GC, BW, RW, AM Ragtime Cats Arden Forest

Ragtime Cats RagaMuffins
Published June 2014

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GC, BW, RW, AM Ragtime Cats Arden Forest, bred and shown by Laura Gregory, is the first RagaMuffin in CFA to be a regional winner in Championship.  "Arden" is also the first RagaMuffin to earn an agility title in CFA. This breed history-making boy has both beauty and brains!   This is his story . . .

GC, BW, RW, AM Ragtime Cats Arden Forest
Photo by Tetsu

Ragtime Cats RagaMuffins

My name is Laura Gregory. Ragtime Cats RagaMuffins is a small cattery located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I was a cat lover as far back as I can remember, but I began my love affair with showing cats as a pre-teenager.  Our family rescued a pregnant domestic longhair who gave birth to three kittens.  We found one a home, and kept the other two. 

I read every cat magazine I could find and discovered they contained listings of upcoming cat shows.  Whenever there was a show in our state, I would contact the entry clerk and obtain a show flyer.  My wonderful mother finally agreed that we could take our three beautiful longhair HHP’s to a show just over two hours away — and I was hooked.  To this day, whenever my mom says anything to me about cats shows, I remind her that it is really all “her fault” for taking me to those early shows.  <G>  Of course, she enjoyed it also, and became just as defensive when she thought our beautiful cat should have placed higher.

Eventually, things like high school, college, and our HHP’s getting up in age took me away from showing, but once out of school I again adopted a darling domestic shorthair.  I quickly recalled all the fun I had at cat shows growing up so once again I began showing.  There was a small local cat association called UFO (United Feline Organization) that accepted a breed called the RagaMuffin.  I was fascinated with the breed. 

I was introduced to Janet Klarmann of Encore Cats RagaMuffins, and fell in love with my first show boy, Encore Cats Stradivari, a blue lynx point male. Ragtime Cats was officially founded in 1999, with Encore Cats Stradivari as our first RagaMuffin and stud. 

Very soon Strativari was followed by Encore Cats Maria (seal point & white) and Encore Cats Allegra of Ragtime Cats (Arden’s great-grandma).

While the RagaMuffins were accepted in Championship in UFO, they were still working to gain full status in ACFA, and were not yet being considered in CFA.  I quickly joined the team working for the advancement of RagaMuffins. 

NW, QGC Encore Cats Stradivari of Ragtime Cats, LA

ACFA Acceptance

It was not long before the RagaMuffin was being considered for championship status in ACFA.  Janet and I loaded up the van and made the trek from Florida to South Dakota with 18 cats & kittens to present to the ACFA board.  It was August of 2000, and while driving through Iowa, our van's air conditioning quit, leaving us rushing along in 100+ degree temps, and doing everything we could to keep young kittens from overheating along the way.  We pulled into our hotel none too soon and rushed everyone into the cool lobby.  While the van’s air was repaired over the next couple days, the RagaMuffin breed in all colors and patterns was advanced to championship status in ACFA.

We started competing in ACFA with the new show season in 2001.  I had a RagaMuffin entered in every show held that first season by ACFA.   Ragtime Cats enjoyed great success in the show rings of ACFA.  In just six years we achieved 12 National Winners, 52 Regional Winners, 40 Grand Champions, 3 Legacy of Achievement Cats and 3 Legacy of Excellence Cats.

Acceptance In CFA

In 2003, I decided it was time for the RagaMuffin to begin working towards breed acceptance in CFA.  I gathered a small group of breeders and compiled the necessary paperwork.  I presented the breed to the CFA Board in Houston, TX in 2003 and we were accepted as a Miscellaneous breed.  We were off and running. 

After six years as a Miscellaneous, in 2009 the RagaMuffin advanced to a Provisional Breed.  In 2011,  I presented the application to advance the RagaMuffin to Championship — and it was granted!  I have been the Breed Chair since the original petition in 2003 and starting in 2011, I have been the CFA RagaMuffin Breed Council Secretary.

First RagaMuffin Grand In CFA

At 10 years of age, GPD, RW Ragtime Cats Dazzling Autumn became the first RagaMuffin to grand in CFA in July of 2011.  She was also the breed's first Regional Winner the same year.  Continuing to show, she was the second cat and the first female cat in all of CFA to obtain the title of Grand Of Distinction.

(ACFA) QGC, RW, LA (CFA) GPD, RW Ragtime Cats Dazzling Autumn
Photo by Tetsu

Autumn made CFA history for her breed, but she would not be the only Ragtime Cats history-maker . . . and so we come to tell the tale of a kitten named Arden . . .

Along Came Arden

Arden's father is GC, NW (ACFA) Ragtime Cats Snow Covered Forest. He started the "forest" tradition of naming our kittens.  All of his children are named for either trees or forests of the world.  Arden was named for the great Ardennes Forest, found primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg but stretching into Germany and France.

Arden's Sire:   (ACFA) GC, NW Ragtime Cats Snow Covered Forest

Photo by J.R.Nelson

Arden was the only kitten in his litter.  As a singleton, he spent his days nursing from his mother wherever she sat or lay down.  He slept so soundly and deeply that more than once I had to poke at him to make sure he was actually still alive. He was such a roly-poly kitten,  I wondered how he would ever walk.  It seemed the little butterball could not possibly get that body up on those legs.  <G>  Of course, he managed. 

Since he had no competition for his mom's attention, he was very indulged.  He was also spoiled by me.  He was such a gorgeous baby, so sweet and muffin-floppy, I just wanted to hold him, cuddle and kiss him.

The Girls Behind Arden

Arden's mother is GC Rivndellrags Pandora of Ragtime, known as “Dora”.  Dora, is a vibrant calico who has twice been 3rd Best of Breed nationally in CFA. 

Arden's Dam: (ACFA) GC, RW (CFA) GC Rivndellrags Pandora of Ragtime (Dora)

Dora’s mother, Arden's grandmother, ACFA GC Ragtime Cats Florida Sunshine (Sunny), only showed a few times in ACFA but she was the final grand needed for her father, GC Elfun California Sunshine to earn the title Legacy of Excellence (the equivalent of CFA’s DM title).  Sunny recently made her first appearance in CFA at 11 years of age, working on her GP title.

Arden's grandma,  (ACFA) GC (CFA) PR Ragtime Cats Florida Sunshine being shown at 11 years of age  in CFA

Sunny’s mother is (ACFA) GC & RW, Legacy of Achievement (CFA) GP Encore Cats Allegra of Ragtime Cats.  Allegra is a real ham and has loved showing since she first started as a four month old kitten.  Making her debut in CFA at 12 years of age, she was a total show-off, simply begging the judges to “pick me”.

With the genes from these girls in his background, Arden was destined to love showing.

A Slow Kitten Career

Arden did not have a particularly amazing kitten career.  RagaMuffins are quite slow to develop and because the breed was only in its second year of championship in CFA, many judges were still working to feel comfortable with what was correct in the breed, especially as a kitten.  Arden made a few finals overall, enough to qualify for the Best RagaMuffin Kitten award in the Southern Region, but during this time he was gaining valuable experience, practicing how to stand on the judging table, when to play and how to win over judges and the crowd.  In short, he was learning how to be a show cat — and just like his mom, grand-mom and great-grand-mom before him, he loved strutting his stuff. 

Arden as a kitten . . .
Photo by L. Johnson

A Short Run

Once Arden turned 8 months old, he never looked back. 

He granded quickly in the second week of February 2013 and then he was off and campaigning. 

A silver tabby and white RagaMuffin named GC Kaerik Rags Canterbury Nougat was at the top of the breed standings.

In a few short weeks, Arden caught up to Nougat and the two of them jockeyed for the top spot right down to the last week of the season. It was a tight race with each RagaMuffin battling for points. 

Arden finished 2nd Best of Breed, but we were very proud of our baby boy for making it a real contest despite his late start.

GC, BW Kaerik Rags Canterbury Nougat


At the same time as Arden was finishing off his mini-campaign, we discovered the agility ring!  Arden was a natural.  In his first competition, he banged out a 13 second run, and came in first!  Needless to say, we were now hooked on competing in Agility.

In the short time left in the 2012-2013 season, Arden was 9th Best Cat in Agility in the Southern Region.

Arden's first time in the Agility ring — and a star is born!

A Cover Boy

While enjoying himself in both the agility and championship rings, Arden also found time to have a photo shoot and become a cover boy.  Arden's photo by the impeccable cat photographer, Tetsu, was the winner of the CFA Cover Cat Contest and was featured on the cover of the June 2013 issue of Cat Talk.

Arden's Cat Talk cover, June 2013 issue
Photo by Tetsu

The same photo was made into a title poster for RagaMuffins that became part of the breed booth displayed at the CFA World Show.

Arden's photo was a featured in the RagaMuffin breed booth at the CFA World Show

The 2013-2014 Season

As the new season began in May 2013, Arden began his first full year in both the show ring and on the agility course.  He just kept showing and racing.  Arden was an easy cat to campaign. He loves to show and is a wonderful traveling companion.  He meets his standard extremely well and that was appreciated by the judges as the season unfolded.

CFA World Show 2013: Laura & Arden (Best RagaMuffin at the Red Show) with
Sharon DeCeuninck & CH Luvnmuffin Kalista (Best RagaMuffin in the Purple Show)

Arden on the judging table fascinated by the teaser

As much as Arden enjoyed his time on the judging table, he lived for the thrill of running the agility courses.  Indeed, we were soon choosing shows based on whether they offered agility competition.  At shows, when I would take him out of his benching cage, he would perk his head up and look around the show hall, pushing on my hand underneath him, telling me, "Go faster, mommie. Where is the agility ring?"  He couldn't wait to compete. 

A History-Maker

Arden merrily campaigned in show rings and agility rings, both charming the judges and racing against the clock. This time at the end of the season, he was the Breed Winner . . . but he also made two historic firsts for the RagaMuffin in CFA:

  • First RagaMuffin Regional Winner in Championship:  Arden is the 12th Best Cat in the Southern Region for 2013-2014. 
  • First RagaMuffin to earn an Agility title:  Arden is CFA's 5th Best Cat in Agility 2013-2014 and 3rd Best in Agility in the Southern Region.  He earned the title of Agility Master and is only a few hundred points from earning the highest agility title of all — Agility Grand Master.

I am so proud of Arden and his accomplishments. He is an exceptional RagaMuffin with both beauty and brains. and a history-maker . . . but he is more than that.  He is my baby boy.   I love him so . . . and happily continue to spoil him rotten.

GC, BW, RW, AM Ragtime Cats Arden Forest
Photo by Tetsu


More photos from the show career of

GC, BW, RW, AM Ragtime Cats Arden Forest

Red & White McTabby RagaMuffin Male

First RagaMuffin to earn a Regional Win in Championship in CFA
First RagaMuffin to earn an Agility title in CFA

CFA Southern Region's 12th Best Cat in Championship 2013-2014
CFA 5th Best Cat in Agility 2013-2014
CFA Southern Region's 3rd Best Cat in Agility 2013-2014

CFA Breed Winner 2013-2014
CFA 2nd Best of Breed 2012-2013

Born May 5, 2012
Sire:   (ACFA) GC, NW Ragtime Cats Snow Covered Forest
Dam:   (ACFA) GC, RW (CFA) GC Rivndellrags Pandora of Ragtime
Breeders/Owners: Laura & John Gregory

Photo by Tetsu

Photo by Tetsu

Photo by Tetsu

What's that up there?
Photo by Tetsu

I want that!
Photo by Tetsu

Photo by Tetsu

Photo by L. Johnson

Photo by
L. Johnson

Arden with his "great-grandma" (CFA) GP (ACFA) GC & RW Encore Cats Allegra of Ragtime Cats, LA.
Allegra's photo was taken in NY in 2000 by Tetsu. Arden's photo was done in 2013, also by Tetsu.  
Tetsu kindly created a composite of the two photos to illustrate the family resemblance . . .
Despite the 14 years that separate these two, and 4 actual generations of breeding,
their attitude, spunk and desire to show-off is the same.

ABOUT RAGTIME CATS: In the three years since RagaMuffins have enjoyed full status in CFA, Ragtime Cats has earned 3 Regional Wins, twice been the Breed Winner for the year, and finished eleven Grands.  They also have granded 5 Persians in the Silver/Golden division, granded a Himalayan and granded and shown a Maine Coon to a Regional Win. In total, their accomplishments include 18 Grands, 4 Regional Winners and 6 Breed Winners . . . and there will be more to come . . .

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