Rags and a Doll
The unwanted One
Cheyenne came to me when a so-called cat rescuer near my former house had to move and left nine cats behind. She was this football of fur and awkward, modern art colors; shades of browns and grays and more on a white body. I brought her home and let her lose in my house; and didn't see her for three days. Thinking that she had gotten out and run off.
After three days we found her under my bed. And a day later she was all over it. Yes, ALL OVER IT! I have never seen a cat before that can stretch that long and take up that much bed. And to this day I never saw one again... yet.
It was like somebody had thrown a bag of rags on my bed! She had this special way of getting comfortable. And it usually involved one of us! While most cats roll up to sleep or stretch out a little, she would 'pancake' herself across anything she wanted to sleep on. And we were her preferred beds. Her big eyes would always look at us in love. And while most of the rules for cats involving my laptop were born through her, how could you get mad about something that looked at you with so much love?! That's when the word 'doll' came in play!
In the early 60s a lady named Ann Baker is said to have crossed her white Angora/Persian mix named Josephine with Burmese or Birma like cats. What came out of it was this fluffy creation that would calmly lay in your hands and view the World with trust.
Ann Baker's strange statements and such caused several of her once loyal breeders to split off. And in 1967 Denny Dayton had the Ragdolls as breed recognized in the U.S. Four years later Ann Baker created her own association and claimed that only her cats were true Ragdolls. She had the name patented in 1975, restricting the use of the name to only those cats of her lines and under her association. Denny Dayton considered this rule as not applying to his cats, since he had purchased his cats from her before the patent. Despite Baker's strict rules and breeding standards, those of Denny Dayton are the ones that are accepted by all the major cat registries today!
The cats later also made it to the UK.
In the 90s another group left Ann Baker's IRCA, disliking the more and more strict breeding restrictions. Since the name 'Ragdoll' had been owned by Baker until she did not renew the patent in 2005, this new group named their cats 'Ragamuffin'.
Ragdolls like my Cheyenne are one of the largest cat breeds out there. They are said to go limp when picked up, have to have the striking point colors and a gentle, docile demeanor. Their 'floppy' nature and strong docile tendencies may have sparked Baker's belief that they were pain-resistant (I know they are not, since I did occasionally step on her toys and she responded like any other cat; just a little more gentler and forgiving!). Others belief that their docile nature was caused by genetic mutation and have tried to breed that away; thinking that it would not be 'in the best interest of the cat' to be that trusting. A thought I very much support! Cheyenne had no fear of moving cars and stray dogs and gave me more than once a heart-attack. But her love for the outdoors was as strong as any other cat's!
They were said to be under 15lbs in weight. Cheyenne's record was over 20lbs and a good appetite; without looking fat. But she may have not been full-blooded either, since her eyes weren't the vivid blue but a deep, Caribbean ocean like bluish/green. And yes, despite her long coat, she didn't shed much. They were bred to not have that dense undercoat other cats have. Something that always made me wonder if she was warm enough outside in the winter and fall, when she was laying on my car and watching the neighborhood.
Ragdolls are perfect cats for young children, as long as the parents ensure that they gentleness is not answered with rough handling by those children. And for those that don't like to do extra vacuuming that usually comes with long-haired animals in general, this breed seems perfect.
A word of caution, tough" As it has been stated before these cats seem to know no fear of anything and eye the World with trust! I know I can never have one out where I live. Living in the country I deal with wild critters and stray dogs that are not always friendly. And since I keep my doors wide open almost all summer, because we all love the smell of country living and the view of my beautiful little pond, my cats have access to the outdoors as they please.
As much as I am a firm believer that a cat should have access to a 'natural' environment, considering that it is their nature to walk for miles a day (or rather night) to 'hunt', a Ragdoll should probably not be let out unless his/her safety can be assured!
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