Aby-a-Day – May 31: Angel up a tree

So here’s the thing: I have a ton of photos that I took between July 4th and the very beginning of November…2010.


This is from when I first got my Nikon S8000.


For some reason, I never went through this pile of pictures.


Obviously, I’ve been going through photos since early November, 2010; if I hadn’t been, there really wouldn’t be any photographic bones to muscle with my blog entries.


There are some pretty awesome photos in that batch.


Some of these photos, I don’t think I’ve even seen since I took them.


It’s kind of like how it was back in the old film days.


Sometimes, back in the old film days, you’d find a roll of exposed film in some old bag you haven’t used for years.


You’d look at it, when you found it, and think: Wow…when is this thing FROM?


And you’d take it or send it to wherever it is you took film to be developed and printed back in those days.


And when you got the photos back, it was amazing.


Well, this is going to be kind of like that. Hopefully. Anyway…I have a huge amount of photos from July – November, 2010. I’m starting out with these shots of Angel playing with an Alpaca fur cat toy. Two years ago. Think of it like a kind of Flashback Friday…only without the Friday.

Aby-a-Day – May 30: Wordless Wednesday (My, what big teeth you have!)


Other People’s Abys – Another Good Weekend for the Abys

Abyfriend Meg (Cousin Taz’s mom) reported some excellent news from the Burmilla/Empire CFA show in Lebanon, PA, this past weekend about the outstanding success Abys had at the show (where there were at least some Abys actually entered).

In Championship, Abycastle Midnight in Paris, a dark, handsome fellow with bedroom eyes, made all 12 finals and was one of the highest scoring cats for the weekend. Congratulations to Lauren Castle, Gary Hoffman, and Chris Giammarinao. (We were benched next to Paris at the New Hampshire show.)


In an extremely competitive Premiership class, a new Aby Tag Team emerged! The racy, elegant blue, GP Zehnder Roger Vivier of NuDawz made 11 of 12 finals, including three Best Cat wins and the colorful, refined red half of the team, GP Anubis Taz Mania, made 10 of 12 (including a Best Cat win). Most Premiership finals had not one but two Abys and two had them First and Second Best Cat. (Just like Jacoby and Taz did at the New Hampshire show!)


What the show proved was that, when given a choice between two virtually equal, fine examples of the Abyssinian breed, judges are able to see their way clear to using both and to using them high. The three cats shown are slightly differing versions of the 100 points the standard represents but all three are A+.


All of the Abys there did have a couple things in common…

All were colorful and all had excellent ticking. Paris has a lush, springy coat with lots of very black ticking. A number of judges commented on Roger’s amazing patina. One of Taz’s strongest suits is his richly colored, well-ticked coat. All also had great eyes.

Speaking of eyes; Chris & Deb Muratore had a gorgeous little ruddy boy in the Kitten Class, Instincts Alcatraz. He is elegance personified. He was only there on Saturday, however, and, because he was teething and has not been shown much, he was a bit frightened and not totally on his game.

I fell hard for him, however, and I know we’ll be seeing a lot of him in the future. He expressed an interest in adding a “last name.”

Chris G & I are happy to extend our congratulations to Monica, Sue, Seth & Lorna and we know they do the same.

Go Abys!!!

Aby-a-Day – May 29: Inside every fluffy kitten is the soul of a tiger (Cartoon Tuesday)

This was inspired by the Leap Day photo of Jacoby jumping off the bookshelf, and a photo of a cougar jumping off a cliff in almost the exact same pose.


One of Jake’s favourite toys is a deer tail I got for him at a flyfishing shop, too.

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

Aby-a-Day – May 28: On the waterfront (Hipstamatic Monday)

Jacoby really loves walking along Fort Point Channel.


I think he recognises the area, and he knows we’re close to home there. He can walk all the way to our building once we get past Binford Park.


You would think he’d prefer to walk on the side of the path furthest from the channel, but this isn’t the case at all.


I think he likes to look at the water.


I can’t argue with him; the channel is a lot more exciting than Gillette’s parking lot!

Aby-a-Day – May 27: Every step along the way

One very cool feature of my new camera is its “rapid fire” feature. It can take something like 12 shots in a second.
I tested it out on Jacoby, ever my willing subject:
















I have dreams of making a flip book with a set of these sorts of photos. I tried it out yesterday with judges looking at cats in the rings, and also on a white ibis I saw in a parking lot. I haven’t had a chance to look at those photos, but I’ll bet I got at least a couple of keepers!

Other People’s Abys: The trip I SHOULD have taken

Next weekend is both my birthday and my friend (and Jacoby’s breeder) Sherry’s birthday weekend. Coincidentally, up in Fredericton, where Sherry lives, next weekend there’s big ACFA cat show scheduled. I really wanted to bring Jake to that show…but fate consipred it was just not in the cards for this year.

It got a great write-up in the Fredericton newspaper (but you have to actually subscribe to the paper to read its articles online), and I also found this charming video of Sherry explaining the cat show last year to local celebrity Charles Leblanc:


Of course, while I wanted to see Sherry, and also our friend Kim, and Jake’s relatives Clancy and Finnegan, the main reason I wanted to go up there was so Jake and his brother Dillin could have a little littermate reunion.


4xGrCh Pellburn Johnny Dillinger, Jake’s brother, was Best Cat for ACFA Eastern Canada Region for the 2011 show season! What an achievement!

Sherry and Buddy Guy3_1538

We’d also have been able to see Jake’s (non-littermate) brother, Buddy Guy, who shares his fondness for dressing up.

There’s more information on the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook. If you’re anywhere near New Brunswick next weekend, you’ve got to go to Fredericton.

*Sigh* Wish I could…well…as we’re so fond of saying in Boston, there’s always NEXT year!

Aby-a-Day – May 26: Nobody wants to see vacation photos

I’m actually in Florida right now. As a matter of fact, I did go to a cat show in Orlando today and met up with my friend Molly…but if you can believe it, there were NO ABYSSINIANS entered in the show! None at all! The entire Shorthair Premier class was only about 10 cats! It was crazy.

Still, there were some great cats. The Championship class had both a Cornish Rex and a Devon Rex in one final, and they were caged right next to each other so you could really see the difference between the two breeds. There were also two solid white Maine Coons, a male and a female, who pretty much made my argument for Kylie being a shorthaired Maine Coon and not, say, descended from American Shorthairs. I took a lot of photos with my new camera…but I haven’t had time to go through them yet.

So, here are some action shots of Angel, jumping…


…and scratching.



These were practice shots using the flash and the diffuser I got. As a side note, Richard Katris aka Chanan was at this show, and I actually had time to to chat with him a bit. He looked at my camera and asked me about the viewfinder; I told him it was brand-new and handed it to him to see for himself. He actually gave me some pointers on how to test the viewfinder/flash for lag! I’ve met Richard a few times, now, and I’m starting to get over my fangirlishness to an extent, but I’m sorry: Having Chanan give you cat photography advice is kind of like having Leonardo Da Vinci give you lessons on brushstrokes.

Aby-a-Day – May 25: Sweet Transvestite (Fashion Friday)

Apparently, cross-dressing runs in Jacoby’s family.


At the last cat show, Meg was saying that of his three littermates, Cousin Taz was a transvestite. I actually said he was more of an Abyssinian Ryan Seacrest, so extremely metrosexual as to be only possibly gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that).


And then we had Cousin Toki last week masquerading as a pretty pretty princess in one of Julie’s tiaras.


So, call it peer pressure. Call it genetic inevitability.


Call it Jake in a dress. One of Angel’s dresses, to be precise.


Evidently, Jake’s been learning supermodel poses from Sparkle.


If my husband finds out I put Jake in a dress, I’m in big trouble. Hell hath no fury like a man with one boycat with compromised masculinity.


Shut up, Tessie.

Aby-a-Day – May 24: Protection racket

Last week I Tweeted a photo of Jacoby on my chest, happy as could be that I was still in bed after my husband had left for work. He thought I was going to stay home all day with him! Alas, I was only leaving a little later than usual because we were getting our annual HVAC maintenance done.


He planted himself on my chest and purred and purred and purred…and headbutted me and licked my ears…


Just so happy! And when the maintenance guy walked up to the door, Jake heard him coming and ran to the door, growling. He’s done this before when he hears things outside the door, both at home and in hotels. He’s very protective of me.


He was friendly to the man, but he also made sure to be nearby when the man talked to me and when I paid him and signed the work order. The man even commented about how protective Jake seemed.


It seems that the more we go places and do things together, the more attached to me Jake is becoming. When I go to bed at night, he plants himself firmly on the bed, snuggled firmly behind my knees. I don’t even need to call him; he just comes on his own when he realises I’ve gone to bed.

We’re going on a small vacation soon; I hope he doesn’t miss me too much. Except for my weekend in Baltimore, I haven’t left him for any length of time since last year…

Aby-a-Day – May 23: Wordless Wednesday (Stop thief!)








Other People’s Abys: Award Winners and a Reno Jackpot

Angeline Watanabe of Abyzona posted this year-end report to one of my Aby mailing lists:

Lets hear it for a wonderful year! The 2011-2012 show season was a prosperous one for the Abyssinian world.

Drum roll…We ended the season with three national winners!

GC, NW Anqet Akasha – 2nd Best Kitten Nationally & Best Abyssinian Kitten
B/O Dianne Henderson

GP, NW Hitails Banjo Mooner – 5th Best Premiership Cat Nationally & Best Abyssinian Premier
B/O Lisa Maria Padilla


GC, GP, NW Abyzona’s Sparkler of Temecku – 24th Best Cat in Premiership Nationally & 2nd Best Aby Premier
Breeder: Angeline Watanabe
Owner: Julie Onstott/Ange Watanabe

Congratulations to these wonderful cats and their owners!

The Breed Win this year belongs to GC, BW, RW Shera Len Killian, a lovely red male belonging to Betsy Arnold. Congratulations to Betsy and Killian!!


Top Ten Abys in Championship:
1. GC, BW, RW Shera Len Killian (BOC)
(We saw him at the CFA show in Groton, CT last October when he was a kitten!)
2. GC, RW Bastis Social Network of Abyzona (BOC)
3. GC, RW Lyonwood Medicine Man (BOC)
4. GC, RW Saynday Sunkat Super Nova of 3 Janes (2BOC)
5. GC, RW Diva Hues Your Daddy? (2BOC)
6. GC, DW Greenville Quiana (2BOC)
7. GC, Omnia Mea Quia Nominor Leo
8. GC, Greenville Bimmer
9. GC, RW Licca Lady Asura
10. GC, RW Anqet Padparascha of La’roux

Top Ten Abyssinian Kittens:
1. GC, NW Anqet Akasha
2. GC, RW Zehnder Espirit
3. GP, RW Zehnder’s Rogier Vivier of NuDawnz
4. GC, BW, RW Shera Len Killian
5. GC, NW Hitails Banjo Mooner
6. GC, DW Greenville Zakka
7. CH Redferne Moses 2 of Tigerflower
(This is my friend Molly’s fawn kitten who we were benched next to at that same show in Groton last October!)
8. CH, RW Lyonwood Jambalaya
9. GP, RW DeVande’s Firecracker
10. CH, RW Aimables Archange II


Top Ten Abyssinians in Premiership:
1. GP, NW Hitails Banjo Mooner
(I met Banjo at the Crab & Mallet show in Baltimore back in March!)
2. GC, GP, NW Abyzona’s Sparkler of Temecku
3. GP, RW Glenlea’s Desoto of Ashaby
4. GP, DW Eritrean Red Bumblebee
5. GC, RW Astechs Under the Radar of Abiqua
6. GP, DW Masmera Cenegal of Russmania
7. GP, RW Astechs Amelia Earheart
8. GP, RW Cepheus Hina-Malama
9. GP, Diva’s Hues Your Favorite?
10. GP, RW Anqet Binkhaaphajaosuduangjun

Then yesterday, Angeline posted this to the Aby list:
Something quite special happened this past weekend at the Reno show. With lots of points to spare Zehnder Moon and Stars of Abyzona and his full litter sister, Zehnder Seraphina of 3Janes both achieved their grand championship title. What made this event even more special is that these two blue little pieces of heaven are only eight months old, AND they finished together on the same day! “Fina” and “Moons” are from GC BW NW Glenlea’s Rolls Royce of Purssynian and out of RW Purssynian Seduced By Moonlight. The 3Janes and I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to Monica Zehnder, Beth and Darrell Newkirk, and Brad and Donna Johnson for affording us the opportunity to own and exhibit these beautiful cats. This is going to be one heck of a grand party!

Thank you, Angeline Watanabe- Abyzona Abyssinians and Teri Kennedy-Julie Onstott-Elizabeth Koller a.k.a. 3Janes Abyssinians

Monica added that Fina and Moon’s half brother was also there, GRP Zehnder Roger Vivier, who was 3rd Best Aby Kitten last year.

It looks like the new show year, which started on May 1, is going to be a good one for Abyssinians! Cousin Taz earned 330 points in one show at the New Hampshire show we went to a few weeks ago.

Aby-a-Day – May 22: Pack up your troubles in your old cat bag (Cartoon Tuesday)

We’re off to Florida for a short family visit. This cartoon pretty much wrote itself.


I think that because Jacoby actually does get to come along a lot of the time I pack for a trip, he feels extra-entitled. There’s also a subtle shout-out to my sister.

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

Other People’s Abys: Lola, Niles, Cairo & Doctor Livingstone

Sometimes I find the most interesting things while randomly Googling other things.

In this case, I was looking for a specific LOLcat with the caption “Ha! Ha! Ha!” and I found this delightful page of a charming Abyssinian family.

This is the photo that came up in my search:

But I think this one is my favourite:

There are more photo sets of these Abys taken when they were 9 days old, 2 months old, and 9 months old.

There are also several pages of other cat photos, including a series on big cats and photos taken at different Northern California TICA and CFA shows as well as a page describing How to Fold a Somali that’s pretty great, too!

I wonder if my Google searches have been conditioned to give me Abys when I look for things?

Aby-a-Day – May 21: The treat thief (Hipstamatic Monday)

The other morning as I was getting ready for work, I discovered Jacoby chewing and licking a package of treats.


Now, these aren’t even his treats!


As a matter of fact, he doesn’t even like these treats.


These are Angel’s special L-Lysine medi-treats that he poached.


Luckily, the packaging on these is very strong.


Jake managed to poke a few tooth-holes into the bag, but he couldn’t make a big enough tear into it to extract any of the treats inside. He did lick it quite a lot.


How did he actually manage to get ahold of the treat bag in the first place? Stay tuned; the answer will be revealed in this Wednesday’s wordless photo series!

Aby-a-Day – May 20: A walk in the park

After the cat show in Concord, NH a couple of weeks ago, Jacoby and I couldn’t resist checking out Waterfront Park, which just happened to border on the parking lot for the showhall, Everett Arena.



I think it was his favourite part of the day.


I was amused that he was more active exploring the riverbank than he was the entire time he was on the agility course.


We’ve never really gotten to explore a river. We walk along Fort Point Channel, but we don’t really get up close to the water unless we’re on the dock.


I think after spending a day as a pampered show cat, Jake enjoyed a little walk in the wild.



And it’s a really pretty park, too.


My favourite part of the outing was Jake’s constant commentary. It was hard to get photos of him with his mouth closed, he was talking so much!

Aby-a-Day – May 19: Leaf me alone

Abyssinians are probably one of the most domesticated breeds of cat.


But with their tawny coats and golden (or green) eyes, they are one of the most wild looking cats.


Jacoby loves to hide in bushes when we go outside.


I wonder if he’s hoping to catch something while he’s hiding?


He may look wild, but Jake’s as domesticated as they come.

Other People’s Abys – Aby sighting on Etsy via Moderncat!

Moderncat posted about some amazing placemats available on Etsy. Guess what I immediately noticed?


Oh, yeah. That aqua design called “Curious Cat” is definitely an Abyssinian.

Check out the Animals in Color Etsy shop for more gorgeous cat designs!

Aby-a-Day – May 18: Tessie (Friday Flashback)

Disclaimer: Okay, Tessie isn’t, technically an Aby. But she is descended from Abyssinians only 3 generations back.

Tessie, née Bes Butterfly, flew from Tualitin, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts, on 20 May 2005. She arrived around 10pm and we picked her up at Logan’s air cargo pickup.


This is the crate she flew across the country in…she seems to forgive it for its part in her ordeal.


She fit in right away. That same weekend, she was playing fetch with me.


She only hid a little bit. By the next morning, she was on the bed with us.


She bonded with my Siamese, Harri (who was 14 years old at the time) almost immediately. They were actually both born in the Year of the Goat, which might have had something to do with it (if you believe in that sort of thing).


She bonded with Patrick, too…sort of. Not like she bonded with Harri, but they became friends.

We actually adopted her because my now-husband wanted a “kitten of his own,” who turned out to be Kylie. Tessie had her own litter of kittens before she was spayed and we adopted her.


So she was, kind of, adopted to be a surrogate kitten momma because the resident cats were 14- and 11-year-old boycats.


It wasn’t entirely what you would call “smooth sailing” at the beginning.


Although Tessie quickly became Kylie’s role model…




…and surrogate mother.


Even now, seven years later, Tessie and Kylie are the best of friends.



Tessie also stood in as “Momcat” for Gun-Hee…


…and Jacoby.


Although, she didn’t like Angel when she came to live with us…and still mostly just tolerates her.


Despite her round Burmese body, Tessie is a very athletic cat. She wasn’t even two years old when we first got her, and compared to my old Siamese men, she was a whirlwind.


But even now, almost nine years old, she’s still remarkably agile. She loves to jump up into my husband’s arms.


Unlike most cats, she prefers cool weather to hot. In my old apartment, she used to camp out in front of the window AC unit.


One of Tessie’s trademarks is that she loves to flop onto her back for belly rubs. If she thinks we’re paying too much attention to the other cats, she’ll start doing this. It’s kind of her version of Puss in Boots’ “big eyes” thing.


Sometimes, she goes a little overboard with it.


Tessie likes to go outside…


…and she doesn’t mind playing dress-up once in a while.


Tessie is a smoke tortoiseshell, which means that her undercoat is white and her colour is only on the tips of her fur.


All the Burmese variants love their people. They are often called “velcro cats.” Last year when we went on a trip for a week, Tessie missed us so much that she started overgrooming her belly, pulling out her fur til she was bald.


Because she was doing this, and also because of the hairball issues that ensued, we took her to a groomer to get a lion cut. She actually really loved it! When she comes home from a haircut, she marches around proudly, as if she knows exactly how cute she is.


Happy anniversary, Tessie!

Other People’s Abys: Abys and Tiaras (Fashion Friday Extra)

You need to check out Abyfriend Julie’s newest creation, modeled, of course, by Cousin Toki:


Princess Tiara with Swarovski crystals and sequins

Made of wire, silver trim, and horsehair mesh, with iridescent sequins and swarovski crystals. Ribbon tie in the back and elastic under chin to secure to head. Specially shaped for a cat’s head.

Awww…! Isn’t Cousin Toki a pretty princess? It kind of goes along with what Meg and I were saying about Cousin Taz’s metrosexuality at the show in Hampshire a couple of weekends ago…we were calling him the Ryan Seacrest of Abyssinians…

…Even funnier, when I Googled “I’m a pretty, pretty princess,” I found <a href="this:

I guess Abys & Tiaras is kind of a thing?