Aby-a-Day – December 4: Contemplative Angel

Angel looks so thoughtful and serene in this photo.

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It’s an illusion, I assure you. I took this in the midst of a turkey feeding frenzy. The only thing she’s contemplating is how to get more turkey from my husband than Jacoby, Tessie or Kylie.

Other People’s Abys: The Red (Sorrel) Menace

The past couple of days, there’s been a lively correspondence and a flurry of anecdotes about red (also known as sorrel) Abyssinians on one of the Aby lists I’m on, and I just wanted to share it with you all. It’s hilarious, and even better, it’s all true (because fiction has to make sense)!

Deborah Feltham, of Glendoveer Abyssinians, shared this story:

OK, I am finally calming down, and I thought the list could use a laugh…At my expense, no less!!

As you know, I recently brought home a red Abyssinian, GG, from Ruth Snow. A very big deal, because GG is an anomaly here since my home is either ruddy or spotted! 🙂 The last red in my house was Holly the Birder! She could unscrew any birdcage from a ceiling faster than I could put the screws in, until I finally gave up and retired from keeping birds!

Now I have GG, who seems satisfied to watch birds at the feeder outside through the window or play race in the cat wheel. That is, until today…

We are having a very late fall start, so it wasn’t until today that it was cold enough for “things” to come inside. I live where there is a field and stream close to the house, and, unfortunately for me, field mice will sometimes take it in their fool heads to look for shelter in my home! Between the cats who run loose and the human (Me) who is unreasonably scared of mice and bugs, I can’t imagine one taking shelter here, but today one did!

I am talking on the phone to Ruth when I hear a squeeking go past my chair, followed by a pack of cats with GG in the lead! At first I thought they were chasing the safe, stuffed, squeeky TOY mouse I bought them. But suddenly, in mid sentence, I say to Ruth “OMG!! GG is EATING SOMETHING NOT NICE,” at which point I drop the phone, jump onto the sofa and start yelling! GG has a mouse and *I* am not about to take it but I want it AND HER away from me!

Ruth is listening to me on the other end of the phone that is now on the floor. Tribe, my neuter, is up on the sofa with me, either trying to protect me OR sensibly staying away from that nasty thing (of course, he might also have been scared to death at my screaming and jumping up and down)! My poor father, who thankfully still has all his facilities at 97, is running around trying to find out what has come over me (this time)! He sees me incoherently indicating that the red cat has ‘something’ (he does not know what, of course), and he goes to GG and tries to get the ‘something’ away from her. She has her mouth wrapped around this THING, but he finally gets it out and comes toward me to show it to me! NOT. “Get it out of here AND TAKE THAT CAT TOO!” I am screaming. “She has a MOUSE in her mouth!”

Finally, he has the mouse away from GG and she is chasing him down to get it back. I am still dancing on the sofa, and poor Ruth is on the other end of the phone deathly fearing that I have gone crazy and done something to her poor GG!! HA! Poor GG my butt! That red creature and her toy were trying to give me a heart attack !! I am fairly certain now I know why she sent her to me!!

Anyway, dad got the mouse from her, and I don’t care where it went but it is gone. I managed to pull myself together enough to pick up the phone and finish telling Ruth what happened (as if she couldn’t hear it). Tribe stayed at my side the entire time, and 2 hours later is still close. GG, the red devil, is still walking around looking for her mouse! And as for Ruth! Know what she had the nerve to say?

“Well, you feed them raw, what did you expect her to do? She just thought that this time it was LIVE RAW!” Thanks Ruth! I will try to train someone to hunt snakes and send that cat to you!!

You know, I do things in my professional life that the average person would cringe and pass out, but let a mouse or bug come anywhere near me, I become a complete raving idiot! The Abys know this, so I am quite sure they calculate how to set me off. Lately they have a fall guy! The RED THING 🙂

I would love to have a proper run for the Abys, but quite honestly I am fairly sure my constitution could not handle what they mght bring to me. Snakes, I am ok with. But mice, bugs, etc? Not! Both my son and I are breeding the Abys, and I think you would get the biggest laugh, because he inherited my fear of such things and I think sometimes the Abys sit and wait for the proper moment to push us both over the edge! Thank heaven we do not live in the same house, because the Abys would hold us hostage, I am sure 🙂

Ruth added to the story shortly after:

OMG, I am STILL laughing from the phone call! Tell GG her mother Mojo is darned proud of her for being a working cat!

My pet potbellied pig, Pig Newton, used to kill snakes that came from the farm behind us when it rained really hard. He did not eat them, just killed them and then played with the thing.

Let me know when you have that snake cat trained we can name him Glendoveer’s Snake Charmer.

And then others chimed in with their Aby stories:

“Oh, how lucky that you survived one of those killer mice! A couple of years ago, one of those escaped one of the Abys, ran to me and crawled up my leg – I bet it was going for my throat! But I caught it half way and set it free, even though it didn’t deserve it 😉

My compliments to your father. It not always easy to get a prey from an Aby. Some of them are manageable, but others, you just know that there’s no way, you will never get that mouse/bird/frog/lizard/whatever from them.

If you ever come to my house, I suggest you bring a pacemaker, a first-aid kit and your personal physician – there is hardly a day, when the abys don’t bring something from their outdoor enclosure :-D”

“At the Arkansas TICA show I had the little red girl with my Andy. She was there for sale and they spent time between his rings grooming each other. I made the mistake of getting them each a little rabbit fur treat…While I took my Household Pet to the ring, my neighbor exhibitor was trying to find out who was growling. There was little Red cowering in the corner and Andy had both rabbit furs in his mouth like he had a live mouse! She held the baby while I opened his jaws and removed those toys! Then I had to talk him down and give him treats, which he reluctantly shared with her. Later they were back to grooming each other. Poor little baby wondered what happened to Mr Mom!”

“Not to worry, the Glendoveer cats are so smart I can teach them to gargle with mouth wash! Funny, but probably true. We could teach them to say, ‘Row, row, row,’ and make our own electricity except they would eat the hamsters.”

“We had a red Aby named Turbo. She was always so entertaining, but one night she even topped herself. We have a “catio” that our Abys can go in and out of. Turbo came across a mouse, in the catio, and was so proud of it that she brought it into the bedroom, jumped onto the bed, and promptly turned it loose! I screamed, the mouse took off, and our Sheltie and our two Abys all gave chase through the house.

Turbo was up all night looking for her little prize. It finally turned up behind the refrigerator a week later…yep…stiff as a board. I’d have tried to save it, if I could have found it in time. Turbo couldn’t seem to
understand why I didn’t appreciate her gift!”

“Bwahahahahaha!!! Oh Deborah you sound just like my mum and partner, who if anything small and furry gets near them they are on the verge of having a serious heart attack. This is not good when you have field mice in abundance in the area and a Usual (ruddy) Aby girl who is one heck of a mouser!

A couple of years ago we had a serious infestation of mice due to our neighbours having their home and land redeveloped. Chloe took to dispatching the offenders with quite some alacrity and we could get up to three mice per day, but her absolute favourite thing to do was to wait till you were in bed before bringing her prizes to you. She’d wait till you were in a dead sleep and then deposit the dead mouse in your hand or near your
face. I think she realised after the first time this was what would get the best reaction LOL!

Then, on the complete opposite end of the scale, I have an silver tabby American Wirehair boy who only a couple of months ago thought that the mouse that managed to find in way inside was a wonderful toy and should be used for sporting purposes only. He was given every opportunity to dispatch the little creature, but insisted on doing nothing but chasing it and laying down beside it to watch what was going on. This was all to the consternation of my partner who was running around the house screaming like a maniac. All the while, I was sitting on the sofa laughing till I cried. In the end we realised he was NOT going to do his cat duties and managed to get the little thing into a box and put it back outside to hopefully live another day.

I just don’t know how we could live without our entertaining Abys, even if they’re entertaining us in all the wrong ways!”

“Too funny! I’m getting a mental image for sure…You, a red Aby and a mouse, all in the same space! Definitely the red Aby was in control of that situation!”

I can’t imagine what Jacoby would do if we ever had a mouse…but I could totally see Angel going after it with murder in her eye.