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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And, after getting himself oriented in the cage…

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…he did really, really well!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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