Aby-a-Day – 10 Mars: Wordless Wednesday (In memory of Logan (9 Mars 2017 – 14 April 2018)

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Aby-a-Day – 2 Februari: Another memorial (Cartoon Tuesday)

Back in 2014, I drew the cartoon above based on a photo and caption a Facebook friend of mine, Mike Ruemmler posted in the old Abyssinian Cat Club. Sadly, we all learned that Mike was found dead in his home last week. My friend Kristen posted to the New England Abyssinian Rescue page:

“Sad news for our NEAR family and the larger community of Aby owners. Last night we learned that our dear friend, Mike Ruemmler, passed away over the weekend.
Mike fostered and transported several Abys for us. He foster-failed one of our seniors because he couldn’t bear the thought of putting her through another transition. I once sent him on a grand overnight adventure to transport an Aby only to have the owner change her mind at the last minute. He worried about that Aby as much as I did. A year later that same Aby came into rescue after the owner had placed her in a bad home. If I asked for help, he said yes without hesitation.

If you were friends with Mike, you often received a cat meme in your mailbox to brighten your day. Mike retired last Fall and seemed to be making the most of everyday, even in these trying times. He was dedicated to his cats and friends. A wonderful person who will be deeply missed.
NEAR’s Max, Lucy, Pele, and Ellie were all saved through Mike’s help. Give them a chin scratch or two if they are in your home today.
Mike left behind 4 Abys. A friend of Mike’s quickly took the cats in and contacted us for help. The cats are safe and being appropriately spoiled. Now we need to begin finding the right homes for these special Abys.

Gregor and Soska are 11 year-old male litter mates. They will be placed together.

Pop-Tart is a red female. We are waiting on vet records to confirm her age.

She can be placed with Gregor and Soska or on her own. She would do best in a home with a limited number of cats and no other females.
Pele is the red female Mike adopted from us. She is 16 and doesn’t readily accept other cats.
All of Mike’s cats were spoiled, loved, and received veterinary attention whenever needed. They are in St. Louis, MO. We will only consider adopters who can physically pick these cats up.

If you are interested in any of these cats, please submit an application: www.neabyrescue.com/application
Mike, I picture you in a beautiful garden reunited with many of your feline family members. You will be fondly remembered and forever missed.”

I really enjoyed his posts about his cats. Once again, my heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today.

Aby-a-Day – 23 December 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Gone but not forgotten)

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Aby-a-Day – 16 Juli: In memory of Jacoby Stealin’ Home (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I got my memorial tattoo of Jacoby.

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Whilst in London, I realised that the Red Sox logo needed to be a part of his tattoo, because the Red Sox were such a part of who Jake was. I mean, his name and identity was based upon an event in Red Sox history.

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This is the photo that the tattoo was based upon…The time we went out in the courtyard and played in the snow five years ago. It’s one of the most iconic photos I ever took of Jake.

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Linus started with the Red Sox logo and then worked on Jake’s parka.

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Then Jake himself was filled in.

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The parka’s fur ruff was the last to be done.

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Here it is, almost finshed, where you can see how it looks on my calf.

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And this is Jake, finished.

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Linus made a little video of the tattoo. Click on the image above to view it in Flickr.

Reggie hunts with StarClan

Sad news from my friend Kim…her fawn boy, Reggie, died yesterday. He had several tumours in his organs and a polyp in his nostril. He was only 13½.

Kim adopted Reggie and his sister Cheri when they were 10 years old after their human went into an assisted living facility. She got them from Northeast Aby (and Somali) Rescue (NEAR) just before Christmas, 2015. Sadly, Cheri died from the same multiple tumours in multiple organs only a couple of months after Kim adopted them.

Here is Reggie last October on his last birthday (which was celebrated late because Jacoby’s Uncle Clancy had just died. He was so adorably crosseyed, and a drooling, purring cuddler. I’ll miss seeing his photos. My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, lovely Reggie.

Aby-a-Day – 25 September: My new tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today we started work on my memorial tattoo of Gun-Hee and Logan. Yesterday, Linus, my artist, sent me the above outline drawing…

…and this complete drawing- I was blown away. Linus thought that just their heads worked better as a tattoo than showing their whole bodies…and he was right.

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These are the photos Linus used as a reference.

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Here is the tattoo after the lines were done.

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Linus working. He wanted to make sure he looked “ugly” before I took the photo.

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Here is Gun-Hee and his leaves coloured in.

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And here is Gun-Hee’s part done completely with blue shading. On 10 October, Logan will get coloured in and it will be finished.

Aby-a-Day – 10 July: The Girl with the Aby and Singa Tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

You might recall a few weeks ago I was about to go in and get a magpie tattoo on my arm and plan my next tattoo with Linus, my new tattoo artist here in Slövde. Linus is amazing, and tomorrow I am going to get it coloured in. I can’t wait! Since the 21st, I’ve had a half-done, just black lines and shading. It’s going to be amazing to finally have it finished.

In the meantime, I have worked up two better-coloured versions of my original sketch. The one above was coloured in on my iPad Pro using pencil and an incredible app called Art Set which works well…except it hasn’t got layers. So I did more colouring using Photoshop…and the result is above.

Then I thought my rough-sketched maple leaves, pussy willows and cherry blossoms were kind of…lazy. So I found some Photoshop brushes and line art and created a better background. At least I have something to show Linus tomorrow during my appointment.

Aby-a-Day – April 21: Starclan summons Batcat (Cartoon Tuesday)

As I posted on April 9th, Sophie the Aby was unable to recover from her illness. One thing that Sophie was known for on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club was her Batman complex.

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This is just my little tribute to a small young Aby who got the entire world to fall in love with her. Sleep well in Tuonela, Sophie.

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

Aby-a-Day – June 28: Remembering Gun-Hee

June 28. I cannot think of this day without thinking of Gun-Hee. Three years ago today was the day he lost his battle with FIP. He’d only been diagnosed on the 20th.

I have learned a lot about FIP in the past three years, things I could really have lived a lifetime not needing to know. As much as I love Angel, and, of course, Jacoby (who shares Gun-Hee’s blood, but not, thankfully, whatever rogue gene made Gun-Hee’s and his littermate/brother Rusty’s body attack itself…as much as I love the other cats in my life, I will always miss Gun-Hee.

And, of course, whenever you have to put a cat to sleep, especially a young one, like Gun-Hee (who was not yet two years old), no matter how sick they are, you always second-guess yourself, wondering if they might not have recovered if you had just kept the vets entrenched in battle.

As it was, we took Gun-Hee to Angell Hospital that Saturday knowing that we would, most likely, be coming home with an empty carrier, and he did tell us, in his way, that he didn’t want to fight anymore, that he knew the mutation had won, but none of that made it any easier.

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We’d taken him to Angell Saturday the 21st, and they kept him until Monday evening, running every test they could. It rained almost the entire week leading up to that final Saturday, but Wednesday was clear and sunny, and I took Gun-Hee out for one last outing, in the sunshine.

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They’d shaved patches of his fur to drain his belly and take his blood for testing. He loved being outside…but it’s painfully obvious, looking at the photos, that he just didn’t feel good.

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He was such a sweet boy. I will always miss you, Gun-hee-yah.

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I have this photo charm with his picture on it that I had made by Kimbra Studios. With this, he’s always with me.

Gun-Hee – Sept. 16 2006 to June 28, 2009

As I mentioned last week, Monday was the second anniversary of Gun-Hee’s death. Last year, we commemerated this by sprinkling some of his ashes in Fenway Park.

This year, we sprinkled some of his ashes at the Sutro Bath ruins in San Francisco, in the big tunnel.

We put them right about in the middle, here:

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Aby-a-Day – Day 179 of 365

Two years ago today, Gun-Hee died from FIP. Even though we now have Angel and Jacoby, I still miss Gun-Hee every day.

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Sept. 14, 2006 – June 28, 2008.

Aby-a-Day – Day 47 of 365

I got a very tragic email today from a friend…

Enzo, our nine-month old Aby/Egyptian Mau mix, had to be put down today due to FIP. Really so insidious and fast-acting. Unreal. I was thinking about you and Gun-Hee, and I just wanted to… I don’t know, really. I guess just wanted to hug you, is all.

FIP is terrible. It’s a genetic disease, and Abys seem to be somewhat more prone to it because they’re more genetically similar than other breeds (Cheetahs, also, are susceptible to FIP; all cheetahs are over 90% related to every other cheetah). Almost all Abys can trace back to the original Abyssinians that founded the breed back in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s in England; the breed almost died out during WWII because of the bombings Britain was subjected to and was saved when cats were sent back to England from the US and Canada…which had gotten Abys from England in the first place only forty or fewer years earlier. There’s a reason Abys were chosen to map the feline genome: they’re genetically homogenous.

Gun-Hee and his brother Rusty (Jacoby’s half brothers by their father) both were diagnosed with FIP within days of each other in June, 2008. I posted a lot about it here, but there were some photos I never posted. In memory of Gun-Hee, Rusty and Enzo…This is Gun-Hee on June 25, 2008, three days before he died. He wasn’t even two years old.

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This was the last time we went outside together.

Gun-Hee – Sept. 16 2006 to June 28, 2009

The anniversary of Gun-Hee’s death was yesterday. We did the tour of Fenway Park, but didn’t get to go on the field. So I sprinkled some of his ashes from the top of the Green Monster.


This is where I dropped his ashes. I learned from this tour that, after Fenway’s 100th birthday in 2012, no changes will be able to be made because it will become a historical landmark. They replaced the field and warning track before the 2005 season.

Gun-Hee’s ashes will be there for a really long time. So every time I watch a game, I can look at the Green Monster and remember Gun-Hee.