Pet of the Week: Squawker Lee, the strong, silent type

Squawlker Lee rests on a shelf at the Esther L. Boyd Animal Shelter in Frederick County. Photo by Henry Culvyhouse

WINCHESTER — Don’t let the name fool you, because Squawker Lee never squawks, he barely meows.

An introverted domestic short-haired cat, 10-year-old Squawker Lee likes to spend his days at the Esther L. Boyd Animal shelter perched on a shelf in his cage, watching his fellow felines bat around balls and the caretakers cleaning litter boxes.

Kamryn Dixon, an animal caretaker at the shelter, said Squawker came to the shelter in September, when his owners surrendered him because they were moving.

“I don’t know what the circumstances were, but I’d guess they were moving from a house to a rental and they couldn’t keep him there,” Dixon said.

When Squawker came to the shelter, the caretakers had to put a calming collar on his neck due to his skittish nature.

“He didn’t want anything to do with people, he’d just look away and at the wall if somebody came up to his cage,” Dixon said. “The calming collar has an herb on it to keep him calm and relaxed.”

The 8-pound cat eats just about anything and is perfect for somebody looking for a “chill cat,” Dixon said.

“A lot of people come in here this time of year looking for kittens, so guys like Squawker get passed over,” Dixon said. “But some people don’t want a kitten, with all the energy and running around, they just want a chill cat that hangs out. Squawker is perfect for that. His personality is set.”

Squawker has a top cage in the public viewing area of the shelter. Dixon said she thinks anybody interested in Squawker would do well to give him some high areas to sit and watch from.

“He’s kind of a bookshelf cat,” she said. “Definitely high spots, a windowsill would be great.”

Squawker is fine with people, although Dixon said she has her reservations about how he would do with children.

“It’s not that he wouldn’t be good with kids, but he just likes to be left alone to lounge around on his own,” Dixon said. “He’d probably be great for a single adult or a couple looking for a laid-back cat.”

Dixon said anybody adopting Squawker should be aware that it is going to take him a few weeks to adjust to a new setting. After all, he has spent six months in the shelter.

“He’d probably want to hide out for a while … I see him finding a corner of his own and slipping out when people aren’t around or at night,” she said. “Most animals you adopt, the longer they’ve been here, they’ve been in some sense institutionalized, so it takes them a minute to get adjusted to a house.”

And adjust he will. While Squawker has not been declawed he is a “100 percent” indoor cat, Dixon said.

“Some cats we’ve had have been indoor-outdoor cats or a neighborhood cat, but he’s an indoor guy,” Dixon said.

Dixon said she has no idea why his name is Squawker Lee.

“I thought maybe he meowed and it was a weird meow, but I’ve never heard him meow,” Dixon said.

Given he is the cat equivalent of being 60 years old, Squawker isn’t the most playful type. However, a little bit of catnip under his nose and he’ll start to roll around and swat at toys.

Squawker Lee’s adoption fee is $30. For those interested in adopting Squawker or any other animal at the shelter, visit the facility at 161 Fort Collier Road, Winchester, between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Saturdays. Contact the shelter at 540-667-9192.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com