Submitted September 7, 2020
Before Chloé, my Ragdoll kitten, I had Bijou, a domestic cat of uncertain breed.
While I loved her dearly, she was standoffish because she was a rescue and had been abused. For this reason, I began a search for a second cat of more sociable disposition.
Thus, my interest in Ragdolls. I signed up to take a rescue, but the Covid virus made it impossible for me to visit one even if a rescue could be found.
On June 2, I had to put down my Bijou due to cancer. After five days of grieving, I began a search for Ragdoll breeders in the Midwest. Waiting lists were incredibly long as folks stuck at home were seeking companions.
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I got lucky and found a female kitten who would be available June 26 at the age of 9 weeks. I used that time to educate myself about caring for kittens as I had always rescued adult cats. I was especially interested in scratching surfaces as I knew I wouldn’t have her declawed.
I also spent a lot of time in selecting a name. As I am a retired French teacher, I searched the Internet for popular cat names in France. (Bijou means “jewel”.) I decided upon Chloé, not due to any meaning attached to it, but because it is pronounceable in both French and English and because it had to me the sort of sweet classy sound of a Ragdoll cat.
The day I picked her up was quite interesting. When I opened the door of her carrier, she just sat there for over an hour. Finally, she dove under a large chair where I could neither see nor reach her.
When she didn’t come out after several hours, I called a friend to tip the chair, permitting me to pick her up. I decided to help her adjust to her new home by keeping her in my office for the first few days.
I spend a lot of time there on my computer. This has remained her favorite room as it contains her food, litter box, several scratching devices and a cat tree by the window. Since that first day she has shown the opposite personality-confident, adventurous and affectionate.
Wanting to be sure she would be more sociable than Bijou, especially with others, I invite friends to social distance on my porch and play with her whenever possible.
For now, at least, I usually stop what I am doing whenever she indicates she wants to be picked up or played with. This is often when I come in the house and when I am on my computer. Like most cats, she likes to chase things, to pounce and climb. Her favorite cat toy is the Star Chaser Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy.
I say “cat” toy because what she really loves to do the most is mess with my computer. She caught her first “mouse” about two weeks after arriving. As she walks across the keyboard, she adds “edits” what I am working one.
Once, in the middle of the night she turned on Pandora and, when I spend too much time in front of my monitor, she either walks in front of it or simply turns off the computer, reminding me to stop regularly to play with her.
All this attention has paid off. Chloé is an incredibly loving companion. I don’t know how I would be getting through this difficult time of greater isolation without her.
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