Cat Show Adventure

author Sara Thornton DVM  iCandy RagaMuffins

Ragamuffin kittenLast weekend was a typical cat show weekend for the most part. I took my kitten Sugar Daddy for his first time being judged. He was nervous Saturday morning. But, as the day wore on, he learned that it was fun being handled by judges and even decided to go up the pole for a toy! He earned several points and ribbons. Sunday was even better. He truly was a happy camper at the show.

I also took Jelly Belly to earn points for her grand championship. Jelly Belly has been to a number of shows, always with her slightly older sister, Pixi Stix. She really never seemed to get the hang of the judging; always sitting in a large lump on the judges table. However, this weekend was different. Pixi Stix stayed home and Jelly Belly decided to be a show cat. She enjoyed the attention of the judges, climbed the pole and played with the toys offered. I was thrilled she was so relaxed. She did well, earning many more points than I expected.

On Sunday, I decided to get both cats pictures done by the professional photographer. Sugar Daddy was a natural in Ragamuffin catsfront of the camera, posing and playing the toys. But, then it was Jelly Belly’s turn. She was NOT happy about the photographer’s tent. In hindsight, I should have just packed it in and taken her out. Instead, I tried to get her used to the tent and relaxed by feeding her treats and petting her. I left and returned to the tent two more times with her. On the last time, she seemed a bit better. The photographer was doing his best to get good photos when Jelly Belly decided she’d had enough and darted out of the tent into the show hall.

Every now and then, the phrase “cat loose” is shouted at a cat show. People know to close exit doors and start looking. This time it was my cat. I could see my Rubenesque cat (she takes her name seriously) zig zagging through the hall, with people pointing as she went by to make sure I could follow. Usually the cat loose at a show is a slinky Egyption Mau or Siamese. This time it was a portly RagaMuffin. Finally, Jelly Belly took a break under a table on top of a crate where she was retrieved and I was relieved.

That incidence was one adventure I would prefer NOT to repeat.

 

 

RagaMuffin breeders

Origins of the RagaMuffin Breed

author Lisa Rowe    Heavenly Muffins

In the 1960’s Ann Baker developed the Honey Bears,  Cherubim cats,  Miracle Ragdolls, Doll Babies and the IRCA Ragdolls.  She made these breeds using domestic longhairs, Persians, Birmans and Angoras.  In 1971, Baker created her own cat registry & association known as IRCA (International Ragdoll Cat Association). In December 1975 Ann Baker had the name “Ragdoll” patented for the first time.

In 1979 a group of breeders broke off from Ann Baker and established the Ragdolls as a Championship Breed in TICA.  They took only only certain selected Color Points which became the foundation for current Ragdolls.  No outcrosses were allowed.

In 1994 ACFA recognized the RagaMuffins as a New Breed and Color.  ACFA is considered our historic registry.  In 2000 the first colorpoints were shown in NBC.  In 2001 the RagaMuffin was accepted in the championship class and all colors and patterns could be shown.  Allowed outcross end date for ACFA was 2001 for domestic shorthairs, 2006 for Persians, 2010 for Ragdolls and the current allowable outcross is the Siberian Cat.

In February 2003 the RagaMuffins petitioned and won to be accepted as a new breed in CFA.  In 2011 the RagaMuffins were accepted in Championship status but no colorpoints are currently allowed to be shown.  All colors and patterns, including colorpoints may be registered with CFA.  The allowable outcrosses in CFA were the Persians which ended in 2006 and current allowable outcross is the Selkirk Rex LH straight.  This outcross will end in 2030.

In 2009 the Ragamuffins were accepted in GCCF.  In 2015 the RagaMuffins were accepted in Championship status but no colorpoints are currently allowed to be shown.  All colors and patterns, including colorpoints may be registered with GCCF.  Allowed outcross end date for GCCF was 2001 for domestic shorthairs, 2006 for Persians, 2010 for Ragdolls, 2015 for the Siberian Cats and the current allowable outcross is the British Longhair.

A Rainbow of Colors!

 

author Kristen Wiley Imperial Rags RagaMuffins

 

A fun and often confusing topic for RagaMuffin breeders is color. Our breed comes in a plethora of colors and patterns. So, when new kittens are born, it is always exciting to see and decipher what colors we have in our litter.  It can be a daunting challenge for new breeders to learn to recognize the various colors.

Some colors take time to develop before we know what color they are. Color pointed kittens are born all white and develop color first on the tips of the ears a few days after birth. The color spreads and deepens as they mature. Likewise the mink and sable kittens’ color deepens as they get older. A mature sable can often be mistaken for a black cat at first glance!

I love some of the more “traditional” cat colors like black, red, and tortoiseshell. Add a splash of white for a tuxedo or bicolor and I think they look really flashy! Add some tabby stripes and I am in love! Brown tabbies are my absolute favorite! We  have some less seen color possibilities such as chocolate, golden and cinnamon that like to pop in and confuse us. Thankfully, there are laboratories we can use to test color and be certain before we register them if we aren’t sure.

Dilution creates a beautiful wash of lighter colors such as blue, cream, and platinum. Smokes and silvers are always a fun spin on any color. The roots of the hair on these cats are white with the color of the cat on the tips of the hair. This sometimes cannot be discerned until the kittens are a few weeks old or more and the hair grows in length.

This is just a short synopsis of colors we see in RagaMuffins. If you look at our breed standard booklet, the colors listed cover nine pages! No wonder I’ve heard comments from judges on all our colors!

 

Entering the World of Pedigreed Cats and Cat Shows

author Sara Thornton DVM  iCandy RagaMuffins

When I turned 50, I decided I wanted a purebred cat for the first time in my life. I had rescues over the years that were beautiful, wonderful cats, but I wanted a cat bred for specific looks and temperament.  I chose the RagaMuffin breed and waited two years for my kitten. Kaerik Rags Bon Bon of Canterbury came from a reputable breeder. He was an adorable package of fluff and attitude. I visited my first cat show with a friend to see what it was like. Having shown horses and dogs, it did not take much for me to get the bug.  I entered my first show with Bon Bon. With help from his breeder, I learned the intensive grooming procedure that was required. It paid off. My sable with white boy won a Best Kitten in Show under one judge. I was thrilled! And hooked!

As I was new to this activity, I sought out mentors in the show world. I learned so much from other exhibitors. They were always extremely supportive and helpful; Persian, Burmese, Household Pet, American Short Hair exhibitors were always around to help me.  My next show cat was Bon Bon’s son, Kaerik Canterbury Nougat. From the start, Nougat was an exceptional show cat. He won Best Ragamuffin Kitten in Show at the ACFA RagaMuffin National, his first show. He continued on in CFA shows to Grand Champion, Breed Winner, Grand Premier of Distinction and multiple Regional Winner. Now that Nougat is retired from the show ring, he makes nursing home visits and continues to be a fabulous pet. Every now and then, I dust him off and he goes to a show as a Pet Me cat for spectators and to show in Veterans class.

After Nougat’s success, I have had other cats that continue to keep me going : Ganache, Buttons, Fudgie, Pixi Stix to name a few. I knew a lot about cats before I started this; I have learned so much more. Do you have any idea how complicated cat colors can be??? That in itself is a significant challenge! It has been an interesting journey, making new friends, learning new skills and most of all, enjoying cats.

What’s It Like To Live With a RagaMuffin?

author Sara Thornton DVM  iCandy RagaMuffins
Living with a RagaMuffin is like living with a breathing, squishy, silky throw pillow. While they do have a playful side, their favorite pastime is, well, hanging out. They like nothing better than being petted and loved on.
RagaMuffin cat
My first show cat GC GPD RW BW Kaerik Canterbury Nougat is a wonderful example of the RagaMuffin breed. while he did climb the pole for judges, it was always in slow motion. I mean really slow. The cat has never been in a hurry for anything. He loves meeting people and being admired. I dust him off occasionally to go to a show as a Pet Me cat. He loves dressing in his outfits, having his picture taken and getting pats from spectators. Nougat could sit on the grooming table all day, like a king holding court.
RagaMuffin kitten
His great granddaughter RW GC iCandy Pixi Stix is a laid back girl. While she moves a bit more than Nougat, she has been known to be taken out of the judging cage in a final to be shown off in a reclining position.  She has an affinity for sinks whether at home or at a hotel. It seems to be the perfect place for her to relax. At shows, Pixi Stix likes to hang out upside down on her groom spot. I think she knows I am as enamored with her upside down as I am right side up.
RagaMuffin kitten
Kittens I have placed from my breeding program seem to worm their way into their family’s heart quickly. Red and white boy Pickle went to live with a red headed little girl named Ellie. From the beginning, it was a match made in heaven between the two red heads. From watching Frozen together many times, to naps, to video games, the two are inseparable. My heart sings when I see a new photo from mom.
RagaMuffin cat
iCandy Waldo also went to a family that adores him. He has been dressed for Halloween to match his human brother, gone to school for drama practice and ended up on stage with the actors, and had a birthday cake made in his likeness.
RagaMuffin kittens
I go to a nursing home to visit regularly. I take a dog sometimes and other times I take a cat or two. The sweet demeanor
 of my muffins is perfect for this. Residents adore petting the silky, luxurious fur and hearing the loving purrs.