Aby-a-Day – 15 January: Tattoo foxers (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is only tangentially related to Abys, or even cats, but I thought you might find it interesting.


I had this snake tattoo…and I really didn’t like it. I got it for the wrong reasons, it hasn’t aged as well as most of the other ones I have, and it really doesn’t go with the other tattoos I have.


So I finally decided to do something about it. I decided to get the snake covered up with a traditional Japanese fox design.


Today was the first session. We got the outlines done, and then we coloured in the fox. I am not going to lie…this was the most painful tattoo I have ever gotten.


Instead of a red fox, though, I wanted a North American grey fox. I have always loved the grey and orange colouration of these foxes.


Also, the colouration of the grey fox is quite similar to Alfred’s…I call him my grey fox.


When I got home, I was drained and exhausted. I was lying on the sofa and Jacoby instantly came and lay on top of me…and on top of the tattoo. But it was nice, actually. Soothing. We’ll finish this tattoo up next month.

Aby-a-Day – July 31: Jake’s first ArtBeat (Friday Flashback)

Jacoby went to his first ArtBeat in 2010.


He was amazing. He was just over a year old, but he hadn’t been with me a year yet.


We didn’t have a stroller yet. We used his Snoozer Rollaround carrier. But it was partially because of ArtBeat that I decided to investigate getting a stroller for Jake.


Jake took to ArtBeat like a natural.


The best interaction was with a boy named Jason.


Jason was developmentally challenged, and he was a sweetheart. He loved Jake and even gave me a big hug. It was the moment that I knew that Jake would be a good therapy cat, and that we’d be a good therapy team. I’ll really miss going to ArtBeat…it’s really a very special event.

More Embroidered Abys (and other kitties, too)!

You may remember that last fall I posted about my friend Lee’s marvelous cat embroidery. Well, she’s just gotten some new Abyssinian patterns and has some wonderful new items in her inventory.

Like this wonderful memorial pillow! They come in many colours and they’re wonderful – I have a pair on our sofa already (and now I have three).

She’s also got a range of embroidered shirts, towels, pot holders and tote bags available in both her online store and eBay. Check them out – they are really wonderful.


Remember, I have her embroidery on my therapy shirts…now, we just have to get back to visiting…

Aby-a-Day – January 26: I’ll be by your side (Hipstamatic Monday)

The last few days, I’ve been sick with a urinary tract infection.


Jacoby has been stuck to my side like glue since Thursday night, when I first started feeling ill.


Since I’ve been sick, it’s been him, my iPad, and CSI.


I don’t know if Jake knows why I’m sick…


…But I really do think that he knows I have the same thing he gets.


He really does seem to feel my pain.


He’s been my little buddy, stuck to my side…I think he can tell what’s causing my illness. And he knows it’s the same thing he gets.

Aby-a-Day – November 16: Assessment

Jacoby and I had our recertification assessment for Pet Partners today. Since he didn’t pass the last time, we didn’t take the train; my husband drove us. We also took the test in a different room that was completely dog-free.


Jake did a lot better this time than last time; being in the new room definitely helped.


And he was really happy to be back in his stroller. In fact, he was a little too happy to be back in his stroller…and that may actually have been part of the problem.


When Jake was doing the parts of the assessment that involved him not being in his stroller (on someone’s lap, being held by me or someone else, or on a table), he hissed and growled. Not at anyone – these were “in general” hisses and growls – and once he was back in his stroller, he would purr and knead his cushions.


However, the growling was bad sign, regardless of the reason for it, and he didn’t pass his assessment again. Deb, the person who did his assessment today and who’s done all of his previous assessments, is afraid he might be suffering from therapy burnout. He still obviously loves and enjoys aspects of therapy visits, he doesn’t seem to love all of it, at least when he’s being tested. He’s never growled or hissed on an actual visit, but the concern is that if he does it during the test, he could do it on a visit, and the last thing you want to do is scare a patient. So, for the time being we’re still on a break.


We aren’t going to take the test again until March, and if he doesn’t pass then, well…maybe he’ll be a retired therapy cat. We’ll just have to see.

Aby-a-Day – September 17: Wordless Wednesday (Visiting with Vincent)






Aby-a-Day – September 14: Trip to Grafton

Jacoby and I took the Commuter Rail out to Grafton today for our recertification assessment.



It was a nice, uneventful trip, unlike last time.



He had a pretty good time exploring the lobby of the Tufts Veterinary administration building.


Despite all the dogs.


I was very happy to be able to get a few more copies of the Catnip newsletter with the article about therapy cats and Jake.


I was only able to get one copy mailed to me because I’m not a subscriber. I tried using the “but that’s my photo of my cat” argument, but it didn’t work. So it was an unexpected boon to get a few more copies.


On our train ride home, Jake made a new friend.


This little girl was thrilled to see a kitty on the train.



And Jake was pretty happy to have a little girl pet him. He’s so great with kids.

Aby-a-Day – September 12: Certifiable (Friday Flashback)

This weekend, Jacoby and I need to go out to Grafton and get recertified with Pet Partners and Tufts Paws for People. Basically, every two years we need to have our skills and aptitude assesed so we can renew our documents and continue to visit.


I’m not too concerned about passing; after all, Jacoby is a bit of a natural.


But the first time we took the assessment…


…I’ll admit I was a little nervous.


I knew he’d be great with strangers.


But there’s one part of the test where he has to sit on someone’s lap for 30 seconds without anyone touching him. I wasn’t sure he could sit still that long.


I needn’t have worried.


We passed the first assessment as well as our reassessment in 2012. We should be just fine on Sunday.

Aby-a-Day – August 14: Look! Up in the sky!

I thought this was just the most awesome thing…

Toki Poki did a series of Superhero Pets trading cards, which, of course, Jacoby was involved in…

Room 16 pupils from Otumoetai Primary in Tauranga, New Zealand were sent sets of the Superhero Pets cards, and they sent back letters and drawings in response.

I love the one girl who was so taken with Jake:

“Jake is really funny!” she says, and then goes on to mention her three kitties, Ripley, Echo and Rosie.

Jonathan was also impressed with Super Jake. “My favourite card was Captain Tripod and Super Jake because he can jump really high.” Jonathan has two cats, Paws and City Puss.


I thought it was so cool that Jake got to “meet” kids in New Zealand. Someday, I would like to take him to visit schools in person as part of his therapy work, but at least he gets to do it through the magic of Toki Poki.

Aby-a-Day – July 23: Wordless Wednesday (Happy to be here)