Parting with a Retired Friend

RagaMuffin Cat

GC BWR RW iCandy Fudge Ripple

Sara Thornton DVM                       iCandy RagaMuffins

My heart ached last weekend. GC BWR RW iCandy Fudge Ripple, aka Fudgie, went to his retirement home. He has been with me from birth. He is my first home grown Grand Champion, Regional Winner and National Breed Winner RagaMuffin.  I thought he would be with me forever. I had planned on it.

But as he matured, he seemed overwhelmed by the other cats. He didn’t want to spend time with me as he had when he was younger. If my lap already had a cat, he would walk away. Fudgie is a BIG boy. He could easily push other cats out of the way, but that wasn’t his nature. I began to wonder if he needed more than I could give him.

His show career has been over for quite a while and his breeding career was concluded as well. Around the first of the year, I began to think that maybe I needed to find the perfect home for him to spend the rest of his life as the center of attention. My spirit sagged thinking about it.

It is THE hardest thing to consider as a RagaMuffin breeder and pet owner: what is in the best interest of each animal. I finally came to the conclusion that Fudgie needed his own family where he could be the focus of all the love.

So, once I decided it would be best for him, I had to set the parameters of the perfect home. I wanted it to be a family within easy driving distance. No long trips for my Fudgie, also known as Fudgsicle. Also, no young children as I am sure the activity would disturb him. And, I preferred he be the only cat or one of two.

As it turned out,  the people that have Fudgie’s brother had good friends that were looking to add a cat after their Ragdoll passed away. I consider  people who have one of my RagaMuffins part of my extended family. In this case, not only are they RagaMuffin family, they have also been veterinary clients of mine for over thirty-five years. It seemed karma was good to all of us. Fudgie got a loving family home where he could be the king and I got reassurance that he would have a wonderful retirement.

P.S. My most recent update was that the new mom and Fudgie were sitting on the floor together so she could read to him.

Litter Robot


author -Kristen Wiley      
We have three Litter Robots. I wish I had just one more though. They are however not a cheap purchase! They do help use less litter so will eventually pay for themselves. Our RagaMuffins had a pretty easy adjustment to switch over. We have added new kitties that have been scared at first, so we shut them down so it doesn’t clean until they have gotten used to it. There is a timed feature you can adjust to 3, 7, or 15 minutes for it to clean after your cat leaves the box. It also features a nightlight (which can be programmed off) which I love because it lights up my way to the human bathroom at night. You can also program it to not cycle at night if it’s in your bedroom.
Cleaning is not as hard as I worried it would be. We wipe in between times with paper towels and vinegar but eventually I like to hose them out. The globe detaches to make that easy. They do come with their brand of bags for the waste drawer, but I use kitchen garbage bags and then use to scoop the other boxes. They do have a minimum weight of 5 pounds so they don’t always run if your using them in a kitten room so we have to hit the manual cycle button a couple times a day. They have a connect model that connects via WiFi to your phone app also if you are interested in remote controls and also tracking of your cats usage. It will also text you when the waste drawer is full.
We love our boxes and if your someone with carpel tunnel syndrome or arthritis and have trouble scooping or maybe just do not want to scoop, this may be the solution for you! For a $25 off coupon and free shipping there is a link on our Home webpage at the bottom.

New Litter Boxes

author Sara Thornton DVM               iCandy RagaMuffins

During this time of self isolation, I am doing on line shopping like a lot of other people. Unlike many people, I am buying litter boxes. For some reason, there are good deals with free shipping available.

I am focusing on litter boxes with high sides. I am tired of sweeping up what seems to be a ton of litter around the box. I looked for 3 high sides with one lower side for easy access. Most of my cats are youngish and healthy and will have no issues getting in.

For the part of the house that my older cat stays in, I will keep lower sided boxes. Petals has arthritis and even though she is treated for it, I want to make sure she has no issues getting into the box.

I also increased the size of most of my boxes to jumbo or extra large. While I scoop them all daily and some twice daily, I find I am replenishing the litter frequently in the smaller boxes. So, I figure a box that easily holds twenty pounds of the unscented clumpable litter I use should have enough litter for a bit longer time. In addition, some of my RagaMuffins are sizable cats. Cats really should not have to squeeze into their bathroom.

There was a new design available that I thought I would try along with the more traditional style. It has more curving sides and so far, I really like it! It is easy to scoop, no getting stuck in the corners.

I never buy covered boxes. Cats generally are not crazy about them. I did have one and the cats always used the uncovered box next to it. Once I took the cover off, the cats started using both boxes.

The down side of choosing boxes is the limit in colors. While I was able to get one style in a shade of pink, most of the boxes I chose were black or gray. I realize the cats really don’t care, but I would like more choices.

Hopefully, the kitties will appreciate their new toilet facilities. I took waaaaaay too much time making decisions.

Enough Already

author Robert Hamera                 Slice of Life


Anyone who knows me knows that I am not one to complain.  I am the sweetest most mild mannered guy you will ever meet.  BUT THIS IS TOO MUCH!.  What  is going on?  My world is turned upside down and I don’t like it.  Something has to be done and I mean yesterday.


I had a nice routine to my day.  I would get up when I felt like it.  My servants would get my breakfast ready and then they would go out for the day.  Now. They. Are. Home…CONSTANTLY!!!

This is highly interfering with my day.  They haven’t left the house since last week.  How am I suppose to get my 20 hours of sleep if they are around doing things?  Of course I have to check up on them because who knows what kind of trouble they might be getting into.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they went about their business and left me alone.  But can they do that?  Nooo!  First of all they have to get that metal fangy monster out.  I am perfectly capable of grooming myself.  I don’t need their help.


With all that they have to do around the house they expect me to entertain them.  I am not a paid actor and I don’t work for free.



I do finally find the time to grab a needed and well deserved nap.


Are they content to sit quietly and let me sleep?  What do you think?  They come over and pet me or rub  under my chin.  Do I annoy them when they are trying to sleep?  Oh yeah, I do but that is perfectly OK. They tell me how cute I am.  Well, of course that is true, but why can’t they leave me alone?  (I have got to stop this purring.  They might think I like this.)  After all, who knows where those hands have been.



I don’t know how much more of this I can take.  Someone needs to do something…FAST.  If not, I may just find myself breaking out the catnip.

COVID-19 Cruciferous Crusade

author Terri Cassiday         Xpressions RagaMuffins

The recent Covid-19 virus has affected everyone. Some people more than others. When our county put in place the “stay home stay in place” my thoughts went where every cat owners mind went. I quickly checked my stash of cat food and litter…all good. My personal pantry was pretty bare, but no matter, my cats were set. I settled in thankful to not have to go anywhere with plenty of time to dote on my litter of kittens.
Then…..the kittens mom developed mastitis. Thankfully, the vet was considered an essential business. I took her to the vet which somewhat resembled a drive thru. The vet tech met me in the parking lot took the crate inside leaving me anxiously outside. Medication was prescribed as well as instructions to apply warm compresses. That seemed simple enough. Simple? SIMPLE? Of course not!

Many of you know that cabbage leaves applied to the affected area has been used as remedy not only for humans but for animals. Thus began my crusade for the magical cruciferous cabbage. I had to get a cabbage! Off to the war zone formerly known as the grocery store. After waiting an hour in line complying with the “six foot rule”, it was my turn. Off to the produce department I went. I’d never witnessed anything so bare, but a cabbage, surely one cabbage would be there. Nope! The race was on to the second store. This time during my wait to get in, I came up with my back up plan. I would put together an Insta Cart order just in case. This stores produce department was better, but still no cabbage. Who eats that stuff? Becoming desperate, I spotted an employee. When I greeted him, he turned around and the look on his face almost made me forget what I needed. This poor man looked how I pictured one to look on the front lines of war. Embarrassed I asked him something that I’m sure he’s never been asked before. “Please sir, I know you are overwhelmed but I’m in need of one or two cabbage leaves for my daughter who has the medical condition mastitis. Is it possible that there are a few leaves that may have fallen off in the packing boxes?”. Yes…I know it’s not the truth, but do you really think he would have looked for a cat? He was gracious enough to look, but I went homeRagaMuffin leafless.

I may have lost the battle, but not the war. My Insta Cart order was still being delivered. I was contacted by my shopper. Most of my order was there….but yes…you guessed it no cabbage! I put in my next Insta Cart order, which was now two days, then three out for delivery.
Meanwhile, I’m giving the medication and applying the compresses, which by the way she loves. Five days later the mastitis is gone. Yay! Now guess what was delivered that day. You are right…a cabbage!!

I’m now the proud owner of a cabbage! Yuck! Apparently, it’s a much more popular vegetable than I thought. Hmmmmm….maybe I can sell it on the green market.
By the way, I now have a momma cat that expects her daily spa treatment of warm compresses. Should I add some cucumber slices for her eyes?

Quarantine Crazies

RagaMuffin kittens

author Kristen Wiley-Imperial Rags         Imperial Rags RagaMuffins
I know we are all experiencing it. The Quarantine Crazies. I have 3 teenagers that are homeschooling now, if you want to call it that. It’s more like constant prodding to figure that crap out. It’s been a learning curve for kids, parents, and teachers alike. The cats are enjoying it though I think. All the couch time with our lap warmers present. They have all been brushed more than they need or are used to. Because what better do I have to do? Clean my house?? Nah I’d rather brush the cats.
Targa, our very loud Bengal, has taken to asking to be picked up 24/7. I firmly believe they know when we are anxious or stressed and provide for a good distraction. My husband suffers from anxiety, so this time of uncertainty has been especially hard on him. He is most often found in our extra bedroom that I have dedicated to our RagaMuffin kitten area. He spends hours playing with kittens and having them in his lap to help soothe his anxiousness.
I hope all of you are surviving the Crazies and are staying home and healthy. We can’t know what our future will look like, but I can guarantee that it looks a little better with a cat or five in our lap. Hug your fur babies a little extra and thank them for the distraction.

Just Right

author Robert Hamera         Slice of Life


Sleeping – we all do it – we all need it – many of us don’t get enough of it.

Because sleeping is so important, it is vital that we have a comfortable spot where we can lay our weary head and get the shut-eye we all need and deserve.

We are also familiar with the story of Goldilocks.  She had to try three different beds before she found one that was “Just right.”

I am hoping that these examples of where to sleep help you pick out the perfect spot if you don’t already have one.

Sometimes you need a place that is out of the way.  A place where no one can get to you or bother you.  This spot is just right.


Of course, you can never have too much padding at your sleeping spot.  In fact. the more padding the softer and better.  This spot is just right.


Sometimes when you sit down to eat you may realize that a little nap is more important than food.  If that is the case, then this spot is just right.


Have you ever just tried stretching out on the floor?  Some might think it is a bit hard, but with padding and warm rug this spot is just right.


A comfy recliner is the perfect spot for a mid-afternoon nap.  You can see that this spot is just right.


If you are bothered by noise and foot traffic it is important that you find a spot where you won’t in in danger of being walked on.  This spot is just right.


This might not be to  everyone’s liking, but if you don’t mind a bony area then this spot is just right.



Finally, when you are really tired there is no place like bed.  Don’t forget, if it’s cold remember to pull up the covers.  This spot is just right.



Living, Breathing, Loving Works of Art

RagaMuffin cat



Author Sara Thornton     iCandy RagaMuffins

As a breeder, I have a great responsibility, no matter what life I am producing.  I have bred Quarter Horses, Labrador Retrievers and RagaMuffin cats. I believe my skills have improved over the years. It’s a learning curve for sure. The most important attribute a breeder can have is a clear goal. Every animal, every litter, should have a goal.

I believe experience has given me a more precise vision. I do believe in competition to force me to take off rose colored glasses and see my animals for what they are. That being stated, it does not mean I think the judge is necessarily always right. Competition gives me a gauge about where I need to go in my breeding program.

Breeding is an art that deals with so much more than looks. It’s complicated. The end result should be healthy, have the desired temperament AND look like the description in the breed standard and, in the case of Labradors, do what the breed was developed to do.

The breed standard is the Bible for every breeder. Each breed has a description of the ideal specimen. The aim is to come as close as possible to the ideal. The interpretation of the breed standard may vary from breeder to breeder. Since no animal is perfect, one breeder may focus on one part of the standard more than another breeder. For example, in RagaMuffins, one breeder may strive for the perfect muzzle, while another emphasizes the eyes.

Take that goal for looks, add to it proper structure and a strong immune system to allow for comfortable longevity. Add to that eliminating or at least reducing genetic diseases through DNA testing and health clearances and then top it off with a temperament that is typical for the breed. That’s a tall order. But, the holy grail of every responsible breeder is to strive for perfection.


I’m a Muffin Mom…….You’re a Whaaaat?


Chapter 2 – The Road Home

Submitted by: Lucile Gordon Press, Columbia, Maryland


Like any new mother, I carefully carried my precious cargo out of the show hall in Gettysburg, PA, walked to my car and put the carrier in the back seat using the seat belt to secure it. If traffic permitted, we would have about an hour and forty-five minute drive home. I managed to get to the highway before the mewing started. I turned the radio on and switched to a station playing soft music while assuring Tavi “it’s alright, we’ll be home soon”. I guess I didn’t sound very convincing because the mewing increased in frequency and volume. It wasn’t long before he worked himself up into a full wail and nothing I said sounded at all comforting to him. He kept wailing and I mean crying his little heart out. I was uncertain what to do … I can’t take him out of the carrier … what if we had an accident … I can’t stop the car on the side of the highway … I momentarily considered returning to Gettysburg because I was afraid he’d make himself sick with all this crying. I was beginning to feel like a criminal for taking him away from his familiar surroundings!

Eventually the wailing ceased but the mewing was a constant. Finally, about 10 minutes from home there was quiet. I thought he had worn himself out and had gone to sleep. Not true … he was just catching his breath for another onslaught of anguish mixed with fear of the unknown. Why wouldn’t this stranger let him out?

Let me set the stage for you here. I live in a high rise building on the ninth floor of a retirement community. The garage elevator goes to a beautiful lobby complete with koi pond and lots of little old ladies and gentleman gathered in small groups near the library, café, and security desk. There is no direct elevator access up to the ninth floor from the garage. Picture me carrying a small pet carrier into our lobby with a wailing kitten inside … you can well imagine what happened. As if I wasn’t already feeling awful I now had to assure all these well-meaning elderly folks that everything was alright. I nipped into the elevator and we rose to the floor where I live and walked down the hall to our apartment.

Tavi’s new big brother, Levi, met us at the door and was immediately concerned about all the noise coming from the carrier. I was advised to place Tavi in a small bathroom to let him get acclimated to his new surroundings, new smells, find his new litter box, water dish, toys, new bed, so he could bond with me. I closed the door to Levi, opened the carrier and Tavi crept out keeping a wary eye on me. He stopped crying and spent some time checking things out. I sat on the floor with him and shortly he was in my lap purring. Now the noise was coming from the other side of the door! Levi was anxious to meet his little brother and make sure he was alright.

The breeder had advised me to keep them separate for about a week so I couldn’t let Levi into the bathroom. I got up and quickly left the bathroom leaving the light on. Levi would not leave the bathroom door and now he was voicing his concerns. Oh my word, what’s a mother to do? Two crying cats!!!  

Stay tuned … Chapter 3 – ‘When the Show Bug Bit’ 

Fanny Farmer Grands!

photo by Carolyn Jimenez


author Sara Thornton DVM      iCandy RagaMuffins

ICandy Fanny Farmer turned eight months old on February 4. This means she graduated to championship class in CFA cat shows. She was so much fun as a kitten to show, bringing the party with her every time. I was really looking forward to the next step of her career.

The first time out was at the very competitive Black Diamond/Ramapo show. She earned well over half of her points toward her Grand Championship. Even better, Fanny continued to enjoy being judged. The very next weekend was the large National Norwegian Forest Cat show. She had a good time and earned more than enough points on Saturday to be a Grand Champion.

Needless to say, I was delighted. The tradition at a cat show is to shout “New Grand” when the judge hangs the ribbon that gives the cat the final points needed. I yelled, other exhibitors cheered and I got to to give my precious kitty a treat and a hug.

Fanny was a two show grand, meaning it only took her two shows to earn the points required for the title. That’s a significant accomplishment. What makes it even better is the realization that with Felisophic Sugar Daddy and Gentlepurrs Solo Purrsuit, iCandy has titled three grand champions in three months!