Squeak left us in the early hours of this morning.
I know I've written about Squeak numerous times since I first had him, but wanted to spend a few lines today as a tribute.
First and foremost, I'll remember the day I met him. At that time, he was owned by my nephew and his girlfriend. He was such a small thing. At the time, the couple didn't know what to name their new pet. I wanted to name the kitten 'Naito' because he reminded me of one of my favourite Japanese wrestlers - Tetsuya Naito. You'll see why below.
When my nephew and his girlfriend - with a baby on the way - realised they couldn't look after three cats, I stepped up and became the owner of two of them: Squeak and Oreo.
On the day my nephew brought the cat box with both Oreo and Squeak in, he opened it up, Oreo popped out (this was the first time I met Oreo) and then Squeak made his reappearance in his new home for the first time in a couple of months. At this point, I turned to Josh and asked 'where's Squeak?' because I was expecting the kitten I had seen months ago. I had assumed Squeak was the third cat!
It was a brunette (blonde if you watched that video from 1998 earlier this week!) moment for sure.
On that same night, Squeak managed to find his way into my kitchen and into the back of the boiler. We went looking all over the place for him and then I managed to catch him walking out from where he had been. He saw me walking towards him and then he turned around back into his new hiding spot.
I didn't think Squeak took a shine to me at first. That's because he would ease me into smoothing him and then he would take a bite out of my hand.
Eventually, I learned that what he was doing was a 'love bite' so it became part of the norm.
I think the sword from out of the stone moment for me and Squeak came after a few weeks. I was upstairs on my bed messing around on the laptop or reading a book and he jumped on top of me out of nowhere and snuggled into me. I thought it was lovely to have him seek me out. It reminded me in a lot of ways of my sister's dog, Spiky, who would walk into my home and pelt it up the stairs into my room to wake me up every morning he came to visit.
It felt like Squeak had Spiky's spirit.
Some of the other things I'll remember about Squeaky is the way he would 'talk' to me, and only me. It made my youngest nephew - Evan - irked at times because he'd try to get the cat to squeak back but it wouldn't work. Then, I would say something and get a response.
But, even as I write this, I have reminded myself of just a few nights ago when Evan came in to say goodnight to us and Squeaky did talk. Evan said 'oh, you talk to me when I am going to bed!' or something along those lines.
That was the last time Squeak 'spoke' to anyone. He didn't squeak to us in the last few days.
I loved it when I would say 'Squeak, do you want your belly rubbed?' He would know what it meant and roll over.
I loved it when I would walk into the living room at night and say 'it's bedtime'. Oreo would run out of the living room and up the stairs, Squeak would saunter out of the room and then roll over onto his back and want me to carry him up. When we had a new carpet fitted, I was worried he would stop doing that. He didn't!
I loved it when I would wake up in the mornings and be sitting on my front as I read emails and then feel a big lump land on my back to rest. There was one time - thankfully caught on camera - where he was sitting on me with both paws clasped together staring into the camera as if he was planning world domination. And using my back as his war room!
I loved it when I was able to show Oreo and Squeak off to the NFL Monday Night Football studio on Channel 5 a few weeks ago with Squeak being the star due to sitting inside a box of Walkers Crisps
I loved it when Squeak - and his sidekick - would jump up on the mornings when I would say 'come on, boys' knowing it was time to start the day.
I loved it when it was too cold for me to sleep over the bedcovers and have to resort to sleeping under them knowing I was going to have Squeak and Oreo attack my legs. Fortunately for me, I had to do that earlier this week and caught the final time that happened on my phone.
Above all, I'll fondly remember the love Squeak gave me almost every night when I would turn on the bedside lamp and call for Siri to turn off my main light. Squeak knew it was time to sleep and he would follow me around as I'd move my phone, writing pad and other things off the bed. Squeak would make sure he had first dibs when it came to a snuggle. As soon as my head hit the pillow, he would ease his way in beside me and lay there for some time before moving on to be by himself.
It's serendipitous, yet again, I chose to snap him doing that only last week. See below.
We had a final snuggle last night. I woke up a few hours later and realised he was no longer beside me - as usual - he had done what he always did.
He had his hug and moved on.