Back in the 80s we had a craft shop, selling my unfinished woodcrafts, and the hand painted pieces the Lady of the House did. Lots of hours spent there doing our thing with saws, brushes, drills, carving knives, sponges and buckets of wood sealer and stains.
We had help. Four footed help. A little yellow cat showed up one evening, obviously very pregnant, looking for a place to curl and, of course, a bit to eat. Having plenty of cat food at the house a half block away, I went up, got food, an armful of bed makins, an spare wicker basket and a water dish.
Long story short, three days later we had three beautiful little kittens. About the time they were weened, the Mom tried to run across the highway out front. She didn't make it. A couple weeks later one of the kittens was adopted. That left two, Sam and Samantha. Both beauties, both looking almost like identical twins, save for the fact Sam was half again larger than his sister. They became the inside residents of the 'Craft Emporium'. When we closed at night things were secure enough we had no worry about damage to the merchandise, and, true to our belief, we never had a thing broken, scratched or tinkled on even. They were there almost three years.
A note here. We only had the money to take one cat to the vet, so stupidly we took Sam instead of Samantha. We figured with him 'fixed' there would be no chance of kittens. Geez were we dumb back then.
I'm gettin ahead of myself. Samantha got out one day when a customer came in, a stranger to that part of the state, and not knowing the 'rules of the house' let the little cat out when he saw here sitting there at the door. She came in that night, dirty but un scratched, so we though nothing more about it. Soon after a visitor mentioned our cat was going to have kittens and she wondered if we would save one of the kittens for her. That went over like a lead balloon. We were too busy to pay attention even to our little pets.
Samantha delivered three little beauties. We managed to get a few pix of them before the little ones were adopted by ladies of the community. They all had good homes. Samantha outlived Sam by only a short time. Sam got out one day, ran across the road and didn't make it. Samantha seemed to curl up and wither away after her brother left. We took her to the vet one evening and he told us she would not live the night through. Never did get him to say what was wrong, but she was in loving hands when her end came.
The following are the pictures of our little Sam and Samantha, the King and Queen of 'The Craft Emporium' of Maben, MS.
This Beer Flat was their bed. They slept this way all the time.
Needless to say this was on the checkout counter at the front of the shop.
They couldn't have cared less who loved on them
and there were hundreds of hands scratching and petting them
She love to test all the children's 'Shaker Furniture' I made.
She was a busy little girl.
We made and sold a lot of that stuff.
Sam was a typical male.
He helped in the saw room.
The noise did NOT bother him, and he loved the shop vac.
I always vacuumed him off when we left the shop
to go into the sales area.
Naturally the three kittens had the run of the shop.
One day shortly after this picture was taken
A couple came in and instantly fell in love with the kittens.
While the lady was loving the kittens the man asked the price of the chair they were sitting in.
I gave him the price, he liked the price and asked the price of the kittens.
I quoted a price (I do NOT give pets away. Especially not to strangers.)
and the man said they would take the chair and all three of the little ones.
Long story short here.
The couple were neighbors of ours, neighbors we had not had the time to meet and get to know. Soon after the couple took the little ones home we found the little seal point girl sitting on our back steps meowing to get in to play with our houseful of kittens. (we had 9, adults and kittens). The next day the other two came to visit. So Samantha, being alone and lonely at the Emporium came home with us. She was immediately accepted by our then Queen of the Clowder, Miss Princess Ebony. When we left Maben to move up here, Samantha was adopted by the couple that took her three babies, and lived her life out in the Methodist Minister's house. Princess Ebony and HER two sons came with us to Five Oaks Manor.
Life was good back then, as it is now. And memories are precious. This was one of them.
I felt loved then. I still do.
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