After seeing a Somali up close and personal, it’s very easy to see that they are essentially Abyssinians with a long coat. And as I’ve often said, almost every Abyssinian is related to every other Abyssinian, if you go back far enough. But what if you took a random Abyssinian, say one from the East Coast, and a random Somali, say, one from California? Could you find a link between them?
Let’s find out, shall we?
It just so happens that I have a random Abyssinian, our own Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home, born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and (forgive me, I don’t know her full name) a random Somali, Tajhara‘s Sparkle, born in Temecula, California, USA.
On the face of it, these two cats have about as little in common as possible: one’s a boy, one’s a female; one has short hair, one has long hair; and I don’t think there are two points on the continent that are farther apart than Fredericton and Temecula!
Sparkle’s mother was Tajhara’s Tina Turner, and Tina’s maternal great-grandmother (Sparkle’s great-great grandmother) was a red/sorrel Abyssinian named Tajhara’s Firecracker. Firecracker’s paternal great father was a cat called Phaulkon‘s Poetry in Motion, whose father was a cat with a name I recognised: Nepenthes Leo, who was born in March, 1976 and has 17 offspring known to ERoS. Another of Leo’s sons was an Abyssinian named Quin-Jo‘s Gatico, and from Gatico we go to his daughter, Quin-Jo’s Rosita, to her son, Quin-Jo’s Red’n Reddy (a Grand Champion red/sorrel and National winner born in November, 1984), to his son, Robert Red’n Reddy, to his son, Shomra’s Aristotle of Catsylvania, to his daughter, Margarita of Shomra, to her daughter, Shomra’s Tomahto (a red/sorrel), to her son, Shomra’s Right Off the Vine, to his son Ramkatz Ryan New Year (born January 1, 2003)…to Instincts Santa Catalina, Jake’s mother. So on Sparkle’s mother’s side is an Aby who is also on Jake’s mother’s side, meaning that Sparkle the Somali and Jake the Abyssinian are distantly related! That’s not the only link between Sparkle and Jake, either: Another cat, Badfinger’s Bumble Bee of Catknapp, appears in both their pedigrees as well.
Sparkle’s father, Tajhara’s Miles Davis, comes from an older line of Somalis than does Sparkle’s mother, but I did find a link eventually. I had to go back to 1962 and Ring’s Abi Sheba of Selene, whose daughter was Ring’s Sheba of Van Dyke. From Sheba, we go → Van Dyke’s Abi Farouk → Van Dyke’s Abi Kariba → Van Dyke’s Abi Ayesha → Van Dyke’s Abi Abdel of Barba → Van Dyke’s Abi Amberina → Van Dyke’s Abi Ashley → Van Dyke’s Lakeshore Missy → Van Dyke’s Abi Antonia of Haro → Haro’s Abi Alpha → Haro’s Ginger Snap of Pellburn…to Jake’s dad, Scar.
Ring’s Abi Sheba of Selene also had a son, Van Dyke’s Abi Abdullah, and from him we go → Alvi’s Amore of Shorehouse (an Aby variant, which I’m not sure but think may mean he had long hair) → Alvi’s Chimo of Lolirand (who is listed as a Somali) → Falconsview Ezekiel of J.R.R. (a Canadian Somali!) → J.R.R.’s Shyboy of Lynn-Lee (a shy Aby, apparently…didn’t know those existed!) → Lynn-Lee’s Desert Fox → Lynn-Lee’s Christmas Cactus of Seguin (born Dec. 24, 1980) → Lynn-Lee’s Strawberry Shortcake (it was the 80’s) → Lynn-Lee’s Firefly → Lynn-Lee Dances With Wolves of Tadofa (born January 1991) → Tadofa Claim Jumper of Gunsmoke → Gunsmoke’s Amaretto of Tajhara, who was Sparkle’s father Miles Davis’ mother.
But there you have it: Sparkle and Jake are distantly related on both sides of their families! Man, I love stuff like this.
Sparkle can also trace back to the infamous Grand Champion and Distinguised Merit Abyssinian Bastis Zackariah through Phaulkon’s Poetry in Motion, Firecracker’s paternal great-grandfather. Zackariah is probably the most prolific Abyssinian recorded. He has 73 offspring known to ERoS, and he probably had many, many more kittens than that. Most modern Abys can trace back to him (he’s in Jake’s pedigree as well, on his father’s side), and apparently so can a lot of Somalis!
I have actually bought several of the old CFA Yearbooks with feature articles about Somalis and Abyssinians in them and I have a scanning project planned. In these fantastic tomes (and I do mean “tomes;” these things are big and heavy!) are photos of a lot of these cats (or at least cats from the same catteries) whose names you see above. That’s the most fascinating thing to me…you can see these ancestors! I haven’t found a source for these online, apart from Karen Lawrence’s Abyssinian Historical Review (which is an incredible resource). I found photos of two more of Jake’s forefathers, Gr.Ch. and Regional Winner Blybos St. Lawrence of Instincts and Gr.Ch. and National Winner Instincts Klein Bonaire, who are probably also a part of our cousin Ataraxia Nantucket of Instincts (Toki)‘s pedigree!
The Aby world is a small one indeed!