Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm getting a cat after almost six years of not having one. But this marks the first time I'll be getting a purebred feline. I saw this one while I was going around Cartimar in Pasay City (one of my present stomping grounds) looking for something new. I've been reading a lot about dog breeds and if you've been following this blog some years back you'd remember me writing about wanting to get a German Shepherd Dog or a Basset Hound (I later narrowed my choice to a GSD). This desire was supplanted later by the uprise in local Yuppie circles' trend of owning a laptop. I looked forward to getting one at the end of last year as a sort of Christmas gift to myself but come October my brother's PC conked out and I was forced to scrounge around for a quick replacement before the new newspaper comic strip deadlines could run me over. To cut the story short, I got a cheap deal with a 17" LCD monitor with the help of my parents. Then during the third week of November I acquired a pair of these really endearing small dogs-cat-monkey rodents, or what's popularly called rats.

Enter a new year and I'm getting my sights back to owning a purebred dog. Not that I'm in a hurry though, we still have two loveable mutts here and my mom would kill me if I added two more. It was a choice between a Siberian Husky and a GSD, a Husky and a Japanese Akita, a Husky and a Chow-chow, a Husky and another Husky, or a Husky and a Lab Retriever. There have been some thoughts about getting a Saint Bernard or a Great Dane but their might be some problems with the food budget. Besides not everyone will agree with me about getting these giants unless we want the neighbors and tenants to avoid our property altogether (imagine trying to explain to these people with utmost futility that these dogs are some of the most harmless breeds ever). Right now I'm leaning toward the Husky/Lab combo. I haven't decided whether to get a Yellow or a Chocolate Lab though. But like I said before I'm willing to wait that out till everything clears out. That doesn't mean I can't own a rare cat breed, right?

I saw this one the other day and I was so intrigued by the tabby patterns on this one (I'm quite familiar with Persian colors and markings but this was really different) and the fact that the kid manning the store told me that this hulking cat was only 11 months old, extremely docile, and an indoor cat only made me want it more. I was actually almost sold on the idea of owning a pair of Sugar Gliders, a baby monkey, a Cloud Rat, or a Palm Civet (Musang) by some unscrupulous pet shop clerks who were all too willing to get me one for the right price when I saw this. I quickly shot the deals on the exotic animals off my mind on the way home. A Persian cat seemingly mated with a feral? Was this legit? Even so I had to find out if this a new breed. After searching through different sites offering information about Persians in the CFA website, I automatically clicked the next name on the list and encountered this description:
When you first see a RagaMuffin from a distance - you will find yourself in awe. There lies a gorgeous, massive cat with large expressive eyes that are just begging for you to come closer. You will not believe its sumptuous color, its soft coat or the substantial size of its body.

RagaMuffins come in all coat colors and patterns, with the pointed and pointed with white colors being registered by CFA but not shown. These are striking cats whether the color is blue, brown tabby with white, tortoiseshell or mink. The coat is medium-long, yet the RagaMuffin is a low maintenance cat. Although the coat is thick and plush, it does not readily mat or clump and is easy to care for.

RagaMuffins are classically large cats, with females averaging between ten and fifteen pounds. Males often weigh between fifteen and twenty pounds. Each is heavily boned, with a tendency toward a fatty pad on the lower abdomen. They are fully mature at approximately four years of age and have a long life expectancy. As a general rule, RagaMuffins are strong and healthy with no known genetic health problems within the breed.

A RagaMuffin's personality is one of extreme sweetness, with traits of those similar to an endearing lap dog. Each one of these cats thrives on attention and it is not unusual for any one of them to greet you at the door, follow you from room-to-room and become your faithful companion. They make wonderful family pets, with so much affection to give everyone in the family, including your other pets.
This was the closest description ever for the cat I've seen earlier. I "googled" the name and came upon descriptions that seemed to confirm my suspicions. Then I saw the same tabby patterns on one of the cats here. The more I read about the breed the more convinced I was that this was what I think it is. Then I came across this picture from the Ultimate Rags Cattery that had almost the same design as the one I saw earlier:

That nailed it. I went back yesterday armed with questions designed to strike me a good bargain with the store owner. I asked him for his last price after interrogating him and insisting that since he hasn't got any pedigree papers to show then at least chop off a substantial amount off his asking price. He asked me how much and I gave him a number 40% cheaper than what he was saying. He probably saw my determination, or desperation, and gave his nod. Wow. I was all smiles when I got home, I don't know if anyone noticed I was a lot chipper than usual. I made a down payment earlier today effectively boxing out other would-be buyers interested in him. Hehe.

Not that this is confirmed by experts and breeders in cat forums to be a 'muffin' (yet) but if you do read the breed standard here and compare it with the pictures below you'd agree with me it's not all wishful thinking and maybe I really did strike a homerun with this one:

One thing's for certain though, whether this guy's a 'muffin' or not, he's still a beauty and I'm really happy to have him home by next week. I haven't yet settled on any particular name but I'm leaning closer to "Mark Gilroy Smythe"* or "Carl Graham Smythe," and "Suggs" or "Chaz" for short. Should I include a regal title like "Lord" or "Duke"? What do you think?

* I know "Gilroy" does seem a bit off but take a gander on what's behind it: 'From an Irish surname, either Mac Giolla Ruaidh, which means "son of the red-haired servant", or Mac Giolla Rí, which means "son of the king's servant".' The second description's got a real good score on what I believe in. Feh. I'm still thinking about it anyway.

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