Aby-a-Day – 17 April: Pages 6 and 7 (Selfie Sunday)

Björn was interviewed by the Göteborgs-Posten last Thursday bay a reporter doing a piece about Migrationsverket and the “love migration process” and people like us who either have a partner trying to move to be with them or who are that partner, and an article was published in last Saturday’s paper (that’s the big paper of the week there, Saturday instead of Sunday, so you have two days to read it all).

This was the main photo they used on the web version of the story and in the newspaper itself.


This is the front of the newspaper…

björnGP_IMG_3709 1

Look who made it to page 1!


This is the spread on pages 6 & 7 with sidebars about other aspects of Migrationsverket and Swedes waiting for their partners.


Interestingly, this isn’t the first time someone I know has been featured on the front of a major publication.

Postcards from an Aby - Your Cat Magazine, Oct. 2012

Not only that…he also had a spread on pages 6 & 7! Björn and Jacoby…media superstars!

Other People’s Aby’s – Rufus och Flora i Västerbotten, Sverige

And the Swedish influence on my blog is already starting.

Björn and I went to ICA to get groceries and we happened to check the magazine section. I’ve had a link to Kattliv (Sweden’s biggest cat magazine) for years now, but this was the first time I’d seen a hard copy of the magazine itself.

Of course I had to leaf through it. I mean, it’s a cat magazine!

And what do you suppose I found?

An article about two Abyssinians! Their names are Rufus and Flora and they live on a farm in Legdeå, a small town between Umeå and Skellefteå in the Västerbotten region in northern Sweden.

They seem to have an awesome life ruling their humans, hanging out with horses, stalking chickens and hunting rats. I haven’t read the whole article, yet…but now I have something to practice with Björn!

Abys are Everywhere – Cat Fancy, now and then

As I’m sure you’ve heard, after 50 years, Cat Fancy’s last issue is now on the newsstands. You cant miss it: Not only does it have a huge “50” on the cover, but there’s also an Abyssinian kitten!

It’s not gone, gone…it’s “reinvented” itself as Catster Magazine to appeal to people who like to look at cats on the internet and will come out every other month. But it’s not the same. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like looking at at cats on the internet as much as the next person. But there’s something about reading a magazine that’s been around your whole life, you know?

I always keep an eye out for old back issues that feature Abyssinians (I wish I still had my old copies from when I was in high school). A few weeks ago, I found this issue from 2003 on eBay. While I knew it had an Aby on the cover, as well as a feature article on the breed, I didn’t know about the bonus Aby.

Check out the cat food ad on the back cover! There was no mention of this little guy in the eBay listing…but isn’t it a great ad?

Yeah, I’m going to really miss Cat Fancy.

Sad news…Cat Fancy Magazine is dead

I just found out that Cat Fancy Magazine is ceasing publication. A friend sent me this very sad link: Who Killed Cat Fancy?”


It’s a good article. But it’s sad. Cat Fancy was started in 1965, the year I was born. The last issue I got in the mail – just this week, in fact – had an overall tone of excitement for its 50th year in print. Apparently, the announcement that they were closing down came before presstime.

I’ve had a subscription to Cat Fancy, off and on, since I was about 10. It was never my favourite – I actually preferred Cats Magazine, which was an East Coast-based publication geared more towards breeders and showing – but I still loved Cat Fancy and appreciated its arrival in my mailbox every month. I have a subscription through 2016, and was actually just considering extending it.

Evidently, the magazine is being reborn as “Catster“…but it won’t be the same.

Aby-a-Day – December 9: Cat Collectives (Cartoon Tuesday)

A couple of months ago, I was asked to do some illustrations for a piece my friend Iris wrote for CFA’s Cat Talk magazine.

balinese with text

The article proposed names for groups of specific breeds of cats, including a Streak of Abyssinians, an Insistence of Burmese, a Salon of LaPerms, an Abbreviation of Manx, a Summit of Himalayans, a Tartan of Scottish Folds, a Wail of Siamese, a Gulf of Tonkinese, and a Convoy of Turkish Vans.

devons with text

I drew groups of Devon Rexes, Balinese and, since I couldn’t come up with a good idea for “Streak,” Somalis.

somalis with text

It’s kind of fun to draw other breeds – or, at least, different colours and patterns!

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

Aby-a-Day – November 11: Lest We Forget (Cartoon Tuesday)

Having spent November 11th both Canada and the US, I can tell you that the holiday is celebrated a bit differently in each country. It’s more than just the different names.


It may have to do with the fact that Canada entered WWI almost 3 years before the States and entered WWII more than two years before the States were, and as consequently had a larger percentage of its population killed and wounded in the two wars. I reckon that makes the holiday more about Remembrance and a bit less about…pre-holiday shopping.

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

Vote for Jacoby to be featured in Moderncat Magazine!

Please, please, please vote for Jacoby to win a professional photo shoot and a two-page spread in an upcoming issue of Modern Cat magazine!


Don’t hold back! The cat receiving the most votes in Moderncat’s Star Cat competition will appear in a two-page feature in an upcoming issue of Moderncat magazine and will take part in a photo shoot orchestrated by Moderncat. The contest closes on 21 January, 2014, and here’s the best part: You can vote for each cat once every 12 hours! According to the rules, votes made from computers on a shared internet connection are counted as a single vote (i.e one vote per office/home per 12 hours).

Let’s get our Jake into a magazine! Vote, please!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Jacoby in the October Issue of YourCat Magazine

Back in July, the following email was forwarded on one of my Aby mailing lists:

Good morning
I am writing a feature for Your Cat magazine to promote your breed and wondered if you could complete the following asap please:

What I love about the breed is….
The most interesting thing about the breed is….
I keep my cats entertained ..
I keep my cat/s in tip top condition by…
My top tip to a potential owner is…
The most challenging aspect about keeping this breed is…
If you have this breed you must have….
Any further comments/tips for anyone thinking of buying a cat ….
Other breeds that are compatible are…

Many thanks,

Of course, I responded with answers about Abyssinians:

Hello Angie
I got your Aby questionnaire through an Aby email list I’m a member of. I also do a blog about Abys and couldn’t NOT answer your questions!
Hope this is useful:

What I love about Abyssinians is…they’re so interactive! I can’t do anything without my Aby, Jacoby, “helping” me. He also always sleeps on the bed with me, touching me in some way. They’re also so loyal and protective; Jake will hear someone outside the door and growl as he runs up to see what’s going on.

The most interesting thing about Abyssinians is…they’re the oldest breed of cat not started by a genetic mutation (long hair, short/no tail, thermo-retrictive semi-albinism, and the oldest breed bred on purpose by humans and documented. This, I believe, is why they’re more attuned to people and more “dog-like” – they’ve simply been bred for this sort of personality longer than other types of cats.

I keep my cat/s entertained…by walking into the room. Abys love laserpointers, and they love playing fetch. But the thing they most love to do is assist you with whatever YOU are doing!

I keep my cat/s in tip top condition by…proper diet and outings on the leash in nice weather. Plenty of water available in spots away from the feeding area, and tooth brushing and grooming to keep their fur glossy.

My top tip to a potential Aby owner is…remember that they’re very active and want to be involved in absolutely everything you do! These are not decorative cats, these are cats of action! Read up on Abys as much as you can – Your Cat has some lovely articles, and there are several Aby-specific websites and blogs with lots of real stories about real Abys. Yes, they really do do all those things!

The most challenging aspect about keeping Abys is…Well, they ALWAYS want to help you. Always. Especially if you’re making their food. Or other cats’ food. Or any other animals’ food. Or pretty much any food at all. They will steal whatever they can. Jake stole broccoli out of a Chinese takeaway we left unattended thinking that there was only broccoli, it should be safe.

If you have Abyssinians, you must have…patience, a sense of humour (they have both, so you’ll need it, too) and the ability to live with a cat that wants to be with you all the time.

Any further comments/tips for anyone thinking of buying a cat …with cats, much of the time, I’ve found they live up to your expectations. If you expect to have a cat who’s antisocial, nervous, hides when people come over, will only eat one brand of food and won’t let you clip claws or brush teeth, well, then that’s what you’ll have. But if you expect your cat to know some basic words (we have to spell “c-a-n” in our house), to understand what not to do and what’s okay, and be a member of your family rather than just an accessory or a decoration, that’s what you’ll have.

I’ve seen it with my dad’s cats and my cats. I raised his Scottish Fold kitten for several weeks before he could take him, and he was well on track for becoming an extroverted, leash-trained, fearless cat. But after he’d been with my dad for a while, he sort of “shut down,” and became the sort of cat who hides and doesn’t like strangers, doesn’t like to go outside EVER, hisses if you try to pet him…in short, the poor kitten grew into the cat that my dad always complains about! But because that’s all he ever expected of the kitten, that’s what the kitten became.

People always, always ask why my cats are so great, why they’re so friendly, relaxed and outgoing even at the vet, playful into old age, smart, etc. and I tell them it’s because that’s the sort of cat I wanted.

Other breeds that are compatible with Abys are…Burmese and Siamese work well, I’ve found. But they seem to get along with all breeds of cats…and dogs!

I was surprised to receive the following reply to my response:

Thanks so much for your email. Having looked at your blog, Jacoby is amazing! Can you please tell me a little more about you and him, his personality, places you have been, how he and other people react etc, and send me some hi res photos of you two out & about. I’d love to feature you both in the ‘at home with’ section of the article.

I wrote back to Angie immediately, of course, and after a few days’ correspondence, Angela and her editor created a two-page feature in the October issue of Your Cat, which was also going to feature a spotlight on the Abyssinian breed!


And look! There’s a photo of Jake in Boston Common on the cover!

6-7 photo feature AT2 ch2 chsp OK.indd

The feature itself is amazing – they used so many great photos of Jake, and they even mention my blog. It’s amazing; Your Cat calls itself “Britain’s Largest Cat Magazine,” and it’s distributed all over Europe. It’s also available in Canada and the States at bookstores that carry foreign magazines. Soon, Jacoby is going to meet a lot of new people!

Calling all Aby people! “What I love about Abys is….” for Your Cat Magazine

Your Cat magazine in the UK (Where Abys come from!) is doing a breed feature on Abys for an upcoming issue, and they’ve asked all Aby people to respond to the following questions and send them to Angela Kenny, Deputy Editor:

What I love about Abyssinians is….

The most interesting thing about the breed is….

I keep my cats entertained ..

I keep my cat/s in tip top condition by…

My top tip to a potential owner is…

The most challenging aspect about keeping this breed is…

If you have this breed you must have….

Any further comments/tips for anyone thinking of buying a cat ….

Other breeds that are compatible are…

I know there’s a few of you out there who have some awesome stories to tell in response to these queries!