Floppycats.com had an Interview with Kristie Long of Longfellow Ragdolls. Kristie Long is owner and operator of Longfellow Ragdolls in Olympia, WA. Her phone is 360-786-9535. Her website is www.longfellowragdolls.com. Kristie is the RFCI Northwest Regional Director.
How long have you been breeding Ragdolls?
How did you pick Ragdolls to breed?
I saw a documentary in the 80s on the Ragdoll breed. I grew up with Siamese and Himis and this “newer” breed interested me. For the next 10 years I followed their development. Finally, the timing was right and I adopted my first Ragdoll kitten.
Do you show? Why or why not?
I show in TICA and CFA. I think it is important to promote the Ragdolls plus I love getting together with other feline fanciers. Cat shows are a wonderful place to keep informed on what is currently happening in the cat world and with your specific breed.
What congenital defects are in Ragdolls?
Ragdolls are a very healthy breed. HCM has popped up in some Ragdolls. Thankfully, Dr. Meurs at Washington State University has studied our breed and identified one DNA gene that is responsible for HCM in the Ragdolls. (She also has identified one that is responsible for HCM in the Maine Coons). Now, we are able to test our cats for these genes. All reputable breeders (including me!) test their cats. We also know that there are most likely more genes that cause HCM. Hopefully, some day we will be able to test for every fatal gene in every breed but for now we test what we can and monitor our cats/kittens to insure their health.
How are you breeding to avoid those defects?
I have tested all my breeding adults through WSU and they are negative for the HCM genes.
How large is your breeding operation?
I am a small “in home” breeder. I do have a separate building (a barn converted to an apartment) that serves as our “honeymoon suite”. My two males live there and that is where the girls go when it is time for the matings.
Where do your cats spend most of their time?
All my girls and kittens live in our home with our family.
Do you breed full time? In other words, do you have another job?
I am a semi retired accountant which allows me to work from my home office. So, I do have work but not outside our home.
What sort of health guarantees do you offer?
We offer a 100% health guarantee for the first 3 years.
What happens if the kitten gets sick?
If the kitten gets sick, he should be returned for a refund. I have wonderful vets that I trust to care for my cats and kittens.
Do you have any fun adoption stories to share?
There are so many awesome adoption stores I wouldn’t know where to begin. I have had kittens that have changed people’s lives, mended broken hearts, eased the pain of cancer treatments and added light to depressions.
What makes this kitten or cat "pet quality" or "show quality"?
Pet quality and show quality are the same on the inside and sometimes the same on the outside, too! To be show quality, the kitten should be as close to the Ragdoll Standard (you can read these on the TICA and CFA websites) as possible. They have specific head shapes, eye shapes, ear placement and shape, tail length, color placement, etc. They also should be confident enough to enjoy the loud showhall.
Do you keep some of your cats for your own?
I do occasionally keep a kitten that I consider show quality.
How old is your oldest cat?
The oldest cat in my home is 10 years old. My mom has two of my “babies” that are 12 years old.
What is your favorite Ragdoll look?
I am not sure what you mean by Ragdoll look? The stunning blue eyes and silky, soft coats are probably my favorite parts of the breed.
Do you raise your cats underfoot?
Yes, our cats are NEVER caged and raised very much under our feet!!