Aby-a-Day – 12 May: Show Season Surprise!

Yesterday I got this email from Meg:

Which…OMG! Jacoby is a Top Ten Abyssinian in Premiership for the 2015-16 Show Season! Which means that, last year, along with being the 21st Best Cat in Premiership in the North Atlantic Region (Region 1) among all breeds, he’s also the 8th Best Abyssinian in Premiership throughout the CFA worldwide! It’s also ironic because, three years ago, Meg and I tried to get Jake to hold onto his 10th Best ranking, only to have him lose it the last weekend of the season. He was 11th Best Abyssinian in Premiership for 2012-13…but there’s no ribbon for that.

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Do you think Jake’s newfound fame will go to his head?

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Yeah, right.

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And…goodnight.

Aby-a-Day – November 8: Not a bad weekend at the show…

Just a quick post tonight, as Jacoby and I are exhausted, but…

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At the New Hampshire Feline Fanciers’ CFA show this weekend, Jake finalled in 6 out of 8 rings! This is the best he’s ever done at a show, finals-wise. I’m not sure if it’s his best show points-wise, but there were 35 Premiers entered, so it might have been his best show ever.

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Most of his finals were yesterday: 3rd (Kathy Calhoun), 5th (Don Williams), 8th (Karen Godwin) & 10th (John Collila) Best Allbreed and 9th (Doreann Naslin) Best Specialty. And today he was 3rd Best Specialty in Nancy Dodds’ ring. As you can see, he was beyond thrilled…

Aby-a-Day – May 9: “Impressive” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

Jacoby started showing late in life compared to most show cats. He started showing when he was almost 2, and now he’s 6 years old. At the Seacoast show last weekend, he made four out of ten finals, placing 10th, 8th and 3rd best Allbreed and 5th best in a Specialty Shorthair ring.

Some would say this is impressive. Most show cats retire by the time they're 2 years old.

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However, Jake is nothing compared to a Siamese in the North Atlantic Region. GPD, NW, RW Minghou Native Dancer of Tayohme, a seal-point Siamese neuter, is almost 11 years old, and he is still a regular fixture at cat shows.

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Seen here with his owner, Sandra Hogan (in blue), and his breeder, Pat Muise, Danny has been at least a Regional winner, if not a National winner, in CFA every year he’s been shown. He is the first Siamese to earn the “Grand of Distinction” title.

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When a judge comes to take Danny out of his cage, Danny goes right for the shoulder and hugs the judge as he’s taken out. Here he is with Russell Webb.

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Even though he’s 11, he’s really clear and his body is really light for a Siamese. As Siamese age, they tend to get darker, and their body colour tends to blend with their points. Danny has managed to keep a pale body. He’s also managed to keep his boyish figure all these years.

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(Notice who’s in the background, waiting his turn!)

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At the show last weekend, Danny had a cake in his honour, because he was a national winner for the last CFA show season.

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Like any celebrity, Danny was asked to put his pawprint in the frosting of his cake.

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I think he really enjoyed that.

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It was really cute, too. I don’t know who got that piece of the cake – probably his owner.

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Both his owner and his breeder are really proud of him. And I think his breeder is really happy to be able to see him all the time.

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Danny is an impressive Siamese, and an impressive Grand Premier. Some people think Jake is too old to show…but if an 11 year old Siamese can keep showing – and making finals – why shouldn’t Jake? His colour has only gotten better as he’s aged…although I don’t take him to enough shows to earn a Regional or National CFA title, at the age of 6 he still holds his own in the show ring.

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 – September 6: “Gray” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Gun-Hee was once disqualified in Wayne Trevathan’s ring because he said Gun-Hee had a gray undercoat.

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This was when he was still collecting his six Winner’s Ribbons to become a Premier. As a result, he only got five at that show and didn’t become a Premier until his second show as an adult.

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It was odd; Wayne was the only judge who ever said anything about Gun-Hee’s undercoat. Roger Lawrence gave him a Best of Colour at the same show, and three months earlier, Marge Collier made him her Best Kitten.

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Unfortunately, Gun-Hee didn’t get to go to any more shows after that, so he never became a Grand Premier. That’s why it was so wonderful when Jacoby finally earned that title. Jake and Gun-Hee do look a lot alike…but Jake definitely has a more red undercoat.

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The first time Jake was judged by Wayne (I think it was at the Seacoast show last year), I held my breath…but he passed with flying colours. I don’t think he finalled…but he passed!

Aby-a-Day – August 27: Wordless Wednesday (Surprise!)

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Aby-a-Day – June 22: Sunday surprise!

So this morning, when I checked my email I found this in amongst the spam:

“CONGRATULATIONS

Your cat, PELLBURN JACOBY STEALIN HOME has won the following awards in TICA’s Northeast Region:

2014 BEST ABYSSINIAN ALTER OF THE YEAR

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Your certificate may be picked up at the Northeast Regional Awards Banquet to be held at the Yarmouth House Restaurant, Yarmouth, MA. If you are unable to attend the banquet, you may arrange for someone else to pick up your award(s) for you or you may request the certificates be mailed to you by emailing or calling Francine Hicks. Awards will be mailed after your request and the receipt of a suggested donation to the region to offset mailing costs.

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All Best of Breed winners, Top 20 in each category including top 20 LH and SH cats are featured in the slide show during the awards ceremony. Please send your picture to Suzanne Philbrick. All information regarding the Regional Show and Banquet can be found at our own Northeast Website.

I hope to see you at the Cape for our year end celebration!!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Francine Hicks
TICA Northeast Regional Director”

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So Jake’s a regional winner…in TICA! Who knew? I think we only went to two TICA shows this season…we certainly weren’t trying for a TICA regional award…but look what happened! I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend the banquet in person (it’s on September 6th), but what a nice surprise!

Aby-a-Day – April 13: Cat Fanciers’ Federation

Last Saturday, Jacoby and I went to a CFF (Cat Fanciers’ Federation) cat show.

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The CFF is one of the oldest feline registries in the United States, but it’s also one of the smallest. Originally called the Atlantic Cat Club, it was once a part of the CFA, but broke off and became their own club in 1919.

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The territoty of the CFF is rather small: They only have shows in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. But that also makes it very close-knit and friendly.

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But the most fun thing about the show was, we got to see Buddy, Stan and Patty. You may recall Buddy (JazzyAbys Buddy Rich) earned his Grand Premiership in CFA back in August 2012, at the show at the Mansfield Holiday Inn. Well, Buddy is working on his Grand Champion Alter title in CFF.

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And he almost made it, too. Despite finishing first in an Allbreed Alter ring, Buddy ended the day needing one point to Grand!

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Part of the reason Buddy didn’t make that last point was that he wasn’t able to be judged in two rings since his humans were judging, too. In Stan and Patty’s rings, Jake was the only Aby.

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And it was great fun to have Stan and Patty judge Jake for the first time. Ever since Gun-Hee’s first show when he was a kitten up against Fats Waller, I’ve been in awe of their cats. Wally was CFA’s Best Aby of 2008!

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A good time all around in Patty’s ring! Wave to the people, Jake!

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For his first CFF show, Jake did really well. He was 6th Best Shorthair Alter, 6th Best Allbreed Alter, 3rd Best Shorthair Alter and 3rd Best Allbreed Alter in his four rings.

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Since he was the only Novice Abyssinian, he earned a winner’s ribbon in each ring. In CFF, it takes four winner’s ribbons to become a Champion in the Alter class…so now, as soon as I file his paperwork, Jake’ll be a Champion in his third cat registry!

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This was also our first cat show since the Westchester show last November.

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I think Jake kind of missed going to shows. He had a good time hanging out and meeting people. Unlike last year, though, he didn’t win the Spectator’s Choice Award (I think he came in second).

A double surprise from Westchester

I’ve been waiting for the points from the Westchester cat show to show up on TICA‘s TDS Online system so that I could apply for Jacoby’s Grand Champion Alter Title. If you recall, he had enough finals to Grand, but enough points to Double Grand after the second day of the show.


Or so I thought. He earned his Champion Alter Title at his first TICA show, the Salty Cats show in Providence in March, 2012.

However, according to TICA, Jake earned his Grand Champion Alter title on Saturday at Westchester.

And on Sunday, he DID earn his Double Grand! I must have miscalculated somewhere (not hard to do: it involves math), or misread the rules or something, but I’m just happy that he did earn his Double Grand. I have to admit, it was a little discouraging to go to a two-day, 14 ring show last year and not make one. Single. Final. ALL weekend…I’m pretty psyched about this, to say the least.

That’s the one interesting thing about TICA as compared to CFA: once a cat becomes a Grand Champion (or Grand Champion Alter), he can continue collecting points to become a Double, Triple, or Quadruple Grand Champion, and from there, the highest title of Supreme Grand Champion (Alter). You can see where I got confused:

Champion Requirements for Titles:
CH/CHA: 150 points from 2 different judges, plus one final
GRC/GCA: 500 points with 3 finals, 1 in Top 5 Specialty or Top 10 Allbreed
DGC/DGCA: 1000 points plus 1 final in Top 5 Specialty or Top 10 Allbreed
TGC/TGCA: 1500 points plus 1 final in Top 5 Specialty or Top 10 Allbreed
QGC/QGCA: 2000 points plus 1 final in Top 5 Specialty or Top 10 Allbreed
SGC/SGCA: 3000 points plus 1 Best Cat as a QGC/QGCA/QGM

The points and the finals are cumulative, so the 3 finals and the 500 points include the 150 points and the final you earned to get the Championship. I think that may be where I messed up my math in tracking Jake’s points and finals. In any event, I trust TICA’s computer, so if they say he’s a Double Grand, who am I to disagree?

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Congratulations to Jake though…Grand Premier, Double Grand Champion Alter, and Therapy Cat!

Aby-a-Day – August 4: Showing off

From the mailbag: A Grand show brag!

Cynthia Cash wanted to share a little show brag about her lovely ruddy boy, GC, RW Absolute Zatarain, who just last weekend became a Grand Champion at the Rebel Rousers CFA show in Lawrenceville, GA. Cynthia writes:

“RW Absolute Zatarain became a Grand Champion this past weekend! For his RW, he was #14 kitten, as well as #1 Aby kitten in the Region and #7 Aby Kitten world-wide in CFA. Not only is he on fire’ with color, he loves to stand on the judge’s chest and give nose kisses…yes, nose kisses get you anywhere 🙂 Must be an Aussie thing as he is part Australian.

This is Zatarain, known as Zattie, as a kitten in Doug Meyers’ ring at the World Show last fall. Cynthia adds, “I just adore this boy. Kim Everett and Joan Miller selected him to be the Breed Exhibit Aby for their presentation at the World Show this past Fall. He played the part well. His type might be on the moderate side, but no one can touch his coat, color, and ticking. That all comes from the Australian influence. Plus, he has the single most laid-back, lovey personality of almost any Aby I’ve ever had and I’ve had them, as I mentioned, since 1979. Super boy! BTW, Doug finaled him 3rd Best Kitten out of a field of 99! Go little Zattie!!!

Congratulations to Cynthia and Zatairan! If you’ve got an Aby show brag you’d like to share, please, feel free to send it to me.

Aby-a-Day – April 8: Other Abys at the Stamford show (Hipstatmatic Monday)

The show Jacoby and I went to in Stamford a couple of weeks ago was a pretty good one for Abys. There were two Aby kittens, three Abys in Championship, and two Abys in Premiership (Jake and Taz).

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Usually, shows are so hectic that I never have time to watch other rings, but this show had a more relaxed pace. This is Cousin Taz’s nephew, Fire, who Granded on Saturday and spent Sunday showing as a Grand Premier.

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He’s pretty relaxed on the judge’s table, as you can see.

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He had a lot of fun with the scratching post in Lois Jensen’s ring!

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This is John Rutherford’s Ataraxia Coatue. She’s a sweet little ruddy girl, just a little younger than Fire. She’s related to our friend Cousin Toki Nantucket!

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She’s growing into quite the little drama queen, don’t you think?

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It looks like she shares Jacoby’s escape artistry!

Aby-a-Day – March 24: Jake’s the best and he has a rosette to prove it!

Jacoby and I spent this weekend in Stamford, CT at the Cats Incredible CFA show.

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He’s the #10 Aby in Premiership in the country right now, and he needed some points to solidify his position.

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I was really interested to have him judged by Lois Jensen again; you may recall that it was in her ring that Jake earned his last nine points to become a Grand Premier.

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And she did use him in her final. And as she walked from cat to cat, awarding her rosettes in order from tenth place to first, it got more and more exciting. And then:

She not only finalled him, but she gave him Best Cat in Premiership!

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Best. Cat show. Ever!

Aby-a-Day – March 8: First time for everything (Friday Flashback)

These days, Jacoby’s a seasoned show cat, but there’s a first time for everything.

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Jake’s first show was a Tonkinese Breed Association club show held in Milford, MA February 26-27, 2011.

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It was Kylie’s first show, too.

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That was also when we first met Iris Zinck!

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Jake was a lot chunkier then than he is now. Of course, it was winter and he’d had his escalator foot injury only a few months earlier, so he hadn’t gotten a lot of exercise before the show.

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It’s only the only show he’s ever stood up on or paid any attention whatsoever to the scratching post on the judge’s table.

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He wasn’t even two years old at that show, so he was still a goofy kitten. He started later than most cats, though.

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Look, here’s cousins Lew and Taz (or is it Taz and Lew?) in the kitten class at that same show! Taz and Jake now show together in the Premier class, and Lew is two years younger and a kilogram lighter!

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This was also back when a Novice cat was called an “Open” in CFA and needed to collect six Winner’s Ribbons before he could compete as a Premier and earn Grand Points. He got eight at that show, but couldn’t compete as a Premier and win rosettes until the next show he entered.

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Besides being Jake’s first cat show, it was also his first hotel room. And that he really enjoyed!

Aby-a-Day – March 6: Wordless Wednesday (They’re as different as night and…later that night)

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Aby-a-Day – February 15: Cat about town (Famous Friday)

The Somerville Copy Cat Festival is the day after tomorrow (!), and Jacoby is fast becoming Boston’s most famous feline citizen.

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He’s featured on Page 11 of this week’s Boston Phoenix and on Page 55 of this week’s Improper Bostonian! He’s also featured on the local NPR station, WBUR’s, website, all in connection with the festival this Sunday!

Boston may be a big city…but in many ways, it’s a small town.

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Jake’s also making a bit of a splash in the CFA; the show season runs from May 1 to April 30, and somehow Jake’s managed to squeak his way into the top 10 Abyssinians in Premiership…

Check it out:

ABYSSINIANS IN PREMIERSHIP (Region) – [Points] – (Rings)
1. Zehnder’s Roger Vivier of NuDawnz – Blue Male – (4) – [4844.85] – (100)
2. Anubis Taz Mania – Red Male – (1) – [1743.80] – (83)
3. Gil-Aby’s Trooper – Blue Male – (7) – [1331.55] – (88)
4. Lalima’s Mikhail Baryshnikov – Ruddy Male – (9) – [1095.55] – (97)
5. Anqet Binkhaaphajaosuduangjun – Ruddy Male – (5) – [781.95] – (32)
6. 3Janes Bama Tidal Wave – Ruddy Male – (7)[761.30] – (59)
7. Masmera D’Arte Meranti – Red Male – (A) -[263.40] – (16)
8. 3Janes Midnight Rambler – Ruddy Male – (5) – [235.50] – (36)
9. Astech’s Amelia Earheart – Ruddy Female – (3)- [155.10] – (6)
10. Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home – Ruddy Male – (1) – [150.25] – (17)

Isn’t that exciting! He’s also one of the top 40 cats in Premiership in the North-Atlantic Region…we haven’t been to that many shows this season, but apparently he’s done better that I thought! I’m just happy to make one final in every show we enter.

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But my favourite thing about Jake’s fame is this little catnip candy box made by our friend Mycrobe. The Abyssinian candy was inspired by Jake!

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(No, really! It was inspired by Jake – she told me so!)

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I think it’s Jake’s favourite thing about being famous, too.

Aby-a-Day – February 13: Wordless Wednesday (Scenes from a show)

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Aby-a-Day – February 6: Wordless Wednesday (Brag wall)

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Other People’s Abys – New Distinguished Merit Abyssinians Announced

The Abyssinians who won the coveted CFA Distinguished Merit Award were announced recently, and there are some familiar names among them.

The Distinguished Merit Award is a special one, because it’s earned by a cat indirectly. CFA recognizes cats that produce significant numbers of offspring that achieve the titles of Grand Champion (GC) or Grand Premier (GP), by awarding the title of Distinguished Merit (DM) to the female cat who produces five or more Grands and to the male cat who produces 15 or more Grands. It’s also the only title to go after the cat’s name, not before.

It can also be a sort of bittersweet award, because often it is bestowed to the cat posthumously. This is the case in at least one of this year’s winners, Bastis Theenvelopeplease of Anubis.

The CFA’s newest Abyssinian DMs are:

GC, BW, NW Bastis Theenvelopeplease of Anubis, DM
aka “Envy”
Breeder: Wain Harding
Owner: Meg Lambert

GC Etochat Canada Post of Anubis, DM
aka “Peepers”
Breeder: Nicole Chateauvert-Fran Merlo
Owner: Meg Lambert

GC Instincts Crete, DM
DM Breeder: B. Fye-C. Giammarinaro-L. Search
Owner: C. Giammarinaro-L. Search

GC, RW Licca Nimoa of Rione, DM
Breeder/Owner: Rika Yotsumata Kei-Rika Inatomi

Shera Len Propel, DM
Breeder/Owner: Betsy Arnold

GC Zehnder Angelina Ballerina, DM
Breeder/Owner: M. Zehnder-S. Vande Sande

Congratulations to all the breeders, owners, and of course, the Abys themselves!

(PS: Just for Sparkle and her human, here’s a web page I found with a gallery of Somali DMs – you may recognise the cattery names on some of these handsome cats!)

Other People’s Abys – Another Good Weekend for the Abys

Abyfriend Meg (Cousin Taz’s mom) reported some excellent news from the Burmilla/Empire CFA show in Lebanon, PA, this past weekend about the outstanding success Abys had at the show (where there were at least some Abys actually entered).

In Championship, Abycastle Midnight in Paris, a dark, handsome fellow with bedroom eyes, made all 12 finals and was one of the highest scoring cats for the weekend. Congratulations to Lauren Castle, Gary Hoffman, and Chris Giammarinao. (We were benched next to Paris at the New Hampshire show.)

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In an extremely competitive Premiership class, a new Aby Tag Team emerged! The racy, elegant blue, GP Zehnder Roger Vivier of NuDawz made 11 of 12 finals, including three Best Cat wins and the colorful, refined red half of the team, GP Anubis Taz Mania, made 10 of 12 (including a Best Cat win). Most Premiership finals had not one but two Abys and two had them First and Second Best Cat. (Just like Jacoby and Taz did at the New Hampshire show!)

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What the show proved was that, when given a choice between two virtually equal, fine examples of the Abyssinian breed, judges are able to see their way clear to using both and to using them high. The three cats shown are slightly differing versions of the 100 points the standard represents but all three are A+.

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All of the Abys there did have a couple things in common…

All were colorful and all had excellent ticking. Paris has a lush, springy coat with lots of very black ticking. A number of judges commented on Roger’s amazing patina. One of Taz’s strongest suits is his richly colored, well-ticked coat. All also had great eyes.

Speaking of eyes; Chris & Deb Muratore had a gorgeous little ruddy boy in the Kitten Class, Instincts Alcatraz. He is elegance personified. He was only there on Saturday, however, and, because he was teething and has not been shown much, he was a bit frightened and not totally on his game.

I fell hard for him, however, and I know we’ll be seeing a lot of him in the future. He expressed an interest in adding a “last name.”

Chris G & I are happy to extend our congratulations to Monica, Sue, Seth & Lorna and we know they do the same.

Go Abys!!!