Aby-a-Day – June 30 – Freshly minted (Hipstamatic Monday)

In some of the parks along the Greenway, there are lovely gardens filled with a variety of plants.



The list is quite extensive, and includes both local and exotic flora.



But there’s one particular fragrant herb that is of special interest to Jacoby…






There are actually six different varieties of catmint planted in various places along the Greenway, but the type I usually find is either Nepeta “Joanna Reed” or Nepeta “Little Trudy.”



I think this type was the “Little Trudy” variety because of the purple flowers.



Whatever type it is, Jake certainly seems to like it!

Aby-a-Day – June 29: Treed

Yesterday’s post showed the silhouettes, so here are the rest of the photos of Jacoby in a little tree in Christopher Columbus Park in Boston.


He’s really not a natural climber – rare, I know, for an Abyssinian! He’s a bit awkward in trees.


Eventually, he relaxes and starts to enjoy the view, though.



Still, you kind of get the feeling that he could just fall out of there at a moment’s notice, don’t you?


Silly cat.


After a while, of course, he doesn’t even want to come down.


“Nope, I’m staying up here. Kthnxbai.”

Aby-a-Day – June 28: “Skies” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Here is Jacoby against a Boston summer sky.


It doesn’t get much better than this!

Aby-a-Day – June 27: Tree time (Friday Flashback)

Jacoby is not the most agile or graceful cat I’ve ever known, and this is quite clear if you look at his history with trees.


He had a young start with vegetation, beginning with catnip plants.


This was his first tree, in Boston Common back in September 2010…


“Look, Ma! No hands!”




No matter what he does, he just can’t quite look natural and at ease in this tree.


Look at his funny bowlegged pose!


I think he was talking to squirrels in this photo.


For a moment, it looked like he might try to climb higher…



…but he gave that up pretty quickly. I guess he decided that he was high enough, thank you.


His next tree was in a park in Brookline in April 2011…


I think this was Jake’s all-time favourite tree.



It was a huge old tree, with nice rough bark that he could hold onto.


He really did try to climb this one as high as he could!


Getting down isn’t as easy as going up…



“Well, maybe I’ll just stay here forever.”


A few months later, we were back in Boston Common in late October 2011…


You know, it might just be the trees in the Common that Jake can’t get the hang of.



He just doesn’t seem to know what to do with his paws, does he?


This is how he looks from the back…


Of course, Jake doesn’t always go up the trees…


…Sometimes he just looks up.

Aby-a-Day – June 26: A taste of the great outdoors

Funny things happen when you use the rapid-fire button on the camera…






These photos of Jacoby chewing on some grass when we went out to the park just make me laugh.






Although I do find it impressive that Jake can look so serious and so silly at the same time.

Aby-a-Day – June 25: Wordless Wednesday (Short sheeting)











Bittersweet Candy Bowl

I recently discovered Bittersweet Candy Bowl, a cartoon about cats and dogs in high school. But you know I wouldn’t mention it here without good reason…And, as a matter of fact, one of the main original characters is a Somali! His name is Paulo, and he’s just so over-the-top brash and annoying while at the same time being also sensitive, loyal and romantic you can’t help but adore him.

There’s also an Abyssinian character named Abbey (short for Abraham).

He and Paulo don’t really get along, but they have friends in common, particularly Daisy, a half-Selkirk Rex, half-Ragamuffin cheerleader.

Abbey and his sister Molly had a rough start in life, but he looks so much like Jacoby I can’t not love him.

He even has the stripe down the back of his tail!

Paulo has an occasionally-updated Twitter account (@HotSomali92) with more “followers than he deserves.” I asked him if he knew @Sparklecat…

Abbey has one, too…even less frequently updated (@Abbeyssinian).

Of course, being the cat geek that I am, the comic hooked me in because most of the cats (and dogs) are actual breeds. Besides Paulo the Somali and Abbey the Abyssinian (and Daisy the Selkirk Rex-Ragamuffin, there’s Mike the Korat, Lucy the Khao Manee, Sue the European Burmese, David the Chocolate Lab, and Augustus the Siamese. What got me addicted was the story, the wonderfully told drama of teenage love and strife peppered liberally with humour. The artist, Veronica Vera (aka Taeshi), has been drawing it since she was a teenager and it’s fun to watch her style grow along with the characters.

I had the good fortune to participate in a live drawing stream this past Friday. Taeshi drew requests for longtime club members and also for people who purchased a book during the stream.

I asked for Paulo and Abbey together, and I got to watch Taeshi draw this picture of them on Mother’s Day (it’s kind of a sore subject with them)…It was really interesting to see how another artist draws their cartoon, especially since she also uses Photoshop as her art program.

Be warned, though…this comic is really addictive. Especially Paulo.

Aby-a-Day – June 24: “Better slip with foot than tongue.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Another cartoon based on a real Aby posted on Facebook!


The drawing in this particular case is Angel, but it’s based on Nancy Moore’s boy cleaning his foot on a hot day. Angel would totally do something like that.


Just for fun…here’s the original sketches I did for this cartoon. I don’t always like the way these turn out, but I really like the way I translated the photo on this one.

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

Aby-a-Day – June 23: Angel in the round (Hipstamatic Monday)

Angel really loves the wooden tunnel bed that Jacoby won at a cat show a couple of years ago.


It’s currently in the art room on top of some unpacked bins. It has a nice view out the window and it gets good sunlight.


I guess she feels safe here.


It’s one of the first places I look for her when I need to know where she is.


Okay, Angel, I get it…you want to get back to napping now!

Aby-a-Day – June 22: Sunday surprise!

So this morning, when I checked my email I found this in amongst the spam:


Your cat, PELLBURN JACOBY STEALIN HOME has won the following awards in TICA’s Northeast Region:



Your certificate may be picked up at the Northeast Regional Awards Banquet to be held at the Yarmouth House Restaurant, Yarmouth, MA. If you are unable to attend the banquet, you may arrange for someone else to pick up your award(s) for you or you may request the certificates be mailed to you by emailing or calling Francine Hicks. Awards will be mailed after your request and the receipt of a suggested donation to the region to offset mailing costs.


All Best of Breed winners, Top 20 in each category including top 20 LH and SH cats are featured in the slide show during the awards ceremony. Please send your picture to Suzanne Philbrick. All information regarding the Regional Show and Banquet can be found at our own Northeast Website.

I hope to see you at the Cape for our year end celebration!!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Francine Hicks
TICA Northeast Regional Director”


So Jake’s a regional winner…in TICA! Who knew? I think we only went to two TICA shows this season…we certainly weren’t trying for a TICA regional award…but look what happened! I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend the banquet in person (it’s on September 6th), but what a nice surprise!

Abys in Need – A tragedy in Russia

This is a really sad story of an Aby and Somali breeder in Russia.

“The house of Olga Kravchenko has burned, she breeds Somali and Abyssinian cats in Russia, some cats didn’t survive… we try to help her & her cats… Every little money is more than welcome.”

“June 12, 2014, the son of Olga woke up in the burning house, Olga was awakened by the explosion of the window of his room, they miraculously survived but lost everything and some cats didn’t survive. (The) cats (are living) in the wild, they are burned, injured …They need a new home, veterinary care and food.”

There is a fundraiser to help Olga, her son, and their cats on YouCaring.Com, and every little bit helps. There is a modest €2,000 goal.

I don’t know what caused the fire, but it looks like they lost everything. Luckily, it seems a lot of the cats have stayed close to home.

Aby-a-Day – June 21: “Selfie” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


I got a new iPad for my birthday.


I thought I’d try it out with Jacoby and see if he would take a selfie.


Not perfect…but not any worse than any other selfies out there!


Cats taking selfies is a “thing” now. Just Google it.

Abys are Everywhere – Helping people get dressed since 1742

Check this out: François Boucher, an 18th century painter from France, painted a cat that looks suspiciously like an Abyssinian into one of his works.

The painting, titled La Toilette, depicts two women getting themselves ready for something…a normal day, a grand gala, a shopping trip…and while they’re dressing, a helpful Aby is cheerfully underfoot.

Tell me that’s not an Aby! Look at that smile!

Aby-a-Day – June 20: Strapping young cat (Fashion Friday)

Longtime readers of this blog know I have a fascination with well-made, high quality leather items.


Just look at Jacoby with his Arja’s Art harness and braided leather collar and leas from HiTide Creations!


I have a great leather bag from Fossil, and I love it to death. It’s not quite a messenger bag, but it’s not really a purse, and it fits my lifestyle perfectly…except for the strap, which was an adjustable leather strap with a nylon webbing back. The adjustment kept moving on me til the bag was hanging too low…and I hated the fabric backing.


But where do you go to get a really nice, well-made replacement strap that matches the bag perfectly when it’s an oddball colour like teal? I did some searching, and discovered the answer is Mautto Purse Straps and Handbag Accessories! They’re based in Northern California (my native land) and they do amazing work.


Their teal leather wasn’t strong enough to make a strap on its own, so Lynette suggested a backing of sturdier chestnut leather to match the trim on the bag. It turned out incredibly well. It feels amazing, and it’s probably stronger than the bag is. I’ll have this strap much longer than the bag, I think!


Here’s a close-up of the two leathers melded together by strong stitching.


The colours are an awesome match.


Since this is a blog about Abyssinians, not purses, here is Jake on my bag with it’s awesome new strap.


Abys are particularly tactile cats. I think Jake likes the feel of this leather.


Gratuitious grabby Aby hands.



Nobody better try to snatch this purse! Jake the guardcat is on the job!

Abys in Need: Update on Fatima and her kittens

Here’s an update on the lovely Fatima and her kittens, who were in a shelter in Atlanta, GA. The good news is they’re out of the shelter thanks to the efforts of Jacquelyn Babush, and the little family is being fostered at Susan Graham’s house!

Susan thinks Fatima is half Aby and half Bengal. She used to breed Bengals and Fatima has that look about her in addition to her obvious Abyssinian heritage. She looks like an Aby but has spots on her belly and stripes on her legs.

The five kittens, whose eyes have just opened, are 100% adorable!

And Fatima is such a good and patient mother. Check out this video of her nursing her brood:

Susan is fostering the family through FurKids, and they will be tested for FeLV/FIV next week. FurKids is Georgia’s largest no-kill shelter, specialising in cats but also rescuing and fostering dogs.

Susan writes: Many people have now come forward to ask to take one of the kittens home with them, and they will make sure everyone is taken care of on the list. The kittens and their mama can go to their new homes as soon as they are spayed and neutered. I’m going to try to get that done in about 8 weeks (at 10 weeks old) so they can go earlier to their new homes.

Fatima is a very calm, affectionate girl who is in excellent health, about 11 months old. She is also in need of a good home in about 2 months from now.”

If you’re interested in adopting Fatima or one of her adorable kittens, you can fill out a FurKids adoption application or just send them an email at adopt@furkids.org.

Aby-a-Day – June 19: Thinking outside the box

Today is a cat holiday: International Box Day!


However, there’s another kind of box that’s beloved and celebrated in our household. The cable box!


It’s a highly coveted spot, too. For some reason, they are not at all interested in the cable box in the living room, but the one in the art room is apparently quite awesome.


And when one cat has it, he or she will sit there until they have to go to another box or until they hear food.


Oddly, they don’t really fight over it, and they don’t try to share. But when someone wants it and someone else is on it, they’ll keep coming back to check if it’s empty. And when it’s not, you can hear the loud, frustrated sigh.


I know it’s warm, but it doesn’t look at all comfortable. And yet it’s one of the most popular napping spots in the house.

Abys in Need: Wendy in Florida

Poor Wendy was just returned to her rescue this week by the family who adopted her. She’ll need a little time to gain some weight before she’s ready for a new home.

Wendy is with Spots & Stripes: Exotic Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, an all-volunteer rescue organisation in Florida.

” Wendy the Aby was returned after three weeks in her new home.

We recommend keeping a cat in small area (small bedroom/bathroom) the first few weeks so situations like this do not happen. She hid the first few days & did not come out to eat. When she finally did begin eating, she was offered several different foods her stomach was not used to, which caused diarrhea. Unfortunately, the diarrhea persisted as she would continue to hide & not eat for a few days, then again eat food she was not used to. She was then returned after she had lost a major amount of weight.

We have her kenneled currently while we get her diarrhea controlled & weight gained. Her fecal came back negative & she is on probiotics & raw.

In a few weeks, she will need a new home”

Wendy is four years old and I don’t know if she is declawed, but she is probably spayed. If you are interested in Wendy, you can email the rescue or contact them through their Facebook page.

Aby-a-Day – June 18: Wordless Wedneday (Patients’ drawings of Jacoby)



Aby-a-Day – June 17: “Every day is a good day when you run.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Regular cats are sedans and minivans…Abys are Formula 1 race cars!


This is based on a video Abyfriend Sanna-Leena posted on the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook of her Aby Kiipi’s father, Hugo, running around the house. Literally.

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

Aby-a-Day – June 16: They see me rollin’… (Hipstamatic Monday)

Jacoby still loves to ride the cart when I return it to the storage room on the first floor after unloading groceries.



The problem is that now, we live really close to the elevator. There isn’t much of a ride to be had.



So we go the long way, down the back elevator (next to our old apartment), to make it more fun for Jake.


Jake, of course, is quite familiar with elevators.


He rides them all the time, both at home and when we go on therapy visits.


If he weren’t so happy to be riding the cart, I’d say he was jaded. Look at that face!


The downstairs hallway has fewer apartments than the other floors, because the machinery room, the gym, and the mailroom are on that floor.


This means, I can run and push the cart really fast without bothering anyone.


“C”mon, Mom – go faster! Vroom, vroom!”