An Update From the Melville Cat

Another guest post from Squeak, who we now call ‘Smokey-Squeak’. This post will make more sense if you read Smokey-Squeak’s original post first. 

A lot has happened since I last updated you on my situation. Soon after I wrote my previous post, Ms. M came to Heather and Joe’s house to talk to them about me. I was there when they were talking. It was awkward. Ms. M apologized for what was happening and so did Heather. Everyone looked down at me with sad expressions on their faces. This is when Heather and Joe learned that my real name is Smokey, not Squeak.

I’m Smokey. I’m Squeak. Call me Smokey-Squeak.

Heather and Joe told Ms. M that they wouldn’t feed me anymore, but they would still let me visit whenever I wanted. Everyone agreed to follow this plan and see what happened. Under this arrangement, they would let me decide for myself where I wanted to spend my time.

I was not happy with this arrangement. I wanted to have food available from both Heather and Joe and Ms. M, and to visit them both as I pleased. I decided to be extra nice to Heather and Joe, in order to convince them to feed me again.

When night fell, I went hunting. I’m a skilled hunter. I trotted into the house and presented Heather and Joe with my prize:  a small mouse-like animal that Joe calls a shrew. But instead of accepting the prize with gratitude, as I anticipated, Heather screamed. Joe yelled at me, forced me to drop the prize, and returned the shrew (which was still alive) to the garden. How rude!

This is what I look like when I’m hunting.

A night or two later, Heather and Joe still weren’t feeding me, except for an occasional snack when Ms. M sent Heather a message saying I hadn’t stopped in for dinner. So I tried to impress them again. I wanted to show Heather and Joe how special they are to me, by making their house my own.

I spread my scent all over the house, in the special way that boy cats like to do. I added my scent to the curtains, the sofa, and the chair. I sprinkled Joe’s camera bag, so he will always think of me while he’s working. Lastly, I scent-marked the area where my food bowl should be (before Heather took it away), to remind them that I would still like to be fed.

The next morning, when Heather came out of the bedroom, I ran in and jumped onto the bed with Joe. I’m not usually allowed on the bed, because of something called allergies. But I figured Joe and Heather would be so happy with my home decorating project that they might change the rules.

This was the first and last time I was allowed on Joe and Heather’s bed.

My plan didn’t work out very well. Joe and Heather were not happy at all with my efforts to personalize their home. They spent the whole day washing away everything that I had decorated. How rude!

I could tell that Heather and Joe were angry and sad at the same time. Joe started calling me ‘Smelly Cat’, which I don’t think was very nice. Heather knelt down and asked me over and over why I was peeing all over the house. I didn’t have an answer for her. It just felt like the right thing to do. And I guess I was just a little stressed out. It’s not easy to maintain two lives at once.

The next afternoon, Heather told me that she and Joe had been to visit Ms. M. Heather said I could keep coming to visit whenever I wanted, but I wouldn’t be allowed to sleep here anymore. I didn’t believe her at first — I thought she was just joking around. But when I tried to come in later that night, the window was closed. I tried calling to Heather and Joe but they didn’t answer. So I went and slept with Ms. M.

I quickly realized that sleeping at Ms. M’s place isn’t so bad after all. She’s the one who feeds me, anyway. And I visit Heather and Joe every day when Ms. M is at work. They don’t give me food, but they play with me and pet me a lot.

Heather likes to brush me. So I let her. (Photo courtesy of Joe)

This week I got to meet Heather’s friend Bob, who came to visit me all the way from America. I liked him very much. (Photo courtesy of Joe)

(Sometimes Heather gives me a treat when Joe isn’t around. I’m not supposed to tell.)

I’m back to a single life now, which is not as exciting as a double life. But Ms. M loves me and Heather and Joe are still my friends. I guess it was for the best.

♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦

Deciding what to do about this charming, maddening cat has been very hard. In the end he kind of made the decision for us, as cats tend to do. That first night — when we heard Smokey-Squeak meowing outside but didn’t let him in — was excruciating. But he didn’t hang around long, and the next night he had already figured things out.

If Smokey-Squeak were truly ‘our’ cat, we would have handled the situation differently. But he isn’t. The confusion that all of us were feeling showed through in Smokey-Squeak’s behavior.

Joe’s elderly mother — a great cat-lover — came for a visit last weekend. We hadn’t told her anything about our kitty crisis. I took her out onto the deck and the cat came to pay his respects. Joe’s mom took one look at the cat and said, ‘Is your name Smokey?’

I take that as a sign. And strangely, since that day, things have felt right. I guess Smokey is where he’s supposed to be.

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  • Reply Kathryn McCullough October 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    What a sweet post, Heather. This had to have been painful and frustrating all at once. Have you considered getting a cat of your own? Sounds like you need one. Maybe the great feline god in the sky is trying to tell you something.

    • Reply 2summers October 12, 2011 at 8:20 am

      Thanks Kathy. We have thought about getting a cat, although I actually think we might have the best of all worlds now — a part-time pet who hangs out with us every day with no strings attached! Now that things are settled a bit, Smokey-Squeak has stopped spraying in the house and is free to come and go as he pleases, as long it’s during the day and we’re home. So I think we’ll just stick with this plan for now and see what happens.

  • Reply martinaloeb October 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Smokey-Squeak sure is a looker! What a beautiful boy. I do love the expression on his face when he is on the bed. He knows that he is not meant to be there! Cute.

    I was looking at the website yesterday and just realised that there is Smokey-Squeaks doppelganger there! Check out the cats for adoption bit.

    • Reply 2summers October 12, 2011 at 8:20 am

      I will check it out. Maybe he has a brother!

  • Reply KatiesCameraBlog October 12, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Ah, I’m glad things are settled, but such a bumpy and hard road to get there. And Smokey-Squeak is just a gorgeous cat. So glad things have worked out for all of you. Pet Smokey-Squeak for me, please.

    • Reply 2summers October 12, 2011 at 8:23 am

      Thanks a lot, Katie. I will do that 🙂

  • Reply eremophila October 12, 2011 at 5:56 am

    As they say, dogs have masters, cats have slaves…..
    My commiserations on the roller-coaster ride he’s given you – loving felines is not without its challenges!
    I’ve had the scent marking trick from both neutered males and females, and it’s no joke. Have you ever considered returning the favour???

    • Reply 2summers October 12, 2011 at 8:22 am

      Hahaha! Does that work? The problem seems to be solved for now but a couple of weeks ago we would have tried anything.

  • Reply Emily October 12, 2011 at 11:43 am

    So weird about Joe’s mom! I’m sorry- this is a hard situation!

    • Reply 2summers October 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      I know, I think Joe’s mom is a cat psychic. She’s done that with other cats before too.

  • Reply Caroline Hurry October 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    What a beautiful boy he is … gorgeous …. I predict he will be back … again and again …. my own kitty, i know for a fact has several “owners” … she cadges food all over the neighbourhood … but always comes home … a little snack here and there doesn’t hurt .. though leaving his perfume everywhere is VERY naughty …

    • Reply 2summers October 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      He is indeed a naughty boy. But we still love him, in spite of everything.

  • Reply lisa@notesfromafrica October 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Ah, he’s such a beautiful cat! Hope he settles down with the new arrangement. It’s amazing how cats can show their displeasure! I had a cat who, if she was unhappy with me or I wasn’t paying her enough attention, caught a mouse or bird and left it on my bed for me.

    • Reply 2summers October 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      Yes, cats are quite remarkable in that way. Smokey-Squeak actually went hunting for us a couple more times after that first time, too. He caught another shrew (which escaped into the house for several house and eventually materialized in the bathroom, where Joe rescued him and set him free), and a small lizard (which was also eventually freed), Funny. I think we’re settling down now though, thank goodness.

  • Reply Slowvelder October 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I am glad the situation is resolved heather – and that you still have visitation rights 🙂 – your photos of him are really beautiful.

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2011 at 7:18 am

      Thanks Jackie. It’s funny, last night Smokey-Squeak showed up around bed time and seemed to want to settle in for the night. It’s almost like he knows the world is talking about him and wanted to test the waters again. I gave him some pets and then gently sent him on his way, which he seemed fine with. Cats are funny animals.

  • Reply rumpydog October 13, 2011 at 12:06 am

    It does all work out in the end, doesn’t it?

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2011 at 7:15 am

      How exciting to get a comment from a dog! Thank you for reading. Yes, things always work out in the end.

  • Reply joshimukard October 14, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Hey, I’m Back!!. How do you do Heather?

    I have missed so many of your posts. It’s time to catch up.

    I love dogs, but cats always spooks me off.

    • Reply 2summers October 14, 2011 at 7:11 am

      Hey Joshi! Glad to have you back and I hope you’re doing well.

      Dog-lovers are often put off by cats because they are such different animals. You have to approach them from totally different perspectives. I’ve always loved both dogs and cats though, dogs are just a lot more work.

      Stay in touch!

  • Reply joshimukard October 14, 2011 at 8:06 am

    From now on I will be a regular visitor.

  • Reply From the Melville Cat: Move? What Move? – 2 Summers September 19, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    […] I am so happy that I’ve decided to make life easy for Heather and Ray. I haven’t murdered a single bird, or spent a night out roaming the neighborhood. I haven’t gotten into fights, resulting in injuries and expensive medical bills. I haven’t bothered to christen the new house with my man-cat scent, as I did in my previous home. […]

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