Aby-a-Day – 17 November 2020: Bruno Liljefors’ cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Saturday, Björn went to the second-hand store and discovered this amazing replica painting by Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors. It’s called “A Cat and a Chaffinch” and was painted in 1885. I was surprised to discover how old it is…it looks a lot more modern!

From Wikipedia: “Liljefors was a pioneer at a time when wildlife art was still emerging from its association with scientific depiction and taxidermy. He also set a standard of identification with the landscape that substantially influenced the development of wildlife art in the twentieth century.” Liljefors mainly painted wildlife and hunting scenes, but he also did a few cats.

Liljefors was a life-long hunter, and many of his works explored the predator-prey relationship. Interestingly, he also did sequential story paintings, and is considered one of Sweden’s earliest comics creators! So this post may not have any Abyssinians or Singapuras…but it is kind of a cartoon!

Aby-a-Day – 28 April 2020: The Maltese Dashiell (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today I finished that special portrait of Dashiell I started almost a month ago. Because Dash is named after the author Dashiell Hammett, who wrote The Maltese Falcon famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the film version, I had an idea I wanted to make real. Above is the fur texture layer along with a neutral grey background.

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Then I added a shadow of the Maltese Falcon based on one of the two photos of Bogie I used as reference.

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Of course, Sam Spade needs a dashing fedora.

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And a trench coat.

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Then the final touch, to give the portrait a real Film Noir feel…the shadows.

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But something was bothering me. I went back to my other Bogie reference photo and realised what was missing: There is a dark shadow of his hat, and the original background had a shadowy texture. I went back and fixed those two things and…voilà!

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However, I generally crop my drawings to a standard size, but I draw on a larger canvas. This is the full-size version. Not really different, apart from the proportioning. It’s such a great feeling to finally get the image out of your head so others can see it.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juli: Louis Wain (Cartoon Tuesday)

In London, we spent a good bit of time looking for treasures in second-hand shops. I was on the hunt for anything regarding the early Abyssinians, and I figured England might be the place to find it. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any Victorian-era cat breeding books, but I did find a print by the pre-eminent cat artist Louis Wain. There were a couple of different ones, actually, but I thought the limerick was charming:

A girl, who was dreadfully flustered,
Helped Ma-in-law to a spoonful of mustard!
Her Ma-in-Law stared,
Asked how she dared!
But she told her she thought it was custard.

The print was marked as being from 1910.

When I got it home and framed it, however, I discovered it wasn’t just a print…it was a page from a book! And the other side was also very cute…but there’s a mark on it that I Photoshopped out when I scanned it, so I kept the limerick side out. Louis Wain is known for more than just his drawing…he also had some sort of mental issues (possibly dementia or schizophrenia; mental illness wasn’t as sophisticated 100 years ago), and, even though he was put in an asylum, he kept drawing cats that became more and more psychedelic as his illness progressed. In the filigree decoration on the back of page seems to presage his future drawings.

He was an incredibly prolific cat artist, and his work was published in books and as postcards. I found this very Aby-looking fellow online as a part of series of postcards celebrating “taking the waters” at Harrogate, one of the first ever “spas” where people went every summer for sulphur treatments. The treatments involved both drinking and soaking in the water, and Wain did four series of six cards each as souvenir/advertising. After finding the Abyssinian “sulphurer,” I became fascinated by these little glimpses into history…probably because, as a kid my dad tricked me into drinking sulphur water from the Lithia water fountain in Ashland, Oregon. I know what it tastes like!

In researching Louis Wain’s work (I was unable to find my images online anywhere, believe it or not, so I don’t know what book my page came from), I also came across this happy little guy. I know know much about him…but doesn’t he look like Izaak!? It actually kind of reminds me of that sketch of Zak I did back in March.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Juni: “Forget about style; worry about results” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals was yesterday, and the series is split 2-2, with Boston and St. Louis winning a game each home and away. Last week, I posted a drawing of Jacoby as the iconic “flying Bobby Orr”. This week, it’s finished!

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But apart from sharing the final drawing, I thought I would also share the layers that create it. This is the “Uniform” layer, which I coloured using the incredibly useful NHL Uniform Database to make certain I got the colours and stripes right.

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This is Jake’s colouring. It’s actually three different layers merged together to get the depth of colour in his fur. The whiskers and eyeshine are on a separate layer.

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This is the finished Jake and his shadow. Then, for the background, I ran the original photo of Bobby Orr through the “cutout” filter.

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I am particularly proud of the way his head turned out. Aby markings are deceptively complex to render realistically.

Hopefully this will give Boston a little luck in the next two or three games…GO BRUINS!

Aby-a-Day – 28 May: Reliving history (Cartoon Tuesday)

The 2019 Stanley Cup Finals started yesterday, and they are quite exciting. The Boston Bruins are in them, of course, and if they win they will be the THIRD Boston team to win a championship in a year…and they’re already up one game. They face the St. Louis Blues, who haven’t been in the finals for 49 years. And even more interesting, in 1970, the team the Blues faced was…the Bruins!

Ray Lussier took a now-iconic photograph of Bobby Orr celebrating scoring the winning goal against the Blues in 1970. This image is such a part of Boston’s culture that there is a statue commemorating that moment in front of the Garden, and it has been reproduced on T-shirts for 49 years.

My ex found me an unofficial playoff shirt (the kind that can only be found in Boston) with the Bruins Bear recreating Orr’s flight (modeled by Tessie), and it kind of inspired me.

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Using a photo of the moment, I did a sketch of Jacoby as Bobby Orr.

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I did a first ink, but I didn’t like the pen I used; it was too thick and clunky. So, using that ink as a reference, I made a second inking.

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That inking turned out so much better! I’ll colour it in and finish it for next week…the day after Game 4.

Aby-a-Day – 1 October: Happy Singapura Day!

On this day in 2014, the Singapura was officially accepted as a breed in FIFe.

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While the Singapura was accepted for registration by the TICA in 1979 for championship competition and accepted in CFA in 1982 as a provisional breed and was granted championship status in 1988, Singas took longer to be accepted in Europe.

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The GCCF (the British cat registry organisation) finally granted Singapuras championship status in June 2005.

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And then, at long last, the Singapuras were accepted by FIFe, Europe’s purebred cat registry.

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Because I have known about Singas – and seen them at CFA shows – since I was in high school (at least 35 years), it’s a bit odd to me that they are a “new” breed here in Europe. In Sweden, Singapuras were registered in Sverak (Sweden’s branch of FIFe) since the early 1980’s, but in all that time, only 355 Singapuras have been registered in Sweden. And, as of right now, Sverak’s newest Singapura is…our Izaak.

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Which makes our little Polish import a special little cat, indeed!

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“Well DUH…of COURSE I’m special! Just look at me!”

Abys are Everywhere – Player’s Cigarettes cat cards

My friend Marsha posted a photo of a reproduction cigarette card featuring an Abyssinian the other day on Facebook. I actually managed to find an image of it in the digital collection of the New York Public Library!

Cigarette cards were the precursor to collectible cards in bubble gum packets, and date back the 1890s, when cigarettes were wrapped in paper packets instead of boxes. Manufacturers began inserting pieces of card to protect the contents, quickly realising that these would be useful for advertising their products. Soon this evolved into sets of cards featuring various things of interest, in the hopes that smokers would want to “collect them all” and continue to buy that brand rather than another.

Usually, they were marketed to men, and so featured sports players, pretty actresses, trains and ships…but there were some animal-themed sets as well, including a 24-card set of different British breeds of cats printed in 1936 by Player’s Cigarettes.

The originals are not dated, but these were reproduced in both 1986 (with blue ink and the Imperial Tobacco Ltd. logo on the corners)…

…and in 1997 (this time with red ink). Therefore they are not hard at all to find, especially from UK sellers on eBay. I got this one for about 80kr (less than $10 USD) including shipping.

Aby-a-Day – 20 May: The iconic Lisa Larson cat (Fashion Friday)

I’ve posted before about the iconic Lisa Larson cats.

Lisa Larson started working at the legendary Gustavsbergs Pottery in 1953. Her mid-century modern design manifested in more ways than just cats, but for some reason it’s her felines that are all over the internet (probably because that’s what the internet is for – cats).

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As a wedding gift, Björn gave me this modern cat figure designed by Lisa Larson. He picked this one because, well, “it looks like an Aby.” Can’t argue with that!

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But my love of Lisa Larson cats goes way back to the first time I saw one in 2000. I had gone on my first trip to Europe, to Amsterdam with people from work, and while they went to a conference, I spent a few days in Holland before skipping off to meet my old penpal Björn and his girlfriend in Sweden.

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I flew in and out of Göteborg, and one of the first places he took me was an antiques shop, where I saw this big kitty! And he is big, too – look at him compared with my hand! He was designed in 1957 for the “Stora Zoo” collection, and at the time he was pretty expensive (I think I paid around $100 USD for him)…and it turns out that he was a pretty savvy purchase!

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In fact, in this photo of me with Björn (the first ever taken of the two of us together), you can see my Stora Katt in the bag I’m holding.

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On that same trip, I picked up three small cats from the “Lilla Zoo” collection, circa 1955. I found them at various thrift shops and flea markets that Björn took me to.

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One of them had an accident when he fell through a hole in the paper bag and crashed to the cement floor. He shattered to bits…but Björn insisted that we pick up all the pieces, and that night he sat down at the table with some glue and did what all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t do…he put my cat back together again!

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Can you believe he did that?

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I was amazed. I hadn’t actually been carrying him when he dropped (Björn’s girlfriend was), and I was sad that he had broken but there wasn’t much to be done…or so I thought. I was absolutely blown away that he was able to repair the cat so well.

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I think that was when I started my crush on him forreals…

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A year or two later, Björn sent me this tall Lilla Zoo cat because he looked like Patrick

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He has stripes down his back!

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One of my more odd Lisa Larson cats is this Necono Digital Camera! The camera’s website even explains: “Lisa Larson is a world’s famous Swedish ceramist. She lives in the nature with her husband who is also an artist, and continues to produce ceramics even in her 70s. Before Japan learned about the Scandinavian ‘kawaii,’ she had always been teaching us how charming Scandinavian designs were.”

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Similar to how the Japanese appropriated Finland’s Moomins, Japan has embraced Lisa Larson’s cats, especially the cartoonish version of the Stora Katt called “Mikey.”

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Mikey is the star of this camera and matching bag.

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It’s a fun little remote digital camera. Not really sure why a digital camera needed to be cat-shaped, but…

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…Oh, right. Because Japan.

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Another modern usage of Lisa Larson cats is in the form of the typically Scandinavian pedestrian reflector. Born of a combination of the combined Nordic passions for creative design, the love of the outdoors, and safety, the pedestrian reflector is a extremely common thing, seen dangling from the snowsuits of toddlers to the fancy handbags of their grandmothers.

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So of course there are Lisa Larson cat reflectors!

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Finally, I have this Japanese keychain/hanging charm…another gift from Björn, of course…I guess he and these cats will always be intertwined in my memory.

Aby-a-Day – 13 May 2016: Ancestral Abyssinians (Friday Flashback)

This week, The CFA History Project published an article about Sedgemere Peaty, one of the very first Abyssinians.

There is also an article with a fanstastic wealth of photographs about a silver Abyssinian born in 1909 named Quizero Taitou (Or Ouizero…there’s some confusion over whether his name started with an O or a Q; Q makes more sense, though).

What is interesting about Quizero, though is that his father, Aluminium, also sired Ras Dashan, who sired Ras Djibute, whose granddaughter, Woodrooffe Aura was the mother of the famous (Djer-Mer’s) Woodroofe Ras Seyum, from whom Jacoby, along with many modern Abyssinans, are descended.

Ras Seyum was famously featured in the November 1938 issue of National Geographic. How fun to see Jake’s ancestors’ photos!

(Oh and also, while looking for these historical photos, I stumbled upon this article about cat domestication and was flattered to find one of my photos used – and credited! – as an example of a show cat! It was just published on 27 April, so there’s another nice surprise.

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And just for fun, here is a series of photos of Jake doing something he rarely does: Pole dancing! While many cats love to scratch the sisal post on the judge’s table, Jake usually prefers to post majestically. However, in his first ring at Seacoast with Gary Veach, he decided to have a little stretch. Although he does seem a bit bewildered, doesn’t he?

Aby-a-Day – 24 April: Tattoo you (Selfie Sunday)

I have several tattoos, but I wanted to get one to symbolise and commemorate my marriage to Björn. Many years ago, he gave me a silver necklace based on Bronze Age rock art from Sweden with a design of a man and woman kissing. The couple is known as “the Lovers,” “the Bridal Couple” or “the Holy Wedding.” It’s become something of a talisman of ours.

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So on 1 April, I went and got myself another tattoo of it!

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I added a cat-like creature from other rock carvings to the pair…if you look closely, you’ll see that the cat has a darker stripe along its back and a darker tipped tail! Just like an Abyssinian!

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While Björn was here for our wedding and honeymoon, he got a matching tattoo by the same artist, Deirdre at Redemption Tattoo in Cambridge – and she is awesome, by the way. If you need a tattoo and happen to be near Porter Square, look her up.

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Here are both of our tattoos together. Björn’s is about 2/3 the size of mine (I needed to balance out with the octopus on my other shoulder) and is feline-free. We are already planning on a trip to see the original rock carvings, which are conveniently located in Western Sweden, not far from where we will live. If we can, we want to get a photo of our tattoos and the original art…we’ll see how that goes.

Aby-a-Day – 11 April: Fie! (Miniature Monday)

I’ve lived in Boston for 16 years this coming May, but I only just yesterday finally went to the Boston Tea Party Museum. It’s really a lot of fun! I didn’t do the tour this time; my friends Ailsa and Stephanie were in town, and we just did the gift shop and the tea room.

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You can see the building I live in from the museum, which is located in the middle of the Congress Street Bridge. I could see the Tea Party Museum from my building, too, if it were larger!

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The gift shop is pretty elaborate, and they actually sell really good quality items along with the usual tourist stuff.

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They sell the types of tea that were tossed off the boat 16 December 1773.

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Mini-Jacoby was interested in checking out the replica ship.

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“Man the boats! The Wrecking Ball is aboard!”

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They also had these little colonial mice which he found quite interesting.

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After the gift shop, we visited the Tea Room, where you can get scones and other baked goods, sandwiches and soups, hot apple cider (with or without rum)…and, of course, tea.

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On the tables, there are period board games like Shut the Box and Nine Man Morris.

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At our table, we had a Nine Man Morris board with the flag of New England embazoned on it. Mini-Jake wanted to play…but he couldn’t quite move the pieces. I didn’t do the actual tour this visit…I am saving it for next week, when we plan to do not only the tour, but also the Tavern Night dinner.

Aby-a-Day – 18 March: Approaching the Finish Line (Friday Flashback…sort of)

One month from today, on Marathon Monday, Björn and I are getting married (finally!) in Manchester, NH.

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The 18th is a day for us. On 18 March 1992, I responded to that first letter he sent me, which started our 24-year-long friendship. We say that’s when it officially started, because it wasn’t a friendship until I wrote back. Before that, it was just a letter he sent to someone in the States.

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18 June 2014 is when we reconnected and started messaging each other again after a few years of just thinking about each other, but not doing much more than liking the occasional photo on Facebook and sending Christmas cards. 18 June 2015 is the day we got engaged, in part because that’s the day his ring arrived. And 18 December 2015 is when I landed in Sweden for our first Christmas holiday together.

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And now, 18 April will be our wedding. Considering how long we’ve been heading in this direction, what more appropriate date to start our marriage than on the day of the Boston Marathon?

Aby-a-Day – September 11: 8:46am EDT (Friday Fashion Flashback)

The last time I went to NYC, I got Jacoby this NYPD shirt.

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It’s just a silly tourist thing, but I thought he’d like it. I thought it would be kind of cool to have when I get my next Abyssinian.

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Yeah, I’m already planning on what I’ll call my next Aby boy. He’ll be a blue Aby, and his mane will be Det. Lennie Briscoe. So yeah, this shirt will be handy for when I get him….

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SOMEday, Jake. Someday. Not anytime soon.

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Anyway, I thought today was an appropriate day for him to wear it.

Aby-a-Day – August 7: Prescient post (Friday Flashback)

A slightly different Friday Flashback post today…back when we were first talking about my moving to Sweden, Björn happened to mention that he’s always loved Abyssinians and was looking forward to living with Jacoby and Angel. I thought he was just saying that, but then I found this among the letters he’d sent me over the years. It’s a note from his then-girlfriend, Titti, telling me about a cat show that they’d gone to back in 1992.

Well, I guess it was true! I’ve always noticed that men, especially, seem to be fascinated by Jake when we’re out (had I known that when I was single, I’d have gotten an Aby years ago!) and I can’t even tell you the number of times that I’ve been told, “I’m not a cat person, but I like Jake.” So you see, Abyssinians seem to have always been part of my destiny.

Aby-a-Day – February 12: Lucky find

I have had this little pewter cat figurine since the 1980’s.

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Somehow, despite moving several times (to several different cities in three states and one province), I’ve managed not to lose it.

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I’ve always thought that it looked like an Abyssinian. I don’t know why I looked at it and thought “Aby” rather than any other sort of cat, but I always have. Maybe it’s the way the fur is so detailed; it does remind me of an Aby’s ticking.

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You may remember seeing it before in this post from last October.

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It has no markings on it at all. I just know I got it in the 80’s because that’s when I was first interested in Abys, and it’s also when I was collecting little pewter figurines. This is one of the only ones I can still find.

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Last week I happened to be looking for something on eBay and I came across a listing for a pewter Abyssinian figurine.

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This figure was on a base with “Abyssinian” stamped on it. There were also stampings on the base showing a manufacturer, a copyright, and a year – 1984.

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The cat here is playing with a little ball of yarn – but the cat is very familiar!

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Same pose, same ticking…

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I was so psyched! After 30 years…I’m finally sure that my little pewter cat really is an Abyssinian!

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You may have noticed that I had a little Abyssinian assistance while taking photos for this post.

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Jacoby was almost as excited as I was about the little pewter Aby.

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Although I suspect it was for an entirely different reason. He is such a helpful boy!

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 – August 26: “This tiger has other ideas” (Cartoon Tuesday)

I’m not really old enough to make this joke, but I’m a sucker for Cold War jokes and I thought it would be fun to draw.

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Of course, this is is a riff on Jacoby’s JFK costume at the NEMO show this past weekend, and what might have happened had there been a Russian Blue there…as someone (Gary Larson?) once said, as long as one person gets the joke, I’m happy. Wish I’d thought of the Havana Brown Missle Crisis before I’d done the cartoon, though…

(Krushcat is saying “Support by United States rulers is rather in the nature of the support that the rope gives to a hanged man,” in case you were wondering……and the litter box says “We will bury you”…)

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – August 24: “Happy birthday, Mr. President”

This weekend was our NEMO CFA show. Jacoby did quite well: he made five finals! He got 10th Best Shorthair in Premiership (twice), 7th Best Shorthair in Premiership, 2nd Best Shorthair in Premiership, and 2nd Best Allbreed in Premiership!

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But as last year, the best part was the costume contest. Towards the end of the Seacoast show last May, Meg, our friend Todd and I were brainstorming ideas for Jake’s and my costume. Todd said it needed to be amazing to win, and it needed to be something new. I mentioned Jake’s “Don Draper” suit and said we needed to come up with something to go with that.

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And then it hit me. With his suit, Jake could be JFK…and I could be…Marilyn Monroe!

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So that’s what we did. If JakeFK looks a little upset in some of these photos, it’s because he’s very concerned about the Havana Brown Missile Crisis.

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It’s really late, and I’m really tired…and I have about 1,000 photos to go through that I took this weekend, so I’ll have a more complete report on the show and the costume contest later in the week.

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But I knew you all were dying to see what we wore, so here we are.

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As great as our costume was, there were a lot of great costumes this time. Everyone really stepped up their game this year. Our friends Linda and Pippi the Somali (Gomez and Morticia last year) were Clara Barton (Pippi) and Gen. George Pickett (Linda); there was also Little Bo Peep and her sheep, Hiccup and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, Galadriel, Arwen and Legolas, a family veterinary clinic and a beer can of Meow Light.

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Jake and I didn’t actually win…but I got a lot of complements on our costume. I have to thank my friend Leza, for sewing the dress…it not only looked great, but it also was comfortable enough to wear to a cat show. I wish I could say the same for those shoes! Now to start planning for next year’s costumes…

Congratulations Boston Red Sox! 2013 World Series Champions!

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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!