Growling and squeaking, thought I needed braks but 1/4" of pad
I have a 2011 Vaquero that I bought last year with 1700 miles on it and I've been riding a lot so it now has 13k on it and I thought I was hearing some growling noise that I feared was grinding that was going to ruin my rotors and then I heard a squeak when I came to a stop so I started looking at youtube vids on changing pads on a bike. I was getting ready to purchase pads but I was basing my need only on noise so I thought I should visually inspect them before I dropped my dimes. I didn't take the calipers off but looked at them with a flashlight and it appears that I have about 1/4" of pad still on the front and back. Unless I'm looking at this wrong it appears that I can see the base of the pad with the 1/4" of pad within that base resting flush with the rotor, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm looking at but the noise I was hearing has me paranoid that I am wrong and that it is metal on metal that is going to ruin my rotors but I don't have grooves on my rotor.
Do you agree that I know what I am looking at, that I have pad left, based on my description? I've read about growling sounds so if that is all this is then is this just an annoyance or do I need to do anything to prevent damage or failure?