Aby-a-Day – February 13: Angel’s first snow (Friday Flashback)

We’ve been having a lot of snow here in Boston; the word they keep using on the news is “unprecedented.”

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By now, Angel’s a complete New Englander, and she’s used to seeing snow in her windows…but once upon a time she was a little California girl.

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She saw her first snow on 20 December 2008, and she wasn’t entirely sure about this white stuff.

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The window was colder than she would have liked, but she did enjoy watching the flakes falling. She’s never actually been out in snow yet…maybe that’s a future adventure for her!

Aby-a-Day – February 12: Lucky find

I have had this little pewter cat figurine since the 1980’s.

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Somehow, despite moving several times (to several different cities in three states and one province), I’ve managed not to lose it.

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I’ve always thought that it looked like an Abyssinian. I don’t know why I looked at it and thought “Aby” rather than any other sort of cat, but I always have. Maybe it’s the way the fur is so detailed; it does remind me of an Aby’s ticking.

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You may remember seeing it before in this post from last October.

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It has no markings on it at all. I just know I got it in the 80’s because that’s when I was first interested in Abys, and it’s also when I was collecting little pewter figurines. This is one of the only ones I can still find.

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Last week I happened to be looking for something on eBay and I came across a listing for a pewter Abyssinian figurine.

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This figure was on a base with “Abyssinian” stamped on it. There were also stampings on the base showing a manufacturer, a copyright, and a year – 1984.

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The cat here is playing with a little ball of yarn – but the cat is very familiar!

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Same pose, same ticking…

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I was so psyched! After 30 years…I’m finally sure that my little pewter cat really is an Abyssinian!

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You may have noticed that I had a little Abyssinian assistance while taking photos for this post.

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Jacoby was almost as excited as I was about the little pewter Aby.

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Although I suspect it was for an entirely different reason. He is such a helpful boy!

MBTA Bingo

So this is kind of cool…I stumbled across this today looking up @lolmbta and #strollercat on Twitter:

MBTA Bingo! And…check out N-1! Cat in a stroller? That can only be the infamous Strollercat, right? So, in a way, Jacoby’s made the Boston Globe as well as the Herald!

Strollercat comments on the recent MBTA problems…

Because it needed to happen:

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Aby-a-Day – February 11: Wordless Wednesday (And then this happened)

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Aby-a-Day – February 10: ROTFL (Cartoon Tuesday)

So it’s still snowing. It’s been snowing, on and off, for about three weeks now. In fact, today, I had to work from home because the MBTA was closed.

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Weather like this makes me exceedingly glad that I am not a dog owner. I think Jacoby is equally happy that he is not a dog.

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

Aby-a-Day – February 9: Awkward Bathroom Selfies (Hipstamatic Monday)

It’s amazing the fun you can have with just a mirror and a camera.

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I was getting ready for work the other day and Jacoby joined me in the bathroom to “help.”

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So I scooped him up and took some silly photos of the two of us.

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I was actually thinking of those “awkward bathroom cat selfies” you see on the internet.

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Jake just can’t be awkward in front of a camera, no matter how hard I try, I guess.

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By the way, you’ll notice that I am wearing my Winston “Adopt” T-shirt that I posted about last year.

Aby-a-Day – February 8: It’s complicated…

Tessie has never gotten along with Angel.

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Angel arrived on the scene in October 2008. Tessie had been the oldest female cat in the house for three years at that point.

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Tessie never minded the boycats, she was (and still is) very maternal towards Kylie…but for some reason, Tessie has never liked Angel. And I have no idea why.

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Because of Jacoby’s special dietary needs and because Kylie is a slow and incredibly picky eater, we have to feed them separately – Jake in his SturdiShelter, and Kylie in the art room.

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Angel and Tessie have to eat together, side by side, in the kitchen. They have the same appetites and they eat at the same speed, so they’re kind of stuck with each other.

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Angel will assert herself if food is involved.

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It’s the one thing that will make Angel stand up to Tessie.

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Jackson Galaxy says that if you feed antagonistic cats near each other, they will associate the other cat with food, and eventually associate the other cat with good things.

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I’m not sure Tessie has seen that episode of “My Cat From Hell.”

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Despite that, I do think it’s been a good thing for Angel and Tessie’s relationship.

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At the very least, Tessie no longer picks fights with Angel…

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…while they’re actually eating.

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Any time Tessie moves, Angel gets nervous.

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And really, it’s not entirely unfounded.

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Angel keeps a watchful eye on Tessie…because Tessie will just randomly attack her without warning or provocation. Even after 7 years of living together.

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And then…they do this. Like I said…it’s complicated.

Aby-a-Day – February 7: “Plaid” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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So you know what that means…

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Jacoby in a plaid shirt!

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This is his green plaid “Cat Scout” shirt. I think it fits him really nicely.

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He also has this summery plaid shirt.

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It’s a little big on him, I think.

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And then he has this punk rock hoodie with plaid trim.

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The plaid is more of an accent rather than a motif on this shirt.

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Jake’s not the only one who can rock the plaid, though.

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Check out this cute little girl!

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I don’t know what it is about Abys, but they really don’t mind wearing clothes.

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Even Angel, with her traumatic kittenhood, doesn’t mind wearing the occasional dress.

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And can you blame her, when there are outfits as cute as these?

Aby-a-Day – February 6: This was a good decision (Photoshop Friday)

Remember this LOLcat I made last year?

It is, of course, based on the “I should buy a boat” Aby:

Recently, I discovered a continuation of the meme, in which Mr. Aby does buy his boat:

There’s also a “bad decision” version which is pretty funny, but it doesn’t use an Aby as the cat. And, since the “bad decision” is funnier, really, than the “good decision,” I came up with this…

But how did I do it? Well…I’ll show you. First, I found a photo of a snowmobile without a rider on it that I liked.

And yes, I did look for a green snowmobile if at all possible. I got lucky when I found this photo! I cropped it like this:

Then, I found a photo of Jacoby that would fit with the buried snowmobile.

Since he was already in snow, I didn’t have to do much to blend out the background to fit him into the churned snow behind the snowmobile.

I used a feathery brush to blend in the edges of the snow and his coat.

Here’s a close-up that shows how I’ve actually erased parts of Jake’s coat so that it looks like it’s buried in the snow even more than he actually was.

I also placed the text at the bottom for two reasons: one, to match the first LOLcat, which also had the text at the bottom, but also to disguise the Photoshop blending between the snow and Jake’s coat. I could probably do more to improve the lighting match between Jake and the background, but for an LOLcat, it’s good enough.

Abyssinian Silk Scarf – Fashion Friday

Occasionally, I search sites like Etsy and eBay for “Abyssinian Cat.” I’ve found some great things that way.

Like this custom Abyssinian painted silk scarf. Actually, the listing is for a custom silk scarf with your pet, based on a photo you send the artist…but her example is an Abyssinian.

The artist’s name is Catherine Marie, and on her website she explains the process she used to create this scarf.

Oh, if only I didn’t have about a thousand scarves..!

Aby-a-Day – February 5: Abys at the World Show

It occurred to me that I never finished sharing photos from the World Show in Philadelphia, which Jacoby and I entered last November.

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There was a good showing of Abyssinians at the show, representing all four colours. There were a couple of other Abys, like Racy Mooner and her mother, Twyla, who were at the show but who weren’t actually entered in competition.

Also present was the 2012-13 CFA show season’s Best Cat in Premiership GP, NW Zhender’s Roger Vivier of NuDawnz. I forgot to take a photo of him (despite his being benched just behind the Aby breed booth), but I did get his card.

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There were a LOT of Aby kittens entered – Five were entered in the Red Show, and four were in the Purple Show.

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One of the kittens in the Red Show was Vasil’s little red girl, Greenville Deja Vu.

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Deja Vu was the Best Aby Kitten in the Red show with 4 finals.

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Vasil’s fawn girl, GC Childofsun Nammi of Greenville, was entered in the Purple Show.

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She didn’t earn a breed win, but she was a ONE-SHOW GRAND, maiking seven Championship finals and earing 245 grand points!

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Vasil and his girls weren’t the only breeders to bring cats from Russia. Here is Olga Beresneva with her ruddy Aby boy, GC Instincts Espresso of Omnia Mea. Espresso was the Second Best Aby Champion in the Red Show. He’s also a cousin of Jake’s, since he’s from the same cattery, Instincts, as Jake’s mother Santa Catalina.

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There were also several Aby breeders from Japan, although they didn’t bring their cats (Japan, being an island, would impose a 180-day quarantine on them when they returned). This is Kiyomi Kondo talking to Jake.

We actually had dinner with the Japanese breeders, and they all gave me their cards.

While the Japanese breeders couldn’t easily bring their cats, they did bring cat toys!

This is a stick toy that Jake was given. I think the cartoon kitty on the packaging is supposed to make you think of Chi.

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It was wonderful to meet so many Aby breeders from all over the world, but it was also great to see American breeders, too. Of course, Meg and GP Anubis Chai Latte (aka Garçon) were there.

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Garçon was entered in the Purple Show, and he was the Best Aby in Premiership.

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Lauren Castle Flynn of Abycastle was there with her red boy, GC Abycastle Kathmandu.

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I also got to meet Suzie Kidder, a breeder who lives in Northern California but who grew up in Massachusetts! we actually had an interesting conversation about how we’d traded places. Here she is talking to spectators with her Open Champion Abyko’s Sparks Upon The Wind.

Suzie’s cattery, Abyko, is in Mill Valley.

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Carolyn Osier and her Aby GC Wil-o-glen’s Si Se Puede, from Orange County in Southern California, were also entered in the Purple Show. Si Se Puede had a great time riding on Susan’s scooter to get to and from the rings.

Wil-o-glen is one of those cattery names that appears in most modern Abyssinians’ pedigrees. Carolyn has been breeding since the late 1960’s, and even had an Aby who screen-tested for Disney’s The Cat From Outer Space! In fact, that Aby, GC Ruddy Raider of Wil-o-glen, appears in Jake’s pedigree along with several other Wil-o-glen cats on his mother’s side.

One of the highlights of the weekend, however, was meeting Rae Ann Christ of El Qahira Abyssininans. She took one look at Jake and knew that he was descended from her lines – he has several El Qahira cats in his ancestry on both his mother and his father’s side of the family! In fact, El Qahira is a name that shows up a LOT in Jake’s pedigree, as recently as his great grandfather, El Qahira Tamas!

Aby-a-Day – February 4: Wordless Wednesday (Snow paws)

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Look who’s on the CFA homepage!

Meg emailed me yesterday to let me know that Jacoby is featured on the CFA website’s homepage. Check it out:

The CFA sent out an email asking for photos of cats “dressed for winter,” but I didn’t know what they were going to use them for. Now I know!

Aby-a-Day – February 3: Of Wolves and Cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

No idea what inspired this…I’ve been watching old Jack Benny program reruns lately so I’ve been immersed in “old-style” comedy. You know, Jack Benny’s regular show ended the year I was born, so these shows are well over 50 years old…but they’re still incredibly funny. Some things really are universal. So maybe this comes from those classic comedy shows.

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Either that, or I just wanted to draw a Tex Avery-style Jacoby.

Also, shoutout to CoyoteMange and his FREE Photoshop fur and feather brushes! I played with them A LOT while I was colouring this. They really made the Fancy Feast Girl’s fur look great.

I also used this lineart by Keenami on DeviantArt as a reference for Angel’s pose…I just could not get it right!
(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Other People’s Abys: Radar hunts with StarClan

Sad news came to me this weekend: Radar, the Central Park Abyssinian, has passed away. He had cancer and finally gave up his fight this past Saturday, 31 January.

You may recall I posted about Radar back in 2010. Radar was a great influence on me with both Gun-Hee and Jacoby. Oddly, I was in NYC this past Saturday and, as we passed Central Park, I thought of Radar and Court, and of bringing Jake to Central Park some day.

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today.

Aby-a-Day – February 2 – Bed Bitterness (Hipstamatic Monday)

Jacoby really loves the bed that Sanna-Leena sent us from Finland.

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The problem is, so does Kylie.

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Kylie has taken to literally camping out in the bed so that no one else (*cough*JAKE*cough*) will be able to sleep in it.

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Jake is not pleased with Kylie usurping “his” bed.

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But he doesn’t really know what to do about it. Kylie won’t budge.

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It should be noted that Kylie’s approach does not work on torties.

Aby-a-Day – February 1: CSI: PSI

So there’s this game on TV today. You might have heard something about it.

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That’s right!

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Kitten Bowl II!

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Jacoby is a big fan of the Kitten Bowl, which is an actual, three-hour long playoff game…played by kittens.

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This year, it really seemed like Jake wanted to play with the kittens.

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So, I got him his very own football.

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“I don’t see what the big deal is…it’s not that hard to play with a ball.”

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“Meh, whatever…19 days til pitchers and catchers report. Bring on the Paw Star Game!

Abys in Need: Fawn in Dallas needs a Foster Home

This is kind of sad…just got this a couple of hours ago from the Aby Rescue list:

“Perhaps you can help me. The bottom line is I had a heart attack just over two weeks ago and I have an Abyssinian cat, Fawn, that I feel could find a home where she would be better cared for. I am crying writing this with the thought of it and the only way I am going to be okay is feeling like she going to a better home. I can’t just put out an ad and hope to find someone.

Her last blood work was good. She will overgroom her belly. My vet has me feeding her hypoallergenic food.

She can also rub her head sore from trying to mark things when, I think, she’s feeling insecure. She is around 13 lbs. Hopefully, I can find someone who has more experience with cats than myself. Although she gets lots of attention, I stopped dragging around play toys and I know she could do with more exercise.”

Fawn (who is a fawn) is in Dallas and her human’s name is Trevor Gauden. He can be reached by email at trevorgauden@msn.com.