Back in July, the following email was forwarded on one of my Aby mailing lists:
I am writing a feature for Your Cat magazine to promote your breed and wondered if you could complete the following asap please:
What I love about the breed is….
The most interesting thing about the breed is….
I keep my cats entertained ..
I keep my cat/s in tip top condition by…
My top tip to a potential owner is…
The most challenging aspect about keeping this breed is…
If you have this breed you must have….
Any further comments/tips for anyone thinking of buying a cat ….
Other breeds that are compatible are…
Of course, I responded with answers about Abyssinians:
I got your Aby questionnaire through an Aby email list I’m a member of. I also do a blog about Abys and couldn’t NOT answer your questions!
Hope this is useful:
What I love about Abyssinians is…they’re so interactive! I can’t do anything without my Aby, Jacoby, “helping” me. He also always sleeps on the bed with me, touching me in some way. They’re also so loyal and protective; Jake will hear someone outside the door and growl as he runs up to see what’s going on.
The most interesting thing about Abyssinians is…they’re the oldest breed of cat not started by a genetic mutation (long hair, short/no tail, thermo-retrictive semi-albinism, and the oldest breed bred on purpose by humans and documented. This, I believe, is why they’re more attuned to people and more “dog-like” – they’ve simply been bred for this sort of personality longer than other types of cats.
I keep my cat/s entertained…by walking into the room. Abys love laserpointers, and they love playing fetch. But the thing they most love to do is assist you with whatever YOU are doing!
I keep my cat/s in tip top condition by…proper diet and outings on the leash in nice weather. Plenty of water available in spots away from the feeding area, and tooth brushing and grooming to keep their fur glossy.
My top tip to a potential Aby owner is…remember that they’re very active and want to be involved in absolutely everything you do! These are not decorative cats, these are cats of action! Read up on Abys as much as you can – Your Cat has some lovely articles, and there are several Aby-specific websites and blogs with lots of real stories about real Abys. Yes, they really do do all those things!
The most challenging aspect about keeping Abys is…Well, they ALWAYS want to help you. Always. Especially if you’re making their food. Or other cats’ food. Or any other animals’ food. Or pretty much any food at all. They will steal whatever they can. Jake stole broccoli out of a Chinese takeaway we left unattended thinking that there was only broccoli, it should be safe.
If you have Abyssinians, you must have…patience, a sense of humour (they have both, so you’ll need it, too) and the ability to live with a cat that wants to be with you all the time.
Any further comments/tips for anyone thinking of buying a cat …with cats, much of the time, I’ve found they live up to your expectations. If you expect to have a cat who’s antisocial, nervous, hides when people come over, will only eat one brand of food and won’t let you clip claws or brush teeth, well, then that’s what you’ll have. But if you expect your cat to know some basic words (we have to spell “c-a-n” in our house), to understand what not to do and what’s okay, and be a member of your family rather than just an accessory or a decoration, that’s what you’ll have.
I’ve seen it with my dad’s cats and my cats. I raised his Scottish Fold kitten for several weeks before he could take him, and he was well on track for becoming an extroverted, leash-trained, fearless cat. But after he’d been with my dad for a while, he sort of “shut down,” and became the sort of cat who hides and doesn’t like strangers, doesn’t like to go outside EVER, hisses if you try to pet him…in short, the poor kitten grew into the cat that my dad always complains about! But because that’s all he ever expected of the kitten, that’s what the kitten became.
People always, always ask why my cats are so great, why they’re so friendly, relaxed and outgoing even at the vet, playful into old age, smart, etc. and I tell them it’s because that’s the sort of cat I wanted.
Other breeds that are compatible with Abys are…Burmese and Siamese work well, I’ve found. But they seem to get along with all breeds of cats…and dogs!
I was surprised to receive the following reply to my response:
Thanks so much for your email. Having looked at your blog, Jacoby is amazing! Can you please tell me a little more about you and him, his personality, places you have been, how he and other people react etc, and send me some hi res photos of you two out & about. I’d love to feature you both in the ‘at home with’ section of the article.
I wrote back to Angie immediately, of course, and after a few days’ correspondence, Angela and her editor created a two-page feature in the October issue of Your Cat, which was also going to feature a spotlight on the Abyssinian breed!
And look! There’s a photo of Jake in Boston Common on the cover!
The feature itself is amazing – they used so many great photos of Jake, and they even mention my blog. It’s amazing; Your Cat calls itself “Britain’s Largest Cat Magazine,” and it’s distributed all over Europe. It’s also available in Canada and the States at bookstores that carry foreign magazines. Soon, Jacoby is going to meet a lot of new people!