How it all started....
Kathy Baker! That's who I blame , when I’m trying to relax and then have one of our kittens nibbling on my feet, or one of our older Ragdolls demanding attention, and placing herself right in front of my view of the telly.
It’s a typical story of “I’m not a cat person”. My family used to breed West Highland White Terriers, and I knew from a young age that I was into dogs. Twelve years ago, I got my Barney. He was a Golden Retriever, with a beautiful temperament. He wasn’t on the active register, and I had to fight and have various tests that cost a fortune to have him added. Barney’s pedigree was full of Grand Champions, because of this and his nature I wanted to breed him and everyone wanted one of his puppies. About 2 years later my friend brought Cassie, a perfect mother for Barney’s pups. Cassie kept coming into season at different times, but Barney just didn’t have a clue what to do about it, no matter how many times Cassie showed him! He was nearly four when I noticed that he kept getting short of breath, so I took him to the vets, and recieved the devastating news that he had a severely enlarged heart. This was ironic , as he was so loving towards everyone. I had people offering to help him father in a way that wouldn’t stress his heart, but there was no way I could guarantee that his heart problem wasn’t hereditary, and I wouldn't put anyone else through the torture of watching their dog fade.
Even though he was very ill, I remembered and always will the pleasure and fun we had together, he made it to the advanced level on the "Good Citizen Dog Scheme" and even did scent work! We put so much time and effort into the certificates, rosettes and training, we would sweat, laugh, cry and pant overour achievements. We had so many good times together, the long walks and the dips in the lake. He was a Golden Retriever, but I don't think he retrieved anything I ever threw for him, I used to have to go and get it, and he would watch! So I suppose he was just Golden.Eventually he got so ill, the vet said preferably no walks, or very short ones. No chasing or running and "try not to let him get excited or out of breath". His quality of life was fading fast. Then due to thunder storms frightening him to the point he destroyed the house, the vet advised tranquilizing him, all of the time. I didn't care what he did to the house, but it wouldn’t have been fair to him to have to be drugged all the time. I owed him more than that. I had to put him 1st and wave him over the rainbow bridge. It broke my heart. I vowed I would never get another dog, as no dog could ever be him.
A few months later whilst visiting an old friend I had known for many years, called Kathy Baker, the most beautiful animal I have ever seen walked into the room. It was a Seal Colour Point Ragdoll cat called Cleo. I asked her what breed it was, because with those stunning blue eyes, it was clearly a pedigree. She did tell me, but by the time I got home I couldn’t remember the name. I eventually remembered it was something like doll and I searched the web until I found the cats I was looking for. My partner, Nick kept reminding me of all the reasons I didn’t like cats. That I'd often said “they’re selfish” etc. I started just browsing at ads for them and fell more and more in love with their beauty. So I thought I’d read about them, and that would remind me why I don’t like cats. This breed seemed like no other, gentle, kind, affectionate and docile. I was sold. We then went and brought our 1st female Ragdoll, and only a week later went back and got her sister. I brought two sisters so they wouldn’t miss home so much. A couple of months later I got another three girls, and eventually got our beautiful stud boy. As time passed I realized the house wasn't empty anymore, I was tripping over cats instead of Barney! Kathy Baker unfortunately passed away on 20/06/2010 the day after her 56th birthday. Such a tragic loss, but when I look at our girls and their kittens, she will live on forever in every kitten born, because without her, I never would have even known what a Ragdoll is. Thank you Kathy for all the memories, and the beautiful cats you introduced me to, that keep me company and bring so much pleasure. You will be sorely missed by your husband Gary, Children Vicky and Alex, your grandchildren Charlotte, Jason, Tommy, Carrie, Lily-Rose, Miles and Karis and everyone else whose life you touched, including mine.
My Barney Boy
Truly my best friend. Now he can finally chase the cats and dogs, such a shame it had to be over the rainbow bridge.
*Gillingham** Kent * * UK * * Mobile 07769606096 *
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Last updated 22/11/16
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