Aby-a-Day – February 28: “Brush” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


I have an awesome stylus for my iPad: the Sensu Solo.



Basically, it allows you to paint on your iPad the way you would with a regular paintbrush on paper.





Not only is it a pretty fun toy…


..and, apparently, tasty…


…But look what you can do with it!

Aby-a-Day – February 27: The importance of being layered (Fashion Friday)

Before you can go outside in cold weather, it’s essential to dress properly for the weather.


Layers are the key to keeping your core temperature up and trapping heat to keep warm.


When we went out into the snow, Jacoby wore his green leopard print shirt since it works so well with his coat.


I put his harness on over his undershirt, but under his warm coat. This helps to keep the warmth in, especially since his Fishtail Parka hasn’t got a hole for a leash.


Angel had never been in the snow, so I used her purple Pirate Kitty T-shirt to keep her warm.


Like Jake, she wore her harness over the T-shirt.


Despite her early socialisation issues, in some ways, Angel is 100% Abyssinian.


Wearing a T-shirt doesn’t faze her at all.


Once we had the undergarments on, we put on our coats and headed outside. Angel wore Gun-Hee’s old parka, which not only fit her wonderfully, but also has a hole for the leash which lines up perfectly with her harness.


That helped to keep her a little warmer, since the leash wasn’t pulling up the back of her coat the way Jake’s leash pulled his parka up. You can see his undershirt in this photo.


Of course, his feet were warmer than Angel’s, because he will wear boots, so it probably evened out. I had boots for Angel but…I didn’t try to put them on her feet. I think the parka was enough for her! I think they stayed fairly warm. We weren’t outside very long, but neither of them was shivering or seemed uncomfortable. When we came back inside, the tips of their ears were a little chilled, but they both seemed perfectly happy. I do want to take them both out again for some more photos once we can get into the courtyard.

Abys in Need: Kameo in WA and Sheba in AR

Two Abys turned up on Petfinder this morning, one in Port Townsend, WA and the other in Witter, AR.

First we have Kameo, who is currently a guest of The Humane Society of Jefferson County, WA

“Hi! My name is Kameo! I’m a beautiful petite purebred Abyssinian. I came to the shelter because I was unhappy living with a different family member and her THREE male cats. I’d like to be the only cat with people who are home a lot. Abyssinians are very active, intelligent and curious, and they desire feedback, interaction and even some training. I like playing with toys and using my scratching post. I’d also appreciate a cat tree to climb on. I am 8 years old, spayed, micro-chipped, vaccinated, treated for fleas and ready for my forever home! Come see me today!”

If you are interested in Kameo, please contact the shelter through Petfinder.

The second Aby is Sheba, who is at the Blue Moon Cat Sanctuary. Her posting on Petfinder states that she is “a purebred Abyssinian with papers,” she’s five years old, and apparently she is a retired breeder.

“Hello everyone. My name is Sheba. Yes, like the queen. I am a queen too. I’m fully grown and still a little petite. Abyssinian’s are know to be a little shy at first. But watch out. After I warm up and feel comfortable I’ll be all over you. We are also known for our burnt orange or rust colored coats. I arrived here at the Blue Moon from a breeder. Thank[fully] those baby-making days are finally over and I can settle down and enjoy some quality lap time.”

Sheba’s adoption fee is $150. If you are interested in her, just call 479-677-3021 or 479-738-8754.

Aby-a-Day – February 26: A short walk in some deep snow

Usually, when I take photos of Jacoby in the snow, we go into our enclosed courtyard. There are many reasons for this: it’s easy, it’s sheltered, it’s pretty, and it’s nice, clean, unadulterated snow. However, as you saw yesterday, going out in the courtyard wasn’t exactly an option.


So we had to go out front.


Since Jake is used to wearing coats and going out in show, and because he was also wearing his boots, he and I went out first to scout a good location while Angel waited in a carrier in the lobby.


The biggest problem I had was with the lighting. I could not get the “automatic” settings on the camera to work with the snow…and the manual settings were even more problematic. I ended up fixing them majorly in Photoshop after the fact.


Part of the problem was the time of day, I think. The building blocked a lot of the sun, but at the same time I didn’t want to go too far away in the cold. I tried a couple on a crossing median…


…the light was really great there, but…


…it was a pretty precarious place to take photos.


Also, I couldn’t really put both Jake and Angel on the island and take good photos.


A+ for lighting…D- for location.


So we came up closer to the building and I went in to get Angel.


As I said last week, Angel refused to wear any boots.


I made sure the rest of her was bundled up well.


Gun-Hee’s old parka fit her perfectly.


For being out in the snow for the first time in her like – and barefoot – she handled it amazingly well.


She walked around a little and was very interested in all the white stuff.


She had a lot to say about it!


I really do want to go back into the courtyard with her at some point. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out there after the snow has melted somewhat…but not completely!

Aby-a-Day – February 25: Wordless Wednesday (“Nope.”)




Aby-a-Day – February 24: Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Chinese New Year was actually last Thursday, but Lunar New Year celebrations are still going on (today is the last day), so, technically, this isn’t late.


Tessie was born in the Year of the Goat, which means she will be 12 this year, and we all know how much she loves to dress up as horned and hooved animals!

The background is Boston’s Chinatown Gate, in a photo I took back in 2008; the lanterns are from a photo by Espos.de on Flickr and is used under a Creative Commons License.

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

Aby-a-Day – February 17: Laissez les bon temps roulez! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Tuesday, I had absolutely no idea what to do for a cartoon. So I put it up to my Facebook friends, and so…let the good times roll!


Thanks to Alice and Cynthia for the suggestion! However, I just didn’t have the time to do the cartoon the way I wanted to and post it last Tuesday, so here is last week’s cartoon. This week. A little later, I’ll post today’s cartoon.

The background is by Art Siegel on Flickr and is used under a Creative Commons License.

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

Aby-a-Day – February 23: Winter sun (Hipstamatic Monday)

It may be cold and snowy outside, but that doesn’t stop the sun from shining.


And even though the air outside may be frigid, inside the glass the sunbeams are warm.


Look what I happened to capture the other morning as I was getting ready for work.


Yes, that’s Jacoby and Angel, both enjoying the same sunny window!


I couldn’t believe how close the two of them were!




I mean, for this pair, this is practically cuddling!



Jake was watching the cars and pedestrians pass by below.



Angel, meanwhile, was probably watching Jake as much as she was looking outside.



Still, seeing them get even this close to each other gives me hope that someday they may be friends again, the way they were when Jake was a kitten.

Aby-a-Day – February 22: National Walking the Dog Day

Yeah, you read that title correctly. Apparently today is “Walking the Dog Day.” Well, screw that.


According to Jacoby, Angel and Summer the Somali, today is “Walking the CAT Day!”


On Monday I took Jake and Angel out in the snow for a little winter experience.


This was Angel’s first time in snow.



I had some boots for her, but considering the struggle I had to put her coat on, I didn’t try to put them on her feet.


Jake wore his boots but he didn’t like them.


Well, he liked them in that his feet were warm and dry, but he doesn’t like things on his feet, especially the one back foot that was injured in the escalator incident.


These photos are actually from after we went out in the snow. I’ll post the other photos of our outing later this week.

Not an Aby: Baby Snugs Kitten “Willow the Abyssinian”

So you know how I love to search for “Abyssinian” online just to see what I’ll find, right? Well, the other day I did it on Amazon and discovered a lifelike electronic kitten named “Willow the Abyssinian.”

And I got really excited…

…until I saw her. She’s brown…okay…but she’s also white. If anything, she’s a chocolate and white bicolour! It actually reminds me of the “Not Even Close” example on the National Aby Rescue website!

If anything, “Sunshine the Calico” (who may actually be “Gizzy the Tabby,” and who, by the way, is absolutely NOT a calico OR a tabby!) looks more like an Aby than this brown-and-white kitten does (or she would do, with judicious use of a Copic marker)!

I guess I should be happy that at least they know that there’s a cat called an Abyssinian? Even if they have absolutely no idea what an Aby actually looks like? I did leave a review on the Amazon listing making my feelings known…

Aby-a-Day – February 21: “Wheel” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

My friend Kelli recently got a cat wheel from One Fast Cat for her Abys Emmy and Allie. It’s a new Kickstarter project, and Kellie was one of the first people to get one.

Check out Allie rocking her wheel!

It took a little toy enticement to get Allie started.

Of course, like all Abys, Allie is curious, and she just had to have that toy, so…

…she was off and running!

The movement of the wheel kind of distracted her, though.

Turns out, the wheel is also a good place for sitting.

And scratching!

“Now what was I…oh! Right! That toy!”

You can tell that Allie is really trying to get the toy, and the running on the wheel is somewhat incidental…but eventually she’ll just run on it for running’s sake. At least, that’s the idea.

According to the FAQs, the wheel is fairly lightweight, but sturdy, and it’s well balanced so it can be placed on carpet or hard floors.

You can see a bit of the plastic construction here, as well as the size compared to an average Aby and an average wall.

It also works in both directions!

Here’s a short video of Allie running on her wheel. I don’t know if Emmy has tried it yet, though. And in case you’re wondering, YES, I would love to have one of these wheels for our cats…although, I’m not entirely sure where we would put it.

Abys are Everywhere: Television and Film

We all know that The Cat From Outer Space was an Aby (I’ve posted about that movie many times, and Jacoby is partially named for the titular Jake)…but did you know there were other Abys (and Somalis) in space?

The first time Data’s cat, Spot, appeared on Star Trek: The New Generation, he was a male Somali cat. In later appearances, he became a female shorthaired tabby

Then, in the 1994 film Stargate (which I haven’t actually seen yet), there’s time travel to ancient Egypt, and you know what that means…Ra’s cat makes an appearance. I don’t know anything about the Aby who acted in this movie…I wonder where he’s from?

Finally, my favourite Abyssinian cameo is in the CSI episode “Jackpot” (Season 4, Episode 6). In this episode, Grissom is working solo in a little town called Jackpot (which actually exists), and while working the case discovers a banded, tri-colour hair.

Here’s an exerpt from the script:

GRISSOM: Hey, Doc, take a look at the scope, will you?

(DALE STERLING moves around GRISSOM to take a seat at the table to look through the scope.)

GRISSOM: I found some hair in Ross Jenson’s shirts.

DALE STERLING: That is cat hair.


DALE STERLING: Tricolored. Probably … Abyssinian.

GRISSOM: You wouldn’t happen to have any Abyssinian patients?


(DALE STERLING walks over to his wall where he has pictures of his patients. He takes a particular framed photo down.)

DALE STERLING: Uh … ah. Here she is. Isis.

(He shows the picture to GRISSOM.)

DALE STERLING: Her owner has allergies. He needed an aggressive, shorthair mouser.

(The picture is of LELAND BROOKS and his cat.)

Later that night, Grissom goes to Leland Brooks’ house, and, lo and behold, sitting on a chair on the porch is Isis, a blue Aby.

Oddly, while the cat they used is clearly a blue Aby, it seems to have a stumpy tail…When Grissom gets too close, she jumps off her chair and you can see her short tail. I don’t know anything about this Aby, either. But it’s always cool to see a random Aby while watching a favourite TV show. If you remember, I also found an Abyssinian in an episode of The Office!

Aby-a-Day – February 20: Blood is thicker than water (Friday Flashback)

Yesterday’s post about Jacoby’s fascination with the laundry closet reminded me that Gun-Hee had a similar fascination.


He was a little more into the laundry than Jake is, though.




And I mean that literally. He would sit in the washer…at least, until I turned on the water. Of course, I always checked before I did that…but sometimes, starting the machine was the only way to get him out of there!



He also liked to bite the knobs.


Abys are so…weird.

Aby-a-Day – February 19: Helping paws

Jacoby has the oddest fascination with the laundry closet in our apartment. I have no idea why it holds such fascination for him, but he just loves going behind the washing machine. He did it in our old apartment, and he still does it.


He’s super sneaky about it, too. You can call him and call him, and he won’t come out. I have no idea what he does back there.


If you use food, you might get a reaction. “What, mom?”


“Awwww….do I have come out?”

Aby-a-Day – February 18: Wordless Wednesday (Beauty and the Beast)






Aby-a-Day – February 17: Snow Delay Special: Cartoon Tuesday will be delayed…

…Because I had cartoonist’s block and couldn’t come up with an idea until this morning. And I don’t have time to finish it properly, and a good cartoon that’s late is better than a half-assed cartoon that’s on time.

So, I apologise, and I’ll blame it on the snow. Everything is delayed in Boston these days…

In the meantime, I present a special LOLcat starring Jacoby.

This was made by Abyfriend Max Boutelle. You may recall Max from the story about her 18 year old cancer survivor, Moose E. Puss. I don’t know where she found this, but she added Jake to it and it made my day. Since her Moose was the star of a Cartoon Tuesday, it seems fitting that her little LOLcat be a place-saver for this week’s cartoon.

She also made this one.

I feel really bad about not meeting this deadline – in 162 cartoons, this hasn’t ever happened. I just hit a sort of wall, where I have lots of half-ideas, but no solid jokes. I finally managed to sketch up something, but I haven’t got time to colour it in tonight. However, I promise it’ll be posted later this week, and then I’ll have something for next week, too.

Right now, though, I need to feed the kitties, and then I’ve got some serious scanning and Photoshopping to do!

Abys are Everywhere -Swiss story about litter and cats at a show in Houston

Abys are everywhere! Today, on the Swiss news site 20 Minuten, an article about litter features an Aby cuddling with his human.

Also, Abyfriend Cynthia pointed me to this excellent slide show of “25 cats trying to figure out why they are at the cat show”.

It not only features her Aby, GC RW Absolute Crawdaddy, doing agility…

But it also features this somali, named Kondwani. I’m not sure if it’s just that thing where once you have something, you notice it everywhere, but doesn’t it seem like Abys are getting more facetime in articles and advertisements lately?

Aby-a-Day – February 16: Snowbound (Hipstamatic Monday)

As you may have heard, Boston’s been having its snowiest month on record. It snowed most of yesterday, and apparently there’s more on the way.



Yeah, it’s been pretty insane.




People are getting pretty fed up.




The MBTA was closed all day last Tuesday, all day Sunday…and it was on limited service today. We’re still not sure if the T will be running normally tomorrow.


The snow piled high on our windows.





Higher than Angel!





That didn’t stop her from napping in her usual spot, even if she couldn’t see out the window.




She just hunkered down in her leopard bed with her buddy Handsome Panther.




Jacoby was just fascinated with watching the flakes fall…



…and fall…




…and fall!



I think Jake is hoping it never stops so then I’ll have to work from home and spend all day with him helping me.

Aby-a-Day – February 15: Look out below!

The other night I was sitting on the sofa, watching TV, when I heard a sound above me.


I looked up and I saw Jacoby.


On the ventilation duct.

It’s a little disconcerting to look up and see a cat directly above looking down at you.


It’s not the first time he’s done this…but after a hiatus of several months, recently he seems to be doing it more often.

I just hope he doesn’t try what he tried last summer, and attempt to walk along the sprinkler pipe…and fall and land on his house…

Aby-a-Day – February 14: “Cherished” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


No question who is cherished in our house.


I do believe it’s a two-way street, though. I think Jacoby cherishes me, too. He’s always by my side, helping.


A recent article in The Huffington Post about the way felines and humans interact says, among other things, that the dynamics of cat-human relationships are very much like human-human bonds.


“Researchers concluded cats do indeed attach to humans — especially women — as social partners, and not just because they want to keep their food bowls full.”


One part of the article I really liked: “The researchers established that cats and their owners heavily influence one another, often to the extent that they control each other’s behaviors. Extroverted women with young, active cats seem to be the most in tune with each other. The kitties in these pairings only have to give subtle cues – for example, a single upright movement of the tail — to let their owners know they’re looking for friendly attention…cats also seem to remember human kindness and return the favor later. If an owner fulfills her feline’s wish to interact, the cat will often comply with the owner’s desire for contact at other times.”


This right here, I believe, is why Jake is so good-natured about dressing up and posing for photos. I always tell people he does these things “because I ask him to” and, apparently, I was dead-on correct. He’s indulging me because I indulge him. Quid pro quo.


I’ve always thought that interacting with a cat was like interacting with a small, non-verbal human. Seems I was onto something.


We already know that cats recognise certain words (my Siamese Harri knew “Go on the bed and lie down” among other things), and that they invented meowing as a way to try to communicate with us on our terms.


Cats also chose to live with us as opposed to humans deciding to domesticate them. Cats alone of all domesticated animals, researchers think, chose to enter into a partnership with humans.


Dogs may be man’s best friend, but man is cat’s best friend.