Aby-a-Day – November 24 – Breed sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

I found these sketches I did during a therapy visit at Tufts last year with Jacoby, probably around the time some patients did portraits of Jake.

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On this one, I was explaining how different the body types and skulls of different breeds are. I also explained how ticking on an Abyssinian hair looks.

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Then I was asked if I had any other cats, so I drew Angel, Kylie and Tessie and showed how different each of them look – both when compared to Jake and when compared to each other.

Aby-a-Day – June 30: Persians and PKD (Cartoon Tuesday)

A bit more filler, I’m afraid, before you are returned to your regularly scheduled cartoons.

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This was an illustration I did for the most reason issue of CFA’s Cat Talk magazine for an article about Polycystic Kidney Disease in Persians. I know it isn’t Abyssinians…but sometimes it’s interesting to draw a different breed!

Aby-a-Day – August 29: The NEMO Costume Contest (Fashion Friday)

NEMO is actually becoming famous for its costume contest – which is a good thing.


Photo: Worcester T&G Staff/RICK CINCLAIR

Not only was a photo of Jacoby and I featured in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, but our friend Linda told me that she came back to the show this year just because she had so much fun entering the costume contest last year.

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And I’m pretty sure she’d been working on her costume since last October, too. It was awsome.

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Linda was General George E. Pickett, wounded confederate soldier, and Pippi was Clara Barton, wartime nurse.

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They. Were. Incredible. Seriously. I’m so entrenched in the realm of pop culture that something like a Civil War general would just never occur to me.

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Linda also pays incredible attention to detail. Her crutch was a tree branch with sheep’s wool wrapped around the top. But everyone really stepped up their game this year.

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Amelia and Timbuka the Burmese dressed as Hiccup and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.

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I wish you could see it better in this photo, but Timbuka has a little tailflap thing tied to his tail. And he kept it on through the entire contest, too.

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Amelia’s mom, Stacie, dressed as Little Bo Peep with Bella the Burmese as her sheep.

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I didn’t get this family’s name, but they, along with their HHP and their Ocicat, dressed as a family vet clinic.

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My friend Charlotte was awesome, too. She was Galadriel, while her two Siamese Colorpoint Shorthairs Phoenix (the cream-point) was Legolas and Arwen (the tortie-point) was, well, Arwen. Charlotte had a stroller for the two of them, and she even dressed that up to match!

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Arwen had a little headdress and a gorgeous blue gown. Legolas had a little tiny bow and quiver full of arrows.

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They looked awesome.

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Iris and Harold didn’t enter (they were the emcees), but Iris was a Native American and Harold (a Siberian) was an early crosser of the Bering Land Bridge. Our costumes aren’t only clever, they’re educational!

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As you can imagine, the competition was pretty stiff. I don’t know how the two judges ever made up their minds. Linda and Pippi took second place, and the winner was…

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Geri and Little Miss Muffet the Himilayan! They were dressed as a cocktail and a can of beer. Geri won last year, too, with a different Persian as Harry Potter and Hedwig the owl.

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Jake and I are already brainstorming what we’re going to do for next year’s contest, and I’m pretty sure everyone else is, too! Not sure what I’ll do to top Marilyn, though…

Aby-a-Day – May 11: Scenes From a Cat Show

Here are a few more photos from last week’s cat show. First, here’s Russell Webb and Jacoby during the final in Russell’s ring.

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I just love watching Russell describe Abyssinians.

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Jake was pretty pleased with his second best ribbon.

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Here is the Persian who took Best in Russell’s ring. It’s also pretty entertaining to watch Russell describe Persians.

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This cat, GP Catsafrats Stardust of Joray, is a force to be reckoned with. He made nine out of the ten finals, and he was Best Cat in Premiership in six of them!

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Needless to say, coming in second to the Best Premier in Show was fairly satisfying.

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For this show, I tried putting make-up on Jake’s ear spots

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I used a combination of brown pencil eyeliner, brown mascara and rust grooming powder.

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It didn’t make the spots go away entirely, but I do think it helped.

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Jake spent a good part of the show in his benching cage, greeting his fans and making new friends.

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Jake really enjoys getting pets from the spectators.

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I think it might be his favourite thing about cat shows.

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My favourite part of cat shows is seeing the other breeds! This is Swift-Rivers DiamondLilli, a lavender and white Oriental Shorthair – a very unusual colour. What’s more, she has the greenest of green eyes.

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This is Karol Walt Whitman, a Japanese Bobtail. He’s almost entirely white except for a few spots on his ears and nose and his little black tail nub.

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This little Sphynx girl, Skinzin Crystal Bald of Gillies, was at the show we went to in Stamford last year, too. She was only a kitten then – she’s grown!

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Whoops! There’s Chanan the photographer passing by!

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Compare that little Sphynx to this Persian, Top Shelf’s Harry Winston. It’s hard to believe that these two cats are the same species, isn’t it?

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I wonder what their kittens would look like?

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There was a Parade of Breeds on Sunday, and Jake was the proud representative of his breed.

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He was requested specifically, which was a nice honour.

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This Ocicat had something to say to the audience.

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There was a Spectator’s Choice award, too. Our friend Amelia and her blue Burmese Bella took third place.

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The best thing, though, was seeing Burmillas recognised as a regular breed.

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This little five month old boy is Kitzn’s Stevia, a black shaded Burmilla kitten.

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Isn’t he adorable?

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I imagine Tessie looked a lot like him when she was his age.

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Here is Kitzn’s Mickey again. He has less colour on each hair than Stevia does since he’s a tipped Burmilla.

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Mickey is a year and two months old. He reminded me so much of Tessie when I first met her – we got her when she was a year and eight months old.

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Ultimately, I can’t really explain what it is I love so much about going to and participating in cat shows.

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I’m just glad I have a cat who likes coming along to the shows with me.

Aby-a-Day – April 4: Feline Diversity

One of the best things about going to cat shows is you get to see a lot of different breeds. The show in Stamford was especially good; of the 40 breeds recognised by the CFA, 27 were present at the show we attended.

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The first breeds to be shown in the 1800’s in the UK were the Persian, the Siamese, and the Abyssinian. All the breeds have changed over the years, but two have changed significantly.

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Take the Siamese, for example. When I was a kid, they were shaped more like Abys! Now, they’re very slender, sleek cats with dainty, refined features.

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Compare these guys to Pyewacket in Bell, Book and Candle and you’ll see what I mean!

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Technically, this guy isn’t a “Siamese,” but a Colorpoint Shorthair.

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All that means, really, is that he is NOT one of the Original Four point colours (Seal, Blue, Chocolate or Lilac) but is either Red-, Cream-, Tabby-, Tortie- or Torbie-pointed.

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A rose by any other name…I think the CFA is the only breed registry that still separates Siamese this way.

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The Cornish Rexes have become almost as elongated as the Siamese.

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Compare this little girl’s head to the Oriental Shorthair in the background.

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I am utterly fascinated with the rex gene. It’s a different gene in each of the Rex breeds (Cornish, Devon and Selkirk) and they aren’t related at all. Three separate curly-haired genes!

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Aren’t they cute?

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At the other end of the feline spectrum we have the Persians.

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Look how flat Persians’ faces are!

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And then, of course, the Siamese and the Persian were bred together to create the Himalayan which was once its own breed but which is now a colour class of the Persian breed. There’s little left of the Siamese side of the family besides the points nowadays.

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Then there’s the Burmese, which seems to be well on its way to becoming almost as round as the Persian.

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These are very stout, very round, very muscular, solid cats.

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It’s hard to believe they originated from the same part of the world as the Siamese!

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Russian Blues are a very moderate breed. They’re neither very long nor very round. They’re just cat-shaped.

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They’re a little more stocky than the Abys, though.

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That’s probably due to the fact that they originated in Eurasia while Abys originate from either Africa or Southeast Asia, depending on which story you believe.

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Climate plays a big role in how animals’ bodies evolve. Just look at the difference between the Arctic Fox and the Desert Fennec!

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A rare shot of Jacoby in the traditional “Show Cat Stretch.”

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If you want to see what a cat really looks like, though, you have to look at the Sphynx.

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There’s no fur to hide behind on a Sphynx. What you see is what you get.

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They are wonderful cats to study if you want to learn cat anatomy.

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This little blue and white girl is still just a kitten!

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Some people think that Sphynxes are kind of…well, creepy. I think they’re beautiful.

Aby-a-Day – April 3: Wordless Wednesday (Peanut gallery photobomb)

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Aby-a-Day – November 2: Wordless Wednesday (Selective breeding in action!)

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