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[ Abiko's face ]
10 Feb 97. Abiko full-face portrait.
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aka: AbiKat | AbiCoco | Abi
DBA: AbiCo
[fn.48[ Go to footnote! ]]
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Appellation Maine Coon Cat contrôlée [fn.19a[ Go to footnote! ]]
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Photos from Olympus D-300L digital camera
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[ Go to next cat! ]
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[ Backlit Abiko ]
9 Feb 97. Abiko on library floor, backlit by mid-Winter afternoon sun, peering out from behind baseboard heater, watching guests in living room....
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[ Abiko looking at nephew Noah ]
...and, later, turned around, scrutinizing nephew Noah, visiting from England.
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In Japan, there is a well-known cartoon cat: Doraemon. When I was there, I watched Doraemon cartoons on TV. Doraemon's mission is to protect, educate and entertain his human friend, a little boy. Doraemon has a magic pouch in his tummy, from which he can take out objects to protect, educate and entertain the boy. When Doraemon has nothing else to do, he sits cross-pawed on a tatami mat and studies. A picture of Doraemon admonishing school children to look both ways before crossing the street is available. I saw this poster on the window of a store in Tokyo, and took a 35mm color photograph of it (ca. 1984). Shortly afterwards, I made an 8 x 10 in. black-and-white enlargement of the picture. The present image is a picture of that print, taken with my digital camera (16 Feb 97).

[ mouse #1 ][ mouse #2 ][ mouse #3 ]April 22, 2002. Last night, Abiko caught a small, blue-gray and white mouse in the basement, and brought it upstairs to the living room in her mouth. My wife was thoroughly "freaked" by it, and ordered me to take the mouse away from Abi and throw it out. I did not want to touch the mouse, so I held Abi over the garbage can and shook her [not really roughly, of course...] to try to get her to release the mouse into the garbage. No such luck: Abi held the mouse in her teeth in a vise grip, until, finally, she succeeded in swallowing the mouse "whole" [cat as a one-way mousehole...], so then I let her go. But for the next fifteen minutes or so, Abi kept coming back to the garbage can and looking intently inside, even though I'd emptied the trash and put in a fresh trash bag -- So, who knows? Maybe I did shake the mouse loose after all? (I don't really think so.) -- 25 April 2002: Abiko caught a second mouse. This time I figured out how to get her to give it up: I gently pressed at the back of her jaws; her mouth opened; and the mouse neatly fell out into the garbage can. -- 27 April 2002: Abiko caught a third mouse! 3 in one week! [22 September 2002: I come down to the kitchen at about 05:50AM and find Abiko and Misu with a large partly eviscerated, very dead mouse in front of the kitchen stove.]

May 9, 2002. Abi was down in the basement all night because I did not know she was there when I went to bed. When I heard her in the morning, scratching the basement door to be let out[*[ Learn about Personal Emergency Locator Beacons! ]] (i.e., let up into the main living area of the house...), I noticed a broom and a dust pan and a dust brush had fallen down the stairs, and Abi had a small chunk of skin "cleanly" hacked out of one side of her nose and a larger chunk hacked out of her opposite cheek (Click here to see[ See Abiko's wounds! ]). She seems OK. Presumably she got hit by falling debris which somehow she dislodged, as opposed to being wounded by enemy action.

See: Abiko on mouse watch in Kitty Tora Bora [aka stairs leading to basement] (AbiCam? 73k). Addendum: 19 February 2004, I trapped an enemy combatant [aka squirrel] down there, but, unlike the Bush Administration, I did not hold the prisoner in indefinite detention but rather released him in neutral territory.

July, 2002. When the baby (Mimi) cries, Abiko will get very close to her, look at her intently, and herself start crying plaintively, apparently in deep empathy with the baby's distress, pleading for someone to relieve it. (Read about Abiko's traumatic reaction to losing Jethra from her life (31 Dec 1998), and then Misu entering her life 3 months later.)

September, 2008. Abiko was diagnosed with hyperthyroid condition, which is apparently frequent with older cats. Untreated, this condition apparently is fatal by causing the cat's metabolic rate to become extremely high (Abi had a heart rate nearly 300 beats per minute whereas about 150 is normal...). We tried medication (Tapazole) but Abi had an adverse reaction, visible by many small, raised crusty scabs on her face (she also endeavored ever more successfully to avoid taking the pills...).
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Abiko was given radioactive iodine treatment August 26. She had to stay at the treatment facility for a week until her radioactivity level went down to where she was safe for people to be around. Then we had to try to limit our contact with her around the house for another 2 weeks (iodine-131 has a half-life of about 8 days). Other than the [now hopefully cured...] thyroid condition, the vet said Abiko was very healthy, now at age ca. 15 years old. ~ December 27, 4 months after her treatment, Abi had blood tests at the vet, and the results were normal (Abi's thyroid number was 1.4; the high normal limit is 4.0; before treatment, Abi was above 7.0).


March, 2011. In late March 2011, Abi's health suddenly "failed" rapidly. In the preceding few months she had become emaciated, and sometimes vomited, but still she was eating heartily and getting around energetically. Then, one night, she had trouble standing (she had had one day like that around New Year's, but seemed to get over it the next day...), and she was incontinent. Two days later, the incontinence recurred (she pee'd in my lap in the morning when I held her to give her the medicine the doctor had prescribed for a urinary infection), and she was very lethargic, laying down in the litter box. Lisa researched on the Internet and all the information that it was time to go matched Abi's condition. We waited until Mimi came back from school so that she could say goodbye to Abi, and then we went to the vet. The vet agreed that Abi was suffering and that it was time. Abi laid limply on her side on the table in the vet's office, with her two front paws stretched out in front of her and crossed one over the other. The vet gave Abi an anesthetic. After a few minutes, the vet gave Abi another injection and Abi was gone. Abi was a good cat. Perhaps she also had unusually "deep" awareness.

See Abiko portrait 23Nov02 :: Cats and savages, and us....
Portrait of Abiko (30Dec02; 126k).
See Abiko at rest: Peaceful Kitty (Jan04).
See Abiko at rest: Early winter evening (Jan05; 113k).
See Abiko at rest in pile of clean laundry (Apr06; 99k).
See Abiko, in the style of Rembrandt (Apr06; 110k).
See Abiko looking out screen door (Apr04).
· Read about it: Abi gets out but soon returns (May05).
· Read about it: Again, Abi gets out but soon returns (Jun06).
Examine Abi's wounds (09May02).
[ Go to next cat! ]

Return to Brad McCormick's Essays page (Abiko).
Return to Brad McCormick's Essays page (Doraemon).
Return to Abiko and Jethra together.
Learn about Abiko's younger half-sister: Misu.
Learn about Doraemon Japanese cartoon cat.
Meditate on raking cat litter.
Bless your pet! (Abiko needs a blessing...).
[ Doraemon and Fortune Cat wish you good luck! ]

Enjoy two (2) great cat cartoons.
Return to first digital photos page.
Go to website Table of Contents.
Return to Brad McCormick's home page.
Return to site map.
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25 March 2011CE
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