HISTORY OF THE RAGDOLL
Chapter One The Beginning
The beginning of the Ragdoll breed is clouded in mystery. In talking to
Denny Dayton, and reading many of the letters from Ann Baker to Blanche Herman,
it appears that Ann began trying to develop the Ragdoll Breed sometime in
1963. Ann borrowed from the Pennels a cat that had the appearance of the
Sacred Cat of Burma. She bred this cat to Josephine and Daddy Warbucks was
born. Ann also acquired Buckwheat who was a daughter of Josephine from the
Pennels. Ann mated Daddy Warbucks to Josephine and produced Fugianna. Bare
in mind that NONE of these were Ragdolls, but would become the foundational
stock in the breeding for the Ragdoll. It is from these three cats Daddy
Warbucks, Fugianna and Buckwheat that Ragdolls are descended from.
Over the future years their offspring would become known for their good
temperament, large size, non-matting coat, and striking appearance. At this
point Josephine passes from the scene, and we hear no more about her. It
is now her three children that play the major role of creating the Ragdoll
It is at this time that Ann decides to split her two girls into the light
side and the dark side. Fugianna would become the light side and Buckwheat
who was very dark and thick furred would become the dark side. Ann mates
Daddy Warbucks to Buckwheat and they produce the first litter of Ragdolls.
Ann names the two solids Gueber & Mitts and the two pointed were a seal
mitted male named Kyoto and a seal colorpoint named Tiki they were born in
the summer of 1965. Kyoto & Tiki are the first cats that Ann registers
With that in mind it would be impossible for any Ragdolls to have been sold
in 1966 or even 1967. During these years she would have been increasing her
breeding stock during these years. The first records that I can find of the
Ragdolls being sold is in early 1969 when the Daytons bought a breeding pair
of Ragdolls from Ann Baker, they were named Buddy & Rosie.
It is from this small beginnings by the Daytons that most of our current
Ragdolls trance their ancestry from. During the years 1969-1973 the Daytons
try very hard to work with Ann to help promote the Ragdoll breed, but Ann
wants to retain total control (In my opinion Ann is afraid of losing control
of what she sees as her gold mine, and is afraid that if it grows to fast
she is in danger of losing control.) In 1971 in an attempt to retain control
over the growing number of owners and breeders she creates IRCA and comes
up with the idea of franchising catteries which she felt would provide her
with a study flow of money coming in.
Many of the early owners and breeders rebelled against such an idea and
wanted no part of such an arrangement. The Daytons who had bought their Ragdolls
prior to this time, refused to go along with this new concept. As a result
several owners decided that they no longer wanted to be involved with Ann
and her Ragdolls.
In September 1971 a lady by the name of Opel Jensen who owned 5 female Ragdolls
that she had bought from Ann decided that she had had enough, and wanted
out, and offered to sell all 5 of them to Denny & Laura, who agreed to
buy all 5. In Feb 1972 a gentleman by the name of Bob Minter who had bought
Pancho Villa and Melonie wanted out and offered to sell both of them to the
Daytons who agreed to buy them.
At about this same time the Dayton agreed to buy Pecos Bill and Barbie from
Nancy & Phil Delano. At the peak Denny said that he had 18 Ragdolls and
they were all Raggedy Ann Ragdolls from Ann Baker. Ann claims that Denny
was the first Ragdoll breeder, one thing for sure is that Denny was the first
Ragdoll breeder to stick with it, and for this we will be eternally grateful.
It was hard getting started in the early years with a new unknown breed,
but in 1974 Denny put an ad in the Los Angeles Times advertising their Ragdolls,
and you might say that the floodgates really opened, and for a long time
the Daytons were unable to keep up with the demand for their Ragdolls.
Pictures and text copyright © 2006 Wain Pearce, General
Historian / RFCI.
May not be reprinted/published without authors express written permission.
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