Aby-a-Day – Day 273 of 365

It’s late September in New England, and lovely warm days are becoming scarce. When a nice day comes along, it needs to be appreciated and enjoyed to its fullest.

Saturday was just such a day, with temperatures in the 80’s and not a lot of humidity, cloud-free with the leaves just starting to change from green to red and orange. Jacoby and I went to Boston Common, where we discovered a carousel near the Frog Pond.


There was a cat on it, so we had to go and get a closer look at it.


There’s a marvelous carousel in Golden Gate Park that has two Siamese cats on it. I love it when carousels have cats to ride.

Aby-a-Day – Day 272 of 365

Last night, my husband gave me a bunch of photos he’d taken with his iPhone, and this video was among them. I don’t know when he took it, and I’d never seen it before. It’s priceless, though: It’s Jacoby and Angel playing with the light reflecting off his watch onto the floor. Jake’s tail, especially, is of particular interest.

Like the video of Jake running in the hallway, I linked to it rather than posting it via YouTube because iPhone videos can film vertically, but YouTube can only show horizontal videos properly.

Other People’s Abys – Calendar Cats

Today’s Page-a-Day Calendar cat is a very handsome red Aby named Scooter:

Aby-a-Day – Day 271 of 365

My husband caught Jacoby and Angel in the window yesterday morning before work…


All in Jacoby’s family

I was reminded recently of Cat Show Online, which is, as you might guess, a virtual cat show.

However, Jacoby’s father, Gr. Ch. Pellburn Scarface Cat Pacino (aka “Scar”), his uncle, Gr. Pr. Pellburn White Lightning (aka “Whitey”), and his brother and littermate, Ch. Pellburn Johnny Dillinger (aka “Dillin”) were all voted winners in the spring contest.

Here are their photos:


Scar (photo by Chanan)


Uncle Whitey (Photo by Sherry Pellerin)


Dillin (Photo by Sherry Pellerin)

That’s one thing I like about Abyssinians…you get a solid feeling of family. Their family trees are so well documented since they’re one of the oldest breeds with very little outcrossing to other breeds or random-bred cats that fit the breed standard.

I wish my own genealogy was so clearly recorded!

Aby-a-Day – Day 270 of 365

Even though Jacoby is almost a year and a half old, and Angel is three, they still play as much as ever. One thing they do is play fight; Jake starts a lot of it, but Angel usually wins.


She weighs less than Jake, but she is stocky and solid. Her legs are shorter than his, too, and her lower center of gravity gives her the advantage.



(Sometimes they move faster than the camera can readjust)


Not even white hot lazors can help Jake beat Angel.



This is Jake’s idea of a defensive move: holding her at arm’s (and legs’) length.


Yeah…that tactic doesn’t really work all that well.


Which isn’t to say that Jacoby doesn’t have some moves of his own; he usually gets a few hits on Angel.


However, age and treachery will always prevail against youth and speed.

“How do you get to take him places?”

Over on a photo blog I post to from time to time, I was asked “How do you get to take Jacoby into all these places?” I thought my followers might like to know the answer to that question, so here is my reponse:

Well…I basically just go out with him. He’s used to being on a leash, and he also has his stroller to ride in. And he’s pretty bulletproof – he’s a therapy cat, so dogs, loud vehicles, and random children don’t faze him at all. Him being so calm (and me being so confident of his reaction in any situation) goes a long way.

But then, too, I don’t act like it’s “weird” to go someplace with him. I generally go by the rule that “as long as it’s not a food store, a restaurant or a hospital” we can just go on in without asking anyone if it’s okay…and generally, that’s been the case. The fact that he’s not a dog seems to help, too – lots of places say “No dogs” and not “No pets” and I use that loophole sometimes.

If there’s any question he might not be welcome (like the bead shop, where a cat going berzerk would be very bad), I do ask. But because he has the personality he does, it’s not really a problem.

Then, too, in Boston it’s okay to bring pets on public transit as long as they’re in carriers or under control, so I don’t have to worry about getting places with him.

In this case, I went and asked the people running the carousel if I could just take a photo of him on the cat between rides, because I was so psyched to see a cat to ride on that carousel. The people running it were cat lovers, so it was no problem!

There’s a line from the movie The Paper that I keep in mind when I’m out with Jake: “A clipboard and a confident manner can get you into any building in the world.” Acting confident, like you have every right to be where you are with your cat (even if you aren’t sure you are) goes a long way.

One other tip: don’t plan on getting anywhere in a hurry when you’re out with your cat. People will want to ask you questions and they will want to pet the kitty. When I take Jake out with me, it’s when I don’t really have an agenda.

Maybe not rocket science…but I’ve been taking cats out on leashes since I was in 7th or 8th grade, so what seems like common knowledge to me probably involves a lot of things other people haven’t ever thought of…so, hopefully this will be useful information.

Aby-a-Day – Day 269 of 365

Good news! We put Angel’s round fleece cat bed (which has a charming Siamese cat print on it; I got it in 1995 for my Siamese, Harri) into one of the new Ramvik tables (with the glass shelf omitted) and just left it there for her to find.


And find it she did.


It’s hard to tell if she likes it more or less than underneath the old coffeetable, for two reasons: one, there was a Red Sox-Yankees game on ESPN, so Angel was on the TV table all night; and two, Kylie’s been in that bed since my husband put her in it because Angel was watching the game.

Well, it finally happened…

Jake and I were out today at the SoWa Vintage Market, and someone took one look at the two of us and said, “I know you! You’re Aby-a-Day!” He had an Aby, and he’d seen the blog before he’d met me and Jacoby.

That’s pretty cool. Amongst all the people who post photos of their cats on the internet, someone recognised us!

Aby-a-Day – Day 268 of 365

I feel awful. We got rid of the old glass coffee table. We have three new Ramvik side tables from IKEA that we use as a sort of modular, configurable, multi-piece sofa table.

Which is nice, because that glass table was unwieldy and, well, kind of ugly. It smudged so easily that it never looked clean, and it was heavy. Neither of us humans really liked it.


But Angel loved it.



I mean, she seriously loved it. It was her den, her hideout…which, considering that it was made of glass is kind of ironic, since it was completely see-through.


But it was her happy place.


The Ramvik table does have a space underneath, and we have one put together without the glass shelf to make room for her round, fleece cat bed…


…I just hope that’s good enough for her.

Aby-a-Day – Day 267 of 365

Angel’s fascination with IKEA construction continues…


The little piece of plastic having lost its charm, Angel goes back to the moving blanket to find a new toy.



Sadly, she only finds tools too heavy to bat around and a boring old sparkleball.



Not having found anything play-worthy, Angel retreats to her round bed under the coffee table to sulk.

Aby-a-Day – Day 266 of 365

As I’ve mentioned, we are currently redecorating and reorganising our apartment (and any dishevelment you may notice in the backgrounds of your Daily Aby photos is utterly and completely due to this activity). A couple of weekends ago, we built some tall IKEA bookshelves, and I caught Angel playing with a piece of plastic while my husband did his handyman things…





Her eye is as subtly retouched as I could manage. It’s hard to cover her eyeshine because it’s red and doesn’t stay within the pupils because of the spots on her cornea.







If you look closely at these last three, you can see the little piece of plastic she’s playing with in her mouth.


And if you look very closely at this last photo, you can see she’s putting it down on the blanket so she can play with it closer to Dad.

Aby-a-Day – Day 265 of 365

Because it has 5 megapixels and a flash, I find myself using my iPhone 4 camera more often than I used the iPhone 3G camera. It is often easier to access and more convenient than my Nikon. And, as I said in my other post earlier today, the only really bad shot is the one you missed, so I don’t mind including cellphone photos in my portfolio.

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This photo absolutely cracks me up. It was meant to be a photo of Angel on the cat tree, but you know Jacoby can’t stay out of the spotlight…he has to be the spotlight!

10 Tips for Great Cat Photos from Catster

I get emails from Catster on a regular basis, and some of them are actually very interesting and, I think, useful. Since I’ve been living with and reading about cats for 40+ years at this point, I’m a bit jaded; it’s not easy to find something that I haven’t already read a hundred times before.

But this article: 10 Tips for Getting Great Photos of Your Cat, has some really awesome suggestions, and things I actually do all the time myself. I can personally vouch for the Gorillapod tripod, and of course, you’ve seen my Cat Collar Cam photos (which reminds me, I need to get photos from inside Jake’s stroller). And, as I always say, don’t worry about the camera you use, just use your camera!

Like this morning. I wish I’d had my phone or something with me. I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, and Jacoby was behind the partially-open bathroom door, cautiously investigating either the shower curtain or something in the tub (I couldn’t tell). Then, through the gap between the doorframe and the door, just underneath the bottom hinges, a pink-padded red paw came snaking through and poked Jake in the flank.

He jumped a mile! And I could not stop giggling. Angel had staged the perfect sneak attack and really gotten Jake. She then peered around the edge of the door and Jake leapt at her and chased her into the other room…but it was just so classic. I wish I had had something to capture that with me…

Case in point: the only bad photo is the one you can’t or don’t take.

Aby-a-Day – Day 264 of 365

I don’t know exactly why, but Angel’s remaining eye is usually dilated. It’s hardly ever a catlike slit except in the brightest of bright sunshine.

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So, of course I find this endlessly fascinating.

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Because she has some spots on her cornea, it’s not easy to tell what colour Angel’s eye is. I think that her eye is gold, a little less orange than Jake’s are.

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Her eye is large compared to her facial structure and cheekbones. Sometimes I think that if she did still have both eyes, she’d look like an owl with more eyes than face!

Aby-a-Day – Day 263 of 365

Angel is such a California girl…she just loves to lounge in the sun!

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Here she is stretched out on her California fleece blanket, enjoying some mid-autumn afternoon rays.

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And, of course, we love to take photos of her when she strikes her sunbathing beauty poses. In this case, the iPhones were handy, so that’s what we used.

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“I’m ready for my close up,” says Angel.


Angel and Gun-Hee had five babies!


They’re awfully cute.


I’ve given them all Warrior names: The girls, Poppykit and Pansykit, are named for flowers, and the boys, Maplekit, Ginkgokit and Cedarkit, are named for trees. It’s silly, I know, but it’s so exciting.

Aby-a-Day – Day 262 of 365

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.


So, here be a photograph of arrrre…own wee pirate lass, Angel.

Little Aby Foo-Foo…

Back in July, I discovered FooPets, and their virtual Abyssinians. Since then, I’ve been playing with my Foo Abys.


I started out with Jakey…and now I have Angel, Gun-Hee and Dillin. It’s actually a pretty cool little website, and the animals are quite well done. The Abyssinians, especially, are very detailed and carefully researched. The site was created by a veterinarian, and FooPet owners need to feed, water, groom, play with and, yes, even walk or scoop the litter boxes of their online pets. You can also pet them, and their reactions to his are rather realistic:


Doesn’t that look familar?

One of my absolute favourite aspects of FooPets is a little game called “Heart Park.” It’s just so much fun to make the little Aby run, jump and swim in the park, collecting hearts. And the park is just so pretty: flowers, trees, tall grass, hills, a pond…Take a look:


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When he leaves the pond, he has to take a moment and shake himself. It’s pretty adorable. If you’re careful, you can even break out of Heart Park and run around the outside landscape, which is just as detailed and realised as the scenery inside the park.

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Here’s a video of Jakey running though Heart Park, and while it’s lo-res and kind of crappy, it shows the action in the game really well.

Another thing that you can do with your FooPets is breed them. There are rules, and it’s expensive and time-consuming (just like real life!) but it’s also kind of fun. Right now, Angel and Gun-Hee are expecting a litter which is due today:


I can’t wait to meet the kittens!

Aby-a-Day – Day 261 of 365

On Labor Day, I took Jacoby with me to make some copies at my office, which is near Faneuil Hall. After we finished, I took him over there to do something I’ve been wanting to do all year: I took him in to the cab-shaped photo booth there to make some silly tourist photos of the two of us.


This was the first one. I didn’t mean to select this border, but, all things considered, it could have been worse, I suppose.


I really like the old-style photo booths better. This one took four poses, but only printed one…and it was really hard to figure out where we were supposed to look!