Prossimo – Ragdoll of the Week

| January 6, 2014 | 48 Comments

DSC_0553I rescued my mystery cat in early December 2012.  Nine months prior a neighbor had moved in and left her gorgeous cat out 24/7.  I’m very much a “to each their own” person but living in a condominium complex my other neighbors were beside themselves as the cat was pooping giant poops on their little green areas and there were constant rumors that he was biting and scratching people and dogs.

DSC_0745My only sightings of him were when I had my dog (Yoda, a 30# Corgi/Norwich terrier mix I adopted from a local city shelter in April 2009), and the cat would run away.  I should say here that I would not consider myself a “cat person”. I’ve fostered about 16 dogs and 2 cats over the course of about 6 years.   I like them but no desire to have one permanently.

In the first week of December 2012 I came home from the mechanic sans dog and the gorgeous cat was outside per usual.  When I got out of my car DSC_0732he was very loud and so I started talking to him and walking toward him. The cat came toward me slowly but without reservation and I reached down to pet the cat and was instantly alarmed.

He had horrific mats.  Some were so large that they cold have doubled as handles.  I then noticed that he had poop hanging off its bum and was a mess back there.  I went to another neighbor’s house to have her look – she hated this cat because it was constantly leaving giant poos in her meticulously cared for garden.

DSC_0503I forced her to touch it (she’s allergic) and she was horrified as well.  I called another neighbor who was trying to do something about this cat as well (several had called Animal Control and a couple were going to catch it and take it to the shelter), and while the cat was bothering him he was also very concerned for the cat.

I went back outside and the cat was eating people’s Poinsettia plants so I moved all my neighbor’s plants (I’m sure they appreciated that!).  I called another neighbor who works at a Vet’s office.  She explained to me, the cat ignorant person, that the cat’s IMG_6489bum was a mess because it could not clean it because of the mats which were painful.  At this point, I was pissed.

We live in an area heavy with Coyotes (Hawks, Rattlesnakes, Bobcats, etc…), and in fact out complex is bordered by (no fencing – all open space), a nature preserve where these animals, and more, live.  As winter sets in the bunny population is decimated and outdoor cats go missing every couple of days and blood is on the asphalt and concrete throughout the complex.  She told me that a cat that had that severe of matting would not stand a chance against a Coyote.

IMG_6498The neighbor who owned the cat was home so I went and knocked on the door.  They refused to answer so I left.  I took some pictures of the cat and put a flyer up asking if anyone knew who the cat belonged to (even though we knew who it belonged to), suggesting that whomever owned the cat was out of town and paying someone to care for it and didn’t know that the cat was being neglected.  Hoping that would not be embarrassing to them (they could claim that they had been out of town and unaware of his condition) and bring him inside and care for him.

Nope.

The next day, my neighbor who worked at the Vet had said that if I caught the cat the Vet would look at it for free and tell me if I was overreacting or not.  If the cat was in bad shape they would fix it up (for free – that Vet is a whole other wonderful story!), IMG_6489and I could take it home and see how it would do with the dog and, not being a cat person, if it worked for me.  If not, they would happily take it and find it a good home.  She advised me to get some canned tuna as a lure.

The canned salmon was cheaper so that’s what I got!  When I got home at 8pm that night, there was the cat again.  I got the borrowed crate out and put the salmon in the back of it and made a trail with it.  The cat Hansel & Greteled it right into the crate!

IMG_6722I set up a huge dog crate with a litter box, water, food and a bed for it.  He spent the next 12-hours meowing!  It was so loud I was certain that someone would hear him.  The next morning I dropped the cat off at the vet and anxiously awaited their verdict and hoping that it was okay.

They called and said “it’s a boy!”.  His mats were so bad that they needed to anesthetize him to deal with them and clean up his back end.  They said he seemed in good condition, he had been neutered and that he was VERY loud!  The Vet’s determination was “abuse due to severe neglect” and they saved some of the mats for me in case I needed them as proof of anything in the future.

Their guess was that he was a Blue Point Doll Face Himalayan but they also suggested he might be a Ragdoll or a cross of the two.  I went with Himalayan.

IMG_7398He and Yoda were fine from the first second and I fell in love with him immediately.  Truth be told, I knew I loved him while he was at the vet and I couldn’t stop thinking about him (if I could just find a nice burly man to think about that way!).

I agonized over whether or not I should give him back.  I reached out to so many people (even strangers) and did my best to tell the story fairly.  The overwhelming majority said to keep him.  Two people that I respect very much felt that I should give him back.  Another two people said that it would be a valid choice but that the likelihood that he would survive with the Coyotes was nearly nil and that he certainly would end up in the same condition again.

It took me about two weeks and I finally decided that I was not going to give him back so then I had to come up with a name for him.  I had a list of ideas and suggestions of about 20 names but nothing sounded right to me.  After about 4 weeks I finally came up with Prossimo.  I used Google Translate to come up with this Italian word for Neighbor.  I felt it was fitting since he came from a neighbor and also to honor the many neighbors who helped in the rescue/escapade!

IMG_7408I felt it was fitting since he came from a neighbor and also to honor the many neighbors who helped in the rescue/escapade!

He has not matted at all since I got him even though he hates to be brushed.  I think he matted so badly previously because he was out in the rain so much.

His paws are gigantic!  He was 15 pounds when I got him and how he’s 16.5 pounds.    This is what made me start doing more research into his breed.  A Himalayan should not be this big and without grooming, his fur should be matted.

When I come home about 60% of the time he’s downstairs at the door and when people come over he goes and greets them.  He definitely flops down and rolls over (it’s so unusual that I noticed it as different but I thought he was just weird until I started reading your site!), he spends a lot of time on his back splayed IMG_7490out relaxed.

His back legs seem short and stocky to me and he’s not much of a jumper.

Anyway, I’m wondering what you think – do you think he’s a Ragdoll or Ragdoll mix?

He eats a whole prey raw diet, is fairly mellow except when he is hitting, biting or humping the dog!  Yes, humping.  Yoda is so mellow that she either just ignores him or goes and hides.  Prossimo definitely rules the roost.  When we come back after a walk he’s generally downstairs waiting for her (1/2 the time he’s meowing at the door so loudly I can hear him down the street!), he sniffs Yoda, rubs up against her, chirps at her and follows her up the stairs.

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Category: Ragdoll of the Week

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Thank you for sharing Prossimo’s story with us! My goodness this poor kitty has certainly been through some trying times, poor sweet thing. How lucky is he to have found a Mommy like you to care for and love him! Very lucky, indeed!!!

    I loved the story. It’s true love for sure. What a great vet to donate his time and expertise to help out a kitty in dire need! Awesome.

    Lurved the pictures. Lurved the videos even more. What a sweetie Prossimo is! And your doggie is beautiful, too! Lurve the names Prossimo and Yoda! Perfect.

    Hey, I’m no Ragdoll expert as our kitty Pink Sugar is our first Raggy. However, Prossimo certainly appears to have the body shape, coloring and personality of a Raggy. If he’s a mix, then he’s definitely 90% Ragdoll at least! He’s gorgeous! Absolutely stunning with those blue eyes popping from the dark grey/blue face.

    Congrats on finding the perfect kitty for you and Yoda!

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂 <3

    • ChristyB says:

      Thanks Patti!

      Dr. W was/is amazing – he has quite the stellar reputation around here, people LOVE him!

      Yoda isn’t as much of a fan since she’s on the receiving end of the Lifetime Movie of the Week type of relationship they have – he humps her, she hides, he beats her, she cowers, he stalks her, he whispers sweet nothings while nibbling on her ear then slaps her, they sleep next to each other, he bites her! – but hopefully it will improve with time.

      He’s just recently starting sitting on my lap when I read or watch TV. While his roughness with Yoda seems to have increased in severity it has decreased immensely with frequency. I have high hopes!!

      • You are most welcome, Christy B.! 🙂

        Poor Yoda. Lurve your LMOTW reference. LMAO Hilarious!

        I think you have two treasures in your home with your rescue efforts. And, I’m sure they are both devoted to you!

        A world without pets isn’t much of a world to me. So happy there are so many animal lovers out there such as yourself, Dr. W., Jenny and all the other Floppycat readers!

        Big hugs!

        Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂 <3

      • Dementia Boy says:

        Please don’t make old ladies laugh. Depends are expensive, ya know. Could Pro’s middle name be Heathcliff??

    • laurie nichols says:

      I have been wanting to enter my cat Ben as ragdoll of the week for quite awile. But I never can find how to do this, can you help me?

  2. Suzanne Freeman says:

    What a delightful story!!! He looks like a purebred blue point Ragdoll to me. I have a blue point male. His ear set, points, coat, and eyes look to be the standard.
    How could anyone treat him so poorly? He is one lucky boy..enjoy every minute with him!!!!

    • ChristyB says:

      Thank you for sharing the similarities Suzanne, it makes me feel more confident in my defining his breed – not that it matters other than general care (such as he’s not too big!).

      I worried that maybe he was out all the time because he had a litter box, spraying or some other issue that they couldn’t deal with. Maybe he did but here he hasn’t displayed any of that here (well, except for his abuse of the dog!). Of course now that I’ve typed that he’ll poop in the middle of my bed after spraying my couch, right?!

      Yoda was left in a parking lot when she was 2-years old. While I wish she hadn’t gone through the trauma of that (it took years for her to gain confidence), I have no hard feelings for her people prior to me. They obviously couldn’t care for her and if she hadn’t been left when and where she was, I would have missed out on the absolutely best dog I could ever have. I feel the same way of course about Prossimo!

  3. Teresa says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for sharing Prossimo’s beautiful story. So sad that people are so uncaring that they would leave any animal out like that and never think a thing about it- just like they are property or something. Well, so thankful you were persistent in helping him and then adopting him. Know he loves you with all his ♥ for that. He is absolutely gorgeous no matter what kind of kitty he might be. He does look like a Ragdoll to me, but I’m don’t know all the qualifying traits. No matter, he has found a wonderful place right in your heart and that is the only thing that matters. Wishing you and your family all the best!

    • ChristyB says:

      That’s sweet Teresa, thank you! As I replied to @Suzanne Freeman above, I have no ill-will toward his previous people; without them and the situation, whatever it was, I wouldn’t have Prossimo!

      • ChristyB says:

        Teresa, I hit reply too soon by mistake!

        He is purrty isn’t he?!

        The neighbors that were so frustrated with him before now love him! Even neighbors who weren’t in on the escape found out that I have him and tell me how happy they are that he’s safe now and ask about him.

        I do still feel kind of bad about it but keep trying to tell myself I did the right thing. I’m 98% sure I did but I still have a little guilt – not enough to track her down and tell her or give him back though so I guess I don’t feel that guilty, eh?!

      • Dementia Boy says:

        What a beautiful and healthy attitude.

  4. Coinneach says:

    Someone call for a big burly guy who loves cats? 😀

    I agree with the other commenters, Prossimo is at least half Ragdoll. Thank you for rescuing him; you’ve made a devoted friend for life.

    • ChristyB says:

      Why yes, yes I did!!

      I certainly hope so – he can be quite a turd sometimes but he makes me laugh so much so I can easily forgive his occasional turdiness!

      He’s changed a lot this past year and I hope he continues to evolve – less abusing of Yoda and more cuddles all around please – but even if he doesn’t, he made me “The Crazy Cat Lady” for sure!

  5. Ragdoll Mommy says:

    Oh my! He is H.A.N.D.S.O.M.E!!!

    Just look at those eyes! He is so HANDSOME!

    I see he is a Bluepoint, I once had a Sealpoint; I now own a Blue Mitted and a Blue Bicolor.

    🙂

    • ChristyB says:

      Thanks for the insight! I looked up all the variations you listed and of course they are all gorgeous but oh my gosh, the Blue Bicolor!!

      • Hey, Christy B.!

        Our Pink Sugar girl is a Blue Lynx Bi-Color. You can see an older picture of her at the following link (when we won one of the May 2013 Petstages Prizes):

        http://www.floppycats.com/ragdoll-cat-pink-sugar-winner-of-may-2013-floppycats-com-giveaway-petstages-cat-toy-packages.html (Look at this and tell me how purty my girl is!) 🙂

        She’ll be 15 months old tomorrow! Yay!

        I think all Ragdolls are sooo gorgeous (but I have real soft spot for the Blues and the Flames). 🙂

        Big hugs!

        Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂 <3

        • ChristyB says:

          She’s SO cute – that face!!!

        • ChristyB says:

          She’s SO cute – that face!!! I loved how your husband piped up in the background with her exact age. Clearly she has two smitten humans!

          • Aw, thanks Christy B.! Smitten is definitely the word.

            She has my sweet hubby wrapped around her big ol’ paw. Who am I kidding? She has us both wrapped around her big ol’ paw! lol 🙂

            There’s just something so special about these kitties!

            Big hugs!

            Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂 <3

        • Dementia Boy says:

          Patti, your laugh sounds just like you!!

          Until I watched your videos, I thought of Pink Sugar as a dainty, petite wisp of a girl, a Tinkerbell, a Ragdoll version of my Isabella. Oh. (lololololol) I feel somewhat foolish now asking elsewhere if she had any problems getting into the NVR Miss litterbox.

          • Hi, Dementia Boy!

            lol 🙂

            I know. She’s a big gal (like her Mommy!). We’re big beautiful gals!

            I’m still laughing right now about the comment I just read from you (via my e-mail) that talks about how expensive Depends are and making old ladies laugh! Hilarious!

            I think you and I need to get together and drink some frozen margaritas (although I don’t drink them much anymore I’d make an exception for you!) and just laugh until we wet our Depends! 🙂

            Big hugs!

            Patti & Pink Sugar (who asked me “I iz dainty, rightz?) 🙂 <3

      • Ragdoll Mommy says:

        Thanks, yeah my Blue Bicolor is a handsome boy! His name is Nico. My Blue Mitted is a beautiful girl! Her name is Anya. They are litter mates, both 5 years old. My Sealpoint was a handsome boy! Named Tadpole 23 years old now. Miss him:-(

        Your Prossimo is handsome!

  6. Lynn says:

    What a great rescue story! Did the neighbors ever acknowledge that you saved their cat? I never understand why people get pets and then ignore them- what’s the point? Thank you so much for sharing Prossimo’s wonderful story- he’s such a beauty. I love the picture of him flopped on his back in the middle of the floor. What a typical Ragdoll pose!

    • ChristyB says:

      No way! That’s because they didn’t know. I’m 100% certain that they would not perceived it as me saving their cat but rather stealing him!

      Two days after I took him they put up a printed flyer in which they had cut out the picture of him from the flyer I put up (it just struck me as odd, didn’t they have a picture of him?), stating that they wanted to know where he was, they missed him, he was the best cat ever, he was not neglected. They added as an afterthought (saying that because it was handwritten), that the reason he was matted was because he hated being brushed.

      That flyer was up for four hours and then it was gone. No other was put up and no knocks at my door.

      I kept my windows closed and closed the doggie door to my bedroom balcony. When I spoke about Prossimo on the phone I even whispered because I was afraid they would hear me!

      They moved about 3 months later so I breathed a sigh of relief and opened my windows!!

  7. Wow are you ever a saint! I am so sick and tired of reading about animal abuse. The cruelty inflicted on these poor creatures is just unfathomable. You did the right thing! Don’t ever feel guilty. Those horrible people don’t deserve to have this gorgeous kitty. You did a wonderful thing and I am sure this guy is in heaven with his new family. He is absolutely beautiful and sure looks 100% Ragdoll to me!

    • ChristyB says:

      He definitely has an easier life, that’s for sure – mice and birds delivered, no hunting necessary and he can rest belly-up to his heart’s content!

      The reason I feel a bit guilty I think is that I totally understand that everyone does things differently. Some things I do (feeding raw for example), would be considered “wrong” by some. I would be devastated if someone made a judgement against me for my choices that ended with me losing my pets. That and the fact that his previous family has no idea what happened to him…

      Unless of course they are reading this!!

      • Yeah true they don’t know what happened to him but really he was abused. The mats alone are horrible. Any caring pet owner would never let that happen..and his poor little butt?! Leaving the poor guy out 24/7 is not right either…especially if he is a Ragdoll. There are some that let them outside but the majority do not. So who knows if those people ever vaccinated him and certainly should have if he was outside all the time. Not getting into the vaccine dilemma here! If you had given him back, guess what? He would have been in the same condition again and most likely not made it much longer in that poor shape. THAT I would feel guilty about!

        • ChristyB says:

          Yes, the idea that he would end up the same if he somehow survived the winter with the Coyotes was a HUGE factor in my decision to keep him. The final one was what I shared with @Sheila below – once I heard that she was upset about the money, that’s when I decided to name him because he was here to stay!

          I get it if anyone thinks I did the wrong thing and am willing to accept the criticism for that. I just don’t want to be or come across as cavalier or self-righteous about it.

          Just finished “The Husband’s Secret” (great, entertaining book by the way), and the Epilogue was all about that if A didn’t happen then K would have and that would have caused W, etc…

  8. Sheila says:

    He certainly seems like a Raggy to me. These people didn’t deserve him. I don’t understand…I paid $600 for my darling girl…never did that before…always adopted…but I so wanted a Raggy. Once I retired, I fulfilled my wish. She is my one and only now…no more doggies, no more kitties, no more birdies, or fishes or gerbils…etc…kids all gone. She is my old age companion. A little naughty, but mostly laid back.

    • ChristyB says:

      A neighbor did overhear the lady complaining on her cell phone that she was so mad that someone took her cat because he cost her a couple of thousand dollars. That was when I decided to keep him! No other flyers went up and she was upset about the money not devastated that he was gone. Of course, she may have been both and the devastation was not overheard.

      Oh well, I kept him!

      I too have always adopted and fostered, I would have never considered buying but now that I’ve had him, I would totally consider purchasing a Ragdoll from a breeder if I ever am in a situation to have a 2nd cat so I totally get that!

  9. patricia says:

    what a wonderful story!! i’m so glad that you have him. i think he knew that you were a good person and that is why he sought you out. cats KNOW! he is a beauty too. thank you for sharing your story and the great pictures and videos of your lovely boy.. may you live happily and healthily!

  10. Karen says:

    Christy, your dear Prossimo definitely seems much like a Ragdoll: he looks like and seems by behavior to be a Ragdoll. I have a mitted blue Ragdoll Mulsanne who looks much like him with those pretty light blue eyes.

    Anyway, things happen for a reason….you two were meant to be together and it’s right you love each other and stay together. Lucky you and him! He deserves an adoring family to take care of him and he now has that with you.

    His first family blew it after many opportunities to reassess their treatment of him and take better responsibility.

    Don’t look back and enjoy every day with him…he’s where he belongs.

    • ChristyB says:

      Thanks Karen! I surely do – he makes me laugh every day and it’s so fun to watch him play (Yoda doesn’t know how to, she majored in Belly Rubs not running after stuff!). I do adore him!!

  11. Betty says:

    Dear Prossimo –

    You have found the answer to the question every lost baby animal asks, “Are you my Mother?” You are lucky to have found her and lucky that she is the profoundly loving woman she is.

    Dear Christy –

    Your story is one that restores humanity’s faith in our possibilities. Ignore the money – they did that when they let him out. Ignore their sorry attempt at a sign – it was perhaps, at best, a twinge of guilt on their part (one not followed up on). You did the right thing for another living thing. He surely would not have lived – or lived as happily – if you had not rescued him. There are enough scared and sad pets in our world. Both Prossimo and Yoda love you in a way that only rescued animals can love their people. And you clearly love them right back. Enjoy that circle. You deserve all of it.

    Prossimo is absolutely beautiful and flops just like a ragdoll. Luckily for many of us, there are no pedigree papers needed to participate on this site, just a passion for our pets.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story so openly here. xo

    • ChristyB says:

      Oh my gosh Betty, between your beautiful comment and @Patricia’s I’m totally crying!

      Thank you so much for the kind thoughtful words, they are very much appreciated.

  12. Dementia Boy says:

    I cannot add anything to what others have said so eloquently and passionately, straight from the heart. This is a story of courage,compassion, persistence, faith and, ultimately,love.

    Eagerly awaiting the Lifetime movie =)

    • ChristyB says:

      Thank you Dementia Boy.

      The movie would be hilarious although if Prossimo plays himself I’m sure he’ll become quite the Diva (would that be a Divo?!)!

  13. nancy harkness says:

    My compassion for animals is tremendous. I am so proud of you. You made the right decision to adopt him. I am a big fan & “cat mommy” of two ragdolls, Sophie and Jedda. You will be amazed at how loving & devoted to YOU that Prossimo will become. A true sign that he probably is a ragdoll is that he will follow you around all the time. Enjoy your new love. Every day that goes by will reinforce your decision.
    Nancy

    • ChristyB says:

      He does follow me around everywhere!

      I used to have his litter box right next to the toilet but he would get in it every time I went to the bathroom!

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

  14. Lisa says:

    What a sweet boy,so lucky to find you and a great forever home.Ragdolls should never live outside even know they can be great hunters chase other cats regular cat stuff,I NOTICED MY BOYS CANT JUMP REALLY HIGH,like a domestic cats and balance quickley on a very small surface like a fence top.If they were being chased they could be cornered,my neighbor thinks their fur weighs them down,my vet says jumping high is just not their thing,my patio fence is about 7 feet and MURPHYalmost 2 cannot jump it but ive caught out door cats on top of fence trying to visit,anyone else notice this high jumping thing with their Dolls?iTS GOOD FOR US CAUSE THEY WILL GO SLEEP ON PATIO chairs and be totally safe and can still watch birds and stuff,Ceasar our8month old Ragg,cant jump high either.PS/WE STILL KEEP A CONSTANT WATCH on them,they cn slip under gates and stuff and will,if given an usecured area,my murphy Bo Dee would love to be out all the time he lives and breathes for us to open doors and hes neutured of course but wants to hunt and explore.So far the younger doll is more into cuddling with Mom and the indoor cat luxurys,hope that last.Bless and best of luck and healthto all qand your wonderfulRAGGY DOLLS LUV THEM ALL Bye LISA

    • ChristyB says:

      Prossimo definitely can’t jump very high and sometimes he needs help getting down from 4′ high!

      My living room balcony is such that it is impossible for him to get out because of the height of the main wall and I have the railings hidden by a layer of bamboo fencing, outdoor curtains covering those and plants against the bottom – I did it for my own privacy but since he came after that makeover, he has zero idea that those areas even exist!

      He spends a lot of time out there just relaxing and being a Vitamin D receptacle, which seems to be a theme in this house – we all love getting some sun!

      Interestingly, he’s not interested in venturing outside via the front door, he just sits on the steps and watches when the door is open (I don’t leave it open tempting him but, fingers crossed, he’s not a darter).

  15. Monica101 says:

    An amazing, profound story! I loved reading it and have to say that it is so very similar to how my first beloved Ragdoll (I named him Bailey Griggs) and I found each other. He too was abandoned in an apartment complex, I took him to a kindly vet, and went back and forth in my mind about whether I should keep him. My beloved Bailey has since moved on to the Rainbow Bridge, where he awaits me (I miss him every day). But thanks to him, I am now hooked on Ragdolls — who wouldn’t be?? I’ve since had three more of these precious critters in my life. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful story. And all the best to you and Prossimo!

    • Christy says:

      Thank you for the kind words Monica101! The name Bailey Griggs is such a great name. I hope you’ll submit him for a story here so we can learn more about him and the others you’ve had in your life since.

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