By: Elaine Landau
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 2011
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2011
Josephine was homeless, but Ann Baker saw that she was a very beautiful and unusual cat and decided to give her a home. She was a large, white cat with “long hair and pretty blue eyes.” Josephine was a cat with personality plus and when she was bred with another cat named Daddy Warbucks, her kittens proved to be as sweet and even more beautiful than she was. It was the start of a marvelous, popular breed of cat called the ragdoll, “a big hunk of love on four feet.” Believe it or not, this cat got its start in California! Perhaps part of the reason they were dubbed ragdolls is that when you hold them in your arms they “become limp and floppy,” just like a rag doll. They are not a small cat by any means. They are larger than the average house cat and can weigh up to an amazing twenty pounds.
The ragdoll’s blue eyes will melt your heart. They have a soft, silky fur coat that is “fluffy, medium-length,” and their tails look a bit like a puffed out duster. Like the Siamese cat, they are what you would describe as pointed. This simply means that “some areas---or ‘points’—on their bodies are darker than others.” Their points come in an assortment of six different colors and their bodies are “usually ivory, beige, white, or gray.” These love bugs are smart, playful, and enjoy being around people. In this book, the author stresses that ragdolls are not for everyone as they need a lot of attention, proper veterinarian care, and can be rather pricey. You’ll get a few suggestions for names, a bit of “ancient” history about cats, what you’ll need in order to prepare to take your cat home, and learn about how to groom the ragdoll.
If your family is thinking of purchasing or adopting one of these charming, social cats, this book will acquaint the children in the family to the breed. Of course it would also be wise to purchase a breed specific book in addition to this one so you’ll be well versed in the needs of your ragdoll before you bring it home. This book is very well written and researched and the vibrant, animated photographs of the ragdoll are well chosen. My favorite photograph is of one young person holding a ragdoll. I could easily understand not only how large the cat was, but also why they call it a ragdoll. There are a few informative sidebars scattered throughout the book, including one about Matilda, the Algonquin Hotel desk ragdoll. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: This is a fun, interesting introduction to the ragdoll, a “great big beauty” of a cat.