From the Archive: Home Sueeze

More cats. I produced this piece 20 years ago. It’s about a crazy cat that I found in a warehouse I renovated in 1985. I convinced my good friend Greg Contestable to rent with me. It was on Haskell Ave. near Dallas’ Fair Park. We convinced the building owner, which was hard to find, to rent the 500 square foot box to us for $290 a month. We’d renovate it with a small bath, kitchen area and A/C. Each of us had to come up with $145 a month for rent. And I remember being worried about the expense. Wow, that sure makes my mortgage now seem like a lot of money.


The owner agreed and Greg and I recruited some friends that did construction work and did our part. We created a loft area for one person and a room under it for the other. Then walls for a small bath, and mini walk in shower. For a kitchen all we needed was refrigerator, microwave and a counter with a sink. We’re done.

Excited about our new loft in scary South Dallas, we moved in. At that age I just couldn’t get enough thrill. Thinking back it really was a scary area. So after we settled my brother came to visit me in the hood. He showed up with some beers and we hung out for a few hours. When he decided to leave we walked out to his van and there was someone in it rummaging through it. The thief freaked out and grabbed a screw and charged us to get out of the van. Once out he ran down the road. And instead of letting him go, I ran after him bare foot in a pair of shorts and no shirt. I must of ran 4 blocks before I decided chasing in bare feet wasn’t a good idea, and returned back to the studio. My brother thought I was crazy, and looking back I probably was.

Then one night, I started hearing these crying, meowing, distressing sounds from inside the wall. I just tried to ignore them, but after losing sleep for three or four days I had to do something. So on the forth night just couldn’t take it anymore. I cut the whole in the sheet rock wall and crawled through to inspect. It was a warehouse full of medical equipment, bed, stands, railings, etc. And sure enough the sound was definitely closer. Crawling over the equipment I started meowing and for every meow another responded. After a hour or so, I found a cat the size of a rat, dark in color, and so thin I thought about just letting it be. Surely it would live. I was very freaked out and certainly wouldn’t let me pick it up with out biting me, and who knows if I’d get rabies from it. So I got some heavy gloves and with great effort final cornered it and snatched it up and wrapped it in a towel.

I brought it in the studio and by the time I got inside it started to slightly purr. If it was rescued, they’d give it a bath right? So that’s what I did. It wasn’t easy, and to my amazement, the cat was actually white, with a slightly yellow ringed tail and ears. So next was to feed it. So I ran up to the 7/11 and got a box of cat food. She ate and ate and ate. The next day I decide to take it to the veterinary clinic. They said it had a lung disease and would not live but a year or two. I figured it could hang with me for the time then.

Since she was born in the hood, I named her Home Squeeze. She wouldn’t let anyone touch her but me. Basically, she hated all people. Don’t know why, she just did. And the veterinary clinic was wrong. She ended up living more than ten years. She was known to bounce of the walls in some of most acrobatic moves I’ve ever seen a feline perform. So, with that in mind I created this painting of her going two directions at once. And I took liberty with the colors, at the time painting a white cat didn’t appeal to me.

And just as she came into my life, when she was ten or so, was simple left the house and didn’t return. I looked for her for months in my neighborhood, not far from the hood, but she never returned my call again.