Aby-a-Day – August 9: Oh, Canada

As I posted yesterday, Meg Lambert of Anubis Abyssinians came to the show, although Taz and Lew weren’t able to join her. She has been breeding and showing Abys for 37+ years, and she’s just a font of information; it’s fascinating to talk to her. All these people and cats that I just know on paper and from old photographs she has seen and met!

When she found me, she came over to see Jacoby and pronounced him slimmer and taller than he’d been in February. At roughly 11¼ lbs, he’s pretty big for an Aby; most males should be around 9lbs. But while he hasn’t really lost weight, he’s grown to fit his weight with us measuring his food and going out on summer outings. I don’t know if I’ll ever get him down to the 10lb range, but I can’t let him get any chunkier or he really will be a ruddy spuddy.

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She then reviewed the list of judges and, when she saw Roger Lawrence’s name, she predicted that Jake would do well in his ring. And she was right. He greeted Jake with a “Hello, Mr. Aby,” and commented that, even though he has and breeds other cats, he’ll never be without an Aby in his life, and he currently lives 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.”

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Still, I was stunned when I heard 137 called for the finals, and even more stunned when Roger put the Best SH Premier and Best Allbreed Premier rosettes on Jake’s cage. Gun-Hee won Best Kitten once, and I’ve had a few Best HHPs…but this was a first for me. I’ve never shown a Premier cat before. Gun-Hee only just earned his Premiership and didn’t go to any shows once he earned his title…

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Sherry told me, “Roger may have recognized Jake’s colour. Did I tell you about showing Dillin at the ACFA show in Dartmouth? The oldest judge in ACFA was there, and she said she figures he’s related to some Aby from Germany because she’s only ever seen that colour in that cat’s lines before – interesting stuff eh! What we could learn from judges if only they would talk more LOL

I can’t wait to get to go down that way and see Jake, bring Dillin to a show and see them both at the same time – that would be so cool! Too bad we couldn’t go to the show in Brockport, NY Aug. 21 or Oct 22-23, both Roger AND Karen Lawrence will be there – she made Scar 2nd Best Cat out of 52 cats once – his best Ring in CFA ever!

Here’s a little history for you – Way back when I was investigating Abys on the internet (which started about 7 years before I got my first, Ginger, in 2002, I came across a little guy named Tailsend Satchel – he became my benchmark for the Aby look I wanted. See http://www.computan.com/~klawrenc/, then scroll down and select “Cattery.” So no wonder Roger told me he could guess where Jake came from!

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One thing that Roger prefaced his Premier awards presentation with was very interesting to me. He said, “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.” Which I find just endlessly interesting.

I love hearing about how the CFA and the cat fancy has evolved. And I’m learning a lot, too conversing with Meg Lambert. Names and cats I’ve only known as names and photos in old books are people and cats she’s met in person; that’s so fascinating to me.