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Jiggs, The Beginning: A Story for Children and Cat Lovers by Murray M Smith

Jiggs, The Beginning: A Story for Children and Cat Lovers

by Murray M Smith

32 pages
Jiggsy is a cat with an imagination and an inquisitive nature. His desire to satisfy his curiosity lands him in a dangerous situation which he views as hopeless. Help arrives from an unexpected source and Jiggsy is able to avert a fatal ending. He realizes, from this experience, that his desire for happiness was being with his family.

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Hardcover $24.95   + $7.38 shipping & handling (USA)
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Category: Children
(requires Adobe Reader)
About the Book
A Lesson for Jiggs
The Time: April 1927
The Place: Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California.
It was common in the early days of California lighthouse history, that a lighthouse would have several cats around at all times. The obvious duty of these felines was to be good mousers. They were looked upon as work critters, rather than pets, as we know them today. Occasionally, a kitten would come along that would be elevated in stature, due to some unusual trait, of action, or appearance. Jiggs was that one in million who caught the eye of his owner and became the darling of the family. As such, he was allowed to eat with the family, and sleep in similar manner.

The keeper of Pigeon Point Lighthouse at the time Jiggs arrived on the scene was Tom Henderson. George Henderson the son of the Tom Henderson, a youngster 6 years of age, took over as surrogate parent and guardian of Jiggs. George found an abandoned doll cradle, which he repaired, painted and made into a bed for Jiggs. He then placed it next to the potbellied stove in the living room being the warmest spot in the lighthouse.

Our book, “Jiggs, The Beginning”* could possibly be how it all happened. More than likely, however it doesn’t bear any more similarity to the truth than does any bedtime story. We do know that Jiggs was born on April 22, 1927, at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The Henderson’s moved to Point Sur lighthouse about 1930, with of course, Jiggs the cat. Unfortunately Jiggs survived only until December 20, 1936. At age nine, Jiggs decided he had seen enough of this world and moved on. His physical remains were placed in a crypt at the Point Sur Lighthouse. This was to be only a temporary stop as the Henderson’s soon moved to Point Pinos Lighthouse, further up the coast. Jiggs finally found his permanent resting place at Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove, California, and the headstone can be viewed to this very day. The lighthouse docents are well known for telling tales about Jiggs.

Jiggs, so named by young George Henderson, was advanced in his desire to explore and satisfy his inquisitive nature. It was this intrigue that almost caused his demise. He was made to promise his mother that he would never enter the dark cave, which existed near the old oak tree behind the lighthouse. The promise as requested by “Mom”, was like a challenge or a dare to Jiggs’ nature. Our story relates, as best as we can remember, Jiggs’ adventures while attempting to discover the secret of the cave. His adventures brought him to the brink of extinction only to be helped to safety by an unknown stranger.

Jiggs’ ability to escape his plight required him to overcome his fears and to extend his young talents beyond his years. Only then, and with the aid of the stranger, was he able to find safety and freedom from certain disaster. This experience instilled within him the desire to replace his curiosity with the love, comfort, and kinship of his family. For other than this experience our Jiggs may have become a rogue cat. You know the kind. They hang out at the fish market begging for scraps and then they sit on the fence all night howling for no reason at all.


Ages 2 and older will appreciate this picture book story of Jiggs, a cat who lived in the Pigeon Point lighthouse.

Lovely artistic drawings by Jonathon Wilson and hand paintings by Darice Machel McGuire highlight Murray M. Smith's tale of a kitty named Jiggsy who was born with his siblings under the lighthouse porch.

When they become old enough to leave their box, they receive a stern warning from Mom about the dangers of the world and a nearby dark cave. The kittens promise to stay safe, but curiosity dominates, and Jiggsy decides to investigate the dark cave in a safe way that ultimately lands him in trouble.

Kids who like cats, playful drawings, and stories about animals will enjoy this story about caution and curiosity.

Parental read-aloud assistance will be required for youngsters who don't read at the paragraph level yet, but the delightful story will attract all ages.

Lessons about safety, kindness, friendships, and caution create a compelling saga that is playful and serious at the same time: perfect for parents who want to teach their kids a combined sense of wonder and caution about exploring their world.
- D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review



About the Author
Murray M Smith Murray Smith is a graduate of Michigan State University, his home state, and a USMC veteran of the Korean War. He is currently retired and living with his wife of 50 years on the island of Maui Hawaii. In 1967, Mr Smith started a consulting engineering company in Sacramento California. He presided as president and CEO until 1992, at which time the company continued under his successor and the then current employees. In 2017 the Company celebrated it's 50 year reunion and is still active today.

Mr Smith discovered a latent desire to write children's books and is currently publishing "Jiggs, The Beginning". His first book, "A lesson For Jiggs" was published earlier in 2020.



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