My Sentimental Heart.
I'm sort of sentimental. My very first best friend was a grey tabby born in my closet when I was five. I was the single child of a single mother and we moved around a fair amount when I was a child. Ziggy was my constant. I dressed him up, ditching all of my dolls in favor of him, carried him while I rollerskated, cried into his fluffy ruff when I was sad, and told him all of my secrets. I used to tickle the tip of my nose with the end of his fluffy tail to distract me from stressful things. We read together and watched Laverne and Shirley together. I sung to him and about him constantly and he never tired of my constant chatter. He just slept on my head and purred. Each time we'd move, he'd loaf on a pillow over the emergency brake as we traveled down the highway to our next new home. Together we were safe and happy no matter where we were. At fifty years old, I still think of him. I still feel him with me when I snuggle a cat, and I still know that I'm safe and happy no matter what might be happening around me. To say that cats make me happy would be an understatement. And maybe that's why I take breeding so seriously. I want everyone to have that amazing experience. I want everyone to have a kitty to whisper their secrets to. We all deserve to feel safe and happy and I'd love to help everyone feel that way.
When I'm raising kittens, whether they're feral alley cats, abandoned accidental kittens, or fancy ragdoll cats, I am always thinking of what makes a great companion cat. I think of Ziggy and of those who followed him: Algernon the squirrel hunter, Humphrey the squishy lover, Fritz the kitten nanny, Sparrow my sons best friend, Flirt the best boyfriend ever, Archie the sassy punk, Jackpot the gentle giant, Cherry, Juliet, LuckyStar, etc. They are all connected to every kitten I raise here. Just as every person who has contributed to the lineage of my ragdolls is connected as well. We are all connected.
When I'm bathing a cat, preparing for a show, I'm thinking of the breeder who trusted me with their kitten. I think of the breeders before, the deep pedigrees reaching back to Ann Baker. I'm such a sentimental dork that when my cats win, I want to tag every breeder in their pedigree so we can all celebrate together. Because it's not my win. It's theirs. In fact, when I message them to announce a win, I always feel a little silly when they congratulate me. Sure, I feed that cat, I bathed it, and I handed over my credit card to share a hotel room with it. But it wasn't my blood sweat and tears that went into bringing it into this world.
Currently, I'm on baby watch. My own girl, Stormy, is minutes or days away from bringing more precious babes into this world. This one is my blood sweat and tears. Stormy was born here, a product of a pairing I chose. She's a quadruple grand champion who has traveled the Western states with me. And still, I want to call her "grandparents" and tell them that babies are coming. Will they care? I don't really know. But I care for them. I care about them. Stormy comes from a long line of amazing torties and she's even attended shows with a couple of cousins! And, you guys, I actually got more than a little choked up when she earned her CFA title along side one of those cousins with her Papa's breeder standing by clapping. It's dumb right? Maybe. But I can only be me. Cat crazy and sentimental. I have deep respect for those who have built the lines upon which I now hang my hat. Decades of work laid out by men and women, let's face it mostly women, so that I can have the privilege of adoring these cats. Decades of thought and strategy so that I can have an occasional win. It's amazing. And I never lose sight of it.
I also never expect to win (y'all I sleep buried in ragdolls, I already won). Sure, I like to win, I'm not THAT weird. But I also love it when other people win. Because truly, all of these cats are related, and one win is good for us all. We learn from each win or loss and we make the breed better with that information. Someone recently said something about the "showing up" being the hard part. Honestly, it's my favorite part. I love to show up and commune with the other ragdoll breeders. I love to learn what they know. I love to hear what they think. I love to share the love of the breed and of the cat. I struggle with breeders who don't really seem to love the cat, those who seem more money driven or fame driven. It hurts my little sentimental heart. Does money matter? Of course it does, eggs are eight bucks a dozen! But do I do it for the money? Nope. I do it for the love. I do it for the fun. I do it for the joy. I do it to honor those who've come before, whether that's a cat or a breeder.
I intentionally chose my foundation, the beginning of My Lucky Day, for diversity. I hope to make proud those who built it for me. CajunDolls, Calirags, Flashy Ragdolls, D's Jewels, Rags2Riches, Emily's Ragdolls, Raggledazzle, RazlDazlDolls, Wanderduene, EriaPro, Dollhouse, Soulmates, Magic Garden, Koci Eden, Glassrosens, NaorahDolls, Darlinlildolls, Maszkotka, Riterags, Potop, Willowtree, MilkyLand, Amicomollis, Koc-Pol Cat, Blossom, USA Purrs, Eulalie, HorizonDolls, Perfect Change, Eleedolls, Born to be mine, Keepurrs, CattyDolls, Ragissa, Ameleony, Allstarrags, Marlcreek, Echoglen, AmorusAngels, Diamond Dolls, Fairytaleragdol, Ragbenchers, Supurrsonic, Rockinblues, and Rock Creek. AND that's just a start!! I am ridiculously blessed to have amazing cats born from amazing cats. When I make a pairing, when I look at pedigree, health, DNA test, temperament, when I help someone choose their forever kitten, ALL of these people and more stand behind me. All of these people built this gorgeous, healthy, adored creature. And I try to honor each and every one of them in every cattery choice I make. Do I take it seriously? Yeah I do, because I'm sentimental and it's important. So laugh if you will, but my sentimental heart is the best compass a girl could have.