breed and how they came into being. When I first read about
this I was drinking a can of Diet Coke and almost ended up
with it all over the monitor. I have a feeling you'll find
it as amazing and amusing as I did.
I'm going to break the story up into stages, even though it
is interwoven. The reason I am doing this is that the story
of the creation of the Ragdoll breed is convoluted to say
the least. It took me a few reads to really understand what
happened. So here it is...a short history of the Ragdoll
Cat, and how they came into being.
There once was a woman named Ann Baker and she lived in
California. She had two cats, Josephine and Daddy Warbucks.
These two cats were to become the sires of a great breed of
cats. Without going into excruciating details about it,
Daddy Warbucks lived up to his name and eventually with
Joesphine's kittens and his genes a new breed of cat was
Ann Baker called them Ragdoll cats and then trademarked the
name, demanding royalites from other breeders using the name
"Ragdoll" for cats.
She started a cat registry in 1971, after breeding more
Ragdoll cats from Daddy Warbucks, called The International
Ragdoll Cat Association and claimed that the breed differed
in 5 ways from other breeds of cats:
1) They were relatively large;
2) They are less sensitive to pain;
3) They lack skills for self preservation;
4) Their fur does not mat together; and
5) Their bodies go limp when you hold them.
This was all very sane, but it didn't stay that way for
It's an X-File!
In a move worthy of Fox Mulder she started
making very, very unlikely claims about the reason for the
Ragdoll's traits. Some were out of this world. Literally.
The Ragdoll Cat is not what you think it is, according to Ann Baker, who
claimed that the genetics of the Ragdoll cat were from part
of a secret government experiment in genetics...and that
aliens gave her the breed. There were even more claims than
this, but I don't know how you can possibly top that.
Despite her eccentricities Ann Baker was credited with
setting the standard look and temprement of the breed. She
was not the breeder that brought the Ragdoll cat
international recognition, though. Denny and Laura Dayton
are responsible for that happening.
While Ann Baker was taking a walk on the wild side they were
setting up the Ragdoll Fanciers' Club International, and it
was they that managed to get the breed registered with the
NCFA, making the breed a recognised purebred.
You can think what you like. Maybe Daddy Warbucks was
kidnapped by aliens and then became the father of a whole
new breed of cats. Maybe it was hard work and careful
breeding. I'm leaning toward the latter, personally. But if
you see a flying saucer above your house, and are wondering
why it is there, it could just be aliens wanting the return
of their genetic cousin. You never know...
By Trudy McDonald