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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Trivia.

"The last thing I would accuse a cat of is innocence." --Edward Palley

You may remember, we acquired Marlow & Kirby from a shelter earlier this year. The shelter had hand raised them from about 8 days old but knew nothing of their origins or parentage. Not that we cared ~ only we found ourselves with cats unlike anything we were really used to.
There was Gyver; he was part Siamese & vocal as only a Siamese can be ~ blue eyes, kinky tail. Or Issi, who was a total loop but had all the characteristics of his Himalayan/Burmese ancestry & a pathetic excuse for a meow.

Marlow & Kirby, on the other hand seem comprised in part of either possums or rabbits. Everywhere they went these great plumes of tails serenaded their walk, arching gracefully over their backs. Their tails are almost never lowered & at times seem set to make them airborne. In fact they are more fur than cat though somewhere in there there are solid chunky little cat bodies. They can't meow to save their lives. We get these soft little squeaks when they want to talk to us that make us all giggle but when they purr....!!! Oh. My. Can those cats purr loud enough to wake the dead. Then there's all that fur, which had me a tad worried. Would they allow me to groom them? Not to worry. Their fur never mattes or knots & remains incredibly silky soft. I was a little perplexed to say the least.

Then Jo said something about Ragdolls that rang a bell. So I investigated & sure enough, my dopey cats have a lot of Ragdoll characteristics.

So today's trivia is about Ragdolls because they are weird.

Ragdolls were bred from a feral cat. Not a spontaneous mutation but a deliberate interference on the part of one Ann Baker who's foundation cat was a white feral cat named Josephine living on a neighbour's property. Josephine apparently had an unpleasant disposition but by all accounts Ann Baker was slightly wacky. See Josephine got hit by a car & for reasons unknown got carted of to the university for treatment instead of the vets. Ann Baker then claimed *genetic engineering* because all Josephine's subsequent kittens had the hallmark Ragdoll traits: semi~long non~matting coat; the traditional *limp* Ragdoll characteristic when picked up; plumey tails, stocky heavy set bodies. Whatever. I guess it makes a good story & she certainly knew how to breed a good cat.

Ragdolls are almost the perfect cat. They are docile & friendly, easily handled, affectionate & massive purrers. I mean, everyone knows you keep a cat for it's purr. We certainly don't keep ours for their hunting abilities & apparently Ragdolls aren't much of hunters ~ though I will say, both cats were looking more than a tad peeved when Dearest began trapping mice in the kitchen

An adult male Ragdoll can weigh in at 20 pounds ~ which is massive for a domestic cat ~ & they can take 4 ~ 5 years to reach their full growth. This is rather concerning as Dearest is already mentioning what large cats the boys are ~ & I can verify how much they love their food!

As the breed was only begun in the 1960s & originally bred from a very small gene pool breeders still have to be careful not to breed too closely. However Ragdolls are remarkably healthy & free of the common aliments that plague some of the exotic breeds.

However I'm more than happy with our halfbreeds. I priced kittens while I was looking things up ~ Starting at about AUD$800!!! For a desexed cat. Um, lovely to look at but waaay out of my price range. Besides, I like giving a needy cat a *forever home*. And halfbreeds or not my boys love me to bits. I like being loved like that.


Persuaded said...

Interestingly enough we had a cat named Mango (because he was precisely the size and shape of a mango when we first acquired him- a sickly little thing, he was.) He was such an odd thing, we did some research ourselves and found that he was almost the perfect ragdoll cat. He even looked just like the pictures... he certainly had the personality♥ They are really wonderful cats, I know. Looks like Marlow and Kirby weren't the only ones blessed by your decision to take in a shelter cat, eh;-}

Sandra said...

Sometimes you just get lucky. It sounds like you and your cats had that day in your lives when you walked into that shelter. A friend had one, she loved that cat a whole lot.

LobStar_89 said...

You reckon ragdolls aye!

Ganeida said...

Diane: Mango sounds lovely & I must say, Dearest, who was rather taken aback at the size of our *kittens* & the amount of hair because He thought I'd done everything he'd specifically said not to do, is besotted with these animals & is always saying what wonderful animals they are. lol

Sandra: As a breeder yourself you know what a blessing a good disposition is in an animal. I feel so blessed to have two very sweet natured boys.

Lobsy: look 'em up on~line. Sounds like our boys to me ~minus the blue & eyes & the coat colours but cetainly disposition~wise. ☺

Ruby said...

I had one absolutely beautiful cat when single. Good mouser, affectionate, good purrer. Everything a cat needs to be. My hubby can't stand them (and besides they make him sneeze) so we have not had a cat for twenty five years :-( I guess we are a dog family.
Yours look gorgeous. I'm told pets take on the character of the owners??!!

Ganeida said...

Oh Ruby: that's heartbreaking! I've had to convert Dearest, who was a dog man. lol Dogs are too much work. My boys are gorgeous. I actually was taken with Marlow's piccie ~ but even so would not have taken him unless he had a good disposition. As it was I had to take both cats. I can't imagine how awful separating them would have been. When I had to take Kirby to the vet they thought they were being separated for good & the good~byes were heartbreaking. The reunion when I brought Kirby home again was an absolute delight!

Ruby said...

Very soon I will post about my pets from my single days. I got my dog and cat within days of one another (babies:-) and they were just like you describe your "boys". Slept in one basket, played happily together (never knew they weren't siblings!) and pined for one another if seperated.

Amanda said...

Ragdolls are my husband's favourite cat. I love that you got yours from the animal shelter (I think that is what you were implying by your last line?). I love cats and would love another one... one day. Our last poor thing died from a tick last year.

Jo said...

My Ruby is a perfect example of a Ragdoll - she is adorable, cute, funny, lies on her back with her feet in the air, wants to be with me all the time (even in the toilet), loves her food, excellent indoors and tough!!! And she is a good hunter of flies and loves to watch the birds through the window!! Plus she has the funniest little meow that is different to most other cats.

PS even though Ruby has long soft hair it doesn't matt but does need a regular comb as she is mauling at the moment and we are finding her hair all over the house.