I would like to take this opportunity to become crazy cat lady for a moment and talk about these bundles of fur in my life called Spidercat and the Batcat. Or as their records state, Finnegan and Oliver.
Finnegan joined us 5 years ago via a friend who bred a cat called Ragdolls. I had wanted one since I was probably 6 and I couldn’t believe my luck when he was able to bounce into my life like he did. He’s my emotional boy, ever in tune to the mood around him, always down for a snuggle and ALWAYS IN TROUBLE because he’s too smart to keep his paws to himself. He answers and follows commands, is forever backtalking and sleeps in a special spot next to my head every night.
Oliver we took 4 years ago when Ken was deployed from the same breeder, and he needed our help bad. He was born with an umbilical hernia, and his little guts were protruding from his abdomen. They needed to be surgically put back into his belly for their own safety. His paws were also severely deformed requiring the removal of his claws, and leaving him needing to adapt his walking ability a bit, for his paws are split in a deformation called Ectrodactyly, and one paw is entirely fused together. Since then, he’s developed completely normal and it’s taken a while but he’s built and amazing bond and trust with both Ken and I and hilarious “little brother” relationship with Finnegan that’s all play, all competition, all the time, and is the snuggle master of the house.
They are a breed of cats called Ragdolls. Many people don’t know about Ragdolls or simply know about them as “those cats that go limp all the time and just lay around right? ” You got all your information from a 5 min segment on Animal planet’s 101:Cats or that episode of Too Cute! Right? I saw those too.
I’m here to give you the lowdown. They are great family cats, they will love the crap out of you, and they have the ability to go “limp.” Its called the Ragdoll flop. Those shows got those facts right. Everything else they totally forgot to mention will be here in this post.
Their fluff is so massive it knows no limitations. It could take over a small country and rule it with ease. And it often feels like duck down its so soft and wonderful. And it is very low dander, so while Ragdolls are not allergen free (no cat is) they are surprisingly well tolerated by people with allergies when properly cared for. I have two and I am highly allergic to cats. I can bury my face in these two with no reactions.
Along with the Ragdoll flop comes the move I call the Ragdoll “torpedo.” This happens when you enter the house, room, WHATEVER, and do not immediately acknowledge them. They will shoot right in front of your footpath, like a torpedo, and dramatically martyr themselves at your feet often causing a total disaster if you don’t deviate your path fast enough. And they will do it, over and over until you relent and stoop to pet. It’s like Pearl Harbor, target: YOUR FEET. Sometimes there is screaming as they do it.
Most Ragdolls show and need the level of companionship of a dog. Exactly like a dog. My boys follow me everywhere, room to room, every time I go up and down the stairs, and we DO NOT dare go to the bathroom without accompanying mom. Then it’s Pearl Harbor, target: Bathroom Door. Imagine tiny people hurling themselves at your bathroom door and yodeling while you are trying to pee. Because that’s what happens if they aren’t allowed in. Same goes for when I shower. Both enjoy bathroom shenanigans when I shower. Recently Oliver has taken up bathtub ledge surfing (much like a toddler furniture surfs when learning to walk) between the shower curtains, cruising back and forth fervently watching me, often in his tiny bat-cape. And really, who can’t laugh at a wide eyed cat pacing on two legs in a bat-cape getting water on their face? Meanwhile, outside the shower, there is another cat, knocking over trash cans, opening all the cabinets, pawing things off the sink and when I shut the water off trying to hide IN the sink because he’d like me to believe that he was not responsible for the mess I’m about to step into. Showers are super relaxing.
Ragdolls are not cats you can just stock up on food and water and leave for extended periods of time. They are true companion cats and they WILL MISS YOU. In fact, they will take your absence so hard they will often decline eating, and cease to groom themselves in your absence (or in some cases OVER groom) I cannot tell you how many times I have come home to greasy kitties that didn’t eat because they were depressed we went away for the weekend. I’m serious here. It’s the most heartbreaking thing. Like when your children cry because you drop them off for the weekend somewhere. It’s like having 15 lb puppies, they are a commitment, only they are trained to use a litter box. They are all up in your life, they need to play, snuggle, and be a part of you to be complete themselves. It’s what makes them good family cats. It’s not their independence, and laziness. It’s their warm, interactive commitment to their people, and ability to adjust, as long as their families are attentive through all the transitions.
So, if you see one in a shelter, know that you have a rare gem on your hands (for obtaining a pure bred Ragdoll is actually really pricey) and RESCUE THAT BABY IMMEDIATELY. You will not regret it. My boys are the best cats I’ve ever owned. I don’t know what I would do without them, or if I could ever NOT have a Ragdoll in the house now that I’ve had them.