A Tale of Four Ragdolls
Note: For anyone concerned about our Ragdolls going outside. They are never left unattended when outside of the house. We also have a large, screened in porch which they enjoy when the weather is not too hot.
I’ve been a cat person all my life and had three cats at the time I met my husband, Fred, in 1983. He claimed that he really did not care for cats. His opinion quickly changed, and over the years, our cat family grew. All our cats were rescues in need of care, some starving, some extremely sick. When they were healthy, we had them spayed or neutered. Fred started looking at cat breeds on line and decided that if he ever got a cat on purpose, it would be a Ragdoll.
Ragdoll # 1 Patches
At a flea market in spring 2005, I was admiring a basket which would be perfect for a cat bed. A lady nearby, heard me talking about the basket and asked if I wanted another cat. When I asked her what kind, she replied, “Ragdoll.” After driving 50 miles to pick up this cat, she informs us that there are two cats: the ragdoll and a tuxedo. They were about a year old and were a bonded pair. She was shocked that we would take both. I got the feeling that if we didn’t take both, she would toss the tuxedo out onto the streets and both cats would suffer. The male was a large blue-eyed, bicolor floppy ragdoll with the typical laid-back sweet personality. We can’t be sure that Patches is a pure-bred Ragdoll, but with his coloration, temperament, and floppiness he appears to be. After 12 years, he remains a delight and a joy in our lives.
Ragdoll #2 Miss Cee (Missy)
Late November 2006, I surprised Fred by taking him to a Ragdoll breeder for his birthday, which was in Houston, 200 miles from our home in Corpus Christi. She had two litters which would be ready to go near the end of December. A little seal-point, mitted female ball of fluff stood out among the rest, who were very calm and loved to sit still as we held them. Not Miss Cee, at six weeks old, she was running all over the place, and when finally caught, she would not sit still. She was Fred’s choice. We picked her up right after Christmas. She was not too happy about the long ride home and told us about it all the way. Although she is a pedigreed Ragdoll, she does not have the typical laid-back personality. She was eleven years old in October, is still very opinionated, and doesn’t hesitate to tell you what she thinks. At times when she gets really upset, she will hyperventilate, and we must calm her down. While she was still very young, I made sweatshirts for her to wear when going outside. She loved to wear them.
In September 2016, Missy was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on her nose. After reviewing all available options of treatment, we took her to Texas A&M in College Station (250 miles northeast of here) for radiation treatment, as this has the best success rating and no pain. She received the treatment in November, and now nine months later, she is cancer free. The vets told us that if she remained cancer free for six months in all likelihood the cancer should not return. While in College Station we bought an A&M tee-shirt, which I altered to fit her and attached a pink cancer awareness ribbon. November 2017, Missy had a crust form on her nose where the cancer had been. Our vet and the one at Texas A&M felt sure that it was not cancer, but wanted to check it out to be sure. A biopsy was done, and it was not cancerous, but a type of dermatitis, which cleared up after a few days of treating it with ointment. Her nose is looking great again.
Ragdoll #3 Mister Blue (Blue)
October 2007, on her web page, our breeder posted a picture of a blue-point, mitted male with the deepest blue eyes that I have ever seen in a cat. He was 1 ½ years old, and along with his brother was sold to a couple who were obviously not cat people. After nine months, the breeder received a phone call telling her to pick up the cats or they would toss them out onto the streets. She worked with these cats for several months resocializing them. Blue was afraid of everything and the other cat was quite aggressive. We made another trip to Houston to see him. As soon as we sat on the sofa, he entered the room, came right to us, fell down and exposed his belly. After that display, we had to have him. It turned out that he is Missy’s brother of the litter six months before her. It didn’t take long for Blue to settle in and develop the habit of yelling at me if he doesn’t get his way. He likes to use the litter box that we keep on the back porch for the outside cats and will scratch at the door when he wants to go out to potty. He is afraid of the dark, and almost every night he will go to each of the outer doors. I will open the door and when he sees that it is dark outside, he yells at me. I guess it’s my fault for letting it get dark. Not so much now, but when he was younger, he would make a long drawn out whining sound. It sounded so much like a siren, that I would pick him up, praise him and call him a firetruck. After several months, I could pick him up and tell him to be a firetruck, and he would make his siren sound.
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Ragdoll #4 Victoria
June 2009, I received an email from our breeder asking if we knew anyone who would give a good home to a 5 ½ year old, retired queen. After another trip to Houston, we returned with Victoria, a blue-point, mitted female, much smaller than our others. During her kittenhood, she was a champion show kitten and became a breeder after growing up. She immediately bonded with me, but it was five years before she decided that Fred is okay. Even now if she thinks that I see her sitting with him, she will move away. She likes to stalk me, so I added the name Rose, after a stalker on a popular TV series. Then later when her uppity personality became apparent, I added Aster. To me, she is Victoria Rose Aster.
All of our Ragdolls wear their harnesses and walk with leashes on trips to the vet. Missy and Blue enjoy going to the pet store and love the attention they receive from the employees and other customers. They act like I must be crazy when I try to show them the birds. To them, birds are the doves and grackles that they see outside, which all the cats like to chatter at from the windows. Patches and Victoria, who have decided to help me type, are not comfortable around strangers, so I don’t attempt to take them out in public.
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