Rightpet

Boo Beau

RagaMuffin

Overall satisfaction

2/5

Acquired: Breeder (professional)

Gender: Male

Appearance

5/5

Intelligence

N/5

Friendly with owners

4/5

Good with dogs

3/5

ActivityLevel

3/5

Appropriate vocalization

3/5

Playfulness

N/A

Healthiness

5/5

Easy to groom

5/5

Need for attention

N/A

My $800 cat

By

South Carolina, United States

Posted Dec 19, 2012

My mother-in-law (bless her heart) wanted to give me a special gift. I had long admired the RagaMuffin cat and she decided to get one for me. She picked out the closest breeder (100 miles away) online and bought me a male cat for my birthday. As much as I appreciated the thought, I did not want this cat. I was just not in a good place to take on one more animal that needed me. My husband gave me a guilt trip and I took the cat.

First, the breeder did not want me to have the kitty until he was 7 months old. This was very disappointing. This was so he would learn about how to be a good cat from his momma. Next, when we arrived at the breeder's home, the house smelled HORRIBLE. It was an overwhelming smell of ammonia and male cat. They seemed to be strange people who seemed to be fixated on their cat's schedule. We needed to be there at a certain time and only stay for a certain length of time because of the schedule. They would not allow us to meet the kitty's mother. It wasn't a good time they said.

Boo was gorgeous though. He was a BLUE RaggaMuffin. He was so soft and fluffy that despite some misgivings, I decided to go ahead and keep him.

They gave a me a homemade set of instructions that were incredibly detailed and long. It had everything from what to feed him and how often to how to treat him. I had at least 10 pages of instructions.
Examples:
Food:
1. Feed FRESH, free-range, organic chicken to him 2 times a week. The meat had to be cut with a certain type of knife in a certain direction for optimal nutrition.
2. Feed FRESH tuna a couple times a month. Same thing about cutting in the correct direction.
3. Dry food was some brand I never could find.
4. Water had to be supplemented with vitamin drops and a special flavoring-both very expensive.
5. I needed to grow his catnip and give it to him fresh.

Treatment:
1. Do not let the kitty "knead" on you. They believed this was highly destructive and mentally wrong for a kitty to "knead" on a person. This is why I had to wait until he was 7 months old.
2. Keep in one room and do not introduce him to any animals in the house for about a month. Then the introductions had to be done in a certain way.
3. I was to be the only one to handle him.
4. He had to have a special kind of scratching post/cat tree. These were found on the internet and quite costly.
5. He was to be brushed daily-an event that should only take about an hour.
6. His teeth needed to be brushed daily, with a certain toothbrush and paste, and done in a certain way.
7. I needed to buy a plug-in that excreted certain pheromones-the plug in itself cost $100 plus the pheromones were about $10+ dollars every month. I only did that for a while.
OK-it went on and on and on for a lot of pages.

By the way, it turned out that Boo hated fresh chicken and he hated any kind of sea food-fresh or canned. (I know...I tried) In fact, we bought him some top of the line cat food and he ended up preferring the basic, cheap food we bought our barn cats. He would not eat fresh catnip and preferred dried catnip from the pet store. Being so busy, it was difficult to brush Boo as much as I needed to brush him. He did not like being brushed. In the end, when his hair got too long, we would give him a bath and then shave it off. He wasn't bald! We would just get off the length. He actually seemed to prefer that. Otherwise, his long, soft hair would get matted.

In the end, I spent 4 years thinking I was abusing this cat. He was a weird cat and not playful. I thought he was strange because I hadn't done something right. Then, one day, after listening to another conversation about "how I was distressed about how I must have messed up Boo and now he was not a nice kitty" my son said something to me that made me stop and think. He basically pointed out the 10 pages of instructions for a CAT that was supposed to be FUN and PLAYFUL (which he wasn't). Then he reminded me of the weird breeders and their smelly home and said thoughtfully, 'perhaps it wasn't you all along. After all, they had him for 7 months so he would be a good cat. They were the ones who probably made him weird.' It was an 'ah ha!' moment all around.

Well, we were moving from WA state to the east coast and I had a hard decision to make. Would I take Boo with us? My family stared at me and asked, 'can you imagine travelling with Boo across the country?' Uh...no. He was emotionally fragile and strange as it was. In the end, I gave him to a friend who has about 10+ cats. That $800 cat now sits on an ironing board in her craft room and looks out the window. No one bothers him. Every once in a while, she takes him to the vet and gets him shaved. He uses a communal kitty box. He lets her pick him up every now and then and she enjoys his softness.

I suppose the best advice I have is to go with your gut. Don't take a cat-even if the money has already changed hands-if something doesn't seem right. Would I get another RaggaMuffin? Yes, someday, in the future I believe I will. I think it was like my son said...the breeders. All of my other cats have been happy and content. I think if I find a good breeder who lets me have him when he's a kitty and I take care of him like I believe is best....I think my future RaggaMuffin will be just as happy and content.

I still feel guilty about the money my mother-in-law spent and all the money we spent trying to make this cat happy. But, as my husband will remind me, at least we aren't spending any money on him now.

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