Aby-a-Day – 24 Juni: Tentacle Kitty (Miniature Monday)

Last week I happened to go to our local second-hand shop and found an interesting plushie.

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Intrigued, I looked at the tag, and it said “Tentacle Kitty, Second Edition.” Second edition? What? A pink kitty-squid with a cute little nose has been a thing long enough to have a second edition plushie and I have never heard of it before!? How is this possible?

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Turns out, Tentacle Kitty was created in 2009 by a husband and wife team in Oregon. There’s a webcomic about her and a cast of other multi-limbed kitty characters. Not sure how I missed a cartoon kitty for ten whole years…but I’ve found her now! And she only cost 29kr (about $3 USD).

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Izaak seems to really like her, too. Or maybe it’s just that her tentacles remind him of his snake.

PS: Today is Cat World Domination Day. Be sure to go and celebrate it with our Somali friend, Summer!

Shout-out to Summer!

I sent a few gifts to our Somali friend Summer in California for a (belated) Christmas gift. I know Summer and her roommates Binga and Boodie LOVE the European cat treats. And I also remembered that Summer’s human admired the miniature cat skeleton toy I posted about on a Miniature Monday, and when I bought mine, I ordered a few extra for friends and family, so I sent one along to her, knowing it would be appreciated.

You can read all about what they all thought of their gifts on today’s post on Summer’s blog.

Aby-a-Day – 27 December: Of Somalis and Schipperkes (Thursday Things)

I have a few more photos from the little mini show we went to at our local DjurMagazinet I wanted to share.

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They’re on two completely different topics…but hey, just like most meals between Christmas and New Years, there’s no reason not to mix them up. Leftovers are always better that way.

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First off, we have Izaak in his Christmas bow tie, playing with a fun toy.

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Look at that concentration!

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He really liked that toy!

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But even more than the toy, I think he liked the little girl who was playing with him using the toy.

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She was pretty charmed with him, too.

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The next thing I wanted to share is this Somali, Tootsie, and her friend.

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You almost never, ever, see dogs at cat shows…for, well, obvious reasons.

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Tootsie was wonderful at walking on her leash…almost as good as her puppy pal.

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Oh! I am SO sorry…Tootsie, you obviously taught that dog everything he knows about walking on a leash!

Aby-a-Day – 31 March: Scandinavian Winners Show (Cat Show Saturday)

Today we are entered in the 2018 Scandinavian Winners Show in Göteborg, Sweden.

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It’s kind of a big deal. Cats exhibited at the FIFe Scandinavian Winner Show must satisfy one of the requirements in the 13 month period prior to the Scandinavian Winner Show:
Adult cats in classes 7-10 must have achieved:
Best in Variety (BIV) or
Best in Show nomination (NOM) or
Each cat qualified in Class 12 or 11 within 13 months prior to Show

Luckily, Logan has qualified in Classes 12 and 11 (Kitten and Junior) and was NOM in his first class 7 (Open Champion) show.

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The show is conveniently located in Gothia Towers. This weekend (Easter weekend), Göteborg also hosts GothCon, a gaming convention Björn has attended regularly for 34 years. It’s rather nice that both big events fell on the same weekend. We booked a hotel in between the two venues, which is perfect.

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The Winners show is different from regular shows. The first day is a regular show, but the second day is a sort of “Best of the Best,” as I understand it. This is also a much larger show than most of the shows we go to. There are over 800 cats representing 37 different breeds and 14 different countries.

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Before the show, there was an official opening ceremony. Stellan, one of Sweden’s Singapura breeders, lives in Göteborg and was the main emcee for the day.

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After the introduction, there was a demonstration of typical Swedish “Bug” dancing. I don’t know from bugs, but it looked a lot like the swing and rockabilly dancing I did in the late 90’s. It looked like fun!

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Then they had a second dance and invited the audience to join in. You can see Stellan cutting a rug there in the middle.

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Then there was the Parade of Nations. Naturally, Sweden was the first, since they are the host country.

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When the stewards carrying flags from all 14 participating countries were on the stage, it was pretty impressive. There are even cats here from as far away as Brazil!

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After the Parade of Nations, the 14 judges were presented to the exhibitors.

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As you might imagine, there are a LOT of rosettes and prizes to be awarded to the top winners.

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Many of the cages in the benching area are decorated in a nationalistic theme for this show.

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Of course, most of the entries are Swedish.

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This Oriental Shorthair breeder had a very Swedish-themed cage along with two really cute crocheted blå och gul crocheted Oriental dolls.

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This cat has a lighted chandelier in his cage!

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These are cats from Denmark.

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And these kitties are obviously from Finland.

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But guess what? These Finnish entries aren’t just “cats”…they’re all Somalis!

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Logan’s cage wasn’t decorated to any theme apart from the regular one we always use at shows. It includes fake pussy willows, because his registered name is Vide, which is the Swedish word for pussy willow.

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If you’re thinking it looks a lot like Jacoby’s show curtains, well….you’re right. They are the same.

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But that cool showcage table? That’s all Logan’s!

Other People’s Abys – Calendar Cats

Look who was on my Page-a-Day Calendar today! Luna, the lovely Somali from Belmont, MA (not too far from Boston)!

Somalis like to engage. Alert and curious, the breed’s dramatic, foxlike appearance, with big ears and bushy tails, is complimented by their zest for fun and play. And much like their Abyssinian cousins, Somalis look both elegant and untamed. They also love their people and flourish when affection is returned.

I know Summer will agree with all of this!

Aby-a-Day – December 10: What happened to your hair!?

A really funny thing happened at the New Hampshire Feline Fanciers show that Jacoby and I went to last month.

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A wonderful Grand Premier Somali named Ameusin Sir Galahad was entered in Premiership and he and Jake both happened to final in the same ring.

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In CFA, Abyssinians and Somalis are both considered shorthairs (yes, I know. Stay with me here). Cats are judged in alphabetical order, and Abys are at the beginning of the list while Somalis are at the end. Somalis and Abys almost never see each other in judging rings unless it’s in a final. And, in this particular final, Jake and Galahad were in cages where they could actually see one another.

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Galahad was fascinated with Jake. He could not stop looking at him! I think it must have been because he hasn’t ever seen a Somali with short fur before!

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“OMG…you look like me, but not…what happened to you!?”

Other People’s Abys – Calendar Cats

Check this out – today’s Page-a-Day Cat Calendar page features a Somali on a leash!

“Like their short-haired Abyssinian cousins, Somalis are both wild-looking and elegant, sporting colors from a traditional ruddy hue to a more unusual blue, all with the characteristic ticked fur that gives them their exotic appearance. Playful and athletic, Somalis can turn anything into a jungle gym – even your drapes – but if you take them outside for some R & R, keep them on a leash or watch out! These cats can be up a tree, or out of the yard, faster than you can shout their name!”

This lovely lady is Luna, and she lives in Massachusetts – Belmont, to be exact! I wonder if this photo was taken last year during all our snow?

Aby-a-Day – December 1: Behind what Somalis say (Cartoon Tuesday)

Another in my series of the sketches behind some of my favourite cartoons…in honour of Abyfriend Wendy’s blue girl Wren, whose birthday was yesterday, I thought I’d share the sketch behind last year’s April Fools Day cartoon.

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It’s rare for an artist to really like something they’ve drawn, but I’m extremely please with how the Somali versions of Vegard and Bård Ylvisaker turned out. They needed almost no changes from the original sketches to the final cartoon – that almost never happens!

Also, notice how Leo’s arm was not drawn around Wren’s shoulder. I drew each Aby separately, and put them together in Photoshop.

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Here’s the final cartoon. See how little Vegard and Bård changed from the sketch?

And if you still haven’t seen Ylvis‘ awesome video, well… you probably should:

Abys in Need: Northeast Aby Rescue (NEAR)

Filling a need that’s long needed filling, Northeast Aby Rescue (NEAR) started up early this year to rescue, foster and find homes for abandoned or otherwise needful Abyssinians and Somalis in the northeastern United States. I’m meant to be working on a logo for them, but so far have only completed a sketch…

All of these lovely Abyssinians (and one Somali) are currently available:

Sasha age 13 in Chicago, IL; ruddy female with special needs (blind). Adoption Pending


Cri Cri

Cri Cri age 12 in Chicago, IL; ruddy male. Adoption Pending

Darby age 6 in Philadelphia, PA; red female. Adopted Today!


Downton Abby

Downton Abby age 12 in Washington, DC; red female.

Elsa age 10 near Hartford, CT; black silver female. Speacial needs: No other female cats.


Eilonwy

Eilonwy age 3 in Philadelphia, PA; red Somali female with special needs (urinary). Adopted Today!

Other People’s Abys – Calendar Cats

Today’s Page-a-Day Cat Calendar page was a nice surprise – a bevy of Somalis!

“AROUND THE WORLD – Ahrensburg, Germany, is a proud town that dates back to the 13th century, and Kalahan, a Somali, is the proudest mama around, says her person, Edda Dalank. Her four kittens, ten-week-old sisters Massary and Makeda, and brothers Montoya and Matou, are beautiful, bright, and very active. It was a real challenge to get them all together for a group portrait.”

Another of Edda Dalank’s Somalis was featured in the Page-a-Day Calendar back in January 2012

Aby-a-Day – June 3: Summer’s Meet and Greet

On Friday night, Summer the Somali had a party in her hotel room and invited all her friends.

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I got to meet a lot of other cat bloggers including the people behind GloGirly, Sometimes Cats Herd You, and Random Felines, among others.

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Summer and her human were wonderful hostesses.

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Not only was there champagne, but there were Hello Kitty party favours for everyone!

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Summer kept one of the Slinkies for herself, though.

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I thought this was cool: Look at Summer’s bowl! It’s an Aby! It was a gift from her breeder.

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Summer reminded me so much of Jacoby! Somalis and Abys are so much alike…Somalis are just floofier! I know I said that the other day, but I was just fascinated with what ruddy fur looks like when it’s long.

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Summer reminded me so much of Jake that I had to check in on him with the PetCube! Can you see him and Angel in my art room?

Aby-a-Day – June 2: Wordless Tuesday (A perfect hostess)

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Aby-a-Day – May 28: Meeting an old friend

Guess who I met today?

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None other than our friend Summer and her human!

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It seems like we’ve known each other for years – and we have, online – but this was the first time we’ve met in person.

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Summer is every bit as wonderful as she seems to be from her blog. She really reminds me of Jacoby. Look at her smile!

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Her feet are really floofy, though, compared to Jake.

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So is her tail!

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She was so happy to be here with her human and all her adoring fans.

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We had some fun with a feather at the Hauspanther craft table tonight.

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I really wished I had been able to brink Jake. I wish they could have met. The best I was able to do was this.

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Which of course is nothing like the same thing thing at all.

Aby-a-Day – May 19: “They call me Aby driver, once upon a pair of wheels…” (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is based in part on this photo from the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook.

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And it’s partly based on this expression tutorial, brought to you courtesy of the artist who does Lackadaisy. Since it’s Cartoon Tuesday, if you have any interest in cats, the Roaring 20’s, incredible artwork, pig farmers, or old photographs, you really should check it out. Of course, this has little to do with my cartoon, per se…but there are cats who drive in that cartoon, too.

Seriously, though. Awesome webcomic. And I suspect Viktor may be a Somali – there’s a photo where his complexion is described as “Ruddy”…Just sayin’.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – April 6: “And I shall call him ‘Mini-Me’…” (Miniature Monday)

Back in December, doing one of my random searches for Abyssinians, I discovered Leo3DModels, a brilliant ball-jointed dollmaker on DeviantArt. Based in Russia, he makes the doll parts using a 3D printer and then he assembles them.

When I saw this picture, I was intrigued…

…But when I saw this photo…I knew I had to get one made of Jacoby. I mean, he’s not just a dollmaker, he’s one of us! He has a Somali!

As it happens, Leo has an Etsy shop, Elleo Dolls, where you can order your own custom kitty! I was so entranced with his little blue Abyssinian that I scraped up all my Xmas money and ordered one on 13 January.

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He arrived last Tuesday, 31 March. Here he is fresh out of the box outside the post office.

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The next morning, mini-Jake met big Jake.

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Jake was busy soaking up sunshine, but he was interested in meeting his miniature self.

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Jake was especially interested in the tail.

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Of course, I am also waiting for my other custom ball-jointed Jake doll, which Ana tells me is very nearly completed. That’s a project that’s taken over a year, and I cannot wait to compare the two dolls! As you may have noticed, I’ve started a new semi-regular feature, Miniature Mondays, so I can feature some fun photos of the mini Jakes and their little adventures.

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I love when I find random Abyssinians on the internet. I was actually looking for photos of Persians from the 1960’s (their noses were different back then) and I came across this Photo of Richard Katris (aka Chanan) and an Aby:

It’s part of a slideshow about the Cotton States CFA show in 2008 published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Not sure how I missed this…but then, I wasn’t really doing this blog on a daily basis back in 2008.

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Recently, our friend Summer the Somali met Richard, too. Apparently, she wasn’t the best model, but I can’t wait to see her photos! This isn’t Summer, but I got to watch Richard work with another Somali at one of the shows we went to in Groton, CT, a few years ago.

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Here, Richard checks the shots he’s taken of a red-point Birman.

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Jacoby has been photographed by Richard twice: once just before he became a Grand Premier back in 2011…

And again in 2012.

I love watching Richard work. As I’ve said many times, I’m a total fangirl. He’s one of my heros, my idols, my inspirations…and that’s really true. Growing up in California in the 1970’s, I remember seeing his photos when he was starting out. He’s become one of THE cat photographers in the country (there are others, but he was really the first). And not only that, he’s utterly and completely just a nice guy. I love talking with him. He has a million great stories that he’s happy to spin for you as long as he isn’t working.

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You’ll often see him wandering about the show hall with his camera, taking candids and chatting. I’ve had some great conversations with him; once, he gave me tips on my new SLT camera, and then at the Seacoast show in Concord, NH, we shared tricks we use in Photoshop to touch up cat photos.

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And he doesn’t just do portraits! Here he is talking shots of an Egyptian Mau kitten in the agility room at the CFA Annual in Quincy, MA.

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I got to see him again at the World Show in Philadelphia this past November. Sadly, it was much too busy to really have time to chat. Perhaps I’ll get a chance again if he’s at the Seacoast show in May. Maybe I’ll even have Jake’s photos taken again!

He doesn’t take photos of humans often, but it’s been known to happen…I even got my photo taken with Jake once! Of course…I was in costume, but still. One of my all-time idols took a photo of me and my cat. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Aby-a-Day – December 11: Toby the CFA-Iams Ambassador Cat

As I mentioned on Sunday, GPr Kimbelot’s Toberone was at the World Show as a CFA-Iams Ambassador Cat.

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It was nice to see him again!

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He was very welcoming, even inside his special Iams enclosure.

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“Open the door so I can do my job! I can’t be a proper ambassador in here!”

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Toby had quite a nice set-up, in a prime location in the vendor’s area just in front of the entrance to the main showhall.

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Also,since the cats were benched alphabetically by breed, he also happened to be fairly close to the other Somalis who were entered in the show.

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Toby reminds me of a longhaired Jacoby. He’s about seven years old now, if I remember correctly.

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At least, he talks like Jake does!

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He poses for the camera like Jake does too.

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He is such a sweet cat.

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He even tried to headbutt my camera lens the way Jake likes to!

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Boop!

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The funny thing is, I was so busy taking Toby’s photos that I think I forgot to pet him…and he is a “Pet-Me” cat!

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I think he was a little disappointed. Sorry, Toby – next time, I’ll remember to pet you!

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Here’s Toby’s display area – he even has his own trading cards!

Here’s the front of his card – it’s the same photo he has hanging on the back wall of his display.

And here’s the back, with some general information about Somalis. If only I was able to commit to going to 24 shows in a year, I would love to do this with Jake. He is a Pet-Me Cat Ambassador, but that gets hectic when you’re also entered in the show. Maybe someday.

Aby-a- Day – December 10: Wordless Wednesday (Gimme some fries!)

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Aby-a-Day – December 9: Cat Collectives (Cartoon Tuesday)

A couple of months ago, I was asked to do some illustrations for a piece my friend Iris wrote for CFA’s Cat Talk magazine.

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The article proposed names for groups of specific breeds of cats, including a Streak of Abyssinians, an Insistence of Burmese, a Salon of LaPerms, an Abbreviation of Manx, a Summit of Himalayans, a Tartan of Scottish Folds, a Wail of Siamese, a Gulf of Tonkinese, and a Convoy of Turkish Vans.

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I drew groups of Devon Rexes, Balinese and, since I couldn’t come up with a good idea for “Streak,” Somalis.

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It’s kind of fun to draw other breeds – or, at least, different colours and patterns!

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – December 7: Somalis at the World Show

There were a lot of Somalis at the World Show, especially in the Red Show.

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In the Red Show, there were two Somali kittens, three Somalis in Championship, and SIX Somalis in Premiership.

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Seven Somalis were actually entered in the Red Show’s Premiership class, but one was absent. I’m not sure which one it was, because I was too busy paying attention to the other end of the shorthair alphabet.

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This is GPr Camelotte’s Sir Alexander in Kathy Black’s ring. He was 13th Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership in her ring (Jake was 15th).

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Kathy Black also finalled a blue Somali, GPr Sunfox Foolinyourself of Desert Moon. He was her 3rd Best Cat in Premierhip.

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These two are Sir Alexander again (#424) and Premier Jaywhiskers Annika (#425).

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And here’s Sir Alexander and Foolinyourself together in Kathy Black’s final ring.

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The little red girl in this photo is Premier Camelotte’s Little Red (#426).

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Little Red ended up being the best Somali in Premiership in the Red Show. The Ruddy is our friend Sir Alexander – I got a lot of photos of him, as it turned out!

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The Premiership class in the Red Show was special in that there was a representative of all four colours in the same class. Here is the fawn, a spay, Premier Sunfox Mademoiselle of Desert Moon with Wain Harding. She is the half-sister of Foolinyourself.

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We also saw our friend Pippi (she was entered in the Purple Show, one of only two Somalis – both in Premiership – entered in that show) and GPr Kimbelot’s Toberone, who wasn’t entered in the show but who was attending as a CFA-Iams Ambassador Cat. Toby really deserves a post of his own, so stay tuned for that.

The Somalis entered in the Red Show were:

Kittens:
Ameusin Sir Galahad, ruddy male (Best Somali Kitten in the Red Show)
Ameusin Sir Lancelot, blue male (these were six-month old brothers)

Champions:
Ch Ranjana’s Wotan of Gules, ruddy male
GCh Gunsmoke’s Big Easy, ruddy male (Best Somali Champion in the Red Show)
Ch Jaywhisker’s Sir Lance of Camelotte

Premiers:
Pr Pypurz The Wind Beneath My Wings, ruddy neuter
GPr Front Range Leonard H. McCoy, ruddy neuter (I think he’s the one who was absent)
GPr Camelotte’s Sir Alexander, ruddy neuter
Pr Jaywhiskers Annika, ruddy spay
Pr Camelotte’s Little Red, red spay (Best Somali Premier in the Red Show)
GPr Sunfox Foolinyourself of Desert Moon, blue neuter
Pr Sunfox Mademoiselle of Desert Moon, fawn spay

And the Somalis entered in the Purple Show were:

Premiers:
Pr Jaywhiskers Uhura, ruddy spay
GPr Kimbelot’s Ahyoka Sunshine Pippi, ruddy spay (Best Somali Premier in the Purple Show!)

It was really impressive to see that many Somalis in one place. I mean, usually when we go to shows in the Northeast, there are more Abys than Somalis – if there are any Somalis entered at all. I just wish I’d been able to see more of them over the course of the weekend.

Special note for Summer: Five of the Somalis, one in the Purple and four in the Red, had a parent who was from Tajhara!