Monday, September 14, 2015

Squeaky The Wonder Cat and her Log

When I was a wee lad we had cats. Sometimes just one, sometimes a whole mess of 'em. The first cat we got was named Squeaky. She joined our family when I was four. She was about 2 at the time, or at least that's what the guy who gave her to us told us. If that was true, and let's assume that it was, that means she lived to a ripe old age of 21. She was a fine cat, that Squeaky, despite the hundreds of times her claws perforated my skin over the years. I can't remember a single scratch I didn't deserve...

Yup, Squeaky was one of the best cats anyone could hope for. Sure, she was aloof, like cats are, but there were signs that she actually liked us, like when she would bring us dead mice or birds or moles. She usually would drop them at the door, after only gnawing on them for a little bit, so we assumed that she was giving them to us as gifts. What a cat! One time, when we were on vacation, she broke out of our basement via a window in one of the window sills, hunted down a robin in the backyard, then climbed back into the basement the way she came, and had the robin at the foot of the basement stairs for us when we came home. Sure, it wasn't the most fun thing to come home to, but it's the thought that counts. Right?

When we first got Squeaky, our backyard wasn't fenced in, and since Squeaky had been an outside cat at her previous residence, my dad thought we better do something to prevent her from running away. Thus was born what may be the only cat-log in the history of mankind. My dad found a harness that had two straps that went around Squeaky's body, then he stapled the handle end of the leash to a log he found that was about 6 inches in diameter and maybe 15 inches long. We would strap Squeaky to her log and she dragged that thing all around the yard. A couple of time she even climbed a tree with her log in tow, trying to catch birds. I'm not quite sure what our neighbors thought about our cat and her log, but I do remember that kids who came to play at our house were often awe-struck by the whole contraption. I just figured everybody had a cat who dragged logs around. I couldn't figure out what the big deal was.

Eventually my parents fenced in our backyard, so none of our other cats needed to use the log. And, eventually, Squeaky, and all of our other cats, did what every living creature does: they died. I figured my dad had probably unstapled the leash from her log and burned the thing in our wood-burning stove years ago, but we found the crazy old thing in the bowels of my parents' house when we were cleaning it out recently. The log was worn smooth from years of being dragged around, and the old ratty leash was still stapled to it. I don't think anything else we found in the house brought us all as much enjoyment as seeing that old log. Good ol' Squeaky...She was a fine cat, that's for sure.
From left to right: My sister; Squeaky; Me. Furniture wasn't as fashionable, and things weren't quite as politically-correct back then, as witnessed by the fact that we were all dressed as Native Americans. As you can imagine, Squeaky really loved it when we dressed her up. That's where most of my scratches came from...

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