Aby-a-Day – July 31: Ready for his close-up

Jake is ready for his close-up:


Hard to believe it’s two years tomorrow!

I Can Has Cheezburger: Blue Aby up a tree

I was pleasantly surprised to see this lovely blue Abyssinian on I Can Has Cheezburger yesterday:

Of course, he’s yawning, not yelling, but still…

Aby-a-Day – July 30: Things that go “bump” (and also “crash” and “bang”) in the night

Living with Abys turns you into a detective, a forensic scientist, and a very light sleeper. The other night, we’d all gone to bed and the house was dark and quiet when I heard a


from the general direction of the kitchen. It sounded plastic, rather than glass, so I wasn’t really alarmed. I reckoned it was just the plastic measuring cup we keep on the counter. But the sound continued, evolving into more of a BANGing, and sounding as though it was migrating from the kitchen towards the bedroom. Muttering words beginning with the letters W, T, and F, I got up to investigate and found this:


Jacoby and Tessie went to the groomer’s this past Sunday, makes their own treats, including granulated chicken powder for sprinkling on top of food. I picked one up and tried it on their canned food Sunday and Monday nights, but they didn’t seem to be overly excited by it, so I skipped it the next couple of nights. And that’s what was being used by a hockey puck across the floors of our apartment.


I have to apologise for the lack of photo quality on these; I couldn’t find a flashlight, so I used the flashlight app on my phone…which is actually a good thing, since if I’d actually had the flashlight there wouldn’t be any photographic evidence of this at all (and this becomes important later).


The culprit was Jacoby, of course. (Who else could it possibly have been?) Doesn’t he seem proud of his accomplishment?


I picked up the shaker container and put it back in the kitchen, carefully securing it in the little box we keep all the cat food additives and supplements in. Then I went back to bed.

In the morning I’m getting ready for work when I hear my husband say, “What is all this powder all over the place!? What happened?” And when I go to look, I see what he’s talking about; the shaker was back in the entryway, having somehow been separated from its cap, which was on the living room rug. The little wooden box had been knocked off of the counter and its contents were scattered all over the kitchen floor. And granulated chicken powder was everywhere!


“Why didn’t you make sure the lid was on tight?” my husband asked me. “I DID!” I retorted. “In fact, I haven’t even opened it for days. I didn’t think they liked this powder that much, so I haven’t used it recently.”

“Then how did it get opened?” was his next question. And it’s a really good one, too. I have no freaking clue how it got opened. The lid on that bottle is a screw-top, and it’s smooth. I have no idea how anyone could open that thing without thumbs. Jake, either alone or with one or more accomplices, must have worked all night long on getting it open. Since there wasn’t any powder in the kitchen, and the lid was in the living room, it didn’t open on impact after being knocked from the counter to the floor.

I really need to set up some kind of motion-activated video camera to solve these sorts of mysteries.

Fashion Friday Bonus: Toki on Moderncat, and a dressy girl Aby

Jake’s cousin Toki and his human Julie’s Etsy shop CatAtelier were featured on Moderncat this past Wednesday! So nice to see a familiar face 🙂

And, in the comments of that post, I was alerted to another fashion-forward Abyssinian on Etsy:


I don’t know her name, but isn’t she lovely? And couldn’t you just see them all at a dance?


Toki and Jake would fight over the pretty girl, wouldn’t they? Although I am told that “Toki would never wear the strawberry beret to a dance/ball! Since Jake has the elegant black tux and top hat, Toki would wear.. a deep grey suit with a silver and blue paisley cravat and midnight blue waistcoat.”

Aby-a-Day – July 29: The Bro Dress Code (Fashion Friday)

Because I wear green polo shirts when I take Jacoby on therapy visits, I thought it would be cute to get him a green polo shirt of his own.


Little did I know he’d look like such a frat boy in it!


How cool is he with his popped collar?


If Jake went to Cat College, he’d definitely be B.C.O.C. (Big Cat on Campus). He’d probably pledge Kappa Alpha Tau.

Aby-a-Day – July 28: Abyssinian art

As if I didn’t have enough interests and hobbies, I have recently discovered Art Clay Silver. This marvelous technological wonder is, basically, clay, which when fired becomes fine silver! The best part is, if you use the right kind of clay, you can fire it on your gas stove.

I took endless clay handbuilding classes from the time I was 5 or 6 until I was in my teens, and then in college I did a lot of metalworking, jewellery making, silversmithing and enamelling, so to discover silver clay was something of a revelation.

The first thing I wanted to make was a three-dimensional, silver version of this photo:


Which is one of my all-time favourite shots of Jacoby and Angel. Probably an ambitious first project for someone new to the medium, but I am not the type to shrink from an artistic challenge.

Here is my “Ninja vs. Pirate” captured in silver:


I couldn’t quite get Jake’s arms up the way they were in the photo…


…but if you look very closely, you can see Angel’s only got one eye!

I also made a silver version of this photo of Tessie and Kylie from when Kylie was about 2½ months old:


The bases are actually pieces of moose antler that I bought at a pet supply store – they’re sold as dog chews!

Aby-a-Day – July 27: Wordless Wednesday (Jake with his aunt and cousins)



Abyssinian Alert! Brat Cat Designs

I have to share this Etsy seller with you all: Brat Cat Designs. Not only does he make great cat furniture, but look at his QA team:


Olaf is in the back, Virgil is the big guy, and Lilith is the silver Aby (I really love their names, too). With these three on the job, you know this furniture has got to be well-made!

Here’s Olaf in the wall-mounted steel cat hammock:


And here’s Olaf again, on the free-standing steel-framed hammock:


I plan to keep an eye on his shop, because, well…just read his shop announcement: Our specialty is pet products and furniture with an eye for uniqueness and durability. No carpet-wrapped cardboard mushroom towers here. All of our designs go through a rigorous testing and approval process by our crew: Olaf, Lilith and Virgil. More products will be available soon. Check back to see the cat walks and water filter.

Anything rigourously tested and Aby approved is something we probably need in our home, don’t you think? The cat walks he mentions are going to be made of lucite, and the water filter will “actually work.” I’m especially interested in lucite catwalks; eventually, I want to live in an apartment where cats can circumnavigate the house without ever touching the floor.

But really? How appropriate is “Brat Cat Designs” for a company named after Abyssinians?

Aby-a-Day – July 26: Riding the #9 bus

Jacoby and I don’t take the bus very often in Boston, but the #9 bus just happens to go everywhere we need to go. Besides going directly from our building to the vet’s office, it also goes straight from the front of the Boston Public Library (a block or so from the Apple Store) to our building.


It may have to stop at every red light and be at the mercy of the whims of Boston traffic, but the bus does have one thing the subway doesn’t: a view!


Jake couldn’t see well enough from his stroller, so he got my husband to give him a boost.

Aby-a-Day – July 25: iPad Photobooth (Hipstamatic Monday)

This isn’t technically a Hipstamatic photo, but it’s the iPad version. While we were at the Apple Store, I played with Photobooth, a built-in iPad app.


It’s pretty nifty! And Rach at the Apple Store was impressed by it, too.

Aby-a-Day – July 24: It’s so big and shiny!

I always enjoy taking Jacoby to the Apple Store with me. The last time we went, he was still using his old stroller.


The Apple Store on Boylston is the largest in North America! You can tell Jake’s impressed.

Aby-a-Day – July 23: After ArtBeat

After ArtBeat, we got on the T to meet my husband and his sister’s family at the Apple Store.


Jacoby loves it when the train goes above-ground to cross the Charles River.



And who can blame him? It’s a pretty awesome view…


…Well, except when a train going the other direction passes and blocks the view.

Another Jake

I was actually looking for photos of Jake aka Zunar-J5/9-Doric-47, but I discovered this handsome red/sorrel Jake.

I went to my mom's house and my first born Jake greeted me. Jake is a cat.

Apparently Jake’s human, Angry Julie Monday, is allergic to him. I test allergic to cats, but I’ve found I’m only allergic to certain breeds: Persians and American Shorthairs will set me off, but Siamese, Burmese, Devon Rexes, Abys and Maine Coons don’t. It makes sense that certain breeds would be more or less allergenic; dander is mainly dried saliva, and saliva is protein, which is basically made of DNA. Since purebred cats have orderly, specialised DNA, their dander is a known quality. That’s why I tell people who are allergic to cats that they may not be allergic to certain cats.

I’m glad I didn’t give up when I had that first allergy skin prick test when I was 10 that indicated I was “moderately to severely” allergic to cats. I would have missed a lot.

I wonder if “Jake” and its variations (Jacob, Jacoby) is a common name for Abyssinians? I know that Jacoby’s grandfather was called Jake, too. But ERoS only shows 18 cats with “Jake” in their name or pet name.

Aby-a-Day – July 22: The Cat Lady in Red (Fashion Friday)

Last weekend at ArtBeat, Ritterbin Photography had a booth set up for free Facebook photos. Well, I said, I don’t do Facebook, but can I use them in my blog? “Of course!” was Mike’s response. Now, I don’t know how fashionable we are, but we did avail ourselves of some of the props.


Jacoby has red star sunglasses, and I am wearing a red fez.


Or, as my dad would say, “I don’t remember the name, but the fez is familiar” (Yeah, it’s a genetic problem, obviously).

Aby-a-Day – July 21: Mmmmm…Meat!

Another thing ArtBeat is famous for is food. All the local restaurants take to the street to sell their best, and my favourite of all of them is Redbones BBQ.


I always share with Jacoby, of course.


I used to live near Davis Square, and Redbones was one of my favourite places to eat. I think Jake likes them, too.

Aby-a-Day – July 20: Wordless Wednesday (Jacoby and Gwen)



Abyfriend Katscan was kitten-sitting a family of Aby kits and their mother…after seeing two adult Abys tear around our apartment, I can’t imagine a litter of kittens, their mother, and the two Abys who already live in the house galloping around like a ruddy-and-sorrel tornado!

As anyone would, she took plenty of photos, which you can see starting here. This one’s my favourite:

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These kittens are from Gato Bay cattery in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

Aby-a-Day – July 19: The ArtBeat parade

One of the traditions of ArtBeat is the parade.


Usually, I don’t get there til after it’s over, but this year, Jacoby and I had a front-row seat.


It was a very colourful parade this year, especially since the theme was red, and Jake seemed fascinated by the antics.


A bit bewildered, perhaps…but fascinated!

Aby-a-Day – July 18: Artistic ArtBeat poses (Hipstamatic Monday)

While I was snapping photos of Jacoby modelling his red ArtBeat harness, I had to take a few through the lenses of Hipstamatic.


They’ve recently released a bunch of new lenses and films, including some to commemerate the new Cowboys vs Aliens movie.


Sure, it’s advertising, but if it means more options for the Hipstamatic randomiser, for free, then I’m okay with that.


I never get tired of playing with Hipstamatic.


And, luckily for me, Jake never gets tired of posing!

Also, according to Sparkle, today is supposed to be Cat Appreciation Day. Funny, I thought that was every day!

Aby-a-Day – July 17: Who is this clown?

One of the craft vendors at ArtBeat had elaborate arm puppets for sale, and one of them instantly caught my eye.


Despite the blue button eyes, it bore a striking resemblance to someone I know, and I had to introduce it to Jacoby.


Jake was less than impressed, though.


“Really, mom? Really?”

I also have to add a big “thank you” to the random passer-by who took these photos for me. I couldn’t have done it without you!