When It Rains, It Freezes

Xpressions RagaMuffins


Here we go again. We are under another winter storm warning. Last year in February, Central Texas had a freeze that we had never experienced before. Six days of below freezing temperatures, (some days with the wind chill below zero) ice and snow paralyzing our area. Some of you may be thinking why is that a big deal. Simply put, our homes are not designed to handle cold weather. Central Texas has few plows, trucks and materials to use on our roadways. The central Texas electric grids started failing Over 200 people died during those six days.

Now we are bracing for another storm. Thankfully, not as serious.  I’m writing this blog to let you know how we faired, but more importantly, how our dog and RagaMuffin kitties survived this ordeal. We were blessed. Our power went off for hours, but then came on for a few hours. Our home never dropped below 45 degrees. Our pipes did not break and we only lost cell service for short periods.

For the RagaMuffin cats it was a dream come true. Blankets and sheets covered the windows which made a great speedway. All the pillows and extra blankets were on the floor making it a great obstacle course. Because our pipes run on our outside walls, we pulled the furniture away from the outside walls to let the heat from the inside keep the walls warm to avoid broken pipes . Any closets and cabinets that were on the outside walls were emptied and the contents were put on the furniture in the middle of the rooms. That made for not only a speedway and an obstacle course, but now mountain climbing was added! We may not have had phones or television, but we had a kitty circus! A three ring circus!

Our eight week old RagaMuffin kittens were exposed to so many people during the next couple of weeks. Several people who were not as fortunate came to use our showers, washing machine and dryer; along with filling containers to take water to their homes.

The outside temperatures were finally hovering over the freezing mark. The sun was out and we were thankful that we were some of the fortunate. Then out from under one of the piles of stuff, one of our RagaMuffin cats limped out. Her foot was swollen. I did a quick check for punctures and whether her nails were intact. All seemed good. Almost every business was closed due to the weather including our vet’s office. I called and left a message. In the mean time, I called a friend who is a vet to ask her advice. In less than two hours our vet called and said she was on her way to the clinic. If we wanted to risk the roads, we could meet her there. We did. After X-rays and medicines were given, we were on our way home with our kitty and her two broken toes.

Blankets came off the windows. Pillows came off the floors. Furniture was moved back. The tedious task of putting everything back in the closet and washing items to put back into the kitchen cabinets began. Things were finally returned to their original places. The humans were thrilled with getting their life back in order! The dog and kitties not so much.

Toys With a Four Paw Rating

author Terri Cassiday                                        Xpressions RagaMuffins

Owners’ from the United States wants and needs for their pets has become big business. In fact, over $103 billion was spent last year. In this growing business, owners need to be aware of a business trying to make a quick buck without regard as to your pets health. Toys fit into this category. We want to spoil our RagaMuffins. They are our babies after all. What must be kept in mind before purchasing any toy is how safe they are for your cat. RagaMuffins play hard and tend to need sturdier toys. Continue to examine and dispose of toys that are showing wear. A variety of toys are best for your kitty. Keep in mind toys that will keep them stimulated. They don’t have to be costly. Some of my cats favorites are the most inexpensive. The down side is that the inexpensive toys such as the springs, wool balls and boinks play havoc with vacuums. The upside is that replacing them costs little.

Over the years we have purchased many, many, MANY toys. Yes, we have contributed greatly to the $103 billion industry. After all those purchases, several have been our RagaMuffins favorites. Hopefully, this list will help some of you wade through the thousands of toys available. Above we mentioned the springs, boinks and wool balls. Among these inexpensive and most loved are ping pong balls and the little rabbit fur mice with leather tails. Our cats LOVE these! However, keeping track of them is not one of the things I love.

Next on our list is a tunnel. There are tunnels that are made out of many fabrics. Sturdy fabrics are the best. Two things need to be considered before purchasing. The first being the size of the opening. The diameter of some tunnels are not made for the size of the RagaMuffin. The second being the durability of the wires. Wires can break or fray which can cause serious injuries. We tend to buy children’s tunnels that are tested for such things.

Laser lights are good to use periodically for short periods. These should be used only by responsible owners that are cognizant of the potential dangers. We never use the toys that you place on the floor with laser light. They cannot control keeping the light away from your RagaMuffins eyes. There have been some studies that say laser lights can cause behavioral problems. Using them periodically has not been a problem for us, but the choice is yours.

Pyramids and tracks that have balls firmly secured in them are favorites with our kittens as well as the puzzle boxes. They do not keep our adults attention very long. Hexbugs are very exciting to cats. The prey drive in our cats is highly stimulated. The down side is their size. Cats should not be left alone with them! Supervision is necessary not only for your cat, but if they get under something you can’t move, they buzz for hours. Teasers of all kinds are a necessity. Once again, because of the size of the RagaMuffin, it’s worth the extra cost to get sturdy ones. I hesitate to mention brands, but by far the ones that have lasted the longest are dabird by Go Cat. They have several different attachments which can be purchased to keep your cat interested. Feathers, rabbit fur, insects are just a few of them. These are also not to be left out unattended.

We have purchased almost every interactive toy out there. They are mostly used for the kittens because our adults either figure out how they work and dismantle them or are bored by them. The best in our RagaMuffins view is the one that goes in circles underneath the thin material. The adults learned very quickly to sit on the rod that makes the feather move making it a breeze to rip off the feather. The latest interactive toy we bought is great in concept, but made poorly. It’s a spinning ball that flashes different colors. On the ball you can latch on different attachments. This is placed in a poorly made small tunnel with ends that tie. When the cats see the flashing lights as well as the shadows, they get excited. It’s only good until the big cats rip open and destroy the tunnel. Game over!

These are the toys we found that our RagaMuffins like the best besides empty water bottles and paper towel rolls. Hopefully, this makes navigating through the myriad of toys easier.

Is My Cat a RagaMuffin?

author Sara Thornton DVM                                                                       iCandy RagaMuffins

One of the most common comments I see on Facebook is a cat owner posting a picture of their beloved kitty and asking if it is a RagaMuffin. The answer is virtually always going to be no. Same with other breeds like Maine Coons. Unless you go to a breeder for a pedigreed cat, it is unlikely to be a pedigreed cat, especially when it comes to rare breeds.

If your kitten or cat is sweet, floppy and long haired it is not a RagaMuffin unless it came with papers from CFA, ACFA, GCCF, WCF or CCA. Most likely it is a Domestic Long Hair. If it is a TICA registered RagaMuffin, it is generally a Ragdoll crossed with a Persian or other cat (http://messybeast.com/false-ragamuffins.htm?fbclid=IwAR0wWUV8_LncRCE_z3v3ZYRv0DGD90MY-aOiDMemlOkKaWOXlMJCIufg3YM)

Domestic Long Hair, or Domestic Short Hair is a term used to describe random bred cats with long or short hair. These are the most common cats in the world. The truth is, pedigreed cats are developed from these cats. A random bred cat is no less deserving of a good home and love than a pedigreed cat. I have always had rescues in my house; I still do.

Back in the origins of the RagaMuffin, a breeder developed a line of cats using domestic cats and pedigreed cats for a specific temperament and look.  The characteristics that the RagaMuffin is known for come from these cats. Those features are available in the general cat population. In the RagaMuffin, those lovable traits come together in one cat specifically bred for sweet temperament, good health, and to meet the breed standard in looks. (https://ragamuffinfanciers.com/ragamuffin-standard/)