Aby-a-Day – May 22: Jake’s Finnish crown (Fashion Friday)

Because “Jacoby with a Finnish cat toy on his head” didn’t have nearly the same ring…


Ha ha, get it? RING? Because it’s one of the crocheted rings that Sanna sent us…oh, all right.


I put it on Jake’s head because I could, and because it was made of metallic gold thread, it looks like a little crown. Sort of.


Heavy is the head that wears the gold crocheted cat ring toy?

Abys in Need – Rocky in PA and Two Gentlemen in the UK

A couple of Abys need homes…first this fine American fellow:

“This is Rocky, he is available for adoption through Northeast Abyssinian Rescue. I am fostering him in the greater Philadelphia area. He is a beautiful boy full of Abytude who loves to give me lots of head bumps and purrs. He is a bit on the high strung side and will do best in an adult only home or one without small children. His thoughts on dogs are unknown. He enjoys visits from my Abys so I believe he will do fine with other cats. He is 7 years old, just had a dental and is in good health. If you’re interested in Rocky please email us at NEAbyRescue@yahoo.com and we will send you an application.”

And then, in England, we have these two elderly gents:

“Two 15 year old neutered males desperately needing a new home.

There are two 15 year old Abys in very urgent need of a new home as their owner is getting remarried and his new partner is allergic to cats. The Abys are currently in a cattery awaiting their new home. One is blue and one is sorrel. One has IBS well controlled with diet, and the other arthritis. The cats are in Gloucestershire, but the owner is prepared to deliver them if necessary.

If you feel you could offer these two a home for their retirement, please contact the Abyssinian Club Welfare Officer, Harriet, by e-mail: welfare@charriet.co.uk or ring her on 0208 669 1655

Aby-a-Day – May 21: Milestones and Mutuality

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Tessie flying from Portland, OR to Boston to come live with us.


She still doesn’t like Angel…but lately they’ve been tolerating each other pretty well.


Angel still doesn’t really trust her, though. But in an odd way, Tessie is probably her closest friend. At least, I see her in proximity to Tessie a lot more than I see her with Jacoby or Kylie.


Kylie and Tessie are probably the closest of the lot.


Jake likes all the girls, but he gravitates towards humans (me, specifically). The girls like to be around Jake when he’s sleepy…when he’s in a playful mood, not so much.


Angel tends to be a loner, although she likes other cats and wants to be friends, she’s somewhat socially inept.

Aby-a-Day – May 19: “They call me Aby driver, once upon a pair of wheels…” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is based in part on this photo from the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook.


And it’s partly based on this expression tutorial, brought to you courtesy of the artist who does Lackadaisy. Since it’s Cartoon Tuesday, if you have any interest in cats, the Roaring 20’s, incredible artwork, pig farmers, or old photographs, you really should check it out. Of course, this has little to do with my cartoon, per se…but there are cats who drive in that cartoon, too.

Seriously, though. Awesome webcomic. And I suspect Viktor may be a Somali – there’s a photo where his complexion is described as “Ruddy”…Just sayin’.

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

Aby-a-Day – Rollin’ down the hallway (Miniature Monday)

These are a little blurry, because I took them while I was walking and pushing the cart…but they’re too cute not to share.


Jacoby loves to ride the cart when I take it back downstairs, as you know.


So the last time we took a cart ride, Jake’s mini-me came along too.


Jake didn’t seem to mind sharing.


In fact, he seemed to like the company.


“Okay Mom, let’s go!”


“Vroom, vroom!”


For a brief moment, Jake’s mini-me even rode on Jake’s back.


“Okay buddy, back down you go.”


I think Jake is having as much fun with his mini-me as I am!

Aby-a-Day – May 17: Best Friends Forever

One other thing that happened at the Seacoast show was that Baby Love, Meg’s girlkitten, and a little boy started a beautiful relationship.


Neither of them realise it yet, of course. But they will.


But a family with a young boy came to look at Meg’s kitten and decided to add little Baby Love to their family.


The boy was about three or four, and Baby Love is 5 months old, so the two of them will grow up together.


I know everyone talks about the timeless bond that is “a boy and his dog,” but there is nothing quite like the love of a boy and his cat. I have a friend in Sweden who has a 15½ year old cat and a 12 year old son. Pyret, the cat, follows her boy everywhere and watches him when he’s on the computer, and the boy basically sees Pyret as a sort of older feline sister and he uses a photo of Pyret as his online avatar.


This little boy and this kitten have a wonderful friendship ahead of them.


And of course, my friend’s cat was a tiny barn kitten born to a feral mother cat. This little boy will be growing up with a kitten with 160 years of breeding for personality and attachment to humans behind her.


Is it wrong that I’m a little jealous of this little kid?

Aby-a-Day – May 16: “Mystical” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Throughout history, cats have been associated with mystical powers.



You see that all the time: Cats are mystical, mysterious, magical.


Oh, yeah.


Yeah they are.


They totally are. They’re absolutely other-worldly.

Aby-a-Day – May 15: Jacoby and Russell (Friday Flashback)

Russell Webb is one of my favourite judges. Not only is he a lot of fun to watch – especially his finals – but he likes Jacoby.


In fact, I think that Russell has never not used Jake in a final when he was judging – at least not yet (knock on wood). Even before Jake Granded, Russell named him 9th Best Cat in Premiership.




Russell also likes Abys, and it’s not unusual for him to choose Jake and another Aby for a final, like he did in 2012 when he had Jake and his cousin Taz in his final at Seacoast. Judges do have some cats they just like, and when they see them, they tend to use them in their finals. Danny the Siamese is one of these cats that a lot of judges like.


(Of course, him hugging the judge when they come to get him from his cage doesn’t hurt!)

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This was the Mansfield show in 2012.


At the Seacoast show in 2013, Russell gave him a Best Allbreed Cat in Premiership rosette.


I was thrilled! Russell has actually placed Jake 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Seacoast shows.


Sometimes I wonder if Jake remembers Russell.


I think he does.


I know he remembers Iris Zinck, and he’s seen Russell so many times I’m sure he knows him.


This was Boxborough, and Russell placed him Second in his ring (which I believe was an Allbreed ring).

At the first Nemo show, Russell again named Jake his Best Cat in Premiership, this time in a Specialty (shorthairs only) ring.

(These photos were taken by Bille Axell – I love them!)


Then, last year at Seacoast, we ran into Russell again.


And, once again, Jake did well in his ring.


He was Second Best Allbreed Cat in Premiership! He was also Second Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership at the second Nemo show, but I seem not to have gotten any photos of that.


It was a pretty busy show.


Which brings us to the most recent Seacoast show. You can tell Jake and Russell are old pals by now.


Notice Russell’s hands-off presentation.


I just adore watching Russell describe Jake and Abyssinians. I actually love watching him describe all the breeds.


I think they’re both superstars!

Aby-a-Day – May 14: Other Abys at the Seacoast Show

The fun thing about cat shows is meeting other Aby people. At the Seacoast show, I met Matt Baker from Diva Abyssinians in Baltimore.

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He brought two Abys with him. One was a Ruddy girl, CH Diva’s Next Best Thing.

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Isn’t she pretty?

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She looks like a kitten, but she’s 2½ years old!

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Matt calls her “Cuddles” – look at those grabby Aby hands!

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The other Aby he brought was CH Diva’s Ulterior Motive, an 11 month old red.

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He is the son of son of GC, BW, RW Shera Len Killian Red.

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Now here’s the fun part: We saw his father back when he was a kitten in 2011 at the Groton, CT show where Jacoby Granded!) Like I always like to say, the Aby world is small indeed.

Aby-a-Day – May 12: What are we going to do about the other generation? (Cartoon Tuesday)

This didn’t actually happen…but oh, I wanted it to. Originally, Meg was going to bring another Aby, Ceylon Sailor (aka “Slim”) to run Agility. But he wasn’t feeling well, so she brought the kittens instead. I wanted Meg to try out the kittens – I wanted to see if they actually ran around, or if they acted like Jacoby and just posed on everything.


The Agility ring was really busy on Sunday, so we never got the chance to try. So…here is what I think would have happened…

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

Abys in Need – Alexy is still in Salisbury, MA

You may recall that last week, I posted about poor, 10 year old Alexy, whose family moved to England.

Well, she’s still there. According to the email I got via the Adopt-an-Aby network: “Alexy is a ten-year old, female, purebred Abyssinian. She was given up for adoption on May 2nd or 3rd because her family moved to England. Alexy had only lived with this one family during her lifetime and has not adjusted well to being at the shelter. She is a sweet, gentle cat, but is quite unhappy. She is in a cage all the time with little room to move around and cowers at the back of the cage when approached. The shelter had been told by the family that Alexy was friendly, social, and healthy.

She is at the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (MRFRS), 63 Elm Street (Rt. 110), Salisbury, MA 01952, Telephone (978) 462-0760. Her photo and information regarding her are not included on their website which shows the cats at the shelter available for adoption.”

Come on, New England! Doesn’t anyone want an Aby?

Aby-a-Day – May 11: World’s smallest show cat (Miniature Monday)

Of course I had to take some photos of the Jacoby mini-me while I was at the Seacoast show.

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We visited the Arubacat booth, where he tested out their excellent cat trees.

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He also tried out a scratching post.


Then, even though he wasn’t entered, he stood on the judge’s table!


(And look who’s in the background!)

Also, remember the other custom ball-jointed doll I was having made by Ana VonBorowsky? Well, he is finished, and she is shipping him to me today! I absolutely cannot wait to see him in person. Of course, he’ll be featured in this blog when he gets to Boston, but if you want to see a few photos of him – and his wardrobe – before then, check out Ana’s gallery on DeviantArt!

Aby-a-Day – May 10: Happy Mother’s Day to me…(Selfie Sunday)

Jacoby is having another UT flare-up.


I’ve never considered myself a maternal person. I was Daddy’s little girl, a complete tomboy, and I hated dolls.


I had a stuffed kitty. I dressed her up and put her in the doll stroller. And yeah, I was seriously hating that pink dress.


I have always been a cat person. Always. And I do feel like a cat mom. It’s not the same as being a human mom. In some ways, our relationship is more that of being partners or equals than being a parent and a child. But when they’re sick…


…I feel like a mom.


Jake started showing his classic UT symptom, going back and forth between the boxes and squatting in other places, at about 6:50 on Thursday night. Our vet closes at 7pm, so I wasn’t able to take him right in, but I was able to make an appointment first thing the next morning.


We went in, and they did the usual things, took a urine sample, and gave us all the usual medicines.


We took the bus home. On the way Jake was being so cute riding so nicely on the seat, that I had to take some selfies.


They didn’t really turn out that well, but I like them. I think they capture how we both were feeling.


And speaking of capturing a feeling…this is Jake after his first dose of Buprenex, which we keep on hand in case he has a flare up. Jake likes Buprenex!

So, if you consider yourself a cat mom…Happy Cat Mother’s Day!

Aby-a-Day – May 9: “Impressive” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

Jacoby started showing late in life compared to most show cats. He started showing when he was almost 2, and now he’s 6 years old. At the Seacoast show last weekend, he made four out of ten finals, placing 10th, 8th and 3rd best Allbreed and 5th best in a Specialty Shorthair ring.

Some would say this is impressive. Most show cats retire by the time they're 2 years old.

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However, Jake is nothing compared to a Siamese in the North Atlantic Region. GPD, NW, RW Minghou Native Dancer of Tayohme, a seal-point Siamese neuter, is almost 11 years old, and he is still a regular fixture at cat shows.

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Seen here with his owner, Sandra Hogan (in blue), and his breeder, Pat Muise, Danny has been at least a Regional winner, if not a National winner, in CFA every year he’s been shown. He is the first Siamese to earn the “Grand of Distinction” title.


When a judge comes to take Danny out of his cage, Danny goes right for the shoulder and hugs the judge as he’s taken out. Here he is with Russell Webb.


Even though he’s 11, he’s really clear and his body is really light for a Siamese. As Siamese age, they tend to get darker, and their body colour tends to blend with their points. Danny has managed to keep a pale body. He’s also managed to keep his boyish figure all these years.


(Notice who’s in the background, waiting his turn!)

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At the show last weekend, Danny had a cake in his honour, because he was a national winner for the last CFA show season.

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Like any celebrity, Danny was asked to put his pawprint in the frosting of his cake.

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I think he really enjoyed that.

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It was really cute, too. I don’t know who got that piece of the cake – probably his owner.

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Both his owner and his breeder are really proud of him. And I think his breeder is really happy to be able to see him all the time.


Danny is an impressive Siamese, and an impressive Grand Premier. Some people think Jake is too old to show…but if an 11 year old Siamese can keep showing – and making finals – why shouldn’t Jake? His colour has only gotten better as he’s aged…although I don’t take him to enough shows to earn a Regional or National CFA title, at the age of 6 he still holds his own in the show ring.

Aby-a-Day – May 8: Jacoby’s first rosettes (Friday Flashback)

At the Seacoast show this past weekend, Jacoby did quite well: He was 10th, 8th, and 3rd Best Allbreed Cat in Premierhip and then he was 5th Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership. Not bad at all, considering he’s 6 years old! I started showing Jacoby in cat shows later in life. His very first show was in February 2011, a couple of months before his second birthday.


I think it is very cool that Roger Lawrence was the first judge to award a rosette to Jake in a cat show after he collected all his purple ribbons.


Roger’s retired from judging now, but he was a legendary Aby breeder in his time. He founded Tailsend cattery which was one of Sherry’s inspirations when she started breeding.


I remember watching Roger when he judged Jake. He greeted Jake with a “Hello, Mr. Aby,” and commented that, even though he has and has bred other cats, he’ll never be without an Aby in his life, and at that time he was living with four of them. He checked Jake over, explaining to the spectators that Abys should be colourful cats with two or three distinct bands of ticking on each hair – and four if possible! He commented on Jake’s clear coat when he looked at his neck, meaning he doesn’t have any bars or necklaces left over from long-ago tabby ancestors. As he put the permanent and the purple ribbon on Jake’s cage, he told him that he “reminded him of his Aby, Gomer.”


He was a wonderful judge who explained what he was doing and what he was looking for in each breed. He also told us, “back in the day, Premiers were not as good as Champions. You neutered or spayed the subpar cats and showed them as Premiers. But things have changed, and today Premier cats aren’t second-class anymore. Any one of these Premiers today could compete as Champions.”


He got another set of rosettes from Barbara Sumner later that same day.


It ended up being one of his best shows, I think – definitely his best show before he Granded. He was best Allbreed Premier and best Shorthair Premier in two rings!


While we’re talking history, I happened upon something fun: 1997’s Best Abys in Championship. #2 is Jake’s maternal great-great-great grandfather Byblos St. Lawrence of Instincts! In the photo, he looks like he’s outside on a harness and leash so obviously that kind of thing is in Jake’s blood.

Aby-a-Day – May 7: “Cinco de Mayo makes me long for a world in which all holidays are conveniently named after the dates on which they fall.” (Cartoon Thursday)

In my defence…this is all Kim’s fault. She showed me this photo, and well…


…yeah, I could not resist. However, the perspective was kind of fun to play with.

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

Aby-a-Day – May 6: Kittens are our future

You may have noticed my posts are a bit out of order this week. This is because of my cartoon. The one I was going to do, which was already late because it was based on this weekend’s cat show, got bumped to next week because I came up with a topical idea for this week. This morning.


So, Wordless Wednesday was on Tuesday, and Cartoon Tuesday will – hopefully – be tomorrow.


In the meantime, here are the two kittens from yesterday.


Their names are Baby Love and Beezer, and they are from two different litters of Meg’s. They’re about a week apart in age; Baby Love, the girl, is the older kitten. She is the one who was challenging – and hissing! – at Jacoby in yesterday’s photos.


Meg said she was protecting her little brother from the big bad boy Aby next door.


Oh, he was scared of her, all right.


Her little brother Beezer looks just like Jake did when he was a kitten. Meg and I think that he’ll grow up to look a lot like him. I just love it when Meg has kittens!