Fluff and I did not start out on the best of terms. I was grieving the loss of my beloved Jack Russell and Fluff desperately missed the only home he had ever known. We were such a sad, melancholy pair that first night. So when he scaled my bed, climbed my leg with his needle sharp claws, and settled onto my hip, I thought he was such a brave little man. When I offered my hand for a pat Fluff shook his head in the moonlight. But I heard him start purring…
I missed the physical affection of my dog, but Fluff was absolutely horrified by my coarse, doggy ways. At times it seemed like he wanted nothing to do with me. He certainly didn’t go floppy when I picked him up and made it very clear he would prefer not to be picked up at all. I had planned this adoption carefully and practiced by caring for my neighbours’ cats when they were away. I thought I had prepared for this, but Fluff was not impressed. Lucky for me, he decided I was trainable.
I pressed the reset button and adopted a strict no hands strategy with him. Whether I was sitting on a chair, or lying on the bed, I kept my palms resolutely face down when he approached. Fluff absolutely adored this game and began literally walking all over me. It was hilarious to watch his confidence grow as he developed a jaunty swagger. He would examine my face an inch from my nose with those huge kitten eyes and it took every inch of willpower I had not to try and pat him.
Things changed when Fluff grew big enough to jump on the kitchen counters and it threw me a bit. I was used to a dog that sat on the floor and waited obediently to be fed, but Fluff was having none of that! So I started feeding him right there on the kitchen bench. If you can’t beat them join them right? And it was much better for my back anyway. Fluff was absolutely delighted by this turn of events and showed his approval with some very enthusiastic head butts. I remember thinking what a sweet little man he was as I kissed his forehead.
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Fluff is a lilac point Ragdoll. His lilac tones are subtle and appear differently depending on the light or the time of day. He also seems to look different when viewed from above or below. He has an ancestor called Prince Lilac Paw, so sometimes I call him Prince Lilac Paw the Third. But mostly he’s called Fluff, Fluffa, Fluffa-Duffa, my Fluffy-Duck, and The Party Prince (when he’s kept me up all night).
Fluff has many faces and I adore all of them. His baby kitten ever-so-innocent face, his furious “why is my bowl empty” face, and his majestic “I am a mighty hunter” face. He thinks anything soft or plush is a perilous trap designed to entice an unsuspecting kitten to his doom. He loves a folded towel and is partial to a bathmat. He adores his cardboard scratching house, and loves to inspect his empire from the top of the wardrobe, or the bathroom cabinet. His favourite toys are his blue mice.
But, his favourite game of all is played in his outdoor enclosure. He calls me (in his baby kitten voice) and tells me that he wants to come inside now. He waits angelically by the door of his enclosure, but as soon as I open it, he zooms up his scratcher in the other corner and laughs at me. “HA-HA!!! You can’t catch me Mummy!!! HA-HA!!!” He never tires of this game. I was impatient to get to bed one night so I climbed into the enclosure to get him. “C’mon Fluff!” As I picked him up he went limp in my arms and I felt a visceral wave of terror. Could he have picked up a deadly paralysis tick? Did I need to make a late night visit to the 24 hour vet? My mind raced before it finally dawned on me what had happened. At 11 months old my sweet little darling had finally gone floppy like a ragdoll! How funny!
I love him with all of my heart and honestly I’m a bit sad that he’s turned one year old. The first year seems to have gone by so fast. He has taught me so much about love, expectations, acceptance and boundaries. I just adore him, even when he does wake me up at 4am by kneading my stomach or jumping on my solar plexus. Sometimes he snoozes on the pillow next to me and that’s my favourite time of all.
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