Aby-a-Day – October 31: A master at work (Hipstamatic Monday)

Meg had Chanan photograph her red girl, GRC Anubis Kuki Airani, at the show, and I was lucky enough to be around to watch him work.

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Knowing I’d want to make a post about meeting the famous Chanan in person as soon as I could, I took photos of their session with my Hipstamatic.

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It was really great to meet Richard, and he has some amazing stories to tell.

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He seems to not only love his work, but he obviously has a lot of fun doing it.

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He’s a one-man show, using only a hand-held Canon DSLR in one hand and a long wand cat toy in the other.

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He has a large collection of long dowels with different types of toys on the end; he said that there’s always a tip that some cat will go for.

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You have to be really alert while watching him ply a cat with one of the sticks; when he flicks the stick back, anyone in the “danger zone” is at risk of being clobbered in the face.

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The man is a serious cat whisperer. That was the best thing about watching him work.

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He works in a semi-enclosed space, and the cats could easily jump off the table and escape under the curtain or through the open side…but they don’t.

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Jacoby was really cranky this weekend (a male cat peed somewhere in the show hall and it set him off), but Richard managed to calm him down, and he got some amazing shots.

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He even took a couple of me and Jake together in costume, and yes, my inner 7th grader was flailing around in a major squee the whole time I was posing. I mean, not only was I having one of my cats photographed by Chanan…but he was photographing me, too!

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You may notice that Richard wears knee pads while he’s working.

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Those aren’t to save his knees, he explained.

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He wears them, he said, because his wife was tired of him coming home with holes in the knees of his pants. “She said, ‘you’re not a six year old! You shouldn’t be wearing out the knees of your pants like that!'” he told me.

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I only wish I had not been so shy the first day of the show; I didn’t approach him til towards the end of the first day.

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He was also set up at the opposite end of the show hall from where we were benched, so it was hard to spend a lot of time watching and talking to him while he worked.

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But you know how when you meet someone you’re a fan of, and you’re a little afraid they won’t live up to this image you’ve created of them in your head?

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Well, that didn’t happen here, and I think that’s the best part of the weekend, to be honest.

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Incidentally, this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine featured a photo of Richard working with a Sphynx in Santa Monica. Considering he was in striking distance of Manhattan the same weekend it was published, it’s a pretty amazing coincidence.

A Grand Day for Abys

I got this email from Sherry, Jacoby’s breeder, tonight:

Just wanted to share some great news with you. This weekend, I attended Ellie’s 2-day CCA Show in Halifax, NS. I brought Pellburn Buddy Guy Slippin’ In (because he already had a fair amount of Grand Points), and his niece, Cassia Alexandrina, Dillin and Ginger’s daughter (Ginger’s breeding replacement now that she’s spayed). Cassia earned her Champioinship on Saturday, and both got some finals and Grand Points, although not enough for Buddy Guy to Grand, but there is much better news!

Dillin (Pellburn Johnny Dillinger, son of Scar (who you all knew) and Instincts Catalina (from Chris G.)) stayed home for the weekend, for once. But some of his relations sure had a great weekend! His sons Eszencia Diego and Dylan (mother is Hinka’s Eszencia Song-of-the-Siren Moon) also attended the CCA show. On Sunday, Diego finished 3rd Best Cat in Show and Dylan finished Best Premier in Show AND just a couple of points shy of Granding! Diego also did awesome at a big CFA show in New Jersey this summer 🙂

But on the very same day, far far away in Groton, CT, Dillin’s brother Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home (Jake), became a Grand Premier at his 3rd CFA show as a Premier! As you can read in his mom Coco’s “The Daily Abyssinian” blog, it was a real nail biter 😉

Congratulations to Diego, Dylan, and Jake!!

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Oh yeah, forgot to mention, Buddy Guy won Runner-Up for Best Costumed Cat, he was “The Buddy Guy” and I was “Mustang Sally” LOL.

If you look at the background of her photo, you can see why she and Buddy Guy are wearing polka dots!

Other People’s Abys – A Racy Mooner Halloween

Check out Racy Mooner, a blue Aby who just loves dressing up for Halloween

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I love the expressions on this cat’s face!

Happy Halloween!

This year, I got my act together and got everyone a Halloween Costume, not just the Abys.

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Jacoby’s costume, of course, is a team effort with mine. It was quite a hit at the show yesterday!

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Angel’s always been a pirate, but, as I posted Friday, this year I improved her costume tremendously with a new hat, a dress, and an eyepatch.

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Kylie’s costume is something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years now: Hello Kitty.

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Or, if you prefer, Hello Kylie.

I admit, Tessie’s costume is lame, but at least she has one this year. I have wanted to get her a nurse outfit for a couple of years, now, but haven’t found one I like. Last year, Jake and I went to Petco sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, and I snagged some kitty Halloween outfits for $2-$3 each. One of these was a pink butterfly costume.

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Pink really isn’t Tessie’s colour (it’s Kylie’s, actually), but her registered name is Bes Butterfly, so I bought it. And, it was worn by a celebrity this year, so how could I pass it up?

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And she doesn’t seem to mind it. Still, next year, I vow to get her that nurse costume.

Aby-a-Day – October 30: The Rally Squirrel must have been at the show this weekend

It was a very agonising, nail-biting weekend. Going into this show, Jacoby had 66 points. He needed 9 points to earn his Grand Premier title. In his first two shows as a Premier, he earned 24 points and 42 points, for a total of 66. Given that many of the judges at the show this weekend had helped him earned these points, My friend Meg and I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult for Jake to Grand at this show.

We were wrong. Apart from the fact that he was not the only Aby in Premierhip for the first time and so had competition for the all-important purple “Best Premier of Breed,” he was also “too heavy” according to a couple of the judges.

Each purple ribbon is worth a point, and at the end of Saturday, Jake had won 4 Best Premier ribbons in the 5 rings. Coming into Sunday, he needed only 5 points. 5 points.

In the first ring, the purple ribbon went to Laurel. in the second, it went to Jake. Then, in the next two rings, Laurel was Best Premier in Breed, and she earned a Second Best Shorthair Premier to boot. By the last ring, Jake had won 5 purples, and only needed 4 points to Grand. If he didn’t make it to the final, he would have to wait for his next show to become a Grand Premier.

Much like the World Series, it all came down to the very last ring, presided over by a judge Jake had been seen by, Lois Jensen; Judge Jensen had just put the two Championship Abys in her Top 10 final, which we said was a sign. I was sitting next to one of Laurel’s breeders, (Debbie from Instincts cattery), in that final ring. It was one of the most intense judgings I’ve ever been involved with.

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It’s pretty much a given that if a cat does not win a purple ribbon, they will not make the final. And if Jake didn’t earn more than It all came down to Lois Jensen’s preferences in Abys. Laurel and Jake are similar, but while Laurel is a petite, dainty girl, Jake is a rangy boycat. Which type would the judge favour?

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After she’d examined both Abys and deliberated over their appearance as compared to the Abyssinian breed standard. And it was on Jake’s cage that she hung that purple ribbon. If he didn’t make the final, he’d have 72 points, three shy of the 75 points needed. If he did make the final, with any ranking, he would have enough points to Grand.

I was in the ladies room, looking for paper towels, when he was called up for Lois Jensen’s final.

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And…she gave him Best Shorthair Premier and Best Allbreed Premier! It was like a walk-off grand slam on the last strike of the last out of the 10th inning. Jake knocked it out of the park on his last at bat.

Grand Premier Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Aby-a-Day – October 29: Abys, Abys everywhere!

Unlike every other show Jacoby and I have gone to this year, there are Abyssinians in abundance at the cat show today.

There are three kittens entered:

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A ruddy (usual),

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A red (sorrel),

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And a fawn. I haven’t seen a fawn Aby at a show since I took Gun-Hee to shows as a kitten.

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There are two Championship Abys, Meg’s red Grand Champion Kuki (who I somehow managed not to get any photos of today) and Instincts Cozumel, a ruddy, and, of course, Jake and Instincts Laurel in Premiership.

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But the biggest surprise was seeing a ruddy Aby in the Household Pet class! Her name is Kiri and this is her first cat show; her registration hasn’t gone through so she is showing as a HHP this time instead of a Premier.

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The weather was lousy – it started snowing at around 3pm! It’s not supposed to snow before Halloween!

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And, sadly, Jake did not make a final today, and did not earn his 9 points. He did get 4, though, so he only needs 5 more points to become a Grand Premier.

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Better luck tomorrow!

Aby-a-Day – October 28: Shiver me timbers (Fashion Friday)

We’re on our way to Groton, CT for the cat show this weekend, but that doesn’t mean Angel can’t show off her new and improved Halloween pirate outfit!

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She really needed a new hat. Her old one had built-in dredlocks (why!?), and no feathers.

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No feathers! How can you have a pirate hat without feathers? I did salvage the little kitty skull-and-crossbones from her old hat, though.

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Then, of course, the wonderful eyepatch that Abyfriend Julie of Cat Atelier made, along with a pirate dress made by another Etsy seller, Pampered Pup n’ Stuff.

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And…voila! The Dread Pirate Angel!

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I have to say, I’m impressed with how well she posed for me.

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It’s pretty obvious she knows full well how awesome she looks.

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I suppose that next year, I’ll need to find her a cutlass.