Other People’s Abys – Want an Aby or Somali for Christmas? Check out this Ticked Friday shopping list!

Yep, I’m calling this Ticked Friday! My friends Sheila and Mike Dentico of Abyroad Cattery have some adult Abys and Somalis they wish to rehome. They are located in Rockland County, NY (near enough to NYC for Sheila to want to dress my Jake in pinstripes). Please contact Sheila if you want to know any more about these wonderful cats.


This is how they raise their kittens. You can tell they’re horribly mistreated 🙂

Here is the list of available adults:

  • Raj: Silver Somali neuter, age 8½. Very affectionate, huge coat. Social with other cats. Was her Somali breeding male for several years
  • Peggy: Ruddy Aby female, age 6 (the same age as Angel!) Social with other cats. Peggy has had one litter and was a good mom.
  • Trixie: Ruddy Aby female, age 3. Social with other cats. Trixie has had one litter and was a good mom.
  • Cassie: Ruddy Somali female, very affectionate lap-sitter, age 2. Social with other cats. Cassie has never been bred.
  • Brownie: Ruddy Aby male, age 6. Very shy and slow to adjust to changes. Social with other cats. Never used for breeding.

Shelia’s primary objective is to find all these guys great homes, and their adoption charges are very, very reasonable: the price of any medical attention (spaying or neutering if they haven’t been fixed yet, vaccination updates, routine things like that). This is a great opportunity to adopt an older Aby or Somali. Contact Sheila if you need more information.

Aby-a-Day – September 15: Are Jacoby and Sparkle Related?

After seeing a Somali up close and personal, it’s very easy to see that they are essentially Abyssinians with a long coat. And as I’ve often said, almost every Abyssinian is related to every other Abyssinian, if you go back far enough. But what if you took a random Abyssinian, say one from the East Coast, and a random Somali, say, one from California? Could you find a link between them?

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(Pr. Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home and G.Pr. Kimelot’s Toberone in Walter Hutzler’s final)

Let’s find out, shall we?

It just so happens that I have a random Abyssinian, our own Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home, born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and (forgive me, I don’t know her full name) a random Somali, Tajhara‘s Sparkle, born in Temecula, California, USA.

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(Pr. Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home and G.Pr. Kimelot’s Toberone in Walter Hutzler’s final)

On the face of it, these two cats have about as little in common as possible: one’s a boy, one’s a female; one has short hair, one has long hair; and I don’t think there are two points on the continent that are farther apart than Fredericton and Temecula!

sparklejakemap

Sparkle’s mother was Tajhara’s Tina Turner, and Tina’s maternal great-grandmother (Sparkle’s great-great grandmother) was a red/sorrel Abyssinian named Tajhara’s Firecracker. Firecracker’s paternal great father was a cat called Phaulkon‘s Poetry in Motion, whose father was a cat with a name I recognised: Nepenthes Leo, who was born in March, 1976 and has 17 offspring known to ERoS. Another of Leo’s sons was an Abyssinian named Quin-Jo‘s Gatico, and from Gatico we go to his daughter, Quin-Jo’s Rosita, to her son, Quin-Jo’s Red’n Reddy (a Grand Champion red/sorrel and National winner born in November, 1984), to his son, Robert Red’n Reddy, to his son, Shomra’s Aristotle of Catsylvania, to his daughter, Margarita of Shomra, to her daughter, Shomra’s Tomahto (a red/sorrel), to her son, Shomra’s Right Off the Vine, to his son Ramkatz Ryan New Year (born January 1, 2003)…to Instincts Santa Catalina, Jake’s mother. So on Sparkle’s mother’s side is an Aby who is also on Jake’s mother’s side, meaning that Sparkle the Somali and Jake the Abyssinian are distantly related! That’s not the only link between Sparkle and Jake, either: Another cat, Badfinger’s Bumble Bee of Catknapp, appears in both their pedigrees as well.

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(Toby in Russell Webb’s ring)

Sparkle’s father, Tajhara’s Miles Davis, comes from an older line of Somalis than does Sparkle’s mother, but I did find a link eventually. I had to go back to 1962 and Ring’s Abi Sheba of Selene, whose daughter was Ring’s Sheba of Van Dyke. From Sheba, we go → Van Dyke’s Abi Farouk → Van Dyke’s Abi Kariba → Van Dyke’s Abi Ayesha → Van Dyke’s Abi Abdel of Barba → Van Dyke’s Abi Amberina → Van Dyke’s Abi Ashley → Van Dyke’s Lakeshore Missy → Van Dyke’s Abi Antonia of Haro → Haro’s Abi Alpha → Haro’s Ginger Snap of Pellburn…to Jake’s dad, Scar.

Ring’s Abi Sheba of Selene also had a son, Van Dyke’s Abi Abdullah, and from him we go → Alvi’s Amore of Shorehouse (an Aby variant, which I’m not sure but think may mean he had long hair) → Alvi’s Chimo of Lolirand (who is listed as a Somali) → Falconsview Ezekiel of J.R.R. (a Canadian Somali!) → J.R.R.’s Shyboy of Lynn-Lee (a shy Aby, apparently…didn’t know those existed!) → Lynn-Lee’s Desert Fox → Lynn-Lee’s Christmas Cactus of Seguin (born Dec. 24, 1980) → Lynn-Lee’s Strawberry Shortcake (it was the 80’s) → Lynn-Lee’s Firefly → Lynn-Lee Dances With Wolves of Tadofa (born January 1991) → Tadofa Claim Jumper of Gunsmoke → Gunsmoke’s Amaretto of Tajhara, who was Sparkle’s father Miles Davis’ mother.

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(Jake and Toby with Walter Hutzler again)

But there you have it: Sparkle and Jake are distantly related on both sides of their families! Man, I love stuff like this.

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(Jake in Gene Darrah’s ring)

Sparkle can also trace back to the infamous Grand Champion and Distinguised Merit Abyssinian Bastis Zackariah through Phaulkon’s Poetry in Motion, Firecracker’s paternal great-grandfather. Zackariah is probably the most prolific Abyssinian recorded. He has 73 offspring known to ERoS, and he probably had many, many more kittens than that. Most modern Abys can trace back to him (he’s in Jake’s pedigree as well, on his father’s side), and apparently so can a lot of Somalis!

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(Toby with Russell Webb again)

I have actually bought several of the old CFA Yearbooks with feature articles about Somalis and Abyssinians in them and I have a scanning project planned. In these fantastic tomes (and I do mean “tomes;” these things are big and heavy!) are photos of a lot of these cats (or at least cats from the same catteries) whose names you see above. That’s the most fascinating thing to me…you can see these ancestors! I haven’t found a source for these online, apart from Karen Lawrence’s Abyssinian Historical Review (which is an incredible resource). I found photos of two more of Jake’s forefathers, Gr.Ch. and Regional Winner Blybos St. Lawrence of Instincts and Gr.Ch. and National Winner Instincts Klein Bonaire, who are probably also a part of our cousin Ataraxia Nantucket of Instincts (Toki)‘s pedigree!

The Aby world is a small one indeed!

We’re #7! We’re #7!

I just got a Catster email about the CFA’s announcement last week of the most registered breeds in 2010. There was some rearrangement in the rankings from 2009, interestingly. The 2009 Top Ten were:

1. Persian
2. Exotic (basically a Persian with short hair)
3. Maine Coon
4. Siamese
5. Ragdoll
6. Abyssinian
7. Sphynx
8. American Shorthair
9. Birman
10. Oriental

The article I found only mentioned the top seven, who were:

1. Persian
2. Maine Coon
3. Exotic
4. Ragdoll
5. Sphynx
6. Siamese
7. Abyssinian

Which is more or less a reorganisation of last year, with the Sphynx and Ragdoll gaining two points each and the Siamese dropping two points. Abys only dropped a point; however, Abys tend to have small litters compared to other breeds, and that does affect the registry numbers.

This line, though, did have me laughing: In a startling upset, the Siamese has fallen out of the top five. The active, vocal and affectionate cat, with its exotic looks, now ranks at Number 6. The Abyssinian has also been demoted to Number 7. “Maybe people don’t want all that activity,” says Miller. “But actually, I know these breeds remain popular; it’s just that some others are today more of an interest.”

What, you mean people would rather eat their meals uninterrupted by grabby hands and they prefer being able to open a door without keeping a sleek brown body on the other side of it?

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Abyssinians in Science

“An Abyssinian cat from Missouri, named Cinnamon, has just made scientific history. Researchers have largely decoded her DNA, a step that may aid the search for treatments for both feline and human diseases.”

I knew about a 2002 Harvard study about Retinitis Pigmentosa in Abys, but this is something else. Abyssinians have a genetic predisposition to Retinitis Pigmentosa and also dental health issues…it’s interesting to see them being studied.

Before Gun-Hee, I had Siamese, and they have their own genetic abnormalities…but Abys aren’t quite as well-known a breed as Siamese. It’s good to see them in the spotlight.

Another article about Cinnamon says her ancestry goes back to Sweden. Gun-Hee has ancestry in Finland and Denmark (his mother is a Danish import), but not Sweden. Still, I wonder if he and Cinnamon are distantly related? It’s actually possible…

“What is an Abyssinian?”

What is an Abyssinian?

I found this during a random Google search, and it cracked me up. What hit closest to home was this list of ways your life changes once an Aby joins your family:

  1. You will never again sleep past 4:00 a.m. Like a wolf, an Aby feels that predawn is the hour to hunt (but then he also hunts on and off all day). The problem is that he needs you to help him find his prey. At first he may just stand over your head and stare at you, but soon he’ll develop a heavy purr. Only the extremely naive will suppose that the purr expresses devotion. If you have not responded within a reasonable time, he may begin to nibble at your nose or toes. Occasionally he’ll burrow into your hair and try to get some of it between his teeth. Within thirty minutes you will be in the kitchen, can opener poised.
  2. You’ll never eat alone. Even if you are eating food the cat doesn’t like (in my experience, only grapefruit), he will develop a taste for it. He will steal anything in the pot or on the plate — from croissant to steak or corn on the cob — and drag it to whatever place he considers his lair. You will never be able to sit through a meal when an Aby is nearby. Fortunately, they don’t mind being removed to another room. Unfortunately, this action never inspires reform.
  3. You will have to sneak in and out of your home like a criminal. This is to prevent your Aby from running away. When I open my front door to greet visitors, I clutch my Aby in my arms. No doubt my visitors now talk behind my back about my neurotic attachment. It’s actually self-defense. To my shame, my Aby has been known to flee into strangers’ apartments and hide under their beds. He has rushed into the elevator and descended alone to the lobby. On one horrible night, without my knowing it, he slid through a partially open window to the fire escape where he sat overnight one flight above his real home. I hope he missed me.

Oh, so very, very true…

“Busy.” Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

The one word that keeps coming up when you start reading about Abyssinans and their personalities is “Busy.”

“Busy.” Yeah, okay, if by “busy” you mean, “freakishly unable to rest until everthing that can be moved has been,” then yes, I can totally agree with that.

Of course, this is coming from someone who was woken up several times last night, the last time to see a very small ticked brown cat attacking a very large garbage bag full of clothes bound for Goodwill…

No matter how large the target, Gun-Hee is ready and willing (if not always able) to attack it full-on.

I come from the world of Siamese…Siamese are a walk in the park compared to Abys.