eBay can be a marvelous resource.
You can find some marvelous old photos of Abyssinians, like this collection of kittens from the late 1960s or early 1970s. I believe this came from a newspaper archive.
I love this next set. These are from a newspaper archive, and they’re from a story on a CFA cat show in 1968.
I showed them to Meg, and she recognised this judge as Jane Martinke. For some reason, you don’t seem to see a lot of photos of Abys being judged.
And then I managed to score this wonderful collection of 20 photos from one seller.
They seem to start in 1974, when, according to the backs of the photos, this ruddy girl was 4 months old. The most recent photos are dated 1980.
She was a cute kitten.
Her name was Wohl-Rabe’s Mayday Khamsin. When I saw her cattery name, bells went off. Wohl-Rabe is one of those names that you see in Aby pedigrees! The Wohlrabes started breeding Abys in the late 1950’s and continued through the 1970’s. If you search for “Wohl-Rabe” and “Abyssinian,” you’ll find all sorts of names and photos of historical Abys.
Jacoby has a few Wohl-Rabe cats in his pedigree. I couldn’t find Miss Mayday on ERoS or AbyWorld (she was probably a spayed pet), so I don’t know if she and Jake are specifically related…but there’s a connection.
Some of the photos of Mayday are simply stunning.
It’s interesting the way the photos span her lifetime.
In just 20 random photographs, you watch Mayday grow from a kitten into a mature cat.
It’s interesting to see how the standard has changed since the 70’s.
You see it more in all the photos of Mayday in a way you don’t in just a couple of random old photos in a book or on the internet.
I think it’s because, looking at the collection, you kind of get to know her.
In some later shots, she’s on the same chair she was on when she was a kitten, which is a nice bit of continuity
Kind of makes you wonder, though, what kind of fame Mayday might have found if the internet had existed back then!
She was certainly a very photogenic little girl!