It turns out there have been Abyssinians on the T a lot longer than anyone realised.
In a few T stations, there are ceramic tiles made by local schoolkids. Broadway Station is one of them. and Davis Square Station in Somerville is another. I always enjoy looking at them, especially one little group of cat tiles (and one skunk) in the middle of the Davis Square collection.
I was looking at them again the other day and it suddenly dawned on me what one was depicting…
It’s meant to be Jake, the Cat From Outer Space! I’m not sure how I didn’t see it before! I mean, I’ve always thought it looked like an Aby because of the colour, but…
No! I’m serious! It really is supposed to be Jake! Check it out: The Davis Square Tiles Project took place during the 1978-79 school year, and the child who made this tile, Estelle Passamonte, was an 11-year-old girl. I was 13, and my sister was 8, and during the second half of 1978 we were obsessed with Abyssinians, Jake, and talking intergalactic felines in general…so it’s not too huge a leap to conclude that little Stella was a fan, too.
(I also suspect this one is meant to be Zunar-J5/9-Doric-47, too, but since he’s got a sun and not a space helmet it’s not quite the logical slam-dunk that Estelle’s tile is. But look at those ears!)
And this one…those eyes seem like Aby eyes. And again with the big pointy ears, too.
I think that movie made quite an impact on girls aged 8-13…
It’s something I think about every time I ride the train with Jacoby.
There’s a long history of Abys and the red line! Who knew?