Aby-a-Day – 1 June: Rory and Rudolf (Fashion Friday)

As my regular readers know, I am a big fan of Lisa Larson, especially her cats.

roryrudolfC05678

So, for my birthday, Björn managed to find me a Japanese Lisa Larson plush Rudolf!

roryrudolfC05674

I joke that it is clearly an Abyssinian; he’s brown, with clear banding.

roryrudolfC05689

roryrudolfC05693

roryrudolfC05696

Lorelai can’t quite decide how she feels about Rudolf.

roryrudolfC05703

It’s a funny thing, the way the Japanese have embraced Lisa Larson’s cats, and yet it isn’t at all. They have co-opted Finland’s Moomins to the point where I legit thought Moomins were Japanese before Sanna-Leena set me straight.

roryrudolfC05704

But the Lisa Larson obsession, especially her cats, makes complete sense. Lisa’s round, friendly cat faces are right up Japan’s alley.

roryrudolfC05706

A match made in heaven, one might say.

roryrudolfC05716

Don’t worry…no Lisa Larson Japanese cat plushies were harmed in the making of this post.

Singas are Super! Malt and his best friend (Super Singas)

One of my favourite time-wasters, Bored Panda, posted a hilarious video of a Japanese Singapura named Malt dragging his favourite toy around the house. This just shows how “small but mighty” Singas are.

You can see more photos of Malt on his Instagram page.

Aby-a-Day – 26 March: Re Ment Pose Skeleton Cat (Miniature Monday)

Personally, I think cat skeletons are kind of cool. You may remember
my roughly life-sized skeleton cat, Os-car I found at CVS one Halloween. So when Björn showed me a picture of Re-Ment’s Pose Skeleton Cat, I had to get one.

poseskeletonC02263

It’s one of those typical cool Japanese toys with tons of special touches. The cat comes with a litter box (I think…it might be a bed), a typical Japanese wand cat toy, and a belled collar. I added a Schleich cat tower and some food and water bowls I had from another set, and it seems that the scale on all of them is roughly the same.

poseskeletonC02274

The amount of detail on this little thing is incredible. The collar has stitching marks and a leather look, and the bell has a seam and the hole at the bottom to let the sound out.

jakeposeskeletonC02268

Of course, when he heard the camera, Jacoby had to come see what I was taking photos of…and why I wasn’t taking photos of him.

jakeposeskeletonC02276

Jake was very curious about the little cat skeleton and tried to pick it up.

jakeposeskeletonC02277

He only succeeded in knocking over the cat tree. Then he wandered off.

poseskeletonC02273

Thanks a lot, Jake!

poseskeletonC02283

It’s really a tiny figure (as you can see compared to Jake’s paw), but it has eight points of articulation (tail, both hips, mid-spine, both shoulders, neck and jaw)! I really adore this little thing.

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.

WS-abybreedboothC00999

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.

WS-WainHardingAbyKittensC00799

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

WS-vasilskittenLarryAdkisonC01694

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

WS-vasilLarryAfinalC01741

WS-vasilDejaVuC02650

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

WS-vasilnammiC01075

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

WS-vasilNamminewgrandC02532

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

WS-olgaespressoC01859

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.

WS-jakeKiyomiC01755

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.

WS-garconC01500

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.

WS-garconJohnCollilaFinalC01931

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

WS-laurenAbyC02521

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

WS-susiekidderC01085

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.

WS-osierlakotaC02119

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 – November 12: Wordless Wednesday (Is my cousin from Japan)

jakeplushiesE_1675

jakeplushiesE_1677

jakeplushiesE_1672

jakeplushiesE_1671

jakeplushiesE_1667

jakeplushiesE_1666

Abys are Everywhere – Hello Aby on eBay

Don’t ask me how, but I happened to find this little Japanese treasure on eBay: 2003 Hello Kitty Cat Collection Abyssinian plush doll!

Yes, you read that right. It’s Hello Kitty dressed up as an Abyssinian.

Seriously. Hello Kitty. Dressed as an Abyssinian.

She comes in several other breeds, too. With a little help from Google, it looks like there’s a Scottish Fold (スコティッシュフォールド), American Shorthair (アメリカンショートヘア), Russian Blue (purple?) (ロシアンブルー), Bengal (ベンガル), Bombay (ボンベイ), Siamese (シャム), and a Himalayan (ヒマラヤ) on there. I’m not sure what the tabby and white one is meant to be, but 日本 I think means Japan, so it may just be a “regular cat.” This does align with Japan’s favourite cat breeds, more or less.

And I’m not 100% certain, but I think this one (second from the left on the top) just might be a Somali…ソマリ is Somali according to Google Translate, and I think I see some of those characters there…anyone out there read Japanese?

And yes, this is indeed meant to be an Aby. It says “アビシニアン” on the box, and that’s the Katekana for Abyssinian. That one I know!

*Sigh* I would absolutely love to add this to my Aby collection…but at $80 USD (plus $35 for shipping), I’m going to have to content myself with the photos and the knowledge that it exists.

NO!!! Wasabi-Chan has died!

This is so sad and so unfair. I cried out when I read this on Catsparella today, but Wasabi-Chan, the cutest kitten in the world joined StarClan much too soon today at 6:30pm Tokyo time.

Apparently she was recovering from her crow attack, and also had epilepsy, which her human was treating. But she was taken to the vet this morning and treated in the ICU, but lost her fight. They don’t know what the actual cause of death is yet, but it was much, much too soon. She was only 3 months old. She didn’t even get to be a ‘paw

I know she probably wasn’t really an Aby…but she certainly looks like one. My heart is with the Thousand – again – because another friend stopped running today.

Other People’s Abys – Meet Wasabi-Chan!

Huge thanks to Catsparella for her post today about Wasabi-Chan aka “The cutest kitten in the world.”

Poor little Wasabi-Chan was rescued from the streets in Japan after a savage attack by a mob of crows that left her with severe injuries including a fractured jaw, a hole in her throat, and injuries to her tongue and gums. Her recuperation is documented here (in Japanese but Google Chrome will sort of translate it for you). As part of her recovery, the kitten had to be fed with a tube, which she hated…which lead to this:

Yes, it’s a little kitten straightjacket in the shape of enoki mushrooms! If her little face and ticked fur didn’t already scream “Abyssinian” to you, her patient wearing of silly outfits should prove she’s at least part Aby!

Wasabi-chan is only about a month or two old, judging by the photos; she was rescued on June 2nd. So I’m sure there will be much more Wasabi to come! You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Show Brag: Abyssinian Winners at the Kentucky Colonels/Great Lakes Aby Devotees CFA Show

A little cat show news for you: The following Abyssinians were the winners in each division at the Kentucky Colonels/Great Lakes Abyssinian Devotees show held last Saturday, 18 May:

From left to right:

Best Abyssinian Kitten: Purssynian Phantom of 3Janes, a 6 month old blue Abyssinian male kitten; Bred by Darrell Newkirk; Owned by Elizabeth Koller, Teri Kennedy, Jane Onstott.

Best Abyssinian in Premiership: GP Hitails Rocco Mooner (Another blue Mooner!), a blue Abyssinian neuter; Bred by Lisa-Maria Padilla; Owned by Diane & Scott Weber

Best Abyssinian in Championship: CH Absolute Fleur de Lis of Abizaq, a red Abyssinian female; Bred by Cynthia Cash; Owned by Martha & Norman Auspitz

Congratulations to the winners! I also found some photos of Rocco Mooner in Japan…along with Roger Vivier and some DeVande Abys! It’s actually a pretty nice account of a cat show in Japan. Talk about a cat show road trip!

Aby-a-Day – April 11: Life imitates art

I managed to snag myself the Abyssinian Maruneko Club plush.

angelballE_4298

Angel really likes it.

Aby-a-Day – December 8: Tsumineko Abyssinians

That the Japanese really, really love cats is a well-documented fact, especially on the internets. And they also seem to love certain breeds of cats: you see a lot of photos of Japanese Scottish Folds, Munchkins (I saw my first Munchkin in real life in a pet store in Tokyo), Japanese Bobtails (of course), and Abyssinians. I see more Abyssinians depicted on Japanese items than anywhere else.

pocketkitten

I got this stationery around 1999 or 2000…mainly because it featured an Aby kitten!

So you can just imagine my delight when, playing the newest smartphone cat game craze Mew Mew Tower, I noticed that some of the cats were definitely Abyssinian-oid.

tsumineko_8881

See that little kitten on the top of the heap? That’s meant to be an Aby!

Also known as Tsumineko (and, sometimes, “Cat Sin Crime” when translating Japanese websites to English), the object of the game is simple: stack cats as high as you can.

tsumineko_8880

You take your cats randomly out of the balloon-supported “Kitty Box” and you stack them, one on the other, as high as you can. Simple, right? The cats themselves, though, are the fun of the game. They make faces and meow, especially when a bigger one is set atop a smaller one.

tsumineko_8883

Of course, my favourite part of the game is the Abys. There are kittens…

tsumineko_8884

tsumineko_8885

…and adults. There are no fat, bob-tailed Abys in this game.

tsumineko_8886

Here’s a close-up of a kitten.

tsumineko_8888

And here’s one of the adults.

tsumineko8894

There are different versions of the game available for iPhones and iPads, and most of them feature an Aby. My personal favourite is Mew Mew Tower 2.

tsumineko_8891

There is also a comic book that can be found at Amazon.jp, and there’s also an e-version available through iTunes. All of the variations are pretty darn adorable.

I’m not exactly sure of the translation of the word “Tsumineko”… according to Wikipedia, “Tsumi” means “sin” or “crime” and I’m not entirely sure how stacking a tower of cats is a sin. But it explains why the common English translation is “Cat Sin.”

The Tsumineko website has lots of information (all in Japanese) and also wallpapers and desktop patterns.

tsuminekoE_1346

Tsumineko aren’t easy to find in the US or Canada yet, but if you look at eBay or Amazon.jp, you can find some Tsumineko toys, like this plushy stack of three (that stay together through the magic of Velco).

tsuminekoE_1348 tsuminekoE_1349

There are also keychain/cellphone charms that are remarkably detailed.

tsuminekoE_1361

You can also find cellphone charms that can be stacked into a sort of chained tower. You buy them in sets of two or three cats and link them together as you choose. This one features a big fat cat and an Aby kitten.

tsuminekoE_1365

Which Google translates as: “By connecting Fastener Mascot sin cat (Abyssinian Chibi Hachiware & fat)” on Amazon.jp.

tsuminekoE_1366

You can get cats being pulled from the Kitty Box by the disembodied hand (which I personally find to be rather creepy).

tsuminekoE_1378

You can link the cats together into a pretty impressive tower-chain.

tsuminekoE_1391

There are also sets of magnetised cats that you can stack into actual towers.

tsuminekoE_1392

tsuminekoE_1351

These sets also include the Abyssinians.

tsumineko+realcats

One part of the comic book features photo-cartoons of cats posing with their plastic Tsumineko counterparts. It’s adorable, and, although I can’t read Japanese, I’m sure it’s hilarious, too. But these photos inspired me…

jaketsuminekoE_1408

…so, here’s Jacoby with the Tsumineko Abys.

jaketsuminekoE_1398

He’s not quite as good as posing as the Japanese cats were.

jaketsuminekoE_1399

Whoops…he knocked down one of the towers. Not the Abys, though, you’ll notice.

jaketsuminekoE_1403

But best of all, there are more Tsumineko items coming out all the time. I discovered a set of four Otoneko (middle-sized) cats with mufflers that were released in late October/early November, one of which was the Abyssinian!

Well, of course I had to find that Aby! Sadly, the muffler cats aren’t available for sale; they’re only available as claw machine prizes at various “UFO Catcher arcades in Japan But, thanks to a marvelous eBay seller called Gentleakindo_in_Japan who promises “If you can’t find items you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us. We will find any item for you!!” I was able to get the Aby Otoneko!

tsumineko-abyE_1522

He’s a really well-made plushy, too. I have a Docomo Mushroom that was wrested from a claw machine at an arcade in VenusPort after a long struggle and many 100 Yen coins, and it’s wonderful. This little Aby is as well-crafted as any stuffed animal you would pay for in a store.

jaketsumineko-abyE_1446

Of course I had to put a red scarf on Jacoby and pose them together.

jaketsumineko-abyE_1482

jaketsumineko-abyE_1466

He posed much better with the larger Tsumineko than he did with the little ones. In fact, he posed so well I was inspired to make this:

jakecuzinfromjapan

Because one of my favourite LOLcats needed an Aby update, don’t you think?

Tsumineko have not been around that long in Japan; from what I can tell, they’re about a year old. Hopefully, their popularity will spread to North America, and we’ll be able to find these toys here.

It’s only a paper Aby…

Japan is awesome.

Courtesy of Canon, you can print and build your very own paper Abyssinian!

All you need is one piece of paper, and it comes with a set of detailed instructions.

I love the description, too: Abyssinians are cats with a characteristic V-shaped face and almond-shaped eyes. Each hair on their coat is separated by several different colors along the hair and glitters under the light. There are different theories on where it originated, including Egypt, Ethiopia and England. The proposed origin of the name ‘Abyssinian’ is that, long ago, a British soldier brought the ancestor of the modern Abyssinian back to England from Ethiopia, which was called Abyssinia at the time.

You can also print and build other breeds of cats and dogs from this amazing site…and it’s all free!

I’ll let you know how my paper Aby turns out…

Aby-a-Day – November 9: Gettin’ wiggy wi’ it (Fashion Friday)

Wigs are all the rage these days, and, thanks to a woman in Texas, kitties can has wigs, too.

angelwigIMG_9322

As featured on Must Love Cats, these little cat wigs are works of art.

angelwigIMG_9286

So, when I found a cheap knock-off an inexpensive imitation at Petsmart a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t resist.

angelwigIMG_9294

I’d originally bought it with Kylie in mind, but somehow it ended up on Angel’s head.

angelwigIMG_9292

Not sure how Angel really felt about wearing the wig, but she wore it like a pro. And the pink went surprisingly well with her red/sorrel fur.

angelwigIMG_9298

And people wonder why the iconic Halloween cat is puffed up, arching his back, and hissing.

Oh, and by the way? When I Googled “cat” and “wiggy” looking for the Must Love Cats clip, you’ll never guess what I found!

This is Wiggy the Abyssinian! He lives in Japan, and

Best, Worst, and “Wish List” Cat Products

In one of the (many) cat-related online communities I follow, someone asked us to answer these three questions:

1. My absolute favourite thing I’ve gotten so far for my cat/s is ____________. (Please include pic and/or link!)

2. One thing I bought for my cat and now wish I hadn’t is ____________.

3. If I could splurge on any pet product, it would be ________________.

What a great question! I thought you might be interested in my answers…

The best thing is my cats’ braided kangaroo leather tag collars, their Blanket ID tags, and their gemstone and silver name/address tags. I like having a collar on my cats; these are light and slip on and off should they get caught on something. The two tags are small, pretty…and useful.

angelN9005

The thing I bought that I wish I hadn’t was the Klaw Kontrol bag. Not only did it not really work on the one cat I needed it for, but she was too strong for it! She actually ripped out the zipper seams! Oh, well, lesson learned.

If I could splurge on anything for our cats, it would be a complete wall-mounted cat shelf and walkway system. I’d settle for a place with a structural interior pillar that I could wrap in sisal rope, but someday I want a catwalk system like the “cat houses” in Japan.

So, how about you?

Other People’s Abys – Abyssinians in a Tokyo cat cafe

Catsparella posted an awesome article about a cat cafe in Tokyo today.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cat Cafe, posted with vodpod

Of course, you know I’m posting this not just because it’s an awesome article, but because it has Abys in it! Pay close attention at 4:17 to see Nuts, a handsome ruddy/usual boy, vs an Exotic Shorthair, and then at 6:18 and 6:24 there’s a nice shot of Nuts’ sister, Coco (great name!), a lovely little sorrel/red girl.

Evidently, there are four Abys at this cat cafe: Be sure to also check out pretty blue Alice, and sweet little sorrel/red Komugi, who likes to ride on people’s shoulders. And, for you Somali fans, don’t miss Kanna, who likes the other cats more than the humans who visit the cafe, Ru~u, who “looks like a fox,” and Rin, a pretty “phone” (I think they mean fawn).

Catsparella says that one of her biggest regrets about her 2010 trip to Japan is that she didn’t get a chance to visit a cat cafe in Tokyo. I went to Tokyo in 2006, just before cat cafes started appearing (I think they started popping up in 2007), so I didn’t get to go to one, either, but I did make an express point of going to Pecos PetCity in VenusFort mall at Odaiba. That was an experience! They actually had two adorable ruddy/usual Aby kittens for sale in the shop! My biggest Tokyo regret was not being brave enough to take any photos inside the pet store. I wish I had photos of those two little Abys.

(I did buy our kitties presents from there…collars made out of kimono fabric and little catnip kitties. One of the collars was for my kitten-to-be, Gun-Hee…but when he finally grew into it, he practically chewed it in two within a day of me putting it on him)

Great post, Catsparella…now I really want to go to Japan and Korea again…