Abys and Thanksgiving

Abyfriend Kim posted this LOLcat to the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club:

Oh, yeah, that’s an Aby all right (the body type is actually a lot like Angel’s). And it reminded me of a story I posted several years ago about an Abyssinian named Bird and a Thanksgiving Turkey:

Recently I was contacted by Marian Callison, proud owner of Birdie, an Abyssinian cat who has recently reached her 30th birthday. Below is a story that appeared in the Nevada Appeal in 2004 about Birdie.

Twenty-seven years ago, Marian Callison started what could have been a new Thanksgiving tradition when she served her family “individual turkeys” in place of a giant bird.

Instead of being browned and steaming on a platter in the middle of the table, her turkey was alone, frozen, and abandoned on the porch outside. Callison had left for work, her turkey defrosting on the counter. Upon her return, she began to stuff the bird and was scratched as she placed her hand inside the bird’s cavity. She said she thought it was odd, but guessed the bird’s breast bone had been broken and was scratching her.

She peeked inside.

Two eyes peeked back. Her year-old kitten, Bird, an avid fan of turkey, had climbed inside. “It was scary to see those little beady eyes looking back at you,” she said Monday from her Carson City home. “I tried for over an hour to get her out of that turkey. I called the Butterball hotline. I filled it full of hot water and shook it. She was so slimy I couldn’t grab her, and she had her claws dug in. “I worked for a vet and called him, and he couldn’t get her out. “I gave up and put the turkey outside on the porch. It was beyond cold.”

Callison went to the grocery store, where she bought Cornish game hens to serve, instead of her 21-pound Butterball. “Bird was shivering on the porch when I got back,” Callison said. “My son gave her a bath, and ever since then she’s liked a bath. She’s more like a dog than a cat.” Callison defrosted the game hens for dinner. “Everyone thought I was starting a new tradition,” she said.

The tradition took on a life of its own when the hosts of television show “Crook and Chase” interviewed the Butterball lady a decade ago. “She talked about this woman whose cat was stuck in the turkey,” Callison said. “We heard it again on reruns yesterday.”

Twenty-seven years later, the kitten Callison once held in her palm now weighs 16-1/2 pounds, walks on a leash, and squeaks like a bird instead of meowing.

“She’s a coyote-colored Abyssinian,” she said. “Turkey’s still her favorite dish.”

Kelli Du Fresne is city editor for the Nevada Appeal.

I guess Jacoby is somewhat more civilised…he prefers his turkey cooked!


Incensed, Abyssinianly-Speaking

Lisa-Maria, keeper of the Mooners, posted this holiday cautionary tale on one of the Aby lists:

I am not big into perfumes or strong scents. I like things, places, people, and yes, cats, to be and smell clean. “Clean” is not an overpowering thing in my olfactory enterprise, it is inviting, pleasant, and welcoming. Nowhere do I practice this definition more so than in my home, where I want things clean so I can tell when something is not. When someone–and by “someone” I do mean feline–barfs, poops, or pees either in or out of a designated area (and while I can train any cat to roll over on command, I have yet to get any single one of them to make a beeline for a toilet bowl when they feel a retch coming on. Strange, since so many millions of college students seem to know this as second nature), I want to detect it so I can remove it promptly.

On weekends at home I do, every now and then, light up a mildly scented candle, or enjoy the woody smell of burning logs in the fireplace. With that in mind, I purchased a Scentsy warmer, a popular item that diffuses scent by means of a light bulb heating fragrance-embedded wax cubes. I had heard great things about this product, my friends both in and out of the cat fancy love it, and not only are there a vast array of warmer designs to fit any decorating theme, there are also lots of great fragrances to choose from. I was delighted with my Scentsy warmer, and while purchasing it at a cat show, I also picked up a large variety of the scented wax cubes. Though I had not actually used the Scentsy yet, I was eagerly awaiting a chilly winter weekend at home to plug it in and melt my first cube of fragrant wax.

Therefore, I was rather surprised, no I was downright shocked, when I walked through my door after arriving home from work one day and was overpowered by “Autumn Sunset”, “Embers”, “Echo,” “Pomegranate Morning”, “Festival of Trees,” and a hairball two feet from the doorway that smelled vaguely of “Cozy Fireside.”

Combined, the mob of fragrances did a great deal to suggest that I had fallen into a terribly deep, smothering compost pile from which I would never crawl out.

I stepped over the “Cozy Fireside” dried hairball and, walking further into my house, saw that each of the plastic holders for the Scentsy fragrant wax cubes had been bitten into, and were spread all over the house.

Repeatedly bitten into.

This is the sort of evidence that tells me that one cat first bit into each of the plastic holders, realized that not even “Pomegranate Morning” offered any type of true feline promise, and left the hard plastic containers for the other cats to each have a go at and discover the same thing. Once each clear plastic container was riddled with bites and deemed a letdown, then the only value the containers had was as hockey puck-like amusements for bored Abyssinians. No doubt, as each fragranced wax package sailed across the floor, down the stairs, and under the sofa and chairs, the delightful scents within escaped, coalesced, and thus became one huge, unbearable, undesirable, and unforgettable stench. This was not a “clean” smell, this was the smell from hell.

Although I do feel there is some commercial potential for “Cozy Fireside” alternative fuel light-able hairballs, don’t be surprised if you find a brand new contemporary Scentsy warmer in an upcoming show raffle.

When asked who she thought the instigator was, Lisa-Marie said, “Twyla Mooner is almost always, without fail, the ‘ringleader’ of any package opening. Her daughter LuLu is almost always the lead in any packaging/mailing tape chewing-off and spitting out. LuLu’s son and daughter, Banjo and Danna respectively, have the lead on most ‘gravity experiments’ involving heavy or breakable objects proving to be so. Twyla’s other daughter, Racy Mooner, is the one primarily responsible for locking herself behind closed doors, eventually being missed, and eventually being rediscovered.”

It’s nice to know that every Aby has their own special job, isn’t it?

I totally believe that, of all cat breeds, it would be an Abyssinian who got stuck inside a turkey

Bird: The turkey cat who started a new Thanksgiving tradition