1.21.2011

Friday Flashback

When I was fourteen my sister Sarah (who is six years older) and I brought home a nine month old Abyssinian kitten.  Sarah had read about some kittens that would be available at a local cat show and dragged me along as her hapless accomplice.  I was very excited, but worried that we were going to get in big trouble for doing this without our parents knowing about it.  At the show she met a breeder from Virginia and selected a female kitten named Fanny Bryce Spartacus II.  Quite a mouthful for the tiny-boned, delicate creature that she was.  In the car home we renamed her Abby, which is a short form for the breed (Aby).
Abby came from a busy cattery, we never saw this cattery so we don’t know what it was like but she was VERY skittish and tense for a very long time.  After about a year though she settled in and became the most fantastic cat; highly intelligent, affectionate, loyal and so very beautiful.   She was also remarkably slender considering she was a complete glutton and thief of any food she could her paws on.  Perhaps there were a lot of cats around during her early months and maybe she didn’t get enough to eat, but you name it and she tried to steal it; bread, cheese, nuts, cereal, meringues, carrots, nothing was safe, our butter always had lick marks on it even if it was only left on the table for a minute or two.
  

My mum and I were out for lunch today and she was asking after my cats, in particular how our newcomer Jimmy was doing.  I said Jimmy was highly food motivated and regularly surfed the counters, much to my chagrin.  On Christmas day my family was witness to Jimmy’s extreme interest in some shrimps we had out on the coffee table which had to be guarded.  This was caught on camera http://catscats-catrina.blogspot.com/2011/01/wordless-wednesday.html.  My mum said “He’s a thief just like Abby” and I replied “Do you remember the time she tried to steal a pie?”  I'm not kidding, an entire pie!  We heard a huge clatter in the kitchen one day and Abby, a five pound cat had tried to make off with a pie which probably weighed as much as she did, that my mum had on a cooling rack.  Everything ended up on the floor…luckily face up!  We laughed and talked fondly about her antics as if it were yesterday but actually more than twenty-five years have passed since she went to the bridge.  Our beloved Abby died at age seven of a massive tumor in her chest.

PLEASE NOTE:  Unfortunately I have no pictures of Abby as she lived in a time well before digital cameras. The Abyssinian pictures I have used here came from a google search and were the closest representation of what she looked like that I could find.

PS - I do not endorse buying cats and prefer to rescue cats in need, but my sister is her own person and has the right to do as she wishes :-)

30 comments:

meowmeowmans said...

What indelible images they leave on our hearts. Thank you for sharing your stories of Abby; your fond memories of her speak volumes about how much she was loved. :)

I just went and looked at the picture of Jimmy and the shrimp. Classic! I must've missed that post...'

Have a great weekend, dear friends!

OKcats said...

Though I don't think I'll ever 'buy' a cat with so many sweet ones waiting for homes, I am very taken with the Abyssinians! They are so gorgeous and seem to have really neat personalities. Abby sounded like a character!

Marg said...

I have always wanted to just see an Abyssinian. They look like they are so pretty. Glad to know they are really nice kitties too. That must have been fun remembering all that. That silly Jimmy sounds like he is a silly boy. Hope all of you have a great week end.

Admiral Hestorb said...

Admiral's mommy here: What a dear story about Abby. I had a little sweet beautiful thief called Excalibur. I got him as a rescue from the Vet and every chance he got, he would steal our food every chance he got. He loved his own wee dish of scrambled eggs on Sunday morning too..and peas and corn especially called to him.

This was back in the day that we had indoor outdoor babies and Excalibur was killed by a speeding car. I always remember him and the sweetness he brought. I still miss him.

weaverpat said...

I've always wondered why some cats are 'Hungry Cats'. In my forty some years of having cat companions I've had a few who would eat practically anything and would 'steal' food whenever possible.
Right now I have TWO young ones who have become
food terrorists. While we are trying to deal with one of them, the other is into something else. Nothing is safe!!!
And cats who have this 'need' don't ever seem to grow out of it no matter how much food is available. I wonder what the kitty psychiatrist would say???

ABBY said...

No doubt about it any kitty named Abby is a winner in our book!
MOL
~Abby (the manx)

PS
We loved hearing about Abby and we are also so happy Jimmy is doing so well.

purrin
xoxox

Simba said...

The Abyssinians have such personalities, don't they? Our second cat was an Aby, the only "breed" cat we have ever owned. She was a lot of fun. Your Abby sounds like quite the character. That pie story is a great one.

Jimmy sure does look like he would love to snag a shrimp!

Simba's Mom

Mr Puddy said...

I'm not calls Abby a thief but I call her " A Food Tester " : )

The Island Cats said...

Abby was quite the character, wasn't she?? I once tried to make off with a chicken breast (mom stopped me before I got out of the kitchen) and I stole a tomato off the counter (mom found it about a month later under the bed....yuck!!)

Wally

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

thank you for sharing your story!

I try not to judge others that buy pets...my Bobo was a stray...Cody I adopted...but Dakota our Sheltie? Yes, we bought him from a home breeder....in a sense he was "rescued" because if she couldn't "show" a dog he wasn't given as much attention as her other "show" dogs.

We tried to get a Sheltie from a Sheltie rescue (we had our hearts set on a Sheltie) but there were none close to where we live. Soooo I bought one and rescued two......I am not ashamed or embarrassed one bit.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Thanks for sharing that wonderful story. I've never seen a cattery and probably never will since every cat I have had in my life was rescued. I can say that one of my kitties was found at a church lot all alone as a little kitten snd rescued by a very wonderful woman. Apparently Lilly...her name now...had starved almost by time she was found. She was taken to the vet and the woman paid for all of her shots and medical care. I had just lost my wonderful kitty Phoenix and came in there about something. The woman was just checking out with "kitty cat"...Lilly's former name. She asked the tech to post something about the kitty needing a home at which point...the tech pointed at me. I left there with Lilly and after 14 years, she still eats like there isn't going to be anymore food. She eats so fast that sometimes she gets sick. The vet and I think she still has those memories of starving in her mind as a kitten. She knows there will always be food in the dishes but gets upset if I don't top it off every morning to her satifaction. Just seeing me put a few more kibbles in there seems fine with her even if she doesn't eat it! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

TK and Squashies said...

Abby sounds just wonderful! Our furbabies are never forgotten!

LP said...

All cats need homes once they are in the world...but yes,some indisputably need homes more desperately than others.
Abby was fortunate to have found a family who loved her well during her brief stay on earth and who keep her memory alive despite the passing of years!
Have a great weekend!
The critters in the cottage
P.s.Esme loves butter too and will try to wrangle chicken out of your hands if you aren't careful.

Penny said...

Abby looked like a real sweetheart. What great memories you have of her.

Purrs,
Genghis

Sparkle said...

My human loves Abys... and she loves fluffy cats. Which is how she ended up with me, since I am basically both!

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

What a nice cat story! We are so sad to know that she died so young from a tumor. :(

Au and Target said...

I love Abbies! Pity they have to come from breeders though; not fond of breeders as too many are kitten mills. Au and Target don't steal but Boris does. I tell him he has no morals :-)

Cloon said...

Wow, that's quite the story about Abby and the pie! I can just imagine how shocked you must have been! What characters these wonderful felines are! And that picture of Jimmy and the shrimps, oh that's a classic! Both Neytiri and Clooney are very interested in human food, so I know about the counter surfing you are talking about.

Sammy and Andy said...

What a beautiful tribute to Abby!!!!!!!!!!

We think a lot of the kitties that come from breeders need to be rescued also!!!!!!!!!

Love to all of you.

Cory said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of Abby, she sounds like a character.

I have been known to steal food too! I once stole 1/2 a cornish game hen right off my mom's plate and ran into a bedroom with my prize. I was only 5 months old and I'll never live that one down.

Purrs,

Cory

Brian said...

Abby was a very beautiful lady! Hello Jimmy!!!

Natalie said...

Abby sounds like quite the character! I love that she tried to make off with an entire pie. That must've been a sight to behold.

Tamago said...

Oh I enjoyed reading about Abby a lot!! She was such a sweet kitty!! I chuckled whe I read about her stealing the food. It is amazing that she kept herself so slender despite her passion for food. Maybe she did a lot of excercise :-)
I am glad your parents let you keep her. Bought or rescued, either way, all the kitties need a wonderful home!

The Creek Cats said...

Sounds like Abby was a great kiktty!!

CCL Wendy said...

Obviously you didn't get into trouble for bringing home sweet little Abby! I just loved this story. Abby sounds like quite the character. Sometimes it's the smallest kitties that have the most gumption.

Actually, she sounds a lot like Dylan's sister, Buttons, who lives right next door. Buttons steals anything off the kitchen table or counter that has been left unguarded momentarily. She generally drags things to the basement to devour them.

You can always think of little Abby as 'pie in the sky'!

By the way, did you see Ben on the LOLSpot for Friday?

=^..^= said...

Mommy just wanted to say to be careful about keeping butter away from us kitties. She has a furriend who lost a most beloved kitty after it ate some melted butter. :(

~Slash & Bronzy

MoMo said...

It's always with nostalgic pleasure that we think of those who have left. We still remember our first dog very fondly.

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

Abby sounded a fun and adorable cat. And no matter how many years since they have gone, we never forget them or stop loving them. It's good and comforting to remember.

The Crew said...

All 4 of us came from shelters, too. Mom applauds those who adopt!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

What a heartfelt story...thank you for telling us about Abby! Our Teri saw her first Cornish Rex at a cat show too, where she took her moggie calico kitten, Cascais, to a cat show and they stuck in her mind for many many years. Every time she went into a bookstore and looked at the cat books, she always looked at the Cornish Rex cats first. Then, after Cascais went to the Bridge, she got her first CRex and the rest is history...