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    Three Men and a Ragdoll

    By John Chen–

    Just like that it’s Fall 2020 and we haven’t made a meaningful dent in the fight against COVID-19. But I can’t complain. During this time, I have taken several road trips, both long and short, played lots of outdoor individual sports, supported local businesses, learned to make a mean meatloaf, and started to go to the gym since the re-opening. What’s left to do?

    We got a kitten! It’s been years since our three boys Midnight, Max, and Trevor passed away. We adopted them as adult cats from our local animal shelter and they enriched our lives greatly during their eight-year stint with us. It wasn’t easy letting them go and we decided that we weren’t ready to emotionally invest in more pets.

    That was nearly 10 years ago. 10 years without responsibility and unconditional love. We missed it. The emotional and health benefits of owning a pet, especially a cat, have been well documented. Seeing many of our friends happily adopting pets on Facebook was the final straw. Let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger and a kitten would do wonders for our sanity during this long, extended pandemic.

    We decided on a kitten because we wanted a little energetic fuzz ball and to be a part of his growth. Although we’ve had many cats over the years, they all came to us as adults. A kitten requires special care and attention as well as extra responsibilities. We spent many late nights watching kitten instructional YouTube videos and Googled animal shelters and cat societies, as well as cat breeds and breeders. We wanted to make sure we got the right kitten for us and that we could provide the best environment for our little addition.

    Drum roll, please! We got a rare mitted, mink ragdoll kitten whom we named Andy after the ragdoll Raggedy Andy. After much research, we realized a ragdoll is the best choice for our lifestyle and personalities. Ragdolls are super chill, people-oriented, and are general love bugs. They are also the klutz of the cat world. This was our first foray into raising a purebred, so we’ve taken every precaution. We’ve completely kitten-proofed our house, purchased only the highest-rated kitten food and toys, and diligently swept and dusted every corner to ensure cleanliness. We were ready to spoil our little boy!

    We were nervous the first couple of days with Andy in his new environment. I stayed up until 3 am playing and cuddling with him until he finally fell asleep. Andy was a little trooper, despite the six-hour car drive and being plucked out of his familiar surroundings, he made our home his forever home in no time. He is energetic, playful, clumsy, and a general riot! Andy follows us around and loves attention, and demands to sleep in our arms. In fact, he is playing in my arms and pressing all types of keys as I write this article. I am just glad he didn’t “accidentally” press delete. I am not sure why cats are fascinated with laptops and computer keyboards, but nowadays, as soon as I sit down and open my laptop, Andy is on it like “white on rice.”

    In his new home, Andy has three cat dads—me, my husband, and my “little bro” buddy—looking out for him, catering to his needs and loving him. We call ourselves “three men and a ragdoll” and even started an Instagram profile for our little boy by the same name. In a short, few weeks, Andy has provided us with hours of entertainment and filled our hearts with a sense of purpose during this pandemic. We are very lucky to have him posturing, nibbling, racing, cuddling, purring, and pawing at all hours of the day!

    John Chen, a UCLA alumnus and an avid sports fan, has competed as well as coached tennis, volleyball, softball and football teams.

    Published on November 5, 2020