Qualified Entry: Non-Fiction Category
By: Suzanne Woo
I started this late but it’s a start and I probably forgot some details.
I first saw Ninja Kitty in the Spring/Summer of 2010 before the new neighbors moved in. I know this because I was feeding a feral grey cat with kittens at that time and I was chasing Ninja Kitty away to protect the kittens. Unfortunately I only saw the kittens for a week because that’s when the new neighbors moved in; it was around the time of July 4th. Anyway, once the neighbors moved in the grey cat and her kittens moved away, or more like found someplace safe. I forgot to mention the neighbor had a small, yappy dog which is probably the real reason the grey cat left.
So now the grey cat left it would come back once a day to eat but after a few months of that I got tired of it only coming to eat and then leaving, so I chased it away. I know it sounds cruel since she was still nursing her kittens.
When the grey cat left Ninja Kitty came by usually from the backyard. It was always come from the back of the yard. I would hear him jumping onto the top of the shed and then that’s when I would go out to “greet” him. I didn’t see a collar on him and I would see it roaming the neighborhood all the time day and night so I just thought he was one of the strays or ferals in the neighborhood, especially if he was roaming all the time. I once opened the door around 1am in the middle of winter and there was Ninja Kitty roaming. He came running when he heard me opening the door.
At first Ninja Kitty was a little weary of me but curious. I would say “Hi” and he would just look at me and slowly come closer. Then after about a couple weeks of this I thought I would put out a little tuna for him to eat. The first time I put the food outside he ate the tuna up, then the next time I left the bowl a little inside the back door and he would come in but would freak out if I tried closing the door, so I just left the door open as he ate. Little by little he would explore more and more of the house, but I had to keep the door open so he had a way to get out otherwise he would freak out.
Soon he was hanging out on the front porch meowing, quite loudly, to be let in. We would feed him and then he would roam a little and leave. Once when I put it out for the night it meowed so loud I wasn’t sure if I should let him back in. I didn’t and a few minutes later he pounded on the door. I was surprised at how loud the knock was. In hindsight I should have just let him in.
For a few weeks this went on with Ninja Kitty meowing at the door to be let in to eat. I didn’t mind since I’ve never had a pet and Kitty seemed to be friendly. Then one day, in late September or early October, I was coming home from shopping, the female neighbor was with her mom putting stuff into the mom’s car and their front door was opened, Kitty darted out of the neighbor’s house and onto my porch. The female neighbor came over and introduced herself and said Kitty was hers. I said, “Really?! I thought he was a stray since it doesn’t have a collar.” She said, “Well, he’s good at getting it off.” I seriously didn’t believe her because I’ve seen Kitty around before she moved in and it’s always hanging out at my house. She says his name is “Oscar” and when she called him, Kitty seemed reluctant to go and as he passed her he was in cowered posture like he was afraid of her. Once passed her he makes a run for it around a bush and away from her. From this behavior it seems Kitty doesn’t like her.
I have an idea about how she thinks Kitty is hers. Once during dinner time I had put Kitty out from the back door. Once outside Kitty started to meow loudly. I think the neighbor heard it and got it go over to their house to feed; because once this happened a couple days later I hear her calling, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty” in the morning from the back porch to feed it. This was the first time I heard her doing this since they moved in, which was three months prior.
Once she said Kitty was theirs I started trying to shoo him away, but he would always come back no matter how “mean” I was to him to get him to go away. I’d squirt water, I’d use the hose, and I would physically push him away, gently, away from the door. All to no avail. So after a couple weeks of this I just decide, “screw it” I’m taking care of Kitty. It was obvious he did not like the neighbor’s household if he kept coming over despite me trying to shoo him away. I also suppose it’s because they have two very loud young kids who like to scream a lot. I’ve shooed other feral/stray cats in the neighborhood and they’ve stayed away or run away when they see me, but not Ninja Kitty.
Enough of the back story now the journal begins. It will mostly be about observations I’ve made or stories/mini-stories about what Ninja Kitty has done.
Oh one last item about Ninja Kitty, he might have been part of a feral liter since there are two other orange cats on the same block but each one seems to have their own section/territory. One patrols the front of the block to the middle, Ninja Kitty from the middle to a few houses before the end, and a third from the other end to where Ninja Kitty’s end. They all look pretty similar, but I don’t know for sure. It’s just odd to see so many orange cats in one neighborhood.
It’s cute and sometimes annoying in the beginning when Ninja Kitty (N.K.) would be waiting for us to open the door because N.K. would be right there and meowing to be let in and push his way in; oftentimes he would be there when we want to go out shopping or a day trip. I didn’t let him stay inside while I went out since I didn’t know how he would be being by himself; would he tear up the place, or pee or poop all over? Unfortunately in these cases I would have to “kick” him out. I really felt bad having to do this but I needed to go out. I either picked him up and then put him out or used a squirt bottle. After a few times N.K. caught on with what happens when I pick him up so he would immediately try to scratch or bite, which means I had to use the squirt bottle.
N.K. would wait for us to come home which is really sweet. As we were driving up to the house N.K. would come running to the doorstep or car to greet us. It felt nice to know N.K. really liked us and didn’t hate me for spraying him with water those few times.
In mid-November 2010 N.K. left a dead mouse along our walkway. I’ve heard of cats leaving dead animals as gifts so I took it as a sign that Kitty really liked us. Awwww… Kitty has since left us a few more mice through the months but not lately. What was really surprising and endearing was Kitty caught a mouse for us on Christmas Day. I really doubt Kitty knew it was Christmas but what a cute surprise when we opened the front door and right there in front of us was a dead mouse. Merry Christmas to you too, Ninja Kitty.
Of course the down side of receiving these “gifts” was cleaning up. I would wear gloves, get a Ziploc sandwich bag and some warm chlorinated water. I’d put the mouse in the Ziploc, close it tightly, pour the water over the spot where the dead mouse was, rinse with clear water, and then put the dead mouse in the trash bin outside. I guess we don’t have any mice problem since N.K. keeps catching them.
What I find interesting is people keep telling me cats are nocturnal but N.K. seems to sleep through most of the night. Since it’s winter time N.K. would come in anywhere between 8:30pm – 10:30pm, maybe eat a little and then go into our bedroom and sleep on the bed. And he would be asleep until 4:30am-5:30am when he wakes up, then wakes one of us up to be either fed, play with, or let out. It’s not too bad, but since I’m not used to getting up so early in the morning it has been a bit of a chore. I would be nice if he could just sleep until 6:00am then we both could wake up at the same time. Oh well, he’s a cat and unpredictable but I love him.