Senior Cat Dental Woes

author Sara Thornton DVM                                          iCandy RagaMuffins

My RagaMuffin Nougat is ten years old now. He has always been happy and healthy. Long retired from the show ring, he is not retired from the couch or the cat yard.

Like all my cats, he gets regular grooming including nail clips and comb outs. Once a year, they each get a formal check up. Now that I have retired, I keep a notebook with their records in it and dates on my cell phone to remind me when individuals are due for a tune up of any kind.

October came around and Nougat’s name popped up that he was due for vaccinations and annual bloodwork. I do the same with each of my pets that I did for pets that visited me in the hospital: ausculation, palpation, skin, ear, eye and mouth checks. This RagaMuffin had a problem surface. He had a bad tooth. I knew it needed attention.

Since I no longer have a practice, I made an appointment for him with my friend and colleague Dr Denise Jones. At the appointment, Nougat’s mouth was evaluated. She agreed that the sore tooth needed to be extracted. She also felt a couple more teeth needed to be radiographed. I made an appointment for him to return for the procedures.

The night before the dental work, Nougat was separated from the other cats because he couldn’t eat anything overnight. I’m sure he thought that was weird. The early morning was dark, foggy and raining. I drove Nougat to Brunswick Veterinary Hospital to drop him off. Like every pet owner, I hated to see my baby get carried away from me, even though I have every confidence in the team that was taking care of him.

All went well with his procedure. No surprise, I was told RagaMuffin Nougat was a charming trooper. He lost two teeth in total, but the radiographs were clear on the questionable teeth. He came home with me as if nothing had happened. His pain is well under control and he is happy to be home.

I greatly appreciate the care that was taken of my special boy. Taking care of pet’s teeth is an important part of keeping them healthy through their senior years.

Education For Breeders and Veterinarians

author Sara Thornton DVM                                        iCandy RagaMuffins

Now that I have sold my veterinary practice, I want to maintain my license so I can help out another veterinarian if the need arises and do the routine care of my own animals. To keep my license, I need to continue taking approved continuing education. It has never been an issue for me to meet and exceed the required credits. But these days, I have the freedom to concentrate on things that directly interest me most….such as my RagaMuffin cat breeding program.

I recently watched two webinars that were offered for veterinary continuing education credit, but were also open to technicians and breeders. Both were very well done, with good coverage on several subjects. Each provided five hours of education. The first one was the National Kitten Coalition Veterinary Conference. I signed up, knowing I would be unable to attend live, as it was the same day as a cat show. But, they were offering viewing of the recorded sessions at a later date, and by taking a test post viewing, the continuing education certificates were available. The cost of this was very low, maybe $30? in total.

The second one was the Feline Breeder Symposium offered by the University of Pennsylvania . I was able to watch that live. I don’t think later viewing is possible in this case. Again, the price was very reasonable, $75. Both of these seminars were sponsored in part by companies. I would recommend all breeders take the time to sign up and attend these webinars when offered. While most of the information was a good review for me, I always learn something. Both organizations have offerings every year. The webinar format is great. I was able to sit around with my RagaMuffins and utilize my tablet for a good cause!

Building My RagaMuffin Library

author- Lucile Gordon Press                    Presca RagaMuffins

To me, books have always been the basis of knowledge; experience is about applying the knowledge gained from studying the books. Due to a recent event demonstrating an acute lack of knowledge and inexperience in recognizing a common occurrence in cats, it occurred to me I better start looking for help in the event other minor, or major, issues present themselves, thus keeping my blood pressure within normal range.

As a former Pembroke Welsh Corgi breeder (22 years) and a retired ICU Nurse I had an extensive collection of books on every aspect of my Corgis from history to health. And, of course, all kinds of medical reference books pertaining to human health which I still refer to even in todays’ modern and tech savvy world. It occurred to me other Newbies to the world of cats, whether you have a Household Cat, a Show Cat, or are a breeder in training, a few good books could be helpful. Amazon was a great initial resource for me. I purchased five books:

1. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook (Third Edition)

2. RagaMuffin Cats as Pets by: Lilly Brown

3. RagaMuffin Cats by: Colette Anderson

4. RagaMuffin Cat: So Sweet They Give You Cavities

 5. The Cornell Book of Cats (Second Edition): Edited by Mordecai Siegal

I’m sure the more experienced members of our Club can recommend other books to add to our collections but I’ve started with these and thought I’d share my list with you. Here’s to healthy purrs and nose-bumps!

In Hindsight


Author  RH Schmidt                                              New Walden RagaMuffins

This last year has been hard for many beings upon our Mother Earth. Every part of the Earth has
endured some kind of catastrophic agent whether it be fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, volcano,
earthquake, and yes, even insanity among the human population. If that isn’t enough to deal with
pestilence in the form of Covid 19 has run rapid with many variants. Those of us close to nature see yet
another sign. Our trees are overproducing vegetation and fruits. Extremely heavy fruiting is taking place
in all forms of vegetation. If nothing else the change in the climate and human behavior has let us know
that something is afoot, and things are changing. Things are not going smoothly. There never seems to
be enough time to complete projects or work. There is a lack of balance existing.
As human beings, change causes us stress and makes it very hard to keep a positive balance in
life. And as humans in our misguided consciousness, we tend to reach out externally, for comfort,
consolement, assurance, and for love and wellbeing. With the turbulent times those external needs can
turn to many vices, including drugs, alcohol, etc. Anything that will give us immediate gratification or
provides us with a numbing towards realities we are struggling with.
Many of us know that consciousness and change has to come from within our own creative
selves, but what can be external and maybe makes us feel better from time to time. Maybe a hobby, or a
project we have had our heart set on doing. Maybe another human being. All these help, but what
about unconditional support and love. We don’t always get that in a reciprocity from our fellow human,
and definitely not from material things.
There is though, entities that can give us the complete unconditional support and unending love.
We put a label on them as pets. They maybe dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, Guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, and
yes, even snakes. Ach! Well, the list can go on and on. But, when thinking of reciprocity, I personally
attune to cats, and a particular cat indeedthe RagaMuffin.
First, why would I choose a cat, over other animals and secondly why a RagaMuffin in particular?
Well, cats tend to be kind of self-sufficient. They have a little independent streak in them. They are
definitely quieter than dogs and much more acclimated to the quiet peaceful existence I adore, and they
don’t need as much attention as the dog, yet they are still soft and cuddly without having to give them a
bath to keep them clean or to curb a smell.
So, in answer to my second question, I ask myself what are the ways my RagaMuffins are the
apex in the cat world for me. I believe they give complete surrender as opposed to a lot of breeds. They
will drop in front of me and want their tummy rubbed frequently. Frequently, when I am busy at the
computer or some house maintenance chore they are right there with me. Always close enough we can
touch each other. One of the best traits they have is when I am sad. When my father died last year, they
were the first to come and sit and lie with me. It is comical at times, because they can all pile on top of
my bed or area I am in, just to be close give warmth and a purr that says, “I understand, and I love you.”
When I am in an upbeat mood, or even being bored with what I am doing at a present time.
Here comes a little Gaia, Poosiitha, or Tykee, e.g., with a toy for me to throw for them to fetch and bring
back. Others will skitter sideways to me with back arched to join in a faux challenge. Then, again as I
enter a room one will jump out from behind a door and smack my leg or shoulder, and sometime even
my head ,(depends on their location) to say, “You’re it! Catch me if you can.” Or, just to let you know, “ I
am here!”
Of course, there is not one of my precious RagaMuffins that doesn’t communicate verbally. A few
more than others. And there if the forever quiet message of the eye winks projecting love.


I think I have said it to many of you before, I do not think there is anything sweeter than a two-
week old kitten. So, intricately made, and from birth they can give a little snapping like sound that they
are already purring. They give support and love back ten fold.
So, in hindsight, yes, 2020 has been a rough year, but in my particular case. I have had plenty of
unconditional support from a little loving fury creature called a RagaMuffin. And seeing that we are
approaching the November Holiday of Giving Thanks, I think it is absolutely perfect for me to say, I am
so very, very thankful for my RagaMuffins, because it is a mutual gift they offer.

The Veterinarian said- “CONJUNCTIVITIS”!

authorLucile Gordon Press               Presca RagaMuffins
Last evening my five month old baby RagaMuffin walked into my office and looked at me in a peculiar way. I looked again and noticed her left eye was bloodshot.
I had absolutely no idea what had happened to her. As a former ICU nurse all sorts of scenarios were racing through my mind. The ugly voice in my head was thinking one of her feline housemates had scratched her and it was a corneal injury, maybe she accidentally scratched herself, maybe her blood pressure spiked and caused a vessel to pop, maybe she got into something, but what?
Of course it was the end of the day and a visit to the Vet wasn’t an option. I went to bed and prayed whatever it was wouldn’t get significantly worse overnight.
Needless-to-say, I didn’t sleep well.
Today, off to the Vet. He took her temperature, “normal”; palpated her belly, looked into her ears (clean), and then got his ophthalmoscope (thingy to look into eyes) and said, “it’s Conjunctivitis”! The ugly voice in my head was shut down but I felt awful and guilty. How had this happened? What had I missed in her care? All of my food and water bowls are top grade stainless steel; they are washed and sanitized after every meal. I don’t allow bowl swapping, my other cats are healthy, so I didn’t think she didn’t get it from one of her feline housemates. Litter boxes are cleaned twice daily and they are washed and sanitized each week. Bedding is washed once a week with non-scented, hypoallergenic Dreft detergent.
Her Vet assured me this is quite common in cats. Hah … not my cats! I had a Maine Coon who lived for 19 healthy years, and I have a 6 year old rescue cat who is healthy, a healthy 2 1/2 year old RagaMuffin, and another 5 month old RagaMuffin kitten who is healthy, thank G-d. Surely there was something I had missed. But what?
Solution … go to everyone’s source of information … the internet. Time to study Feline Conjunctivitis to combat the possibility of a reoccurrence.
Conjunctivitis / Cornell University College of Veternary Medicine: 
“Conjunctivitis, the most common of all feline disorders, is an inflammation of the thin mucous membrane (conjunctiva) that lines the inner surface of cat’s eyelids and coats the outer surface of the eyeball. Many cats will experience at least a mild episode of the condition at some point in their lives”. Thomas Kern, DVM, associate professor of ophthalmology at Cornell University of Veternary Medicine says,”the conjunctiva serves several purposes. Most important, this slippery membrane provides the eyeball with lubrication as a conduit for tears that fall onto its surface and are distributed by what he refers to as “the blinking phenomenon.” The conjunctiva harbors certain certain antibodies that may help an animal ward off some eye infections. Nevertheless, there are several microorganisms that cats commonly carry, and the feline system’s immune response to these bacteria and viruses is responsible for the great majority of feline conjunctivitis cases.” 
 
Clinical signs of the condition can be evident in one or both eyes and tends to cause the eyelid to become swollen and red. Other signs include squinting, frequent blinking, and the presence of a discharge that, depending on the cause, can be either colorless and watery or thick and dark colored.
Dr. Kern adds, “All cats, regardless of breed or gender, are susceptible to conjunctivitis, and the condition is not heritable. This infection occurs primarily in young animals although it can occur in older cats. Most affected cats will develop an immunity to the condition and will not experience recurrences, Dr. Kern notes that episodes of conjunctivitis may recur periodically in those animals who carry the herpesvirus-just as cold sores appear from time to time in humans who carry it.”
 
In most cases, according to Dr. Kern, conjunctivitis “will self resolve with no medication.” However, owners should seek veterinary care if your cat has apparent eye discomfort and discharge to rule out more serious eye disorders. Most veterinarians will  prescribe antibiotic eye drops or an ointment to be used as directed for two to three weeks. He notes, “if we suspect that we’re dealing with herpesvirus, we won’t be able to cure it but we will try to eliminate the infection from the surface of the eye and let it heal.”
 
Conclusion: What did I do wrong? What could I have done to prevent this? Nothing!
I hope this information helps other RagMuffin cat newbies combat the anxiety and self-blame when their furbaby contracts conjunctivitis. Take a deep breath, see your veterinarian and continue to enjoy those purrs and nosebumps.

Scratching Post

author Cathy Foldesi                         RagaMuffin lover

Beware of where you put your cats scratching post.  You might regret your location choice.  In our bedroom our cats have each chosen a piece of furniture to scratch even though we do have scratching posts available for them in other rooms. Our oldest cat sometimes scratched an old chair that my husband used to set cloths on.  We really don’t mind him scratching that chair.  It is not an important piece of furniture.   If we tell him to stop it he does quit.  Ragamuffin Windsor on the other hand. had to pick another piece of furniture to scratch in our bedroom.  He likes needling a bench we have a dog crate on.  I tried to discourage him from his scratching choice but of course failed at my attempts to redirect his behavior.  So, one day I was at Home Goods (one of my favorite stores) and found a small scratching post, for cats, with a bell and a ball on it designed for cats entertainment.  It was only $10 so I bought it figuring if the cats did not like it I would not have wasted a lot of money.  To keep it steady I used a small rope to tie it to the bottom of the bench where Windsor liked pruning his nails.    It worked.  He likes it.  The only problem now is he plays with the bell and ball as he uses the post and sometimes it gets a bit noisy and quite loud while we are sleeping.  Not so much fun for us, but after all cats tend to be a bit nocturnal so his play time choices are a bit different then ours.  Honesty, I fuss a little but really it’s okay as we are glad he likes it and is no longer scratching the bench.  I could cut the bell and ball off  of the post but I am afraid if I do he would no longer like it anymore.  So sometimes we all have to be a little flexible and understanding to each other’s needs, desires, and pleasures.  The truth is I love watching Windsor being a kitten and he really does nothing that is seriously wrong.  So, we let him have fun, even if he wakes us up, and we have saved our bench too.  YAY!

Have Some Fun

RagaMuffin kitten

 

author Cathy Foldesi                                                    RagaMuffin lover

 

Remember when you were a kid and you enjoyed opening presents and ended up playing with the boxes as much as the contents of the gifts themselves. Fun time right?

Kittens are the same way.  If you haven’t had the fun of watching your cat with a bag or box, please take the time to give your kitten these items.  Pure joy for all.

You will laugh as your cat will probably play endlessly with  a paper bag or box.  RagaMuffin iCandy Windsor has had a paper bag on our floor all week.  He runs and attacks it over and over. He pushes it all over the room. He  hangs out inside it too.  Once, it was a surprise to me when I  went to move it and he was resting in it.  We watch and listen for the rustling of the paper and we start laughing. I gave him a box with paper in it and he did not really enjoy it but he adores the paper grocery bag.   He has not destroyed it with his nails but so what if he did. I would just get him another bag to enjoy.

 

We haven’t had a young kitten in our home for many years and I must admit I had forgotten how cute they are.  Our older cats have been wonderful and we have enjoyed them a lot but they  pretty much stopped playing with toys by the time they were three years old.  It is funny to see our other older cat’s expression when Windsor is playing hard.  Seth our 11 year old cat is a Norwegian Forest Cat.  He looks at the RagaMuffin kitten playing and seems to say “you crazy kid, I did not sign up for all of this”.  Windsor also enjoys the toys on a string that have a bird -like sound device on them.  He runs up and attacks them often throughout the day.  If I am in another room I get a chuckle out of hearing him playing with these toys. We have two of them hanging on door knobs.  Windsor plays hard and rest even harder. After playing awhile he naps and even snores a little bit.  And, of course he is a wonderful cuddler and loves to snuggle. He loves to have his forehead and chin scratched.  A few extra kitty treats, now and then, are always a welcomed pleasure for both cats.  I am going to get out another box for Windsor to try, and put some paper in it to see if he like this box better.

Now, folks please go get a paper bag or box out for your kitten and have FUN!

Added note… Please do not use plastic bags as this could be dangerous for your cat.

Yes, Windsor liked the smaller box with paper in it.

So yes, the fun continues!

 

Thinking About Breeding RagaMuffins?

RagaMuffin kittens

 

editor Sara Thornton DVM                                            iCandy RagaMuffins   

A number of years back, I was emailed a handout to help explain to people about the challenges involved with breeding RagaMuffins or any other  cats. This was meant to eliminate surprises new breeders may encounter. The goal is to help one decide whether or not breeding is an adventure to pursue. I have modified the original document, but am unable to give credit to the original writer as I don’t know who it is!

Sometimes, without realizing what is involved, new breeders become discouraged and quit breeding after a short time. This is disappointing for everyone involved: the new breeder, the breeder(s) who provided the initial breeding cats, and the mentor(s) who may have spent many, many hours helping the new breeder get started. There are some things that each potential breeder should know up front. 

The Profit Myth:

One of the great myths about breeding cats is that breeders make a lot of money.

Very few, if any, cat breeders make a profit. A prospective breeder might wonder how this can be true. Well, first, there is a substantial investment to get started and second, the ongoing expenses of running a good cattery are more than anyone expects. The original breeding cats, supplies, equipment, food and vet bills can easily run more than the income from selling kittens. So,  this venture should be considered more of a cat loving hobby than a viable source of income.

Stud Challenges:

Keeping intact (not spayed or castrated) cats is very different than having cats as pets. Of course the more intact cats one has, the more of a challenge that this becomes.

Intact cats often spray urine to mark their territory. When males are not neutered, the smell of their urine is pungent to say the least. If they are kept in a breeder’s home, the home will likely have an unpleasant smell. Many people cannot live with intact males in the same ‘air space’ so breeders may need to consider a separate place where the stud(s) are housed.

Some stud owners have separate buildings that are properly ventilated and heated to house their males. If a breeder has more than one stud, he/she may need to keep them separate or fights may occur! Even though the studs may be housed in separate quarters, a cattery owner  must find time each day to spend time with them so that they get the proper attention and affection to remain lovable RagaMuffin kitties.

Once intact males mature, some will cry loudly to let the world know that they are ready, willing and able to perform their breeding role. Some males are louder than others so it makes sense to be sure that neighbors will not be bothered by the noise.

Queen Challenges:

Many think that only intact males spray. However, many intact females also mark their territory, especially when they are in heat, by spraying or urinating on carpets, bedding, furniture, etc.  While many products claim to eliminate urine odor, it is very difficult to do so. Most  breeders elect to remove wall to wall carpets in favor of easier to clean floors with washable area rugs. Waterproof mattress pads are a must and some also use them under slipovers on living room sofas and chairs.

Females also cry loudly when they are in season. Like the males, they will call loudly, night and day. During spring and summer, females tend to call approximately every two to three weeks for approximately seven days at a time.

Marketing and Sales:

Placing kittens and retired adults is a tremendous responsibility. You will need to market your cattery with a web site and Facebook page. Keeping those Internet resources up to date takes time and energy as well as a bit of skill. 

It takes time to interact with potential kitten purchasers. Responsible breeders want to ensure that our babies are placed in appropriate, loving homes. Screening potential buyers via email and telephone is a time consuming activity. 

Vet Bills & Health Problems:

Of course there are normal veterinary expenses. These include health clearance tests and vaccinations for your breeding cats, for example tests for FeLV, FIV and routine kitten vaccinations. Many RagaMuffin breeders are also spaying and neutering kittens prior to placing them in homes. This adds to the expense, but protects the kitten in the long run. 

There are also the unforeseen expenses that may crop up. Upper respiratory, urinary tract problems, diarrhea, and dental  all should  be addressed by a professional. 

Complications can, and DO, arise either during pregnancy or during delivery and this is when the vet bills can really start to add up. Each litter will have to be treated should problems occur while they are in your care.

Perhaps the most difficult thing is when a breeder loses one or more kittens because they were premature, had congenital issues, or had an illness. Sadly, this will eventually happen under the best of circumstances.  In addition, thankfully not often, a breeder may lose a beloved queen to complications in the birthing process. This is the other side of the joy of bringing beautiful RagaMuffin kittens into the world.

Foot Loose and Fancy Free?

Maintaining  breeding cats will greatly curtail a breeder’s ability to be away from home. A responsible breeder can’t just get up and go. If a queen is due to deliver kittens,  the breeder must be available in case of difficulties; this is despite having plans attend a wedding, a birthday party, Christmas festivities, or any other event. Things can go wrong very quickly.

Showing your Kittens:

One goal for breeders is to produce cats that match the standard for the RagaMuffin or to come as close as possible. Participation in cat shows gives a breeder the opportunity to see other RagaMuffins and also to meet with other RagaMuffin breeders and discuss issues relevant to the breed. Attending cat shows is another expense of being a breeder. There are entry fees and travel expenses, including sometimes eating out, staying in a hotel, and traveling to a distant location.

In addition, attending a cat show can take significant amount of time: filling out paperwork, assembling everything required to go to the show, arranging transportation and for a cat sitter if you will be away from home, bathing and grooming for the cat, traveling to the show location, being at the show itself (usually on a weekend), and traveling back home again. The shows are usually a lot of fun, but they will be another item in the budget. 

At this point, I believe prior to starting a breeding program, a person should get a quality RagaMuffin premier ( spayed or castrated cat) and show it for a year. That year will be spent learning how to evaluate cats, groom kitties and make friends with quality breeders who can mentor.

Cat & Kitten Care:

Breeding cats (and any ‘teenagers’ or neutered adults), need to be  fed and watered regularly along with routine litter box maintenance. Regular grooming is an important part of their care as well. The living quarters must be cleaned, and food and water bowls washed. Kittens must be weighed at least once daily for several weeks to monitor their growth. If  newborns have difficulty nursing, or their mother has no milk, they must be  raised by hand. This means feeding every two to four hours 24 hours a day.

Socializing kittens with play and cuddling is an important and fun part of being a breeder. It needs to be done daily and requires knowledge of kitten behavior to accomplish successfully. 

Having a sick kitten or cat is always a worry. It is the duty of a breeder to spend the time and money needed to care for ill animals.  As wonderful as they are,  just one litter of kittens can be exhausting. . While we call this a hobby, it is actually a full-time job from which there are really no true breaks or vacations and little, if any, monetary compensation.

Forever a Breeder

Once placed in a home, a breeder’s responsibility does not end. Providing advice for the pet owner when needed is imperative. In addition, a responsible breeder is willing to take back any kitten at any time during its life. People’s lives change due to illness, divorce, etc and it is the duty for a breeder to ensure that any cat that he/she bred will always have a home.

Besties

Ragamuffin cat
author Terri Cassiday                                   Xpressions RagaMuffins
This is about our grand daughter and our cat Al.
These two have had that special connection from the beginning. For years when our grand daughter has come over Al hears her voice and comes running. She flings her backpack open and Al rummages around in it. These two love each other’s company.
Recently, Al was limping and off to the vet we went. After the vet ruled out broken bones, Al was diagnosed having soft tissue damage. He needed to be confined. No running, jumping etc. (HUH! This is a CAT). We decided the best place was to remove a few things from the office and keep him in there.
When our grand daughter heard of his injury and that we were keeping him in the office, she insisted on coming over. “He will be lonely and scared”she said. Over she came with her back pack filled with things for her and Al. This energetic little girl sat with him all day reminding him to stay still. She talked to him, petted him, and tried to show him how to play games on the iPad. Al remained still all day looking adoringly at his best friend.
This simple act of friendship will remain in my heart forever. I feel blessed to be able to have witnessed this.

Windsor Brave and Loving

RagaMuffin Kitten

Author- Catherine Foldesi                      RagaMuffin lover

     We have only had Windsor (iCandy RagaMuffin’s Solo and Kahlua) for less than three weeks but in this short time he has captured our hearts more and more each day, and seems to have a power over all of us.  My husband, Les, and I have 4 dogs and another cat.  Plus Claire, our niece, lives with us while in college.  I believe the five hour drive home from Sara’s house helped him get used to me.  I kept him in a carrier but for most of the trip I had one hand in it petting him.  I admired how soft his coat felt while remembering the information I read about RagaMuffins saying their coats are like rabbit fur. While driving he never seemed worried during the ride to our home. Upon entering he briefly met our other cat Seth (a 11yr old Norwegian Forest Cat) at the door.  Seth looked at Windsor and just ignored him.  As we came in Windsor could hear all the dogs barking as we walked through the house.   Again, the RagaMuffin kitten did not seem at all alarmed at the noise our dogs made.  

     As Sara had suggested we kept Windsor in a quiet room for a few days to settle in.  We chose our sunroom so he could easily see in several windows and watch what we were doing.    At first, I thought he might want to hide but he was curious about everything and proceeded to explore the sunroom.  I camped out with him for the first four nights. On the second day I opened two of the windows just a little so all the pets could look and easily smell each other.  Our dogs were very interested in meeting Windsor.  They put their paws on the window ledge to see him.  Sometimes they were all safely nose to nose through the window.  This was so cute.  After a couple of days I brought each pet in one at a time to meet Windsor.  He lay in a chair while greeting each one.  He instinctively seems to know not to move too fast around the dogs. He is one smart RagaMuffin.

     After a few days he seemed eager to get out of the sunroom.  At first, he ran up and down the hall.  I figured he had a bit of nervous energy to release.  He followed me everywhere and played with many of the toys I have around the house for him.  He checked out the other litter pan we keep in the bathroom.  I showed him where his food would be. Everything went fine.  He explored more of our house the first few days than I expected.  Nothing bothered the RagaMuffin kitten.  He quickly learned to come when called.  Most of the time, our dogs do not have the run of the entire house.  During the day they stay in our kitchen, family room, and utility room.  As Windsor explored, he went in the kitchen on his own. When he chose to get on the floor around the dogs he would just lay down near them.  He seems to know not to run when near them.  Our other cat skitters around the dogs so they will chase him a little.  They have yet to chase Windsor because he moves slowly when near them.  He is very wise and gets under furniture to help protect him from all of their noses touching him.  He does show the dogs his paw and they greatly respect his claws.  It is funny watching a 40lb dog back away from a 4lb kitten laying on the floor hissing once.  The dogs are very curious and they seem  intrigued by Windsor.  He cannot yet jump up on all of our counters but he finds ways of getting where he wants to.  Our one rule for our cats is to not get on our kitchen table or stove counter.  He is learning this already.  We are all amazed at how brave he is.  Nothing bothers him.  If he seems a little nervous I speak gently to him and he recovers quickly.  He seems to trust me and I hope I never do anything to ruin his trust in me.

     We have lived in this home for 22 years.  Windsor showed us something we did not know about our kitchen.  He was lying under a counter edge and Claire asked if he could get in it somehow and I said “no”.  I was wrong.  It is hard to explain but in an instant he was somehow under our oven.  We discovered a gap between the cabinet edge and floor; we did not know it had a gap up under there.  It was no problem.  He came right out but was still curious about the opening so Les glued a board under the edge so he could not get there again. In another week or so we figured he would be too big to fit in the space. It was funny and a little scary to watch him squeeze under there.  We were worried our new RagaMuffin kitten could somehow disappear under there and go who knows where.

     Of course water is always fascinating to a kitten.  Windsor has been very interested in the tub when I take a bath.  I made sure he was safely staying on the edge.  One night he followed Claire to the bathroom while she took a bath.  She was being careful too, but as the water drained he could not contain his curiosity anymore and jumped in before she could stop him.  Most of the water had drained away and Claire quickly rescued him so his legs were just a little wet.  He was not traumatized as the next time I took a bath he sat on the tub edge again. 

     Besides being brave and fearless I am constantly amazed at how affectionate, attentive, and loving the RagaMuffin kitty is.  We have never really had a lap cat but Windsor will curl up and nap in our laps.  He sleeps most of the night with us on our bed and during the day he likes to be picked up and carried around.  If he is not napping he is constantly watching what we are doing.  One day when I was going out he looked at me as to say “where are you going and how could you possibly leave me”?      

     Another thing that I enjoy about Windsor is he is so proud and confident that his tail is almost always sticking straight up like a flag pole.  As I understand, this means cats are happy.  His tail is usually so stiff that I chuckle and tell him “I am going to hang a small American flag on his tail”.

     Every day we have new stories to share about something we have observed Windsor doing, while exploring or playing around the house.  He is a gem and keeps us smiling.  If most RagaMuffins are like him I wish I had discovered this breed years ago.  Sara obviously breeds and raises wonderful kittens and I know we will enjoy every day with Windsor as he continues to learn new things and grows up.  Thank you, Sara for our wonderful cat iCandy Duke-of-Windsor.  We love Windsor and you too.