Aby-a-Day – February 5: Abys at the World Show

It occurred to me that I never finished sharing photos from the World Show in Philadelphia, which Jacoby and I entered last November.


There was a good showing of Abyssinians at the show, representing all four colours. There were a couple of other Abys, like Racy Mooner and her mother, Twyla, who were at the show but who weren’t actually entered in competition.

Also present was the 2012-13 CFA show season’s Best Cat in Premiership GP, NW Zhender’s Roger Vivier of NuDawnz. I forgot to take a photo of him (despite his being benched just behind the Aby breed booth), but I did get his card.


There were a LOT of Aby kittens entered – Five were entered in the Red Show, and four were in the Purple Show.


One of the kittens in the Red Show was Vasil’s little red girl, Greenville Deja Vu.



Deja Vu was the Best Aby Kitten in the Red show with 4 finals.


Vasil’s fawn girl, GC Childofsun Nammi of Greenville, was entered in the Purple Show.


She didn’t earn a breed win, but she was a ONE-SHOW GRAND, maiking seven Championship finals and earing 245 grand points!


Vasil and his girls weren’t the only breeders to bring cats from Russia. Here is Olga Beresneva with her ruddy Aby boy, GC Instincts Espresso of Omnia Mea. Espresso was the Second Best Aby Champion in the Red Show. He’s also a cousin of Jake’s, since he’s from the same cattery, Instincts, as Jake’s mother Santa Catalina.


There were also several Aby breeders from Japan, although they didn’t bring their cats (Japan, being an island, would impose a 180-day quarantine on them when they returned). This is Kiyomi Kondo talking to Jake.

We actually had dinner with the Japanese breeders, and they all gave me their cards.

While the Japanese breeders couldn’t easily bring their cats, they did bring cat toys!

This is a stick toy that Jake was given. I think the cartoon kitty on the packaging is supposed to make you think of Chi.


It was wonderful to meet so many Aby breeders from all over the world, but it was also great to see American breeders, too. Of course, Meg and GP Anubis Chai Latte (aka Garçon) were there.


Garçon was entered in the Purple Show, and he was the Best Aby in Premiership.


Lauren Castle Flynn of Abycastle was there with her red boy, GC Abycastle Kathmandu.


I also got to meet Suzie Kidder, a breeder who lives in Northern California but who grew up in Massachusetts! we actually had an interesting conversation about how we’d traded places. Here she is talking to spectators with her Open Champion Abyko’s Sparks Upon The Wind.

Suzie’s cattery, Abyko, is in Mill Valley.


Carolyn Osier and her Aby GC Wil-o-glen’s Si Se Puede, from Orange County in Southern California, were also entered in the Purple Show. Si Se Puede had a great time riding on Susan’s scooter to get to and from the rings.

Wil-o-glen is one of those cattery names that appears in most modern Abyssinians’ pedigrees. Carolyn has been breeding since the late 1960’s, and even had an Aby who screen-tested for Disney’s The Cat From Outer Space! In fact, that Aby, GC Ruddy Raider of Wil-o-glen, appears in Jake’s pedigree along with several other Wil-o-glen cats on his mother’s side.

One of the highlights of the weekend, however, was meeting Rae Ann Christ of El Qahira Abyssininans. She took one look at Jake and knew that he was descended from her lines – he has several El Qahira cats in his ancestry on both his mother and his father’s side of the family! In fact, El Qahira is a name that shows up a LOT in Jake’s pedigree, as recently as his great grandfather, El Qahira Tamas!

Aby-a-Day – December 18: Hoop-De-Do!

Racy Mooner was literally jumping through hoops to entertain her fans at the World Show last month.


She did it several times, and I was lucky enough to be able to capture her on camera.




Sort of, even with my rapid-fire SLT camera, Racy is fast! These last three were taken about 1/8th of a second apart…and she’s still a blur.


After her landing, she composes herself…



…and then she’s ready for a treat and another go.


Of course, it must be remembered that Racy is a cat.



And cats…






…Perform on command.


Sometimes, Racy didn’t feel like going through the hoop and just walked on by. It was pretty funny.


Lisa-Maria just asked Racy to do it again.


Come on, Racy, let’s go!





Perfect landing!



And now you get your treat! Good girl, Racy!

Aby-a-Day – December 17: Wordless Wednesday (Racy Rolls)
















Aby-a-Day – December 14: Racy Mooner at the World Show

One great thing about the World Show was seeing old friends again.


Like Racy Mooner, her mother Twyla, and their human, Lisa-Maria.


Racy, Twyla and Lisa-Maria were actually working at the show.


Lisa-Maria was selling the Sturdi Walking Vests she and Racy helped design.


Racy and Twyla were the models.


Racy seemed a little dismayed that her mom was sharing the spotlight with her.


She needn’t have worried.


Racy is always the star!


Besides, modelling isn’t as glamourous as it’s cracked up to be



Racy sat on the table with the merchandise and basically did what Abys do.



She helped.


At least, I think she was helping.


Lisa-Maria was busy explaining the harnesses, helping people find the right size for their cats, and selling them to a steady stream of customers.


Meanwhile, Racy showed off how great the harnesses are.


Together, they make a great team!

Aby-a-Day – December 13: “Beauty” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Beauty.”


There are those who say cat shows are basically just beauty contests.


They are, to a degree. But cat shows are more about conformation and adhering to a written standard than they are about physical beauty. And, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Some cat fanciers find this to be the epitome of feline beauty.


Meanwhile, other think that body type is “ugly” and consider the rounded features of the Persian to be “beautiful.”


I think most cats are beautiful in their own way, and I can appreciate when a cat embodies perfection according to the breed standard, regardless of the breed.


The “beauty contest” part of a cat show really comes into play when it’s time to put up the cats in the finals, because how can you compare a Maine Coon to a Sphynx to a Persian to an Oriental Shorthair to a Scottish Fold to an Abyssinian…and come up with a “Best Cat” overall? In that, it comes down to personality and, yes, beauty.


While Jacoby scores highly in the “beauty” category, I doubt he’ll ever be named “Miss Congeniality.” He doesn’t kiss up to the judges. He doesn’t like to play around on the judges’ tables. He rarely climbs the pole, even if they ask him nicely.


He doesn’t play with toys, either.


No, Jake just prefers to stand there and look awesome.


And some judges really love that he just poses majestically on his table so they can step back and examine him “hands off.” So there.


Of course, even the most handsome cat can be made to look awkward in a well-timed photo…

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.


It was nice to see him again!


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


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


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.


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.


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


At least, he talks like Jake does!



He poses for the camera like Jake does too.


He is such a sweet cat.




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





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!


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


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!)







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.


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


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.


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).




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


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


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


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


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!


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.


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:

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

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

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:

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!

Aby-a-Day – December 5: Not Vogue-Worthy (Fashion Friday)

Saturday at the World Show was a very cold day. It was 25* in the morning! It stayed cold all day long, too. After we were done with all of our rings and we were waiting to go, I dressed Jacoby up in his bomber hat and jacket.


The guys from Vogue were taking photos over in Ring 9, which was right across from where we were benched. They saw Jake in his coat and they grinned…


…but they took photos of our friend Pat taking photos of Jake instead!


Poor Jakey. No Vogue magazine for you.


Suzie Kidder, an Aby breeder from Northern California (Abyko is her cattery name), felt sorry for Jake because people were laughing at him in his nice warm coat, so she gave him some Whole Life freeze-dried meat treats. These are commonly referred to as “Kitty Crack.”


This particular one was the Turkey. Of course, Jake doesn’t care what flavour it is – it’s a treat!


Can you see the little crumb of turkey on his mouth?


Here’s a better view.


That’s good, Jake. Get that crumb, it’s just there…


…Okay, I think you got it.



Aby-a-Day – December 4: Meeting a Legend

One of the reasons I really wanted to go to the World Show and enter the Red Show was because Wain Harding was one of the judges. (The other was because it was near Philly and I could see my sister.)


You’ll have to indulge me here with a little fangirling. Wain Harding was the name in Aby breeders when I was a cat-crazy little kid first going to cat shows. I grew up in Davis, CA and Wain was based in Berkeley, CA – only 64 miles away on I-80! – so I saw his Abys a lot when we went to shows in Sacramento and San Francisco. They were probably the Abys I saw most, now that I think about it.


I’m sure I must have seen Wain at a cat show at Cal Expo or the SF County Fair Building/Hall of Flowers when I was a kid. I may have also seen him as an apprentice judge!


Wain Harding is Bastis Abyssinians. Bastis is one of those cattery names that shows up in viturally every Aby’s pedigree at some point.


Jacoby has a solid Bastis backgound, starting with the legendary GC Bastis Zackariah, DM. Zackariah has 83 offspring known to ERoS, and there are probably a lot of his kittens that weren’t recorded there. This one cat is probably the keystone of modern Abys. I wonder if anyone can find an Aby alive today without Zackariah’s name in his or her pedigree?


Long story short, it was a pretty big deal to meet Wain Harding, no matter what Meg says 🙂


It was pretty exciting when, as Wain took Jake from the judging cage to the table, I heard him exclaim, “Wow…what great colour!” To have that be the first thing he said when he examined Jake was pretty amazing.


Needless to say, when I heard Jake’s number called for Wain Harding’s Shorthair Specialty Ring at the World Show on Saturday, I was thrilled.


I was so busy being excited and taking pictures, I don’t remember what Wain said as he presented Jake with his rosette.


When I first got Gun-Hee and wanted to start showing, I scoured the internet for information on showing Abys and discovered this article about the perfect show Abyssinian. Several Aby-centric judges were interviewed for this Q and A, including Wain Harding. This article made an impression on me, especially Wain’s comments.


Jake was Wain’s 14th Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership. This was out of 40 shorthair premiers entered in the Red Show.


I know a lot of people might think, “Only 14th place?” but this was a very stiff competition. All of the Premiers were in top form at this show, and in all honesty, I got really lucky that the other Abyssinian Premiers weren’t able to attend and Jake ended up being the only Aby in Premiership in the Red Show. All in all, Jake ended up in 40th place overall and he earned 39 points.*


The one thing I really wanted to do was get a photo of Wain with Jake and I. We had planned on getting one, but even though we were benched right across from his ring all weekend, I never managed to get that photo. Well…perhaps there will be a next time.

*On a side note, take a look at some of the cats’ names in Premiership! There’s a Manx named Jack Benny and a Maine Coon called Maine-ard G Krebbs. Two of my favourite characters! I love names like that.

Aby-a-Day – November 30: Scenes from the World Show – Bathroom Buddies

I have a lot of photos from the World Show to share, which I will post on this blog over the next few days and weeks.


But I wanted to start with these, because I think they’re just so cute.


When Meg and I go to a show together, we share a hotel room. Depending on what cat Meg is showing, this can be an interesting situation. We have had to keep one Aby in a show tent all night.


Jacoby and Garçon, however, get along really well. They may not sleep cuddled up together, but they do sleep on the same bed when they’re at a show together.


They also share the same bathroom.


We had two litterboxes in there, one for each boy…but at the end of the weekend, when we were cleaning up, only one of the boxes had been used. That’s pretty impressive, really, for two cats who don’t regularly live together.


Garçon loves me for some reason. The first time I met him, he stole my scarf so he could cuddle with it.


I’m sure Jake knows that Garçon has a crush on me.


I’m not sure he likes it.


Don’t worry, Jakey! You’ll always be my boy!

Aby-a-Day – November 28: Vogue Magazine (Fashion Friday)

One interesting thing about the World Show last weekend was the presence of a camera crew from Vogue Magazine.

They were there both Saturday and Sunday, and they took a lot of photos. Fifteen of them ended up on Vogue’s website, including…

Abyfriend Pat taking a photo with her iPhone! The photo guys were impressed with her Abyssinian phone case.


Pat was actually taking a photo of Jacoby at the time…but evidently Jake’s stylish hat and coat weren’t Vogue-worthy.

Pat’s not the only person who made it into Vogue Magazine, though. Check out the background of this photo of Larry Adkison’s kitten final. Yep, that’s me standing back there next to Vasil, whose little red kitten made that final!




This little girl, Greenville Deja Vu, ended up being the Best Abyssinian Kitten in the Red Show!


The photo of the final that appeared in Vogue was a little chocolate silver torbie and white Devon Rex kitten, Karmacatz One Hot Mess!, who was just four months old and barely old enough to be in the show at all. She was best kitten in that ring. And it was super adorable watching Larry prance around with her and try to put her in his pocket and take her home with him.


So here’s something you don’t see very often: the other side of a magazine photo.

Aby-a-Day – November 25: Cultural Exchange (Cartoon Tuesday)

The CFA World show truly was an international event. I met Abyssinian people from all over the country, as well as breeders from China, Japan and Russia. Jacoby and I spent the entire weekend benched next to Vasil Butorin and his two Aby girls. Vasil flew all the way from St. Petersburg just to come to the show.


Of course, Vasil speaks Russian to his girls…so yesterday, I was wondering if cats meow in other languages, too, and I sketched this on my iPad.


And then today I finished it up a formal cartoon. My sister actually wrote the Russian for me (thanks, Karen)!

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

Aby-a-Day – November 24: Scenes from a show (Hipstamatic Monday)

Jacoby and I are still recovering from our weekend, but here are some photos from the CFA World Show.


It was a really long drive from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. We also had to stop in NYC to pick up our friend Vasil, an Aby breeder from St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida).


It was really exciting to see all the breed winners’ ribbons laid out!


The show moved pretty quickly. Jake made his first final around 1:30pm on Saturday.


I was rather amused the ribbons said, “Oaks, Philadelphia” instead of “Oaks, PA.”


There were, I think, representatives from every CFA breed in the show hall…but I fell in love with this cage full of Siamese babies.


At the end of the day, Jake had made two finals.


Meg’s red boy Garçon (GP Anubis Chai Latte) did well in the Purple Show, too. He and Jake were like a Premier Aby tag team.


The sunset on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous.


It was cold on Saturday and the show hall was chilly, so Jake put on his hat and coat while we were waiting to leave for the evening on Saturday.


People thought it was hilarious that Jake wore his hat and didn’t mind it…Jake was just happy to be warm.


The famous Racy Mooner, her mother Twyla Mooner and their human, Lisa-Maria Padilla, were at the show, too, but they were in the vendors’ area, selling Racy’s walking jackets. I didn’t really even see them until Sunday.


Racy was showing off, doing tricks like rolling over…


…and jumping through a hoop. It was really great to see them again.


Most of the show happened on Saturday. There were nine rings total, and six rings were judged on Saturday, with the remaining three rings judged on Sunday. However, one ring in each show did their judging on Saturday but didn’t have their final until the next day, so there were only five finals on Saturday with four on Sunday. This is the Jake in his final on Sunday.


The best thing about Sunday, though, was seeing my sister Karen! She lives in Philly and stopped by to visit us and see all the kitties. It was awesome to introduce her to all my friends, and being at a show with her reminded me of when we were kids.


At the end of the day, Jake had made four finals, won the Best Abyssinian in Premiership in the Red Show, and was ready to go home – and so I was I. It was a really long drive. We left the show hall at 4:45pm and I got home at 12:20am.


Jake had to spend the entire time in the car in a large cat carrier with a litter box. By the time we got to the T, he did not want to be in his carrier any more. I let him sit on the seat.


Even though we both had a great time at the show, we were eager to get home.


And today, we are recovering. Cat shows are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work.

Aby-a-Day – November 23: Brief Report from the World Show

I’m writing this in the car on the way back from the World Show. On my iPad. I took about 2,000 photos this weekend and rest assured that there will be many upcoming posts about what went on (and what I managed to see of it)!


But for now, since I’m in a car with Meg and Vasil Butorin, an Aby breeder from St. Petersburg, Russia, and four cranky Abys, today’s post is going to be a rather short one.


Out of nine rings, Jacoby finalled in three Specialty rings. He was 15th Best Shorthair in Premiership in Kathy Black’s ring, and then he was 14th Best Shorthair in Premiership in Diana Doernberg’s ring and, very excitingly, Wain Harding’s ring! Wain Harding is the breeder of the legendary Bastis Abyssinians, so that rosette means a lot to me – especially since Wain is based in Northern California and I grew up seeing his Abys at cat shows.


There were 66 cats in Premiership (40 of which were shorthairs) in the Red Show. Jake wasn’t the only Aby entered – there were three Grands and an Open entered in the Premiership class, but the two other Grands were from Buffalo, NY, and weren’t able to get to the show, and the Open was also absent, so Jake ended up being in a class by himself.


Since he was the only Aby in the Premiership class, he also won the Best Aby in Premiership rosette in the Red Show! Meg’s red boy Garçon was the Best Aby in Premiership in the Purple Show, and Vasil’s fawn Champion Granded today and his kitten was the Best Aby Kitten in the Red Show, so I’m pretty much sitting in a car full of awesome right now. The Aby breed rosettes were sponsored by the Abyssinian Cat Club of America, too, which makes them even more special.

Much more to come as soon as I have a chance to go through all the photos I took…