Don't Care for Cats? Read About the Ragdoll - You May Be Pleasantly Surprised.

Family Matters on 05.26.11
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Photo Credit: Monica Rodgers

I never really considered myself a "cat person," but I do consider myself a "Ragdoll Cat Person."

My daughter was five when her beloved cat - Sophia Sparkles- passed away.  It was heart breaking, and after some time, we decided we wanted to get another one, but we were torn. Knowing how badly she loves to snuggle with animals and how fickle cats can be about snuggling I went on a mission to see if there was a breed of cat that might be a little more interactive.  A friend of mine introduced me to the a Ragdoll Breeder in Rhode Island.

Rag Doll Cat Blue Point

Photo Credit Monica Rodgers: Bella is Blue Point Ragdoll Cat 

From the start, this cat was different.  Bella wanted to be whereever we were.  If we were in the kitchen- she'd come lay down in the thick of the traffic looking completly unphased by the chaoes. If I went to the basement to do laundry - guess who came with me?  It was a bit like having a little dog! I must admit I loved it.  She would let us pick her up endlessly, with nary a hint of fuss, and seemed to go limp in our arms (hence the name ragdoll) and she never seemed to scratch or use her teeth- unless she was playing which to date has never "hurt" either she or the children.  

Tiny Ragdoll Kitten Seal Point

Photo Credit Monica Rodgers: "Blue"

We loved her demenor so much we added a second Ragdoll (a male) to the mix about one year later and called him "Blue."   Two years later Bella and Blue provide endless hours of interaction, entertainment and love, and best of all they absolutely adore the eldest member of our animal family - our rescue Pitbull "Charlie-Girl" who's about thirteen.  

Dog and Cat Loving Each Other

Photo Credit Monica Rodgers: Blue and Charlie 

The most amazing thing about these three is that they are a "unit."  When we come home after an outing, they all unfurl themselves from their intertwining napping positions to greet us.  The cats groom the dog, and the dog grooms the cats.  If someone is "missing" (invariably one of them will get stuck in the basement) you can be sure that there will be whining and meowing to follow from one of them until the problem is rectified and they are reunited.  This became a problem - as our dog (obviously) will be outside on the porch for extended periods of time basking in the sun and with kids going in and out.  It became such a cacaphony of meowing ( and they are quiet usually unless this happens) that one day I finally just left the door open and to my amazment (ever since) they join Charlie on the porch and do not wander any further than our front garden, unless of course one of us goes out in the yard...( it's fenced in) so now if we are out playing frisbee - there they both are- laying in the grass nearby until we go in again when they are right at our heels. It's like they have a human homing device.  For a while I was worried that they would go up to just anyone, but their true affection seems to be reserved for our family. 

Rag Doll and Little Girl

Photo Credit Monica Rodgers: My Daughter and Bella 

The Ragdoll as they were affectionatly and accurately termed were discovered in the1960's by the original breeder Ann Baker. They come in six different colors and three different patterns.  In addition to being beautiful, and affectionate - they shed very little. Although they have thick coats, I can happily report that the shedding is not in the least what I feared. 

You can read about their interesting history here.

I should also say that while the Ragdoll cat seems perfect for my family ( including our "Charlie") I do not in any way advocate that they may be for everyone.  They love company, so if you are never home.. your Ragdoll would be terribly lonely. In addition although I allow ours to play outside with us, they are primarily indoor cats and would never be the type of cat who could stay outside. They are so docile that they do not appear to have a strong self-protective instinct.  I love that they were "born" in the sixties... they are kind of like the ultimate "peace, love, and kindness" cat...  lovers not fighters.

Ragdoll cat in the box

Photo Credit Monica Rodgers: Blue made himself at home in a gift box at Christmas and did not seem to mind if anyone wanted to move it.

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