I always wanted a Ragdoll, from the first time I read about them in Cat Fancy magazine over twenty years ago. Beautiful markings, non-matting fur, almost puppy-like personalities and the famous Ragdoll limpness—I was sold! At that time Ragdolls were found only on the west coast and being a girl born, raised and living in the Deep South, Ragdolls were simply out of reach for me, both logistically and financially. So, my feline
companions over the years included a mixed breed tortoise shell, a solid silver Himalayan, a blue point Himalayan and a tuxedo, all females. The tuxedo was adopted as an adult. She quickly became a wonderful companion and I found that I didn’t necessarily have to start with a kitten. In fact, it was somewhat of a relief to avoid some of those kitten stages like climbing the drapes and getting trapped in a cabinet! After the last of these feline friends passed, I went about five months without a cat. The longest I had ever gone without a cat in my adult life! I decided that at this point in my life, and at my age, I deserved to go to any reasonable length to add a Ragdoll to our household.
I didn’t count on the restraint of our purse strings before I started my search. After doing some internet research on Ragdolls and breeders, it quickly became apparent that if I wanted a full-blooded Ragdoll (no “dilutions” for me—I wanted all the personality and traits of a Ragdoll!), I would have to adopt an adult cat, a retired breeder. That was just fine. The other adult cat I had taken into my life worked out wonderfully. My next step was to select a breeder. I owe lots of thanks to the members of the Ragdoll groups I joined on Yahoo! and all the breeders that answered my questions. My research led me to a very well-respected breeder, Lora Tesh who has Soulmate Ragdolls in North Carolina, only four hours from our house—a much more convenient trip than to the west coast!
As luck would have it, Lora had a beautiful four year old female she was retiring. As her photo on Soulmate’s website showed, “Allie Jasmine” was beautiful with a wonderful white bindi mark amongst the seal point on her forehead in a Middle Eastern style. It must have been “kismet” because the name “Jasmine” was already on my list of names for a Ragdoll kitten. (Never mind that the list was three pages!)
I had to wait for Jasmine to finish nursing her last litter and be spayed, which took about a month. My whole family was so excited, we could hardly contain ourselves. The waiting reminded me a little of the waiting we had during each adoption of our three children from Asia! I guess adoption is the way we build our family! I know my husband was very concerned about all the supplies, cat beds and toys I was buying up during our wait. (Much like the shopping I did waiting to travel to Asia for babies!) Finally, about four weeks later Lora emailed me that Jasmine was ready to be picked up--Road Trip!!
Jasmine has enchanted every member of our family! While not a lap-cat, she always wants to be near us, in the same room as us, often on top of one of her seven foot cat trees, looking down on all the action. [I got these great cat trees at a great price from pussycatfurniture.com.] I think Jasmine also feels a certain responsibility to watch over our kids because, as soon as they are home from school, she won’t be upstairs with me; she has to be downstairs keeping an eye on them! Jasmine takes turns sleeping with a different child each night. If some of us, especially the kids, are upstairs and some downstairs, she can’t
make up her mind where to be. So, she lays on the top step of the stairway! Often we will find her sprawled out in the hallway. I frequently hear my husband call out “Clean up on Aisle 7. Cat spill!” What a spill too! Since retiring from breeding and now leading a life of luxury, her coat has exploded! She’s beauty and a conversation starter for everyone who comes to our house.
Often times it is hard to remember that Jasmine is five years old. She can be quite the imp and very playful. More than once I’ve awakened in the night with my foot being attacked because I wiggled my toes in my sleep! She and my husband perform the
“Belt Show” most evenings. As he undresses, Jasmine comes running when she hears the clink of his belt buckle. She knows that a game of “Chase the Belt” is coming! Through the door, around the bookcase, over the foot of the bed and around again! Whenever I go in the kitchen Jasmine takes her place on the top of the kids’ stepstool, softly mewing for a cat treat. She stays there as I cook, watching every move I make. She insists on helping me wrap gifts but I have to keep an eye on her and the plastic shopping bags. She loves to lick them, even turning over trash cans to get to one. She also loves our screen porch and quickly becomes The Great Huntress if there’s a bug inside. Jasmine and Lady, our small mixed breed dog, have a truce. They will never be best buddies, curling up to snooze together. They simply tolerate each other. Lady occasionally barks at Jasmine from her crate at night as if to prove she’s on guard duty and once in a while gives Jasmine a half-hearted chase to the stairs. On the other hand, I saw Jasmine give Lady an unseen and unfelt swipe from atop the kitchen stepstool the other night. I think it is all show, just for us.
It was so exciting and such a “small world” feeling when I found out that Charlie of Floppycats.com is one of Jasmine’s kits! It’s sort of like finding a relative you didn’t know you had! I met one of her other kittens when we got her. Jasmine produced some fine Ragdolls, didn’t she? I can’t express what a joy it is being “owned” by a Ragdoll, especially Jasmine. I appreciate Lora for entrusting her to me. Would that joy be doubled with another Ragdoll in our family? Well, it is time to find out! I’ve saved some money and I am currently working on getting a Soulmate kitten from Lora as a buddy for Jasmine! It is spring and kitten litters at Soulmate are coming and going as I write so right now I am not even sure which kitten it will be but I trust Lora will match Jasmine, and me, with the right one! I’m so glad to finally be owned by a Ragdoll!