Houston, we have a kitten
Well, I finally found a breeder with a gorgeous tortie girl! She was immediately available, had great markings, and was owned by a breeder who was kind enough to teach me a few things and hold that sweaty hand of mine. She took some time to explain to me that male Ragdolls can take quite a while to mature and find themselves interested in their girls. She encouraged me to find an appropriate male BEFORE picking up her tortie girl. The stars aligned, and I found "A". "A" has a whole house full of award winners and tried to talk me into a seal colored kitten who would win the room just by walking in. I told her that we really want to play with reds and torties. I think she respected my conviction and after all, what does she have to lose? So she agreed to sell me a little meatheaded red stunner. Sadly, when I let the other breeder know that I had a male lined up, she told me that there were some health issues with the female I had hoped for and she wouldn't be available for breeding. Putting together my start is just like herding cats. Lucky for me, I am an expert cat herder and I'm confident this will all work out just as it should.
With the help of my Mom, who is an expert travel planner, I was on a plane just a few days later. I flew from Oakland in the morning to Houston and then back again, on the couch just before bedtime. "A" met me at the airport in Houston, took me for a drive, and told me a couple hundred more stories about her life in cats. She had me snorting with laughter and told me a story that was so full of sadness that tears started to well up. She's lived a full life and it shows in the quality of her cats. She doesn't mess around, she doesn't pull any punches, and she doesn't waste her time. She is just my kinda gal, for sure.
We talked about cats and breeders and how I would find my ladies. We talked about Europe, and diversification of blood lines. We talked about covid. My Mom would love nothing more than to have to take trip to Prague to fetch me a kitten but well, stupid covid! So I'll keep looking here in the states and "A" will help me. I was so excited to get back to the airport and take my little guy from the backseat to really look at him. She told me all about the grooming he had received that morning and boy did it show! He's got a strong chin, and a broad head, the fluffiest bunnyrabbit coat, and the most soulful blue eyes. I strapped him into a tiny blue harness and tucked him into his soft airplane carrier. But not before she quickly showed me how to "measure" the features of his head with her fingers. I really need to get her to show me again. I felt a little like my head was swimming and I think I missed a lot of important things. Which shampoo was it? Something from New York? Lucky for me, she'll tell me again.
We paid the extra $100 at the counter and headed for security. His carrier went through the X-ray machine with my purse and he came through a scanner with me. They even swabbed my hands looking for chemicals. Apparently terrorists will distract with kitten cuteness?? Windy sat on my lap while I put my shoes back on and just then my phone started going off. My son and my Mom, wanting an update. How timely! Windy and I stopped into a cafe for a quick bite for me and then we scooted over to board our plane. I was in one of the later boarding groups so I was so thrilled when I noticed the empty seat at the front of the plane. It was just past the bend, right where you find yourself looking up toward the end of the plane. You know the spot, where you take a deep breathe and slowly creep forward waiting for overhead bins to fill and people to sort themselves before finally finding your seat against the bathroom wall. But I spotted it! That seat right next to the little boy traveling alone. "Hi Kiddo, can I sit here?" and he shrugged a yes. I situated Windy under the seat in front of me and off we went. A few minutes into the flight was started to cry. I gave in and perched him on my lap. He leaned his big ear into my hand but winced when I rubbed it. He sneezed once or twice. I think the pressure was hard for him. He spent the flight, sitting in my lap, lit only by the movie I was watching on my iPhone. He gazed up at passersby, hoping to get their attention. No one noticed. The kiddo noticed, but he didn't care. Seriously, HOW does a kid not care that he's flying with a kitten??!! The flight attendants noticed, I thought they'd scold me, but they just said he was cute and went back to their chat about restaurants they like. Landing was hard since Windy had to go back in his carrier. This plane was particularly loud but Windy was louder. Finally, we landed. I hotfooted it out to the car, which was right out front since I had splurged on premium parking (it was only four dollars more, lol!). Off we went. WindFall cried some more and realized that if the zipper was open even the tiniest bit he could wedge his big head in and find his way out. So he rode home in my lap. He spent part of the drive perched in my cupped hand, leaning into my sternum, looking out the window at the lights of the bay.
Finally home, he declined any food or water, and was so nervous that he wet the couch where he sat next to me. He had a long rough day, and I totally understand. He's not the first kitten in this house so he's going to have to try harder than that to get me upset. He slept on my pillow that first night and has since realized that the cats like to sleep on the fur blanket at the foot of the bed. Sometimes he tries to sleep with the dog. The dog thinks that's weird. She's just growing out of being a puppy-spaz so she isn't used to the cats liking her. One big happy family. Growing bigger and happier.
I came home last week with my very first pure bred Ragdoll kitten. We adore him already. He's perfect and hilarious and soft as a cloud. It was serendipity that we found him, in just that moment, with just that pedigree. He is quite a WindFall for sure. What a LuckyDay!