This is their story.
Cat #1 Teepee
Teepee was a rescue, who came from a place where there were a dozen other cats in one house, where access to the foodbowl was decided by sheer badassedness. She was a little kitten, who lived on bread moistened with milk among other things. Her name came from the fact that I had a tarantula at the time, which she expressed great interest in. I promise that this will be the one and only time that I post a picture of a tarantula on this blog. Yes, that is my real hand with a real spider that size on it.
I told her that she wouldn't be worth more than toilet paper if she tried to get it, hence TP, or Teepee. We raised her, and she was an absolute psycho - no correlation. She broke glasses to get our attention, mercilessly hunted our other cats, tried to break into bird cages, and thought that the best way to wake her owners up at the crack of dawn was to push things off the night table. Onto our heads. Eventually, we found her a nice, quiet farm to settle down on, which she warmed to immediately.
"I expect you to die, Mr.Bond"
Cat #2 Mishka
Mishka is a ragdoll. He was kept in a cardboard box with his brothers and sisters until they were all sold. He speaks his mind, which usually starts with "I want.." or "You should...". He lives for attention, but will sit just out of reach so you have to come to him, and he isn't satisfied with being pet unless you maintain eye contact with him and talk to him while petting, and is unable to fully enjoy the experience if there are any other cats in the room. The emotional needs are strong with this one. Mishka also spent the first year of his life not knowing how to roll onto his back other than by doing a forward somersault.
He has no defensive instincts whatsoever. Oncoming traffic is just a new best friend waiting to happen, so we keep him indoors most of the time. Oddly enough, he takes leashes well, so we occasionally walk him on a leash, but he does tend to forget which house he came from.
Cat #3 Loco
Loco was another rescue from some students who kept her locked in a closet with their little lapdog because their apartment was not pet friendly. They told us that they only fed her when she asked for food, and they must have been against animals on furniture, because it took her months to be okay sitting on the same couch or bed as a human being. Heck, I think it was a month before she was comfortable in the same room as a person. She has since bounced back. She can be vocal as well, and is strong willed when she has set her mind to something. We call her our fluffdozer.
Ragdolls have great personalities, so laid back, so easy going. I grew up with Siamese, so this is the opposite end of the spectrum for what I think of when I reference the concept of 'cats'. Siamese are vengeful, spiteful beings. When I was little and we took a holiday, the cats would always leave presents on our beds and chairs, letting us know exactly how they felt about our absence.
The Great Catnap Duel of '09
Mishka and Loco had a couple litters of kittens before we fixed them both. Here are some pictures of kittens which we had. If they warm the cockles of your heart, the donation button is to the upper right :P
While we're on the topic of kittens, we had one near disaster. Loco had a litter of kittens a week and a half before we moved into our house. Moving, as we found out, is very stressful for her. She got colitis and was vomiting blood and not eating for nearly two weeks before and after the move. As a result, she abandoned her kittens, and we stepped up to parent for her. It was an adventure - feeding five kittens, each four times daily. I know now why cats evolved six nipples - because when there are only two bottles available, the kittens begin brawling like their life literally depends upon getting to the bottle first. It was ugly, we got scratched up every time we fed them, and it was impossible to fend them all off with one hand while making sure that the kitten you were feeding got their fair share. They attacked our hands, arms, and faces out of desperation. On the plus side, we had them litter trained at four and a half weeks old. They struggled at first with wet food, and it was weeks for them to transition from sucking to chewing. What resulted in the meantime was a pack of 'meat-faced' kittens, because they just shoved their heads into the food and sucked out the juice. It was grotesque. Here are pictures of cute kittens.
This is how ragdolls sleep. The mother, the father, all the little fluff monsters slept like this. They are completely pose-able when asleep. We did kind of abuse that power in order to create pictures of face-melting cuteness which were then attached shamelessly to our ads.
Here we see ragdolls in top form - yawning, or still asleep. They get along pretty well in groups, and Mishka is really social. The kittens were all his little buddies, and he was depressed for months after they left. Depressed to the point of not eating, and losing weight for months after they left. Loco on the other hand bounced back within a week. Kind of tells you about the division of labour in that relationship.
This is, bar none, the cutest picture which exists of a sad kitten.