I’ll start by saying I wasn’t a cat person, in fact I didn’t like anything with fur. I’ve always been fascinated with reptiles, ever since I was a kid. Up until a year ago they were the only pets I’d ever kept.
I guess the first sign of cats sneaking their way into my life was down to my girlfriends mum, she added two Norwegian Forest kittens to their family. As the years went by I obviously spent a lot of time at my girlfriend's (Emily) home and watched the two fur balls grow up. I slowly started to appreciate what cats are all about, and see what positives there is to having a pet that actually wanted your attention (some of the time anyway!).
A couple of years ago the time came for Emily and me to move out and buy our place together. This was great for us, but it also meant saying goodbye to the two cats that I’d spent so much time with, and got to know so well....
After a year of being in our new flat (apartment), we were both very happy, but I still missed the two furry friends we left at Emily’s parents. Maybe it was after staring into the blank expression of one of my lizards that triggered the thought; “I need something furry in my life again”. So began the internet searching and magazine reading, which eventually threw up Ragdolls as being an ideal breed to join us in the flat. During the internet searching I came across the Ragdoll Rescue and Rehoming website run by Helen Hadley, located in Stourbridge (UK). A little bit far away from where me and Emily live, but after seeing the wonderful cats on her website, I decided to contact her and arrange a visit. Meeting Helen it was clear that she was someone who cared immensely for cats, and especially Ragdolls. She and her husband Allan work totally self-funded, rehoming and rescuing cats that are given up by their families for various reasons. On our visit to Helen we met two gorgeous Ragdolls, a 6 year old red bi-colour male (Merlot) and a 5 year old seal tortie female (Izzy). Merlot was big, laid back and lapped up the attention. Izzy a little more Shy, but still enjoyed some fuss. It didn’t take long to decide they were the cats for us. A month went by as we prepared the flat for our new family members, we then made the 3 hour drive to Helens and collected our two raggies.
So one year on with them, what can I tell you about Merlot and Izzy? Well both have some real strong Ragdoll traits, they love to flop everywhere and anywhere, usually the most obstructing places possible so you’re forced to give them a belly rub. They must be in the same room with you at all times and know EXACTLY what you are doing, so they can give their approval. Watching nature documentaries with me is also a popular past time, especially when there are birds on.
Izzy enjoys head butting cardboard, playing with shoelaces and stringy bits on clothes, hiding under blankets and making me think “oh my god Izzy has got out where is she!?!?!?” The best way I can describe Merlot is that he is like a toddler, pretending to be a dog, that actually looks like a cat. He is loud, REALLY loud, and vocal about every single emotion he feels. “Hey I lost my toy under the cupboard can you get it for me?” “Izzy’s sitting in my bed pleeeeeeeeeeeease tell her to get out” “Can you move along the sofa I need to sit down!” “Is that chicken you’re eating? Come on just a little bit please? Just a little? Please?” So although he is the most demanding, attention seeking, fur distributing (has to be seen to be believed) cat in existence, I couldn’t imagine life without him now.
Have they over taken my love for all things scaley? Hmm, my friends might say the number of Facebook photos of them says yes, but I’ll always say they come a close second 😉
Here is the page on Facebook for UK Ragdoll Rescue and Rehoming.
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