Celebrating My Rags – Year 10 – 2019

Jenny with Rags Circa 1990
Jenny with Rags Circa 1990

How on Earth has it been a decade since I held my Rags.

On March 27 (three days ago), I came home from a 2-week trip around the UK and Ireland, and hadn’t held a cat for 15 days.  Rough.

The cat in the photo above was my Rags, and he’s the reason this site is here – why you are reading this blog post and why I crave to hold a cat.

Rags is the reason behind Floppycats and 10 years ago today, I said my final goodbyes to him.

Don’t feel bad or sorry for me  – This yearly post is about sharing feelings, emotions and reasons behind Floppycats and also the impact these small, beautiful creatures have on our lives.

The heart of the little girl in that photo above promised Rags I would share his legacy and help cats live more harmonious lives with their owners.  He was my best friend, my biggest secret keeper and one of my greatest teachers.

Rags ©2008 Elaina G Photography
Rags ©2008 Elaina G Photography

You can read more about his life here: Rags’ THE REASON for Floppycats

When he passed, Rags was 19.5 years old.  In 1989, Rags was a gift to me and my siblings when I was 10 years old.

Marsh, Cosby, Spencer, Jenny, Rags and Snickers
The day we got rags. I am holding Rags. My older brother, Marsh, is holding Cosby, my little brother, Spencer, is in the box and Snickers is the GSD.

So I was nearly 30 years old when I said my goodbyes. In other words, he had a strong impact on my life, especially during those troubling teenage years.

I was fortunate with Rags – I had a lot of time to say goodbye. He died, March 30, 2009, but was diagnosed with severe kidney failure in December of 2008 and they had given him 2 weeks to live in December. He, of course, lived another 3 months. As we all know (and experienced with loved ones) with end-of-life situations, the soul decides when it is leaving, not the medical diagnosis – I believe that’s why Rags lived the additional 2.5 months.

Rags Outside When He Was 16 Years Old

It was a long journey – one I wouldn’t have changed for the world. I was able to be home with him every day and talk to him about all my worries and fears – talk to him about how much I loved him and every purr he had given me. Tell him how much I would miss face-planting in him and smelling his smell, or hearing his purr.  I knew his little body was failing, so I would pick up his paw and study every angle, every hair not wanting to forget it.  I would study every ounce of him, laying next to him for hours.

Rags ©2008 Elaina G Photography
Rags ©2008 Elaina G Photography

I’ve been told kidney failure is not painful – you’re just really weak.  And that’s what I experienced with Rags – I shared the physical details of the end of his life in this post – Celebrating my Rags.

Rags ©2006 Elaina G
Rags ©2006 Elaina G

I have received many emails from readers who have either just recently experienced the passing of their pet or know it’s coming. It’s not a fun process, certainly. But it can be beautiful – beautiful because the reason it hurts so damn much is because you love and have loved them with your whole heart and to me, that’s the beauty.

Since Rags is the reason for this site – I always honor him today and also on August 8 – his birthday (and the reason that every post is published at 8:08am on the site – you’ll notice the “8” trend a lot).

When I die, I want to be cremated and have my ashes mixed with my cats’ ashes – so until that happens, I needed a place to “store” Rags’ ashes.  I was taking silversmithing classes after Rags passed and decided to make an “urn” for his ashes.  It has his paw print on the top of it and his ashes inside.  I love it, and it sits on my mantel under his photo, of course.

Rags' Box Bird's Eye
Rags’ Box Bird’s Eye
Rags' Box on My Mantel
Rags’ Box on My Mantel

Sometimes the loss of a pet can be an overwhelming loss because a pet is part of your everyday life, living with you, etc.  Making that box certainly helped me.

Cheers to my Freegie – I’d kill for a chance to live with you again.

How have you coped with the loss of a beloved pet? What were some of the things you did to mourn their loss?  Did you do anything special with their ashes?

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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. WOW! That video meant so much to me and FLUFFY! It was life-changing…
    Thanks CHIGGY & JENNY xxx

  2. Hi Jenny

    I haven’t seen the mantelpiece photo before and once again I’m struck by how incredibly handsome RAGS is. There are no words to describe how beautiful the silver box you made for his ashes is. I very much admire how you took your grief and made something positive from it. This website, your social media platforms and your hand made silver box ensure that RAGS’s legacy lives on and on…

    I got my ragdoll FLUFFY a week after my JRT died (although I had planned the adoption and the breeder 3 years previously). It had been over 25 years since I had a cat and I was utterly clueless. Like many people I found FLOPPYCATS through your youtube video How to Pick Up a Ragdoll Cat. When I saw TRIGG being held by you and heard you describe how he uses you as a launchpad, I thought OMG! That’s exactly what Fluffy does with me!!!

    I immersed myself in FLOPPYCATS and FLUFFY’s life really improved as a result. I paid particular attention to TRIGG in your videos because aspects of his behaviour were so similar to FLUFFY. At 1 year and 3 months old, my little fluff-ball is absolutely blossoming into the character he was meant to be, thanks to RAG’s, you and TRIGG.

    We are both forever grateful…
    Love Pam & Fluffy xoxoxoxoxo

    1. thanks, pam. i am proud of that silver box too – and clean the tarnish off of it often!

      that’s awesome about how you found us and chiggy’s launching =).

      i am glad the site has helped you with fluffy – you know, chiggy is related to rags and that’s the reason i have him. sounds like i would like fluffy – especially if he’s a little weirdo like chiggy! thank you for being here!

      1. You have every reason to be proud of that beautiful box!!! It is stunning beyond compare!!! I’m so impressed!!! I’ve always loved the How to Pick Up a Ragdoll Video best because it illustrated to me your complete acceptance of who TRIGG is. Once I started accepting FLUFFY exactly as he was (a little weirdo!!!) our bond became so much stronger.

        [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDi4nPDM2YM%5B/embedyt%5D

        Now that you mention it I do remember reading that TRIGG was related to RAGS. This site is so big and there are so many layers to it, so I’m always here reading about something!!!

        Thanks for all the work you do xxx

        1. “I’ve always loved the How to Pick Up a Ragdoll Video best because it illustrated to me your complete acceptance of who TRIGG is.” – OH, Thank you and thank you for being you. It always amazes me how differently people can look at the same thing. I cannot tell you how many people have scolded me for showing how to pick up a cat like Trigg when he doesn’t want to be held – because of that video!! And duh, there are a lot of times in a cat owner’s life that YOU HAVE TO PICK THEM UP. Anyway, the battles of the Internet- but yes, you got it – you get me and the point!

          Yes, it is so big and sooo many forget that it’s just me managing it (well, a web developer when I have the funds to pay him) – but yes almost 4500 pages of content and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it plus social media – so thanks for understanding.

          I think I mentioned once that an ex-boyfriend was the one that made me look at Caymus differently than I had – I didn’t fall madly in love with Caymus until he was 2 or 3 years old because someone else gave me that perspective. I am glad that Chiggy was able to help you with your Fluffy.

  3. suaykitty says:

    Really nice I love yours and Rags photo collection, and the beautiful story. The purring is one of the sweetest parts of being a ragdoll/cat parent. I look forward to the purring every nite. Tommy Ragdoll has a purr so loud you can feel the vibration across the room.
    Tommy has a mouse squeak voice just like chiggy. He’s always trying to wrestle his smaller older sister Sue-way. When she’s in a good mood she licks his ears especially when he purs. Thanks for the beautiful story.
    Rich & Sue-way & Tommy Ragdoll
    LA California.

    1. That’s cute about Tommy’s mouse squeak. I filmmed a video today that features Trigg’s mouse squeak – so be expecting to see it soon on YouTube!

  4. I adore your annual heartachingly sweet and lurvely tribute posts to your very handsome & gorgeous beloved Rags, Jenny! Such wonderful info shared each year1 Lurve the pics, too! 🙂 <3

    The incredible loving bond we share with a furbabies is truly like nothing else in this world! Each of these relationships are unique and so special and enrich our lives soooo very much! I have lost many beloved furbabies in my lifetime and cremation wasn't always an option. (Coping with their loss was a struggle but the loving memories of each helped so much! ) But for those I was able to cremate I spread their ashes out in a beautiful place in nature wherever I lived as a tribute to each. I LURVE that box/urn you made for Rags' ashes. Beautiful. Will probably do something similar with Miss PSB's ashes one day as she is The Most Special Furbaby of My Life and I will keep her with me wherever I go. I may get her ashes made into a pendant or a ring, too. That way, I can have truly have part of her with me wherever I am after she moves on… 🙂 <3

    Keep up The Great Work you do with Floppycats.com, honey! YOU are also enriching and changing the lives of all of us devoted Floppycatters and future Floppycatters everywhere! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

    P.S. Big congrats to you and Amy for your awesome trip to the UK & Ireland! Wow! EXCITING! Lucky you! I've always wanted to go there! I bet you two had a fabulous time! YAY!! 🙂 <3

    1. Ugh. Should have proofread! Doink! Oh, well. My apologies for all the grammatical errors and typos! But, I’m sure you get my point. 🙂 <3

    2. Thanks, Patti.

      Yes, the trip was nice – nearly our entire family went – it was for Kirk’s side of the family to have a wedding reception with his family and friends.

      1. My pleasure, hon. You are most welcome. 🙂 How marvelous and what fun about the family trip! 🙂 <3

  5. Diane MehimAndthecats says:

    After our girl, Jewels diagnosis of kidney disease, she only lived about another week. She had had her senior bloodwork done about 6 months prior and everything was ok – although we knew her kidney functions were right on the edge. She started eating less over the course of a week and we brought her in for an exam. We gave her sub Q fluids at home but it wasn’t helping. We could tell she was so weak, but she wanted to show us how strong she was and she would try to walk to us and try to hop up on the couch even though she couldn’t – she tried. It was heatbreaking watching her the at the end. I did the same thing as you – looking at her from every angle so I wouldn’t forget her, sniffing her to remember her scent. I don’t know how long ago i found this blog, but I have found so many great cat products based on your recommendations. Rags would be proud of what this site has become!

    1. Oh Diane, cannot tell you how this warmed my heart – “Rags would be proud of what this site has become!” – THANK YOU.

      I am so sorry to hear about Jewels – I am surprised she went so fast…usually it’s a slow to progress disease.

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