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bulletInterview with Carol Cloonan/ Irish Cottage Ragdoll

Name: Carol Cloonan
Location: Oberlin, Ohio
Cattery name: Irish Cottage Ragdoll
Age:62
Year started breeding:1997

Why did you begin breeding cats?
I love kittens. I always have. I was blessed with a large family and have watched my children and grandchildren grow, surrounded by constant surprises. They've enriched my life with endless memories. Pets have been a part of all our lives. We've never enjoyed quiet, never been content without someone or something to love and cherish. After my children moved out and began their own families, there was an emptiness, an uncomfortable silence, a void they left behind. It only made sense then to begin breeding. Kittens offered to me compassion, loyalty, love. They entered my life, enriching it with new memories and surprises, filling my days with the chaos I had become so accustomed to.

Why Ragdolls?
I actually first heard about ragdolls from television. As a family, we always have pets and children crawling about. We are dynamic, very close, loving, playful, compassionate; and, when I began searching for a kitten, I sought one that would reflect these ideals. Ragdolls embodied this essence. Their personality, their temperament, their playful nature: they were perfect for us. Ragdolls are constantly moving, playing; but are perfectly happy to laze about the house and cuddle. They crave attention, snuggling up to my grandchildren who shower them with hugs and kisses as they tote them about the house. They're indoor cats so I never have to worry about losing one of them to the outdoors. My ragdolls are ever by my side, loving and loyal friends who have become a part of my family.

Favorite things about breeding: Kittens, of course! From their first steps, their first cries, I am a mother, a playmate and a friend watching as they learn, as they grow and their own unique personalities emerge. I love seeing the faces of my customers as they hold their kitten for the very first time, watching their smiles, as they become of part our Irish family.

Least Favorite things you like about breeding: I am not too fond of scooping and sanitizing the litter pans throughout the house. It is a long and tiring job; though, thankfully, I have my grandchildren to help me. However, my least favorite part of breeding is the possibility of losing a kitten, of it being harmed or mistreated. This is a very heavy and painful fear, an unfortunate and inescapable part of this profession.

Your favorite things about Ragdolls: I love their personality, how human they are. They communicate and understand me. They love seemingly without limits and are always there to listen; a constant and loyal companion. Ragdolls are soft, gentle, and empathetic; they possess all the qualities that I treasure and admire within people.

Theme of cattery and why you picked that theme: My husband is Irish, always the lucky one; and the culture of his ancestry has become the foundation of our home. Friendship, loyalty and love - the Irish Clodagh. That is how we are, how our family is and how our kittens are. We are a part of one another, brought together by this Irish trinity.

Describe yourself and your cattery: I am a registered nurse, recently retired so I am able to spend even more time with my cats. I have been married to my husband, Buz, for seventeen years. He is an amazing man and has been a constant support and help throughout this experience. He was a barber, and is now recently retired, able to devote himself completely to our family. We spend most of our days between our cats and our children. We have seven (four girls and three boys); and fifteen grandchildren all of whom live close by. The youngest, born just a few months ago, is baby Ben and the eldest is Kristi, nineteen this month. Everyone has remained close throughout the years, and we have all been a part of Irish cottage, helping with the kittens since the beginning. Irish cottage is a cattery founded upon family. We live in a brick ranch house in a country setting. The male cats laze about on the porch, equipped with windows, toys, beds, scratching posts and plenty of lounge room. Downstairs, we have the women who spend their time in our family room. The room across the hall is our 'honeymoon suite.' Once a bedroom, it has been transformed into a breeding room complete with a lion rug, a bed; all the necessities for kitties comfort). The kitten room is upstairs. Once the guest bedroom, it has now become a haven for our new additions. There are two walk-in birthing cages, fitted with rugs, litter pans, food and water dishes and hanging baskets that provide an intimate and relaxing atmosphere for mother and her babies. There is also a space in the room reserved for our growing kittens. There are scratching posts, toys, everything needed to keep our kittens curious and playful as they grow and mature.
Through their own individual charms, Duffy, Palu and Crybaby have become the foundation of the Irish cottage, matriarchs of the cattery. We usually have three cats at a time who rule the house, roaming as they wish, curled up on our beds along with our puppy, a cat herself at heart. In addition, we are always making new additions to our cottage. We were fortunate enough this year to find Furgy, a Harlequin doll from Heidi White who, at nine and a half months old, has been named A supreme grand champion; and Ransdell's Beau Blu of Irish Cottage, from Jean Ransdell, who has been named three time grand champion in three adult shows.
I have to thank my granddaughter, Amy, for accompanying me to many of these shows. Thanks to Scottie Cone for getting me started in the wonderful world of Ragdolls. More thanks to Jean Ransdell for all her help and friendship and allowing me to have my wonderful TRG Ransdells Beau Blu. Special thanks to Heidi White and Angela Turner my (Candadian Connection) for the wonderful girls, LaCreme, Alexandra and of course RW SGC HarlequinDolls Furgy of IrishCottage.

When did you start showing? I first began showing about two years after I bought my first Ragdoll.

What is your favorite thing about showing: Traveling, meeting new people and learning more about the cats I love.

Least favorite things about showing: I have grown to detest flight delays, which keep my cats, in their carriers for unnecessarily long periods.


bulletPictures and interview compliments of and copyright © 2004 Carol Cloonan/Ragdoll International.
May not be reprinted/published without authors express written permission.
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