PROFILE: ANN BAKER Riverside, California, USA
Prefix: Raggedy Ann / Ann Baker Exclusives—PART 1 by Lorna Wallace
I was fortunate to have the privilege to meet Ann Baker, the founder of the Ragdoll, in the autumn of 1995 whilst completing our research for The Definitive Guide to Ragdolls. Ann, then aged 77 couldn’t have been more helpful and she happily furnished us with literature so that she could tell her story of how the Ragdolls originated. She conducted the interview with great aplomb, and as she was so obviously totally dedicated to her subject, she happily explained in great detail the genesis of the Ragdoll and the intricacies of her early breeding methods which to say the least, were unusual and somewhat unique.
The following is an extract from Ann Baker’s booklet entitled IRCA and the RAGDOLL DOCUMENTARY published in 1978. It is written in her own words.
“The unique Ragdoll Cat was originated 13 years ago by Ann Baker of Riverside, California. The first named and first born with the Sacred Cat of Burma look was in 1965.This cat is really an act of God, and not what she mated together…. It took seven years of research to prove the Ragdoll and now the set-up of the Ragdoll breed is different than ever before done in the cat world.
Mrs Baker raised only Seal Point cats for seven years which were all true to form and colour, and then discovered that by a reversal process with the original mother produced an over line bred cat which in turn produced a beautiful true lilac color. The same process was tried on the dark side and a black velvet point was developed… all offspring were sterile both lilac and black velvet, but even so all are altered before selling so there can be no claim on the market of lilacs.
There are three prices for Ragdoll cats. One price is for white legs, another price is for the black legs, a third price for mitted feet. The one with the slight white strip down his nose and a white tail tip is the most valuable. The original father looked like this and so do the most valuable of all Ragdoll cats. If you have line bred properly, many 7th generations will look like the original father. The first two types will die out in time as the years go by and the older stock dies out. After that, all Ragdoll cats will have the mitted feet and will be different from other cats in five points, namely non matting fur, large size, limpness when handled, non-fighting disposition and a high tolerance for pain.
It has taken Ann Baker five years of research and two years of legal work to be able to get the Ragdoll cats and the name recognised as a truly authentic breed, like no other. The Ragdoll cats are a phenomenon and not what she mated together. All Ragdoll female cats must be mated to second generation male Ragdoll cats. To mate to any other one gets a good natured cat. Ragdoll cats are different in five ways, three are reproducible and two are not. Ann Baker is the owner of the trademark and no one can use the name Ragdoll unless she gives her written permission.”