Over the months he and I got to be buddies, and he'd always come out from wherever he was hiding to greet me when I came out or came home. He also laid a claim on the dry food I was putting outside my door for the old calico kitty I'd met when I first moved in the summer before, and who had largely disappeared from the area (I only saw her occasionally). Also, while the weather was still hot or warm, I left all my windows down. It was a small town, and I never locked my doors anymore because they'd had problems ever since a previous winter when the locks froze, and sometimes if you locked them it was hard to get them unlocked (I guess it helped I had a hatchback I could always count on to unlock, from which I could climb into the front seat). Anyway, I'd often come out in the morning (or afternoon) to find him up on the back deck of the hatchback (the carpeted area that sits over the trunk) sleeping and sunning himself. I almost drove off with him to class once! He had curled up on the back seat instead, so I didn't see him right away. I started the car, began backing out, and happened to see him when I turned around. He'd hardly even looked up when the car started moving!
Eventually I started letting him come in with me when he wanted, and want he did. He came in often, and even started spending the night, especially if it was cold or rainy. About the only other shelter he had (other than climbing up inside a car, which he thankfully never did that I'm aware of) was under his owners' porch, which meant any wind, any slanting rain, any cold, could still touch him. So he enjoyed being let inside. I always let him back out when I left since I didn't have a litterbox for him, and I didn't know what he'd do if left to his own devices, and of course also because he wasn't mine. He sort of commandeered a "Wal-mart special" flannel blanket I'd bought for 10 bucks or so to use when curling up on the couch. He loved sleeping on it, so from that point on it was "his" blanket. If he was inside with me at night, he would sleep on me sometimes, or next to me since I think I moved around too much in my sleep for his taste.
The worst guilt I felt that school year was leaving for Christmas break. It was winter, and by this point he'd gotten used to me letting him in, especially at night when it was cold, and the night after the day I left was the coldest it ended up getting all winter. He was fine when I returned, but I felt awful, and I was sure he'd decided I'd abandoned him. I don't really remember if he was there the moment I came back, but I do know that he found me again after I was back, and that he was just as happy to see me as ever, no hard feelings. I went back to putting out dryfood (for Miss Calico Kitty, of course, hehe -- but really Squeeker had claimed it for himeslf), letting him in and out, and he went back to sleeping on the blanket on the couch, and on me, and sitting in my lap at the keyboard. At some point along the line I'd taken to calling him Goober and Goober-Kitty and he didn't seem to mind