Aby-a-Day – February 29: Wordless Wednesday (Only once every four years)

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The Book of the Cat

I was given a copy of The Book of the Cat (edited by Michael Wright and Sally Walters) for my 17th birthday, and it was one of the best birthday gifts I have ever gotten.

Originally published in 1980 and currently out of print, even 30 years later it’s still one of the most informative and useful cat books I own. I actually searched for years to find a hardcover copy, and I refer to this book frequently.

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This book is one of my biggest influences. It features breed paintings by Peter Warner that are among the best I’ve ever seen. One of his illustrations of a Siamese was the genesis of my first tattoo, of my Siamese Harri.

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It also has a copy of this photo, the first I ever saw of all four Aby colours (red/sorrel, fawn, ruddy/usual and blue) in one single litter. The first book I saw this photo in was a Christmas gift in 1974, and that was when I fell in love with blue Abys.

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And this photograph I have just always, always loved. The obvious affection between this Aby and his person has always made me so happy.

The point of this post is that I happened upon a spare copy of this wonderful, beloved book a few days ago. It’s a paperback edition, printed in the UK, in almost perfect condition – the cover’s got a bit of a ding, but all the pages are there and the binding is like new. And I love this book so much, I want to share it with the world.

However, I only have one spare copy. So I can only share it with one of you. Leave a comment on this post by Sunday, March 4, at 3am Eastern time (midnight for you west-coasters), and I’ll randomly select one lucky reader to win!

A 16-ring cat show that’s accessible by public transit? Sign us up!

Very exciting and last-minute development, everyone: Jake and I are going to a cat show this coming weekend! We’re entered in the TICA show in Providence, RI, which is very cool and very interesting for a number of reasons. First and foremost, since it’s in Providence, Jake and I can take the commuter rail to the show all by ourselves, like we did when we went to the Mansfield show back in August. The show is at the Rhode Island Convention Center, which is connected to the Westin Hotel (which is, of course, pet friendly) by a skybridge, and which is only a third of a mile from the Providence train station. So the logistics of doing a show without a car are covered very nicely.

The fact that this is a TICA show is really exciting. I’ve never been to a TICA show as a spectator, let alone an exhibitor, so it’s going to be a whole “brand new frontier” kind of experience. Jake, who is a Grand Premier in the CFA, will be starting out at ground zero as a Novice in TICA, so that makes it a little more interesting than going to another CFA show where Jake’s already in the upper echelon. Not that we won’t ever do CFA again, but it’s really kind of nice to be able to start over from scratch and become a Champion Alter in another registry. And, the thing that really got my attention is, this is a SIXTEEN RING SHOW! Most two-day CFA shows are eight or ten rings, twelve at the most, for both days, but this? This is huge. Sixteen rings is like two shows worth of judging.

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I have my TICA registration sorted; I will have to register Jake in TICA, but a cat is allowed one show with registration pending, and I’m already working on getting him registered. If I’m reading the instructions correctly, I just need Sherry to sign a copy of a three-generation pedigree and pay TICA $20, so that’s not too difficult.

I also checked in with Abyfriend Molly from Tigerflower, who checked her contacts and found a friend of hers knows someone who has an Aby who will be at the show. She forwarded me part of the email, which said, “I know Tammy, who is showing the alter she got from me, will be there. Dexter is number one alter Aby in TICA right now, but we will welcome competition.” So knowing there’ll be another Abyssinian there – a really good one – makes it even more interesting. I can’t wait to see how Jake does against the “best neutered Aby in the registry,” you know? And I love the name Dexter for an Aby! I wonder if he is a cereal killer..?

Not only that, but it appears that the TICA show is being held in conjunction with the 19th Annual Rhode Island Pet Show, so there’ll be a lot to see besides the cat show (assuming I have any time to go look at it, with eight rings a day).

(Note to self: There has got to be a cat show filk in there somewhere: “Eight Rings a Day”…)

I also got a good tip from Sheila Dentico of Abyroad on the Unusual Aby Yahoo group: she said she thinks two friends of hers are going to be there with a Cinnamon Silver Somali (try saying THAT 5 times fast!), so I’ve got another name to look for. And, wow…never seen a Cinnamon Silver anything in person before…oh, brave new cat association, that has such kitties in’t!

As it was explained to me: TICA shows typically have more rings than CFA shows, anywhere from 10 rings up. 16 is pretty high, but they are trying to max the number for the end of show season shows would be my guess. (The show season ends at the end of April.) The scoring for CH and Grand works rather differently, but they might hold a seminar to explain the scoring and the scoresheet in the catalog is not that hard to understand.

Also, all cats of a color/division/breed compete with each other, no separation by sex or title level at all. And the judge does NOT know what title any cat has achieved, so it is much more democratic. So even a cat that is not yet a Champion might get a Best Cat if it is really good.

Susan Graham, from Aksum Abys, who knows TICA well, sent me some information on scoring and also a really nifty Excel spreadsheet to keep track of any points Jake might earn this weekend. I love Excel, and I have a feeling that this will come in awfully handy!

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And, speaking of cat shows, I happened to find this photo from 1982 of my first “show cat,” Sgt. Pepper, who was a chocolate-point and white HHP. This is back in the Dark Ages before we had SurdiShelters and used bedsheets for cage curtains!

Big weekend with new frontiers ahoy!

Aby-a-Day – February 28: Round and round she goes… (Cartoon Tuesday)

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Angel really does chase her tail on the top of the cat tree; I Tweeted a couple of these photos when it happened, but since I took them from a distance in poor light with my phone, they were pretty bad. So I drew them instead.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Other People’s Abys – An Aby mention in the 500th Simpsons episode?!

I have to admit, I’m not a big Simpsons fan. When it started, I lived in a place without a local Fox affiliate, and, not being able to watch the show, I just never really got into it when it started.

However, I am not oblivious to the show, which, after 23 years on the air, just broadcast its 500th episode on February 19th. And how could I not notice a mention of an Abyssinian on this bastion of American popular culture?

To wit: “I’m at least as smart as a cat, right, Lou?” “What breed, Chief? I mean, I saw an Abyssinian once who could change channels.”

Want to see/hear it for yourself? The episode is available to watch on the official Simpsons website, but hurry: it expires in 26 days! (The pertinent scene is in the third section, roughly at 15:10.)

Happy birthday, Do Lou!

Just wanted to wish a quick “Happy Birthday” to diabetic blue Aby Do Lou, who turns 9 this year!

Here’s to many, many more!

Aby-a-Day – February 27: Bright and colourful (Hipstamatic Monday)

I love how bright and oversaturated these photos are.

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They seem so cheerful for the end of February, don’t they?

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They say Abyssinians are “the colourful cat,” and, well, I guess Jacoby lives up to that.