Gracie – Ragdoll of the Week

Gracie – Blue Point Mitted Ragdoll

Gracie - Ragdoll of the WeekIn the summer of 2013 my world turned upside-down. My husband had retired in 2011 from a life long career as an instrumental music teacher and I was set to retire from my 35 year career as an art teacher. Instead of looking forward to the future and our grand retirement plans…we were fighting for Al’s life. He was diagnosed with two types of cancer in January 2013 and as the summer came to a close in late August 2013… he passed away.

Gracie - Ragdoll of the WeekIt was during the long waits in the doctor’s office, hospital rooms and the late nights at home, watching over Al, that I would pick up my laptop and attempt to escape and quiet the heartache and depression. As an artist and visual person, I love beautiful imagery and I ran across pictures of beautiful landscapes, serene scenery and cats, all kinds of cats…Maine Coons, Persians, and RagDolls (now mind you, I hadn’t had a cat in my home for over 25 years) I had never heard of the RagDoll breed and began researching their history, characteristics, etc. It was a diversion – nothing more.

I searched for breeders in my area and found Paws of the Heartland and I began a dialog with the breeder, Carol Stevens. Paws of the Heartland advertised as a small family hobby breeder of Ragdolls. The kittens were TICA registered with certified pedigrees. I was assured I was getting a purebred Ragdoll. The website stated they had champion lines as well as some old Midwest lines that add size and temperament to the genetic base in all their kittens. The breeder also mentioned that health, temperament and beauty was a priority in their breeder lines. All had tested negative for HCM, FELV/FIV. They never inbred their cats nor did they outsource lines for rare eye color or hair color. I was feeling very good with this particular breeder.

Gracie - Ragdoll of the WeekWeeks passed, and I became fond of 2 different kittens on the website and spent hours going back and forth and dreaming of bringing one home. My life was in turmoil, I was completely unravelled, yet In the middle of my devastating reality, I saved the image of one female kitten to my laptop and began wishing she could be mine. She was born on April 27, 2013, a blue point mitted beauty who beckoned me. I did not have the money or the inclination to make the purchase, that was until I knew that I was going to be alone the rest of my life. Suddenly, it didn’t matter anymore and I needed “SavinGracie” to save ME, so I put down a deposit.

Gracie - Ragdoll of the WeekGracie was ready for pickup, (but I was not), and I ask the breeder if she could hold her for me…she agreed. The week following Al’s funeral I ask my daughter to drive me to meet Carol, the breeder, and bring Gracie home at 17 weeks old. I was a little worried those first few nights if I had done the right thing as I was still deeply grieving. As it turns out (3.5 years later) it was, in fact, the best decision I could have made. She really was my saving grace!

I know the Ragdoll is considered to be a social breed, but Gracie arrived rather “skittish” – she was afraid of loud noises, and would hide if anyone came to the house. I thought she would outgrow this behavior, but she never really has. I will always question if the breeder was unable to socialize the kittens or if Gracie being homed rather late, at 4 months old, had some impact on her behavior. Either way…. my Ragdoll is a one woman cat and I am HER woman!

Gracie - Ragdoll of the WeekMy daughter, Kayla, has 2 rescue cats of her own. In her desperate attempt to friend Miss Gracie on her visits back from Portland, Oregon, Gracie remains aloof. This little princess of a Ragdoll is simply not interested in meeting anyone closer than a brief tail pull or a “pass by” glance on her way to another room. She saves all of her head butts, her slow blinks, her cuddles and love for me, and me alone. I guess she knows I need it more than anyone.

When Gracie first arrived, there were four little chihuahuas living with me. I made sure she had her own room with a baby gate across the doorway. Their “meet and greets” took place gradually through the protection of a barrier that allowed them to sniff and get to know each other casually and at their leisure. The dogs accepted the new addition and eventually Gracie jumped the gate and came out amongst them. No one was upset or jealous, they took to her presence peacefully. As time went by all four dogs and Gracie ended up in my lap, we were a family.

Gracie - Ragdoll of the WeekLife moves on and Gracie is now 3.5 years old. I lost 13 year old Jessie and Toby (who was 11). I believe they are both with my beloved husband in heaven, free of suffering and pain. So I am left here with two chihuahua’s and my Ragdoll girl. She is precious and loving to me and brings so much joy with her antics and “Princess” behavior.

Gracie - Ragdoll of the WeekI have learned about love, and I have certainly learned about loss.

There are no guarantees in life for either.

Being retired is a luxury and I spend time painting and drawing in my studio. Gracie follows me there often sitting on my drawing table keeping watch. She likes to be wherever I am when she is not napping near a window or in her kitty bed in my closet. But for me the most endearing thing she does is simply look at me with her gorgeous blue eyes, slowly blinking, it just melts my heart and softens all the hard edges of life.

Love yourself, enjoy every minute of your life, and if you are lucky enough to have a Ragdoll in your home …. you are truly blessed.


Gracie - Ragdoll of the Week

Do you have a Ragdoll Kitten or Cat?  Consider submitting your kitty!  Ragdoll of the Week submission guidelines

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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. What a wonderful and heartwarming story! It is a blessing that you found each other. Enjoy your beautiful princess. My cats have always been a great comfort to me and there is nothing like the unconditional love they bring into a home. Thank you for sharing Gracie’s story!

  2. I always love posts of your beautiful Ragdoll family. Ragdolls bring something different out in us. Such awesome creatures. Our full bred Ragdoll is Bishop and he is very similar to Gracie-a blue mitted Ragdoll. Gentle and sweet. Truly a blessing.

    I think you need to add two photo categories-maybe even three: Ragdolls Flopping, Ragdolls laying belly up and Ragdolls on tables and counters. Love sharing pics and will upload a couple of mine to share. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Gracies a Lovely Girl,Anyhow I had one male Doll that unfortunately passed way to young.He was more social and protected our home like a dog anyhow my other Male Ragdoll who looks a little like gracie is like your Gracie in his behavior,im his whole life and he acts skhetchy at times hes 31/2.Hes been very clingy and vocal since the loss of his Adventurous rule the roost Uncle Murphy passed way to soon.I think 2 Raggies are sometimes better than 1the shy one gets more confident.But I read a lot about Raggies with the shy behavior but they do change and get braver by 4to 5years my Murphy was in his Prime at 41/2 Dolls are like people sometimes.Happy Holidays to you and Gracie and Doggies.

  4. Wow what a story. It truly is amazing how animals can help us heal. Gracie is a gorgeous Ragdoll! It’s so sweet how you and Gracie are such best friends!


  5. What a beautiful kitty and touching story! You are truly blessed with your Saving Gracie in your life. As an artist I am sure she is an inspiration to you.

    Natalie, Tziyon, Rach’el, and family

  6. Thank you so very much for sharing your honest and heartfelt and, at times, heartbreaking story with all of us. Please accept MY heartfelt and sincere condolences of the loss of your beloved husband, Al, and your two chihuahua companions, Jessie & Toby.

    So glad that Princess Gracie is YOUR Saving Grace for REAL! I absolutely adore the photos of her. She IS GORGEOUS inside and out. Saving all her love and devotion for her mama is wonderful! She is well and truly YOURS in every single way. Bless her beautiful Ragdoll heart and soul.

    Wishing you, Gracie and your two remaining doggies many years of happiness, good health, love and purry/barky adventures!

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

  7. science9teacher says:

    I am so glad Gracie was there to walk with you through the stages of grief. I have just finished sketching my Zelda (see her story earlier as Ragdoll of the Week). I thought I could post the photo here but will have to do it on facebook.

  8. ABarletta says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and Gracie’s story. (My cat is Gracie also, and not a Ragdoll). It was heartbreaking hearing of your losses and I am happy that you found some consolation in your little girl. Not so little any more…. Have a good life you and Gracie and your little chi’s.

  9. Such a heartfelt story and example of how our animals “grace” our lives. I’m so sorry your retirement years did not end up as you had hoped. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Gracie with us. Love the picture of her on the counter with the paw hanging down- that’s a Ragdoll trait, for sure!


  10. Julie Bayle says:

    Thank you for leaving your story and sharing it with us! I am truly blessed to have read it, your words touched me!! I wish you and Gracie a long and happy life together

  11. Teresa Reid says:

    So very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved husband, Al and the subsequent losses of your precious Jessie and Toby. Can’t imagine your grief load but am so happy that you were able to reach out and get Miss Gracie. It is so wonderful that she loves you and only you. Truly believe she is an angel put here to watch over you and give you the unconditional love that you need. Her aloofness may just be her unique purrsonality but with her only being 3.5 years old, she hasn’t reached Ragdoll maturity level yet since Ragdolls do not fully mature as adult cats until they are 4 years old. Just speaking from my experience with 2 of them here, they both have mellowed so much and have changed from being aloof and just wanting to play, into wanting to sleep with me, make biscuits on my chest and be hugged up against me. All of those things I longed for finally came true in the last year for Illaria and over a year for my Gracie. So, don’t give up. It might be just around the corner as she matures into adulthood. Gracie is so beautiful. Love her gorgeous blue eyes and full coat. Sheer PURRFECTION and love.
    Thanks so much for sharing her wonderful story with us.♥♥♥♥♥

    1. Beautifully said, Sweet Teresa. Your comments express EXACTLY what I wanted to write, too. <3 <3 <3

  12. This was an incredible story- probably my favorite one. Gracie is stunning and I am truly happy for you that she was able to bring you joy and comfort in your hardest of times!

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