Aby-a-Day – 10 July: The Girl with the Aby and Singa Tattoo (Cartoon Tuesday)

You might recall a few weeks ago I was about to go in and get a magpie tattoo on my arm and plan my next tattoo with Linus, my new tattoo artist here in Slövde. Linus is amazing, and tomorrow I am going to get it coloured in. I can’t wait! Since the 21st, I’ve had a half-done, just black lines and shading. It’s going to be amazing to finally have it finished.

In the meantime, I have worked up two better-coloured versions of my original sketch. The one above was coloured in on my iPad Pro using pencil and an incredible app called Art Set which works well…except it hasn’t got layers. So I did more colouring using Photoshop…and the result is above.

Then I thought my rough-sketched maple leaves, pussy willows and cherry blossoms were kind of…lazy. So I found some Photoshop brushes and line art and created a better background. At least I have something to show Linus tomorrow during my appointment.

Aby-a-Day – 19 June: Tattoo you (Cartoon Tuesday)

I have wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate Gun-Hee for years, but I never came up with a design. And then I got Logan, and he also died because of FIP. So my tattoo idea changed. It needed to include both Gun-Hee and Logan. So I came up with the above sketch. I am actually getting a tattoo on Thursday by Linus at Magic Man Tattoo here in Skövde…not cats, but magpies. I have always loved magpies, and I had one on my SCA arms (sable, on a maple leaf argent, a magpie displayed gules, marked and breasted argent (or, in other words, a black shield with a white maple leaf with a red magpie on it).

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It looks like this…this is an enamel piece I made in university, sometime around 1988. But I digress. When I go in for my magpie tattoo, I want to talk to Linus about my next tattoo…the one I have wanted since Gun-Hee died.

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This is my first colourised version of the sketch; I want to make a second version before I see Linus, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do it before Thursday. I can’t decide about the banner; I want to have something about FIP, but I don’t know if I like the location of the banner no matter where I put it. I want to have it done on it on my right calf. I am really pleased with the way Logan’s profile turned out, and Gun-Hee looks like Jacoby…but still looks like himself (it’s hard to explain). I can’t wait to hear what Linus says about it!

Aby-a-Day – 24 April: Tattoo you (Selfie Sunday)

I have several tattoos, but I wanted to get one to symbolise and commemorate my marriage to Björn. Many years ago, he gave me a silver necklace based on Bronze Age rock art from Sweden with a design of a man and woman kissing. The couple is known as “the Lovers,” “the Bridal Couple” or “the Holy Wedding.” It’s become something of a talisman of ours.

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So on 1 April, I went and got myself another tattoo of it!

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I added a cat-like creature from other rock carvings to the pair…if you look closely, you’ll see that the cat has a darker stripe along its back and a darker tipped tail! Just like an Abyssinian!

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While Björn was here for our wedding and honeymoon, he got a matching tattoo by the same artist, Deirdre at Redemption Tattoo in Cambridge – and she is awesome, by the way. If you need a tattoo and happen to be near Porter Square, look her up.

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Here are both of our tattoos together. Björn’s is about 2/3 the size of mine (I needed to balance out with the octopus on my other shoulder) and is feline-free. We are already planning on a trip to see the original rock carvings, which are conveniently located in Western Sweden, not far from where we will live. If we can, we want to get a photo of our tattoos and the original art…we’ll see how that goes.

Aby-a-Day – 15 January: Sanna-Leena’s new tattoo (Fashion Friday)

Our friend Sanna-Leena has an fabulous tattoo featuring her two boy Abys Sketsi and Kossi.

This week, she got a new tattoo featuring her red/sorrel girl Aby Kiipi! I love her eyelashes! Check out the video on Sanna-Leena’s Instagram to see the rest of this amazing tattoo done by Ravi-Lassi in Oulu, Finland. Well, I know where I’m getting my next tattoo!

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You may remember the gorgeous Aby tattoo I saw at the TICA show in Providence last year.

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Earlier this week, my friend Sanna-Leena Santapakka posted a photo of her new tattoo to the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook this week. Just check this out:

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She explained “Haven’t seen many tattoos with Abys on them, so I thought I should share my one. It has my boys, ruddy and fawn in it. My tattoo artist said he hasn’t ever coloured any tattoo so carefully as he did with them 😀 The tattoo artist is from Pitbull Tattoos in Oulu, Finland, and he is called Ravi-Lassi.”

Now I really want to get a tattoo of Jacoby…

Aby-a-Day – March 10: The wonderful world of TICA

I also wanted to share the TICA experience. It was, as I said, different. Different breeds of cats, a slightly different style of showing, and a slightly different overall personality. Not bad, just different. Kind of like when you live in either the US or Canada and go to the other country; we speak the same language (apart from that whole “couch/chesterfield” thing), we watch the same television shows, but we use different money and do our everyday things just a little bit differently.

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I like different. I’m a Gemini; different is awesome.

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It was also a lot of fun to see Munchkins, Bengals, Savannahs and Toygers, since those aren’t recognised by CFA. Savannahs, in fact, on January 28th 2012, TICA accepted the Savannah as a championship breed, so this was actually one of the breed’s first “real” shows.

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Animal Planet has a new episode of Too Cute Kittens with Savannah kittens, and it aired for the first time on the Saturday night of the cat show. I was talking to a woman with Savannah kittens on Sunday, and it turns out that those are her kittens on the program. So now I’ve met two of the breeders who have been featured on Too Cute! Kittens, the Abyssinians who were bred by Instincts (breeders of Jacoby’s mother Catalina), and now I’ve met the Savannahs, too.

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This is Janet with one of her kittens. As I’ve been telling the Pouponette’s Number 1, my camera has been having issues lately…the good photo I took of her wasn’t saved by the camera, unfortunately, so this is the best I have.

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This is an adult Savannah named Jordache.

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He and his human were wearing coordinated outfits!

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This is one of the Toygers that was at the show. I’d never seen a Toyger in person before.

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But last weekend, I got to see two!

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I never saw a Bengal in person, either. This was a Champion Bengal next to a really pretty little fawn Aby girl.

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She was adorable!

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There were also two ruddy Championship Abyssinians in the show.

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And this incredible Silver Cinnamon Somali.

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He was so gorgeous.

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And good-natured!

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This Siamese was actually a Household Pet.

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Every time I saw this little Japanese Bobtail, I was reminded of Eyebrow Kitteh. His people actually hadn’t seen Eyebrow Kitteh…I’m sure they thought I was strange.

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Dexter’s person had the most spectacular tattoo of her red/sorrel Aby…it’s certainly gotten me to thinking!

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And we also saw this little lilac European Burmese. It was funny, because Jacoby saw her first and he just kind of stared at her. I’m sure he thought she was Tessie at first, and he was just fascinated with her. It was really funny.

As I said yesterday, there was also a Pet Expo going on (the cat show was a part of the larger Expo), and we had a lot of spectators coming through both days. Everyone was really well-mannered, for the most part; people asked sensible questions and the children were polite. Sometimes when there are a lot of what we used to call “Mundanes” when I was in the SCA walking around, I get nervous for my belongings; the more people who pass by your encampment, the more likely it is that something of yours may evolve legs and walk away. But I didn’t hear of any missing belongings either of the two days, which is wonderful!

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We had a lot of attention around Jake’s house, because we were benched next to the only Sphynx at the show, and the kids all loved Sally.

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Her people, Laurie and Michael, let the kids touch her so they would know what a hairless cat felt like.

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I actually had to take her up to a ring while they were at lunch! I’ve petted Sphynxes before, but I’d never shown one…that was an interesting experience. I said it was like driving someone else’s car; I was familiar with the process, but everything was just slightly off.

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I like having little kids (and older girls) come by to see Jake. I always talk to them and let them pet a real live show cat; I was just like them when I was their age, and I would have been over the moon if I’d have been allowed to touch a real show Aby when I was 12. I would have been too shy to even ask, so I really enjoy talking to kids about the cat show, Jake, and the whole show experience because I see myself in those kids. I found an article for cat show exhibitors on a Persian and Exotic breeder’s website which, personally, says everything I want to say and more; it’s a brilliant essay.

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I also have Jake’s TokiPoki cards, and tiny “rock band buttons” with his name and photo on them that I give away to the really good cat-crazy kids. Those are very popular; sometimes the parents want one, too! A lot of the cat people at shows can be a little preoccupied and a lot of us deal better with cats than with people (myself included), so I always try to remember what I felt like when I just came to look at cat shows, before I was actually involved with them.

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The Expo itself had a lot of booths with all sorts of pet-related products. I bought a totebag with “I Love My Abyssinian” on it (and it had green handles, too!) from Klondike Stuff embroidery, and the owner came over to me and said, “Thank you for buying a totebag.” I grinned and said, “Thank you for having a totebag with an Aby on it!”

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I also got this little grey hand towel from her. It’s supposed to be a “Yoga Cat,” but I think she looks like a fawn Aby.

Another cool thing about Expos like this is that you get introduced to new products, like the new walnut-shell litter that Blue just came out with. The Northeast sales rep himself (I think his name is Greg) came around to all of us exhibitors and extolled the virtues of this new litter – and also gave us a bag to try out!

I haven’t tried it yet, but apparently nut shells in general, and especially walnut shells, have amazing ammonia gas and odor-neutralising properties. During WWI, they were used in gas masks because walnut shells were super-effective against mustard gas. According to Greg, this was discovered by accident when gas masks were stored in a shed that was broken into by squirrels, who stored walnuts inside the gas masks. When they were testing the gas masks for effectiveness against mustard gas, the men who had gas masks with walnuts in them were fine, but those without the walnuts passed out. And, as anyone who’s ever read a label on a bottle of bleach or ammonia knows, mustard gas is ammonia-based, just like cat urine. So it should work really well on cat box odor, and I’m very interested to try it!

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I’m sure Jake is, too. I just hope he doesn’t try to eat it like he did the corn-based World’s Best Litter!