Kirby & Marlow. They did not come to us in ideal circumstances. They were the cats we got to ease the grief of loosing my alpha male, Issi ~ a cat I still grieve. He was one of a kind & I was his person.
Two cats more unlike Issi it would be difficult to find. I adore all cats so there was never any question that Kirby & Marlow would be loved & cherished but I had a hard time forgiving them for not being Issi. I missed him so much & neither Marlow nor Kirby was overjoyed at suddenly finding themselves part of this family.
They were older kittens, shelter cats in foster care & had bonded with their carers. They also have a lot of ragdoll in them, a notoriously timid breed; Iss was anything but timid! They were so very frightened of everything & everyone & this being a cat household all everyone wanted to do was cuddle them. To further complicate matters Kirby had a delicate tum & Marlow was so terrified of missing out on his food he gulped everything so fast he made himself sick. They smelt funny. They cried & cringed & were completely neurotic. I was beside myself because they were driving my household crazy.
It took months & months of careful, gentle loving but they have grown into fairly secure, confident cats. They will always have some issues, as do all cats who do not spend long enough with their mothers, but Kirby's tum has settled down & while Marlow will always clean up his plate at twice the speed of light, he no longer gulps.
Shortly after their arrival Kirby, who like his brother could not believe his luck at finding chicken was regularly on the menu here & helped himself to the wishbone my son had left carelessly lying around, ended up at the vets. It was heartbreaking to see Marlow saying goodbye to his brother as we bundled him into a carrier. Even months later they obviously remembered that cats who left in the carrier did not come back. They never expected to see each other again. Marlow was distraught. He moped the entire time we were gone & watching those brothers greet each other in delighted relief made me so glad we had brought both of them home!
Recently it was Marlow's turn to take an unexpected trip to the vet. Yes he was distraught ~ he was in huge amounts of pain ~ but oh, what a difference. There was never any question in either cats mind that Marlow would be coming home again! They will always be a little nervy, chary of strangers, very gentle. Kirby will always be terrified of thunder. Marlow will always cry after me. But they have come a long, long way emotionally. They are far more secure & confident than I ever thought they would be ~ & growing in confidence every day. Ragdolls are slow to mature. Their loving natures have been a blessing. They can't ever replace Issi, a cat I will miss till the day I die, but they are their own sweet, generous loving selves.
Iss had this habit of pushing his face hard into my hand & rubbing his scent glands along my hand. It was an endearing habit & I missed having his big boofy head resting so trustingly in my cupped hand. Neither Marlow or Kirby liked having their face cupped like that. Marlow in particular had a real aversion to it. For a long while it seemed Marlow & Kirby would not develop a little love gift all their own but they have! ☺ They like to stretch up along my body, wrap their arms around my neck, press the whole length of their body against mine & snuggle their head under my chin ~ purring madly! It's nice to be considered as more than just the food source!