What to do when you have more time than money. Or, how to adopt a ragdoll.
I was laying in bed last night under my usual blanket of kitties. My very best bedtime snuggler, JackPot, was under the covers, stretched out along my torso, leg stretched over my chest, paw to my heart, licking my chin with his rough grit tongue. I was thinking of the many facebook posts I see each week and the private messages I field, looking for "an affordable" ragdoll. We breeders try to hop onto those threads to help people understand the risks of looking for a bargain ragdoll, the worst of which might be the scammers. They'll have a ragdoll on your doorstep tomorrow if you send them $600 today. I am shocked how many people send that $600. Shocked, I tell you. The other big pitfall is the backyard breeders. I have a friend who recently told me a story about her Pomeranian dog. It has heart disease and isn't expected to live much beyond 2. She bred it herself, with her female and a male that belonged to a friend of hers. They were "both such great dogs!". Neither of them had breeding rights, they just hadn't been altered by their breeders. Neither of them considered that genetic testing might be a wise choice. This cute puppy was the last of it's litter and it was on borrowed time. That's one example of a backyard breeder. Here's another: recently a man in my area was arrested for having more than 150 small fancy dogs (the kind people shoot dog walkers for) in a warehouse. He was performing his own c-sections and hogtying the mama dogs with zip ties so they'd nurse all day and night. He probably sold hundreds of puppies to folks who "needed" a deal before the authorities caught him. There are the other breeders who sell the off-spring of "papered" cats for a bargain but without papers. WHY would someone not bother to spend the 5 minutes and twenty bucks to register a litter of kittens? Because they're doing something naughty and they don't want a papertrail. Maybe they bred father to daughter. Maybe they bred mama over and over and over and don't want to be reprimanded. Maybe they're in breach of the contract they signed when they bought the breeding cats. So many naughty options, none of them acceptable. So when I see folks looking for a bargain, or telling me my price is too high, I cringe. I heard an audio roll on insta the other day, it said something like "just because it's not in your budget doesn't mean it's over priced". We could talk about the cost of great breeding cats, or attending TICA and CFA shows to confirm that you're breeding with the best, or we could talk about the time....OMG the time that goes into raising a cattery. We could also talk about the cost of solid veterinary care, or the cat food, or the cat litter. I spend more than a hundred dollars each month on cat litter alone. Around seventeen hundred dollars a year on little clay pebbles that I throw in the garbage can. It's a lot, and as with all business, these real costs must make their way to the consumer. What should a financially strapped ragdoll lover do then? Well, you could save up. Maybe by the time your name has made it to the top of the waitlist, you'll have saved the amount required. Iced coffee is overrated anyway. OR do what I did to score my boy JackPot, spend your time. Volunteer with your local shelter or rescue. Clean cages, walk dogs, raise foster kittens. Put in the time and the love and the universe will repay you. JackPot is mine after many years of volunteering for the rescue he made his way to as a kitten. I had suffered a loss, needed some kitty loves, heard that a car full of sick kittens arrived, and went to wash faces and give kisses. On that day, I met Jax and it was love at first sight for both of us. Because I had a million years of experience, I was allowed to take that sick critter home and I got first dibs on adopting him. He only cost me $175 and years of volunteerism. I probably donated the cost of a well-bred ragdoll in time not to mention donations at fundraisers, those raffle tickets really add up y'all. But I also made a lot of friends, learned a ton, and made a huge contribution to my community. Amazing cats are out there. Patience is a virtue. Connections count. Don't feed the scammers or the backyard breeders. JackPot sends his love.