Happy 14th Birthday to my beautiful seal mitted Ragdoll cat, Charlie! I truly cannot believe Charlie is 14. He has one of those youthful and powerful personalities that it’s hard to imagine him ever being old. Charlie was meant to be mine. I know that now more than ever. If you believe in manifesting what you want, it worked for me getting my Charlie. The first Ragdoll in our family, and the reason I wanted one for myself, was Halston, a seal mitted with a blaze Ragdoll cat. I always wanted a seal mitted with a blaze because of Halston. When I started Floppycats and knew I wouldn’t have my Rags much longer, I had a vision board. On that vision board, I put a cat that looked almost exactly like Charlie. Before Rags died, I had consolidated down a list of breeders I knew who were still breeding cats related to Rags. One of those was Soulmate Ragdolls in North Carolina.
About 5 months after Rags died, I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico looking through the available kittens on that consolidated breeders list – just went to each of their websites to see if they had listed something new. I wasn’t ready for kittens. But that night, staring back at me was “Casey” – which was Charlie. It’s funny because “Casey” pronounced aloud sounds just like “KC” (Kansas City) where I am from. Although I wasn’t ready for a kitten, I knew he was supposed to be mine. He was perfect…and had a perfect hourglass blaze.
As many of you know, we have worked diligently with Pam of Purrrfectly Holistic to heal my guys. And they have been doing so much better than last year – until Charlie got fleas again on or around June 8th. Of all the things I am most impressed with in the last year, it’s Charlie eating raw. I never thought I would see it in my life with him. But he does and he does it willingly, and I owe it all to Pam of Purrrfectly Holistic. I tried to transition my cats to raw when they were six years old – like really tried, and it didn’t work. And with Pam we were transitioned in 2 weeks. August will mark 1 year that they have fully been on raw, and I am just over the moon about that. Charlie is one of those pets who has F.A.D – also known as flea allergy dermatitis. It is MISERABLE. Even if they don’t stay on him – if he is bitten by a flea, it’s all downhill from there. He scratches, itches and licks like a crazy man. The head tremor he got from topical flea medications comes back, and it’s a living hell for us both – although probably more just for me. And on top of trying to manage Charlie’s crazy response to the flea bites, you also have to keep up with vacuuming, cleaning, etc. so that the flea population does not increase. And, of course, since topical flea meds have neurotoxin chemicals, I cannot give him those to get rid of the fleas quickly. Since those topicals already affected him greatly, I am too scared another dose would cause a seizure or something of that nature that would put him in a worse state. So we have to tackle is naturally and it’s a huge challenge. It takes weeks and weeks of caregiving and weeks and weeks of cleaning. Not to mention baths with Charlie, which as not enjoyed by either one of us. By the way, these photos are the ones I could send to people on YouTube when they tell me that Charlie is fat. Charlie’s coat, when dry, sticks out straight from his body. Unlike Trigg’s that is long, but lays flat, Charlie’s sticks straight out, making him look much larger than he actually is. Charlie has a crepe coat, which I learned about from a YouTube viewer who is a veterinarian in Scandinavia. She said that he has flat hair follicles, which is what they always look for in Scandinavia because it takes forever for it to get wet (ideal for their snowy and icy winter months) – and isn’t that the truth! I can dump gallons of water on him before he gets wet. And it takes a long time to dry him.
We were nearly at the end of that process last week, but then my power went out for 3 days after Kansas City had a major thunderstorm with 100 MPH winds. Since my power was out for three days, I could not vacuum to keep the flea population under control. I did put diatomaceous earth all over my carpets and put it on my cats. Mind you, we just went through this 7 months ago. Unfortunately, the detox we underwent with Pam, the raw food, etc., didn’t keep him from getting bitten by fleas. And there is something off with his immune system because Trigg is not bothered by fleas in the slightest. In fact, fleas don’t stay on him because they don’t like how he tastes or something. Charlie’s mother had type B blood. Most cats have type A. And when a mother has type B, the kittens have to be blood tested to see what they are. Charlie is type A. As a result, he couldn’t get her collustrum, or it would have killed him. So consequently, very early on, his immune system did not get the boost that many do from collustrum. I think this is why I have struggled so much with him.
Charlie LOVES to go outside in our fenced-in backyard, and this is where the flea infestation began. Even though I had put down nematodes, a family of raccoons had brought in more fleas than the nematodes could handle…all unbeknownst to me until they were on Charlie in the house, which increased the population in the house too. So Charlie has not gone outside since all of this happened. And he is depressed about it, but I am working on getting him right and finding a better non-toxic permanent solution so we don’t ever have to deal with this again. So our traditional outside birthday hat photo didn’t happen this year – as I wasn’t anticipating the misery we have been through. And I so hope when I write next year’s post that this is a very distant memory that I never have to deal with ever again.
Back to the star of the show and honoring Charlie on his birthday.
So, Rags died in March 2009, and I saw that photo of “Casey” on his breeder’s website in August 2009. I brought him home in October. I ended up flying out to get him with my mom when he was ready to come home at 12 weeks. He wasn’t scared of a darn thing.
I had made a safe room for Charlie – as I suggest in my book, A Ragdoll Kitten Care Guide: Bringing Your Ragdoll Kitten Home. He was done with that after 1 hour. And then I opened up the rest of the second floor to him. He was done with that after 2 hours. He wanted the whole house. Since I had no other pets, I let him have access and only locked him up at night.
He has always been outgoing. I hate stereotypes, but I have found that blaze cats are usually outgoing. He meets people at the door and doesn’t know a stranger. However, he doesn’t really like to be petted by these folks. Many people see a fluffy cat and want to be sweet and gentle.
But Charlie has a VERY SENSITIVE coat because he has flat hair follicles (most cats have round), so whenever we meet a new vet or chiropractor or whatever, I tell them, “Do no lightly touch him. He hates that. Be firm and confident in your touches.” I had to give this warning several times over the last year!
Charlie regularly makes eye contact with me. I really appreciate that. I could look at my Rags and know exactly what he needed and wanted, and I am there with Charlie now too. I remember when Rags died, I wondered if I would ever have that with my cat again. I am grateful I do with Charlie.
If Charlie wants something, he will let you know – and not leave you alone. This hasn’t changed much since he was a kitten:
Trigg and Charlie love each other, and they like to play and chase each other, but I wouldn’t say they are a bonded pair. Trigg would like to snuggle and be closer friends, but Charlie values his independence. He doesn’t really need Trigg around, and doesn’t necessarily care when I focus my attention on Trigg when he is around.
If Charlie is asleep, he doesn’t care if I show attention to Trigg.
Charlie adores making the bed (I haven’t allowed this recently, because of the flea egg problem – he has been denied many things he loves, and my heart is heavy with guilt):
I really hope this next year of Charlie’s life is a year of more healing for Charlie. We have signed up to work with Dr. Katie Woodley – to hopefully heal him even further, so we don’t end up with another flea problem like we have in the last 7 months 2x.
I have learned a lot from Charlie in the last two years. I have learned a lot about what makes kitties sick, what makes them stronger, what products we can give to help them, what tests we can do to get them better, what we can feed that will give them optimal health, and so much more. I am very grateful for that. I am sorry that Charlie has gone through what he has gone through because of my ignorance. But I hope the life lessons I have learned can help many other Floppycatters and many more of my cats.
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,