I know, they haven’t responded to that, either.

Aby-a-Day – October 27: I’m so happy you’re awake! (Hipstamatic Monday)

My husband feeds the cats in the morning, so usually when I’m getting ready in the morning, Jacoby is in his house eating. He doesn’t get to come out until the girls are finished eating.

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Some mornings, though, everyone eats faster than usual, so Jake gets an early discharge.

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When that happens, he comes into my bathroom to help me get dressed for work.

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Jake is always sooooo happy to be able to see me in the morning.

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I love to spend time with him in the morning, too.

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Although, maybe it’s a good thing for my attendance record at work that he doesn’t always get to see me in the morning! Between Jake’s attention and my taking his photo, I’d be late every day!

Abys in Need – Purebred Aby kittens in a pet store in France

Yes, you read that right…Gilles posted to the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook about a litter of four Aby kittens he saw in a pet store at the Animalis store in Lognes, France (a suburb of Paris).

Gilles wrote: “As I was shopping for a new tree for my Master Aby, I saw that the pet store was selling Abys. I felt worse than usual for the kittens. Considering the requested price (1100 Euros, I let you do the maths for your local currency) I couldn’t help but wonder what was to become of them in the near future as [that price] corresponds to the average monthly paycheck [in this area]…I wish I could have taken all 4 of them but Master would not have been happy.
I just hope they’ll end up in a loving and caring family.”

Well, I can tell you that, as of today according to Oanda, €1100 is $1,393.45 USD and $1,565.25 Canadian. Yikes. Those poor kittens may be in the shop for a while, and what happens to them when they aren’t kittens any more??

I commented on their Facebook page with : “Purebred Abyssinians should not be sold in a pet shop. Who is their breeder? Abys need human interaction, not to be locked in a cage… What happens to these poor kittens at night when your shop closes? I think you will get a lot of posts today from all over the world about these Abys.” and they actually responded to me! They said: ” Hello, We know Abys are special and many measures were taken to welcome these kittens in the best conditions. You must be sure our staff is professional but also loving and they take care of them!”

Okay…but…that didn’t really answer my question. So I wrote back: “But at night they still sleep in a cage, and not with people…c’est vrai, ça, non?” (I threw in a little French so they wouldn’t think I was a rude American)…they haven’t responded to that yet.

Others from the Aby Facebook Club posted comments on their Facebook page, too. Helen Warn wrote: “Is it true that you are selling purebred Abyssinian kittens? If so, what is the name of the breeder?” and their response to her was, “You can call our Store at Lognes to get this information those kittens were borned in France in the 62th department. You can come and visit the kittens, talk to our staff, they’ll be happy to guide you and answer all of your questions: Animalis Lognes, ZAC du Mandinet – Allée des Palombes 77185 Lognes 0160950400″

Gilles also wrote to them: “Bonjour. J’ai vu 4 Abyssins LOOFés a votre magasin de Lognes. Il n’est pas fait mention de leur statut FELiv ni PKDEF.
Pourriez vous svp me communiquer le nom de l’élevage qui vous les a fourni? Je souhaite voir les géniteurs pour avoir une idée de ce à quoi il ressembleront. En vous remerciant par avance.”

Gilles did manage to discover who the breeder is: Bertand Grumetz, cattery name De La Planquette. He’s a breeder from the north of France and he’s registered with LOOF (Livre Officiel des Origines Félins), but he doesn’t seem to have a website. Evidently, he had a best kitten who won Best Variety last year:

HIRMA DE LA PLANQUETTE Femelle
Pere: COPYRIGHT DES FUSAINS LOOF 2012.23425
Mere: CHIPIE DE LA PLANQUETTE N° Id: 250268710211459
Exposant: BRUN Jade Eleveur: GRUMETZ Bertrand

That’s all the information I’ve been able to gather…but doesn’t this kitten look sad? When I saw two Aby kittens in a pet store in 2006, they at least looked happy. Of course, we didn’t have camera phones or Facebook back then (the phone I had back then wouldn’t even work in Asia!), so there was little I could about them…but Abys – any cats, really – should not be sold in pet stores. If this makes you as sad as it made Gilles and it makes me…why not stop by Animalis’ Facebook page and ask them about these kittens?

The saddest part is, even if someone could afford the €4400 to “rescue” these kittens, it would only encourage the pet store – and the breeder – to continue selling purebred Abys in pet stores. I just hope everything turns out well for these little guys.

Aby-a-Day – October 26: Cats use laptops too, they just type with their butts

As I’ve mentioned before, Angel really loves sitting on my laptop.

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If I don’t remember to close it, Angel will sit on it. She’s messed up a lot of my settings (once she changed accessibility preferences and I had enormous text that kept speaking to me – it took me two days to figure out how to turn that off), and she’s even managed to reorganise my desktop icons.

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And I know she’s not the only one; there’s an entire website devoted to cats on laptops.

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While I wish Angel wouldn’t sit on my laptop when it’s open, I know it’s my own damn fault for forgetting to close it. And at least she doesn’t barf on it, the way my Siamese Harri used to do. So it could be worse.

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Still…bathing on my open laptop seems a bit much.

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I fell asleep on the sofa and forgot to close the laptop…and woke up to Angel taking a full-on bath all over my keyboard.

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She was really going at it, too.

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This was a serious bath…

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…she was even doing the biting thing with what’s left of her little front teeth.

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There wasn’t much I could do about it…so I did what any cat owner would do. I grabbed my camera and documented the scene thoroughly.

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She was also completely unrepentant.

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I swear she’s actually smiling in this photo.

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“What?”

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“Oh, well, back to it, then…”

Aby-a-Day – October 25: “Funny” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Living with Abys is funny.

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Like when they decide to feed themselves to save you the trouble.

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Yeah, that’s hilarious!

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And this chewed up bag of treats wasn’t even found in the kitchen – it was found in my art room! I think they were trying to hide it somewhere we wouldn’t find it so they could snack at their convenience.

HA HA HA.

Aby-a-Day – October 24: Beef Brothers (Friday Flashback)

Once in a while, my husband will order meat from Omaha Steaks.

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As I posted back in May 2008, even though it comes in a thick styrofoam box, Gun-Hee still knew there was meat inside that package.

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Gun-Hee couldn’t wait for me to open the meat box when it was delivered.

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His half-brother Jacoby is no different.

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Even though it’s hermetically sealed in plastic and frozen so hard it could cause significant blunt force trauma if used as a weapon, somehow, Jake still knows it’s meat.

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Of course, Jake is also interested in the plastic…

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(He’s kind of got a thing about plastic. Don’t judge.)

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The dry ice the meat comes packed in is pretty awesome, too.

Fashion Friday Extra: Medical Pet Shirts from The Netherlands

Rebecca Rebecca Eagland posted photos of her young blue Aby, Moon, wearing a red onesie earlier this week on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club. Moon had surgery this week for neutering complicated by one undescended testicle and came home with stitches all up his abdomen, but instead of having to wear the Cone of Shame, Moon’s vet put a shirt on him instead.

This ingenious shirt (which is similar to the Thundershirt) comes from Medical Pet Shirts and was developed in The Netherlands by veterinarians as an alternative to the old-fashioned Elizabethan collar. Made in styles for dogs, cats and rabbits, these shirts are thoughtfully developed to protect pets during recovery. Moon’s shirt cost a little over £15.00; not as cheap as a cone, perhaps but much cheaper than the cost of restitching if he pulled his stitches out!

It seems to be working; Moon doesn’t seem to mind his shirt at all. The website says they have distributors in the US and Canada as well as all over Europe, the UK and Scandinavia, but since they are only available through veterinarians, I don’t really know how you can get your hands on one, yet.

I will say that if I’d have had one of their protective leg sleeves when Jacoby had his escalator accident, it would have been a lot easier keeping his bandages on! Those seem to be only made for dogs, though…at least, for now.

Aby-a-Day – October 21: The Escalator Incident (Part 4) (Cartoon Tuesday)

Here is the fourth page of the illustrated retelling of Jacoby’s escalator accident.

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Page 1 can be found here
Page 2 is here.
And Page 3 is here.

Stay tuned for the conclusion next week!

I didn’t have a good photo of a taxi cab, so I used this one by Emmanuel Amador on Flickr, which is used with a Creative Commons license.

And the last drawing of Jake is based on this photo I took while he was being worked on (and while I was helping hold him still). I honestly wasn’t being millennial and taking photos to post on Facebook; I got my phone out to check Jake’s weight so the doctor could sedate him without having to move him to the scale. While I was checking his weight, I went, “Oh, hey…I should get a photo,” so I took three. If I didn’t keep track of the cats’ weight on my iPhone, I wouldn’t have any photos at all.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – October 20: Are those treats? Can I have them? (Hipstamatic Monday)

Angel may be a skittish, easily intimidated little Aby most of the time, but bring out the treats and she becomes fearless!

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She is extremely food motivated.

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She will do anything for a bit of food. She’ll stand up to Tessie, she’ll climb up your leg, she’ll even stand up on a cat tree (which isn’t as easy for her as it sounds, since she’s a little balanced impaired with her compromised depth perception).

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This is what she does when I offer her little hard, dried, crunchy treats.

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Just imagine what she does when I have raw meat, sushi, cocktail shrimp or anything else that’s really tasty!

Aby-a-Day – October 18: “Rock” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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I have this really cool rock that I got at some point when I was in high school. It usually lives in my bathroom with some metal Aby figures.

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It’s some sort of California holey sandstone that’s had perfectly circular holes and pits drilled in it, over time, by water.

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It’s a really cool-looking rock.

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Even Jacoby thinks so.

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And it gets even more cool-looking when I put a few pieces of his dry food in those little holes.

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Good times!

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It’s kind of a natural food puzzle toy!

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I hope this doesn’t mean Jake’s going to start trying to find food in the rock when it’s back where it belongs in the bathroom…

Aby-a-Day – October 17: Like father, like son (Flashback Friday)

Look at these photos of Jacoby and his father, GC Pellburn Scarface Cat Pacino, both taken by Chanan six years apart.

This is Scar in 2006.

This is Jake in 2012. Of course, they aren’t identical twins; Jake was three years old when his photo was taken while Scar was only one, and Scar was a whole male so he had the fuller jowls, but you can definitely see the family resemblance!

And, just for fun, here’s Jake’s mother, Ch. Instincts Santa Catalina of Pellburn, in a photo taken last year. Jake takes after his mother quite a bit, too!