Tiffany Comes Home
Living with Ragdolls
Then There Were 2
Our First Litter
In My Experience...
Belle Comes Of Age
Our Introduction to Ragdolls
Ragdoll cats came into our lives quite by accident, but how glad we are they did!
In December 1997 our five year old British Blue, Tosca, became very ill and we had to have her put to sleep. The loss of our cat friend could not have come at a worse time for us, as we were already trying to come to terms with the dreadful news that my Dad was terminally ill with cancer.
We still had our dear little black cat, Moppet, and Joshua, our soppy Russian Blue, but there was little doubt that Toscas absence left a huge hole in our home and our lives. Only two faces at the window to greet us as when we returned home, a space on the sofa where Tosca always sat and no bedtime "foot warmer" for our five year old daughter, Clare. Within a matter of days we had both decided we needed to find a new feline friend to join our family, so we purchased the current issue of Cat World and began looking for nearby breeders of British Shorthairs, of which there were plenty. We made several enquiries about kittens but it just felt all wrong, like we were trying to "replace" Tosca, something we could never do! So out came all our cat books and we began to research some new breeds, Burmese, Norwegian Forest cats, Maine Coons, we looked at them all, but finally decided we would contact some breeders of Birmans and make enquiries about kitten availability. It seemed that we were not the only people who had taken a fancy to this delightful breed of cat and each breeder we contacted had waiting lists for kittens not even conceived yet! Feeling a little disheartened at the prospect of a wait of many months to find our Birman kitten, we joined the bottom of two waiting lists, making it clear we had no preference on colour or gender, in the hope that we would soon have some good news.
A couple of weeks passed and the copy of Cat World was left lying on our desk, gathering dust, until I picked it up for one last flick through before it was consigned to the re-cycling pile. Why the name jumped out of the Breeders Directory on that day, I dont know, but there it was, almost shouting at me, "Little Bear Ragdolls." I had no knowledge of Ragdoll cats at this time, but I was curious and so I delved back into my cat books to find out more and then I phoned Elaine Davies, breeder of Little Bear Ragdolls. I do not expect that Elaine even remembers me, but my brief telephone conversation with her was the beginning of something very special. Elaine had no kittens at the time, but told me she had, on that very day, taken her breeding girl to Shirley Smith, who breeds under the PeachisnCreme prefix and that she had a kitten, which was looking for a home.
It was Darren who made the phone call to Shirley that evening, but it seemed we were too late, as a gentleman had already expressed an interest in the kitten and Shirley was just waiting for him to arrange to visit her and make a decision. She did talk to Darren at length about Ragdolls and described the kitten to him a nine week old blue mitted little girl whose Dad, RagsnRiches Blue Dejavu, was the "cover boy" on Cat World Magazine December 1997, the very same edition of the magazine which had been laying on our desk! Shirley promised Darren that she would contact him the following day, once she had spoken with the other gentleman. We had a nervous wait, but true to her word Shirley phoned the next morning, and gave us the news that the other interested party had decided that he did not have time to visit the kitten and therefore she was happy for us to go along and meet with her that day.
It is a day we as a family shall never forget, Saturday 3rd January 1998. We travelled the 50 miles from our home to Essex, where Shirley lives, feeling excited at the prospect of meeting the kitten but also a little nervous that Shirley may not consider us suitable to home one of her precious Ragdolls. Our worries were completely unnecessary as Shirley and Alan made us all so welcome and the afternoon we spent with them was truly an amazing one. As soon as we walked into their bungalow the genuine love that Shirley and Alan have for the Ragdoll breed became apparent. Everywhere we looked there were little Ragdoll faces, it was like a "cat heaven!" We were introduced to the little blue mitted girl, Tiffany, who was laying on the sofa curled up with her sister, Jemima. Tiffany was a little cream bundle with dark little ears, a dark nose and of course her tiny white mitts and a cute white chin. Lying on the back of the sofa was Bow, Tiffanys Mum and she looked so beautiful. We also met RagsnRiches Dejavu, Tiffanys Dad, and he was a really handsome boy. Tiffany was, like all kittens, adorable, but through meeting her parents we had an image of how she would look when she was mature and we were all smitten! We felt that we had at last found our new little cat friend. Thankfully, having spent some time getting to know us all, Shirley felt happy to entrust Tiffany into our family, once she was old enough to leave her extremely luxurious life in Essex!
Shirley has a wonderful way of sharing all her enthusiasm and knowledge of Ragdolls and the afternoon we spent with her, Alan and all the PeachisnCreme Ragdolls, gave us a valuable insight into the breed and was the beginning of our own passion for these truly beautiful cats.