Aby-a-Day – August 31: Wordless Wednesday (Under Angel’s Pillow)


Aby-a-Day – August 30: X marks the spot

As I posted back in July, Angel’s teeth are not so great. I’m sure some of this is genetic, since Abys are especially prone to dental disease. Today was the day she went to the vet to get her teeth cleaned and the two with Oral Resorptive Lesions extracted.


I really do love my vet’s devotion to dental care. She gave me a little folder with these photos of Angel’s mouth while she was under anaesthetic, before and after the cleaning and having her teeth pulled.

But that’s not all she gave me…


…I was also given a CD with Angel’s dental X-rays on them. Really interesting. You can see that Angel has no incisors left, but I wonder if she also has some bone loss on the sockets?


I don’t think the tooth with the spot on it is one that was removed. If that spot is what I think it is, it’ll probably be our next project.


This is her upper jaw, showing her skull and one remaining little incisor.


Looks like she has a chipped canine tooth, too. I hope that doesn’t cause her any problems in the future.
She’s only 4 years old, so it’s a little distressing that she’s already needing this much oral intervention. I suspect that even if I could brush her teeth, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference. Some cats are just genetically cursed to have bad teeth. I had two Siamese, three years apart in age, who were not related but who, as long as I owned them, ate the exact same food. One lived to be 15 and the other 16. Harri, the 15 year old, didn’t need to have his teeth cleaned by the vet until his 15th birthday. Patrick, who lived to be 16, started needing dental work when he was 5 or 6, and by the time he was 10, he’d had most of his teeth taken out.


And, to add insult to medically-sanctioned injury, they shaved her arm to put in an IV.


She’s doing well, though, and eating like nothing happened to her at all. And she has some teeth to leave under that pillow for the tooth fairy!

Aby-a-Day – August 29: A Summer Nap (Hipstamatic Monday)

I happened to catch Jacoby in a nap one afternoon.


He wasn’t exactly thrilled with my snapping photos of him while he was trying to sleep.




“Trying to nap, here, Mom! At least put the thing on ‘Silent,’ okay?”


Now with twice the cranky face!

Other People’s Abys – Calendar Cats

Two Abys for August! Today’s Page-a-Day Cat Calendar page features Rufus from Wisconsin:


He looks like an old-fashioned Aby from the 50’s to me.

Aby-a-Day – August 28: Angel Uber Alles

Angel loves to be on the highest piece of furniture possible.


It gives her a sense of security, I know, even though all the other cats can get up there as easily as she can.


Maybe it’s just that it’s easier for her to see everything.


Or, it may just be that she likes looking down on the rest of us.


Yeah, it’s probably that last one.

Aby-a-Day – August 27: Come on, Irene

Hurricane Irene is heading fast and furiously towards Massachusetts today.


We are all safely hunkered down in our sturdy, 105-year-old brick building, and of course, we have our umbrellas at the ready…


…and plenty of rain gear. It’s already raining here, and the Red Sox-A’s game (the first of a scheduled double-header) is currently on its second rain delay, so we’re definitely in for some weather, but where we are, the worst that will happen is we’ll lose power.

Aby-a-Day – August 26: Cat Fashion Dolls (Fashion Friday)

When I was a kid, I was never much into Barbies. I really wanted to be, because all my friends were, and let’s face it, all of Barbie’s clothes and furniture was totally awesome. But the main problem I had with Barbie was that she was, you know…human.

I did have one, finally. I can’t remember if I asked for her, or if my friends gave me one so I wouldn’t be left out, but for my 9th birthday I got a Malibu Barbie. She came with sunglasses, a swimsuit, and some sort of white linen pantsuit, as I recall. I really only remember playing with her at my birthday party, in the pool…and then, the swimsuit, sunglasses and the top part of the pantsuit ended up on a plastic orange tabby cat I got in a Sunshine Family pet set (which was insanely cool – it consisted of a two-story house, a brown-and-white hound/Lab mix, the orange tabby, collars, pet bowls and toys). Later on, Tabby (short for Tabitha) and Han Solo had a rather steamy love affair…I still have her, somewhere.

So you can just imagine how incredibly psyched I was to discover Petworks Nikki dolls. These are, basically, cat-shaped fashion dolls from Japan (where else?) and they are addictively enchanting. There’s a human version, called Odeco-chan, but eh…

Nikki comes in both boy and girl styles and in the entire feline spectrum of colours and patterns. The boy version was just introduced this year, and the very first one I found for sale just happened to be a gold-orange solid colour with mesmerising copper eyes…


He came without clothes, but luckily Etsy is a bustling Nikki outlet mall for Nikki clothes, and in short order he was clothed.


I call him “Jack.”

But the thing is, as lovely as boy dolls are, the real fun of fashion dolls is the female of the species. I mean, look at Ken. He’s a good guy to have around, but there’s only so many versions of shirt and pants out there…Not to mention shoes!

Obviously, I needed a girl Nikki. But she had to be just the right colour…like Jack, but lighter, and of course with the same colour eyes…


And so, I got “Angie.” The girl Nikkis have “sleep” eyes, with incredible long lashes, and there is evidently a big subculture devoted to customising her eyes. In fact, the official Petworks website even gives you instructions on how to mess around with Nikki’s eyes (in Japanese, but there are illustrations)!


It didn’t take me long to fix Angie’s eye at all!


So now, admittedly about 40 years too late, I have Jack and Angie.


Nikki cat has been around for about 5 years, but North Americans are only now discovering her charms. And there a lot of people on Flickr who share their Nikki fashion photos, too.


Jack tends to wear green, while Angie prefers purple…go figure.


I just feel fortunate that the dolls I was able to find – and afford! – just happened to be an Abyssinian-coloured pair…a darker boy…


…and a lighter girl!

Aby-a-Day – August 25: Paging Dr. Jakeycat…

I had minor surgery on a trapped nerve in my hip last week, and of course Jacoby was right there helping me recover.


These aren’t the best photos, since I took them with the low-res front camera on my iPhone, but you can see he decided I needed to be kept warm.


Of course, my chest wasn’t involved in the surgery at all, but that didn’t seem to matter to Jake.


It didn’t matter to me, either.

Aby-a-Day – August 24: Wordless Wednesday (It’s always all about Jake…at least, he thinks it SHOULD be!)


Aby-a-Day – August 23: Sometimes I wonder if he has a Y chromosome…

The Goodwill store in Davis Square is one of the best I’ve ever been to. I always find really great clothing there. The last time I went, Jacoby accompanied me.


He’s a great shopping companion. He just sits and waits while I try things on, and he doesn’t even complain.



He even carries my purchases when we’re done!

Aby-a-Day – August 22: Spotlight on Angel (Part 2) (Hipstamatic Monday)

Here’s the rest of Angel’s after-dinner Hipstamatic collection:






In case you’re wondering, the bedroom door was closed. That’s why there was a distinct lack of Jacoby in all of these photos!

Aby-a-Day – August 21: Dust ye shall be

As I was saying yesterday, there are a lot of stories buried in a cemetery.


One that intrigues me is the story behind Miss Charlotte Horn. She was only 20 when she died, and it seems she was not married, since so many of the stones identify women as “wife of” or “mother of.” It seems she was loved very much, as she was given a monument to mark her grave. Her fiance, perhaps?


There are also crypts at Hancock Cemetery; I assume these are for families, although they are not all clearly marked.


Veterans’ graves are marked with flags and bronze commemorations of the wars in which the dead men served. This man was in the Civil War, but we also saw graves belonging to veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Mexican-American War.


Compared to some grave markers, others seem almost forgotten, like this one under a tree. Of course, when that headstone was planted, the tree most likely hadn’t been, yet.


It’s really an interesting little (and I do mean “little” – it’s about the size of a small city block) cemetery, right in the middle of downtown, next to the subway and commuter rail station and backed up to the highway. I wonder if it’s possible to “rest in peace” with all that noise?

Aby-a-Day – August 20: Walking through the Valley of Death

A few weeks ago, Jacoby and I were in Quincy, and as we walked back to the T station, I decided to go and check out Hancock Cemetery with him.


One neat thing about living in Boston is the old cemeteries.


This one was the main city cemetery until 1851!


The oldest grave we were able to find was from 1690. There may be some older, but so many of the gravestones are so old they’ve been worn almost flat by centuries of New England weather and they’re hard to read.


Some of the stories alluded to by the headstones we could read are very sad.


There are a lot of stories here.

Aby-a-Day – August 19: Does my tail look big in this? (Fashion Friday)

Angel likes her polka-dot dress, but she wonders if it suits her.


“Tell me the truth…”


“…Does this dress make my bum look big?”


“Hmph! You’re not supposed to tell the truth! You’re supposed to say ‘NO’! You’re supposed to say I look lovely! Seriously!”

Aby-a-Day – August 18: A ride on the Red Line

Sunday, Jake and I ran some errands in Somerville and Cambridge, which required us to take the T. I took some photos (of course), and I thought they nicely summed up what it’s like to ride the T with Jacoby.


Waiting for the Alewife-bound train to arrive.


Jake loves to look out the window…


…and comment on what he sees.


It’s funny when someone on the platform notices Jake.


The best part of the train ride is when it goes above-ground to cross the Charles River.


We were on the “Cambridge side” of the train this time.


On the way back, Jake got bored with sitting in his stroller and walked around the inside of the train.


He seemed to resent this door for not opening…


He’s quite sure-footed on the moving train.


People are always captivated by Jake when we’re on the train.


Jake went to collect some pets from this woman. I think those two guys wished his leash were longer. Interesting thing about taking Jake out, actually: men seem to react to him more than women do. I know, you’d think women would be all, “oooooh! Kitty!” and there are plenty of those, but men just seem to gravitate towards him. I guess he’s a “masculine” cat, or he’s “cool” or something, but somehow it’s “okay” for guys to come and check him out.

Aby-a-Day – August 17: Wordless Wednesday (Not so intimidating now, are you?)





Aby-a-Day – August 16: This is an elegant hotel…Room service has an unlisted number

I really don’t know what it is, but cats love hotel and motel rooms.


It’s not just Jacoby, either. My Siamese, Harri, loved staying in a hotel, too.


And I overheard another exhibitor at the show telling someone how much her cat loves staying in a hotel.


I really have no idea what it is. The carpeting? The different smells? New places to nap? Adventure and the thrill of novelty?


Honestly. No idea. Cats are supposed to hate change, but apparently they have a thing for hotels. Who knew?


I’ll bet you can guess what Jake’s favourite part of staying in a hotel is, though.


Of course! Room service!

Aby-a-Day – August 15: Spotlight on Angel (Part 1) (Hipstamatic Monday)

The really fun thing about Hipstamatic is that you can take several photos of the exact same subject, and if you use the randomiser between each shot, each photo looks vastly different.

Here we have a collection of photos of Angel in her favourite after-dinner nap spot, on a pillow warmed by the bedside lamp.





I really love that last one. I’ll post of the rest of these next Monday.

Aby-a-Day – August 14: I’m a thousand miles away from home, just waiting for a train

On the way home from Mansfield, we had some time to kill. The inbound trains to Boston come at 3:2pm and 5:24pm…and the show ended at 3:30.


And it was running late, too.


The outbound train going to Providence arrived before the inbound train.


But our train finally did arrive, and we were happy to have a seat to ourselves.

Aby-a-Day – August 13: Choo Choo Ch-Boogie

One thing I really like about the Mansfield, MA show is the fact that I can go to it on my own. I don’t drive, and it’s one of the few shows that’s been held in a location with a Commuter Rail station.


Jacoby likes riding the train, as long as he can look out the window.


He also likes to tell me all about what he sees out that window.


He had his own little seat on the train, too. We used his smaller, Snoozer rolling carrier, and its car seat mode really came in handy on this trip.