R.I.P. Ninja

Born May 1983
Died October 23, 2002

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On top of the La-Z-Boy
c. December 2001

Ramona and I got married in July of 1984 and bought a house the following year.  When someone at work said her friend had to move and couldn't take her cat, we decided to get an addition to the house.  Ninja was a long hair, but he had a great personality.  We were told he was about two years old although the owner didn't really know.

When we first let him out in his new house, he immediately started sniffing around.  He knew he was home when he found out where his food bowl was.  His previous owner had made him accustomed to drinking from the bathroom sink, so we kept the downstairs bathroom sink full of water.  We don't even remember what his name was when we got him, but because he was all black,  I suggested he should be named Ninja after the sudden explosion of that genre of movies.

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Ninja and Minkey
c. 1986

We knew that if we were going to get another cat, it would have to be soon or the two cats would never adapt to each other.  We started asking around at work for people who were suddenly blessed with kittens and needed to provide homes for them after they were weaned.  We soon acquired Minkey who was actually very white when he was a kitten.  Ramona named the cat because she thought it looked like a mink.  I thought it was a great name because it reminded me of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau trying to say "monkey" in his version of a French accent.  "Did you say Minkey?"

Ninja and Minkey had some pretty hellacious fights, but in general they got along okay.  One of their funniest moves, and I have no idea how they learned this, if they were both going to the same place, the one that was in back would jump over the one in the front.  Dinner time was almost always preceded by this game of leap frog.

When we got divorced in 1996, it was obvious who was going to get which cat.  Minkey was a spastic don't-touch-me kind of cat and Ninja was a laid back I-don't-care kind of cat.  I got Ninja.  I have no comment as to how each of us knew which cat was whose.  Minkey died a few years ago.

I had a feeling Ninja was feeling his age.  For the last few weeks, he was doing odd things.  He would go from room to room and meow in a way I had never heard before.  It was almost a questioning meow.  He has been somewhat arthritic for several years, but he was limping with a little more stiffness than usual.  I had to stack some boxes to make a stairway in front of the bathroom basin so he could get to his water.  He was usually very enthusiastic about dinner, but he was less than completely ecstatic about dinner in recent weeks.  Last night, he didn't eat at all.  He went to sleep in one of his favorite spots which was where I found him.  He had died in the night.

Good bye old friend and thanks for your great company.

A. David Chan

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