Aby-a-Day – February 28: Jacoby’s first therapy visit to Tufts

Tuesday evening, Jacoby and I went on our first therapy visit to Tufts Medical Center.


Jake was ready to go the minute we got off the train.



Tufts is one of the biggest hospitals in Boston, and it’s also right downtown and super easy to get to on the T. The station is right across the street from them!



The moment we entered our ward, Jake was the center of attention.
These next two were taken by the ward supervisor with her iPad.


She called this one “Beautiful Boy.”


I was so happy she took these photos – I’m always so busy interacting with the patients with Jake that I rarely have time to take photos.


And there are NEVER any photos of me!


Jake had an especially good time with one patient who loves the animal visitors and takes photos of them with his Kindle.


Jake is such a camera ham, you know he loved visiting this man! We stayed in the hospital until 8pm, when visiting hours ended. It was an awesome experience, and Jake seemed to really love all the attention. We’re going to set up a regular schedule…I can’t wait to go back!

Aby-a-Day – February 27: Wordless Wednesday (“In a cat’s eye, all strollers belong to cats”)






Aby-a-Day – February 26: Keep out of the reach of felines (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is based on a few things…mainly the fact that certain feminine hygiene products have a body and tail and are remarkably mouse-like. There was also a cat cartoon I saw years ago that was somewhat more graphic than my version (but then it involved Siamese, too); unfortunately I have no idea where I saw it and I can’t find it again or I would link to it. And then there was this incident…So yeah. It happens. Google it.


I really love how proud Jacoby is of himself in this cartoon. You know he was the instigator. Although I do apologise to anyone who doesn’t like cartoons resorting to bathroom humour.

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

Other People’s Abys – Racy Mooner on The Daily Buzz!

This just in from Facebook: Our friend Racy Mooner will be on The Daily Buzz tomorrow morning on a spot featuring travel gear for pets!

Racy’s been out in the public eye a lot lately; check out her appearance at the Yeowww! Catnip booth at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando:

It’s looking like 2013 is going to be the Year of the Aby!

Aby-a-Day – February 25: “People who want to understand democracy should spend less time in the library and more time in the subway” (Hipstamatic Monday)

I just love riding the T with Jacoby.


He’s such a seasoned subway rider.


Nothing fazes him. Not even long delays!



He knows the routes and lines like the back of his paw.


I guess since he’s been riding the T since he was 3 ½ months old, the subway is no big deal.


Maybe he should be the MBTA’s mascot?

Abyssinian QR Codes

This is really cool: the CFA just released QR Codes for all recognised breeds.


The article in the CFA newsletter, submitted by Kris Willison, said, “QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional bar code) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan. Recently, the QR Code system has become popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.” ~Wikipedia

Last December a friend brought a QR Breed Tag from another registry to a local show with the suggestion that they might make a nice exhibitor handout at the upcoming Houston Cat Club Diamond Jubilee. A QR Code can be read by any smart phone to deliver additional information, such as the URL for that breed’s profile or standard. The tag was shown to the HCC club president and I volunteered for the project.

The next day I used the QR Code Generator to create and download the codes for each of CFA’s 42 recognized breeds.

The next step was shopping to determine the most economical way to complete the project. I found the best price for business cards at Sam’s Club. The other supplies I purchased online at Amazon.com


Inkjet or Laser Printer Business Cards, 2″ x 3.5″
5 Mil Luggage Tag Slotted Laminator Pockets 2.5″ x 4.25″
Metal Badge Clips with Clear Vinyl Straps

Using the BREED SUMMARY for counts, business cards were printed front and back then laminated and badge clips added. I used an exhibitor listing that included breed of cat(s) entered to generate address labels to sort and bag the tags for pickup at check-in.

Exhibitors were thrilled and there have been emails from all over. With a little help from CFA Publications I have since created a MS Office 2010 Publisher file that can be made available to the clubs for printing the breed tags. Here are QR Codes for each breed.”


TICA has their own set of QR codes, too! Click here to download the PDF file with all the breed QR codes.

Pretty nifty, eh? What will they come up with next?

Aby-a-Day – February 24: We DO need those stinking badges!

Yesterday Jacoby and I went to Tufts Medical Center to get our volunteer ID badge photos taken.


Of course, it involved getting his photo taken, so it was a pretty easy task to complete



According to hospital rules, every volunteer must wear their own badge.


Including the animal volunteers!


Now that Jake and I are all badged up, and we have our Tufts volunteer vests, we’re ready to go to work!

Aby-a-Day – February 23: “Upper” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Upper.”


Angel always prefers the “Upper” shelf of the cat tree.


Trouble is, Jacoby has no sense of personal boundaries.

Aby-a-Day – February 22: The evolution of Strollercat (Friday Flashback)

All this Strollercat stuff started me thinking about how we ended up with Jacoby’s now-famous stroller.


We actually started out with this Snoozer Roll-Around carrier that I’d pull around behind me.


Jake was okay with it, but he didn’t really like being that low to the ground, and he didn’t like not being able to see. He likes to see where he’s going rather than where he’s been.


So I did a little research and shopped around and decided to bit the bullet of ultimate crazy-cat-ladydom and bought an inexpensive stroller on eBay.


He liked that a lot better! We still use the Roll-Around with the other cats, and it’s awesome, but Jake prefers his stroller.



Jake adapted to his new conveyance almost instantly.


We took his little green stroller on a few outings, like to the Apple store downtown


…the bus…


…the commuter rail…


…and Gloucester!

But as it turns out, it’s not just the cat’s comfort that matters. As much as we loved that little stroller…it was just too little. I’m 5’8″, and it turns out that the height of a stroller is important if you’re the one pushing it. I was having to sort of stoop over and it was killing my back and shoulders on long walks. The little wheels were completely non-shock absorbing, too, and I felt every brick and bump resonating through my hands and arms – and there’s a lot of bricks in Boston! And if it was that jarring to me just pushing it, I can only imagine what it felt like for Jake.


So I did a lot more research and read a bunch of reviews, and Jake and I upgraded to a taller jogging stroller with larger, smoother-riding wheels.


It was love at first sight (for both of us)! And the rest is history.

Aby-a-Day – February 21: Will success spoil Jacoby Stealin’ Home?

It’s amazing how much press some kitties can generate!

“The cat ‘Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home’ made an appearance onstage.”
Kayana Szymczak/Boston Globe

There are a few different features on Boston.com, including a truly magnificent photo of Jacoby onstage taken by Boston Globe photographer Kayana Szymczak (which was also in the actual printed newspaper today). They did a preview article (and an interview with yours truly), a nice slideshow of the entire event as well as an analysis of cat videos.


The Boston Dig is also featuring a Fotobom of the day, which can also be seen on Flickr!

Then there was a great story and video by the Somerville Patch on the Copy Cat Festival yesterday – be sure to check out their slideshow, too!

I especially love this one the reporter, Sara Jacobi (no relation) took of Jacoby and me talking with Rachel Strutt from the Somerville Arts Council.


It was a long day for Jake – we were there eight hours, from noon til 8pm – but he handled it like a champ. We did take a little break at one point; Jake decided he needed to get away from his adoring public and took a little tour behind the curtains.


He was very interested in these kettle drums.


Jake wasn’t the only cat at the festival, though. This little black and white girl, Krufka, sat patiently on her own little sofa while her human read a story about her.


And as I mentioned on Sunday, Famous Seamus was also in attendance. He was such a sweet cat. And as his human said, he was twice the size of Jake! Jake’s such a big Aby…it was nice for someone to call him “small” for a change.


I also got to meet local author Clea Simon, which was awesome; I haven’t met many authors of books I’ve read! Her book The Feline Mystique is a fascinating study of the ancient relationship between women and cats. She also writes feline mysteries!

And we met Case and Emily, the creative geniuses behind Ferocious Friends cat toys…now, these things might just give Neko Flies a run for its money! Check out their video if you don’t believe me!

I also have to mention my favourite local video – this song by aspiring local singer-songwriter Kevin Choi! Not only is Kevin super-talented, but he’s a total cat person.

I read somewhere that cat people don’t really have the social outlets that dog people do, like dog parks. That’s what made the Copy Cat Festival so magical: it was a gathering of creative, artistic cat people, drawn out of their studios, workshops and computer screens, united by a common passion. I hope it becomes an annual affair – you know Jake and I will be there!

Aby-a-Day – February 20: Wordless Wednesday (Interview with an Abyssinian)

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Other People’s Aby – Racy Mooner, official spokescat for Sturdi-Products

This is kind of cool: our friend Racy Mooner is the feline spokesmodel for SturdiProducts!


SturdiProducts is the company that makes the show cages almost everyone uses at cat shows these days, and they also make carriers, folding litter boxes, and all sorts of other products designed specifically for travelling with and showing cats (and small dogs). I’m endlessly impressed with their products and was lucky enough to meet them in person at the CFA Annual last June.


Racy is another Aby star! It seems we have a “Cat Pack” of famous Abys…Jacoby “Strollercat”, Toki Nantucket the Etsy model, Jafari the jogging cat of Vancouver, Louis and Rosie the leash prodigies, and now Racy (who is also the daughter of a Feline Agility superstar).


Guess I’ll have to update this cartoon I drew, eh? And change the title to include non-Ruddies…

Aby-a-Day – February 19: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (Cartoon Tuesday)

The Copy Cat Festival this weekend was kind of magical, in that it was essentially a room full of crazy cat people who were not trying to hide that fact. People were wearing cat ears and whiskers and some even painted whiskers on their faces.

I can only imagine what Jacoby thought about that.


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

Aby-a-Day – February 18: Just hanging out, watching some cat videos (Hipstamatic Monday)

At one point during the Copy Cat Festival yesterday, Jake decided he wanted to go upstairs to the balcony to watch the videos.


Once we got up there, he took a chair and made himself comfortable.




It was really cute. He stayed there til the end of the international cat video section.


I guess it’s true. Cat videos are universal.

Aby-a-Day – February 17: Strollercat makes a splash at the Somerville CopyCat Festival

Well…today was the Big Day! The Somerville Copy Cat Festival pulled off two shows with nary a hitch.



Well…except for the weather. It was snowing pretty good this morning.


Actually, it was snowing really good this morning.



Jacoby, however, was awesome! I am so proud of him. It was a really long day – we were there from noon til almost 8pm! But it was a lot of fun.


To start things off, Jef Czekaj read his book “Cat Secrets.”


Jake watched over his book sales table while he was up on stage.


We got to meet another famous local cat, too – Famous Seamus!


Seamus is a huge cat. He has extra toes on all his feet, too.


I was amazed at how well he and Jake got along. Granted, we didn’t let them get too close to each other, but still.


The main part of the festival, of course, was the cat videos. They were shown in two parts, local videos and then international ones (including Henri le Chat Noir and Maru).


Jake actually watched the videos quite intently.

(This is the video he’s watching in the photo…)


It was super cute.

There was also a slideshow of local cats…and I was amazed to see a photo of Sierra Stinkface! The cat world is small, indeed. It was a really great day. I met some awesome people (including Case and Emily from Ferocious Friends, some of the most awesome wand toys I’ve seen in a while) and had some amazing conversations today.

Interestingly enough, there was also another cat festival today – the Gato Fest in Mexico City! I guess February 17 is a good day to be a cat!

Aby-a-Day – February 16: “Miniscule” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Miniscule.”


Around our house, sparkleballs are a super-popular toy.


Recently, I discovered a great place to buy them. Not the pet store…but the arts and crafts store! They come in a bag of at least 50 for about $4. Such a deal!


Thing is, those bags include a variety of sizes. The two largest sizes are great cat toys. The smaller two…not so much.


The smallest size is miniscule, indeed.

Aby-a-Day – February 15: Cat about town (Famous Friday)

The Somerville Copy Cat Festival is the day after tomorrow (!), and Jacoby is fast becoming Boston’s most famous feline citizen.


He’s featured on Page 11 of this week’s Boston Phoenix and on Page 55 of this week’s Improper Bostonian! He’s also featured on the local NPR station, WBUR’s, website, all in connection with the festival this Sunday!

Boston may be a big city…but in many ways, it’s a small town.


Jake’s also making a bit of a splash in the CFA; the show season runs from May 1 to April 30, and somehow Jake’s managed to squeak his way into the top 10 Abyssinians in Premiership…

Check it out:

ABYSSINIANS IN PREMIERSHIP (Region) – [Points] – (Rings)
1. Zehnder’s Roger Vivier of NuDawnz – Blue Male – (4) – [4844.85] – (100)
2. Anubis Taz Mania – Red Male – (1) – [1743.80] – (83)
3. Gil-Aby’s Trooper – Blue Male – (7) – [1331.55] – (88)
4. Lalima’s Mikhail Baryshnikov – Ruddy Male – (9) – [1095.55] – (97)
5. Anqet Binkhaaphajaosuduangjun – Ruddy Male – (5) – [781.95] – (32)
6. 3Janes Bama Tidal Wave – Ruddy Male – (7)[761.30] – (59)
7. Masmera D’Arte Meranti – Red Male – (A) -[263.40] – (16)
8. 3Janes Midnight Rambler – Ruddy Male – (5) – [235.50] – (36)
9. Astech’s Amelia Earheart – Ruddy Female – (3)- [155.10] – (6)
10. Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home – Ruddy Male – (1) – [150.25] – (17)

Isn’t that exciting! He’s also one of the top 40 cats in Premiership in the North-Atlantic Region…we haven’t been to that many shows this season, but apparently he’s done better that I thought! I’m just happy to make one final in every show we enter.


But my favourite thing about Jake’s fame is this little catnip candy box made by our friend Mycrobe. The Abyssinian candy was inspired by Jake!


(No, really! It was inspired by Jake – she told me so!)



I think it’s Jake’s favourite thing about being famous, too.

Aby-a-Day – February 14: Cat Show Valentine

Love is a funny thing.


It can really make you chase your tail!


It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. You always notice an attractive member of the opposite sex.


And you’ll do anything to be close to him or her.


I know who my Valentine is. And so does he.


Happy Valentines Day!

Aby-a-Day – February 13: Wordless Wednesday (Scenes from a show)




Aby-a-Day – February 12: My Funny Valentine (Cartoon Tuesday)

My friend Emilie commented on yesterday’s post that “kitty love is the only true unconditional love.” That love is a two-way street, let me tell you!


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