Aby-a-Day – 11 Juli: Ashes to ashes (Thursday Things)

When I got Jacoby’s ashes back from the vet, I knew I wanted to get ash jewellery made by Etsy seller Sugar Oh Honey Honey, the same as I had made with Logan’s ashes. Meg also sent me some of Taz’s ashes, so Jake and Taz would be together forever. I ordered two bracelets, one for me and one for Meg.

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The box came today.

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I couldn’t wait to open it!

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In the box was a card from Vicky.

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And tea. I love that the tea is from Waitrose.

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This is everything that was in the box. The flowered bags contain the leftover ashes. The ash charms are in small boxes, and there are cards commemorating trees planted in Jake’s and Taz’s names.

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Vicky also included silver bonus bangle bracelets with Jake and Taz’s names on them. Two of them, one for me and one for Meg. I love that so much. Vicky also sent two replacements of the Logan photo charm she sent me earlier, which broke. I am overwhelmed.

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This is what the bracelet looks like. The orange charm is Taz’s ashes, the green charm is Jake’s ashes, and the one in the middle, the half-orange, half-green charm, is Jake’s and Taz’s ashes mixed together…so they will be together forever. Considering they were such good friends, it’s only fitting.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Juni: Dashiell and Taz (Cartoon Tuesday)

This isn’t really a cartoon, but today Meg sent me the most wonderful photo of Dashiell interacting with a portrait of Taz, painted by her friend Rose Gates. It’s so very sweet, the way Dash is touching Taz’s face. I think he really will be a special cat indeed…Meg’s comment: “Dash is awed by Rose Gates’ Taz portrait. ‘I want to grow up to be a star like this guy!'” I hope he will.

Also, whilst cleaning my clothing cupboard the other day, I also found this charming birthday card Meg sent me.

I think it was last year, before Taz died. It’s perfect…and it does look a bit like a fawn silver Aby…

Aby-a-Day – 7 Maj: Jacoby and Taz OTP (Cartoon Tuesday)

Yesterday, I got the loveliest condolence card from Meg. The cover was a cat in stars…

…and the inside was just as lovely.

Jacoby and Taz were a team. We showed together, shared hotel rooms, and travelled all over the Northeast. Meg and I said that if they portrayed by human actors, Taz would be Ryan Seacrest, and Jake would be Ice T.

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I did a few cartoons of the two of them together, as you may remember, but my favourite drawing of them that I did was this one, with Jake as Psy and Taz as the Elevator Guy in the Gangnam Style video.

I really miss those days.

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 – 21 August – Remembering Taz in Cat Talk

My friend Teresa asked me to do an illustration for the CFA newsletter/magazine Cat Talk. Her exact request was, “I need something for the ‘Social Media Smarts’ column. What I’m thinking is someone coming home from the cat show…cat and rosette in hand. He/she is talking to someone else. I’ll provide the type, but what he’ll be saying is ‘he got 3 best allbreed champions, and 100 likes on Facebook.’ (subject matter is about using FB to bring in gate).”

I am not so confident about drawing humans, but I instantly thought of our recently departed Cousin Taz, and used him as the winner. For the rosette, I used a photo Meg took of her Toybob Tommy’s CFF rosette, which had the same wins Teresa had mentioned. I’m pretty proud of the final result…and Meg loves it.

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 – 2 July: Silverpelt has two new stars tonight

Sad day today. Our good friend Molly’s husband, Don, died this morning. “Don was the brains behind Team Aby and the enforcer,” Molly told me. Meg said, “I still remember how Don made me laugh with his plans to ‘rough up’ Wain (Harding) in back of a showhall.” I only got to meet him once, when I went down to Florida with my ex and we met up at – what else? – a cat show. He was a sweetheart, though; Molly’s birthday post was actually a result of him contacting me.

This is what he sent Meg: “Message from Don re. Molly. Could you help by contacting your Aby-a-Day people or something?

Hi Meg. As you may or may not know Molly has a couple of events happening this month. One being her 80 birthday next Friday the 16th and the other will be the end of working career when she leaves her job on the 31st. Since she considers her friends in CFA her extended family. I am trying to create a birthday greetings blitz with her friends. I solicit your help with letting her friends in CFA know. Since she considers you a great friend I thought you could help in this effort getting the word around. More to follow. – The Donald.” (How funny is it that he referred to himself that way?) And then in an email to me, he wrote, “Oh by the way to get all the way across the ocean you have to type loud.” You can read Don’s obituary here.

As if that wasn’t enough, Jacoby’s cousin Taz (aka GC, GPD, NW Anubis Taz Mania) also died today after a two-month battle with pancreatitis.

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Taz and Jake were more than cousins. They were show companions. We shared hotel rooms with Meg and Taz on more than one occasion.

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Jake even lent Taz his clothes!

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Meg and Taz recently came back to become, among other things, 15th best Premier in CFA this past show season.

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friends stopped running today.