Aby-a-Day – October 16: NEMO’s Infamous Costume Contest (Fashion Friday)


“Who are you talking to?”
“That sounds like a really good deal…uh, it’s Jake, from State Farm.”


“Jake, from State Farm, at three in the morning?! Who is this?”
“It’s Jake, from State Farm.”


“What are you wearing, ‘Jake from State Farm’?”




“Well, she sounds hideous.”
“Well, she’s a cat, so…”

In case you haven’t seen the original commercial…I’ve been wanting to do this since I came up with my April Fool’s image back in 2012:


But honestly, all the costumes this year were clever. We also had…


…Homer Simpson and a donut…


…Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf…






…My friend Charlotte and her tortie Colorpoint Shorthair Arwen as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (last year, they along with Charlotte’s cream-point, were Galadriel, Legolas and Arwen from The Lord of the Rings).



My friends Bob and Iris were Robin Hood and Maid Marian, along with Harold, a deer from Sherwood Forest.


This little girl was a princess, and her shaded Persian was her Prince Charming.



And last, but not least, we had a Harley biker gang.

And the winners were…


Charlotte and Arwen as Fred and Ginger! And in second place…

jakestatefarmNEMO_0642 1

Jake! From State Farm!


Charlotte and I were both thrilled to have won, having entered all three years with what were (according to other people and not just ourselves) ingenious and well-done costumes. As I told Charlotte, our victory wasn’t just this year’s costumes; like figure skating, our scores were based on our historical performance as well as the current one.

I’ll miss this contest when we move to Sweden, but FaceTiming with Björn while at the show gave me a brilliant idea. At the next show, I’ll FaceTime in during the contest, and I’ll be one of the judges!

Moderncat Photo of the Week – Vote for Angel & Jake!

I entered one of the photos of Angel and Jacoby in the snow in the Moderncat Photo of the Week contest.

If you’d like to vote for them, please do! You can vote for them here.

According to the contest rules, you may vote once every 12 hours from each device/IP address; I voted once from my computer and once from my iPhone, and each vote counted. The top cat has 10,000+ votes…but it’s only Monday.


Aby-a-Day – We have a winner! (Fashion Friday)

There were a few entries in the “What should Jake Wear?” contest. I have to admit, many of the suggested outfits were awesome…so awesome, in fact, that Jacoby already has them!


Bluemoonalone commented, “I would like to see him dressed as a Biker with a leather jacket, little boots and a Biker hat..He would be so cool..”


Maaike thought he would look “dapper” in something our friend Julie made (and Toki modeled)…but of course, Jake already has a top hat she made!


Lori said, “I could also see Jake as a doctor complete with white jacket, stethoscope, prescription pad, and so forth. ‘Tell me where it hurts!'” And Brenda wanted to see Jake as Peter Pan…but ever since Peter Pan was portrayed on Once Upon a Time, well…Pan scares me!

Kim suggested a red onesie…which Jake doesn’t already have, but she already ordered – and received – one of their Aby shirts! So, who wins the Abyssinian Cat Star T-Shirt from Poutine Press?


Saritarian commented, “Since Jake is a stoic leader whose curiosity for the world knows no bounds, I would love to see him dressed up as George Washington in Leutze’s painting ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware.’ I *know* he could pull it off perfectly!” And that not only cracked me up (literally, I started giggling out loud when I read it), but I had to see what it looked like, so…congratulations, Saritarian! Shoot me an email and I’ll get you hooked up with Simon and Sarah.

Remember to enter the “What Should Jake Wear?” contest to win an Aby T-shirt from Poutine Press!

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win an Abyssinian Cat Star T-shirt from Poutine Press! You have until this Wednesday, and so far, there’s only one entry, so it’s still anyone’s game!


As for what Jacoby should wear, well…Watching Frozen, it struck me how much like Jake the hero Saami character, Kristoff, is…so I sketched him dressed in Kristoff’s costume.

(The name Jouko comes from the Finngenerator, which tells you your Finnish name; it’s short for Joukahainen, who is the rival of Väinämöinen in the Kalevala.)

Aby-a-Day – March 21: What Should Jacoby Wear? – A Contest! (Fashion Friday)

Here is Jacoby modelling his new braided leather tag collar with the gold metallic knots and his Arja’s Art Finnish harness made of soft metallic copper leather.




Don’t they look well together, Jake asks.

Remember my post last week about Poutine Press’ fabulous Aby T-shirt? Well, Simon and Sarah have graciously offered to send an Aby Star T-shirt to one lucky reader!

They’re shipping first from Montreal, and then from Boston, so they’ll take a week or two, but if you are the winner you can select your size, so that’s worth the wait! All you have do to win this amazing shirt is…(drumroll please)…describe an outfit you would like to see Jake wear someday. Illustrations are welcome. The outfit that amuses and inspires me the most will win!

Deadline for entries is next Wednesday, March 26. Good luck and have fun!

The polls are closed…

The Moderncat “Star Cat” contest closed today at 3pm Eastern time. There were some cats who collected over 40,000 votes…but our Jacoby didn’t do too badly…

…he hit 1600 votes this afternoon! I don’t know what his exact final total was, but the highest number I heard for him was 1613.

Thank you to everyone who voted as many times as you could…now I guess we just wait and see what happens next…

Vote for Jacoby to be featured in Moderncat Magazine!

Please, please, please vote for Jacoby to win a professional photo shoot and a two-page spread in an upcoming issue of Modern Cat magazine!


Don’t hold back! The cat receiving the most votes in Moderncat’s Star Cat competition will appear in a two-page feature in an upcoming issue of Moderncat magazine and will take part in a photo shoot orchestrated by Moderncat. The contest closes on 21 January, 2014, and here’s the best part: You can vote for each cat once every 12 hours! According to the rules, votes made from computers on a shared internet connection are counted as a single vote (i.e one vote per office/home per 12 hours).

Let’s get our Jake into a magazine! Vote, please!

Vote for Cousin Seamus!

Jacoby’s cousin Seamus is in a Christmas photo contest, and he needs your vote!

If Seamus gets the most votes, he’ll win a $1000 gift certificate at Shopper’s Drug Mart!

The 2013 Friskies – Jacoby’s Boots are in the running

So, I thought I’d enter a video in this year’s Friskies cat video competition. I mean, what the heck, rignt?


It’s trickier than it seems, though. You can only enter a video that’s under two minutes, and it can’t include any music you don’t own the rights to. That’s quite a limitation – turns out, most of my best videos are over two minutes.

In the end, I decided to enter “Jacoby’s Boots Were Made for Walking”, the little video I made of him walking while wearing his snow boots, jacket and hat. Not the greatest (my first choice would have been Gun-Hee and the MBTA), but it fits the criteria.

So please, vote, share, or like it and maybe Jake will win a prize! And if you want to enter something, too, the deadline is noon ET on July 15th.

Aby-a-Day – October 28: This ain’t my first rodeo

Today Jacoby and I went to the big Halloween costume contest at the Quincy Petco.


I found an incredible cowboy hat and kerchief at Petsmart last weekend (on sale for 50% off if you can believe it) and the instant I saw it, I knew it would be awesome on Jake.

He just needed a jacket to go with it. So, I took one of his harness-coats and added a little cowhide…

jakescostumeIMG_9118 jakescostumeIMG_9119

…and voilà! Jake’s a cowboy!


At Petco, they had a little runway set up. Of course, Jake rocked it.



It was the Feline Agility course all over again.


The great thing about this costume is that it’s also a harness, and it’s warm. Perfect for a late October outing.


Jake can move in it comfortably, and the hat doesn’t have to be on his head for the costume to work. He can have it pushed back and it still looks good.


I need to get a cowgirl costume, now, so that we match. It seems that human-pet matching outfits are all the rage. Besides the general costume contest, Blue Buffalo sponsored a special contest for the best lookalikes.


Since my Cleopatra outfit is in storage, I decided we’d go as Ellsbury and Pedroia.



Well…okay, we just wore Red Sox jerseys and hats. But he’s named Jacoby, and my jersey has Pedroia’s name and number, so there you go.


But it worked! We won!


It was a great party, too. There was face-painting, a scavenger hunt, cupcakes with worms in them, and a lot of great dogs – and cats – in costume.


I was thrilled to see another cat in the contest. And look! He was even in a stroller!


This is Mr. Pixel, aka SuperCat. He’s the first cat I’ve seen in a stroller outside of a cat show.


We let Mr. Pixel and Jake check out each other – and their pimped out rides.




Amazingly, they got along pretty well. I was surprised there was no hissing!


I was amused that he won a bag of BLUE Longevity, the cat food with the Aby on the front I noticed for the first time last week at Petsmart. How serendipitous!


You may also notice that the bag is full of bite holes…



…while I was putting the stroller away in the bike closet, Jake decided he wanted a snack and attacked his prize!


I guess that means it’s good food, if he wants to tear into the bag to eat it! And, I guess that’s the perfect end to a good day.

Aby-a-Day – October 20: Howl-o-Ween at Petsmart

Today Jacoby and I went to Petsmart to check out their “Howl-o-Ween” costume event. I mean, how could we resist?

I usually go to Petco, rather than Petsmart – nothing for or against either chain, it’s just that Petcos seem to have more urban-accessible stores (like the one in Manhattan) while Petsmarts seem to be found in more suburban stripmalls. There’s also one about 5 blocks from my mom’s house in Davis, too… So going to Petsmart is a bit like going to a different country: it’s similar, but excitingly different.


Jake went as Jacoby…It took me a little while to decide on his costume, but I ended up with his Red Sox uniform; that hat never fails to impress.


Thanks to a little misunderstanding with Siri, we just missed the in-store contest. But we did get there in time to get a Halloween photo taken. And Petsmart is having a big online costume contest, and I need to enter Angel in that, since she’s really not an in-store kind of girl.


I wasn’t in a costume, so I didn’t want to be in the photo with him, so Jake sat on the posing stool while the Petsmart people snapped his pic.


He actually sat on that stool for about ten minutes, while we waited for the photo to be printed and framed and I chatted with the staff. That’s my little posable action figure!


Next weekend, Petco is having their Halloween costume event…and you know we’ll be there, too.

It’s all good news

Remember when I posted last month that Jacoby’s photo was selected to appear in the 2013 “Bad Cat” calendar? Well, on Friday when I went to the post office, there was a box from Workman Publishing.

Well, naturally, I thought it was my copies of the Bad Cat Page-a-Day and the Bad Cat Wall Calendar. So imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found this:


Holy crap! After, literally, 30 years of loving the Page-a-Day Cat Calendar and sending in my photos for their perusal…I’ve finally made it!


And how! He’s a “Winner of the Week,” and they’ve given him an amazing write-up. Just look at it! They even mention this blog!

I’m over the moon. First Your Cat magazine and now both the Bad Cat and the Good Cat calendars! 2013 is the Year of the Snake, my year…and it’s looking to be a very good one indeed.

Good news, bad news

As I’ve posted many, many times in the past, I love the Page-a-Day® Cat Calendar. I’ve been getting it since I was in high school; I’m pretty sure I started with the 1982 edition, which was something like the second or third one (they used to number them but I think they stopped when they got to twenty).

I think I’ve been entering photos I’ve taken of my cats almost as long. I’ve mailed them photos, I’ve sent in CD-Roms, I’ve emailed my pictures. And in all those 30-ish years, they’ve never chosen one of my entries. My sister did, in 2001; her red Van shorthair Juneau was featured on October 22 that year.

So you can imagine the thrill that ran through me when I opened my mailbox this morning and saw this:


I knew what it was instantly. Ive never gotten a letter from Workman before, but I’ve memorised the contest rules by now, and they say that winners will be notified by mail if their photos were chosen. So I knew.

Excited, I opened the envelope to read:


“…We are very happy to inform you that your cat Jacoby has won a spot on the 2013 Bad Cat Wall Calendar in October and in the 2013 Bad Cat Page-a-Day® Calendar on October 12…”

Um…BAD cat?


I mean, granted, it’s a Page-a-Day calendar…but it’s not the Page-a-Day calendar.
And October 12th next year? Is a Saturday, which means that Jake’s photo will only be on half the page, since they share weekends between two cats’ photos.

Still, after all these years…I’ve finally gotten a photo into a Workman Page-a-Day cat calendar!

And before you ask…I have no idea which photo it is. I can’t remember for the life of me what I submitted this year. I thought I sent in the mistletoe hat picture, but I’d imagine they’d use that around Christmastime, not October. I’ve been wracking my brain, but, I don’t know what photo they’re using. I know I did a post back in January about submitting a photo of Jake in his tuxedo with a can of Planter’s Peanuts, but I can’t recall if I actually sent that one in or not. Guess we’ll just have to wait for the calendar to come out.

Aby-a-Day – June 19: Daily Abyssinian iPhone cases FREE to good homes!

It’s a very long story as to why I have these, but I have not one but two (2) Case-Mate Tough Cases with Gun-Hee, Angel and Jacoby on the green tiki background you see on this very blog. Still wondering why I have two extra cases? Let’s just say that Case-Mate takes customer satisfaction on its custon cases very seriously.


These are seriously great cases for iPhones. The cases I have will only work on AT&T or international iPhone 4s (no idea why the Verizon phones won’t fit), but I can tell you, this case will protect your iPhone. I accidentally dropped my phone a couple of feet onto the sidewalk, and not only was my iPhone 100% fine, the case was barely damaged. It got a tiny bit scuffed on one corner, but it took me a whole day to find it!

I just want to share them with you, because they’re so incredible and because I have two extra cases and only one iPhone. So, comment on this post if you want one, and tell me the funniest cat story you’ve ever experienced. Make me laugh! I’ll pay postage – anywhere on Earth – so if you have an iPhone and want an Aby case, go for it. I’ll pick the winners after midnight Thursday, 24 June.


Jake wishes to remind you that he will be helping me select the winners. The cases are just like the one on my iPhone in this photo, but the rubber inner bumper is black, not bright green.


He also offered to demonstrate how great the case protects your iPhone when it crashes to the floor from a height…that’s okay, Jake, I think they get it!

Jacoby is ready for his close up

Our friend Sparkle posted a heads-up in her blog today about the Fresh Step video contest on YouTube. I think I missed the earlier post on this, because…a video contest? Sign me up! Or rather, sign Jacoby up…if ever a cat was born to be in front of a camera, it’s him.

Basically, all you need is a cat, at least one video longer than 10 seconds and shorter than 3 minutes, and a YouTube account. Entering is done through Fresh Step’s YouTube channel. The rules are fairly simple; the toughest one for me is that there can’t be any music. Still, I managed to come up with a few entries: I submitted “Jacoby’s Christmas Crazies,” “Acrobatic Jacoby,” “Jake and the Meat Tray,” “Stop! Thief!” and “Jacoby Helps With the Laundry,” and I can still enter 20 more videos before the contest closes on May 16. And of course, now I know not to add music 🙂

I guess this has become a sort of defacto New Year’s resolution for 2011, entering Jake’s photos and videos in contests…but why not, right?

Vote for Jake!

I’ve entered Jacoby in Humane Society’s Spay Day 2011 Online Pet Photo Contest. I signed up to help a local animal charity connected to Angell, MSPCA at Nevins Farm, so you may have to donate to vote, so don’t feel you have to vote if you don’t want to spend the money.

When I signed up, I didn’t realise they were asking for donations in exchange for votes. But I’m on my post-operative medications, so my reading comprehension may not be 100%. I got it via my Zazzle account, and it was presented more as a photo contest. And I couldn’t resist entering this photo:


So, if you’re up to it, please…vote for Jake?