Aby-a-Day – April 22: “Funny face” (Cartoon Tuesday)

For being such beautiful cats, Abys take a lot of less than beautiful photos. Not that they don’t love the camera, but…sometimes the camera just doesn’t love them.

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These are all based on actual photos of Abys I found on Facebook. There is one whose name I am not sure of, but the rest are Kiipi, Bella and Kumal, Yaro, Racy, Poupette, Jasmine, Ollie, Xapuri, Gaatsbi, Buttercup and Sophie.

Yes, they really DO all look like that!

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

Aby-a-Day – April 21: Daddy’s Little Helper (Hipstamatic Monday)

Remember, kids, when you adopt an Aby, you’re not just adopting a cat…

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…you’re adopting a constant companion who will help you with EVERYTHING. All. The. Time.

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My husband was working on detaching our IKEA Pax cabinets from the wall and from each other prior to the move.

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(And for the record, IKEA really only engineers these things one way. They’re great when you’re putting them together. Taking them apart? Not so much.)

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While my husband struggled with and swore at the stupid one-sided screws in the sides of the ironically-named Pax, Jacoby monitored the drill bits and guarded the screwdriver.

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Good work, Jake!

Aby-a-Day – April 20: Egg hunter

Happy Easter, everyone!

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I made a little kitty Easter basket with plastic eggs from the grocery store filled with UT treats and dry food.

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Plastic eggs these days have little holes in the bottom, which is great, because cats can smell the treats through those holes. They also have hinges so the tops and bottoms stay together. Yes, there has been vast improvement in plastic egg technology since I was a kid!

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Jacoby was instantly interested in the basket of eggs.

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Most of the eggs were filled with Royal Canin UT dry, but in the greens ones I put his special UT Support treats.

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Naturally, Jake opened the green eggs first.

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It was a lot of fun watching him root around in the basket to find the eggs with the “good” treats in them.

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Jake loved his Easter basket.

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I mean, he really loved it.

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Happy Easter, everyone!

Aby-a-Day – April 18: Strange Bedfellows (Friday Flashback)

Once upon a time, Angel and Jacoby would share beds and sleep together.

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It was super adorable.

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I had such high hopes for them becoming BFFs.

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Look how cute they were!

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Sadly, it didn’t last. Around the time Jake turned one, Angel decided she didn’t like him anymore.

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After that, the best we could hope for was an uneasy detante.

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Jake keeps trying, though!

Aby-a-Day – April 17: À la Carte

It’s well illustrated that Jacoby loves the cart in our building. And even Angel has been known to investigate the cart when we’ve brought in groceries after a shopping trip.

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This is a pretty unusual sight…Jake was happily perched on the cart (which he does so that I don’t take it back downstairs without giving him his ride)…

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…but to my amazement, Angel hopped up there to join him!

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She sat there with him for a long time, watching us put away the groceries.

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I was amazed: no hissing, no growling…I don’t think Angel would have stayed on there if I’d tried to give her a ride, though! Maybe someday we’ll try that. Baby steps. For now, it’s enough that she sat on the cart with Jake.

Aby-a-Day – April 15: Nature abhors a vacuum (Cartoon Tuesday)

This actually happened. I was vacuuming the apartment, scattering cats in my wake. Until I got to the bedroom. Jacoby was sleeping on the bed in there.

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He just raised his head and stared at me with the most offended expression on his face you could possibly ever imagine.

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

Aby-a-Day – April 14: My big 5-year-old boy (Hipstamatic Monday)

Somebody’s turning FIVE today!

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Whose birthday could it be..?

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Why, it’s Jacoby’s, of course!

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Unsurprisingly, Jake was eager to eat his delicious cat food cake.

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The cheerfully burning candle did not deter him in the slightest.

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I guess after five birthdays, he’s become an expert at eating around the candle.

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Jake didn’t even get one curly whisker!

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After cake, it was time for his present – a Whack-a-Mouse game!

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Jake was so excited…

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…he knocked it off the cat tree!

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Oops!

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I guess this is more of an on-the-floor game.

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Every time you give a cat – even an Aby – a new toy, there’s that moment of truth…will kitty play with it?

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Well, I needn’t have worried.

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It was such a hit that Angel had to check it out, too!

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Jake and Angel actually played with it together for a little while.

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Without any hissing! I wonder if that was Angel’s birthday present to Jake?

Aby-a-Day – April 13: Cat Fanciers’ Federation

Last Saturday, Jacoby and I went to a CFF (Cat Fanciers’ Federation) cat show.

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The CFF is one of the oldest feline registries in the United States, but it’s also one of the smallest. Originally called the Atlantic Cat Club, it was once a part of the CFA, but broke off and became their own club in 1919.

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The territoty of the CFF is rather small: They only have shows in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. But that also makes it very close-knit and friendly.

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But the most fun thing about the show was, we got to see Buddy, Stan and Patty. You may recall Buddy (JazzyAbys Buddy Rich) earned his Grand Premiership in CFA back in August 2012, at the show at the Mansfield Holiday Inn. Well, Buddy is working on his Grand Champion Alter title in CFF.

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And he almost made it, too. Despite finishing first in an Allbreed Alter ring, Buddy ended the day needing one point to Grand!

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Part of the reason Buddy didn’t make that last point was that he wasn’t able to be judged in two rings since his humans were judging, too. In Stan and Patty’s rings, Jake was the only Aby.

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And it was great fun to have Stan and Patty judge Jake for the first time. Ever since Gun-Hee’s first show when he was a kitten up against Fats Waller, I’ve been in awe of their cats. Wally was CFA’s Best Aby of 2008!

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A good time all around in Patty’s ring! Wave to the people, Jake!

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For his first CFF show, Jake did really well. He was 6th Best Shorthair Alter, 6th Best Allbreed Alter, 3rd Best Shorthair Alter and 3rd Best Allbreed Alter in his four rings.

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Since he was the only Novice Abyssinian, he earned a winner’s ribbon in each ring. In CFF, it takes four winner’s ribbons to become a Champion in the Alter class…so now, as soon as I file his paperwork, Jake’ll be a Champion in his third cat registry!

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This was also our first cat show since the Westchester show last November.

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I think Jake kind of missed going to shows. He had a good time hanging out and meeting people. Unlike last year, though, he didn’t win the Spectator’s Choice Award (I think he came in second).

Aby-a-Day – April 12: “Ginormous” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Moving house is a ginormous undertaking for cats and humans alike. We’ve finally put our old apartment on the market and our Realtor held several open houses over the weekend. He came over this past Monday to go over the pros and cons of the different bidders and discuss our next moves.

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He sat on one of our window seats to try it out, and during the conversation Jacoby hopped up on the neighbouring cat tree to listen.

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Which just goes to show you that you cannot make a major life decision without an Aby’s help!

Aby-a-Day – April 11: Aby Star (Fashion Friday)

My Poutine Press Abyssinian Cat Star T-Shirt came in the mail on Friday, just in time to wear to the CFF cat show!

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It’s still a bit chilly here in Boston, so I needed some long sleeves. I paired it with a leopard print shirt. I think it works well.

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Our friend Bille Axell took this photo of Jacoby and me. Not bad, eh?

Aby-a-Day – April 10: Who are those kittens, anyway?

Yesterday’s post showed some adorable little Aby babies.

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There are three girls in this litter – very special as it’s uncommon to have a litter with no boys! They were born almost a month ago, and their parents are Meg’s Romeow and Stan and Patty’s Della. Meg calls them The Supremes (Florence, Mary and Diana).

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Della is such a good mom!

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And she is so proud of her babies!

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Della kept hopping in and out of the kitten box while I was taking photos as if to say, “Aren’t they wonderful!?”

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Oh, yes, Della…they are!

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Yesterday, Sparkle asked, “how many more days old do they have to be before they start really causing trouble?”

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And the answer is, they’re already there! There’s a reason Meg has to keep them behind bars!

Aby-a-Day – April 8: “Let sleeping cats lie” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Now I know some non-Abys love kitty beds, and some Abys hate them, but by and large this is what I’ve seen happen:

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Tessie really would rather be in a box than in a posh bed.Here’s a random real-life example taken a couple of days ago, so you tell me:

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And yes, the two Abys in this cartoon are Jacoby’s Uncle Clancy and his Cousin Seamus, each in their own little beds as seen in last Saturday’s “Family” post!

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

Aby-a-Day – April 6: Thank you for riding the Commuter Rail…

Jacoby and I went to a CFF show with Meg yesterday in Attleboro. This was a wonderful location for a show because not only does Meg live in Attleboro, but there’s an MBTA commuter rail stop right there, too. Meg takes the train from there every day to get to work. So, we had a simple morning planned: get on the train at South Station at 6:45am, go to Attleboro, meet Meg, grab some breakfast and go to the showhall.

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Nice and simple, right?

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Not so much.

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It started out simply enough. Jake was in his stroller, and we tried to get in the first car, but it was closed so we settled into the “entryway” at the front of the second car. I parked the stroller in the area where people with bicycles typically sit, because we were in a double-decker car with steps to the upper and lower seating areas.

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It was early and Jake is a talkative cat. He was meowing a bit, because he was excited to be going somewhere.

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After a couple of stops, the conductor came up to me and asked, “Is there something wrong with your cat?” I looked at him and said, “No. He’s just talking.”
“Well, people have been complaining about the noise.”

Really? Most of you know what meowing sounds like. It’s not that loud, especially on a moving train…and there were about three people on the train that early on a Saturday. There were two men with bikes sitting in our area, and we had been chatting about bikes and such; they were the closest to Jake and they weren’t disturbed. I think the “complaining” was coming from the conductor himself. But I just looked contrite and said, “I’m sorry…I can’t really stop him, what can I do?”

“You’ll need to move into the first car,” the conductor said. “Okay, that’s awesome,” I said, explaining, “I actually wanted to sit in the front car because it’s where I need to get off, but it was closed.”

The conductor didn’t seem to care. All he said was, “Okay, this will be your exit door, the one on the right.”

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So we settled in to our new seats. It was an uneventful ride, apart from the fact that there were no station announcements, and I had to track where we were using an app on my phone. But that was not a problem and as we approached Attleboro, I closed Jake back up in his stroller, shouldered the show cage bag, and stood in the door the conductor had assigned to me.

And…nothing happened. I waited for him to come and open it. He didn’t. I called for him. Nothing. I even tried to open it myself, which didn’t work. Then, to my dismay, the train started to move!

My first reaction was to call Meg. “You are not going to fricking believe this,” I said. “You’re going to South Attleboro,” she said. “I’m on my way to meet you.”

“Yeah,” I said, “But that’s not all – the conductor didn’t open the door for me! I couldn’t get off!”

As I was talking to her, I was lugging Jake’s stroller and the show cage bag up the steps and through the second car (the show bag kept getting stuck on the seats as the aisle was very narrow), looking for the conductor. I saw him at the other end of the car and called out, “Conductor! I needed to get off at Attleboro! You told me that was my door, but you never came to open it! I missed my stop!”

He looked at me coolly and said, “Oh. I thought you were getting off at Providence” (Providence is the end of the line, and is Zone 8).

“I gave you a Zone 7 ticket. Why would you think I was getting off at Providence?” I growled. (There are only two stops in Zone 7 on the line: Attleboro and South Attleboro. So there was not only no way I was going to Providence, but there weren’t that many options for where I was going).

“If you don’t lower your voice, I’ll have to call the police,” the conductor said. Um, what? I was using my “train voice” in order to be heard over the sound of the train, but I was far from shouting…yet.

“You told me that was my door. It was bad enough the stops weren’t announced, but you told me that you were going to let me out there and you didn’t.” I reiterated. “I had someone waiting to pick me up in Attleboro!”

“Well, you can either get off at the next stop, or you can go to Providence and wait for the train to turn around,” was all he said. No apology, nothing but an “it sucks to be you, huh” attitude.

“No, I can’t – I have to BE somewhere in Attleboro. I had a friend waiting to pick me up! Now she has to drive out of her way to get me in South Attleboro!” Oh, yeah, Meg…she was still on the phone. “Hey,” I said to her, “Yeah the guy thought I was going to Providence, can you believe that?” Meg made a comment and I responded, “YEAH, I KNOW! I gave him a 7 ticket! I have no idea why he thought I was going to Providence…wait, hold on,” I turned back to the conductor. “Which door are you going to open at South Attleboro? I just want to make sure I don’t miss THIS stop!”

“If you don’t stop harassing me, I’m going to call the police,” he said. Seriously? I actually shook my head in disbelief. “You’re going to call the police, for what? I’m not harassing you – you made me move to a different car, you told me what door I was to use to exit, and you made me miss my stop! And I’m harassing you!? What’s your name and badge number?” Now, for the record, I was angry, but calm. And when I get angry, I get very articulate. So I wasn’t swearing or calling him names. I was just trying to get him to at least acknowledge that he’d done something wrong.

“I’m not giving you anything, ma’am. I am calling the police.” Oh, now he’d done it. They HAVE to give you their badge number if you ask them for it. I turned to the phone I still hadn’t hung up. “Hey Meg, he says he’s calling the cops because I am harassing him! Yeah, I know. Oh, and he won’t tell me his name or badge number, either.”

By this time, the train was slowing down at South Attleboro, and those of us who were exiting at that stop were gathered in the vestibule. The conductor left, presumably to call the authorities on me. Not surprisingly, the other passengers had seen what had transpired and were on my side. One woman handed me her business card, telling me that if I needed someone to corroborate my story, she would stand up for me as a witness. Another man was looking out the window, and he said, “I don’t see any cop cars out there. You’re fine.” The train stoped and the conductor reappeared. We got the hell off the train, and as soon as I was on the platform, I turned around, looked the conductor in the eye, and said, “You’re going to get fired.”

Then I turned back to Meg on the phone. “Okay, he was lying. He didn’t call the cops. I’m off the train at South Attleboro.” Meg assured me she was less than 5 minutes away. Luckily, the rain had stopped, but it was still chilly. The more I thought about the situation, the angrier I got: what if I hadn’t had someone to pick me up at a different stop? What if I was going to walk to whatever it was I was going to? I take the same train with Jake to Mansfield, which is two stops before Attleboro, and when I get there I take the hotel shuttle to the Holiday Inn and the show hall – what if I had been going to Mansfield? I’d have been stranded!

So I called the MBTA Customer Concerns Line, and told the woman who was working the story as I’ve told it here. And she told me, basically, that the conductor was dead wrong on every count. We developed a theory that for some reason, he just didn’t like the fact that there was a cat on his 6:45am Saturday morning train. We did nothing to bother him beyond simply riding the train, but he relocated us and then he neglected to let us off the train (or even ask what our stop actually was). Needless to say, I filed a report, and I intend on following it up tomorrow. I also Tweeted this:

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Hey, people follow that #mbta hashtag! And the #strollercat one, too. So you never know. And if you are on the MBTA, keep an eye out for an average-built, 5’8″ Hispanic man in his mid-to-late 30′s who looks a bit like Peter Lorre and has a huge chip on his shoulder. He’s probably the same conductor.

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Luckily, we had plenty of time to get to the show, and we didn’t miss a thing. The remainder of the day was excellent – Jake did well, we got to see Stan, Patty and Buddy (who took Best in an Allbreed ring), and we had a great time. But it sure didn’t start out that way!

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Jake sums our morning trip with one little pink tongue. Yep.

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Thank goodness we had an uneventful and relaxing trip home, with a lovely and polite conductor!

Aby-a-Day – April 5: “Family” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Jacoby has two families. His birth family and his home family. This is Jake with his mother Catalina, littermate brother Dillin and his sister Scarlett.

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This is Jake’s brother Dillin (GC Pellburn Johnny Dillinger) as an adult. Can you see the resemblance?

Dillin just granded in CCA (the Canadian Cat Association) last weekend, and he was shown by Sherry’s niece, who won Best Junior Exhibitor at that show! Not a bad day at the show. The Aby in this photo is actually Jaspurr, Dillin’s son and Jake’s nephew.

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Jake has an older brother (same parents, different litter), too: here is GC Pellburn Buddy Guy Slippin’ In with Sherry…you can see that Buddy Guy shares Jake’s affinity for playing dress up!

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Jake also has nieces and nephews. This is Siren with Dillin’s kittens.

This is another of Jake’s nephews, all grown up! His name is Bowie…doesn’t he look like Jake? I actually did a doubletake when I saw this photo, they look so similar. Bowie is Dillin’s son and Jaspurr’s littermate brother.

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This is Jake’s Uncle Whitey (GPr Pellburn White Lightning). He is a littermate brother of Jake’s father Scar.

The red Aby in this photo is another uncle of Jake’s. Clancy is actually one of Scar’s half-brothers (their father is GC Haro’s Jake of Eszencia – yes, “Jake” is also a family name). The ruddy is a brand new Grand Premier (!) and a cousin of Jake’s: Eszencia Sensational Seamus. Jake and Seamus share a great-great grandfather, El Qahira’s Elleon.

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And here is Jake’s father, the late, great GC Pellburn Scarface Cat Pacino, in a photo taken by Chanan in 2006.

I love this photo of Scar because, 6 years later, Chanan took Jake’s photos against that same colour background! Like father, like son, eh?

Abyssinians are all, pretty much, related to each other and with resources like ERoS and The Abyssinian Homepage’s Pedigree Database, it’s easy to discover to whom any Aby is related and how close that relationship is. For example, my friend Molly’s cattery is Tigerflower, and sure enough, Jake has some Tigerflower cats in his pedigree: Rah! Rah! Rudyard, Camilla, Tex Ann, Gordenia and Magic Dragon. The closest is Camilla -> Murteza’s Rambo Dio -> Murteza’s Tosca of Mellowmews -> JP Morgan -> Zehnders Best Bette of Devande -> Zehnders Cuba of Instincts -> Instincts Rasberry of Abysills -> Instincts Santa Catalina of Pellburn -> Jake

Molly told me this about Jake’s Tigerflower ancestors: Rudyard was named “Rah! Rah!” because I had never shown a ruddy before and thought he needed a little boost. He beat a national runner in his first show, and granded easily. Tex Ann was a wonderful red, named for a Ft. Lauderdale socialite, (I lived there at the time) – her name was real, and I liked it. Wain Harding agreed to a breeding between Tex Ann, whom he liked, and his National winner, Bastis Flash Gordon. Pick kitten was thusly “Gordenia”…who granded and retired with a fabulous pet owner here in Orlando with whom I am still in touch. Magic Dragon was gorgeous, super-friendly blue male, eagerly adopted when neutered, by a Maine Coon breeder in Ft. Lauderdale who wanted
him for hugs and “contrast”. He subsequently gave her Maine Coons aerobic lessons, and they all lost much-needed weight…while he ate all of their (5-6?) meals a day and turned into a fat Aby!

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I don’t know Angel’s pedigree, since she’s a rescue, but I suspect she’s from Abytopia and that her littermate sister is Abytopia’s Colette. If that is true, then she and Jake are related through Van Dyke’s Abi Antonia of Haro, who is Jake’s paternal great-great grandmother and Angel’s paternal great-great-great-great grandmother. They’re also related through Tinbats Morgan’s Passing, a male who shows up in many Abys’ pedigrees. He’s Jake’s maternal great-great-great-great grandfather and Angel’s paternal great-great grandfather. Amusingly, if Angel and Colette are in fact sisters, then both Jake and Angel have Tigerflower Tex Ann of Hollowhills and Tigerflower Gordenia in their pedigrees! The Aby world is small indeed!

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And let’s not forget Tessie and Kylie! Tessie has a silver Aby grandmother, so she and Jake are likely very distantly related. Kylie, on the other hand…she and Jake are only related through their humans!