Killer and Lovey: A Paradoxical Pair

author Alley Milam                           RagaMuffin lover


Just over a year ago I got the news that  RagaMuffin iCandy Blueberry Crisp had sixRagamuffin cat healthy kittens, three boys and three girls. I had the fourth and fifth picks of the litter, so I knew that the chance of getting two sweet girls would be slim, but I had already named them: Nutmeg and Clove. Elegant, classy and still along the sweet names that the iCandy parents already had, these names would be perfect.


Right before COVID-19 caused the massive lockdown, I had decided to take a break from the stressors of college to go backpacking and would be out of contact for weeks. I also knew that in this time the opportunity to individually pick out the two kittens I had put in a deposit for would arise. In preparation for my trip, I had given my mom as the contact for breeder Dr. Thornton to reach out to when the time was right. So, when news came – and pictures along with it – that I ended up with the last girl and the boy that caught my mom’s eye, I soon forgot the “perfect” names I had chosen because those two pictures already had me grinning from ear-to-ear.


RagaMuffin kittenI found myself in the Utah desert with just the bare essentials, cat pictures, and a predicament: what do I name my new RagaMuffin kittens? I quite literally hiked for days saying “nutmeg” and “clove” out loud to see if I could force either of them to be more masculine with no luck. So, I resorted to making lists in my journal of traditionally human names, play on words, and other food-oriented names, but nothing fit quite as I wanted it to. I looked at their pictures asking myself, “what do they look like?” Still, nothing was working out the way the two more feminine names would have.


Thankfully, I had lots of time on my hands for the foreseeable future on this adventure IRagamuffin cat was on. I reflected on times with friends and family and landed on a story that my parents mentioned a few times throughout my life. In this brief anecdote from my mother’s childhood, I was told about a couple who were family friends with my maternal grandparents. These two often went to the beach house on the weekends in the summers with my mom’s family and were always a joy to be with. What always stood out to me about these friends were their unique nicknames: Killer and Lovey.

Killer, who was always described as a big man with an even bigger personality, was close with my grandfather, who we called Daddy Don. Killer called his doting wife Lovey, an undeniable juxtaposition. I do not remember the exact moment when I realized this pair of names would perfectly fit my pair of kittens, but I do know that meeting them only solidified my choice to call them Killer and Lovey.


Lovey is brave, playful, and curious almost to a fault. She looks at humans with lovingRagaMuffin kitten eyes and is always the first of the two to make a move to meet new humans, explore a new habitat (drawers, paper grocery bags, luggage, etc.), or take the first bite out of a fresh bowl of cat food. Killer is a big boy, shy, and cuddly after dark. He loves his belly brushed and can often be found lounging on his back whether he’s under the bed or in the middle of the kitchen.


Neither RagaMuffin can resist a peacock feather or a Churu lickable treat. They are two compassionate, intuitive buddies who rely on each other for entertainment, playful brawls, and warmth to cuddle up close with.


Though many people at first are confused when I talk about my cats or they meet them, the irony of their names still makes me giggle. These two have been my solace in what continually proved to be a challenging year. They always remind me to laugh, to connect to my environment, and most importantly, to take time to appreciate what and who I have in my life.


And This Chair is…….JUST RIGHT

author Patti Grow                            RagaMuffin lover

Ragamuffin catWell, my RagaMuffin cat Fudgie never ceases to amaze me!  Since I retired, all of my dogs and cats feel that I am their constant waitress.  The cats in particular are demanding, and they become quite irritated if I don’t stop immediately what I am doing and tend to them! Of course, what else could be more important – to them anyway!  😆

After catering to their every whim, it is finally time to sit down and do something for ME – like read!  I absolutely look forward to sitting in MY favorite chair to read and occasionally take a quick “cat nap” myself.  After all, I spend most of my waking hours catering to them, so I deserve some relaxing time.
Wrong – silly me!  Fudgie has claimed MY chair as HIS favorite  RagaMuffin napping spot.Ragamuffin cat  Well, napping may be an understatement, since once Fudgie decides to settle down for his nap, it is a LONG winter’s nap!  I have even tried sitting and coaxing him to sit on my lap to no avail.  Then, I thought I would be generous and offer to share a spot in the chair with him. Well, you can imagine that move only gained me lots of dirty looks and glares – the nerve of ME to sit in HIS chair!
I am sure you figured out the ending by now.  Much like Goldilocks, Fudgie found the chair that is just the right size for him!  As of now, I am on my own to claim a new spot to call MY own!!  😻

RagaMuffin Resolutions

author Robert Hamera          Slice of Life

Resolutions! Me make resolutions? You’ve got to be kidding. Resolutions are for those who are not happy with themselves and want to change some aspect about themselves that they don’t like. They are not perfect.

Me, on the other hand, I am perfect and there is nothing I want to change or need to change about myself. Therefore, there is no need for me to make resolutions.

However, that is no reason why I can’t make resolutions for others. That being said, here are my resolutions, in no particular order, for the people who live with me.

I resolve that you will feed me whenever I want to be fed and not according to some predesigned schedule of feeding you think is appropriate for me. After all, who here is the expert on when I am hungry?RagaMuffin

I resolve that you will let me sleep whenever and wherever I choose. In addition, I resolve that you will not run the vacuum while I am trying to sleep. After all, to look this good I need my 20 hours of sleep.

Ragamuffin cat

I resolve that you will pet me only when I want to be petted and not when you feel like petting me. After all, I know I am cute and adorable but that doesn’t mean you have the right to touch it each time you walk by.

Ragamuffin cat

I resolve that you will wake up when I want you to get up and not when you feel like getting up. After all, if I let you sleep why it would be at least 8:00 A.M. until I was served breakfast.

RagaMuffin cat

I resolve that I will run around the house like crazy whenever I want. After all, I need my exercise to stay fit and trim.

I resolve that you will have boxes and baskets of toys for me to play with in every room of the house especially making sure that the nosiest ones are out at night. After all, I am entitled to have as many toys as possible.

RagaMuffin kitten

I resolve that you will clean my litter box daily. After all, who wants to use a dirty one. Ugh!

I resolve that any food you eat is fair game for me as well. After all, someone needs to check that the food you eat is healthy.

RagaMuffin cat

I resolve that I will constantly be underfoot especially when you are busiest. After all, someone needs to make sure your senses stay sharp.


I resolve that you will keep the bird feeder filled so that I can watch bird TV whenever I want. After all, I am entitled to some entertainment.

Ragamuffin cat

I really don’t think there are too many resolutions here or that they can’t be met. I did lie, though. I did make just one resolution for myself.

I resolve that no rug or piece of furniture will be safe from my wrath if these resolutions are not kept.


Adding a RagaMuffin to the family

Ragamuffin cat

iCandy Beef Wellington

author Regina Zilberg       RagaMuffin lover
       Believe it or not, I never liked or wanted any pets. Not even a turtle or a goldfish. Not even when I was a kid. All the extra cleaning and noises… who wants the trouble? However, a couple of years back, on a beautiful Winter morning, I was browsing the web and saw a picture of a red Maine Coon. My fate was sealed then and there. So we got a Maine Coon, and, of course, it is red. And he, no doubts, is the owner of this household and everything and everyone in it. We all worship Simon 😎
        Naturally, when we realized that he was a little bored with us, his humble slaves, it was decided to get Simon a sister. At that point, being a true nerd, I read a lot about all kinds of cats, and RagaMuffins were definitely my favorite due to the beauty and wonderful personality. I realized how lucky we got with Simon, how much trouble we could’ve gotten into if he was not so healthy (knock on wood!). So I was looking for a reputable breeder. I did my homework, all right. Luckily I found  iCandy cattery. I wrote to Sara and was told that there was a waiting list. Yes, please, count me in for a girl! I want it to be as white as possible, with a very symmetrical mask, I wrote in my original email. And so Sara put me on the list for a white girl with a symmetrical mask that’s yet to be born sometime in the future. And the wait has started.
       A little later I had a conversation with Simon’s vet and mentioned that we are getting a female kitten, and the good doctor told me “Never deal with females. Believe me on that one and thank me later”.
RagaMuffin kitten‘Dear Sara’, I wrote. ‘Please change my registry on your waiting list. I would actually like to get a boy instead.’ – ‘You know what’ – wrote Sara back to me – ‘as a matter of fact, there is one boy. The last one. Not sure if you want him… he is not white at all. And there is a spot on the belly. And the mask is not symmetrical.’
I looked at the picture and my heart stopped.
It was in the middle of a pandemic and we couldn’t even meet Sara and her cats properly. I left my pet carrier on the porch, waited in the car, and got back to find a tiny little something inside the bag, scared out of his mind. He was so tiny so I was afraid to touch him. Maine Coons are three times larger at that age, I just never held such a tiny kitten in my arms! Oh boy, what am I going to do?..
My kids spent weeks arguing about the name, and it was decided to call that tiny little something ‘Beef Wellington’. Beef. Beefey.
            Immediately upon arrival home the baby ran under the bureau in the guest bedroom and did not want to come out for a day or two. I did not want to leave him alone in the room and slept there. Finally he realized that I was, in fact, his mommy, and the second night he spent on my chest, making as much noise as he was a little tractor trailer 😍
            Yesterday His Lordship Beоf, the duke of Wellington, turned one. A lot has happened during this year. He grew up to be the fluffiest and funniest creature on the planet, no doubts! We love Beef dearly and definitely can not imagine our lives without him. He is oh, so soft and cuddly! And he smells like expensive fur coats and cookies and cream at the same time. He is there when I go to sleep, and he wakes me up in the morning by pushing my hand with his nose. He is a brother and best friend to Simon who loves him enormously, and my girls – 15 year old Maya and 18 year old Jean – say that Beef is their son. I don’t argue. It is obvious to me whose son he is. It is also obvious that I will never ever live without any cats in the house, preferably RagaMuffins.
Here are Simon and Beef Wellington, they say Hi to everybody. You may follow them on Instagram:

My New Year’s Resolution

Ragamuffin cat

author Sara Thornton DVM                   iCandy RagaMuffins

I am generally pretty good about scheduling things: dentist, hairdresser, oil change, etc. Pet care has been second nature as well. Heartworm prevention, flea and tick contro,  wellness exams are all done on time and routinely. Doggie nail trims, kitten nail trims and equine hoof trims (and dentistry) are all performed on a fixed schedule.

I realized my cat schedule could use some work though. My RagaMuffin cats that are being shown are regularly groomed and have their pedicures. My rescues and other RagaMuffins have been, well, hit and miss for the comb outs and nail trims. I need to do better. I have a couple of old rescues that really need more nail care than they are getting.

So, I put them ALL on a schedule. The goal is to take care of one adult every day. Alphabetical order so I don’t miss anyone. Doing this frequently will keep their nails in excellent condition and the coats even better. I’m lucky in that only the old rescues tend to mat….I shave them down occasionally. The other kitties just need a nice comb out to maintain their beautiful coats.

Best Family Cat

RagaMuffin kitten

author Stephanie Valligny                          RagaMuffin lover

The Great Kitten Search started this past spring.  I had decided to go through a breeder after having some mixed results at the shelters.  Over the years, we’ve had a variety of cats ranging from an old battle axe who (barely) tolerated humans and dogs to a sickly cat who died too soon.  We also had a few good ones in-between.  My hope was to find a kitten who enjoyed playing with the kids and could roll with the happy chaos that is our family life.  A bonus would be to find a friend for our sweet Goldendoodle Barley.


I went to Google and typed in “Best Family Cat”.  The RagaMuffin led the way as a great breed for families and it sounded perfect for us.  I found iCandy Ragamuffins and Sara rather quickly.  Her commitment to health had me sold.  I contacted her and we hopped onto the waiting list.


As Sara warned us, waiting was the hard part.  To pass the time, we made a countdown calendar and created a list of possible names that the kids quickly and firmly narrowed down to Sir Gilbert.  We excitedly scrolled through her Facebook page gushing over the pictures families shared of their beautiful muffins.  We couldn’t wait to be a part of it!  Sara’s kitty supply suggestions were very helpful and we gathered all sorts of items from this list, and we had fun choosing toys too.  When the day finally arrived, I walked into Sara’s home and felt immediate joy.  RagaMuffin mamas and kittens of various colors confidently strolled over with a greeting.  Their bottle brush tails stood tall in welcome and I heard soft purrs as they each sought out attention, which I excitedly dished out.  Sir Gilbert was sleeping upstairs and when he came down, I could see he was a bit nervous.  Sara created such a cozy world for him, and I understood his nervousness about leaving.  My heart sank a little at this thought.  Sara must be a cat whisperer because she softly spoke a few words to him, and he immediately relaxed.  I’m not exaggerating; there wasn’t another peep from him!  Excited faces peered from the car windows as I carefully guided his carrier to the car.  I dare to say my husband looked excited too.  Sir Gilbert was on his way to his forever home, and I was confident that he would love it and us!


When we arrived home, we took him directly to the quiet room we prepared for him, filled with cushy beds, food, water, and his litter box.  Instead of the plush new beds, he beelined for an open plastic tub sitting on the floor.  We laughed a little over his pick and we tucked in a warm blanket to help him feel cozy.  Barley was allowed to do some supervised sniffing.  She approached gently as I’m sure she recalled her previous attempts at befriending our old battle axe and the swipes across her muzzle for even casting an eye towards the cat.  But there was no need for caution this time around. RagaMuffin  Sir Gilbert (quickly shortened to Gilly by those insisting on the long name!) appeared at ease with our giant dog.  In fact, he approached and nuzzled Barley’s face, weaved in and out of her legs, and attempted to groom her tail.  My heart soared, already knowing a friendship was to come!


Time is flying by and Gilly is a big boy now at six months old, weighing over 8lbs.  Life is so much fun with him.  When he’s not being toted around by the kids, he’s chilling on their desks during virtual school, or cozying up to one of us.  He plays fetch!  He walks around with toys in his mouth and brings them back for more tosses.  He loves his scratching post and enjoys scaling the side to grab a toy off the top.  I think Barley is a bit envious of his skills.  Gilly loves to race around the house, playing chase.  I call him the thundering hooves as he gallops and leaps across the floors, and then zooms up and down the stairs in a blur of fur.  He comes when I call, and he sits outside the pantry, awaiting treats with Barley, his best bud.  He’s mischievous, spunky, curious, and a love bug.  I recently broke my foot and was down for the count for a bit.  My first night home he curled up next to me, put his paws between my arms and lulled us both to sleep with his RagaMuffin gentle purring.  My heart melted.  We are celebrating the twelve days of Christmas with a new toy for him each day.  Gilly spends hours playing with them.  His personalized stocking is hanging alongside ours over the fireplace and there are already gifts for him under the tree.  We’ve only had Sir Gilbert for 3 short months but it feels like he’s been in our hearts for much longer.  He is the perfect fit for our family!


A Visit From Grand Champion RagaMuffin


Ragamuffin cat


author  – Randy (RH) Schmidt                     New Walden RagaMuffins


T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The Muffins’mitts were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Grand Champion Muffin soon would be there;

The little Muffins were all nestled and snug in their beds;

While visions of candied mice danced in their heads;

And Dad and his C-Pap and I in my wrap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw back the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,

When what to my wondering eyes appeared on top of the ice,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny mice,

With the most agile driver, so lively and tough,

I knew in a moment it must be Grand Champion Muff.

More rapid than eagle the courses they came.

And he whistled and catawauld, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the housetop the courses they flew

With a sleigh full of toys, and Grand Champion Muff too—

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and scratching of each little foot.

As I drew in my head and was turning around,

Down the chimney Old Grand Muff came with a bound.

He was dressed in fur from his head to his foot,

And his fur was all covered in ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked just like a feral attacking a sack.

His eyes—how they reflected! His whiskers how twitching!

His cheeks were so padded, His dipped nose like a cherry!

His drool little mouth was in a definite grin,

And the ruff around his neck was luxurious and trim;

A sprig of catnip he held tight in his teeth,

And the aura he emitted encircled him like a wreath;

He had a very round head and a fat padded belly

That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of Jelly.

He was chubby and plump a right jolly old Cat

And I laughed when I knew he was a Muffin at that;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He meowed not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled the Muffs’ mitts; then turned with a Jerk,

And laying his paw aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his mice gave a whistle;

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I head him catawauld as he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Black Friday Deals

Years ago, I would have been looking for other items, like clothes or appliances. These days, I just shop for the RagaMuffins. And I’m picky. No 15% off for me. It’s got to be at least 25% off for me to look. Canned food is my primary target.  I am pretty loyal to Science Diet and Royal Canin kibble. But, for canned food, I pretty much get what they will eat.

Wednesday night was Chewy night. I am embarrassed to write how much I spent. I am now thinking about where I can possibly stack all the cases. Thursday, Amazon had great deals. So I bought more, lots more. And then Friday…..I continued stalking sites. I mean, how could I turn down buying two jars of Churu treats and get one free?

Oh well, I figure cat food casserole may be in my future.

Kitten Spay/Neuter

RagaMuffin kitten

author Sara Thornton DVM                                                 iCandy RagaMuffins

One topic that comes up when I get inquiries about kittens is the fact I spay and neuter all my RagaMuffin kittens before they go to their homes. Many modern breeders are doing the same. Occasionally, I have a potential kitten adopter concerned about surgery on such a young kitten. It’s a fair question.

The Winn Foundation, a forerunner in cat health, published a paper some time ago addressing of pediatric spay/neuter procedures.  ( The Foundation is favor of doing the procedure prior to five months of age. Many veterinarians put a weight limit on the surgery such as 2 or 3 lbs . I like to have the kittens be at least 12 weeks old to ensure the liver and kidneys are working well.

Since becoming a RagaMuffin breeder, it has been an education just how well these kittens do post op. As a veterinarian, I take my kittens to my hospital the day of surgery and then take them home at the end of the day. They are treated with appropriate pain medicine, and honestly, are bouncing around the house in the evening, none the worse for wear.

Why do I WANT to alter the RagaMuffin kittens prior to placing them in their new homes? In my veterinary practice, I have seen far too many people get a kitten and just never schedule surgery for it until after the female escapes and comes home pregnant or the male is spraying urine in the house. Another reason is the unscrupulous buyer that really just wants to produce kittens and purchases a cat to breed without proper mentoring, no desire to do genetic testing, and no quality breeding plan.

My kittens do well going to their homes usually a few day after surgery. My hospital staff loves the days the kittens come in! Employment perk….

And Then There Were Two!


Author Patti Grow, cat lover

Ragamuffin catFudgie has everything and anything he could possibly want in a feline’s life. He has four new humans,
three dogs that all but roll out the red carpet for him when he walks by, and one heck of a waiter staff
that serves him breakfast, dinner and occasional treats – in bed. What more could a RagaMuffin absolutely need or
want in life?

As the weeks wore on, my two sons kept saying that Fudgie “needs a buddy”. How dare they utter
such nonsense? I was all that Fudgie would ever need. Wasn’t I? I have already told you that after he
decided that I was “just an okay human”, we formed a very strong bond. He followed me everywhere,
he rubbed up against my legs, he purred loudly and looked up at me lovingly with his enormous green RagaMuffin
eyes, and he even slept right alongside me in bed. What more could he possibly desire?

My oldest son especially insisted that Fudgie needs a buddy – a feline buddy. After my large ego settled,
I began to think that he may be the slightest bit correct in is explanations. I, however, still wasn’t about
sharing Fudgie’s attention with anyone else. So, I came up with 101 reasons (excuses) of why Fudgie
doesn’t need a cat friend. It all sounded great – to me at least!

As the weeks ensued, I was beginning to realize that the my son’s rationale about getting another feline
could be what Fudgie needs – in addition to me, of course! Well, one day my son brought home a tinyRagaMuffin kitten
little girl kitten that can best be described as a ball of glistening white fur with very light chocolate
markings. Welcome into our home, Chanel!

Of course upon Chanel’s arrival, we kept her in a tiny room and followed all of the recommended
guidelines for introducing a new pet into a household with other pets. My mind began to race with
random unrelated questions: What if they don’t get along? What if he doesn’t like her? What if he is
angry with me for getting another addition to the feline family in this house? What if he doesn’t care for
her kitten food (since I had anticipated him stealing a kibble or two)?

Well, the big day came when Fudgie and Chanel would meet. I knew in my mind it wasn’t going to go
well at all. After a few low growls and hisses (mostly from Chanel), they became best buddies! And you
already know the rest of the happy ending of this story. RagaMuffin Fudgie absolutely adores his younger sister!
They run together, play together, and even catnap together! He washes her because you know, Chanel
doesn’t really do a great job of washing herself – according to Fudgie.

All in all, he is thankful for a feline friend. Chanel is happy for her big brother. I am happy that they are
both happy! Seeing Fudgie content and happy makes ME happy – for now! Fudgie confirmed deep
down what I already knew (but didn’t admit to knowing) – my heart and arms are always big enough to
welcome more felines into my human world! These lovely darlings make them especially easy to love.
Pondering question of the day – when will there be three? 🙂