I dedicate this book to my grandchildren, Emma Jeanette Byerly and Benjamin Philip Byerly. They both love animals and I hope that they will enjoy the story of the two cats that their grandparents had for about seven years. We are the Mema and Pepaw in the story. Emma bestowed those names on us one day and we love them. Our son, Adam, is also named in this story. Being the great father that he is, I know that he will enjoy reading this story to his children until they can read it for themselves.
Once upon a time, there was a Mommy Cat and a Daddy Cat who loved each other very much. As a result of their love, the Mommy Cat had a litter of three adorable baby kittens on May 1, 1998. One kitten was a golden tabby cat with an M design on her forehead as with all Mackerel Tabby cats. The second was also a golden tabby, but she had more white around her chest and feet. The third cat was a male Tuxedo cat. These types of cats are black with a white patch of fur on the chest, usually some white on the face and on the legs or feet. This kitten had a pattern of white that made him look like he had a milk mustache. All kittens are born with blue eyes, much like human babies, but the eye color changes as they grow. They were all beautiful in their own way.
When the kittens were just a few days old, the Mommy Cat wandered into the street which was a very naughty thing for her to do. Unfortunately, a car came by and accidently hit the Mommy Cat who then went up to Heaven.
Her poor little kittens were left alone and could not survive without milk of some kind. Normally, the Mommy Cat feeds them her own milk. What was to become of these helpless creatures?
The lady who owned the Mommy Cat was at a terrible loss as to what to do. She missed the Mommy Cat very much, but taking care of three baby kittens was difficult. Luckily, her sister, Susie, stepped in and offered to take the babies and care for them until they were old enough to find a permanent home.
Susie loved animals and her heart went out to the kittens. Caring for them was a job that meant they had to be fed with a tiny baby bottle every few hours all day long and even in the night. She couldn’t let them starve! So she did just that, even taking them to work with her every day so she could care for them properly. Susie was very dedicated and so the kittens began to thrive and probably thought that Susie was their mother and loved her just as they would have their own Mommy Cat.
One day, Susie showed the kittens to Pepaw who worked with her. Pepaw loved animals and they loved him also. He was smitten with them all, but especially the Tuxedo kitten. He was so beautiful, tiny and sweet. He went home to tell Mema all about the kittens and expressed a desire to bring one home to keep when they were ready. He described them to Mema and she too, was fascinated and agreed that they would take the Tuxedo kitten and raise him. Mema and Pepaw had previously had cats, but they were more the kind who stayed outdoors, but that was very dangerous, so they agreed that this cat would stay in the house with them.
When the kittens were only five weeks old, they were ready to start eating solid food instead of the milk bottle. They were ready for Mema and Pepaw to bring one to their home. Just from Pepaw’s description, Mema said they should call him Sneakers because he had four white feet.
They met up with Susie and took Sneakers from her. He was so precious! They were already quite in love with him. They had bought supplies for him and he came to live at their house.
Susie still had two kittens and wanted to keep only one of them. What could she do about the other one? Mema and Pepaw decided that Sneakers needed another kitten for company and it wouldn’t be much more trouble to care for two cats than one, so they agreed to take another one of the kittens. They brought home a golden tabby. Susie kept the one that had more white than the other.
The kitten needed a name. As she was sitting on the floor, Pepaw proclaimed, “Why, she looks just like a pile of sawdust lying there!”
“Sawdust!” Mema exclaimed. “Yes, that’s a cute name. They’ll be Sawdust and Sneakers!”
So that is how Sawdust and Sneakers came to live with Mema and Pepaw.