My cat is a dog. It’s a tabby cat. Lives outdoors. So it’s not my cat, really. Just a stray I inherited by dint of moving into the efficiency at Faith’s house on Water Street here in New Haven. Whoever lives in this efficiency is charged with feeding Squeak. That’s his name. He squeaks. For real. Holds his mouth open and squeaks like a squeaky toy when he’s begging. The squeaking erupts most squeakily when I’m bringing out the bowl of cat food. I use Purina Cat Chow Complete Formula, an all-ages cat food, $5 at the local convenience store on Howard Avenue. I set the bowl down by my outside steps and Squeak wolfs down its contents like there was no tomorrow.
Squeak was most vociferous and sad during the Nor’easter that tore through here last week. He didn’t seem to mind the rain itself. More just the dismal atmosphere. He plodded sadly up to me whenever I would step outside. He couldn’t sit down because the ground was wet. Instead, he would climb up into my lap or my arms or sit on my shoulders like some furry landlubbing parrot. Now that it’s beautiful outside (70s, slight breeze, plenty of sunshine) Squeak lounges and waits for me when I am indoors or away from the neighborhood.
Often when I take walks, such as to the end of the pier, Squeak follows me all the way out. His heads will turn this way and that, spotting unseen fauna, picking up on the scents of other strays, but otherwise he is completely domesticated. Like a dog, he will come when I call, and he always walks back home with me.
I made the mistake of feeding him three times a day for the first few days I was in my new efficiency. Faith then informed me that I’m only supposed to feed him once a day, or I’d have a beggar on my hands. Besides, other houses feed him too, so it’s not like he’s starving. I took the advice, but still Squeak has made me his new best friend.
He greeted me this morning and sat in my lap as the sun beat down its gorgeous rays. We both earned this nice weather.