Tiffany Comes Home
Living with Ragdolls
Then There Were 2
Our First Litter
In My Experience...
Belle Comes Of Age
Tiffany Comes Home
On 24th January 1998 Peachisncreme Tiffany became part of our family. Armed with a cat box lined with a brand new cosy bed, we made the journey back to Essex. Tiffany was fast asleep on Shirleys sofa, unaware that her life was about to change. She had grown considerably since we had last seen her, three weeks previously, and even her markings had become more obvious. Her ears and her little nose were darker and the coloration on her face and legs was starting to spread. Shirley is a very experienced breeder and, as such, extremely thorough with care advice for all new owners of her kittens. Along with Tiffanys pedigree and vaccination certificate, we were given an information sheet covering all her care needs, so we were more than prepared for coping with our new kitten.
Tiffany must have felt a little nervous as we put her into the cat box. She looked so tiny, nestled into the bedding, at the back of the box, but her eyes grew wider and wider, as we carried her to the car and strapped her carrier into the back seat. Her little cries throughout the journey home, sounded so pitiful and did not fail to tug at our heartstrings. How afraid she must have felt being taken away from all that was familiar and safe to her. We talked gently to her, hoping that our voices would go some way to making her feel reassured. I placed my fingers through the front of the carrier and tickled her under the chin in an attempt to comfort her and Tiffany slowly began to respond by rubbing her face against my fingers, marking me with pheromones and quietly purring.
Bringing a new kitten into a house where there are already cats is an anxious time and there was no exception with Tiffany, even though we were experienced cat owners and had introduced new cats before. Once we were home and with Moppet and Joshua safely out of the way, Tiffany was given the opportunity to explore her new home. As soon as the cat carrier was opened she ventured out and made a hasty retreat to the darkness and relative safety behind the sofa and there she stayed for the next three hours. We checked on her periodically but she was fast asleep, obviously exhausted by the events of her day so far. It was late afternoon when Tiffany emerged, bleary eyed, from her place of safety. She must have felt more secure because she toured the living room with a new confidence, smelling and face marking as she went. She found her litter tray and promptly christened it! Matthew and Clare, having shown great restraint throughout the day, could wait no longer and began to try and interact with Tiffany. Shirley had sent her home with some toys, a ball and a knitted mouse. It was not long before the temptation to pounce on the toy mouse Matthew was dragging along the floor, became too much for Tiffany! As the evening progressed she became more and more settled, happy to play, eat, wash, purr and sleep. She began to venture beyond the living room and explore more of the house, even tackling the stairs, which was some feat for a 13 week old kitten born in a bungalow! Nothing much was done by any of us on that day, as we passed the time just watching Tiffany, fascinated by her feline behaviour.
That night Tiffany slept in our bedroom. We placed her bed in a cosy corner and close by food, water and a litter tray. At this time we were unfamiliar with the habits of the Ragdoll breed, but any Ragdoll owner will not be surprised to learn that Tiffany had no intention of sleeping in a cat bed, when there was the option of a comfortable, warm double bed and duvet! Within minutes of turning out the lights, Darren and I had company, as Tiffany invited herself onto our bed. She was not sleepy, so spent some time attacking our feet, if we dared to move them. We soon learnt to lie very still! What Tiffany lacked in size at the time, she made up for in character. Having succeeded in "killing" our toes, she settled down to have a thorough wash, purring loudly. Once she was satisfied that she was clean, she crept to the top of the bed and settled on the pillows, between our heads for a while, continuing to purr loudly in our ears. After a time, Tiffany decided, like many Ragdolls, that on top of the duvet was not good enough and so she crawled under the duvet between Darren and I, settled herself down and there she stayed all night!
The following morning we woke to find Tiffany still snuggled between us, in no hurry to move. During the day we introduced Moppet and Joshua to their new feline friend. As is usual when introducing a new cat, there was plenty of hissing and spitting from all involved but it did not take long for everything to settle down and within just a few days, Tiffany would snuggle up to Joshua, while he washed her ears. Tiffany spent two more nights sleeping in our bed and then she joined Moppet and Joshua downstairs.
Tiffany settled in very quickly, clearly feeling relaxed and happy in her new surroundings. She was now truly our cat and in the coming weeks and months was to play a very important part in helping each of us through some very dark, difficult days.
As everyone who is owned by a Ragdoll cat will tell you, they make wonderful, loving, devoted companions and Tiffany is no exception. For us 1998 was a traumatic year, as we had to watch my Dad become more and more poorly and then in May, loose his brave battle against cancer, aged just 57. We were all very close to my Dad and the weeks and months after his death were so difficult and a time when we sought comfort through each other and, of course, our pets. There is no doubt that animals can sense a persons sadness and this was true of Tiffany. During my darkest days, when Darren was at work and Matt and Clare at school, Tiffany did not leave my side. She followed me from room to room or sat beside me on the sofa, every now and then, stretching out a paw and gently tapping me, as if to remind me that she was there sharing my sorrow. Tiffany always had time for a game of "mouse" or "ball" when Matt and Clare arrived home from school and tolerated any number of their cuddles. At bedtime she would curl up on Clares bed and there she would stay until she heard me run a bath, then she would take up her customary position on the bathroom floor. Often I would leave Darren to his degree studies and retire to bed early but I was not lonely as Tiffany would always join me and together we would search for restful sleep! Tiffany did bring so much comfort to me and for each of us she was like a little ray of sunshine at an otherwise gloomy time in our lives. I truly believe that Tiffany played a huge part in helping each of us come to terms with our loss, in her own gentle, magical, Ragdoll way.