I retired from my demanding job in Washington, D.C. at the end of 2020, and I knew I would need something to occupy my time. My dear Maine Coon-mix rescue Garrett had passed away at age 17 the previous Christmas and I felt I was ready for a new cat in my life.
Many years ago at a local cat show, I fell hard for the large, fluffy, sweet-natured ragdoll cats. Every owner raved about his/her ragdoll's easy companionship and simple upkeep. Knowing I finally had time to be a full-time pet parent, I figured a ragdoll kitten would be a perfect retirement present to myself.
The day after Christmas, one of the breeders I had been following posted a couple of new kittens on her website. There was a classic male seal point with the most adorable mittens born on November 22, 2020, and he was available!
I quickly put down a deposit with Rockstar Ragdolls (near Roanoke, VA) and waited impatiently until I could make the four-hour drive to pick him up at the end of January. Melissa the owner was a great communicator and sent me photos and a video of my little guy to help me through the long month.
In my family, we usually pick out a cat name and then look for a shelter or rescue cat that fits it..Because this kitten was my first from a breeder and a purebred, I decided to send around his photos to friends and family seeking a suitably serious name.
After extensive consultation with my son, I had a list that included McAllistair, Montgomery, and Hudson. However, the only name this little fluffball responded to was Sawyer, which was conveniently suggested by my son's girlfriend. I like it because it sounds literary (Tom Sawyer), I am a lawyer (it rhymes) and it is fairly unique.
Sawyer was one of a litter of nine (!) and his vet wanted the little guy fattened up (he weighed 1.4 pounds at 2 months). At 9 months, Sawyer tips the scale at 13 pounds and has lots more to grow. I think Sawyer had to fight for food and maybe to protect himself from his many siblings.
So while he can be a sweet purr fest making starfish paws on my shoulder, he tends to communicate a lot with his teeth - I want to play (bite), I don't want to wear my collar (bite), what is this torture that involves trimming my claws (bite), hey these toes look like tasty toys (bite), etc. The bites are mostly playful but I do sport some ankle scars I did not have before.
Fortunately, I seem to be the only one who receives the teeth kisses. Sawyer is very relaxed around company, often running to greet guests at the door and leaping onto my chair in the middle of a dinner party.
He also has an uncanny ability to find the one person in the room who is allergic to cats and makes a special effort to imprint himself on the hapless guest. When not making my friends sneeze, Sawyer goes crazy playing with wand toys with elastic strings (a Hartz one with a goldfish is a fav), zooming around the house terrorizing small felt mice, making off with jigsaw puzzle pieces, and rummaging through garbage cans.
He has a strange attraction to water as well, leaping into my shower when I step out, sitting on the edge (and falling into) the tub when my son takes a bath, and clumsily scaling bathroom vanities to drink from the faucet. Like most ragdolls, Sawyer follows me up and down stairs (love those pantaloons on parade) and often sleeps at my feet (the better to nimble on tempting toes).
I had forgotten how much work kittens are but Sawyer has brought so much to my life. I love picking him up and snuggling into his soft fur, playing fetch with him, and spoiling him with new toys and treats (he is learning to use the Litter Robot 3 as I write this).
When I leave the house, I can count on my handsome guy to be waiting on the window seat by the front door to welcome me home, I love my feisty blue-eyed furball!
I have recommended ragdolls to every cat lover I know - they are the perfect pet, and Sawyer is the perfect floppycat for me..