Where performance counts!         


May 1996–August 26, 2008

Once upon a cat, in October 1996:  He was a starving half-grown kitten that someone had abandoned at a wildlife refuge.  We first saw him sprawled at the side of the trail, with his hip bones and his ribs sticking out.  He immediately sized us up as suckers, and miaowed at us.  "He's probably half-wild," I said to my husband as we walked by.  But Sneakers had no idea that food came on the wing, and all he saw as we passed him was a potential food bowl walking away.  He got up on his feet and came tottering after us with his belly button tucked up against his backbone, miaowing plaintively the whole time.  He rubbed against my husband's leg, and I picked him up and laid him across my belt pack.  He started purring loudly–and he never stopped.


When Sneakers finally became convinced that the dogs were going to stay in the house, he appointed himself as general supervisor of all activities canine, a position he held for the rest of his life.  He greeted everyone who came to the door, assisted the repairmen, and generally tried to make himself useful.  That he might actually be in the way never occurred to him.

He always actively participated in raising Sheltie puppies. . .

(Don't worry, he was just playing–and we kept a close eye on him when they were that young!)

. . . although not all puppies showed him the respect that was his due.


He liked to watch the bath water swirl down the drain. . .

. . . but he hated baths.

He always considered a crate to be a comfortable place to hang out. . .

. . . perhaps because good things happened in crates.


He liked TV and beards. . .

. . . and laser pointers and new toys.


He knew which dogs would share their food. . .

. . . and which ones would not.


When Sneakers was young, he considered any dog who came to the house as a potential playmate.

He got stodgier as he got older, but he always hated to be left alone.


Perhaps because he was starved as a kitten, Sneakers was always extremely food motivated.

He devoted a lot of time to figuring out ways to make me give him more food. . .

He had a good Hi-Five, and a great sit (see that attention, you obedience junkies!)

He knew that jumping would always make me produce a kitty cookie.

And while Roll Over was a lot of effort, it was worth it to him because it forced me to give him a treat.


Sneakers was a dignified ten years of age when he developed a heart problem that made his years with us far too few.  He learned some new tricks, just to keep the treats coming his way.  Morning and evening he hopped up on his chair in the dining room, because that was his cue for me to give him his medicine.  Pills and shots were always followed by two treats.  If I was too slow getting it ready, he complained loudly.

For two and a half years, Sneakers made me give him his medicine, and remained a happy and healthy cat.  In the summer of 2008, he went into heart failure, which we controlled with yet another medicine.  He finished his duties with one last litter of Sheltie pups in the spring and early summer of 2008.  Then one morning, after greeting my husband and myself, eating a little breakfast, and telling the puppies how to behave, he walked down into the family room, and laid down and died.

Sneakers, you're a cat in a million!