The thought of getting a new kitten was really scary since there had been no kittens here for the last 15 years. Also, was still grieving the loss of my Manx, Bob, who died of a heart attack in his sleep, Tony, a sweet lovebug who died suddenly in November 2011 from a renal embolus of his only kidney, and of my heart and soul, Angel, who died of complications of hyperthyroidism in September 2011. It had been a rough previous year, but my heart was aching to share that special love again. Still, she had to be someone special to match my lifestyle, so she would be a happy inside kitty. Began researching breeds and found that the Ragdoll breed seemed like a purrfect fit. The search for a kitten was frustrating because all the breeders seemed to want a deposit up front on a kitten sight unseen. But I didn't feel comfortable not knowing the kitten first and a little about their personality to ensure a purrfect match. Even searched the rescues and shelters to no avail, but no kittens at the time. Found a lady of a Ragdoll cattery who said if I could be a little patient, there would be more kittens soon. After a month, there was finally a little girl available for me!
I could not believe what I was hearing. A priceless gift directly from Heaven! Had forgotten what it felt like to be so happy because my grief had been so intense. Made an appointment and visited the cattery in mid January. There she was, a tiny little blue sepia/mitted puff of a kitten with the most sparkling blue eyes I have ever seen.When she was put in my arms, my heart just melted.
They were just 8 weeks old and so very precious with cottony soft fur coats and beautiful blue eyes. She had this endearing little tuft of fur that came to a point right under her chin making a little "goatee." So precious. She was very laid back but playful, first being observant and then ventured out to play. Reserved her right then and there. Waiting 4 long weeks until she was old enough to leave was so hard, but I was kept up to date with lots of great photos and emails every week about her. I felt like I already knew her and had definitely formed an emotional attachment to this little girl..
February 11th, 2012, was one of the happiest days I have ever had with the day becoming even more festive with a beautiful gentle snow.
When she was taken out of the crate and handed to me, she was still a little sleepy and so adorable. I hugged her close and smelled the sweet fresh scent from her recent bath. She fell asleep right on my chest in the car with a loud purr that resounded in my heart all the way home. Decided to name her Olivia Grace, or "Grace". Received her baby book with photos of her parents, the registration form, health records, and other important papers. Never knew that so much work went into raising kittens, but was so thankful that all her shots, deworming and spaying had already been taken care of for me so all I had to do was just love her.
Grace is exactly what this little girl is all about. She is a sweet, gentle little soul who is very unassuming but also very present. My older cat, Mariposa, who also showed up in a snowstorm about 3 years ago,, never had another cat to play with. In fact, think she missed her entire "kittenhood" and had to be taught how to play. Was so anxious about their first meeting, but much more relieved after reading Jenny's Ragdoll Kitten Care Book. It really helped a lot in so many ways because I was able to really prepare for Grace's arrival and prevent bad things from happening that I never even thought about. We were very lucky because Mari's reaction was to just go over and lay down on the rug very uninterested. Later, she became more curious as Grace's tiny mews and smell from the carrier became more apparent.
Even though Grace has only been here for several weeks, can't imagine life without her now. From the very first night, because Mari was not threatened, Grace slept in her crate beside my pillow and Mari at the foot of the bed like always. Have been very careful to keep Grace away from Mari's spaces like her food dish and blanket and it seems to be working out great. Got a harness with a really light leash and put it on Grace after several days. She didn't seem to mind it at all - but then again, she is really really the epitome of a Ragdoll because she doesn't seem to mind anything. Slowly encouraged Grace and Mari to be friends by engaging them in play together. They seemed to forget who was who
and just totally enjoyed themselves. My husband rigged up a kid's fishing pole by putting a catnip mouse on the end. It is hilarious to see him cast the mouse and reel in two kitties. Several times,Baby Grace got tapped on the head just to show her who is boss. Grace rolled over and played dead until she was sure that Mari was no longer a threat. That was the first time I let Grace off the leash and they actually chased each other around the room in play! It is great to see Mari with a new friend. Today we celebrated another milestone with them greeting each other with a nose "kiss." It is so sweet. Mari, being a Maine Coon, is the motherly type and is a very good
babysitter. When I leave Baby Grace in her playpen (a Chinchilla house), to do a chore, she has the most pitiful cry. But as long as she is able to see Mari, she is totally satisfied. When I return, Mari will be sitting in the doorway watching, and Grace will be sitting there quietly with her dainty little feet together. She raises her head up and pushes her chin down like she's laughing and smiling turning her head side to side when she sees me. It is so heartwarming to pick her up and feel that instantaneous roaring purr. I love her!
Grace is everything and so much more. Her temperament is very sweet, loving and so easy to be around. She is definitely not a curtain climber, but loves being in my lap, or on my chest (something I always wished for but never had). It is really true that they like to be carried around. She prefers to be carried either over my shoulder or with her feet towards the floor in my arms. Right now, her coat is a beautiful, grey/blue with
her ears just a little darker and her paws and chest white. As she gets older her fur will darken. The first time I saw her in January, her eyes were a bright, rich blue, but now they are changing to the most beautiful teal color with some patches of the blue still visible.
Every day, it is so much fun to watch Grace grow and learn and see what new kitten antics she will do to make me laugh. She is really intelligent and knew her name the very first week. She now comes when I call her just like a little puppy would. She loves the computer's cursor and puts herself to sleep while trying to follow it. Watching her in her crate without the door, I had my head
horizontal on the pillow and she was sitting straight up. All of a sudden, she began staring inquisitively at me while turning her head until is was 90 degrees horizontal just like mine It looked hilarious. Wonder what she was thinking - that my face looked strange sideways? She does the funniest things like running like a little mink, so low and fast to the ground.There are so many things I can't even count that I love about her. In this short time, Grace has blessed and brightened my life with so much joy I never imagined possible. Really believe that Angel might have played a part in directing her to me. Wish she could stay a kitten forever because she is so precious, but know it will only last for a few short months and then she will become a beautiful, regal girl. Can't wait to see how her coat and eyes will change and will do everything possible to ensure she has a very long and happy life ahead. Maybe next year, she can be in the Ragdoll of the Week and you will be able to see her and how much she has grown.
My Baby Grace - I love, love, love her!!!!!!!!!