Aby-a-Day – 20 July: “Having one eye makes you see the world in unusual ways” (Flashback Friday)

Yesterday’s post about that horrific situation in Rhode Island naturally reminded me of Angel’s situation. It was ten years ago this October that I collected her in California, but it was around mid-July that I was being approved to adopt her. This is her story, as I was told it by Purebreds Plus, her rescue:

“The story behind Angel’s eye and foster situation is sad; The breeder had a couple of tough years with her mother who was sick and dying and in the midst of this her pregnant females in December of 2006 – January 2007 were getting sick. Almost 75% of the kittens born were dead or died shortly after birth. She had never had this problem before and only when the pet food information came did she begin to put things together as she was feeding some of the recalled foods. When she bred her females (and a couple of the kittens born to them), health problems showed up in the lines – Herpes infections like none seen before with ulcerated eyes and very sick cats. Not being as careful as usual, her numbers increased and unhealthy cats increased.

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I met the breeder at a cat show in October 2007 and we talked about me taking some of her cats. I knew nothing about the situation. A week before Christmas she called me and we set January 1 as the day I would take 5 of her cats. The very next day she took 4 other cats to the Humane Society and asked that 3 be put down and the other (Angel) be put up for adoption. Two days later the Humane Society paid a visit and found a house with over 60 cats, spotlessly clean. She gave up the sickest cats and others, totaling 18 cats. The Humane Society called us, and on Friday December 20th, we spent 3 hours there bathing cats’/kittens’ eyes that were horribly stuck together and gave meds. They could only allow us to take the original 4 as there is a 72 hour rule in California. Sunday the 23rd we went back and took the other 16 (2 had died). Then at the breeder’s house we took 5 more cats – a total of 14 kittens and 11 others between 5 months and 14 months. We separated the kittens by illness levels and 9 of the healthiest kittens went to Southern California Aby Rescue. Unfortunately 5 of those died. Of the 5 that we kept, 2 died over the next 3 months, both of FIP. The other 3 were adopted. Of the other Abys 2 of the younger ones died and the others were adopted except Angel, who had many problems over the months finally with an eye ulcerating in April. She has been healthy since..

(Angel also had another medical problem: when they removed her ulcerated eye, the veterinarian – for a reason I can’t fathom – put a prosthetic eye into Angel’s eye socket. Her body rejected it. So she had to undergo another surgery to remove her fake eye!)

The problems:

· Upper Respiratory Infections that finally healed, then eyes ulcerated. Some eyes were saved and a couple had the eye removed. This was different than the normal herpes infections that we had seen in rescue where the conjunctiva was swollen and goopy. The eyes ulcerated seemingly overnight and it was a relentless treatment regime that could save then (if it did) (Angel is in this group, obviously).

· Bordatella – took 6 weeks of Doxycycline to go away

· Some of the cats were vaccinated (for FIP). Of the cats that died, they all had vaccines and 3-6 weeks after got sick and then died of FIP. The breeder begged us not to vaccinate because she had the same problem.

· Ringworm – Over the 7 months we have taken 35 cats and have about 10 more coming. The ones we have seen since April have not been as ill and that is what we expect of the remaining 10.”

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It’s been ten years…Finally, after moving to Sweden and being in a hierarchy where she is, at long last, the oldest female, Angel seems to be becoming “comfortable” in her home…or, at least, more comfortable. I don’t think she’ll ever be a “normal” Abyssinian…but at least with us, she can be herself. Whoever that is.

Aby-a-Day – 29 June: Mourning anniversary (Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, 28 June, was the 10th anniversary of Gun-Hee’s death. He succumbed to FIP at the age of 1 year, 9 months, 1 week and 5 days. He had such a short life, but he made a huge impact on my life, and he is the reason that this blog exists.

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Sherry took this photo of Gun-Hee and his littermates. It’s one of my favourite photos.

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This was the only litter that Pellburn Scarface Cat Pacino and Marica’s Bright Amber of Pellburn had together. Scar is, of course, Jacoby’s father as well. Amber was actually imported from Denmark and had Finnish, German, Norwegian and Australian cats in her pedigree. I made this image of them together in the style of those cheesy wedding photos set against fake backgrounds.

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It was love at first sight when I met him. He was named after the title character in the Korean serial “First Love of a Royal Prince” because we were adding him to a household with two female cats and he would be spoiled rotten, much like Choi Gun-Hee in the series. I loved that character, and the name Pellburn Prince Gun-Hee was such an awesome name…so that’s why I gave him a Korean name.

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He was there when I got engaged.

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But he still only had one birthday.

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In his short life, he did everything Jake did. If I had known about cat strollers back then, he would have been Strollercat.

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He was a part of my life for such a short time…but he has affected my life for over 12 years. And I still think of him every day.

Aby-a-Day – 18 June: “Life is full of sniffles sobs and smiles. With sniffles predominating” (Medical Monday)

As I said yesterday, Lorelai has a small case of the sniffles. She had a goopy eye, but I gave her some Tobremycin drops, and it cleared right up, but she is still sneezing.

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So we went out to Skultorp to visit Min Vetrinär.

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It took a few moments, but Rory embraced the vet’s examination room.

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She was very happy to explore the exam room.

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Even when the vet and her assistant were checking her over and taking samples from both her eyes, her nose and the back of her throat, she was still her usual happy self.

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This visit was a bit bittersweet as we were in a room we haven’t been in since I took Logan there September last year.

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When this happened.

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Not gonna lie, it was hard watching Rory move around the room I had last been in with Logan.

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I miss him so much…

Aby-a-Day – 11 May: Remembering Gun-Hee (Friday Flashback)

Lorelai has been with us for a week now, and it’s like she’s always been here. She’s feisty, trusting, playful, curious and just…perfect. Jacoby growls at her, she doesn’t care. She pushes Angel and Jake away from their leftovers if she’s still hungry. She holds her own with Alfred even though he’s nearly 10 times her size. She’s had no litter box issues, no eating problems…nothing. She just integrated herself right into the cat family.

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Kind of like another Aby kitten I know. Gun-Hee was a lot like Rory. Jake, Freddy and Logan were somehow not as easy. They all had giardia as kittens, and, I don’t know. It just felt like it took a lot more work managing those three as kittens compared to Rory and Gun-Hee.

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We got Gun-Hee on 15 December 2006, the day before he turned three months old.

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We tried to keep him separated from Tessie, Kylie and Patrick when we first brought him home. That lasted about five minutes. He would have none of it. The older cats were…not the most welcoming at first.

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Gun-hee didn’t care.

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He just stood his ground.

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For some reason, Patrick was his particular favourite. Patrick was still missing Harri, who had died four months earlier.

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Gun-Hee eventually wore him down.

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He loved Patrick.

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Kylie was the closest to him in age (she was only 17 months older than him), so they also became friends rather quickly.

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Tessie was a little slower to thaw.

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But Gun-Hee eventually melted her, too.

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He also loved the floor-to-ceiling cat tree in my old apartment.

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He loved being on the top, epsecially.

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Rory takes on that same floor-to-ceiling cat tree and, if she falls off, she just climbs back up. As I am typing this, she’s at the very top of it, trying to touch the ceiling. Gun-Hee was like that, too.

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Another thing they have in common is shoulder-riding. Neither Jake, Angel, Freddy or even Logan have ever been able to stay on a shoulder. Jake is particularly bad at it; I say it’s like he has magnets on his feet that are the opposite of the ones on people’s shoulders and he just can’t stay on. It’s nice to have a shoulder-riding kitten again.

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And Gun-Hee could be cuddly, too. Just like Rory. It’s a little eerie how much she reminds me of him.

Aby-a-Day – 3 April: My Three Abys (Cartoon Tuesday)

I really love old, classic television from the 50’s and 60’s. Shows like Get Smart, Dick Van Dyke, Dobie Gillis and Donna Reed are my catnip. I grew up watching them (some as they were aired, the older ones as reruns after school) and I miss the days when Nick at Night* would show them endlessly. I wish they would play them now, There’s a whole generation that’s missing out on these shows.

I also liked watching My Three Sons, because I was mesmerised by the opening credits. One day I said something about “my three Abys,” and, well…this happened.

*If you also watched Nick at Night in the late 80’s and early 90’s…you may remember the words to the My Three Sons theme song…

…You’re welcome.

Aby-a-Day – 4 June: “Snazzy” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Snazzy.”

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I have this very snazzy, super deluxe, floor-to-ceiling cat tree from Drs. Foster and Smith. I had it in the kitchen of my old apartment in Somerville, and Harri, Patrick, Tessie, Kylie and Gun-Hee all loved it.

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Patrick especially loved it.

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I mean, he really loved it.

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I got it in 2005 as a replacement for the older, blue one I’d brought with me from Atlanta, which was getting a little ragged. Patrick couldn’t wait for us to unpack it.

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He even helped to assemble it.

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He could not even wait for it to be put together before he was climbing on it!

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Sadly, it wasn’t tall enough for the very high ceilings in the old condo, so when I moved out of my apartment in March 2009, the awesome tree went into storage.

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When I got Angel in 2008, I wasn’t spending much time at my old apartment although I still kept it for a few months after I married. I’m not sure if she has ever seen this cat tree (but she really loved the floor-to-ceiling cat tree my mom has at her house, and wasted no time climbing it). I know Jacoby never has, since it was put into storage before he was even born!

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But on Monday, it was packed up to go to Sweden.

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It was pretty amazing to watch the mover pack it up in paper.

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We decided not to take it apart, except for the very top, spring-loaded part.

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He was so fast! I couldn’t imagine wrapping up a cat tree in moving paper…but then, he’s a professional.

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So, here’s my snazzy cat tree, all packed up and ready to go. Next stop, Sweden!

Aby-a-Day – 3 June: Brotherhood of thieves (Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, I posted Jacoby’s latest caper, breaking into my Redbones takeaway and stealing and eating a whole rib!

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Well, he isn’t the only Aby I’ve had with a criminal history. His half-brother Gun-Hee was quite the thief himself. Like the time he stole hot dogs and dragged them into his house

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…or the time he stole a butter wrapper

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…or the time he stole a hunk of lamb while I was bleeding…yeah, you get the idea.