Hey, are ya’ll out there? Anypawdy? It’s me RaenaBelle. Most of ya’ have been here since befur I was born, and so ya’ ‘member dat I was rescued from a very uncertain future and a really bad place. I’s been here long enuff now to know dat mommy wholeheartedly supports animal rescue and adoptions. There are so many kitties, and doggies too dat need luvvin’ furever homes. Now I’s not furgettin’ all you other anipals, but let’s face it, shelters are mainly full up with cats and dogs. Most of ya’ ‘member mommy and sis Dezi’s search fur a new Service Kitty in Training after Lexi went to heaven (whispers: God rest her). Most of ya’ ‘member dat they kept hittin’ purrverbial brick walls every time they tried to adopt a “rescue” kitty. And most of ya’ ‘member how torn mommy was when she found me at a bakyard breeder. Mines “fee” was da same or lower than most shelters and “rescue organizations” in da area. But lots of peeps didn’t/don’t consider me a rescue kitty.
I’s ask mommy to look up da definition of rescue and here’s what da Webster dictionary says: An act of saving or being saved from danger or distress. To deliver, redeem, ransom, reclaim, save mean to set free from confinement or danger. Well, let me tell ya’, mommy fur sure rescued me. I was born in a cage and had never been allowed outta dat cage. I was sick cuz of da conditions of da house and too many other animals who weren’t purropurrly cared fur. Mines future was uncertain till mommy saved me. We’ve had a lot of peeps ask exactly what is a Ragdoll. So I’s ask mommy ifin we could do some ‘splainin’ ‘bout da breed and a little ‘bout what goes on with these backyard breeders.
History of the Ragdoll
Let’s go back and give ya’ da history of da Ragdoll breed. In 1960, a non-pedigreed white Persian/Angora type kitty named Josephine had a litter of kitties sired by several unknown male Burmese/Birman like cats. One of these males had the colorpoints associated with da Siamese cat. Josephine later produced a litter of very docile, placid tempurrment, affectionate and a tendency to go limp and relaxed when picked up kitties. When a subsequent litter was born with these identical traits, Ann Baker purchased several kittens from Josephines owner and set out to create what is now known as the Ragdoll breed. Blackie, an all black Burmese like male, and Daddy Warbucks a Seal point with white feet male were among da furst litters born. Daddy Warbucks sired the founding bi-color female, Fugianna. And Blackie sired Buckwheat, a dark brown/black Burmese like famale. Fugianna and Buckwheat were both daughters of Josephine. All Ragdolls today are descendants from Ann Baker’s cats through the matings of Daddy Warbucks to Fugianna and Buckwheat. Other breeders were added and da breed grew.
The Temperament of the Ragdoll
Ragdolls are docile, calm and floppy in nature. These traits are attributed to da Persian and Birman breeds that were a pawrt of da foundation of da breed. Da breed standard states: The Ragdoll is affectionate, intelligent, relaxed in temperament, gentle and an easy to handle lap cat. They are often known as “puppy-cats”. They are easily trained, and appear to enjoy performing tricks or in our case, Service Cat tasks.
Now let’s talk ‘bout those pesky physical characteristics. We call them pesky, cuz some peeps are more concerned with da appearance of a kitty than da purrsonality. Dat’s why black cats have such a hard time gettin’ adopted. Anyways, da Ragdoll is one of da largest breed of cats with a sturdy body, large frame and proportionate legs. Males are generally larger than the females. We did note while researchin’ fur this dat Ragdolls are being bred smaller these days; with weights being stated as somewhere between 8 to 20 pounds. We purrsonally have not seen any of those smaller Ragdolls. The color point gene is responsible for the blue eye color of the Ragdoll cats. Ragdolls have a plush medium length coat consisting of long guard hairs and no undercoat.
Ragdolls come in 6 different colors: Red, Seal, Chocolate and da corresponding “dilutes”, including blue, lilac and cream. This also includes da tortie in all colors including da 3 patterns. With full coloring occurring around 3 – 4 years of age. The 4 different Ragdoll Patterns are:
Pointed: One color darkening at the extremities
Mitted: Same as pointed but with white paws and abdomen. With or without a blaze, but must have a “belly stripe” (White chin with white extending from the chin to the genitals).
High Mitted Bi-Color: Same as mitted, with white chest, paws and abdomen. White V mark on the face, and color can be red, blue, seal, chocolate and cream.
Bi-Color: White legs, White inverted V on the face, white abdomen and sometimes white patches on the back. (Excessive amounts of white or “high white” on a Bi-Color is known as the Van pattern. The Van pattern is Rare).
Lynx: A varient of the above types and having the Tabby markings.
Inbreeding in Ragdolls is/was very high due to the very limited number of foundation cats. A lot of breeders continued to cross breed “foundation cats” to Persians, Birman and Burmese in an attempt to broaden the gene pool. In the 80’s the CFA determined there were sufficient foundations and no longer accepts for registration any cross bred Ragdolls. That means only litters born of two registered Ragdoll parents are allowed for registration. So inbreeding is still very high among the breed. However, Backyard breeders still practice cross breeding today. As far as health goes, Ragdolls have a significantly higher risk of developing and/or dying from urinary problems. We are also at risk for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy a genetic disease that can cause sudden death. A DNA test was developed in 2007 to identify the gene that causes HCM in Ragdolls, however it is costly, so not all breeders, especially backyard breeders, test for this. Otherwise we are fairly robust, low maintenance kitties.
Now we’ll get back to da rescuin’ of me. We do know dat I’s da product of 2 Ragdoll pawrents, same as sis Dezi. However, since I’s came from a backyard breeder, no testing was purrformed on mines pawrents fur HCM. And we can’t know da lineage of mines pawrents. However, I’s have an eye issue dat be purrevalent in Persians (stay tuned, we have a review comin’ up fur a great purroduct fur this). This could be da result of a latent Persian gene or cuz one of mines pawrents pawrents was a Persian. Either way, it makes no difference to mommy, cuz she luvs me and will take care of me furever. Dat’s what she purromissed when she rescued me from dat urine stenched, dank dungeon cage. Did I’s come from a shelter or rescue organization? No. Bit I’s was rescued just da same. Altho’ mommy was torn in da beginning, once she saw da conditions I’s was born into and living in and she saw mines face, she’s never looked back. She knows I was meant to be here with her and sis Dezi. And I’s so grateful she made dat call. And fur anypawdy wonderin’, sis Dezi is a Seal Lynx Point. At this time, I’s still a little young to call, but I’s fur sure a Bi-Color Van. Mommy says, I’s’ll purrobably be a Chocolate, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to say fur certain.
I’s gonna wrap it up now and see ‘bout getting’ some treats. I’s do wanna add, dat while we was writin’ this posty, da manager came knockin’ on our door to let us know our neighbor died last night. No, we weren’t close to her and we didn’t know she was “that sick”. She was tellin’ peeps she was gonna have a surgery and actin’ like it was nuffin’. Never da less, she was a mother, sisfur, daughter, awnty and neice to somepawdy, so ifin ya’ wouldn’t mind just sayin’ a purrayer fur her furmily dat would be nice. We’re joinin’ Rascal and Rocco fur da weekly Pet Parade. Go by and check it out.
Yep, we’re ‘spectin’ storms