Aby-a-Day – 3 July: Paw & (dis)Order: Abyssinial Intent (Cartoon Tuesday)

In memory of cousin Taz, I am re-running his and Jacoby’s best cartoon appearance: Paw & (dis)Order: Abyssinial Intent.

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It started as a random comment at the Mansfield show in 2012 and grew into…well, this. Meg had brought a little girl called Tiger Lili, who had Jake and Taz all het up. So she became the star of the cartoon as well. Taz and Jake were wearing collars because Meg had gotten them both collars to wear; Taz’s had a sort of flower on it.

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Originally I was thinking they’d be Briscoe and <aCurtis, but they ended up being more like Goren and Eames (Taz being Eames, of course).

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Annnd…I couldn’t resist throwing in a David Caruso joke, because who doesn’t love crime procedural mash-ups?

Aby-a-Day – October 15: Abyssinian overload!

When Jacoby and I went to the NEMO show last weekend, we were delighted to see that there were four Abys entered in the Premiership class. I think this is the biggest Aby Premiership class we’ve ever had in our show career.

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The other Grand Premier, the red Aby on the end, #109, was none other than our old friend Garçon, visiting from Florida! He and Jake split the finals; out of the eight rings, Jake made four and Garçon three (one judge did not final an Aby at all). The other two ruddy girls were Premiers, not Grand Premiers.

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What was even more fun was that we were all benched together, too. Here’s what all the Abys looked like when they were at “home.” In the cage between Jake and Garçon (on the end) is Meg’s kitten Monty – you’ll see photos of him later.

Aby-a-Day – May 9: “Impressive” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

Jacoby started showing late in life compared to most show cats. He started showing when he was almost 2, and now he’s 6 years old. At the Seacoast show last weekend, he made four out of ten finals, placing 10th, 8th and 3rd best Allbreed and 5th best in a Specialty Shorthair ring.

Some would say this is impressive. Most show cats retire by the time they're 2 years old.

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However, Jake is nothing compared to a Siamese in the North Atlantic Region. GPD, NW, RW Minghou Native Dancer of Tayohme, a seal-point Siamese neuter, is almost 11 years old, and he is still a regular fixture at cat shows.

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Seen here with his owner, Sandra Hogan (in blue), and his breeder, Pat Muise, Danny has been at least a Regional winner, if not a National winner, in CFA every year he’s been shown. He is the first Siamese to earn the “Grand of Distinction” title.

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When a judge comes to take Danny out of his cage, Danny goes right for the shoulder and hugs the judge as he’s taken out. Here he is with Russell Webb.

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Even though he’s 11, he’s really clear and his body is really light for a Siamese. As Siamese age, they tend to get darker, and their body colour tends to blend with their points. Danny has managed to keep a pale body. He’s also managed to keep his boyish figure all these years.

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(Notice who’s in the background, waiting his turn!)

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At the show last weekend, Danny had a cake in his honour, because he was a national winner for the last CFA show season.

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Like any celebrity, Danny was asked to put his pawprint in the frosting of his cake.

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I think he really enjoyed that.

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It was really cute, too. I don’t know who got that piece of the cake – probably his owner.

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Both his owner and his breeder are really proud of him. And I think his breeder is really happy to be able to see him all the time.

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Danny is an impressive Siamese, and an impressive Grand Premier. Some people think Jake is too old to show…but if an 11 year old Siamese can keep showing – and making finals – why shouldn’t Jake? His colour has only gotten better as he’s aged…although I don’t take him to enough shows to earn a Regional or National CFA title, at the age of 6 he still holds his own in the show ring.

Aby-a-Day – December 4: Meeting a Legend

One of the reasons I really wanted to go to the World Show and enter the Red Show was because Wain Harding was one of the judges. (The other was because it was near Philly and I could see my sister.)

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You’ll have to indulge me here with a little fangirling. Wain Harding was the name in Aby breeders when I was a cat-crazy little kid first going to cat shows. I grew up in Davis, CA and Wain was based in Berkeley, CA – only 64 miles away on I-80! – so I saw his Abys a lot when we went to shows in Sacramento and San Francisco. They were probably the Abys I saw most, now that I think about it.

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I’m sure I must have seen Wain at a cat show at Cal Expo or the SF County Fair Building/Hall of Flowers when I was a kid. I may have also seen him as an apprentice judge!

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Wain Harding is Bastis Abyssinians. Bastis is one of those cattery names that shows up in viturally every Aby’s pedigree at some point.

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Jacoby has a solid Bastis backgound, starting with the legendary GC Bastis Zackariah, DM. Zackariah has 83 offspring known to ERoS, and there are probably a lot of his kittens that weren’t recorded there. This one cat is probably the keystone of modern Abys. I wonder if anyone can find an Aby alive today without Zackariah’s name in his or her pedigree?

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Long story short, it was a pretty big deal to meet Wain Harding, no matter what Meg says 🙂

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It was pretty exciting when, as Wain took Jake from the judging cage to the table, I heard him exclaim, “Wow…what great colour!” To have that be the first thing he said when he examined Jake was pretty amazing.

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Needless to say, when I heard Jake’s number called for Wain Harding’s Shorthair Specialty Ring at the World Show on Saturday, I was thrilled.

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I was so busy being excited and taking pictures, I don’t remember what Wain said as he presented Jake with his rosette.

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When I first got Gun-Hee and wanted to start showing, I scoured the internet for information on showing Abys and discovered this article about the perfect show Abyssinian. Several Aby-centric judges were interviewed for this Q and A, including Wain Harding. This article made an impression on me, especially Wain’s comments.

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Jake was Wain’s 14th Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership. This was out of 40 shorthair premiers entered in the Red Show.

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I know a lot of people might think, “Only 14th place?” but this was a very stiff competition. All of the Premiers were in top form at this show, and in all honesty, I got really lucky that the other Abyssinian Premiers weren’t able to attend and Jake ended up being the only Aby in Premiership in the Red Show. All in all, Jake ended up in 40th place overall and he earned 39 points.*

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The one thing I really wanted to do was get a photo of Wain with Jake and I. We had planned on getting one, but even though we were benched right across from his ring all weekend, I never managed to get that photo. Well…perhaps there will be a next time.

*On a side note, take a look at some of the cats’ names in Premiership! There’s a Manx named Jack Benny and a Maine Coon called Maine-ard G Krebbs. Two of my favourite characters! I love names like that.

Aby-a-Day – September 6: “Gray” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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

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Gun-Hee was once disqualified in Wayne Trevathan’s ring because he said Gun-Hee had a gray undercoat.

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This was when he was still collecting his six Winner’s Ribbons to become a Premier. As a result, he only got five at that show and didn’t become a Premier until his second show as an adult.

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It was odd; Wayne was the only judge who ever said anything about Gun-Hee’s undercoat. Roger Lawrence gave him a Best of Colour at the same show, and three months earlier, Marge Collier made him her Best Kitten.

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Unfortunately, Gun-Hee didn’t get to go to any more shows after that, so he never became a Grand Premier. That’s why it was so wonderful when Jacoby finally earned that title. Jake and Gun-Hee do look a lot alike…but Jake definitely has a more red undercoat.

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The first time Jake was judged by Wayne (I think it was at the Seacoast show last year), I held my breath…but he passed with flying colours. I don’t think he finalled…but he passed!

Aby-a-Day – September 4: Hands free

It’s always so delightful when we’re at a cat show and a judge really appreciates Jacoby’s strengths.

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Jake’s not a typical Aby on the judge’s table. He doesn’t play with toys. He doesn’t scratch the sisal post. He doesn’t act like a kitten.

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No, Jake just stands there on the table, majestically proud, surveying the audience.

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Pam Bassett, a judge from Louisana, was incredibly impressed by Jake’s show demeanour.

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She was so impressed that she did something you will only rarely see a judge do with an Abyssinian: she took her hands off him and stepped away.

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Far away – out-of-the-frame away!

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“Well, if she’s just going to leave, I might as well sit.”

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And she’s back.

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She really liked the way Jake was so calm and confident on the table. She gave him Second Best Cat in Premiership in her ring.

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Her best cat was this sable Burmese girl, GP Panthat Just One More of Burmay.

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You’ll notice that Pam did not take her hands off of her or walk away like she did with Jake!

Aby-a-Day – August 27: Wordless Wednesday (Surprise!)

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