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Wow! So Much News!

Spring on a ranch begins with new life. Right now at 74 Ranch, there is plenty of new life to go around! You can imagine a lot of sleepless nights, cold treks on foot out to the corrall to check the heifers, and many adorable black angus babies dotting the still-yellowed pastures. We took Dusty out for a ride in the big truck to visit the cows. She was thrilled! It never ceases to amaze me how much she loves adventure.

Across the yard at the big house, there's a litter of 6 week old Mini Aussie pups keeping my in-laws awake at night. (I'm imagining our house this time next year, with a litter of tiny Ragdolls tearing around the house mewing up a storm.)

If you follow our Instagram account (@DustyOnTheRanch) then you know we've been very busy around here! There are so many new things happening I hardly know where to start.

Currently the big project we're working on (now that the calving barn is finished) is converting an old galvanized grain silo into a suitable accomodation for our king, Michael. (Michael is currently living in a host home in Durango, CO) This conversion of the grian silo is pretty exciting for us. If only the weather would cooperate, we could pour concrete and get started! But alas, winter persists in tormenting us. Until then I just keep adding to my designs for this awesome new house for my little guy. I think he'll love it! Lots of light and plenty of climbing trees, shelves, windows. It will give him plenty of room to exercise, while having a nice separate sitting area for us to spend time together with him and so he can have supervised visits with the other cats. Pictures will of course be posted when we (finally) get started on the project.

I recently read a passage from a wonderful book that I loved and wanted to share:

"The mark of a serious breeder is her devotion to the welfare of every cat and kitten that passes through her hands, whether those number one hundred or only one. Such a breeder demands of herself an ever-growing knowledge of a species hardly less complex than our own." ~ Anne S. Moore

To this end, I'm excited to report that I recently joined the waiting list for a set of three distance learning courses designed for breeders, hosted by the PawAcademy of in Sweden. The courses focus on cat ownership, cat behavior and psychology, diet, genetics, and breeding. I've been endlessly impressed by the ethics and commitment of many cat breeders in the Netherlands! There is so much to be learned in this field, no matter how long one has been breeding. The next set of courses begins in the fall but it remains to be seen whether I will be able to join, as the waiting list is currently longer than the typical class size. Until then I have a stack of lovely reference materials that I've been enjoying poring over. No matter that I have had cats in my life since the day I was born, there is /always/ more to learn! In particular I'm really interested in cat psychology and behavior. I always find myself observing even the smallest interactions between my cats out of curiosity - "what are they thinking?"

In other exciting news - Dusty will be featured in a very cool Cat Calendar for 2016. Some of her favorite Instagram buddies started a Kickstart campaign to fund the "Catlendar" project and had a fantastic response! The 366 Page-A-Day 2016 CATlendar is currently taking submissions for "Meowdels" who would like to be in the CATlendar. Check out their website and say hello to our friends Benny, Bo, Ares, and Kratos. Maybe order one of their very cool Catlendars for yourself! After all, some of the proceeds go to support shelter cats - so it's for a good cause.

Well, folks!

I think you're all caught up on our life for now. Check back soon for updates on our grain silo conversion and news on Michael's arrival! Later this summer we'll surely have some cat show news for you too.

Until then, from all of us here at RawhideRagdolls and 74Ranch - keep being awesome - we love you!

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