Aby-a-Day – 8 Augusti: Two words you never want to hear at a cat show: “Cat out!” (Thursday Things)

Especially when it’s your cat.

Sunday at the show, after Izaak had been judged and we were waiting for the Nominations, Lorelai was called up for her Nomination at the same time. So Björn had Rory and I had Zak. Then I dropped my phone and it came out of its case. I needed two hands to put it back in, so I handed Zak over to Björn. Then Zak started to cough up a hairball.

I raced over to the Secretary’s table and grabbed a piece of scratch paper, and got Zak to puke on it. Björn was right next to us, so I asked him to grab Zak whilst I dealt with the barf. In the time between me letting him go and Björn grabbing him…

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…he decided this space under the folded-up bleachers (the show hall’s day job is a basketball arena). And he. Would not. Come. OUT. When he doesn’t want to be caught, he is a master. They announced that a cat was loose and to close all the doors, but I was like, “Yeah, no. The doors are the least of our worries!” He’s roaming around underneath the bleachers, and he’s up for Nomination like NOW

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Finally, a woman with Siamese working the Secretary’s table called to me. She saw Zak in the corner, near her stroller. They asked me if I had any food that would lure him out. I said, “No…he won’t eat anything but raw and chicken necks. Does anyone have a raw chicken neck?” Yeah, nobody did. I had grabbed Chirpy Mouse and Zak’s favourite wand toy (a fishing lure blue crab I picked up in Baltimore), so we tried those. Chirpy Mouse had no effect, but Blue Crab got his attention. I almost grabbed him…but then he backed away. He wandered around a little more, and then came back to that corner, and, with the help of Blue Crab, I was able to grab him. The judge he was up for Nomination with, Glenn Sjöbom, asked me if I was okay and patted me on the back, telling me not to worry and not feel like I needed to rush. When he actually got nominated, I held him up, and, during the applause, I said to him, “You. Do. NOT. Deserve. This!”

I repeated that when he was declared Best In Show.

I don’t have any photos of the actual events…I was too busy trying to catch the little asshole.

But here’s the punchline to the whole escapade: Just after it happened my friend Kinsey posted on Facebook that Zak’s brother, Paolo had escaped that morning and led her on a merry chase around the neighbourhood before she managed to catch him again. He wears a tracker on his collar that she can track on her mobile.

One of her friends commented that it could only happen to Kinsey, and I chimed in, “Nope, not just Kinsey. Today at the cat show, Izaak, Paolo and Keiko’s younger brother, escaped and went exploring under the bleachers!”. To which Kinsey explained, “Must be in their genes. Paolo did that at a cat show once and I was on my hands and knees under the benches trying to get him.”

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They ARE full brothers, perhaps not littermate brothers, but brothers nonetheless. Kinsey’s always posting about Paolo’s adventures…and by the smug, “sorry, not sorry” look on Zak’s face, I suspect I will be, too.

Aby-a-Day – 23 January: Would I lie to you, baby?

Cats lie.

Cats lie if it suits their purposes.

When Alfred and Logan were kittens, they got a mid-meal snack. One day, when I was in Swedish language class and Björn was home, I wanted to let him know they’d already had their snack for the day. I messaged him, “I already fed the kittens a snack, so don’t believe Logan’s lies.”

Inspired by that, I drew this:

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It says, “No…mamma has not given us food…”

Aby-a-Day – July 18: “Cross” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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When we went to the vet for everyone’s annual check-up, the Abys wandered about the exam room while Tessie and Kylie stayed in their rolling carrier.

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Kylie, especially, seemed to prefer it in there.

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As shy as Angel can be…in true Aby fashion, she’d still rather be exploring and not in a carrier!

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However, at one point, Jacoby came and sat down right on top of Kylie and Tessie’s carrier…which does not have a rigid or reinforced top. And as you saw on Thursday, Jake weighs a good 10lbs plus.

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I guess you could say Kylie and Tessie – especially Tessie – were a bit cross about him sitting on top of them!

Aby-a-Day – March 17: “St Patrick – one of the few saints whose feast day presents the opportunity to get determinedly whacked” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This cartoon was actually a lot funnier when I thought of it two weeks ago before the snow started melting. Still, despite last week’s meltdown, there were still some significant snow piles on the ground, the parade route was shortened because of the snow we’ve had, and it did actually snow later in the afternoon on parade day Sunday.

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So, maybe it’s not as funny as it might have been, but it’s still funny. It’s funny because it’s true.

Also, the interesting thing about snow piles is, when they melt, they kind of shrink. So they’re still there, they just become shorter and shorter.

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

Aby-a-Day – September 16: “Buttered up” (Cartoon Tuesday)

There are so many funny memories of Gun-Hee…including the time he stole butter.

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Today would have been his 8th birthday.

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

Aby-a-Day – September 2: “Waste not, want not” (Cartoon Tuesday)

It’s amazing how fast Jacoby can jump up on the counter between the time I open the can and the time I dump the food in the dish. I haven’t actually dumped it on his head…yet…but I’ve come close.

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This is the first cartoon I drew entirely with my Wacom Intuos tablet. No paper at all. It’s not easy though; this cartoon was simple, but it seemed to take three times as long to finish as doing it the old-fashioned, paper and ink and scan way. I really want to use this thing, but it feels so clumsy. I’m not sure the drawing looks as good as it would have if I’d drawn it on paper, either, but the outlines are definitely cleaner than a scan would be. What do you think?

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

Aby-a-Day – August 5: “Every Bite You Take” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This week’s cartoon was inspired by a photo and a caption that Mike Ruemmler posted on the Abyssinian Cat Club Facebook page. The combination of his photo and the lyrics he provided was just too much to resist…

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“Every bite you take, every meal you make, if you broil a steak, anything you bake, we’ll be watching you…. Oh can’t you see? That ham belongs to me. Oh how my poor heart breaks with every bite you take…”

If eating with Abys had a theme song, this would be it.

This is also the first cartoon I drew using my new Wacom Intuos tablet. It’s not easy though; this cartoon was simple, so I did about half of it the old way, and half with the tablet. It’s a learning process, but I do like drawing without paper. Also, just for fun, the font I used is called “Glutton Man.”

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

Aby-a-Day – July 13: Boxception

So we were finally doing some unpacking, and we had a load of boxes to take out to the recycling bin on the first floor. We logically put the smaller boxes inside the larger ones to make it easier to carry them all in one go.

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As I posted a few months ago, Jacoby is a little obsessed with our trips to take out recycling.

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So it should not have surprised me when this happened.

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Jake was so proud of himself.

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And it was pretty impressive the way he managed to worm his way into the exact centre of all the boxes.

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He did NOT want to come out of there, either.

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Nope.

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Not at all.

Aby-a-Day – June 24: “Better slip with foot than tongue.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Another cartoon based on a real Aby posted on Facebook!

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The drawing in this particular case is Angel, but it’s based on Nancy Moore’s boy cleaning his foot on a hot day. Angel would totally do something like that.

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Just for fun…here’s the original sketches I did for this cartoon. I don’t always like the way these turn out, but I really like the way I translated the photo on this one.

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

Aby-a-Day – June 3: “There is one thing that matters…to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

I have not been able to do this with any of my cats, but I know people who have. My friend Kathy says that her Aby Louis taught himself to use the toilet rather than the litter box just by watching humans do it. I wish I could get my cats to use the toilet! I think Jacoby could do it…but Angel? I just can’t see her sitting up there.

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This is another cartoon based on a photo of an Aby I found; in this case, it’s 3-1/2 month old Raj as posted in the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook. I can’t make this stuff up!

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

Aby-a-Day – May 27: Hot doggin’ it (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is another true story, shared by Abyfriend Wendy on the Abyssinian Cat Club Facebook group.

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“Well – thought I had seen everything… I was outside grilling hot dogs. On my way back in, Wren brought me the remaining four. These are the kind in natural casing, so they are all connected… It’s funny that she brought them to me, rather than running off with them. Wren is such a funny girl.”

Abyfriend Kim said Wren was bringing the hot dogs back to Wendy so she could cook them for her. Wendy added that “[Wren] had one in her mouth and the rest were dragging behind her on the floor,” and then lamented the fact that she hadn’t had a camera handy. The mental image was just too much to resist.

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

Aby-a-Day – May 20: “It’s not how old you are, it’s how you are old.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference between a five year old Aby and a fifteen year old Aby except a decade. The passing years don’t take much of a toll on their playfulness…or their goofiness.

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I based the Aby drawing in this cartoon on a random photo I found of an Aby named Tiera, who was 17 when the photo of her sleeping was taken. Tiera, sadly, passed away this year, aged 20. I regret that I didn’t discover her til after she died.

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

Aby-a-Day – May 18: Mother Goose story

Living next to Fort Point Channel is interesting.

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We have a little salt water ecosystem right in our back yard. I’ve seen cormorants, grebes, swans, ducks and herons in the water at one time or another. But the most common waterbird is the Canada goose.

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Just try getting a photo without a goose or two in it somewhere!

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Jacoby is used to them. He’s been around them since he was a kitten; to him, they’re no different than the trains, trucks and buses. They’re scary and loud, but harmless if you stay out of their way.

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Geese can be pretty mean, but the geese along the Harborwalk are fairly tame.

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I’ve seen people feeding them bits of sandwiches and chips from their hands.

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The only time you really need to be careful is when they have goslings.

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But even then, they’re so used to humans that they aren’t too belligerent unless you get too close.

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They almost seem proud to show off their babies.

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This story, as you may have guessed, hasn’t really got very much to do with Abyssinians or cats. But last week, as I was biking home along the Harborwalk, I saw a pair of geese with a new batch of goslings.

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Naturally, I stopped to take some photos of the little babies.

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We were on the Harborwalk at the stretch that is entirely fenced along the water, and the geese were walking along the inside of fence.

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Some of the babies, however, were walking on the outside of the fence!

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And one of them fell off the ledge into the water. Now, this should not have been a big deal: geese, after all can swim. And the baby was completely fine, too, swimming around and peeping up to the rest of his family. But the parents started to freak out and crawl under the fence to get to their missing gosling! Yes…under the fence. And they were too big to squeeze underneath the bottom bar of the metal fence. Of course, you would think they would simply flap their wings and fly over the fence…but it was like they’d forgotten how to fly! They just kept trying to either bash their way though the upright bars of the fence or squeeze underneath.

It was seriously like an old Warner Brothers cartoon, where Daffy Duck is falling off a cliff and smashes into the ground because he forgets he’s a duck. So, I decided to help. I started trying to scare the geese into remembering to fly. I am sure I looked ridiculous, waving my arms around and yelling “Come on, you can fly! Come on, FLY!”

Finally, I managed to get one parent, I believe the father, to fly over….

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…like this (this isn’t him).

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One baby and parent down, four babies and one parent to go.

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I started trying to shoo the babies into the water with their father. One fell into the water by himself, but the next one fell into a crevice between two of the granite stones.

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So I had to pick him up! I then held him out over the water and dropped him as softly as I could. He splashed down, unharmed, and swam over to his dad and siblings. And there was just mom and two babies still up on the wrong side of the fence. A couple of other cyclists stopped to see what I was doing and offer help. Another little baby plopped into the water on his own and there was just one left. I managed to catch it and drop it to join the rest. And only the mother goose was left on the seawall with us humans.

She was completely freaked. She could see her family in the water, but despite seeing her husband fly over, she still didn’t remember that she had wings. She kept trying to squeeze underneath the fence. I actually tried to help push her through at one point – she was so upset she let me touch her back! Finally, one of the other bikers came up with a plan: we would corner her and sort of boost her over the fence. That didn’t really work. We got her about halfway up and then she smacked the guy in the chest with her wing and he backed off. But after that, she was even more upset than before, so I just ran at her, yelling and waving my arms. At first, she just ran away from me with her wings out…

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…like this (this isn’t her). But then the light seemed to dawn and she took off and finally – finally! – flew over that damn fence.

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And at long last, the family was reunited and they swam off into the sunset.

It wasn’t til a few days later that I realised how lucky they were. It was a fairly high tide that afternoon when the first baby fell in, and the baby landed safely in water. But had it been low tide, that baby would have landed on rocks…

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…which you can see in this photo of a heron at low tide. You can also see what a long stretch of fence that is – there was no way those geese were going to be able to walk around to the unfenced part!

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I’m not going to lie, though…I did think, when I was holding the first gosling, how much fun this whole thing would have been had Jake been with me!

Aby-a-Day – April 22: “Funny face” (Cartoon Tuesday)

For being such beautiful cats, Abys take a lot of less than beautiful photos. Not that they don’t love the camera, but…sometimes the camera just doesn’t love them.

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These are all based on actual photos of Abys I found on Facebook. There is one whose name I am not sure of, but the rest are Kiipi, Bella and Kumal, Yaro, Racy, Poupette, Jasmine, Ollie, Xapuri, Gaatsbi, Buttercup and Sophie.

Yes, they really DO all look like that!

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

Aby-a-Day – April 15: Nature abhors a vacuum (Cartoon Tuesday)

This actually happened. I was vacuuming the apartment, scattering cats in my wake. Until I got to the bedroom. Jacoby was sleeping on the bed in there.

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He just raised his head and stared at me with the most offended expression on his face you could possibly ever imagine.

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

Aby-a-Day – March 11: Fly away home (Cartoon Tuesday)

Funny thing about cats is they know where they live. Until you move. And then, they know where they used to live.

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This actually happened first and most strongly with Kylie, but all the cats have run back to the door of our old apartment on our new floor at least once, including Angel (and of course, before we actually moved, Jacoby actually went into that apartment); I used Angel in this cartoon mainly because the way she runs is so funny I thought it would be a lot of fun to draw.

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

Aby-a-Day – January 11: “Door” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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We’re moving to a new apartment in our building this month, so I’ve been taking Jacoby downstairs to our new door to get him used to it. He knows exactly which apartment is ours now, and runs to our door like a homing pigeon.

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We went down the back stairs to our new unit.

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Jake checked out our new door.

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We have bricks on one side of our new entryway! I hope Jake learns this landmark soon…

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I mean, he obviously feels comfortable here…

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But he did get startled by some young boys who live on our new floor.

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And this is a funny story: while I was taking these photos, Jake got so rattled by the kids making noise that he bolted! He ran as fast as he could…back to where our apartment is located on our new floor. The doors in our building lock automatically when you shut them, but if people are going in and out they tend to “soft-close” them so the latch doesn’t engage. This is something I do when I take out the trash and let Jake out into the hallway because I don’t want to bother with my key. And all the cats know how to push the door open enough to get back into our apartment if they want to.

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So, Jake raced back to our apartment…and, as luck would have it, the person living in that apartment just happened to have left their door open! Of all the apartments to leave their door open…it had to be the one that’s the same as ours! So Jake pushed his way in! I had to wake up the man who lived there to get Jake out of there…I felt so bad, because the guy was taking a nap and left the door open for his wife. I also wonder what Jake was thinking when he was inside the different apartment, because it didn’t look anything like ours!

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I just hope Jake learns where our new door is quicky after we move. If he keeps running back into that other apartment…I am going to look like such a crazy cat lady!

Aby-a-Day – December 31: “Tiny bubbles” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Disclaimer: Do NOT give cats alcohol. It is doubleplus ungood for them.

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That being said, this cartoon was inspired by my red-point Siamese girl, Sigrid, who died in 1999. She loved white wine, sparkling or otherwise, and would steal it out of any glass she could find when you weren’t looking. We didn’t let her drink it…but she managed to get enough to actually get a little tipsy a couple of times. And a little hungover the next morning, too.

I got her when she was already six years old, and she died of cancer, so I don’t think that affected her lifespan, but honestly, I don’t really know. So, if you’re drinking tonight, remember to guard your glass from curious kitties! Happy New Year!

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

Aby-a-Day – December 3: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Abys, on the other hand…

This is a true story, told by Blair Anson on the Abyssinian Cat Club Facebook group. Jacoby will run up to our door, growling, if someone comes by (like when we’re in a hotel and they slide our bill under the door), so I’ve kind of seen this in action.

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Check out the original story on Facebook here and here (you’ll need to log in to see it).

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

Aby-a-Day – September 17: Whoever smelt it…(Cartoon Tuesday)

Gun-Hee and Jacoby have a lot in common, and with Gun-Hee’s birthday, I always remember the silly things he used to do.

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This happened…to me. And I want to thank our friend Sierra the Aby for modelling the perfect stink-face!

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