Aby-a-Day – Day 212 of 365

I don’t usually like taking photos with the flash. I don’t like the way the lighting and colours and shadows look in a photo taken with a flash, and, especially with photos of cats, there’s a better than average chance you’re going to end up with glowing lazor eyes. But there is one thing that flash photography does really, really well: stopping action you can’t see with the naked eye.

Like what it looks like when a cat shakes his or her head. This is a thing which, when frozen, can be quite amusing.


Aby-a-Day – Day 211 of 365

For some reason, and I’m really not sure why, Jacoby seems to believe that he is immune to the rules the other cats need to obey. You know those basic, everyday rules, like stay off the kitchen counters?


Yeah, those rules.


They don’t apply to Jake. And when I figure out why that is, I’ll let you know.

Have Tiara, Will Travel – Moorea the Therapy Cat

I love this story about Moorea, a well-travelled therapy cat. It really inspires me to go out and practice more with Jake!

It also kind of inspires me to get him a kitty stroller like Moorea has. It seems like it would be awesome to take him out to visits in.

Aby-a-Day – Day 210 of 365

I’m really not sure why, but for some reason when Jacoby rides the T, he gets the uncontrollable urge to lick his chops.



It even hits him before he actually gets on the train!


Aby-a-Day – Day 209 of 365

Jacoby’s enthusiasm is contagious sometimes. Even a simple ride on the T turns into a fun adventure.


Angel’s Long Lost Twin Brother?

I was randomly browsing the purebred Abyssinians on Catster the other day to see how many cats I needed to click through to get to either Jacoby or Angel (I only needed to click through 7 Abys to get to Angel’s profile, which was kind of cool), and I came across Jackson aka One-Eyed Jack, a red Abyssinian in Milpitas, CA.

Needless to say, I was stunned by his similarity to Angel – they’ve even lost the same eye! She’s also from the Bay Area, though I’m not sure where (she was fostered in Pleasanton), and what I know of her story is also very much like Jack’s:

“A friend of mom’s had an aunt who was a breeder. Her colony was getting too large and was overrun with herpes. Jack and Ray share a father, and they both received ocular herpes from their mothers.”

I wonder if they’re related? It’s entirely possible.

Also, check out this photo of Travertine, a 15 year old red boy in Altadena, CA, and his Thanksgiving turkey…well, it’s almost his, anyway. If that isn’t a classic Aby photo, I don’t know what is! After all, as I once said, I totally believe that, of all cat breeds, it would be an Abyssinian who got stuck inside a turkey.

Aby-a-Day – Day 208 of 365

My husband commented that our other two cats, Kylie and Tessie, must be jealous of The Abys because they don’t get a “day” of their own. And he may be right. So here are Kylie and Tessie…with Abyssinians.


Tessie with Angel at the vet. Usually, Tessie tends to bully Angel…but I guess at the vet, everyone bands together against the enemy.


Jacoby and Kylie are a little closer. They have so much in common: running in the hallway, cruising for treats, going to the park…


And, because I’m sure people wonder what it looks like…dinnertime chez us. As you can see, Jake really loves his dinner!

Aby-a-Day – Day 207 of 365

One of the fun things about going out with Jacoby is that I never know what we’re going to do while we’re out. We always have fun, not matter what. It’s like being the stars in our own improv show. And sometimes, I swear, I could never predict some of the things we discover.


One day, we found a bunch of crab legs left behind after a seagull’s dinner baking in the sun.


“Hey mom! Look at all these legs!”


I’m pretty sure all ten legs were still there; I thought it was odd that the seagull left those, because I always thought the legs were the best part. On that concrete, in the full heat of the sun, the former crab appendages were perfectly dried, so we took one of the big claws home with us….Jake has a fondness for playing with dead animal parts.

Right now, it’s hidden away somewhere. I saw it this weekend at one point…but Jake knows where it is. As long as it doesn’t end up in bed with me, I’m good.

Aby-a-Day – Day 206 of 365

Angel is so brave and inquisitive when we’re waiting to see the vet. She’s a very nervous waiter and becomes very busy.


She knows the difference between doors and walls, and she knows that doors are how you get out!


She doesn’t know that yelling at the door doesn’t make it open.


For an Abyssinian, Angel has a rather short neck, tail and legs. This is how tall she is compared to the door. As a comparision, Jake could probably reach the door handle if he stretched up.


This photo was kind of an accident, but I like it. This is what she looks like when she’s returning to all four paws.

Aby Foo

I’m not sure how I discovered this (it was an ad I accidentally clicked on one of the sites I frequent), but it’s awesome: Foo Pets Abyssinian.

It’s a site for kids, created by a veterinarian, to teach them about what it’s like to have a pet. Of course, the best thing about it is that one of the feline choices is an Abyssinian. But the animation is spectacular and the virtual Aby really does look – and move – like a real, live ruddy Aby. I’m actually impressed by the artwork on this. I’ve created an account, of course, and it’s a pretty fun little toy to play with. Check it out!

Aby-a-Day – Day 205 of 365

Sometimes, even “bad” photographs of Jacoby end up being interesting and worth saving. These were taken on the T without a flash, and even though they’re blurry, I find them captivating.




Who doesn’t like corn on the cob in the summer?

Nina definitely does!

Niconinamegjeff is one of my favourite YouTube subscriptions. Ruddy boy Nico and red girl Nina are hilarious to watch on their own, but even funnier to see interacting. This battle over who gets to lie on the heated cat bed just absolutely makes me giggle:

Aby-a-Day – Day 204 of 365

Do you ever wonder what your cats are like when you aren’t around? Me, too. But now I know, at least a little. While we were in San Francisco, my friends Julia and Kimberly came to feed and play with the cats, and Kimberly took some photos which she just gave me today.


And, somewhat disconcertingly, they seem to behave the same when we aren’t home as they do when we are. Jacoby still helps in the kitchen…


…He’s always ready to lend a paw.


He also plays on the cat tree whether we’re home or not…


I think he’s chasing the laser pointer in this photo.


Yep. That’s exactly what he’s doing.


Angel actually seems to be more secure and self-confident when we aren’t home. I wonder what that means?

She played with the Undercover Mouse toy she got for her birthday last year.


Although, she kind of hogged the toy just a little bit…


Aby-a-Day – Day 203 of 365

Angel’s visit with the opthalmologist went well. Dr. Biros diagnosed her with open chronic inactive keratitis with corneal scarring, which is the technical term for the post-Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Feline Herpesvirus scarring on her remaining eye.


First, we saw a technician and a 4th-year veterinary student, who ran several tests on Angel’s eye.


This is a test of Angel’s tear production; a small test strip was placed on her eye for a minute to measure the amount of tears.


Then they stained her cornea to make the scarring more visible.




The room lights were turned off and her eyes were examined through a scope.


Finally, the pressure in her eye was measured using a pen-like device.


After all the preliminary testing, the doctor came in and examined Angel’s eye. The good news is, it doesn’t seem to be actively progressing; in fact, he was wondering what prompted our visit. But they did several tests, and now we have a baseline of what is “normal” for her eye. Since all of her eye issues happened before we adopted her, this is a valuable thing to have. I have copies of all her medical records from her eye surgery and the implantation and subsequent removal of her prosthetic eye. It’s possible, but uncertain, if Angel will have problems in the future with her eye, but now we have an idea of what “normal” is for her and any changes will be easier to recognise.

All in all, a very reassuring visit.

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Aby-a-Day – Day 202 of 365

As I’ve posted earlier, tomorrow we have an appointment for Angel to see an opthalmologist at Angell Hospital because our regular vet found “deposits” on Angel’s eye during her annual exam.

She lost her left eye to complications from an upper respiratory infection and Feline Herpesvirus when she was still a kitten, and since then her right eye has always been a little cloudy; here’s an accidental close-up photo I took last year that shows the cloudiness on her good eye really well.



This is a more recent photo which also shows her good eye; to me, the spots look about the same as they did last year. Apparently Dr. Waggener saw something new and referred us to a specialist. So, to prepare for the visit, I did what any 21st century person would do: I Googled “feline cornea deposits.”

First I found this overview of Feline Opthamology with great illustrative photographs on the website of a San Francisco Bay Area veterinary office – fitting since Angel is from Northern California. I also found an article on Feline Eosinophilic Keratitis from the University of Georgia goes into quite a lot of detail. And then there’s this article from the 2001 Small Animal Opthamology Symposium which has a clear description of Feline Herpesvirus-related eye problems, including Eosinophilic Keratitis.

From our vet’s description and what I’ve read, it doesn’t seem to be Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which is a genetic condition frequently found in Abyssinians. It’s so common, in fact, that it was one of the reasons that an Abyssinian was used to sequence the feline genome.

The spots are much more visible when you get the reflection from the tapetum lucidium, but here is what her eye looks like under natural light.

Of course, until tomorrow morning, we have no way of knowing just what is going on with Angel’s eye, and even after we see the opthalmologist we still may not have an answer. I just hope that it is something that can be managed.

Aby-a-Day – Day 201 of 365

Gun-Hee loved to ride the T, and his half-brother Jacoby feels the same way.


He enjoys it so much that he can’t stand to stay in his carrier once we’re inside the station.


He checks to see if the train he hears is going in his direction. It wasn’t; it was headed towards Alewife.


He continues on down the stairs…


And waits for the train to come.


Oh! There it is! All aboard!

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“Is That a Rat on the End of That Leash?”

I subscribe to the Catster Blog and get updates by email. Today’s email came with a very timely link to an entry about walking cats on leashes.

Even better, it features Radar, the Aby from the Upper West Side. I actually posted about Radar back in June 2008.

I love this photo of Radar and Court, his human:

Aby-a-Day – Day 200 of 365

One thing that always impresses people about Jacoby when we’re out is how completely at ease he is around strangers. This was something I heard a lot when we were at Art Beat this weekend.


Jake was fearless in the face of feet.


Most people asked if it was okay to pet him, but some people would just walk up to him and pet him in passing. He was perfectly fine with that, though; he’s not much of a pettins snob.


Little kids in particular were just fascinated with Jake. This little guy was too shy to let go of his dad’s hand and come say hi, though.


This boy (yes, under all that curly hair he was a boy) wasn’t bashful at all. He walked up, looked at me to make sure it was okay, and reached right in to pet Jake.


This girl was a little more tentative; her mom said she was a little afraid of animals. She needn’t have worried, though. I think Jake likes little kids because they’re closer to his size. He’s not used to them because we only ever see them when we’re outside like this, so it’s not like he’s familiar with children, but when he meets them he’s always very laid back and gentle.

Aby-a-Day – Day 199 of 365

More photos of Jacoby at Art Beat…


The first thing we did when we came out of the T station at Davis Square was buy our dog cat tags to support the Somerville Arts Council. Jake wore his proudly.


Jake alternated between riding in his rolly cart and walking. When he chose to ride, he was very Joe Cool about it.


It was really hot yesterday – 93° – hot enough to make an Aby pant! We took a few breaks to drink water and keep from getting overheated.


Despite the heat and humidity, Jake still wanted to sit on my lap and cuddle.


At least, until I set down my Redbones BBQ!

Googling Gun-Hee!

This is just…amazing to me. A lot of people took photos of Jacoby yesterday at Art Beat, so I thought I’d see if I could find any of them. I went to Google, and searched for “Somerville Art Beat Cat.”

And I found this photo of Gun-Hee on Flickr!

cat on a leash. man in a bunny suit
It’s captioned “Cat on a leash. man in a bunny suit.” I think this is awesome.

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