Aby-a-Day – November 30: Scenes from the World Show – Bathroom Buddies

I have a lot of photos from the World Show to share, which I will post on this blog over the next few days and weeks.


But I wanted to start with these, because I think they’re just so cute.


When Meg and I go to a show together, we share a hotel room. Depending on what cat Meg is showing, this can be an interesting situation. We have had to keep one Aby in a show tent all night.


Jacoby and Garçon, however, get along really well. They may not sleep cuddled up together, but they do sleep on the same bed when they’re at a show together.


They also share the same bathroom.


We had two litterboxes in there, one for each boy…but at the end of the weekend, when we were cleaning up, only one of the boxes had been used. That’s pretty impressive, really, for two cats who don’t regularly live together.


Garçon loves me for some reason. The first time I met him, he stole my scarf so he could cuddle with it.


I’m sure Jake knows that Garçon has a crush on me.


I’m not sure he likes it.


Don’t worry, Jakey! You’ll always be my boy!

Aby-a-Day – November 29: “Candle” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Because we have two Abyssinians in the house, we don’t have real candles. At Christmastime, we use battery-operated fake candles.


Some of these candles are pretty nice. This one is covered with real wax and actually smells a little bit like a bayberry candle. Okay, so they’re not as nice and warm as real candles, but they do have one distinct advantage.


When they fall over, nothing catches on fire and there isn’t any hot melted wax to deal with.

Aby-a-Day – November 28: Vogue Magazine (Fashion Friday)

One interesting thing about the World Show last weekend was the presence of a camera crew from Vogue Magazine.

They were there both Saturday and Sunday, and they took a lot of photos. Fifteen of them ended up on Vogue’s website, including…

Abyfriend Pat taking a photo with her iPhone! The photo guys were impressed with her Abyssinian phone case.


Pat was actually taking a photo of Jacoby at the time…but evidently Jake’s stylish hat and coat weren’t Vogue-worthy.

Pat’s not the only person who made it into Vogue Magazine, though. Check out the background of this photo of Larry Adkison’s kitten final. Yep, that’s me standing back there next to Vasil, whose little red kitten made that final!




This little girl, Greenville Deja Vu, ended up being the Best Abyssinian Kitten in the Red Show!


The photo of the final that appeared in Vogue was a little chocolate silver torbie and white Devon Rex kitten, Karmacatz One Hot Mess!, who was just four months old and barely old enough to be in the show at all. She was best kitten in that ring. And it was super adorable watching Larry prance around with her and try to put her in his pocket and take her home with him.


So here’s something you don’t see very often: the other side of a magazine photo.

Other People’s Abys – Québécoise Fashioniste (Fashion Friday)

I just had to share this wonderful photo of Abyfriend Diane’s Québécoise girl Alibi in her Canada Goose coat.

Looks like Jacoby has competition in the Aby parka department! It must be a Canadian thing.

Aby-a-Day – November 27: Turkey time!

People associate cooking the turkey with Thursday, but in truth the process starts much earlier. I usually start with a frozen turkey on Saturday or Sunday, but this year, because of the World Show, I bought a fresh turkey on Monday to save myself the thawing time.


The actual turkey preparation starts on Tuesday, if it’s a frozen turkey…but I had a cartoon to do, and no time to work on the turkey – so again, it was a good thing that I got a fresh one this year. I couldn’t start getting it ready until last night.


Fresh turkeys are also much more interesting than those frozen solid birds anyway. Just ask Angel.


Of course, Tessie wanted to help, too.


Angel wasn’t thrilled with that. She wanted to be my only sous chef.


Since they were so interested in what I was doing, I let them have some of the gizzards – the heart, specifically, since it’s all muscle meat. Tessie thought it was awesome.


Surprisingly, Angel was less than thrilled with the raw turkey heart…and Angel loves raw meat.


She looked at me like I’d tried to feed her poison, and then she looked at Tessie like she couldn’t believe Tessie was actually eating it.


Then she walked away…still not believing Tessie was actually eating that heart meat.


Apparently, it was so bad, Angel had to wash her paws to get rid of the stench.


Of course, the big show happens all day today, when the turkey goes in the oven at 11:30am and roasts for five or so hours.


Jacoby dressed for the occasion in his turkey outfit from the Westchester Cat Show fashion show last year.


Because you have to dress up when you’re supervising the turkey cooking.



You have to admire Abyssinians. What other animal would look at a piece of meat that weighs twice what they do and think, “I could totally eat that.”

Aby-a-Day – November 26: Wordless Wednesday (20lb turkey, 10lb Aby)









Abys in Need – Copper in Denver, Colorado

Look at this handsome man in a shelter in Colorado!

“‘Find a penny pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck.’ You’ve heard that one, right? Well clearly, I’m the shiny copper penny that you should be picking up! My name is Copper and I am a striking guy if I do say so myself. I sure hope that you are looking for your personal lucky penny because I am it!

I arrived at MaxFund after having been found at a bank. Ironic really, given the whole penny thing. Alas, some nice folks brought me to MaxFund, where I had a bit of a rocky start. You see, I am what is known as a feral cat, meaning that I have not spent much time around humans and am not quite sure what people are all about. Over time here at the shelter I’ve learned a lot and I am coming around at my own pace to this new way of living. I have to say, I’m quite fond of living indoors and being well taken care of, though I still have some learning to do with respect to interacting with people.

While I may not be a cuddly lap cat, I am a great guy and I want to learn how to love people. I can promise you that I will give it my best effort and I ask that you do the same. With patience and time I just know that we’ll be the best of friends. Just remember, you’ve found your penny you just have to pick it up, adopt it and take it home with you!

The MaxFund cat shelter is located in Denver, Colorado at 720 West 10th Ave. 720-266-6081. We are closed Tuesdays.”

His fee, according to the Facebook post, is $125, and Copper is neutered, microchipped and has his shots.

Interestingly, someone commented on the post wondering if he could possibly be this Aby, who went missing last year in Aurora, CO. Wouldn’t that be an amazing story, if that cat – missing since May 2013 – and this one turned out to be same?

Aby-a-Day – November 25: Cultural Exchange (Cartoon Tuesday)

The CFA World show truly was an international event. I met Abyssinian people from all over the country, as well as breeders from China, Japan and Russia. Jacoby and I spent the entire weekend benched next to Vasil Butorin and his two Aby girls. Vasil flew all the way from St. Petersburg just to come to the show.


Of course, Vasil speaks Russian to his girls…so yesterday, I was wondering if cats meow in other languages, too, and I sketched this on my iPad.


And then today I finished it up a formal cartoon. My sister actually wrote the Russian for me (thanks, Karen)!

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

Aby-a-Day – November 24: Scenes from a show (Hipstamatic Monday)

Jacoby and I are still recovering from our weekend, but here are some photos from the CFA World Show.


It was a really long drive from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. We also had to stop in NYC to pick up our friend Vasil, an Aby breeder from St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida).


It was really exciting to see all the breed winners’ ribbons laid out!


The show moved pretty quickly. Jake made his first final around 1:30pm on Saturday.


I was rather amused the ribbons said, “Oaks, Philadelphia” instead of “Oaks, PA.”


There were, I think, representatives from every CFA breed in the show hall…but I fell in love with this cage full of Siamese babies.


At the end of the day, Jake had made two finals.


Meg’s red boy Garçon (GP Anubis Chai Latte) did well in the Purple Show, too. He and Jake were like a Premier Aby tag team.


The sunset on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous.


It was cold on Saturday and the show hall was chilly, so Jake put on his hat and coat while we were waiting to leave for the evening on Saturday.


People thought it was hilarious that Jake wore his hat and didn’t mind it…Jake was just happy to be warm.


The famous Racy Mooner, her mother Twyla Mooner and their human, Lisa-Maria Padilla, were at the show, too, but they were in the vendors’ area, selling Racy’s walking jackets. I didn’t really even see them until Sunday.


Racy was showing off, doing tricks like rolling over…


…and jumping through a hoop. It was really great to see them again.


Most of the show happened on Saturday. There were nine rings total, and six rings were judged on Saturday, with the remaining three rings judged on Sunday. However, one ring in each show did their judging on Saturday but didn’t have their final until the next day, so there were only five finals on Saturday with four on Sunday. This is the Jake in his final on Sunday.


The best thing about Sunday, though, was seeing my sister Karen! She lives in Philly and stopped by to visit us and see all the kitties. It was awesome to introduce her to all my friends, and being at a show with her reminded me of when we were kids.


At the end of the day, Jake had made four finals, won the Best Abyssinian in Premiership in the Red Show, and was ready to go home – and so I was I. It was a really long drive. We left the show hall at 4:45pm and I got home at 12:20am.


Jake had to spend the entire time in the car in a large cat carrier with a litter box. By the time we got to the T, he did not want to be in his carrier any more. I let him sit on the seat.


Even though we both had a great time at the show, we were eager to get home.


And today, we are recovering. Cat shows are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work.

Aby-a-Day – November 23: Brief Report from the World Show

I’m writing this in the car on the way back from the World Show. On my iPad. I took about 2,000 photos this weekend and rest assured that there will be many upcoming posts about what went on (and what I managed to see of it)!


But for now, since I’m in a car with Meg and Vasil Butorin, an Aby breeder from St. Petersburg, Russia, and four cranky Abys, today’s post is going to be a rather short one.


Out of nine rings, Jacoby finalled in three Specialty rings. He was 15th Best Shorthair in Premiership in Kathy Black’s ring, and then he was 14th Best Shorthair in Premiership in Diana Doernberg’s ring and, very excitingly, Wain Harding’s ring! Wain Harding is the breeder of the legendary Bastis Abyssinians, so that rosette means a lot to me – especially since Wain is based in Northern California and I grew up seeing his Abys at cat shows.


There were 66 cats in Premiership (40 of which were shorthairs) in the Red Show. Jake wasn’t the only Aby entered – there were three Grands and an Open entered in the Premiership class, but the two other Grands were from Buffalo, NY, and weren’t able to get to the show, and the Open was also absent, so Jake ended up being in a class by himself.


Since he was the only Aby in the Premiership class, he also won the Best Aby in Premiership rosette in the Red Show! Meg’s red boy Garçon was the Best Aby in Premiership in the Purple Show, and Vasil’s fawn Champion Granded today and his kitten was the Best Aby Kitten in the Red Show, so I’m pretty much sitting in a car full of awesome right now. The Aby breed rosettes were sponsored by the Abyssinian Cat Club of America, too, which makes them even more special.

Much more to come as soon as I have a chance to go through all the photos I took…

Aby-a-Day – November 22: “Feather” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Birds, of course, have feathers. And when we went to Petco last Sunday, Jacoby was very interested in the budgies.


Or maybe he was just hungry?



The birds didn’t seem very upset that a big brown predator was just outside their enclosure? Maybe they knew he couldn’t get at them?


I really wonder what Jake would do if he ever encountered a bird that wasn’t behind plexiglas.

Aby-a-Day – November 21: Gun-Hee’s first trip to Petco (Friday Flashback)

Jacoby isn’t the only Aby who loved going to Petco. Gun-Hee loved it, too.


These photos were taken on 6 January 2007, 10 days before Gun-Hee’s 4th month birthday. He had a great time playing with the dog toys.


How much fun must it be to sit in a bin full of toys that are the same size you are?


Gun-Hee was not all that impressed by the budgies.


The small rodents, however…


those were much more to his liking!

The Yonkers 25 – Westchester’s Cats of the Year

The Westchester Cat Show was held last weekend in White Plains, NY. Every year at this show, the Westchester Feline Club honours a “Cat of the Year.” As you may recall, Jacoby was last year’s honouree

Jake and I weren’t able to go to the show this year, but I did want to share with you who the WFC selected as their Cat of the Year. It’s not one cat, but 25.

Back in April, Yonkers Department of Public Works employees discovered 25 dead cats hanging in plastic bags from tree branches and bodies of several other cats on the ground in a park along the Hudson River. Some of the cats had been dead for quite some time, but necropsies on three of them revealed that they had succumbed to blunt force trauma to the head. This is the worst animal cruelty incident in the history of Westchester County.

The Westchester Feline Club chose to honour the innocent “Yonkers 25” and bring light to a new awareness of the magnitude and effect of animal cruelty in local communities. I think Scarlett would be pleased that these murdered cats and kittens were remembered in her name. And now, thanks to Westchester, they will never be forgotten.

This crime was discovered, as I said earlier, on 24 April of this year, but no arrests were made until just three days ago, when, on 18 November, a Yonkers man was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of violating environmental conservation law related to his alleged disposal of a kitten and two cats, which were among those discovered in the woods. He’s also facing two counts of animal cruelty. He faces up to one year in jail, a $500 fine or three years probation on the animal cruelty charges. The other charge can carry a sentence of six months behind bars.

That may not seem a fitting punishment for his (alleged) crimes…but in a way, it’s a miracle they finally caught this man at all! I wonder if the Westchester Feline Club’s award and subsequent publicity had anything to do with his apprehension?

Aby-a-Day – November 20: Shop therapy

After Jacoby’s assessment, we passed a Petco on the way home and decided to stop and pick up a few things since it was right there…and Jake could come inside with us.


Jake was all for a little shopping excursion.


He sat in the shopping cart’s baby seat very nicely and didn’t even try to get out and walk around.


He was, however, very interested in this display of dog and cat beds.


I think he saw something he really liked!


As if we don’t have enough cat napping spots in our house already – there’s more cat furniture than human furniture!


For a boycat, Jake is a very good shopper.


He waits so patiently in the cart.


And he advises us on our selections.


He really does enjoy going out and helping us shop.


We buy a lot of litter in one trip, especially in winter, so we are sure never to run out. Currently, we use a blend of Blue Buffalo Walnut and EverClean.


When we got to the canned food aisle, Jake really perked up.


It’s really interesting – even though cans of food have no food-like smell, he definitely recognises the cans as “food.” He even tried to get onto the shelf with the cans!


“Heeeyyy…why’s the bag with the Aby on it marked down?”


I think he’s sulking a bit here because I told him he doesn’t actually get to eat any of this food. The ProPlan is the girls’ food; Jake is, of course, on a strict UT prescription diet.


The least fun part of any shopping trip is checkout. But even then, Jake just sat in the cart and observed.


I think he was having a good time watching the clerk scan all the little cans of food.


I was so proud of how nicely he sat while we had our purchases rung up.


All the Petco salespeople were pretty impressed, too. They don’t see many cats come into the store in general, let alone one who’s so blase about shopping.


I was happy that Jake enjoyed the trip to Petco so much, especially after his hissing and growling at the assessment. He didn’t growl or hiss once the entire time he was in the shopping cart. He didn’t even meow very much. It really proved to me that it isn’t being away from his home – or his stroller – that upsets him, but it’s something about the actual therapy visit process. So I think the break will be a good thing.

Aby-a-Day – November 19: Wordless Wednesday (Jump)














Aby-a-Day – November 18: Homework “Gag Me” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Recently, I started a self-driven comic course using Drawing Words and Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden as my textbook.

I did the first homework assignment, “Drawing in Action,” a couple of weeks ago. Here is the second assignment “Gag Me.” The instructions for this one are as follows:

Draw a 5″ x 7″ panel border in either horizontal or vertical orientation and create a captioned gag comic. When drawing the image, think about creating a sense of action, time passing within the panel, paying attention to reading order and image composition. Write at least three captions and choose the funniest one.


The caption I chose is in the voice bubble in the cartoon above. My other captions were:

“Uh…Tessie? How much longer do you want me to sit here? I really need to pee.”

What other captions can you think of for this drawing?


Also, just for fun, here’s the original sketch I did when I was brainstorming ideas.

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

Aby-a-Day – November 17: Hooked (Hipstamatic Monday)

Hookless fishing lure toys are always popular. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re made of fur and feathers, and they look like bugs, mice and other small, edible creatures. What’s not to love?


Angel really loves them.


She finds them very alluring.


See what I did there? A-lure-ing?


Yeah, Angel didn’t think it was funny either.

Aby-a-Day – November 16: Assessment

Jacoby and I had our recertification assessment for Pet Partners today. Since he didn’t pass the last time, we didn’t take the train; my husband drove us. We also took the test in a different room that was completely dog-free.


Jake did a lot better this time than last time; being in the new room definitely helped.


And he was really happy to be back in his stroller. In fact, he was a little too happy to be back in his stroller…and that may actually have been part of the problem.


When Jake was doing the parts of the assessment that involved him not being in his stroller (on someone’s lap, being held by me or someone else, or on a table), he hissed and growled. Not at anyone – these were “in general” hisses and growls – and once he was back in his stroller, he would purr and knead his cushions.


However, the growling was bad sign, regardless of the reason for it, and he didn’t pass his assessment again. Deb, the person who did his assessment today and who’s done all of his previous assessments, is afraid he might be suffering from therapy burnout. He still obviously loves and enjoys aspects of therapy visits, he doesn’t seem to love all of it, at least when he’s being tested. He’s never growled or hissed on an actual visit, but the concern is that if he does it during the test, he could do it on a visit, and the last thing you want to do is scare a patient. So, for the time being we’re still on a break.


We aren’t going to take the test again until March, and if he doesn’t pass then, well…maybe he’ll be a retired therapy cat. We’ll just have to see.

Aby-a-Day – November 15: “Books” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


I have been collecting cat books for a very long time, and I have a lot of them. I have books on cats in general, on specific breeds (mainly Abyssinians and Siamese), biographies and hardcore veterinary manuals and genetic texts…and silly cartoon and picture books. I’m pretty proud of my feline library.


I also have all of the Warriors books. They take up most of one bookshelf in the bedroom.


In case you haven’t discovered these books yet, they’re epic tales of war, prophecy, mystery, intrigue, love, loyalty, honour, responsibility, family, destiny, betrayal, murder, faith and acceptance.


With cats (and one badger). Mostly, the cats are feral, but there’s an Abyssinian in one of the books (probably)!


They’re fast-paced and addictive. Currently, there are five 6-book story arcs (with a sixth reportedly in the works), seven expanded “Super Editions” focusing on specific characters, and several novellas and manga that fill in stories between the main novels. There are also “field guides” with character profiles and other background information. The only thing that there isn’t is a full-length feature film (or several) – these books are easily as gripping and thrilling as, say, Harry Potter or Twilight.


Looks like Jacoby is having a hard time deciding where to start.


Or, maybe he’s just remembered that he doesn’t know how to read.

Other People’s Abys – Calendar Cats

Look at this cute little girl!

Too bad little Jasmine ended up on a weekend page of the Workman Page-a-Day Cat Calendar…she only gets half a page to be adorable!