Aby-a-Day – February 5: Abys at the World Show

It occurred to me that I never finished sharing photos from the World Show in Philadelphia, which Jacoby and I entered last November.

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There was a good showing of Abyssinians at the show, representing all four colours. There were a couple of other Abys, like Racy Mooner and her mother, Twyla, who were at the show but who weren’t actually entered in competition.

Also present was the 2012-13 CFA show season’s Best Cat in Premiership GP, NW Zhender’s Roger Vivier of NuDawnz. I forgot to take a photo of him (despite his being benched just behind the Aby breed booth), but I did get his card.

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There were a LOT of Aby kittens entered – Five were entered in the Red Show, and four were in the Purple Show.

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One of the kittens in the Red Show was Vasil’s little red girl, Greenville Deja Vu.

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Deja Vu was the Best Aby Kitten in the Red show with 4 finals.

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Vasil’s fawn girl, GC Childofsun Nammi of Greenville, was entered in the Purple Show.

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She didn’t earn a breed win, but she was a ONE-SHOW GRAND, maiking seven Championship finals and earing 245 grand points!

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Vasil and his girls weren’t the only breeders to bring cats from Russia. Here is Olga Beresneva with her ruddy Aby boy, GC Instincts Espresso of Omnia Mea. Espresso was the Second Best Aby Champion in the Red Show. He’s also a cousin of Jake’s, since he’s from the same cattery, Instincts, as Jake’s mother Santa Catalina.

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There were also several Aby breeders from Japan, although they didn’t bring their cats (Japan, being an island, would impose a 180-day quarantine on them when they returned). This is Kiyomi Kondo talking to Jake.

We actually had dinner with the Japanese breeders, and they all gave me their cards.

While the Japanese breeders couldn’t easily bring their cats, they did bring cat toys!

This is a stick toy that Jake was given. I think the cartoon kitty on the packaging is supposed to make you think of Chi.

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It was wonderful to meet so many Aby breeders from all over the world, but it was also great to see American breeders, too. Of course, Meg and GP Anubis Chai Latte (aka Garçon) were there.

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Garçon was entered in the Purple Show, and he was the Best Aby in Premiership.

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Lauren Castle Flynn of Abycastle was there with her red boy, GC Abycastle Kathmandu.

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I also got to meet Suzie Kidder, a breeder who lives in Northern California but who grew up in Massachusetts! we actually had an interesting conversation about how we’d traded places. Here she is talking to spectators with her Open Champion Abyko’s Sparks Upon The Wind.

Suzie’s cattery, Abyko, is in Mill Valley.

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Carolyn Osier and her Aby GC Wil-o-glen’s Si Se Puede, from Orange County in Southern California, were also entered in the Purple Show. Si Se Puede had a great time riding on Susan’s scooter to get to and from the rings.

Wil-o-glen is one of those cattery names that appears in most modern Abyssinians’ pedigrees. Carolyn has been breeding since the late 1960’s, and even had an Aby who screen-tested for Disney’s The Cat From Outer Space! In fact, that Aby, GC Ruddy Raider of Wil-o-glen, appears in Jake’s pedigree along with several other Wil-o-glen cats on his mother’s side.

One of the highlights of the weekend, however, was meeting Rae Ann Christ of El Qahira Abyssininans. She took one look at Jake and knew that he was descended from her lines – he has several El Qahira cats in his ancestry on both his mother and his father’s side of the family! In fact, El Qahira is a name that shows up a LOT in Jake’s pedigree, as recently as his great grandfather, El Qahira Tamas!

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.

Joka’s Zoe and her 19th birthday

This was posted to an Abyssinian mailing list I’m on, and I just had to share it:

I just wanted to take a moment to honor a very special lady in my life – Joka’s Zoe (Ch Joka’s Zoe of Southbound). In a couple of weeks, Zoe will be 19 years old, and to quote her vet – what an amazing cat. She is the daughter of GC, RW Crimsoncats Chicago Fire, DM and Joka’s Kissimee Kate. She is in great health and on no medication, never misses a meal (loves Popeye’s Chicken) and still makes it her job to wake me up every morning. She can also still get on the kitchen counters and helps cook all the meals, and I saw her in the hall about a month ago batting around a catnip mouse.

I feel so blessed to have this beautiful red girl share my life. I am also very blessed to still have Zoe’s 16 year old daughter Cassie.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZOE!!!!!!

Marti Sterner

19 years old! Here’s hoping she has many more!

Aby-a-Day – September 28: “Global” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Global.”

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Jacoby and Gun-Hee are already international Abys – they were born in Canada – but Gun-Hee was even more international than Jake is. Gun-Hee’s mother, Marica Bright Amber of Pellburn, was born in Denmark! Most of Gun-Hee’s immediate maternal ancestors were Scandinavian or European; his grandparents, great grandparents and great-great grandparents came from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland and the US.

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Then he was Canadian and American on his father Scar’s side (as, of course, is Jake – Jake’s mother, Catalina, was born in New York State, and she’s American back at least three generations).

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Gun-Hee was quite the global kitten!

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It’s always interesting to kick the old family tree and see what you discover, isn’t it?

Aby-a-Day – August 30: Abys from the past (Friday Flashback)

eBay can be a marvelous resource.

You can find some marvelous old photos of Abyssinians, like this collection of kittens from the late 1960s or early 1970s. I believe this came from a newspaper archive.

I love this next set. These are from a newspaper archive, and they’re from a story on a CFA cat show in 1968.

I showed them to Meg, and she recognised this judge as Jane Martinke. For some reason, you don’t seem to see a lot of photos of Abys being judged.

And then I managed to score this wonderful collection of 20 photos from one seller.

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They seem to start in 1974, when, according to the backs of the photos, this ruddy girl was 4 months old. The most recent photos are dated 1980.

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She was a cute kitten.

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Her name was Wohl-Rabe’s Mayday Khamsin. When I saw her cattery name, bells went off. Wohl-Rabe is one of those names that you see in Aby pedigrees! The Wohlrabes started breeding Abys in the late 1950’s and continued through the 1970’s. If you search for “Wohl-Rabe” and “Abyssinian,” you’ll find all sorts of names and photos of historical Abys.

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Jacoby has a few Wohl-Rabe cats in his pedigree. I couldn’t find Miss Mayday on ERoS or AbyWorld (she was probably a spayed pet), so I don’t know if she and Jake are specifically related…but there’s a connection.

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Some of the photos of Mayday are simply stunning.

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It’s interesting the way the photos span her lifetime.

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In just 20 random photographs, you watch Mayday grow from a kitten into a mature cat.

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It’s interesting to see how the standard has changed since the 70’s.

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You see it more in all the photos of Mayday in a way you don’t in just a couple of random old photos in a book or on the internet.

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I think it’s because, looking at the collection, you kind of get to know her.

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In some later shots, she’s on the same chair she was on when she was a kitten, which is a nice bit of continuity

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Kind of makes you wonder, though, what kind of fame Mayday might have found if the internet had existed back then!

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She was certainly a very photogenic little girl!

GC,GP Saynday’s Crazy for Feelin’ So Blue, aka “Patsy”

Sad news, but a legend has joined StarClan…This email came though one of the Aby lists, sent by Teri Kennedy.

I just received a lovely tribute to a cat of one of my breedings
who has passed on over the Rainbow Bridge, from her careperson, Mike
Ruemmier of St. Louis. GC,GP Saynday’s Crazy for Feelin’ So Blue, aka “Patsy” was sent to that place of peace at the age of 14. Patsy, a blue Aby, was born on February 26, 1999 to her dam, GC Saynday’s Tiny Dancer, DM and her sire GC,GP Purssynian Jambe Finite, DM. In that same litter was GC, EC Saynday’s Charly Python of Purssynian, one of the first blues with the most incredible brown undercoat seen back in those days. I was very, very proud of both cats who did well in their respective regions. Charly went on to be a European Champion and was third best cat in Germany in 2002, under the showmanship of Ingrid Stredl — I do not know if Charly is still living.

After Patsy produced some lovely kittens for me, she was retired from breeding and had a wonderful life with her first caregiver, Barbara Mena, who showed Patsy to a one show grand in premiership. Barbara took great delight in Patsy’s companionship for many years until Barbara began to suffer from dementia. That is when Mike stepped in and took Patsy, and he too enjoyed her for many years. Patsy was a wonderful cat to show as Mike mentioned, and she was a good momma to her babies before she was retired.

I had the great pleasure of breeding Patsy to GC,NW Tinbat’s Morgan’s Passing in 2000 and out of that litter Patsy presented me with two gorgeous ruddy kittens who went on to become quite well known in their day — GC,RW Saynday’s Angel Fire and GC,RW Saynday’s Stop the World of Purssynian (Topper). Both of these cats, in turn, produced many beautiful Abys who were one show grands, and regional winners.

Many of the beautiful Saynday cats I bred are either deceased or retired and at this point in my breeding career, I actually have no Abys under the cattery “Saynday” left. Fortunately, many of the wonderful pedigrees I have in the background of present day cats under “3Janes” (with Julie Onstott and Elizabeth Koller) are still active, and beautiful cats are still being produced.

Patsy’s demise has reminded me of my beginnings with my first litter being born in 1995 and of today, 18 years later, of where I had come from, the wonderful people I have been privileged to work with over the years, the stunning cats that were produced and who lived among us, thanks to those collaborations with Ruddibuddy, Tinbat, Crimsoncat, Suncharmer, Dimend, Pandora’s Box, Uffizi, Abyzaby, Purssynian, Azurestar, Chereve, Weslyn, Tigerflower, Glenlea, Abyzona, Varajuan, Zehnder, Indiabi, Heru, Sasauka Boy and Diva, and there may be a few I missed — but look at this list and see how many are no longer breeding.

Patsy will join many of her Aby comrades over the Rainbow Bridge and will be there for all of us at some point in time. Thank you Mike for your loving care of Patsy, and now please see below Mikes’s goodbye to his friend. If you want to see Patsy’s picture, Mike has posted it on Facebook.

Teri Kennedy

Mike’s eulogy, along with the photo above, was also posted on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club:

It’s been just 3 months ago almost to the day that renal failure took my beloved Teevors from me. This morning, Patsy joined him. Patsy had lost weight and I was campaigning to get a little back on her. Patsy always had a good appetite, but renal failure takes it toll. This morning I sent her on ahead of me. Patsy’s real name was Crazy for Feeling so Blue. She was a one show Grand Champion as a queen and as a Premier. She was prone to give the judges kisses at cat shows and charmed the socks off about everyone she met. She was retired from shows when she came to me. This picture was taken in one of her favorite places, the insulated jacket for my crock pot. She loved to get up high on top of the cabinets and snooze in it. I will miss her greatly and my home feels all the more empty without her.

Patsy is a legend in the lineage of blue Abys. She is not related to Jacoby (who is, however, descended from one of her mates, Tinbats Morgan’s Passing), but she may actually be a distant relation to Angel though Patsy’s mother Saynday’s Tiny Dancer’s side of the family. Aby pedigrees are so fascinating, and it’s always sad when you see one of those names you always see in them passing away.

Farewell, Patsy.

Other People’s Abys: There’s a little bit of wildcat in almost every Aby’s history

This is the kind of thing that I just love about Abyssinians, history, and the internet.

There is just so much collected research available on Messybeast, the mind reels. I think Sarah Hartwell should be given some sort of lifetime achievement award for what she’s created. Lately, I’ve been reading through Messybeast’s Hybrid Cat Genetics articles and, while reading an article on the history of domestic and wildcat hybrids, I came across this passage:

“At the turn of the 20th century, Claude Alexander crossed an Abyssinian cat to an imported African Wild Cat and registered the female offspring, Goldtick, as an Abyssinian. Goldtick was later bred as an Abyssinian.”

Goldtick…wait a minute. That name seems familiar, I thought, so I went to check on the trusty Electronic Registry of Somalis, and, sure enough: there’s Goldtick, and sure enough, she’s shown as the offspring of Southampton Red Rust (son of Ras Dashan) and a South African wild ticked cat. ERoS knows of one kitten: the charmingly named Tim the Harvester.

Tim the Harvester has 26 offspring known to ERoS, including the well-known (Djer-Mer’s) Woodroofe Ras Seyum, who appeared in a 1938 issue of National Geographic. Ras Seyum has 18 offspring known to ERoS, including Djer-Mer’s Ras Buyana II.

One of Ras Buyana II’s kittens was Fairchid’s Aura of Casa Gatos, who is the mother of El Rosario’s Autumn. the mother of Tal-Lee-Ho’s IPO of Ell-Mar.

One of IPO’s kittens, Selene’s Vignette of Wilhousie, has 34 offspring known to ERoS. From Vignette, we can go to Blue Grass Tradescantia of Wohl-Rabe to Wohl-Rabe’s El Tur to Wohl-Rabe’s Atia of Cairo to Cairo’s Shikar to El Qahira’s Chocolat to Gallantree’s Hot Pants of Scarlett to El Qahira’s Sharm El to El Qahira’s Shasu II to El Qahira’s Darina II of Mellowmews… to El Qahira’s Pegasus of Mellowmews.

From Pegasus, who has 12 offspring known to ERoS, we can go to his son El Qahira’s Sweet Frederick to El Qahira’s Ravelle of Jannalou to Jacoby’s paternal great-grandfather, El Qahira’s Tamas.

Or, we can go to another son, Lurr’s Peg-a-Soarus to Tinbats Tina-Soarus to Tinbats Searching for Caleb to Tinbats Morgan’s Passing to Mellowmews J.P. Morgan to Zehnder’s Best Bette of Davende to Zehnder’s Cuba of Instincts to Jacoby’s maternal grandmother, Instincts Raspberry of Abysills.

And there are probably other ways to trace back as well, since I didn’t even go through Bastis Zackariah, the first male Abyssinian DM who figures in most modern North American Abys’ pedigrees.

But can you imagine? There I am, just blithely reading an article about wildcat hybrids, and wham! There’s a name I know from reading my cat’s pedigree!