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.  (https://www.winnfelinefoundation.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/fix-by-five-focus-version-4-9-16.pdf). 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? 🙂

Registering RagaMuffin Kittens

RagaMuffin kitten

auther Sara Thornton DVM                         iCandy RagaMuffins

As a long time Labrador breeder, I found that if you simply hand registration papers to new puppy owners, tell them to fill them out and send them in, it never gets done. So, I learned to register the puppies for the new family. I did the same for the microchip I placed.

When starting my RagaMuffin breeding program, I found that CFA makes it easy for a breeder to register kittens when they are placed.  When registering a litter online, I can simply pay for registration for the number of kittens in the litter. Then, when kittens are placed, I go back on line and fill in the information on the new owner. Easy peasy. CFA will process the information in a couple of weeks; I then can go online and have the new registration certificate emailed to me. I forward the certificate to the new family…..and check in on how the kitten is doing!

Why is it important to register all our RagaMuffin kittens?  We are in love with a minority breed. In sheer numbers, we are very low compared to many breeds. When the Cat Fanciers’ Association is making decisions that affect the cat fancy, we need to be heard. The more cats we have registered, the louder our voices are. It’s that simple.

The cost  to a breeder of registering every RagaMuffin  is minimal. The labor involved is minor. I have found that my buyers appreciate it. So, why not?

Baby Kitty’s Miraculous Recovery

 

Ragamuffin cat

Author Lisa Rowe                                                     Heavenly Muffins

RagaMuffin catIn May 2020 I could not find my RagaMuffin girl, Baby kitty.  My granddaughter named her when we brought her home as a baby, the name stuck.  Baby kitty turned 5 in April.  I finally found her meowing under my couch.  I actually had to lift up the couch to get her.  She could no longer use her back legs.  She seemed in shock and in pain.  She was cold from laying on the cold floor under the couch all night.  In the room was some items laying on the floor from a low cabinet.  Nothing super heavy.  All I could think of is that she opened the cabinet and the items fell on her and it scared her and somehow she hurt her legs.  The vet did X-rays and found that the last vertebrae before her tail was shifted and looked like it was pinching her spinal column.  He gave her a pain shot and told me that the prognosis was poor but if I wanted to take her home to see how she does over the next week or two he was not against it.  He said steroids would not help nor would surgery.  He had said the x-ray looked like cats that had been hit but he knew she had not been outside so he was unsure how she ended up hurting her spine.  He assumed some type of accident like falling from a high spot or something heavy falling on her.

 

The vet warned me that she may not have control over her bladder and may need to be expressed.  If that was the case I would need to do that and Ragamuffin cathelp her use the litterbox.  That evening Baby Kitty would pull herself to the litterbox and actually use the box.  She would drag her back legs but got around surprisingly well.  We modified the box.  We cut out one side so she did not have to pull herself over the top.  Over the next week we noticed that she actually could move her tail.  I was hoping that was a good sign.  2 weeks after that her back legs would twitch and she actually could move her legs up to groom herself she just could not put her feet down correctly or put any weight on her legs.   Within a month after that she was moving her feet around correctly while she was sitting up eating.   As soon as she would walk they would dangle.  Two weeks after she could actually put her feet under her while eating one foot she could finally walk on but not put a lot of weight on it.  Two weeks after that she was using both feet correctly.

 

This whole time I had her in a room where she could not get up high and nothing would happen with her.  I wanted her to rest and not be around other RagaMuffin cats or the dog.  I contacted the vet and told him that she was finally using both feet but her legs were very weak.  It told me to do resistance exercises with her.  So I would have her laying on my lap and I would have her push her back feet against my hands.  I would push up and she would push down.  Then I would move her legs while she was laying down like she was walking to get her used to that motion again.  She was finally walking on her feet 100% but doing it very slowly and her back end was very low to the ground. She was also jumping onto my lap while I sat in a low chair so she was building back up her muscles in her back legs.  Slowly she has gotten better.  I let her out of the room staying right with her and do not let her climb steps or jump up higher than the couch.  She eventually goes back in the room to sleep and eat and use the litterbox.

 

The vet told me since she was so healthy and still young at 5 years old her nerves started to regenerate.  We are taking it slow with this sweet RagaMuffin but she continues to improve each month.  I think one reason she did so well was the fact that the injury did not affect her bowels.  Still being able to move her tail and her hips also was a good sign that she may get better.  The vet is amazed she has done so well and is glad I did not give up on her.   I am too.  She is an amazing sweet kitty.

 

Names

RagaMuffin kittenauthor Sara Thornton DVM                                           iCandy RagaMuffins

Occasionally I am asked about the origin of one of my RagaMuffin’s names. It’s simple…..they are all named after something sweet. I think it is appropriate, as nothing is sweeter than a RagaMuffin.

It all started with my very first RagaMuffin, Bon Bon. He was a sable boy that quickly became the apple of my eye. My second RagaMuffin was Nougat, another  confection. When I decided to breed RagaMuffins, I needed a name that would convey the luscious nature of the breed as well as the stunning looks. Eye Candy came to mind. It seemed to beRagaMuffin kitten perfect.  A suggestion from a friend made the final version iCandy.

Lots of syrupy identifications of cats have been utilized since then. Some are immediately identifiable like Ganache, Beignet, Fudge Ripple and Blueberry Crisp. Others are brand names like Rolo, Pixi Stix, Bitahoney. Sugar Daddy, and Jelly Belly. Some candy names are less well known like regional candies Wilbur Bud, Smidgen, and Gertrude Hawk.

RagaMuffin kittenI began a tradition of having each RagaMuffin’s portrait done by the professional photographers at the shows with props to match the name of the cat. The photographers have gotten used to me walking up with a cat in one hand and candies in another. In Fanny Farmer’s case, I bought a vintage Fanny Farmer candy box off of ebay and fake chocolates to place around. In Willy Wonka’s case, I found Willy Wonka printed wrapper to put on a piece of cardboard.

Why do I do it? It’s fun. Names are perfect for the RagaMuffins and, after all, who doesn’t love something sweet?

I Won’t Go

author Robert Hamera                                    Slice of Life

“I am telling you that I will not step into that. I don’t care what you say. I know what happens every time I am put in that thing.”

They think they are being smart telling me we’re going out to look at the pretty Fall foliage. Maybe they will look at the changing leaves but all I ever see is the back of the car seat or maybe the back of their heads. Not at all an exciting view.

Let me go back and explain how this started and what I am talking about. One day last week after going out to the mailbox for the mail, my houseman came in, looked at me and said, “Oh look. You received an invitation. How nice.” Then he showed me the card that came. I saw my name there, a truly distinguished name at that, but I didn’t care. I am not going to accept.

Now, just so you know, I never accept invitations . I don’t want to go anywhere. I have no need to leave the house. My staff takes care of all of my wants. Why else do you think I let them live here with me?

Back to the present. My servant is saying, “They can’t wait to see you. You know they always make such a big fuss over you every time you go. Dr. Sara loves when you come to visit.”

Well, I am lovable. That’s the truth. And who wouldn’t be happy to see me? I do deserve adulation. No, that doesn’t change my mind.

Dr Sara loves seeing me. Really? Then why does she scratch my head and fawn over me and then proceed to probe, prod, and stick me. I ask you, is that the sign of someone who is happy to see you? The indignity of it all.

Wait! What are you doing? Put me down. I told you I am not going in that thing.

RagaMuffin cat

Stop. Don’t you dare close gate. Help. I am a prisoner. I demand you put this thing down immediately and let me out. Oh no. There is the car. I am doomed. Poor me.

RagaMuffin cat

Well, if they think I am going to sit here quietly and take this they had better think again. I know it’s a 40 minute ride. My voice is strong. Time to make my displeasure known.