Warning. If you're not a cat fancier... read no further. This posting will be an unabashed, 'ah gee-whiz aren't-they-adorably cute' tribute to celebrate the 4th birthday of the Ragdolls, Will and Grace. (With full apologies to Spice Girl cat whose birthday is in a few weeks). I'm sure Husband will read this entire posting to both cats, whom we affectionately also call 'Sir BB' or 'Big Boy' and 'Brat Girl'.
Before I go further, I absolutely MUST thank the West Coast-ish photographer who took most of these pictures over the Christmas holiday period. Her talent is evident in every shot. There's many more pictures I could have posted. My policy for this blog has been not to give names or faces but, nonetheless, the quality of the photos is due to her. Many thanks!
(BTW: The cake is from our 2011 Holiday drop-in and was made by a local firm with a unique name -- Girl With the Most Cake . Each layer featured a different filling, vanilla bean, lemon, and Dark Belgian chocolate! It was a work of art and delicious... and a suitable shot for Birthday wishes as well).
So... our children. Husband and I recall that four years ago, we drove to a Ragdoll cat breeder located in Navan, Ontario called Darlin' 'lil Dolls, and saw the kittens for the first time. They were no bigger than our fist as they crawled around exploring the big brand new world that was to be theirs.
Even at this early viewing, their personalities were evident. The white kitten looks peaceful in sleep but when we approached her she gave a little kitten-y 'hiss'. She told us plain as day that .... yes, she was cute, and no, we couldn't hold or touch her. We were entranced. But then we noticed a very laid-back brown kitten who was destined to be shipped to Germany as a show cat. The breeder, using her best marketing strategy, tugged at our heart strings by saying she didn't want to ship him that far and break up the pair. Will Boy yawned and stretched for a scritch... and, presto, he was ours.
We picked up the kittens at Easter at around 8 weeks old. They were still so tiny. We held a naming contest with friends and I nixxed suggestions such as 'Tooth' and 'Claw' or 'Fang' and 'Chew' (not!). Eventually, Will and Grace were proposed as names and they stuck. It took some time for the old one, Spice Girl, to accept the new intruders. She moaned non-stop about the kids for a week but, eventually, she stomped up to the couch, jumped on it, and gave both kittens a bath from head to toe. Neither seemed to mind.
Their personalities grew more evident over time. Will, after an initial scare in surgery when he almost died from an infection (and CH, it is possible to spend $3K on a CAT! He wasn't 'toast'), has turned into a sucker for a roaring fireplace and belly rubs anywhere anytime. He's a big rangy guy whose role in life is to sleep in the cutest position possible. He's a champion at both cuteness and sleeping. He and Spice remain best friends and he protects the asthmatic old girl from too much raucous activity.
Speaking of raucous activity, there's Grace or Brat Girl. She's impossibly cute and downy soft with her white fur and tufts of hair that give her a cute little bed head. But attitude R her. She NEVER sleeps, preferring to patrol the windows all day and keep track of all the household activity inside and the birds at their feeders outside. She nestles for hours in the paper tray in Husband's office as it gives her the best vantage point to keep tabs on birds and Husband.
Her main activity is the demand to go outside where we have a screened-in cat gazebo and cat condo. She can't quite grasp the concept of winter, or cold, or snow or the word 'NO'. She loves to play vulture kitty by jumping from shelf to shelf to the top of a large cabinet separating the livingroom from the TV room. Once up there, she nestles among all the china and glass, and stares down at us watching TV. She 'Requests' that we turn to her favourite TV programs -- TV Fireplace Channel, TV Loon Calling Channel and TV Aquarium/ Lots of Fish Channel -- and she then tries to climb inside the flat screen TV. (Not)
Grace adores Husband and from kitten-hood on has been known to run pell-mell across a room and throw herself at him, where she will hip cuddle with him for hours. Me, she ignores except to escort me to the door in hopes that I will take her outside.
There's a special place in our hearts for our third Ragdoll cat, Spice girl, even though we almost never see her. She sleeps 22 of 24 hours a day. Her health is not good -- she's a fragile, asthmatic, senior cat who snores, sneezes and wheezes full-time. We spend a lot of time and money on meds, steroids, puffers (yes, a cat puffer) and vets. She has gone downhill in the past year but is currently holding her own.
Spice adores us and it's mutual. More puppy than cat, with the sweetest nature ever, she loves us unconditionally even as we give her meds. She pats our faces... she holds paws with us, especially when she's having a bad day. She drinks fresh running water and used to play patty cake in the sink. She and Husband have a 'Good Morning' routine that involves much conversation and coaxing to get her to eat her breakfast. Spice yells at me from the bottom of the stairs when she thinks it's time for bed, then escorts me up the stairs and settles on the bottom of the bed with a sigh of contentment that all is right with her world. And the world is a better place because of her.
Suffice to say, the 'Rags' are helping to make this icy January bearable. There's nothing better than sitting with two cats curled in front of the fireplace and one on the couch as we read newspapers and sip coffee.
So, Happy 4th Birthday Will and Grace! We wish you many more.
Will's favourite pose
Grace, ever hopeful