Aby-a-Day – 24 Juni: Tentacle Kitty (Miniature Monday)

Last week I happened to go to our local second-hand shop and found an interesting plushie.

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Intrigued, I looked at the tag, and it said “Tentacle Kitty, Second Edition.” Second edition? What? A pink kitty-squid with a cute little nose has been a thing long enough to have a second edition plushie and I have never heard of it before!? How is this possible?

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Turns out, Tentacle Kitty was created in 2009 by a husband and wife team in Oregon. There’s a webcomic about her and a cast of other multi-limbed kitty characters. Not sure how I missed a cartoon kitty for ten whole years…but I’ve found her now! And she only cost 29kr (about $3 USD).

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Izaak seems to really like her, too. Or maybe it’s just that her tentacles remind him of his snake.

PS: Today is Cat World Domination Day. Be sure to go and celebrate it with our Somali friend, Summer!

Aby-a-Day – May 31: Behind the scenes of a Somali blog

If you read Summer’s blog, you’ll notice that it’s written by Summer herself.

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Her human merely assists her in her blogging endevours.

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But I’m sure you wonder: does Summer really do all her own blogging?

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Well, I’m here to tell you that yes. Yes, she does indeed.

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(The phone screen is blacked out to prevent spoilers.)

Aby-a-Day – May 28: Meeting an old friend

Guess who I met today?

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None other than our friend Summer and her human!

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It seems like we’ve known each other for years – and we have, online – but this was the first time we’ve met in person.

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Summer is every bit as wonderful as she seems to be from her blog. She really reminds me of Jacoby. Look at her smile!

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Her feet are really floofy, though, compared to Jake.

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So is her tail!

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She was so happy to be here with her human and all her adoring fans.

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We had some fun with a feather at the Hauspanther craft table tonight.

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I really wished I had been able to brink Jake. I wish they could have met. The best I was able to do was this.

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Which of course is nothing like the same thing thing at all.

Thank you, Sparkle

Sad news indeed from one of our closest friends…

Sparkle the Somali is very, very sick.

Sparkle and her human have been a HUGE inspiration to us and our blog. I was hoping to see her and Summer together, but if it is not to be…well. There will be a bright new star in Silverpelt when she goes to hunt with StarClan.

Know that we love you, Sparkle, and Summer may be taking over your blog, but she will never take your place.

Bittersweet Candy Bowl

I recently discovered Bittersweet Candy Bowl, a cartoon about cats and dogs in high school. But you know I wouldn’t mention it here without good reason…And, as a matter of fact, one of the main original characters is a Somali! His name is Paulo, and he’s just so over-the-top brash and annoying while at the same time being also sensitive, loyal and romantic you can’t help but adore him.

There’s also an Abyssinian character named Abbey (short for Abraham).

He and Paulo don’t really get along, but they have friends in common, particularly Daisy, a half-Selkirk Rex, half-Ragamuffin cheerleader.

Abbey and his sister Molly had a rough start in life, but he looks so much like Jacoby I can’t not love him.

He even has the stripe down the back of his tail!

Paulo has an occasionally-updated Twitter account (@HotSomali92) with more “followers than he deserves.” I asked him if he knew @Sparklecat…

Abbey has one, too…even less frequently updated (@Abbeyssinian).

Of course, being the cat geek that I am, the comic hooked me in because most of the cats (and dogs) are actual breeds. Besides Paulo the Somali and Abbey the Abyssinian (and Daisy the Selkirk Rex-Ragamuffin, there’s Mike the Korat, Lucy the Khao Manee, Sue the European Burmese, David the Chocolate Lab, and Augustus the Siamese. What got me addicted was the story, the wonderfully told drama of teenage love and strife peppered liberally with humour. The artist, Veronica Vera (aka Taeshi), has been drawing it since she was a teenager and it’s fun to watch her style grow along with the characters.

I had the good fortune to participate in a live drawing stream this past Friday. Taeshi drew requests for longtime club members and also for people who purchased a book during the stream.

I asked for Paulo and Abbey together, and I got to watch Taeshi draw this picture of them on Mother’s Day (it’s kind of a sore subject with them)…It was really interesting to see how another artist draws their cartoon, especially since she also uses Photoshop as her art program.

Be warned, though…this comic is really addictive. Especially Paulo.

Abys are Everywhere – Kiipi and Sketsi on a Finnish Blog

Just had to share Abyfriend’s Sanna-Leena’s fawn Sketsi and red Kiipi featured on a Finnish blog called kissankujeita:

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The blogger, Sonja Pekkonen, owns Hugo, the ruddy who is Kiipi’s father.

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Sonja takes some marvelous photos!

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This is Sketsi…and you can see a bit of Sanna-Leena’s tattoo on her arm!

Just wanted to share a little Finnish goodness after today’s bronze medal hockey game!

Other People’s Abys – Call me Ishmael

Thanks to Abyfriend Wendy, I’ve found what appears to be a new Abyssinian blog: Call me Ishmael: A story of an Abyssinian cat and his accessories.

And this is the photo that started it all. It looks like this blog has just started, but it will be interesting to see what sorts of hats Ish wears over the holidays!

Aby-a-Day – October 5: “Spark” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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The only thing I can think of for this one is our friend Sparkle, a Somali and Jacoby’s very distant cousin. Jake does a pretty good Sparkle impression when he wants to, too.

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We have both Sparkle’s books, and Jake really loves them.

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He’s read them both cover to cover.

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And, I’m sure, he’s gotten some really good ideas from them.

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Jake also reads Sparkle’s blog every day.

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Although he seems a little too interested in looking at the photos of Sparkle in her mermaid costume…

Blog of the Year Award 2012

Thank you Sparkle! Our friend Sparkle gave us the Blog of the Year award!

This award was created by The Thought Palette and it’s a pretty nifty little award. You can give it – and get it – more than once. And, like any blog award, one must pass it along, so…I award it back to Sparkle, and also to:

Catsparella

The Pouponette

And Aby Antics!

So go on and get your stars!

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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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

Other People’s Abys – Aby Antics!

One more step towards Aby world domination! You remember our friend Kellie, who found her little girl Allie through my blog? Well, she sent me this email last night:

hope all is well with you and your fur family! I just love Jake so much. He just seems like the most fearless cat when it comes to the outside world. I wish my two were a little braver when it came to leaving their territory. Anyways, I wanted to let you know that I’ve just started a blog about my two girls. I call it Aby Antics. My two keep me laughing day and night so I decided to create sort of a scrap book of sorts of their stories, pics and videos. It’s not much yet, but I have so much to add still. It’s going to take me a year just to post everything that’s happened in the last 6 months since Allie arrived. I wanted to share with you since you’re the reason I even found Allie in the first place. What a little clown she has become…just wait and see!

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Ha! That’s pretty much how I started my blog, too: I had Gun-Hee, and he was such a character I felt I should share him with the world. Then he died, and we found Angel, and then Jacoby happened…and somewhere along the way I branched out from just my Abys (which is still my main focus) to Abyssinians in general. I think Abys just seem to have that “larger than life” personality…I may be wrong, but I think Abys may be the most blogged-about breed of cat. There’s me, and now Kellie…plus the Pouponette gang, the 4 Abyssinians, Sonny and Cher, and of course Sparkle…all just ordinary people who had one (or more) Abys and started to blog about them.

Abyssinian world domination, I’m telling you. Resistance is futile.

Other People’s Abys – Do-Lou’s Happy New Year

Be sure to check Do Lou’s blog for some Abyssinian new year’s cheer!

Do Lou’s Diabetes Blog

I was referring someone to one of my favourite websites, Retired Friends (I found both Tessie and Patrick through this site, Trick in 1997 and Tess in 2005), and I just couldn’t resist checking out the Abyssinians. I read about an available special needs kitty, a fawn Aby called Moses with bad knees, and I went to his breeder’s website, where I discovered a link to her blue Aby Do Lou’s Diabetes Blog. I always tell people it seems like Abys have more blogs than other cats, and look! Here’s another one. Do Lou, aka Red Ferne‘s Judah Ben-Hur, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009, and seems to be doing well. He also dresses up!

But most of all, I was quite taken by this photo of Do Lou in a bomber jacket…doesn’t it remind you of Jacoby in his fighter plane?

I didn’t have any blue Abys in my blog roll yet…

The case for purebreds

BlogPaws posted a fascinating article yesterday arguing the case for purebred dogs from a different perspective.

While the article is mainly about purebred dogs, but it raises an interesting point: “A [purebred] dog is as much a part of a people’s culture as is its language, dress and art.”

This is true of cat breeds as well. While many modern breeds can be documented back thousands of years. Siamese and Korats, for example, decorate the pages of the Cat-Book Poems, which was written between 1350 and 1767. Japanese Bobtails and Singapuras are common street cats in Japan and Singapore, but they weren’t registered as “breeds” by the CFA until 1976 and 1982, respectively.

Cat breeds symbolise their native countries. Manx cats are so entwined with the cultural identity of the Island of Man that they’ve even graced that country’s currency. But what happens if a breed becomes extinct?

Abyssinians are one of the oldest registered breeds (which means that people have kept track of their linage and parenting) and have been known as a “breed” since the mid-1800’s. While they are thought to have existed in Ancient Egypt, no one really knows for certain. Representations of cats that look like modern Abys have been found in pyramids and settlements around the Nile…but they also look like a lot of other types of cats. The cats we know as “Abyssinians,” along with Persians and Siamese, have been bred for less than 200 years.

Abyssinian cats are a breed that was nearly lost, and not so long ago, either. They almost died out in Europe during WWII and only through cats that had been sent to the US and Canada during the previous 20 years kept the breed alive.

From “Journey from the Blue Nile – A History of the Abyssinian Cat” by Aida Bartleman Zanetti:

“During the Second World War English breeders were compelled by food shortages and the constant threat of being “bombed-out”, to drastically cut their stock in Abyssinian cats. Some were exported for safety to America. A nucleus of their fine stock however has been preserved and is once again a matter of great interest to all breeders everywhere.”

People often ask me why I have purebred cats and not rescues (although, as Angel can tell us, the two are not mutually exclusive), and I have a lot of reasons, asthma and allergies chief among them. But there is also that sense of…history? I suppose that’s as good a word as any. My pedigree is mixed and shadowy; I know my grandmothers’ maiden names, but that’s about as far back as I can go.

Jacoby, however, can trace his history back to Sedgemere Peaty, born in 1894, and to me is an amazing thing to me. I guess that I like that I can vicariously climb his family tree since I haven’t one of my own.