Aby-a-Day – February 5: Abys at the World Show

It occurred to me that I never finished sharing photos from the World Show in Philadelphia, which Jacoby and I entered last November.

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There was a good showing of Abyssinians at the show, representing all four colours. There were a couple of other Abys, like Racy Mooner and her mother, Twyla, who were at the show but who weren’t actually entered in competition.

Also present was the 2012-13 CFA show season’s Best Cat in Premiership GP, NW Zhender’s Roger Vivier of NuDawnz. I forgot to take a photo of him (despite his being benched just behind the Aby breed booth), but I did get his card.

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There were a LOT of Aby kittens entered – Five were entered in the Red Show, and four were in the Purple Show.

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One of the kittens in the Red Show was Vasil’s little red girl, Greenville Deja Vu.

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Deja Vu was the Best Aby Kitten in the Red show with 4 finals.

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Vasil’s fawn girl, GC Childofsun Nammi of Greenville, was entered in the Purple Show.

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She didn’t earn a breed win, but she was a ONE-SHOW GRAND, maiking seven Championship finals and earing 245 grand points!

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Vasil and his girls weren’t the only breeders to bring cats from Russia. Here is Olga Beresneva with her ruddy Aby boy, GC Instincts Espresso of Omnia Mea. Espresso was the Second Best Aby Champion in the Red Show. He’s also a cousin of Jake’s, since he’s from the same cattery, Instincts, as Jake’s mother Santa Catalina.

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There were also several Aby breeders from Japan, although they didn’t bring their cats (Japan, being an island, would impose a 180-day quarantine on them when they returned). This is Kiyomi Kondo talking to Jake.

We actually had dinner with the Japanese breeders, and they all gave me their cards.

While the Japanese breeders couldn’t easily bring their cats, they did bring cat toys!

This is a stick toy that Jake was given. I think the cartoon kitty on the packaging is supposed to make you think of Chi.

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It was wonderful to meet so many Aby breeders from all over the world, but it was also great to see American breeders, too. Of course, Meg and GP Anubis Chai Latte (aka Garçon) were there.

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Garçon was entered in the Purple Show, and he was the Best Aby in Premiership.

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Lauren Castle Flynn of Abycastle was there with her red boy, GC Abycastle Kathmandu.

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I also got to meet Suzie Kidder, a breeder who lives in Northern California but who grew up in Massachusetts! we actually had an interesting conversation about how we’d traded places. Here she is talking to spectators with her Open Champion Abyko’s Sparks Upon The Wind.

Suzie’s cattery, Abyko, is in Mill Valley.

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Carolyn Osier and her Aby GC Wil-o-glen’s Si Se Puede, from Orange County in Southern California, were also entered in the Purple Show. Si Se Puede had a great time riding on Susan’s scooter to get to and from the rings.

Wil-o-glen is one of those cattery names that appears in most modern Abyssinians’ pedigrees. Carolyn has been breeding since the late 1960’s, and even had an Aby who screen-tested for Disney’s The Cat From Outer Space! In fact, that Aby, GC Ruddy Raider of Wil-o-glen, appears in Jake’s pedigree along with several other Wil-o-glen cats on his mother’s side.

One of the highlights of the weekend, however, was meeting Rae Ann Christ of El Qahira Abyssininans. She took one look at Jake and knew that he was descended from her lines – he has several El Qahira cats in his ancestry on both his mother and his father’s side of the family! In fact, El Qahira is a name that shows up a LOT in Jake’s pedigree, as recently as his great grandfather, El Qahira Tamas!

Aby-a-Day – September 28: “Global” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Jacoby and Gun-Hee are already international Abys – they were born in Canada – but Gun-Hee was even more international than Jake is. Gun-Hee’s mother, Marica Bright Amber of Pellburn, was born in Denmark! Most of Gun-Hee’s immediate maternal ancestors were Scandinavian or European; his grandparents, great grandparents and great-great grandparents came from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland and the US.

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Then he was Canadian and American on his father Scar’s side (as, of course, is Jake – Jake’s mother, Catalina, was born in New York State, and she’s American back at least three generations).

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Gun-Hee was quite the global kitten!

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It’s always interesting to kick the old family tree and see what you discover, isn’t it?

GC,GP Saynday’s Crazy for Feelin’ So Blue, aka “Patsy”

Sad news, but a legend has joined StarClan…This email came though one of the Aby lists, sent by Teri Kennedy.

I just received a lovely tribute to a cat of one of my breedings
who has passed on over the Rainbow Bridge, from her careperson, Mike
Ruemmier of St. Louis. GC,GP Saynday’s Crazy for Feelin’ So Blue, aka “Patsy” was sent to that place of peace at the age of 14. Patsy, a blue Aby, was born on February 26, 1999 to her dam, GC Saynday’s Tiny Dancer, DM and her sire GC,GP Purssynian Jambe Finite, DM. In that same litter was GC, EC Saynday’s Charly Python of Purssynian, one of the first blues with the most incredible brown undercoat seen back in those days. I was very, very proud of both cats who did well in their respective regions. Charly went on to be a European Champion and was third best cat in Germany in 2002, under the showmanship of Ingrid Stredl — I do not know if Charly is still living.

After Patsy produced some lovely kittens for me, she was retired from breeding and had a wonderful life with her first caregiver, Barbara Mena, who showed Patsy to a one show grand in premiership. Barbara took great delight in Patsy’s companionship for many years until Barbara began to suffer from dementia. That is when Mike stepped in and took Patsy, and he too enjoyed her for many years. Patsy was a wonderful cat to show as Mike mentioned, and she was a good momma to her babies before she was retired.

I had the great pleasure of breeding Patsy to GC,NW Tinbat’s Morgan’s Passing in 2000 and out of that litter Patsy presented me with two gorgeous ruddy kittens who went on to become quite well known in their day — GC,RW Saynday’s Angel Fire and GC,RW Saynday’s Stop the World of Purssynian (Topper). Both of these cats, in turn, produced many beautiful Abys who were one show grands, and regional winners.

Many of the beautiful Saynday cats I bred are either deceased or retired and at this point in my breeding career, I actually have no Abys under the cattery “Saynday” left. Fortunately, many of the wonderful pedigrees I have in the background of present day cats under “3Janes” (with Julie Onstott and Elizabeth Koller) are still active, and beautiful cats are still being produced.

Patsy’s demise has reminded me of my beginnings with my first litter being born in 1995 and of today, 18 years later, of where I had come from, the wonderful people I have been privileged to work with over the years, the stunning cats that were produced and who lived among us, thanks to those collaborations with Ruddibuddy, Tinbat, Crimsoncat, Suncharmer, Dimend, Pandora’s Box, Uffizi, Abyzaby, Purssynian, Azurestar, Chereve, Weslyn, Tigerflower, Glenlea, Abyzona, Varajuan, Zehnder, Indiabi, Heru, Sasauka Boy and Diva, and there may be a few I missed — but look at this list and see how many are no longer breeding.

Patsy will join many of her Aby comrades over the Rainbow Bridge and will be there for all of us at some point in time. Thank you Mike for your loving care of Patsy, and now please see below Mikes’s goodbye to his friend. If you want to see Patsy’s picture, Mike has posted it on Facebook.

Teri Kennedy

Mike’s eulogy, along with the photo above, was also posted on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club:

It’s been just 3 months ago almost to the day that renal failure took my beloved Teevors from me. This morning, Patsy joined him. Patsy had lost weight and I was campaigning to get a little back on her. Patsy always had a good appetite, but renal failure takes it toll. This morning I sent her on ahead of me. Patsy’s real name was Crazy for Feeling so Blue. She was a one show Grand Champion as a queen and as a Premier. She was prone to give the judges kisses at cat shows and charmed the socks off about everyone she met. She was retired from shows when she came to me. This picture was taken in one of her favorite places, the insulated jacket for my crock pot. She loved to get up high on top of the cabinets and snooze in it. I will miss her greatly and my home feels all the more empty without her.

Patsy is a legend in the lineage of blue Abys. She is not related to Jacoby (who is, however, descended from one of her mates, Tinbats Morgan’s Passing), but she may actually be a distant relation to Angel though Patsy’s mother Saynday’s Tiny Dancer’s side of the family. Aby pedigrees are so fascinating, and it’s always sad when you see one of those names you always see in them passing away.

Farewell, Patsy.

CFA Yearbooks – History Preserved

I’ve been collecting up old CFA yearbooks for the past couple of years; specifically, I’ve found as many of the issues with Abyssinian or Somali articles. It amazes me that this isn’t collected coherently online anyplace!

However, I did find a couple of articles on a Russian Blue cattery site. Of course, the articles they have are mainly about Russian Blues, but I did find an interesting article about general cat colour genetics that was published in the 1995 edition entitled “How to Paint a Cat.”

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And look at who they have illustrating a Ruddy Abyssinian! It’s GC Tinbats Searching for Caleb…who just happens to be Jacoby’s maternal great-great grandmother’s paternal great-grandfather. Or, to explain it another way:

Tinbats Searching for Caleb (born 1992) -> Tinbats Morgan’s Passing -> Mellowmews JP Morgan -> Zehnder’s Best Bette of Davende -> Zehnder’s Cuba of Instincts -> Instinct’s Raspberry of Abysills -> Jake’s mother, Instinct’s Santa Catalina of Pellburn!

Pretty nifty, eh?

Other People’s Abys: There’s a little bit of wildcat in almost every Aby’s history

This is the kind of thing that I just love about Abyssinians, history, and the internet.

There is just so much collected research available on Messybeast, the mind reels. I think Sarah Hartwell should be given some sort of lifetime achievement award for what she’s created. Lately, I’ve been reading through Messybeast’s Hybrid Cat Genetics articles and, while reading an article on the history of domestic and wildcat hybrids, I came across this passage:

“At the turn of the 20th century, Claude Alexander crossed an Abyssinian cat to an imported African Wild Cat and registered the female offspring, Goldtick, as an Abyssinian. Goldtick was later bred as an Abyssinian.”

Goldtick…wait a minute. That name seems familiar, I thought, so I went to check on the trusty Electronic Registry of Somalis, and, sure enough: there’s Goldtick, and sure enough, she’s shown as the offspring of Southampton Red Rust (son of Ras Dashan) and a South African wild ticked cat. ERoS knows of one kitten: the charmingly named Tim the Harvester.

Tim the Harvester has 26 offspring known to ERoS, including the well-known (Djer-Mer’s) Woodroofe Ras Seyum, who appeared in a 1938 issue of National Geographic. Ras Seyum has 18 offspring known to ERoS, including Djer-Mer’s Ras Buyana II.

One of Ras Buyana II’s kittens was Fairchid’s Aura of Casa Gatos, who is the mother of El Rosario’s Autumn. the mother of Tal-Lee-Ho’s IPO of Ell-Mar.

One of IPO’s kittens, Selene’s Vignette of Wilhousie, has 34 offspring known to ERoS. From Vignette, we can go to Blue Grass Tradescantia of Wohl-Rabe to Wohl-Rabe’s El Tur to Wohl-Rabe’s Atia of Cairo to Cairo’s Shikar to El Qahira’s Chocolat to Gallantree’s Hot Pants of Scarlett to El Qahira’s Sharm El to El Qahira’s Shasu II to El Qahira’s Darina II of Mellowmews… to El Qahira’s Pegasus of Mellowmews.

From Pegasus, who has 12 offspring known to ERoS, we can go to his son El Qahira’s Sweet Frederick to El Qahira’s Ravelle of Jannalou to Jacoby’s paternal great-grandfather, El Qahira’s Tamas.

Or, we can go to another son, Lurr’s Peg-a-Soarus to Tinbats Tina-Soarus to Tinbats Searching for Caleb to Tinbats Morgan’s Passing to Mellowmews J.P. Morgan to Zehnder’s Best Bette of Davende to Zehnder’s Cuba of Instincts to Jacoby’s maternal grandmother, Instincts Raspberry of Abysills.

And there are probably other ways to trace back as well, since I didn’t even go through Bastis Zackariah, the first male Abyssinian DM who figures in most modern North American Abys’ pedigrees.

But can you imagine? There I am, just blithely reading an article about wildcat hybrids, and wham! There’s a name I know from reading my cat’s pedigree!

Aby-a-Day – September 15: Are Jacoby and Sparkle Related?

After seeing a Somali up close and personal, it’s very easy to see that they are essentially Abyssinians with a long coat. And as I’ve often said, almost every Abyssinian is related to every other Abyssinian, if you go back far enough. But what if you took a random Abyssinian, say one from the East Coast, and a random Somali, say, one from California? Could you find a link between them?

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(Pr. Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home and G.Pr. Kimelot’s Toberone in Walter Hutzler’s final)

Let’s find out, shall we?

It just so happens that I have a random Abyssinian, our own Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home, born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and (forgive me, I don’t know her full name) a random Somali, Tajhara‘s Sparkle, born in Temecula, California, USA.

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(Pr. Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home and G.Pr. Kimelot’s Toberone in Walter Hutzler’s final)

On the face of it, these two cats have about as little in common as possible: one’s a boy, one’s a female; one has short hair, one has long hair; and I don’t think there are two points on the continent that are farther apart than Fredericton and Temecula!

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Sparkle’s mother was Tajhara’s Tina Turner, and Tina’s maternal great-grandmother (Sparkle’s great-great grandmother) was a red/sorrel Abyssinian named Tajhara’s Firecracker. Firecracker’s paternal great father was a cat called Phaulkon‘s Poetry in Motion, whose father was a cat with a name I recognised: Nepenthes Leo, who was born in March, 1976 and has 17 offspring known to ERoS. Another of Leo’s sons was an Abyssinian named Quin-Jo‘s Gatico, and from Gatico we go to his daughter, Quin-Jo’s Rosita, to her son, Quin-Jo’s Red’n Reddy (a Grand Champion red/sorrel and National winner born in November, 1984), to his son, Robert Red’n Reddy, to his son, Shomra’s Aristotle of Catsylvania, to his daughter, Margarita of Shomra, to her daughter, Shomra’s Tomahto (a red/sorrel), to her son, Shomra’s Right Off the Vine, to his son Ramkatz Ryan New Year (born January 1, 2003)…to Instincts Santa Catalina, Jake’s mother. So on Sparkle’s mother’s side is an Aby who is also on Jake’s mother’s side, meaning that Sparkle the Somali and Jake the Abyssinian are distantly related! That’s not the only link between Sparkle and Jake, either: Another cat, Badfinger’s Bumble Bee of Catknapp, appears in both their pedigrees as well.

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(Toby in Russell Webb’s ring)

Sparkle’s father, Tajhara’s Miles Davis, comes from an older line of Somalis than does Sparkle’s mother, but I did find a link eventually. I had to go back to 1962 and Ring’s Abi Sheba of Selene, whose daughter was Ring’s Sheba of Van Dyke. From Sheba, we go → Van Dyke’s Abi Farouk → Van Dyke’s Abi Kariba → Van Dyke’s Abi Ayesha → Van Dyke’s Abi Abdel of Barba → Van Dyke’s Abi Amberina → Van Dyke’s Abi Ashley → Van Dyke’s Lakeshore Missy → Van Dyke’s Abi Antonia of Haro → Haro’s Abi Alpha → Haro’s Ginger Snap of Pellburn…to Jake’s dad, Scar.

Ring’s Abi Sheba of Selene also had a son, Van Dyke’s Abi Abdullah, and from him we go → Alvi’s Amore of Shorehouse (an Aby variant, which I’m not sure but think may mean he had long hair) → Alvi’s Chimo of Lolirand (who is listed as a Somali) → Falconsview Ezekiel of J.R.R. (a Canadian Somali!) → J.R.R.’s Shyboy of Lynn-Lee (a shy Aby, apparently…didn’t know those existed!) → Lynn-Lee’s Desert Fox → Lynn-Lee’s Christmas Cactus of Seguin (born Dec. 24, 1980) → Lynn-Lee’s Strawberry Shortcake (it was the 80’s) → Lynn-Lee’s Firefly → Lynn-Lee Dances With Wolves of Tadofa (born January 1991) → Tadofa Claim Jumper of Gunsmoke → Gunsmoke’s Amaretto of Tajhara, who was Sparkle’s father Miles Davis’ mother.

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(Jake and Toby with Walter Hutzler again)

But there you have it: Sparkle and Jake are distantly related on both sides of their families! Man, I love stuff like this.

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(Jake in Gene Darrah’s ring)

Sparkle can also trace back to the infamous Grand Champion and Distinguised Merit Abyssinian Bastis Zackariah through Phaulkon’s Poetry in Motion, Firecracker’s paternal great-grandfather. Zackariah is probably the most prolific Abyssinian recorded. He has 73 offspring known to ERoS, and he probably had many, many more kittens than that. Most modern Abys can trace back to him (he’s in Jake’s pedigree as well, on his father’s side), and apparently so can a lot of Somalis!

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(Toby with Russell Webb again)

I have actually bought several of the old CFA Yearbooks with feature articles about Somalis and Abyssinians in them and I have a scanning project planned. In these fantastic tomes (and I do mean “tomes;” these things are big and heavy!) are photos of a lot of these cats (or at least cats from the same catteries) whose names you see above. That’s the most fascinating thing to me…you can see these ancestors! I haven’t found a source for these online, apart from Karen Lawrence’s Abyssinian Historical Review (which is an incredible resource). I found photos of two more of Jake’s forefathers, Gr.Ch. and Regional Winner Blybos St. Lawrence of Instincts and Gr.Ch. and National Winner Instincts Klein Bonaire, who are probably also a part of our cousin Ataraxia Nantucket of Instincts (Toki)‘s pedigree!

The Aby world is a small one indeed!

Aby-a-Day – September 4: All in the Family

I keep all our cats’ medical records in a slick pet organizer, and after the big trip to the vet on Tuesday I was putting away all the paperwork when I happened to notice something in Tessie’s details that I hadn’t noticed before.

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When I first adopted her back in 2005, I printed out most of her breeder’s website and saved all the hard copies as part of Tessie’s file. But I’d never noticed this before:

My first litter of 1st Generation Asians were born March 6. 1999. There were 2 Chocolate Ticked Silver Tabby boys and 1 Chocolate Ticked Tabby girl and 1 Black Ticked Tabby girl. The mating was a Chocolate European Burmese and a Black Silver Aby

Wait, what? A Black Silver Abyssinian? The page continues: These are some photos of my 1st Generation Asian Kittens that were born on 6 March 1999. There is 1 Chocolate Ticked Tabby girl (Gabrielle), 2 Chocolate Ticked Silver Tabby boys and 1 Black Ticked Tabby girl (Xena).

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Those kittens do look a little Aby-ish, don’t they? Bes Gabrielle is the little girl on the far left, and she’s Tessie’s paternal great-grandmother.Gabrielle’s parents were named Satukissan Veratrum Album of Bes and Bijouxcats Krystal SheerRose of Bes; Bijouxcats breeds European Burmese, but Satukissan is a Finnish Aby cattery.

Having discovered that Tessie’s Great Great Grandfather (who sired both Tessie’s paternal Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother) was, in fact, a Finnish Abyssinian, I got curious about the backgrounds of Tessie’s other great-greats, so I decided to see what I could find out about them. So here is the rest of Tessie’s great-great grandparents:

Bes Bargo’s Imp was a Chocolate Euopean Burmese and one of Tessie’s paternal Great Great Grandmothers. Her mate was also the Aby, Satukissan Veratrum Album of Bes.

Shai-San-War’s Hassan was also a Chocolate EuroBurm, and a paternal Great Great Grandfather. His mate was Kikirikis Evalina Eloise, a Blue-Cream Tortie EuroBurm.

Here’s where it gets interesting, though. One of Tessie’s paternal Great Grandmothers, Gabrielle, was half Abyssinian. But her other paternal Great Grandmother, Udun Enchantica Electra of Bes, appears to be pure Abyssinian! She is listed as a Cinnamon/Sorrel Silver Aby, and her parents were Udun Silver Descansado, a Finnish black silver Aby, and Yade’s Dewele, a Finnish sorrel Aby.

On Tessie’s maternal side, she is all European Burmese with two cats from Chi-Lang cattery, Rothrose Jamie, Tuatahi Practically Perfect, Avon Champinoise and Ilgatto catteries, with one Persian from Armani cattery.

Another interesting thing I found is that Ilgatto cats seem to have also been used in breeding LaPerms, a type of Rex.

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But wait, I know what you’re thinking…”This is the Daily Abyssinian, so why all the attention to European Burmese, Asians, Tiffanies, Persians and LaPerms? Well…as I have said in the past, ERoS (the Electronic Registry of Somalis) is a marvelous thing. Satukissan has a couple of Abys, Satukissan Saga and Satukissan Minna, apparently littermates, whose paternal Great-Grandparents are Bastis Rusty Nail of Catknapp and Bastis Janet Planet. One of Jacoby’s paternal Great-Great Grandfathers was Jannalou’s Talisman.

Talisman’s Great Great Grandfather was Udjat’s Anubis, whose grandfather was Bastis Prodigal Son…Whose father was Bastis Daily Planet of Catknapp. Whose parents were…Bastis Rusty Nail of Catknapp! I don’t know if Tessie’s Satukissan ancestor was related to Bastis, but Jake’s mother’s pedigree definitely connects to Satukissan.

Until I happened to notice that page in Tessie’s paperwork, I was not aware that Abyssinians were used in the breeding of Asians, Burmillas and Tiffanies, so I find this all very fascinating.

One more intriguing discovery: Satukissan also bred Somalis! So, Sparkle, you and Tessie might be distant cousins!

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Looking at Tessie and Angel together, it’s hard to believe that she’s only three generations removed from being an Abyssinian. Her head, her body, her bone structure and even her thick double coat, is completely Asian/European Burmese/Burmilla.

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But there’s a little Abyssinian in her genetic makeup, too.