Aby-a-Day – 12 April: The bravest Angel (Thursday Things)

Ever since we moved to Sweden, Angel has been blossoming. Always the low cat on the totem pole with Tessie and Kylie back in Boston, she was bullied and hid…a lot. She didn’t do herself any favours by, as Jackson Galaxy says, “acting like prey” when they went after her…which only made them bully her more. She is stronger than either of them; she could have easily kicked both their tails. But she never did.

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Cats tend to be matriarchal, with the oldest female being the dominant cat. Moving away from Kylie and Tessie made Angel the second oldest cat in the household. Pyret was the oldest…but Angel, with her history of being bullied, she wasn’t about to challenge the queen.

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And now that Pyret has left us, Angel is top cat. And she’s still getting used to that. So every time she walks through the middle of a roon, every time she plays in the sun, every time she acts like a normal, pushy Aby…it’s wonderful. Like the other day, when she owned this bed usually slept in by Pyret, or the boys. When the sun is just right, the light is wonderful.

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After the camera distracts her, she goes back to grooming…

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“Are you STILL taking my picture?

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Something flew by outside, catching her attention mid-tongue.

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She may only have one eye, but her vision is 20/.

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Visions of sugarbirds dancing in her head, no doubt.

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Every day she is just a little more…Abyssinian.

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That IKEA cat bed is very popular. Logan and Alfred are very politely waiting their turn (although if Freddy weren’t there, Logan would go and “share” the bed with Angel).

My Cat From Hell: Mimi the Abyssinian

I realise that this is almost six years old…but apparently they have only just started showing My Cat From Hell in Sweden on a channel we get, so I only just saw this episode. It involved a couple with a 10-year-old overweight cat, Molly, and a young Abyssinian named Mimi.

Now, Mimi is NOT the cat from Hell in this episode. In fact, she’s the victim of Molly’s bad temper. As Jackson describes it:

“Mimi’s an Abyssinian. Abyssinians are spider monkeys. They swing from the chandeliers while everyone else is eating dinner. They need to have directed activity, and they need to have that activity constantly. In the meantime, you’ve got an older, crankier cat who’s saying ‘Just make it stop!'”

Molly actually sent poor Mimi to the vet for stitches after a gash in her flank!

The link above leads to the full episode on Animal Planet’s website, but you need to sign in with a television provider. However, you can see Jackson’s final visit to Molly and Mimi and Jackson’s follow-up with Molly a year later online without signing in.

Aby-a-Day – May 28: Confident Owners and Wallflowers (Cartoon Tuesday)

During his talk at the Boston Public Library a couple of weekends ago, Jackson Galaxy described three feline personality types, or as he called it, “Cat Mojo.” The three types were the “Confident Owner,” the cat who owns the room and confidently greets and rubs up against all visitors; the “Over Owner,” the cat who is insecure and overcompensates by lashing out; and the “Wallflower,” the cat who just leaves the other types to their business and tries to blend into the background.

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Jacoby and Angel very clearly fall into two of those three categories. Jackson described the Confident Owner as the feline equivalent of “a host who greets you with a trayful of mojitos,” and well…that was something that just needed to be illustrated. And Jake would totally do that, too. Angel, meanwhile…

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

Aby-a-Day – May 21: Sunday in Boston (Cartoon Tuesday)

I really do think that Jacoby would have enjoyed it. And I’m not bitter…I just thought it would be fun to draw.

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

Aby-a-Day – May 19: “It may not be the Abyssinian swinging from the chandelier…”

Today was a rare and unusual day: Jackson Galaxy was in Boston!

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He was speaking at the Boston Public Library today. I tried to bring Jacoby along to meet Jackson, but – even though I did contact the library and brought along our therapy credentials (just in case), we were stopped at the door by the security guard.

I’m a bad Twitter person, but I felt motivated in this case…

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Luckily, I was meeting a friend and we planned to get there early. I had time to run Jake back home. I really think he was disappointed, though: he’s not used to going out and then just turning right back around again! I was lucky with the trains and a cab and I made it back just in time to hear Jackson speak.

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It was a really fun talk. It wasn’t quite like his show, and it wasn’t entirely about his book…it was sort of Jackson just talking about both of them.

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He talked about “cat mojo” and said one interesting thing about cats needing to “own” their territory. I wonder about how that applies to cats like Jake, and also Jafari, Seamus, Rosie and Louis, who love to go out with their humans and basically seem to see their “territory” as “anywhere my human is.” Of course, Jake is also very attached to his stroller, and when he feels overwhelmed he doesn’t hesitate to jump back into it; maybe that’s his “territory away from territory.”

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Jackson also pulled a guy up out of the audience, Mike (he chose a man, he said, so that he’d “feel less alone up here”), who had a cat named Chester. He used Mike to demonstrate the three types of cat mojo: the Confident Owner, the Over-Owner, and the Wallflower. It was pretty funny…but I could see that we have three Confident Owners and one Wallflower in our cat family (guess who’s who).

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At one point, he talked about older cats playing. He has a 21-year-old, Veloura, and a 19-year-old, Chips, at home and, while they’re not as active as they were when they were four, they do still play in their own way: “It may not be the Abyssinian swinging from the chandelier…but they still play.” Shout out to the Aby people in the house!

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At the end, he took questions from the audience, and then he signed copies of his book, Cat Daddy and chatted with his Boston fans.

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And I got to meet Jackson, too, and he signed my copy of his book. He commented that he’d never seen the “Real Men Love Cats” T-shirt on a woman before. Then I told him that I’d tried to bring “Strollercat” to meet him, and he said, “I know…’Amtrak Yes, Boston Public Library No.'” I have to admit I had a bit of a fangirly squee moment: OMG he read my tweet! He must have read my expression because he added, “Oh, yes…I read!”

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Wow.

Aby-a-Day – June 2: Angel the Tree-Dweller

According to the wonderful Jackson Galaxy, cats are either tree-dwellers or bush-dwellers.

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Angel is definitely a tree-dweller. She is much more comfortable and confident when she’s up high on one of the cat trees.

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I mean, just look at her!

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Doesn’t she look confident?

Aby-a-Day – February 12: Trees and bushes

Another of Angel’s “places” is underneath the television. This is where she goes if she is being bullied by Tessie or if she feels she is losing an Aby battle to Jacoby. I think she feels that this is a defensible place to be, with her back against the wall and a good collection of things to use as cover.

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One thing I find really interesting about Angel is, she is what Jackson Galaxy calls a “Tree Dweller” and a “Bush Dweller” at the same time. Jackson says that there are cats who are happier to up high (like Jake) and cats who feel more secure in hidey holes at ground level (like Tessie), but Angel seems to like both heights and low places, depending on her mood. Well, she is our Gemini girl, so I guess she can be a little mercurial if she wants to.

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I have to say, though, that Jake looks pretty clueless about how angry Angel is with him for invading her space.