Aby-a-Day – 16 April: Taz and Jacoby together on paper (Cartoon Tuesday)

Jacoby’s cousin Taz (GC, GPD, NW Anubis Taz Mania), died last July on the same day as my friend Molly’s husband, Don. Jake and Taz were show buddies. And because they were show buddies, Taz appeared in several of my Aby Cartoons. The first was based on this final at the Seacoast show in 2012.

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Then I did this one, in which Taz seemed more interested in winning than Jake was.

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When Meg brought a girl kitten named Tiger Lili to a show with Jake and Taz…I imagined this scenario.

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And then there was the infamous Paw and Disorder, with Taz as Eames and Jake as Goren. That was so much fun to draw!

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When I spoofed Psy’s Gangnam Style with Jake, I knew I would need to expand the visual joke and illustrate other scenes from the video.

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Of course, Jake is Psy, but also featured are Louis/Fire as the dancing kid, Taz as the guy in the elevator with the cowboy hat, and Angel as the yoga woman’s butt.

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Taz’s final appearance came after the Seacoast show, when he was retired. Once Taz was out of competition, Jake finally had a chance! Jake and Taz were such a team…I hope they still are, somewhere.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Februari: A box from Meg…and a little backstory (Thursday Things)

Friendship is a funny thing. You meet people every day. Some are strangers, and strangers they remain. Others become friends.

When I was a cat-crazy kid, I couldn’t imagine being actual friends with a cat breeder, let alone a cat show judge. Yet here I am, 38 years after this magazine was published, with threinds who are both breeders and judges. In April 1981 I was two months shy of my sweet 16th, and I loved cats. Cats and the Beatles. No wonder that in August 1981, when I found a seal-point and white kitten, I named him Sgt. Pepper…

Usually, when you look at an old magazine, you don’t read the classifieds at the back. But this old issue with an Aby on the cover…I wanted to see something.

And, lo and behold. Meg is listed as an Abyssinian breeder in Massachusetts. I never knew I’d end up in Massachusetts, let alone be friends with a breeder who had ads in a magazine when I was 15 going on 16…

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But it’s true. I am actually friends with a woman who has been breeding Abyssinians almost (but not quite) as long as I’ve been alive. And to think that she and I are very good friends! But it happened so naturally…Meg knew Sherry, and Jacoby was related to Lew and Taz…and…we clicked. That’s how it is when you make a friend.

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So a couple of weeks ago, Meg sent me my belated Christmas present. To be fair, though, I didn’t send mine out until January.

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She sent me a lot of cool things for me: Socks, a candle holder, and some CFA things…but she also sent things for the cats. One of which was this catnip shrimp. Alfred was the first to investigate the shrimp, but…

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…Jake quickly took over. Jake loves firmly stuffed catnip toys.

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So yeah, this shrimp was almost tailor-made for Jake. Sorry, Freddy.

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Another toy she sent was a wonderful stick toy that we can use at cat shows. Izaak was all over it

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Whilst Zakkie loves his mousies, he also really likes stick toys.

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Not as much as Lorelai does, apparently. Because oh, look, here she is, moving faster than a camera can capture.

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Rory and Zak enjoyed that stick toy so much, I think it’s going to be a permanent fixture at our future cat shows!

Aby-a Day – 21 August – Remembering Taz in Cat Talk

My friend Teresa asked me to do an illustration for the CFA newsletter/magazine Cat Talk. Her exact request was, “I need something for the ‘Social Media Smarts’ column. What I’m thinking is someone coming home from the cat show…cat and rosette in hand. He/she is talking to someone else. I’ll provide the type, but what he’ll be saying is ‘he got 3 best allbreed champions, and 100 likes on Facebook.’ (subject matter is about using FB to bring in gate).”

I am not so confident about drawing humans, but I instantly thought of our recently departed Cousin Taz, and used him as the winner. For the rosette, I used a photo Meg took of her Toybob Tommy’s CFF rosette, which had the same wins Teresa had mentioned. I’m pretty proud of the final result…and Meg loves it.

Abys in Need – 26 dead Abys in freezer, 18 more living in squalor…AGAIN!

This is ghastly. Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals discovered 26 dead Abys in a freezer and 18 more in “very poor condition” yesterday. According to the RISPCA investigator, the surviving cats were underweight and covered in feces, but none were in such bad health that they will need to be euthanised. Well, thank StarClan for that!

But what really pisses me off is…THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME this person has done this! Eight years ago I posted about this exact same idiot who had 48 Abys, along with a corn snake, one dog, a turtle and two other household cats confiscated by the RISPCA. Just as last time, the cats are at the Potter League for Animals, so if you’re interested in helping to rescue one or more of these Abys, please contact the Potter League for Animals (Newport, RI), 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown RI 02842, Phone: 401-846-8276, Email: info@potterleague.org. But keep in mind it will probably take some time to get them healthy enough for adoption.

Additionally, my friend Meg has started a donation page on Facebook in Cousin Taz’s memory to raise funds to help the Potter League help these Abys.

And now I need to go hug Angel.

Aby-a-Day – 3 July: Paw & (dis)Order: Abyssinial Intent (Cartoon Tuesday)

In memory of cousin Taz, I am re-running his and Jacoby’s best cartoon appearance: Paw & (dis)Order: Abyssinial Intent.

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It started as a random comment at the Mansfield show in 2012 and grew into…well, this. Meg had brought a little girl called Tiger Lili, who had Jake and Taz all het up. So she became the star of the cartoon as well. Taz and Jake were wearing collars because Meg had gotten them both collars to wear; Taz’s had a sort of flower on it.

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Originally I was thinking they’d be Briscoe and <aCurtis, but they ended up being more like Goren and Eames (Taz being Eames, of course).

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Annnd…I couldn’t resist throwing in a David Caruso joke, because who doesn’t love crime procedural mash-ups?

Aby-a-Day – 2 July: Silverpelt has two new stars tonight

Sad day today. Our good friend Molly’s husband, Don, died this morning. “Don was the brains behind Team Aby and the enforcer,” Molly told me. Meg said, “I still remember how Don made me laugh with his plans to ‘rough up’ Wain (Harding) in back of a showhall.” I only got to meet him once, when I went down to Florida with my ex and we met up at – what else? – a cat show. He was a sweetheart, though; Molly’s birthday post was actually a result of him contacting me.

This is what he sent Meg: “Message from Don re. Molly. Could you help by contacting your Aby-a-Day people or something?

Hi Meg. As you may or may not know Molly has a couple of events happening this month. One being her 80 birthday next Friday the 16th and the other will be the end of working career when she leaves her job on the 31st. Since she considers her friends in CFA her extended family. I am trying to create a birthday greetings blitz with her friends. I solicit your help with letting her friends in CFA know. Since she considers you a great friend I thought you could help in this effort getting the word around. More to follow. – The Donald.” (How funny is it that he referred to himself that way?) And then in an email to me, he wrote, “Oh by the way to get all the way across the ocean you have to type loud.” You can read Don’s obituary here.

As if that wasn’t enough, Jacoby’s cousin Taz (aka GC, GPD, NW Anubis Taz Mania) also died today after a two-month battle with pancreatitis.

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Taz and Jake were more than cousins. They were show companions. We shared hotel rooms with Meg and Taz on more than one occasion.

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Jake even lent Taz his clothes!

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Meg and Taz recently came back to become, among other things, 15th best Premier in CFA this past show season.

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friends stopped running today.

Other People’s Abys – Kudos to Cousin Taz!

Remember Cousin Taz? Once upon a time, he had retired from the cat show circuit. But this year, he’s come back with a vengeance!

The CFA show season ended on 30 April, and it’s official! Taz is Best Abyssinian in Premiership in all of CFA, the 2nd Best Cat in Premiership in the North Atlantic Region 1, and the 15th Best Cat in Premiership in all of CFA.

Taz is a year younger than Jacoby, and to win these honours at the age of eight is incredible. You go, Taz!