Aby-a-Day – September 29: Christmastime is here, by golly! (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is the actual illustration for the Christmas card I was talking about last week.

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This is San Francisco, the intersection of Geary and Stockton in front of Union Square, 1996. My then-boyfriend, Eric, and I are doing Harri and Sigrid’s holiday shopping for them. Also, if you look at the background, there is another cat sitting on the sidewalk; that is Fagin and his human Mario, who would panhandle with his lovely blue-point Siamese mix. I used to bring fagin cat food, and Mario liked that better than the money! Mario wasn’t homeless, but he had been a construction worker until he started to lose his eyesight. I wonder what he’s doing now…and if he still has a kitty buddy.

That intersection is completely torn up now for light-rail construction, but here’s how it looked in 2011:

I can’t believe how much time I spent on this drawing! Nowadays, I’d just use a photograph and be done with it. I also used old-school Chartpak shading film on this…oh, man, I do NOT miss that stuff!

Abys in Need: Alicia in NY & Mocha and RubyRed in Los Angeles

Rescue Me has a few more Abys available for adoption, this time in Southern California and New York.

Alicia is in New York (not sure where) and her story is rather sad: “Alicia is a gorgeous and friendly blue Abyssinian cat. I’ve had her since birth but now I’m moving to NY and cannot have pets where I’m going to live. She is healthy and active. She’s 10 years old.”

Yeah. No comment. If you’re interested in adopting Alicia, her Rescue Me ID number is 15-02-09-00225

Mocha and RubyRed are being assisted by S.C.A.R. (Southern California Aby Rescue), and have been posted on Rescue Me. “Mocha is a 6 year old ruddy female seeking a new home without other cats or dogs. She is very high energy and needs someone with Aby experience. Local adoptions please. For more information contact Marla at SoCal Aby Rescue.”

RubyRed is a special needs Aby: “Are you looking for an aby with a softer side? One that loves to cuddle in bed and give face kisses? One that will purr the entire time you get your face washed? Then look no further, for I am your girl. I am only about five years old and have the most beautiful red coat EVER! Please don’t be put off at first if I don’t warm up to you. I will act coy and evaluate you. Once I accept you, watch out… I will be an attention magnet. Even toys will not deter me from just wanting your undivided love. My purrfect human must have lots of patience because of my shyness. Unfortunately I have ended up with many allergies. If given the wrong food (and I do like my meals), I will scratch myself raw. My foster mom gives me those little cans of Fancy something with turkey and I lap it up. Because of my special allergies I have to be the only one…something about eating from the other cats’ dishes?”

According to S.C.A.R.’s website, RubyRed is actually located in Las Vegas. If you would like more information on her, contact Marla at SoCal Aby Rescue.

Aby-a-Day – April 2: The sun is a lie

We’ve had a few sunny days in amongst the rain and snow.

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Despite the sun, it’s still wicked cold outside. It’s barely cracked 60° this “spring.”

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The morning I took these photos, it was about 25°F.

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In general, when you see a bright, sunny day in winter or early spring it usually means it’s cold outside. Clouds bring warmth.

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Which is exactly the opposite of what Angel and I learned growing up in Northern California. There, clouds (especially fog) = cold.

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It takes some getting used to. Fifteen years of living here and sometimes I still forget.

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So, yeah, the sun is a lie.

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At least, the sun outside is a lie.

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The sun inside, however…

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that sun is lovely and warm and perfect for bathing and napping. Even if the glass is a bit cold to lie against…

Aby-a-Day – December 4: Meeting a Legend

One of the reasons I really wanted to go to the World Show and enter the Red Show was because Wain Harding was one of the judges. (The other was because it was near Philly and I could see my sister.)

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You’ll have to indulge me here with a little fangirling. Wain Harding was the name in Aby breeders when I was a cat-crazy little kid first going to cat shows. I grew up in Davis, CA and Wain was based in Berkeley, CA – only 64 miles away on I-80! – so I saw his Abys a lot when we went to shows in Sacramento and San Francisco. They were probably the Abys I saw most, now that I think about it.

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I’m sure I must have seen Wain at a cat show at Cal Expo or the SF County Fair Building/Hall of Flowers when I was a kid. I may have also seen him as an apprentice judge!

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Wain Harding is Bastis Abyssinians. Bastis is one of those cattery names that shows up in viturally every Aby’s pedigree at some point.

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Jacoby has a solid Bastis backgound, starting with the legendary GC Bastis Zackariah, DM. Zackariah has 83 offspring known to ERoS, and there are probably a lot of his kittens that weren’t recorded there. This one cat is probably the keystone of modern Abys. I wonder if anyone can find an Aby alive today without Zackariah’s name in his or her pedigree?

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Long story short, it was a pretty big deal to meet Wain Harding, no matter what Meg says 🙂

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It was pretty exciting when, as Wain took Jake from the judging cage to the table, I heard him exclaim, “Wow…what great colour!” To have that be the first thing he said when he examined Jake was pretty amazing.

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Needless to say, when I heard Jake’s number called for Wain Harding’s Shorthair Specialty Ring at the World Show on Saturday, I was thrilled.

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I was so busy being excited and taking pictures, I don’t remember what Wain said as he presented Jake with his rosette.

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When I first got Gun-Hee and wanted to start showing, I scoured the internet for information on showing Abys and discovered this article about the perfect show Abyssinian. Several Aby-centric judges were interviewed for this Q and A, including Wain Harding. This article made an impression on me, especially Wain’s comments.

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Jake was Wain’s 14th Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership. This was out of 40 shorthair premiers entered in the Red Show.

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I know a lot of people might think, “Only 14th place?” but this was a very stiff competition. All of the Premiers were in top form at this show, and in all honesty, I got really lucky that the other Abyssinian Premiers weren’t able to attend and Jake ended up being the only Aby in Premiership in the Red Show. All in all, Jake ended up in 40th place overall and he earned 39 points.*

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The one thing I really wanted to do was get a photo of Wain with Jake and I. We had planned on getting one, but even though we were benched right across from his ring all weekend, I never managed to get that photo. Well…perhaps there will be a next time.

*On a side note, take a look at some of the cats’ names in Premiership! There’s a Manx named Jack Benny and a Maine Coon called Maine-ard G Krebbs. Two of my favourite characters! I love names like that.

Aby-a-Day – October 10: Angel’s adoption (Friday Flashback)

Six years ago, October 10 was a Friday, too. And that’s the day I went to pick up Angel.

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When I first met her, she was being sequestered in an upstairs bedroom. Seems the resident senior Aby didn’t like her and was kind of bullying her.

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She did have a friend in the bedroom, though: a fawn boy called Valentino.

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They got along really well, and Tino was an absolute sweetheart. He was already spoken for, but I wanted to bring him home, too.

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I had to go to Northern California to get Angel, which worked out well since I grew up there and my mom still lives there. Angel and I spent the weekend in Davis before going back to Boston. She hid a little when she first got to my mom’s house…

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…but she got over her initial shyness pretty quickly!

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To get home, we had to fly cross-country. This was the potty break in Denver…she didn’t need to go.

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As brave as she was at my mom’s…it took Angel a little while to get used to living with Tessie…

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…actually, six years later, that’s still something of a work in progress…

Abys in Need: Jasmine in Orange County, CA

This is a really sad story that was posted to the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook today.

“This is Jasmine, our latest foster Aby. She is a very sweet & affectionate, front declawed Aby who was dumped in a backyard. At 10 pm someone called Orange County Animal Control to get her. She had a microchip, but the phone number was disconnected. She spent 8 days in the shelter before we could pull her on behalf of the Southern California Abyssinian Rescue (SCAR). She had several infected sores in her mouth, along with 7 broken, infected, & loose teeth that had to be removed. Also there was a large mass that turned out to be cancerous. We will hospice foster Jasmine for SCAR. This is the 3rd very sick aby that SCAR has rescued this year that was dumped at high kill shelters by their owners due to health issues. SCAR is a U.S. tax-exempt, nonprofit rescue that relies on donations. It costs a lot to care for these sick cats, so all donations are greatly appreciated. Go to www.socaabyrescue.com for more information.”

Poor girl! I can’t believe what she had been through. And her face says it all about how she feels about her former humans…

Abys in Need – Alice in Pleasanton, CA

Let me introduce Alice, a 5 year old Ruddy Aby. She’s a Purebreds Plus, and she’s being fostered at the same home Angel was before I adopted her. Poor Alice has been having a bad time…and guess what is at the root of it all? Here is Alice’s story:

Alice is such a different girl than the one who came into rescue 4 months ago. We were called by a local shelter and asked to take Alice into rescue as she wasn’t doing well at the shelter. Our foster mom drove to evaluate her. She met Alice, picked her up and carried her around the shelter and then placed her back in her cage, all the time wondering where the disagreeable girl was that the shelter had called about. Paperwork done and with Alice in her cage, away they went. But that agreeable girl changed when they got to the foster mom’s house. For the next couple of months, anytime Alice did not agree with her foster mom leaving the room or getting to near her when she was eating, she would attack her foster mom’s feet and lower legs. She has the scars to show for it. We see this with upset declawed cats at times. Alice also was jumpy when it came to eating. She growled while she was eating and couldn’t be touched. Not much is known about Alice’s background except that she was owned by a couple who loved her but then had a baby. Alice became very jealous and was acting out. They punished her for her behavior and finally took her to the shelter.

But Alice has moved beyond where she was. With patience and time, Alice has become the girl she is today. Now she comes into the house, follows her foster mom around, lays near her or sits in her lap when she watches TV. Alice allows kissing, hugging on her terms and petting while she is eating. She is a talker so be prepared to carry on a conversation but Alice has definite opinions about her world. She is fine around the cats in the houseful, but it is very stressful for her if another cat picks on her.

Alice eats high quality, grain free cat food and does better on canned food than dry food, which unsettles her stomach at times. Her foster mom is happy to talk to potential adopters about the best diet for Alice. Alice is not a cat for everyone. She should not be in a home with young children and really likes men, although she has become very close to her foster mom. She would prefer to be an only cat or with another calm girl and would probably do well with a gentle dog. Weighing in at 13 1/2 pounds, Alice is spayed, FeLV/FIV negative/negative, current on vaccinations, microchipped and litter box perfect. She is fostered in Pleasanton.

Alice just wants to share her life with someone who will love and respect her. Are you that person? If so, then contact Karen at (707) 301-6425 or Aby_Lover87@yahoo.com if you have questions, or send an Adoption Application.

I will never understand declawing. It does so much more damage than claws do…