Aby-a-Day – 30 April 2020: A memory came up today…(Thursday Things)

This memory came up today on Facebook: Jacoby’s and my last Seacoast Cat Show in New Hampshire. It was a great show; Jake got 136 points at that show.

That show, and the one CFA show we went to in Sweden where he made every final, was enough to make him 10th Best Abyssinian in Premiership for the 2016-17 show season, on top of his 8th Best placement the season before.

I know I have some awesome cats now…but I still miss my Jakey.

Aby-a-Day – 16 April: Taz and Jacoby together on paper (Cartoon Tuesday)

Jacoby’s cousin Taz (GC, GPD, NW Anubis Taz Mania), died last July on the same day as my friend Molly’s husband, Don. Jake and Taz were show buddies. And because they were show buddies, Taz appeared in several of my Aby Cartoons. The first was based on this final at the Seacoast show in 2012.


Then I did this one, in which Taz seemed more interested in winning than Jake was.


When Meg brought a girl kitten named Tiger Lili to a show with Jake and Taz…I imagined this scenario.





And then there was the infamous Paw and Disorder, with Taz as Eames and Jake as Goren. That was so much fun to draw!


When I spoofed Psy’s Gangnam Style with Jake, I knew I would need to expand the visual joke and illustrate other scenes from the video.


Of course, Jake is Psy, but also featured are Louis/Fire as the dancing kid, Taz as the guy in the elevator with the cowboy hat, and Angel as the yoga woman’s butt.


Taz’s final appearance came after the Seacoast show, when he was retired. Once Taz was out of competition, Jake finally had a chance! Jake and Taz were such a team…I hope they still are, somewhere.

Aby-a-Day – 22 July: “I have one speed, I have one gear: go!” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

In a couple of weeks, Lorelai and Izaak will be going to their first show together, held by the Järva Kattklubb in Stockholm. This was Logan’s first show last year.



It was a fun show, and it was held as part of a larger animal fair called Djurens Helg, with dogs, horses, small mammals, birds, reptiles and even insects! There was a lot to do and see during the show downtimes. Sadly, though, this year Djurens Helg is the weekend before the cat show.


But the best thing of all about this show was that they had cat agility set up! I hadn’t seen that since I was back n the States.


Now, you may remember that Jacoby absolutely sucks at agility. But Gun-Hee was really good at it, and came in fourth place as a kitten at our first Seacoast show. So when I saw the agility set up, I had to give Logan a go.



And, after getting himself oriented in the cage…



…he did really, really well!


But at the end of the day, he had come in third place! Unfortunately, there were only trophies for first and second places, but still, he ran the course in 4 seconds!


It wasn’t a circle, like the one in New Hampshire; it was just a straight line, but he did it perfectly. We are hoping it will be back again this year, because we cannot wait to show it to Zak and Rory!


Oddly, as with Gun-Hee, we didn’t manage to get a very good video of Logan running it. This is the best we could manage.


So, here is a video of Logan playing in his benching cage. (Click on the images to see the videos on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – 5 June: Travelling with a Singapura (Swedish Sunday)

When Björn was in Boston for our wedding in April, my friend Linda (who is also a member of NEMO) asked if we could help her out.



Linda, along with her husband Chuck, breed Singapuras (their cattery name is Mystiquecats), and she wanted to know if Björn would be willing to help two other Singapura breeders. Pat, of (Sopan Singapuras had a 10 month old girl kitty who needed to fly to live with a breeder in Sweden. And, as luck would have it, Björn was returning home and flying into Stockholm at just the right time!


Well, naturally we jumped at the chance, not only to help out friends, but because just two months later, I would be making the exact same journey – on Icelandair – with Jacoby and Angel, and what better way to try out the flight accommodations with a cat than to actually take a cat on the flight?


So, Björn and I met Pat and Naina, the girlcat, at Logan. I know Singapuras are small cats, and Naina was only 10 months old…but she was TINY!


Pat had sent cats abroad before, and gave me excellent advice on how to outfit the carrier for a long trans-Atlantic flight. From her I learned that a bag of dry food should be attached to the outside of the crate, and the water bowl should be filled with water and frozen the night before, so the bowl would be filled with non-spillable, slowly thawing ice that the cats can lick if they are thirsty.


After checking in, we got to go behind the scenes with an Icelandair employee. We went into a back room and a TSA employee checked Naina and her carrier to make sure that nothing was being smuggled in with the cat. Then they took her to the plane. On Icelandair, pets travel in a special pet hold rather than in the cabin. This is because Iceland is an island, and has very strict animal import laws and impose a quarantine on imported mammals. Animals need to be monitored by official airline personnel at all times and cannot be on the ground more than three hours. When I booked my flight to Sweden later this month, I had toyed with the idea of having a seven-hour layover in Reykjavik and actually go into the city, but since I’ll be travelling with the Abys, I can’t do that. So, I’ll have just enough time to go through customs, grab a snack, and get on my next plane.


However, in our case, the cats having to travel in the pet hold is actually an advantage. Two animals of the same species, weighing less than 40 kg (88 lbs), can share one crate, so Jake and Angel will be able to travel together in one carrier rather than me having to manage two separate bags with cats in them along with my laptop and carry-on bag.


Naina flew like a champ. When Björn landed in Stockholm and picked her up, she was as cheery and relaxed as she had been in Boston. He was impressed that after eleven hours flying and changing of planes, she was just meowing a little, but mostly was just curious about her new surroundings.

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Björn met up with Lisa, of Melur Singapuras, at Arlanda and Naina was swiftly taken to her new home.




As you can see from these photos Lisa posted on Facebook, Naina settled in almost immediately! She took to being in Sweden right away. Just like I hope that Jake and Angel will!

Aby-a-Day – 13 May 2016: Ancestral Abyssinians (Friday Flashback)

This week, The CFA History Project published an article about Sedgemere Peaty, one of the very first Abyssinians.

There is also an article with a fanstastic wealth of photographs about a silver Abyssinian born in 1909 named Quizero Taitou (Or Ouizero…there’s some confusion over whether his name started with an O or a Q; Q makes more sense, though).

What is interesting about Quizero, though is that his father, Aluminium, also sired Ras Dashan, who sired Ras Djibute, whose granddaughter, Woodrooffe Aura was the mother of the famous (Djer-Mer’s) Woodroofe Ras Seyum, from whom Jacoby, along with many modern Abyssinans, are descended.

Ras Seyum was famously featured in the November 1938 issue of National Geographic. How fun to see Jake’s ancestors’ photos!

(Oh and also, while looking for these historical photos, I stumbled upon this article about cat domestication and was flattered to find one of my photos used – and credited! – as an example of a show cat! It was just published on 27 April, so there’s another nice surprise.

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And just for fun, here is a series of photos of Jake doing something he rarely does: Pole dancing! While many cats love to scratch the sisal post on the judge’s table, Jake usually prefers to post majestically. However, in his first ring at Seacoast with Gary Veach, he decided to have a little stretch. Although he does seem a bit bewildered, doesn’t he?

Aby-a-Day – 3 May: Winner, winner, chicken dinner! (Cartoon Tuesday)

1 May is the “new year” for many organisations I’ve been involved with over the years. One is the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is currently celebrating its 50th year. Another is the CFA, which starts its new show season on 1 May.

As a part of CFA’s new year’s festivities, they announce their National and Regional award winners, which include the best of the breeds and the top 25 cats in the Kitten, Championship, Premier and HHP classes. And this year there was a huge surprise: Jacoby is one of the 21st Best Cat in Premiership in the North Atlantic Region!


This was completely unexpected, as we didn’t even go to that many shows this past year…but the shows we did go to he did pretty well, apparently! And now, he will get to add some more letters to his name; he will now be GP, RW Pellburn Jacoby Stealin’ Home! And even funnier…last year our friend Linda’s Somali, Pippi was 21st Best Cat in Premiership in the North Atlantic Region last year…so they have that in common along with their costume prowess!

Aby-a-Day – 2 May: Another year, another show…(Hipstamatic Monday)

Jacoby and I spent our weekend at the Seacoast Cat Show.


As you know, I love this show. And so does Jake.


He actually made six finals – not bad for a seven-year-old!


Of course our friend Russell was judging, and he gave us some great news – he’ll be judging a CFA show in Sigtuna in January! He judged it this year, too…but it was 3 days after I left.


Well, we’ll have to go to that! It’ll be great to see friends from home.


As for this year, it was nice to hang out and see old friends. I went to this show with Gun-Hee in 2007, and then Jake and I have gone every year since 2012 (five shows in a row!) and we love it. I don’t know when we’ll be able to come again…and I’ll miss it.


And so will Jake. It’s a great place to nap!

Aby-a-Day – October 17: “Jazzy” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

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


Our friends Stan and Patty’s cattery name is Jazzy Abys. This is Jazzy Abys Buddy Rich when he was a kitten at the Seacoast Cat Club Show in 2012.

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Buddy became a CFA Grand Premier at Mansfield show in August that same year.


It took Buddy a little longer to earn his Grand Champion Alter title in CFF.

Buddy Rich is a grandson of the famous Grand Champion JazzyAbys Fats Waller (aka “Wally”), against whom Gun-Hee competed in the kitten class. Gun-Hee actually competed against Wally at his first show. This video shows Gun-Hee (#28) earning second best of breed in a ring with Wally (#30) being awarded best Aby in that kitten ring.


Gun-Hee also met Eszencia TheCountess of Jazzy Abys in his second show as a kitten.

Aby-a-Day – July 9: Making his mark

When we stayed at my friend Karen’s house during the Seacoast show, Jacoby took a particular liking to one black chair she had in her living room. He even chose to sleep on it instead of on the bed with me.


Sunday morning, I discovered why he liked that cushion so much.


It was the perfect canvas on which to display his white litterbox-dust pawprints!


“What? You love my paws so much…I thought you’d like this!”

Aby-a-Day – July 2: Leftovers from Seacoast

I know the Seacoast show was two months ago (already?!), but I’m still going through the photos I took there.


I’m sure you remember Meg’s two kittens, Baby Love and Beezer.


Well, here are some more photos of them.


I’m always so amazed at how young Abys barely have a “kittenish” phase.


They morph into miniature adults so quickly.


Like all Abys, these two loved people!


This man came to say hello and they rushed right over to him.


They are such social cats, even at that young age.




And it’s something they never outgrow.

Aby-a-Day – May 22: Jake’s Finnish crown (Fashion Friday)

Because “Jacoby with a Finnish cat toy on his head” didn’t have nearly the same ring…


Ha ha, get it? RING? Because it’s one of the crocheted rings that Sanna sent us…oh, all right.


I put it on Jake’s head because I could, and because it was made of metallic gold thread, it looks like a little crown. Sort of.


Heavy is the head that wears the gold crocheted cat ring toy?

Aby-a-Day – May 20: Wordless Wednesday (How to torture an Aby)






Aby-a-Day – May 17: Best Friends Forever

One other thing that happened at the Seacoast show was that Baby Love, Meg’s girlkitten, and a little boy started a beautiful relationship.


Neither of them realise it yet, of course. But they will.


But a family with a young boy came to look at Meg’s kitten and decided to add little Baby Love to their family.


The boy was about three or four, and Baby Love is 5 months old, so the two of them will grow up together.


I know everyone talks about the timeless bond that is “a boy and his dog,” but there is nothing quite like the love of a boy and his cat. I have a friend in Sweden who has a 15½ year old cat and a 12 year old son. Pyret, the cat, follows her boy everywhere and watches him when he’s on the computer, and the boy basically sees Pyret as a sort of older feline sister and he uses a photo of Pyret as his online avatar.


This little boy and this kitten have a wonderful friendship ahead of them.


And of course, my friend’s cat was a tiny barn kitten born to a feral mother cat. This little boy will be growing up with a kitten with 160 years of breeding for personality and attachment to humans behind her.


Is it wrong that I’m a little jealous of this little kid?

Aby-a-Day – May 14: Other Abys at the Seacoast Show

The fun thing about cat shows is meeting other Aby people. At the Seacoast show, I met Matt Baker from Diva Abyssinians in Baltimore.

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He brought two Abys with him. One was a Ruddy girl, CH Diva’s Next Best Thing.

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Isn’t she pretty?

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She looks like a kitten, but she’s 2½ years old!

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Matt calls her “Cuddles” – look at those grabby Aby hands!

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The other Aby he brought was CH Diva’s Ulterior Motive, an 11 month old red.

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He is the son of son of GC, BW, RW Shera Len Killian Red.

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Now here’s the fun part: We saw his father back when he was a kitten in 2011 at the Groton, CT show where Jacoby Granded!) Like I always like to say, the Aby world is small indeed.

Aby-a-Day – May 13: Wordless Wednesday (Scenes from a Cat Show)

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Aby-a-Day – May 11: World’s smallest show cat (Miniature Monday)

Of course I had to take some photos of the Jacoby mini-me while I was at the Seacoast show.

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We visited the Arubacat booth, where he tested out their excellent cat trees.

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He also tried out a scratching post.


Then, even though he wasn’t entered, he stood on the judge’s table!


(And look who’s in the background!)

Also, remember the other custom ball-jointed doll I was having made by Ana VonBorowsky? Well, he is finished, and she is shipping him to me today! I absolutely cannot wait to see him in person. Of course, he’ll be featured in this blog when he gets to Boston, but if you want to see a few photos of him – and his wardrobe – before then, check out Ana’s gallery on DeviantArt!

Aby-a-Day – May 6: Kittens are our future

You may have noticed my posts are a bit out of order this week. This is because of my cartoon. The one I was going to do, which was already late because it was based on this weekend’s cat show, got bumped to next week because I came up with a topical idea for this week. This morning.


So, Wordless Wednesday was on Tuesday, and Cartoon Tuesday will – hopefully – be tomorrow.


In the meantime, here are the two kittens from yesterday.


Their names are Baby Love and Beezer, and they are from two different litters of Meg’s. They’re about a week apart in age; Baby Love, the girl, is the older kitten. She is the one who was challenging – and hissing! – at Jacoby in yesterday’s photos.


Meg said she was protecting her little brother from the big bad boy Aby next door.


Oh, he was scared of her, all right.


Her little brother Beezer looks just like Jake did when he was a kitten. Meg and I think that he’ll grow up to look a lot like him. I just love it when Meg has kittens!

Aby-a-Day – May 5: Wordless Tuesday (Damn kids, get off my lawn!)







Aby-a-Day – May 4: A little snack (Miniature Monday)

At the Seacoast show, there was a vendor giving samples of a raw diet blend. I gave some to Jacoby to taste.

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“He likes it! Hey, Jakey!”

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Nom nom nom…

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Poor Jake looks away, distracted by a sound behind his cage, and suddenly, an interloper appears, wanting to share!

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Doesn’t even ask! Just sneaks in and starts eating!

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Seriously, the nerve of some people.

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Jake seems to still begrudge giving up even a bite of his meat…even if it was to his own mini-me.

Aby-a-Day – May 3: More friends met

One of the best things about going to cat shows is, I have a chance to meet people in person that I know online, either through this blog or through the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook.

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At the Seacoast Club Cat Show this weekend, I got to meet two of my Abyfriends in person!

The first friend I met was Ellen Fair, but I didn’t manage to get any photos of her with Jacoby. She gifted me with a copy of the 1987 Connoisseur magazine featuring Abyssinians, along with recent issues of Art+Auction and Modern Painters. If you haven’t seen the Connoisseur Abyssinian feature (with photos by William Wegman), you should try to find a copy. I’d share my copy, but I’m afraid I’d get in trouble.

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The other friend I met is Amy Tiedemann, who, you may remember, two years ago commissioned a pair of Aby plushies for her two daughters in college. She recently lost her two boys, Ricky and Rusty (the two meant to be commemorated by the plushies) and is waiting for two kittens to join her female Aby.

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She was thrilled to meet Jake.

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When asked what it was like to hold Jake, Amy said, “Jake is very handsome with sleek, shiny fur. As we currently only have a very petite female Aby that doesn’t like being held, it was wonderful to cuddle with him!!”

Of course, turnabout is fair play, so here is the photo that Amy took of me with Jake.

Richard (aka Chanan) also showed me his new camera, a Sony SLT that works with other makers’ lenses. It makes my camera seem like a dinosaur! But it was so wonderful to have someone I consider an idol to stop to have a conversation like that with me.