Lucky me! By some stroke of good fortune, Zorro wandered into my life. Yes, I had something to do with getting him inside and tamed, but I can’t believe what I’ve learned about him and about Ragdolls. Honestly, I knew nothing about Ragdolls before bringing this guy into our household. I didn’t even know he was a Ragdoll until I posted a picture of him (still outside and still untamed) and a cat writer colleague said that he was likely a purebred Ragdoll.
I don’t know how on earth Zorro ended up outside our house, but it was somebody else’s loss and my gain. Even though Zorro can be a little of a bully at times (I suspect insecurity and a need for attention), rescue remedy and Feliway seem to be really making a difference.
Here are some awesome things about living with a Ragdoll.
Zorro follows me around the house constantly. (Though he was once an outdoor cat, he shows no interest in wanting to go back outside.) All I have to do is make eye contact with Zorro, and he’s with me. If I am sitting down and we connect with our eyes, he’s instantly on my lap. It’s as if he is ready and waiting for communication with me. He loves being with me. I even need to be careful when I am going down stairs. Zorro loves to walk close to me, and can sometimes quickly walk in front of me — possible trouble for us both. He and I get a lot of exercise constantly moving about, going up and down stairs, and just being together.
I have never seen such an expressive cat. Zorro knows how to ask for attention and he loves it. He is very trusting and will easily give me and others his belly to be rubbed. I can handle him easily; in fact, he loves it. Brushing, petting, ANY connection — all are wonderful as far as Zorro is concerned.
Zorro is a very in-the-body kind of cat. He’s constantly flexing his big paws with happiness. He’s big and strong, and doesn’t necessarily care to have his claws clipped while sitting in my lap. But I have had the most success clipping claws when Zorro is in one of his floppy, relaxed moods. (Yes, Ragdolls do flop, and Zorro does it well.) Once, he was on his back, blissfully enjoying being touched and flexing his paws. He was so relaxed that I clipped his claws in this position.
Zorro is really smart about letting me know when something is wrong. Many cats seem to be stoic in this regard. Not my Ragdoll. Once, when he jumped down from a high place, he must have hurt his paw. He came up to me, sat in my lap, looked right in my eyes, and cried. I’ve never had a cat so clearly tell me that something is wrong. He also clearly told me at another time that his stomach was feeling upset.
I try not to get hung up on “beauty” regarding my cats — I think all cats are beautiful. Still, Zorro’s looks are pretty amazing. I admire his big paws (that he lets me handle, thankfully!), his long whiskers, those arresting blue eyes, the soft fur, and his amazing facial markings (the “mask,” hence the name Zorro, and the cute black smudge on his nose). Zorro has a tail like I’ve never seen on a cat — it curves up and over his back and stays that way — much like the tail of a Keeshond or Samoyed. We had a Keeshond once, and we joke that the Keeshond may have reincarnated as Zorro because of that tail.
Zorro is very good at expressing his emotions — vocally, with his eyes, and with his body. He seems to be more intense about this than a lot of other cats I’ve lived with. I don’t know if this is a Ragdoll trait or a Zorro trait, but from what I’ve read about Ragdolls, it seems that they are extremely personable, social, emotional and expressive. These are all true of my awesome Ragdoll Zorro!
Tell me about your Ragdolls! I’d love to know. Are they like what I’ve described here? What makes yours so awesome?
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About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr (cat fantasy novel out June 1), the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.