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.

Other People’s Abys – Kudos to Cousin Taz!

Remember Cousin Taz? Once upon a time, he had retired from the cat show circuit. But this year, he’s come back with a vengeance!

The CFA show season ended on 30 April, and it’s official! Taz is Best Abyssinian in Premiership in all of CFA, the 2nd Best Cat in Premiership in the North Atlantic Region 1, and the 15th Best Cat in Premiership in all of CFA.

Taz is a year younger than Jacoby, and to win these honours at the age of eight is incredible. You go, Taz!

Aby-a-Day – May 7: Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? (Cartoon Tuesday)

This was all Meg’s idea, inspired by Jacoby’s Best Cat win this weekend at the Seacoast Show. Taz is retired this year (having won 6th Best Premier in CFA’s North Atlantic Region as well as Second Best Aby in Premiership in CFA for the 2012-2013 show season* – Congratulations, Cousin Taz!) so Jake was on his own in the Aby Premiership class this first show weekend of the season. It was also inspired by the cartoon from this same show last year that was also Meg’s idea.

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(*In case you were wondering, Jake was the CFA’s 11th Best Aby in Premiership, just out of the Top 10. So we’ve got our New Year Resolution set for this season!)

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

Aby-a-Day – April 8: Other Abys at the Stamford show (Hipstatmatic Monday)

The show Jacoby and I went to in Stamford a couple of weeks ago was a pretty good one for Abys. There were two Aby kittens, three Abys in Championship, and two Abys in Premiership (Jake and Taz).

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Usually, shows are so hectic that I never have time to watch other rings, but this show had a more relaxed pace. This is Cousin Taz’s nephew, Fire, who Granded on Saturday and spent Sunday showing as a Grand Premier.

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He’s pretty relaxed on the judge’s table, as you can see.

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He had a lot of fun with the scratching post in Lois Jensen’s ring!

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This is John Rutherford’s Ataraxia Coatue. She’s a sweet little ruddy girl, just a little younger than Fire. She’s related to our friend Cousin Toki Nantucket!

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She’s growing into quite the little drama queen, don’t you think?

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It looks like she shares Jacoby’s escape artistry!

Aby-a-Day – April 2: Gangnam Style (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is one of those things that’s been in my head for a while and then finally just came out, fully formed, like Athena.

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What’s interesting about this is, the background is a photo I took of the neighbourhood we stayed at when we went to Seoul. What I didn’t know at the time is that we were actually staying in the Gangnam district! So Jacoby’s actually doing the horse dance in Gangnam-gu in this cartoon! Don’t you love it when things work out?

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That video is just so spoof-worthy that I couldn’t just leave it at that…so here are a few more scenes from the video, featuring cameos by Angel, Cousin Taz and Cousin Fire. You have to admit, it’s kind of perfect. Jacoby could totally be in PSY’s videos.

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

Aby-a-Day – March 28: Pole Dancing

When you go to a cat show, you’ll notice that each judging table has a scratching post on it. This is so the cats with stretch up and have a scratch so the judges can see the cats’ musculature and see their bodies move in order to better assess their conformation to the breed standard.

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Most cats – and especially most Abyssinians – love to show off and scratch the post. This is Ataraxia Coatue – a relative of Cousin Toki!

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Some Abys, like Cousin Taz’s nephew, Instincts Fire, take scratching the post to a whole new level.

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Most cats just scratch the post. They don’t usually try to climb it.

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Jacoby, however, never “pole dances.” He’d rather stand on the judge’s table and survey the audience.

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Which is why, on Saturday in Gene Darrah’s ring, it was so funny to see Jake go up the scratching post like a regular Aby! Meg and I couldn’t believe it.

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Apparently, neither could Jake. Look at his face! He seems to be saying, “What am I doing? I never do this!”

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Evidently, Taz has picked up some bad habits from his cousin Jake.

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As hard as Gene Darrah tried, Taz would NOT scratch the post.

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But he did pose nicely. I think maybe they’re spending too much time together!

Aby-a-Day – March 8: First time for everything (Friday Flashback)

These days, Jacoby’s a seasoned show cat, but there’s a first time for everything.

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Jake’s first show was a Tonkinese Breed Association club show held in Milford, MA February 26-27, 2011.

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It was Kylie’s first show, too.

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That was also when we first met Iris Zinck!

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Jake was a lot chunkier then than he is now. Of course, it was winter and he’d had his escalator foot injury only a few months earlier, so he hadn’t gotten a lot of exercise before the show.

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It’s only the only show he’s ever stood up on or paid any attention whatsoever to the scratching post on the judge’s table.

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He wasn’t even two years old at that show, so he was still a goofy kitten. He started later than most cats, though.

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Look, here’s cousins Lew and Taz (or is it Taz and Lew?) in the kitten class at that same show! Taz and Jake now show together in the Premier class, and Lew is two years younger and a kilogram lighter!

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This was also back when a Novice cat was called an “Open” in CFA and needed to collect six Winner’s Ribbons before he could compete as a Premier and earn Grand Points. He got eight at that show, but couldn’t compete as a Premier and win rosettes until the next show he entered.

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Besides being Jake’s first cat show, it was also his first hotel room. And that he really enjoyed!

Aby-a-Day – March 7: Friends and Family at the TICA show

We had a wonderful surprise at the TICA show in Providence last weekend…we ran into our friend Matthew from the Mansfield show last August!

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Jacoby remembered him, too.

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Sadly, we didn’t see him until the very end of the second day, as we were packing up to go home.

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Still, it was awesome to see him again!

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We also met this red Abyssinian named Eastwick Deja Reve of Khamsin. His father is Anubis Lew Zealand – Cousin Taz’s brother!

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What’s interesting is that his mother is from Finbheara – Finbheara Be Witched of Eastwick. I have been doing some sleuthing and I suspect that Angel may be from Finbheara and Abytopia.

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And it was a strange thing, because Deja Reve is a two-eyed boy, and Angel is a one-eyed girl…but his face really reminded me of Angel’s.

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This is an extreme zoom-and-crop, and it’s pretty grainy as a result, but doesn’t he look a bit like Angel in this photo? It definitely gives my theory that her mother is a Finbheara cat a little more credence!

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Last but not least, I have a couple more photos of our friend Sparkle’s relative”Bones” (aka RW, NW SGCA Front Range Leonard H McCoy)!

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His grandmother is Sparkle’s mother – Tajhara Tina Turner! They live on opposite ends of the country, but they’re only a generation apart. Isn’t that amazing?

Aby-a-Day – February 14: Cat Show Valentine

Love is a funny thing.

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It can really make you chase your tail!

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It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. You always notice an attractive member of the opposite sex.

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And you’ll do anything to be close to him or her.

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I know who my Valentine is. And so does he.

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Happy Valentines Day!

Aby-a-Day – September 30: Brushin’ off my tails

The cat show this weekend is actually two separate, individual shows, sponsored by different clubs, and with different entry fees and registrations. Kylie was only entered in yesterday’s show, and Jacoby was only issued in today’s.

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Today’s show was sponsored by the Touch of Class cat club, so I thought Jacoby should dress accordingly.

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Of course, today he was actually competing, so he couldn’t just hang out all day in his outfit, but he did make a grand entrance.

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I’m just sorry I didn’t have room to pack his top hat.

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Such a schmoozer! Jake did great today, too! He was Best of Breed in two rings, and he finalled in three of the six rings, taking 8th, 9th, and 10th Best Cat in Premiership.

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Cousin Taz was the only other Aby in Premiership today (there was a female entered yesterday, but both Jake and Taz were only entered today), and he took 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 9th Best Cat in Premiership. Not a bad day’s work, if you ask me.

Aby-a-Day – September 25: Paw & (dis)Order: Discovery (Cartoon Tuesday)

One little joke at a cat show blossoms into a four-panel cartoon story arc.

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This is based (loosely) on Goren and Eames. When I told her the plot, Meg said that “Lili will probably insist that it be all about her.” So, we’ll see.

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

Aby-a-Day – September 18: Paw & (dis)Order: Abyssinial Intent (Cartoon Tuesday)

This started out as a joke during the Mansfield show; someone (a judge?) said something about the Aby colour classes being “different but equally important” which of course led to me cracking wise about crack about “These are their stories,” and finally ended up with Jacoby being cast as Lenny Briscoe and Taz as possibly Mike Logan, but more likely Rey Curtis.

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It kind of mushroomed from there. This is part one of four…

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

Aby-a-Day – September 11: Girl Trouble (Cartoon Tuesday)

At the show in Mansfield, Meg brought a just-turned-8-months girlcat called Tiger Lili. Lili, while adorable, set off both Jacoby and Taz, both of whom were unusually grouchy. They hissed at the judges! More than once!

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Lili, like most girls, was oblivious to the effect she was having on the two seasoned showcats.

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

Aby-a-Day – September 5: Wordless Wednesday (Visualise Success)

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