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Squeek: Remembering the Broadcaster Cat of Mitchell County

Over the 20 years I have been at TAB, I have become acquainted with many characters in broadcasting.  Our business seems to naturally attract them and as a result our profession is filled with them in markets large and small.  It’s one of the reasons why the TAB staff enjoys what we do.

Those working at TAB member stations become like family to us.  So it is with some measure of sadness that I report the passing last week of “Squeek”, the longtime broadcaster cat of Mitchell County.  (Yes, that’s the way she liked her name spelled.)  Squeek presided over KAUM-FM and KVMC (“the Voice of Mitchell County”) in Colorado City, owned by Jim and Linda Baum for more than three decades.

By best estimate, Squeek was about 16-17 years old when she passed on Nov. 6.  As a young adult cat, she adopted the Baums and KVMC/KAUM around 2001.  Squeek was known for being Jim’s shadow, following him just about everywhere he went inside the KVMC/KAUM studios.  She had lost her hearing in recent years but was still quite loveable, according to Linda.

I first learned of Squeek in early 2004 when inspector Wayne Hardin of the TAB Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program reviewed KVMC and KAUM.  About halfway through the ABIP report on the stations came a curious mention.  “Jim's constant companion is the station cat ‘Squeek’ who follows him everywhere.”  The report featured a picture of Squeek atop the chair used for the on-air mic work.  Ever since then, Squeek has been part of any conversation I’ve had with Jim or Linda, and she became known to the TAB staff.  Turns out that black cat was in fact a good omen for the stations.

The 2004 inspection happened just after a tornado went through Colorado City.  It damaged the KVMC/KAUM roof and either heavily damaged or destroyed nearby buildings.  Despite incoming rain, both stations remained on the air.  What Hardin noted then is still true to today, “KAUM and KVMC provide a public service to this community on a continuing basis that few could equal.”  And Squeek was a part of it for many years, greeting those who stopped by the station and keeping Jim company.  Should an errant lizard get inside, Squeek made sure to dispatch the intruder.

Squeek’s passing has not gone unnoticed by the stations’ audience.  They’ve left word on the KVMC/KAUM Facebook page aplenty.  “Jim and I are so touched by the people who used the emojis on our page plus all of the comments,” Linda said. 

While there is no replacing the memorable Squeek, recently a small black stray kitten showed up at the KVMC/KAUM studios.  Squeek and Kitty Girl became friends.  Linda says Kitty Girl is now following Jim around like Squeek used to.   Perhaps Squeek knew she needed to train someone to follow in her paw prints.

We’ll miss you Squeek.

Questions?  Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

Squeek on the announcer chair








Caption: Squeek atop the announcer chair (2004); photo courtesy of Wayne Hardin

Squeek on the sign







Caption: Squeek points out what FM station to listen to when in Colorado City; photo courtesy of KAUM/KVMC

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