My friend Pat plays with a colour-by-numbers app called Happy Color and often posts her favourite creations. Last week, she posted this cat painting and asked the hive mind if we thought it was an Abyssinian. Of course, everyone agreed that it definitely was! I may have to try this app out!
Aby-a-Day – 1 Juni: Beware of the cat (Cartoon Tuesday)
Today is my birthday! Yesterday, I got this sign from my friend Meg. I absolutely love it…I just need to figure out where to put it. Thank you, Meg!
Aby-a-Day – 10 Augusti 2020: Happy Gotcha Day, Dashiell!
One year ago today, Dashiell arrived in Finland. As you may recall, it was an insane day, and we didn’t actually “get” him until the next day, so I guess we have a two-day Gotcha holiday.
But we were in the same country at the same time, so today counts.
But even once we had him…we still had to get him home.
First by ferry…
…then by train…
…And finally by taxi.
Little did Dash know when they met that Izaak was destined to be his best friend.
There really weren’t any real problems integrating Dash into the family.
…Well, okay…maybe there was a little bit of hissing.
We also introduced Dash to the outside world, including Markis.
Look at him now! He’s still a little skittish, but he’s getting braver every day.
Happy Gotcha Day, Dash!
Tiuku hunts with StarClan
Yesterday, my good friend Anne posted on Facebook: “Tiuku 12.5.2001 – 13.7.2020
(EC, Ch Habibin TirNanOg DM)
She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.”
Tiuku was 19 years, 2 months and 1 day old, but no matter how long you have with them…it’s just never enough.
Tiuku with her grandkittens; Anne said she was a grandmother twelve times! I never met her in person, but I feel as though I knew her. My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear, sweet Tiuku.
Bonk hunts with StarClan
My friend Anna posted yesterday:
“It’s with heavy heart I’m writing this. Bonk left us at Friday when he got worse again. He was a very special guy and this is how we want to remember our beautiful always positive guy who never missed the chance to snuggle and headbutt someone.”
S*Xanthomelas Bonkap Mercur, Bonk to his friends, was diagnosed with diabetes towards the end of May. He had been sick for a week or so with complications related to that, and he’d spent a few days in the animal hospital getting tests and IV fluids. He went up and down (much like Jacoby in his last days), and finally took a steep downturn on Friday.
Bonk was an amazing cat. We were often neighbours with him, Anna and Peter at shows, and Bonk was well named. He would headbonk you with very little provocation. I am really going to miss hanging out with him at cat shows.
Bonk wasn’t even all that old; he would have turned 7 in September. Too early, too soon. He was so like Jake in personality, and he was just an amazing cat. My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, my buddy Bonk.
Aby-a-Day – 24 Juni: Tentacle Kitty (Miniature Monday)
Last week I happened to go to our local second-hand shop and found an interesting plushie.
Intrigued, I looked at the tag, and it said “Tentacle Kitty, Second Edition.” Second edition? What? A pink kitty-squid with a cute little nose has been a thing long enough to have a second edition plushie and I have never heard of it before!? How is this possible?
Turns out, Tentacle Kitty was created in 2009 by a husband and wife team in Oregon. There’s a webcomic about her and a cast of other multi-limbed kitty characters. Not sure how I missed a cartoon kitty for ten whole years…but I’ve found her now! And she only cost 29kr (about $3 USD).
Izaak seems to really like her, too. Or maybe it’s just that her tentacles remind him of his snake.
PS: Today is Cat World Domination Day. Be sure to go and celebrate it with our Somali friend, Summer!
Mosey hunts with StarClan
Yesterday, not even a month after Jacoby died just before his tenth birthday, Molly posted this on Facebook: “He’s gone, my beloved Mosey. Sweetest cat in 30+ years of Abys. Damn kidney disease! At age eight, one sad Vet, two crying Vet Techs and I walked him to the Rainbow Bridge. Lisa Kaelin I owe you the world for breeding my favorite cat of all time. Farewell, Ch. Red Fern Moses2 of Tigerflower. It hurts so much…”
Longtime readers may remember that Jake and I met Rosey Mosey at a cat show when he was a kitten. At the time, he was third best kitten in CFA! We also met Mosey’s son, Nikolai, at another show.
Mosey was such a sweet, lovable boy. I can’t believe he is also gone so young. My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear, sweet Mosey.
Aby-a-Day – 6 October: Izaak and Lorelai at the show in Vårgårda (Cat Show Saturday)
Quick show report from Vårgårda today.
Because of the funeral yesteday, we decided to cancel our motel reservation and just stay at home Friday and Saturday night. This meant a long, speedy, frenzied drive to the show hall this morning…only to face a long, slow line at check in. Of course.
Of course, once we got the cage set up, Lorelai and Izaak were their usual, over-stressed selves.
Although we did have a bit of excitement over the dried beefheart samples…
We were benched next to our friends Anna, Peter and Bonk. That was pleasant.
The big surprise was that Rory’s half-sister was entered in the show! They have the same mother, Kajza, but Adela was born in January 2017.
Here is Rory’s half-sister Adela up for judging.
Rory was up for judging first, before Zak.
The judge, Ulrika Eriksson, liked her well enough to call her back for the nominations.
She was up against this tabby-point and white Siamese…
…who ultimately ended up getting the nomination.
Then it was Izaak’s turn.
He was the only cat Jaana Jyrkinen judged today in his class (11 – Juniors, 7-10 months), so he got the nomination by default…but she loved him and would have had him in her final decision regardless.
Here’s Zak with his little Nom trophy.
…No, Zak…nothing to eat here…
We were so excited! This was Zak’s first nomination! Okay, it may have been by default…but still, it’s a nomination and it counts!
In the panel, Zak was up against a Bengal and a blue-spotted Ocicat.
It was close…but the Ocicat ended up being Best in Show today. But still, it was a good day for the only Singapura entered in the show!
Other People’s Abys: Indy hunts with StarClan
I hate making these posts. Our good friend Pat lost her lovely blue girl, Pentaclecats Indigo Blue, better known as Indy, died today. She had been losing weight and was finally diagnosed with cystitis. She was a retired showgirl, joining Pat, her son Mike and ruddy boy Coqui, only 4½ years ago.
My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear Indy.
Happy Birthday, Molly!
One of my best friends in the Abyssinian world, Molly of Tigerflower Abyssinians, has a couple of major life events happening this month. At the end of the month, she is retiring…but today is her 80th birthday! Since Molly considers the CFA her extended family, I am trying to create a birthday greetings blitz with her friends. So…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!
Molly has been breeding Abyssinians under the cattery name Tigerflower for over thirty years. Mainly working with dilutes, she’s raised countless litters of beautiful, title-winning Abys. Besides her Abyssinians, Molly followed a long New York fashion career – on staff at Mademoiselle and Glamour Magazines, freelance writing for Town & Country, wardrobe and speech writing for the Miss America pageants…she even once met Jack Benny!
I met Molly at a show in Groton, CT back in 2011. It was a memorable show for many reasons: Jacoby achieved his Grand Premiership, I met Richard of Chanan for the first time, and Jake and I dressed up as ancient Egyptians because the second day of the show fell on Halloween. But among the most memorable things was meeting Molly and Red Ferne Moses2 of Tigerflower.
He was quite the little firecracker, little Mosey!
He did well at that show, too.
When I lived in Boston, Molly lived in Orlando, FL and then in New Jersey, so we didn’t get to see her very often…but she did come to a couple of NEMO shows. This is the group of my friends and I after the first day of the first NEMO show…Molly supplied the plastic wine sippy cups.
She and her young red boy, Nik, were enchanted by this spectator at that show.
Molly was one of the few people who came to Björn’s and my wedding…in fact, having guests at our wedding at all was Molly’s idea!
If it hadn’t been for her, we would not have had a wedding party.
She also gave us this incredible stained-glass Aby, which hangs in our front room window in our apartment where we can see it every day.
So…Molly…give your beloved Clawdius a hug from all of us here in Sweden…and have an absolutely marvelous birthday party! We wish we could be there to help you celebrate!
Abys are Everywhere – Player’s Cigarettes cat cards
My friend Marsha posted a photo of a reproduction cigarette card featuring an Abyssinian the other day on Facebook. I actually managed to find an image of it in the digital collection of the New York Public Library!
Cigarette cards were the precursor to collectible cards in bubble gum packets, and date back the 1890s, when cigarettes were wrapped in paper packets instead of boxes. Manufacturers began inserting pieces of card to protect the contents, quickly realising that these would be useful for advertising their products. Soon this evolved into sets of cards featuring various things of interest, in the hopes that smokers would want to “collect them all” and continue to buy that brand rather than another.
Usually, they were marketed to men, and so featured sports players, pretty actresses, trains and ships…but there were some animal-themed sets as well, including a 24-card set of different British breeds of cats printed in 1936 by Player’s Cigarettes.
The originals are not dated, but these were reproduced in both 1986 (with blue ink and the Imperial Tobacco Ltd. logo on the corners)…
…and in 1997 (this time with red ink). Therefore they are not hard at all to find, especially from UK sellers on eBay. I got this one for about 80kr (less than $10 USD) including shipping.
Aby-a-Day – 8 March: Bedtime rituals
A couple of weeks ago, our friend Summer posted about her bedtime rituals, and it looked like it would be a fun thing to post about, so here we go.
We don’t really have rituals, per se, but Jacoby always sleeps in bed with us. Sometimes Alfred joins us.
And before Logan became a man, as it were, he would sleep with us, too.
I think he really misses it. He is a great cuddler.
Jake may not always get along with Freddy and Logan, but the bed is his place, and he tolerates them when we’re all in bed. I’ve even caught Jake cuddling with Freddy!
But I think Jake is happiest when he has the bed all to himself. With or without me.
When he has to share, he has to be ON me.
Aby-a-Day – 22 April: Something Old (Fashion Friday)
Björn and I got married on Monday, as I mentioned earlier.
Much to our delight, a bunch of our friends came to wish us well, including Meg, Molly, Barb, Kelli and Donna. We were so amazed and grateful that they came to witness our marriage.
And they all gave us lovely gifts, apart from their presence. Molly gave us this “something old” that she found in an antique shop. Isn’t it wonderful!? It’s clearly meant to be an Aby, which in itself is amazing, but the detail and the workmanship in this small stained glass is wonderful.
He has wire whiskers, and three-dimentional, marble-like cat eyes that are just entrancing.
We love it so much…thank you, Molly!
Aby-a-Day – 11 March: Have fun storming the castle…(Fashion Friday)
Boston has this really awesome castle on Arlington Street. Walking home from the Apple Store, Jacoby and I happened to pass by it.
It was a bit chilly by then, so Jake was wearing the hoodie that our friend Sanna sent from Finland.
Aby-a-Day – 29 January: When Irish Abys are Smiling (Fashion Friday)
My friend Leza posted this to an Aby group on Facebook with the comment “Of course the Aby is sitting like a tease. smh! lol. Never cease to amaze us do they?”
So of course I had to buy it.
It’s a vintage, circa 1970, Irish tea towel.
And yes, the Aby is the only cat on it that’s posing like a porn star.
Jacoby has no comment.
Aby-a-Day – 5 January: He shoots, he scores! (Cartoon Tuesday)
The 2016 World Youth Hockey Tournament just ended tonight. We spent a good part of New Year’s Eve watching Sweden beat Canada, but last night there was a pretty rousing game last night between Sweden and Finland.
So, today’s cartoon was drawn on my iPad while on the train from Skövde to Stockholm today, because our friend Sanna-Leena posted about her litter of half-Swedish kittens cheering for Team Finland last night…including an Instagram video!
This is what Jacoby has to say about the game.
(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)
Aby-a-Day – 3 January: Emmy Hunts with StarClan
Horribly sad news from one of our dearest friends…Abyfriend Kelli’s sweet girl Emmy made her last trip to the vet yesterday. Emmy had been fighting pneumonia for several months, but just after Christmas, she got worse, and then had renal failure on top of her breathing problems.
On 1 January, Kelli posted: “Emmy is home and once again enjoying the warmth of the fireplace. She is still very weak and can’t walk from one room to another without having to pause for a minute due to her labored breathing, but she is definitely very happy to be home. The vet wanted to wait until Monday to recheck her lab values, so I won’t really know much until then. She has a very long, hard road ahead of her still, but I’m hopeful she can remain strong enough to beat this. I just wanted to thank everyone in this wonderful group for the love and support you’ve shown to us this week. I know we couldn’t have gotten this far without it. I will keep you all posted when I have something new to report. Please know though that she very much still needs your continued thoughts and prayers. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!”
But then yesterday, Kelli updated, “Prayers now please! Emmy is breathing faster than I’ve ever seen this morning and doesn’t want me near her. I just gave her the morning dose of pain meds and I’m having to wait until the vet opens in 30 minutes to call to see what to do. I’m terrified.”
And then…the post nobody wanted to read: “My baby earned her wings this morning. By the time we made it to the vet she let me know she was ready, so I did the last thing I could for her and set her free. I’m completely shattered. Fly high my love. You will always be in my heart.”
If you don’t remember, Kelli and I met when she sent me an email about her first Aby, Maggie, who died of FIP. I actually connected her with my friend Molly, from who Kelli got her other Aby, and Emmy’s partner in crime, Allie. And I met Kelli in 2013 when she came to the first NEMO show.
My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, dear Emmy.
Aby-a-Day – December 1: Behind what Somalis say (Cartoon Tuesday)
Another in my series of the sketches behind some of my favourite cartoons…in honour of Abyfriend Wendy’s blue girl Wren, whose birthday was yesterday, I thought I’d share the sketch behind last year’s April Fools Day cartoon.
It’s rare for an artist to really like something they’ve drawn, but I’m extremely please with how the Somali versions of Vegard and Bård Ylvisaker turned out. They needed almost no changes from the original sketches to the final cartoon – that almost never happens!
Also, notice how Leo’s arm was not drawn around Wren’s shoulder. I drew each Aby separately, and put them together in Photoshop.
Here’s the final cartoon. See how little Vegard and Bård changed from the sketch?
And if you still haven’t seen Ylvis‘ awesome video, well… you probably should:
Aby-a-Day – November 17: That’s how you know it’s really from me (Cartoon Tuesday)
Aby-a-Day – November 15: Silly show selfies (Selfie Sunday)
While at cat shows with Jacoby, I amuse myself by taking selfies of us to send to Björn.
Jake does not always approve of my attempts at taking selfies. I obviously look too goofy in this photo.
Okay, Jake…NOW who looks goofy?
That’s a little better.
This one is us being super cute (or a facsimile thereof).
This is my favourite though. It’s me and my friend Charlotte, Facetiming with Björn in the show hall. Charlotte lives in Astoria…I wish we were closer and could hang out more. I’ll miss her (and her lovely Siame…er, I mean, Colorpoint Shorthairs) when I finally get to move to Sweden.