In July 2013 my beloved Ragdoll Lucy (Ragdoll of the Week on January 24, 2011) died after battling several chronic health issues for a long time. I knew that I would not be able to bear living in a home without a Ragdoll for long, so started the search for a new furry friend. As much as I would love a kitten or two, I knew it was impractical given my lifestyle, so started searching for retired breeders.
My search led me to Hollywood Rags, a small Ragdoll cattery located in Martinsburg, WV, a less than 2-hour drive from my home. On their website they had three adult Ragdolls listed as retiring from their breeding program and available. I emailed Suzanne, the breeder, and crossed my fingers. Suzanne emailed me back very quickly and told me about the three kitties she had available: two females and one male. They were all gorgeous but I quickly focused on the male, Glacier. I had decided I did not want a kitty who too closely resembled Lucy because I did not want to be constantly making comparisons between the new kitty and her. Lucy was a tiny seal point, Glacier is a large lilac point.
Suzanne was wonderful. She answered all my questions and even sent me videos of my new baby. He had recently been neutered and moved away from the other breeding kitties, so she wanted to make sure he was completely socialized before sending him to live with me. While I waited, I got ready for my kitty’s arrival. I had already decided to rename him Loki.
Fortunately, Loki was quickly socialized and it wasn’t long before I was able to drive out to pick him up, on August 2, 2013. If I had had any doubts about the cattery (which I didn’t) they would have dissipated as soon as I met Suzanne and saw her operation. I was happy that Loki came out of his room to investigate when he heard strangers and I got to see him “in person” for the first time. He is such a beautiful boy with his sparkling white fur and ice blue eyes!
After spending a delightful hour playing with all the kittens in the cattery (my idea of paradise is sitting on the floor while 14 Ragdoll kittens scamper and frolic around you) it was time to go. I picked Loki up to put him in his carrier and got my first shock: Lucy had weighed barely 6 pounds with a tiny, delicate bone structure. Loki was 10.5 pounds and built like a little truck!
Upon arriving home, Loki was of course scared and unsure of his surroundings, so he stayed for the rest of the day in “his” room I had set up for him. But after the sun went down, he came creeping out, saw me, jumped up on the couch, and hurled himself at me. That night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw him at the foot of my bed, staring at me.
It was just a matter of a few days before Loki made himself completely at home. He is my constant shadow: he needs to know where I am at all times. Every morning when I take a shower he sits outside the shower and yells at me, and then gets in-between the shower curtain and liner, poking his head out to investigate.
He has taken over all flat surfaces in my home. I used to be able to keep a few things on the end table next to my end of the couch. That’s a thing of the past. The only thing on the end table is Loki. The same goes for my nightstand.
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If I doze off when he thinks I should be awake, Loki yells at me. If he feels the need for some love in the middle of the night, he head-butts and kneads me and purrs loudly until I wake up and comply. If I sleep later than he thinks I should in the morning, he bounces up and down on me until I wake up. Since I adopted him he has gone from 10.5 to 13.5 pounds, so he is hard to ignore when he wants me awake.
Loki loves to play, but only with interactive toys, with a human at the other end. He pays little attention to balls and catnip mice, preferring to chase feather wands, often executing magnificent mid-air leaps during play. I always keep a supply of wand toys on hand because he does a pretty good job of destroying them.
But interestingly he is completely non-destructive with things that are not his. He has several large scratchers and uses them every day, but never scratches the furniture. He can destroy a toy with impressive speed, but has not laid a paw on anything that is not his. He’s a smart little guy!
He also loves being groomed. This is fortunate because he requires daily grooming. After being neutered his full coat came in, and what an incredible coat he has. During the winter he looked like a baby polar bear. Every day I plop him in my lap and go over him with a comb (the 5” Cat Untangler from Tangler-Rangler, which is available from Amazon.com) and he busily works on self-grooming while I do so. The one thing we have problems with is clipping his claws. He really, really hates this. I make a point of fondling his paws every day, and while he is not crazy about having his paws touched, he will allow that. But the only way I can trim his claws is to do so while he is asleep. The last time I clipped his claws I snuck up on him while he was napping and to my surprise was able to do all the claws on his front paws, including the dew claws, which are really hard to get at because they are so tight against the side of his paws. I’m hoping we’ve turned a corner in the claw trimming business!
Loki has settled very nicely into my life and has made it clear that we do things his way: certain pieces of furniture are there for his use and there are specific times that are his play times and cuddle times. There’s nothing like coming home from work every day to be greeted at the door by a beautiful happy Ragdoll. He has lived with me for almost a year now and I can’t imagine life without him!