author Jessica Woodhead iCandy RagaMuffin lover
When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I begged my dad to let me get a cat. As a man who was raised on a farm where cats lived in the barn for the purposes of catching rodents, he was not too keen on the idea. Thanks to some family friends who wholeheartedly supported my deep desire for a cat, they helped me wear down my dad and we adopted a black and white tuxedo kitten from the ASPCA who I named Mittens. While Mittens was not my first pet – RIP Spot the parakeet – she was quickly a beloved member of the family. She had her quirks, and had she not met a coyote on one of her nighttime adventures, I believe she would have lived many years past the 17 we had with her.
I went many years without another cat. She was my most important childhood pet, and I didn’t realize that it took me so many years to make peace with her sudden passing. I finally decided I was ready to fill the cat-shaped hole in my heart and began searching for cats that would be a good fit. I looked at local rescues and while I met many sweet animals I’d love to have given a home to, they didn’t quite fit that place in my heart.
It was at this time I stumbled across iCandy RagaMuffins. At this point, I had a daughter, Ellie, who was roughly 2.5 years old, so I was looking for a particular personality in a feline. Muffins sure did come across as an excellent fit – their tendencies for being laid-back and patient being major selling points with my rambunctious red head.
I pulled the trigger and reached out to Sara for a kitten – and got one! We brought home our little Teddy Bear and fell in love. Sadly, however, Teddy Bear was not long for this world – at barely 6 months of age, he developed FIP – something very rare and virtually impossible to cure or catch early – and he passed. The cat-shaped hole in my heart was briefly filled and ripped open once again. At this point I had 2 options – I could get a refund, or try again with another kitten. In our brief time with Teddy Bear, I knew a RagaMuffin was the perfect fit for us. So we patiently waited for another kitten.
Enter Pickle – our sweet-faced orange and white bundle of RagaMuffin love. Quite literally from day one, he has been the social butterfly and people-lover I’d never known a cat could be. He showed virtually no fear being in a new environment and instead of hiding, Pickle made the rounds jumping from lap to lap his first night home – after escaping his quarantine – demanding to be loved. Little has changed since. He still very much believes that anyone coming to our home must be there solely to see him and demands their attention.
Little did I know his heart truly would lie with my daughter’s. Just as feisty at 3 as she was at 2, I can’t even begin to recall how many times I’d plead with her to please be careful with the kitty – not to squeeze him too hard, don’t forget to hold his bottom half when picking him up (as if she could – he’s always been a giant!), and for pete’s sake just to be gentle with him. But Pickle was more than happy to be held hostage and aggressively loved and still does to this day. Ellie has always been an early riser, and Pickle will often come wake me early in the morning to let me know when she’s up. She will pick him up, drag him around, squish and squeeze and hold him hostage until he finally decides he’s had enough and wriggles free and then hardly 10 minutes later, he’s back for more. At this point I’m sure he’s either hopelessly dumb or blissfully in love with his favorite person. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is very much the latter. He looks for her when she’s gone, runs to meet her when she gets home, sleeps with her at night, endures all of her aggressive affection, hides outside the bathroom door to sneak attack and play with her, listens to her when she reads, and is in every respect the one who has made a cat-shaped mark on her heart. We simply adore our Pickle. He has so fully permeated our hearts that to think of a time when I won’t be grumbling or laughing at his antics – he is quite the mischievous comedian – is a thought I can’t bear. To say he is a perfect fit for us is a drastic understatement. We have endless nicknames for him, and often insert his name into any silly song we can think of. I love nothing more than seeing Ellie grow up with such a devoted fluffy friend, and my joy over his immense love for her is immeasurable.