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.