Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Feb 28, 2015
I adopted Maura almost seven years ago, when she was six weeks old. I picked her from the litter because she didn't freak out when I picked her up. She just looked at me. Maura was also a runt, which I always had an affinity toward because they had a harder time of it.
When I got her home, she was very afraid of any open spaces, but I think that she had only been in a kennel and a cat carrier before I took her home. So, I started her out in a small area and let her explore more and more of the house when she was ready.
When she was a kitten, she was extremely obnoxious, clingy, and needy. I got almost no sleep because of it. She would play with my face, while I was trying to sleep, in an attempt at getting me to get up and play with her. An unpleasant habit of hers was giving me love bites on my nose, which were sometimes painful and even occasionally drew blood. I broke her of this habit by gently pushing on her nose whenever she did it. Eventually she mostly stopped doing it. Now days, when she does do it, she is extremely gentle.
She also played what I called "Hit and Run". She would run at me while I was sitting in a chair, attack my hand, and run away. It was adorable and extremely painful. Maura was also extremely shy around people that she did not know very well, but she was good with the two dogs that my roommate had.
At around a year old, she grew out of "Hit and Run", but grew to love knocking things off of shelves and cabinets. As she was exposed to more people, she became far less shy.
Around this time, she also started to sit at windows and make little chirping sounds, mimicking the birds outside. I thought that it might have been my imagination at first, then I talked to someone who used to breed Abyssinians and he said that his cats had done this as well. Unfortunately, she no longer does this (inside anyway). I believe that she doesn't do it anymore since she now has access to the outdoors. Before, she was strictly an inside cat. However, I moved and she had access to the garage and eventually got up the guts to run out when the door was open. Now it is only possible to keep her inside when she wants to be inside.
After becoming an indoor/outdoor cat, she has become much less needy and more independent. However, she is still very loving and vocal and much less annoying. Yes, she could be very annoying when she was a kitten. She also grew out of knocking things off of shelves.
When I had a baby, I was afraid that she would be one of those jealous pets, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. She immediately loved him. When he was an infant, she would lay beside him, but at a respectful distance. Now that he is three, she lets him carry her around all over the place and is completely loyal to him. She adores my little boy and is so, so good with him. If she needs a break from him, she just hides somewhere or lets me know that she wants to go outside.
Abyssinians are very energetic cats and need plenty of space to get that energy out. They love to play and climb. So, if you live in a very small space, you would need to play with them a lot to get their energy out and you might even walk them if they are inside cats. It is a good idea to have scratching posts and areas high up for them to lay down when they are at rest. If you adopt one when they are kittens, then be ready to lose just as much sleep as you would with an infant. You need to be very patient with these cats in their first year or two.