Aby-a-Day – July 31: Taking Naughtiness to New Heights

Jacoby has developed a new habit.


He likes to sit on top of the cabinet in the front bathroom and oversee people going about their bathroom business.



As you can see, he’s quite proud of his achievement.


“This is mine!”


I’m not sure why he likes it up there so much. He’s quite tall, and there’s not enough room for him to stand comfortably.


He can’t really sit up, either.


Come on down from there, Jakey-boy.


Of course, now Tessie wants to try to get up there, too.

Aby-a-Day – July 30: Wordless Wednesday (If it fits, I sits)





Aby-a-Day – July 29: “Catatonic” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Catatonic is a synonym for Frozen…I looked it up.


I’ve already mentioned that Jacoby would make a good Kristoff. Then it occurred to me that Kylie would be an awesome Elsa and the next thing you know…this happened. I don’t think you want to know how many layers went into this one…

Each cat can stand alone, too. I’ll post a breakout of each character at some point just for fun…I had really wanted to draw this in Photoshop but my tablet is wonky (ie I haven’t learned to control it yet), so it was drawn on paper and scanned, old-school style.

(Background derived from images found here. The mountains are from a photo of the Swiss Alps my husband took when he was skiing. And I used this AWESOME tutorial for the title effect.)

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

Aby-a-Day – July 28: Masquarade (Hipstamatic Monday)

One of the biggest attractions at ArtBeat is the vast collection of arts and crafts booths selling all kinds of alluring items.


I saw this wooden masquarade mask with distinctly Abyssinian-like markings in a woman’s hand at the Magpie booth and I dashed up and blurted out: “Do you have any more of those cat masks? I need one!”


The shopkeeper looked at me like I was a bit nutty and, bemusedly, pulled out a second cat mask.


Then she saw Jacoby in his stroller and it all made sense. This clever wooden mask on a stick is a “Silly Stick” made by Maple Landmark in Middlebury, VT. But as great as it is that the mask looks like an Abyssinian…


…the backside is a scuba mask with a small clownfish!


How perfect is this for the NEMO show next month?!

Aby-a-Day – July 27: Waiting for the wagon

I know I say Jacoby likes to ride on the cart when I take it back downstairs, but does he really like it, or am I projecting?


Well, the other day, we used the cart to bring groceries up, and take some boxes down to the recycle room. And while I was putting groceries away, Jake was camped out on the cart waiting for me to take it downstairs.


Impatiently waiting, if that look in his eye means anything.


And once we were rolling…look at that happy head tilt!


Now, is this a cat who doesn’t like to ride the cart? What do you think?


And once we get to the recycle room, and then the elevator, he always seems a little crestfallen.


He knows that his ride is almost over. Sometimes, he looks so sad, I take the cart the long way back, so he can have more fun.

Aby-a-Day – July 26: “Wet” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Jacoby is not especially afraid of getting wet. In some ways this is a bad thing, because the traditional spray bottle punishment doesn’t work at all on him.


Of course, this also means that when Jake and I happen to be near water, I can get some awesome photographs.


Living in Boston, we have occasion to see a lot of water. There’s Boston Harbor, Fort Point Channel, the Charles River and Massachusetts Bay, all within a mile and a half of our house.


There’s a reason the Standells’ song Dirty Water is Boston’s theme song, although the water’s a lot cleaner now than it was back in the mid 1960’s.


Jake and I went to Christopher Columbus Park a while back and just enjoyed a nice day outside looking out at the harbour.


I’m kind of glad I don’t know how polluted it all used to be. Now it all seems so nice, it’s hard to believe that within my lifetime, people were advised to get a tetanus shot if they so much as came in contact with the water, let alone went swimming in it!

Aby-a-Day – July 25: Future’s so bright, he’s gotta wear shades (Fashion Friday)

At ArtBeat, the Magpie booth was selling Babiators, sturdy plastic sunglasses for babies.


You know I had to try a pair on Jacoby.


Oh, yeah…


Sigh…if only I could justify spending $20 on these…

Aby-a-Day – July 24: Bread Kitten

Thanks to Sherry’s niece Selena, I’ve discovered a new addiction…Bread Kittens!


Bread Kittens is a game for iPhone and iPad that involves outfitting cats with bread armour and setting them to battle with unbreaded kitties in order to save them and save Catlandia. Of course, as you defeat the kitties, you add them to your kitty dojo.


And of course there are Abyssinians. That’s part of the game’s charm: almost every cat is a recognised breed.


In fact, there are three different colours of Abyssinians in this game! Besides the ruddy (I named mine Jaystar), there is a blue (who I call Wrenflight) and a…chocolate silver? Well, I’m not sure what colour he is, but I named him Foxthorn. Here’s my all-star Aby team outfitted in pink Pop-Tarts.


Of course, Jaystar is named after Jacoby…or rather, what Jacoby’s name would be if he were a Warrior cat.


I’ve been having so much fun playing with my virutal Abyssinian and his virtual bread armour that I couldn’t resist breading my actual Aby with an actual bagel.


In the game, different types of bread afford you different protections and different benefits. Some breads assist in the capture of other cats, while other breads aid your attack. These are classified into groups: Flatbreads, Breakfast Breads, Loaf Breads, Chinese Buns and Bagels.


As you can see, Jake has a Poppyseed Bagel. This is a pretty powerful bread armour: it adds 90% of the hit points your cat takes from his opponent.


In the game, though, I have Jaystar wearing a Pork Bun instead.


I don’t think I could get Jake to keep a meat-based bread on his head for any length of time in real life. Especially not one with barbecued pork in it.


Jake just loves it when I discover a new game to play!

Aby-a-Day – July 23: Wordless Wednesday (Happy to be here)









Abys in Need: Abe in Atlanta

This adorable guy isn’t exactly “needy” but he does need a forever home!

He’s currently being fostered by The Tucker Farm with a batch of very interesting rescue dogs.

According to their Facebook page, “Our latest foster is a male Abyssinian cat. This guy was living outside for a few months before approaching a friend. We’ve been searching for his owners, but no leads so far. He is declawed on all 4 paws, so be certainly should not be outside. He has some serious dental issues that are making him quite uncomfortable, but he is starting to settle into our crazy household.”

He seems to have made himself right at home!

They think that he is 4 years old and he is not at all afraid of dogs.

Can you believe that, as of yesterday, there are still no applications to adopt this personable boy? The Tucker Farm is raising money to have his bad teeth extracted, but after that he should be ready for an Aby household to manage. If you’re interested in him, contact the Tucker Farm via their Facebook page or through their website.

Aby-a-Day – July 22: “Cat scan” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Abys’ brains are not like regular cats’ brains.


There’s a reason I have a tag called “Aby Brain.” In case you were wondering… “Studying gravity” means “knocking things off other things” and “Defying gravity” is finding out the answer to “Can I get up there?”

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

Aby-a-Day – July 21: ArtBeat is hip! (Hipstamatic Monday)

While we were at ArtBeat yesterday, I remembered to take a few Hipstamatic shots as well. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before; Hipstamatic seems like the perfect platform for ArtBeat photographs!


I just loved this tiger.


And apparently I wasn’t the only one.


This was just silly. I’d found a stray pipe cleaner that had been twisted into a circle and put it on Jacoby’s head.


All hail Jake, the Pipe Cleaner Prince.


We also stopped at the Batch Ice Cream truck for a treat. They’re a local ice cream company that makes awesome ice cream with minimal ingredients.


I loved their little map of Massachusetts painted on the side of their chalkboard truck. And their ice cream is truly amazing.


Jake would have preferred we’d go to Redbones BBQ instead.


I love these guys in the background. I’m sure they were laughing at me…but so what?


There is just so much to see at ArtBeat!


The first time we went to ArtBeat, Jake rode in the little rolly-cart. He didn’t like that because he was dragging along behind me and couldn’t see where we were going.


He much prefers the stroller, where he can see everything.


I love that Jake loves to do things like this with me.

Aby-a-Day – July 20: Hatching some fun at Art Beat

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that Someville’s annual ArtBeat festival is something that Jacoby and I look forward to every summer. In fact, it’s a reason that we haven’t ever gone to the famous Garden State Cat Show – they always seem to fall on the exact same weekend!


I used to live a few blocks away from Davis Square, and I’ve been to every ArtBeat since I moved to Boston in 2000. I’ve only missed two, 1998 and 1999, and those I missed only because I didn’t live here yet. This year’s theme was “Hatch”…it wasn’t one of the more interactive themes they’ve ever had. Some years’ themes are more “done” than others; a couple of years ago the theme was “Red,” which inspired a lot of people to dress up. This year ArtBeat was a little less crazy than it has been in the past…but that didn’t make this year’s festival any less fun.


As always, our very first stop of the day was our friend Kim’s Stella Marie Soap booth so I could stock up on my ultimate all-time favourite Marshmallow Chocolate sugar body scrub. I stock up on this stuff every July and my supply lasts me the rest of the year.


Jake is not so impressed with the gloriously scented, handmade natural soaps…but he does enjoy collecting his pettings from Kim.


One of the more interesting things in the Square this year was the new M.U.S.C.R.A.T. Bus.


M.U.S.C.R.A.T. is short for “Multi-Use Somerville Community Roving Transport” and is intended to be a movable art space used to conduct roaming art classes, performance art or dance, and anything else the Somerville Arts Council can think of.


The bus has been tricked out with a pretty epic representation of a muskrat in autumn done by local artist Jeff McCreight. Jake was impressed with the giant rodent…impressed, or terrified. It’s a fine line…


The absolute coolest thing we saw was this lifesized papier-maché tiger.


I’m not sure why he was there (apart from his plea to “reforest his habitat”), or what he had to do with “Hatching”…but he was incredible. A lot of work went into making him.


He was extremely well done made by someone familiar with Asian art. The tiger’s eyes are straight out of a classic Chinese scroll painting.


Jake made friends with a little boy named Ben. Ben was really enjoying the tiger (his dad told me he really likes cats), and literally squealed with joy when he saw a real live kitty.


He was great with Jake, and Jake was great with him. It never ceases to amaze me how great Jake is around kids, because he doesn’t see children all that often. There are a couple of families on our floor now, but our therapy visits have almost exclusively been with adults. It’s one of the reasons I love going to ArtBeat with Jake: we get to interact with little kids.


It’s a lot of fun to watch kids pet Jake, too. For some reason, they really seem to like his ears.


My little tiger…we’ve been to five ArtBeats together, and then I went to another one with Gun-Hee. I can’t really remember what it’s like to go without an Abyssinian!

Aby-a-Day – July 19: “Sheer” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Since we moved into our new apartment, we have these wonderful wall-mounted cat shelves in the living room.


As you can imagine, they are very popular.


Sometimes, they’re a little too popular. Kylie was in the top box, and Jacoby wanted to be there.



So naturally, Jake had to take it up a notch.



I mean, if someone is in the highest space, you just have to go higher, right?



And if “going higher” means you climb up onto a precarious, round, shiny metal pipe with no traction or grip, then hey, so be it.



But if her were to lose his footing, it would be a pretty sheer drop, wouldn’t it?

Aby-a-Day – July 18: Outings with Angel (Friday Flashback)

When Jacoby first arrived on the scene, Angel was the low cat on the totem pole. Kylie and Tessie were not as welcoming as we could have hoped.


Angel was pretty happy that there was another, smaller, Abyssinian in the house.


I don’t know if cats recognise or prefer members of their same breed over other cats, but Angel seemed to know that Jake was more like her than the girls were.


I don’t know much about Angel’s life before we got her, but I know that in her foster home she had only Abyssinian roommates: a male Fawn named Valentino and a female Fawn with kittens named Buffy.


Angel is only two years older than Jake, and at first she played with him a lot.


It seemed that they were going to playmates and cuddle buddies back in the beginning.


I’m not sure exactly when it happened or why, but around Jake’s first birthday, Angel decided she didn’t want to play with him any more. Angel also isn’t really much of a cuddler.


I had hoped that Jake would cast Angel in a maternal sort of role, but he seems to have chosen Tessie as his go-to when he needs some mothering. Which makes sense; Tessie is very comforting.


Still, I wish they’d become the best friends it seemed they were going to be when I took these photos!

Aby-a-Day – July 17: It’s so perfect, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t meant for cats!

We have this awesome little cloth basket/box.


It was originally a gift basket filled with cheese, crackers and wine that my boss got for his birthday.


When he emptied the contents, he asked me if I wanted it.



I saw its potential instantly and, of course, snapped it up and brought it home. I put it on one of the window seats.


As it happens, one of my friend Kate’s Big Daddy catnip pads fits perfectly inside. And it’s not the only thing that fits perfectly inside, either.


This basket is perfectly cat shaped.


I call it the “cat loaf pan.”

Aby-a-Day – July 16: Wordless Wednesday (Watching)




Aby-a-Day – July 15: “The best doctor in the world is a veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter — he’s got to just know.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

We all just went to the vet for everyone’s annual check-up a couple of weeks ago…


The Aby is based on Jacoby, of course, and also this Abyssinian in this Iams commercial from a couple of years ago:

And the “regular cat” is based on this guy:

And yeah, that fist bump with the vet? Inspired by BCB’s Paulo

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

Aby-a-Day – July 14: Anatomy of a nap (Hipstamatic Monday)

I love taking super close-ups of sleeping kitties.


Sometimes, the randomness of Hipstamatic delivers some beautiful shots.


Jacoby was sleeping on our bed when I took these.


I’m not entirely sure he even knew I was taking them.


Angel, on the other hand, is extremely hard to sneak up on.


She seems to always know when I’m approaching. It’s really difficult to get photos of her sleeping because she always wakes up when get close.


I can get her in a sleeping position, but only rarely can I catch her actually asleep.


I’d say she sleeps with one eye open, but…yeah.

Aby-a-Day – July 13: Boxception

So we were finally doing some unpacking, and we had a load of boxes to take out to the recycling bin on the first floor. We logically put the smaller boxes inside the larger ones to make it easier to carry them all in one go.


As I posted a few months ago, Jacoby is a little obsessed with our trips to take out recycling.



So it should not have surprised me when this happened.



Jake was so proud of himself.


And it was pretty impressive the way he managed to worm his way into the exact centre of all the boxes.


He did NOT want to come out of there, either.




Not at all.