Interview with Jennifer Dean, aka, Jenny founder of the Ragdoll Cat site Floppycats.com

I ‘met’ Jenny online in a Yahoo Ragdoll cat group back in 06 or 07 shortly before I adopted Tyler and Trinity. Her website is terrific plus she is also a cat writer for her blogs and an author. She does lots of interviews, product testing and is just full of helpful information and readers.

She has interviewed me for all of my books and has featured Tyler and Trinity twice. After this last time, I asked to turn the tables and interview her.

Let’s find out about the person behind Floppycats and the author behind A Ragdoll Kitten Care Guide: Bringing Your Ragdoll Kitten Home 

Jenny,

Your site has quite the following but for those who don’t know about Rags and your reason for starting FloppyCats.com can you tell us about its beginning?

When I left my corporate job, I tried to do multi-level marketing and hated it. However, one of the ways that the MLM company suggested you find customers was by having a website. So I bought a website for that reason. When I bought that website, I got a second domain and website for free. I had watched something or read something about how it’s best to have a website about something you’re passionate about so that you never give up on it. At the time, I was passionate about 3 things: Rags, Field Hockey and Ice Cream. None of my friends were cat lovers, so I chose Rags because I wanted to meet more people to talk about Ragdolls and cat things with. I never dreamed it would be where it is today – so fun and now I just want to continue to grow it.

Is maintaining Floppycats what you do for a living?

Unfortunately, not yet. I have an online content writing business as well as a site about couponing. I do make a small income from Floppycats, but it is not to a point where I can completely support myself on it. It is my goal to get it there, though – as then I would be doing exactly what I wanted to do.

What are your goals?

With the website? In addition to our tag line, “Uniting Ragdoll Cat Lovers Worldwide”, my main goal is always to help owners live more harmoniously with their kitties. One of the most rewarding things in having this site is when people tell me that something I mentioned in passing in a video or whatever, totally changed how they thought about cats. I do want to grow Floppycats to a new level – but it will take some revenue that I do not have. I am still hoping to run a crowdfunding campaign to raise the revenue I need in order to make the technical updates to the site that are necessary to bring it to a new level.

Do you do it all alone- are you one person wearing lots of hats?

Yes, it’s only me.

Do you think you will write more books?

I have ideas for more books, and originally planned on doing so. However, I have not found the passion and drive to do so. I need to find that or have it innately in me in order to do so – otherwise, if there is no love in it, then it’s only an obligation.

What do you see for yourself in the future- any big plans?

No, I have been too humbled by trying to have big plans. My wish list is a simple one for me and my cats: love, health, joy, peace and prosperity.

What do you like to do for fun- what are your hobbies?

I exercise a lot in the summer – I love to sweat. I used to have a thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism, I am in remission and was always cold for 8 years, so I LOVE to be warm). I love to work in my yard with my cats. I love to just watch my cats interact, explore, etc. I love having long phone conversations about deep topics with my friends. I have started to play golf again after a 15 year hiatus – and have been doing that for the last 3 summers. I also enjoy movies tremendously and watch WAY TOO MUCH TV. I am not a reader as my brain is too active for reading comprehension and retention. I also really enjoy couponing (guidetocouponing.com) – I get a high from it.

Did you do lots of research when you were ready to adopt after losing Rags?

I started looking for my next cats before Rags passed. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go too long without a cat to come home to. Rags laid between me and the keyboard when I was narrowing down breeders that I wanted to adopt from. I told him what I was doing and that I needed his help, but told him that didn’t mean he needed to hurry up and die. I am a realist – I knew he wouldn’t be around forever, so I wanted to have a list ready to go when he passed. When Rags was diagnosed with cancer, he was given 4-8 months to live with chemo, he lived another 3 years – so I had a lot of time (thank god).

As far as research, yes – I wanted to have a cat that was biologically related to Rags as well as a seal mitted with a blaze (which, is what I have with Trigg and Charlie, respectively). Rags was adopted with his brother, Cosby, from Ragnarok Ragdolls in California in 1989. Rags and Cosby had the same father, but different mothers. The cattery didn’t know which mother was Rags’ – so I could only go on the father’s info. I searched Pawpeds like a crazy person for cats related to Rags’ father (Ragnarok’s Thor) that were still breeding and made a list of catteries (granted, the cats that were breeding were great, great grand cats – not Rags’ brothers or anything given the fact that Rags lived for nearly 20 years). I had already done extensive research on catteries when I helped my parents adopt Caymus and Murphy, so I just knew what to look for and what to look out for. I also rely heavily on my gut – it does a good job at leading me in the right direction.

Tell us about your cats, their personalities.

Charlie is bold, brave and a very proud kitty. He is seal mitted with an hourglass blaze. My family has many blaze cats and has a theory that blaze cats are outgoing. This is true with Charlie. He greets people at the door, wants to be in their business and smelling them, etc. He is a puppy cat in that sense. People immediately like Charlie. Charlie can be demanding of my time and his treats – everyone who watches our YouTube know how much Charlie loves his “cheats”. Charlie is my dominant cat – and I allowed it to happen that way because he has much more self-confidence than Trigg.

Jenny with CharlieJenny with Trigg

Trigg is a quirky little fancy guy. He is blue lynx mitted. I don’t even know how to explain Trigg other than he’s just a Chiggy. He’s so cute, so fancy and so handsome. “Chiggy” is one of many nicknames for him – that come out of the nowhere into the here. Trigg is an easy cat – just like my Rags was. He is not demanding of my time. He is a great snuggler – on his terms only. He almost gets in a trance from snuggling with me. There isn’t a day that goes by that Trigg doesn’t make me smile or laugh out loud. He is so quirky and funny. I usually say to him, “Are you just doing Chiggy things in that Chiggy World of yours?” When I’m having a hard day, Trigg reminds me how joyous and peaceful life can be.

They are both very sweet in their own ways and respond well to sweetness in return. They have taught me a lot and I look forward to many more years of learning from them.

Do Charlie and Trigg like all your product testing?

I think so – maybe not the grooming tools. They hate being brushed and combed, but overall, they really love the unveiling process. Trigg thinks every piece of mail is for him – I love it and say, “Chiggy, what’d we get?” I can usually tell before we get the product, who will be interested in it. They know when we do videos and what not – I usually do not have to force them to participate – they are usually very wiling to interact.

Charlie and Trigg on posing on the Katris with a little help from Pets Can Play's Bird Catcher Pro Ex

What other breeds besides Ragdolls do you like?

Ragamuffins. Ha. No shocker there. I came very close to adopting a Maine Coon at a cat show one time. I was never exposed to cats as a child – only Ragdolls. So when I started meeting regular cats, I realized how unpredictable and scary they could be. Never knew it was possible, as naive as that sounds. So there was a period of time that I wasn’t a fan of just any cat. I now have a greater appreciation for all felines.

What is your one message to get out that you want everyone to know?

Hmmmm…I think it goes back to what my goals are – to help owners live more harmoniously with their kitties or is it to help kitties live more harmoniously with humans?

What are you passionate about?

Following your heart’s desires in everything you do.

Do you have something that you feel completely different about than you did way back when you started Floppycats?

Yes, breeding and breed stereotypes. I have seen the really ugly side of breeding (from readers sharing horror stories)- and the damages that it can do. I wish there were greater regulations on which humans would be allowed to breed animals. I also REALLY dislike breed stereotypes because people can take them so seriously and literally. About one-third of the emails I get are people complaining about their Ragdoll not living up to the breed description that they read online. And they want to know how they can fix it. I don’t think of cats as factory made. They are living and breathing souls – they are all different and just because their exterior is a Ragdoll, it doesn’t mean their interior is.

I love the photo of you with Rags and his gorgeous eyes. One because it’s a great photo and one because I’m jealous because my cats have never looked content in photos. Can you share a few of your favorite photos and stories with us?

Rags photographed by Elaina G

Oh, photos. It’s hard to come up with other ones because I feel like I am constantly taking photos and posting them. At this point, I only have photos of Rags hanging on my walls. My favorite of all photos is the one of Rags and his eyes –

it was taken when he was 16 years old. His eyes started to marble as he got older – maybe in his early teens? I see the marbling starting in my parents’ Murphy, who will be 11 in August 2015. Rags was either in the middle of chemo or just finished with chemo and my mom or sister bought me a professional photo session with him as a gift. What a great gift. The photographer, Elaina G, has a way with animals – and captured his aura and essence in that photo. That photo gives my heart great peace – that’s my soulmate starring back at me.

and lastly how can Ragdoll cat lovers find you?

www.floppycats.com
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and YouTube.

#Ragdollcat #JennyDean #FloppyCats

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One thought on “Interview with Jennifer Dean, aka, Jenny founder of the Ragdoll Cat site Floppycats.com

  1. Lisa Brown

    Wonderful Interview,the part about Charlie being the more demanding of her time kitty and Triigg more mellow sound just like my two Ragdoll boys.Love your website Jenny have learned so much about these sometime puppy like wonderful creatures from your site.Thank You and your entire Family of Gorgeous Dolls you share with us.Have a great summer,Lisa,Murphy Bo Dee and Ceasar Moo!

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