Once we extend our breeding program and add to our Ragdoll family, I will write about them too!
Love affair with Ragdolls
My love affair with Ragdolls began inadvertently, in 2007, when I adopted two rescue cats from the local animal shelter in Portland, Oregon. Babalu and Nandi were the last of their respective litters and surrendered to the animal shelter at the same time. They were too young to be adopted so they were placed in a foster home together until they came of age.
When I saw first saw them, they were sweeting sleeping curled together like a little YinYang symbol. Their personalities were also very different – Nandi was loyal, one-person cat (eventually he extended himself to become a three person cat); Babalu loved everyone. Nandi was sweetly cautious; Babalu was obliviously fearless. They both would go for walks with us around our country neighborhood – Nandi hiding from bush to underbrush, Babalu strutting down the middle of the road (or path).
As luck would have it, Babalu happened to be a Ragdoll housecat – by this I mean he had Ragdoll in his lineage but was not purebred. He was friends with everyone and everything, loved to sleep on his back, always played with his claws retracted, and went totally limp every time our daughter picked him up (which sometimes seemed like it was every other minute!). His tolerance level of our young daughter was near saintly.
One Ragdoll is never enough!
I became truly obsessed with Ragdolls after having once been invited to a lunch party at a friend of a friend’s home – this friend of a friend just happened to be a registered Ragdoll breeder who just happened to have a litter of the sweetest, most beautiful kittens in the world! Needless to say, I spent most of the luncheon with a delightful kitten in my lap. Tried as I might, I couldn’t convince my husband that one Ragdoll (meaning Babalu, the Ragdoll house cat) was just not enough!
Time to get a kitten
5 months after Nandi passed away (fall 2018), I started looking for a purebred Ragdoll kitten for Babalu to have another cat companion. I knew I wanted another gentle, family friendly cat and Babalu seemed sad and lonely, clearly missing his brother. After some extensive online research, I contacted an experienced Ragdoll breeder who had just had a litter of kittens and was expecting another litter in a week or two. I told her about my lifelong love of cats, our family and family home, and how we fell in love with Ragdolls through Babalu’s winning personality. She added my name to a long list of people who were interested in adopting a kitten from her.
Sadly, Babalu wasn’t just sad and lonely, he was ill. He was dying of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart condition that is common in Ragdolls who are improperly bred. His decline was shockingly quick – he died at home with me attending him, only a week after getting the diagnosis from our veterinarian. Sob!
Time to get a Ragdoll kitten
The day after Babalu passed away, the Ragdoll breeder I had been in contact with called. Lisa wanted to get more details about what we were looking for in a cat, about our daily schedule, the kind of home environment we would be able to offer, etc. In my shock and grief, I had actually forgotten about the kittens! I told her that our cat had unexpectedly passed the day before and that it was honestly hard for me to think about anything, because all I could feel was sadness. I promised to contact her in a few days to let her know if we were ready for a kitten.
It turns out we were! When the kittens from the first litter were old enough to receive visitors, we hopped in the car and drove half way across the country (compared to the US, Sweden is a small country) to meet Lisa, the kittens, and the kittens’ beautiful parents. Our hearts melted! Seeing the kittens being rambunctious kittens together, I suddenly remembered that I had originally been looking for only one kitten to have as a companion for Babalu, but now that our situation had changed, it felt important for our new kitten to have a cat companion. I told Lisa that we would love to adopt two kittens, but all the kittens in this litter and the other were spoken for. We made the trip home with visions of kittens in our heads … and pictures to help tide us over for the next 8 weeks before she (S*Spinn-o-viftas Undis, now known at home as Lumi) would be ready to come home.
Time for two Ragdoll kittens!
Sometimes, fortune smiles. Lisa texted me that night to let me know that one kitten in the other litter had been misidentified as a male (these things happen) and that the family who had reserved “him” had changed their minds once they learned he was a she. She (S*Spinn-o-viftas Eowyn, now known at home as Lovey) would be available 10 days after Lumi. I said yes (!!!) without hesitation and a little over 2 months later, we made the long trip for a second time and brought our two blue eyed bundles of love home.