Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened

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Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened

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Ninja's Story

I was born October 19, 2001 in the week that Ipod made it's debut. I think that's pretty cool because I love iPod and enjoy listening to music.

My mother was a Tortie cat. I had two orange brothers and a sister like me. Mother called us her Halloween Kits. I don't know about my father. All I know about him is his name. Mother said it was A. Mystery. Mother named me "Panther in Disguise". But, I will not tell you my secret name.

Just before Chrismouse were all taken to a shelter and I was adopted by a nice couple. Unfortunately they had DOGS! At first I was terrified of them, but they convinced me they were harmless, though rough!

The years have passed by in a blur. I've had a good life. I can't complain. The only life I ever knew was with the couple who were at work all the time and those two dogs. The couple's names were Honey and Dear. One of the dogs was a Lhasa Apso, from a country called Tibet. Her name was Dolly... Dolly Lamar.... Get it? No?

Dolly told me she was from a long line of sacred Dolly Lamars. She was the 123rd in her lineage. She was very wise, but sometimes very hard to understand with her strange accent. She spent a lot of time chanting in some ancient gutteral tones. If a bell rang, she would start up her chanting. It sounded like "oooooommahneeepadmeeeeehoooo".

I think there was something in Dolly Lamar's background or training that was set off by bells. If the door bell rang she would start chanting. If I scratched at my collar and jingled my bell, she would stop, and then if I jingled it again, she would start again. So, I tried not to jingle my collar bell at all. That was one of my first lessons in becoming a ninja, to be silent in my stealth techniques.

The other dog was an Akita. He was huge! His name was Kain Doshi, but our Honey and Dear just called him Doshi. He claimed to be a Warrior Monk of the highest caliber, and a black belt expert teacher of Ninjutsu and other martial arts. He had a very large black belt collar around his neck to prove it. He trained me in all of the the Martial Arts, too.

Kain Doshi had me call him Sensei, which means "teacher" in Japan where his ancestors came from. Though he was a very large dog, he was quiet compared to Dolly. He really knew how to just sit, and be. When Honey or Dear told him to sit, he sat, but not Dolly. She would jump around chanting instead. She said it was more important to chant than to sit. I could never master the art of chanting as well as I can sitting in silence. But, I do a pretty good job of making my cat noises sound like Dolly's yodeling. I learned a lot from Sensei and Dolly Lamar

I miss those two sometimes. But it could be very difficult to get through a day with both of them on my tail to learn this lesson and that. It could be very confusing, since both had different points of view. Yet, they were united on their goals to train me to "The Way".

Unfortunately for them I am not a dog and could not fit into their pack. Fortunately for me, I am a superior black cat who has taken the best of their knowledge and put it into practice. Even they could never reach the state of being a cat can reach in the practice of "Stillness". I am actually quite excellent and can hold that pose for a very long time. No dog I know of can keep stillness for that long, always being distracted by people calling them, responding to whistling, and cars driving up to the house, and so on. None of that interrupts with my meditating upon stillness.

I do miss them, it's true. I miss Honey and Dear a little, too. Even though they were always yelling at me. They called me Kobe.

"KOBE!!! Get down from there." I had to get away from my incessant but well meaning Dogma teachers. Didn't I? How else was I to do that but by sitting on top of the refrigerator?

"KOBE, Come here!" What did they think? That I was a dog and would come running when summoned? Excuse me, even a tough guy like me has a sense of dignity. Besides I had no idea they were referring to me when they were shouting KOBE, KOBE, KOBE all the time. Dolly and Sensei showed me that when they are shouting like that to go hide and whimper, usually under the table. But, I would never go under the table with the dogs. I couldn't stand the whimpering. It was just too high pitched for my sensitive ears. So, I would go hide somewhere else. The couple thought I was "aloof", and seemed quite happy to leave it that way, as the dogs were happy to lick their faces all the time. That left me plenty of time to practice my ninja skills. I got very good at sneaking around, being invisible, climbing into places no one could discover, and flying across great distances.

But, that last year I lived there, the Honey and Dear were always bickering. In fact, they changed their names to "Hey" and "You". I was almost relieved when we were all put in our carriers and taken to the shelter. Dolly swung into her chanting continuously that whole trip. I felt sad that my own Sensei would howl like a common dog, then too. He had never been one to chant. It was quite painful to be in the middle of that. I was so relieved when we were separated but I didn't realize I wouldn't see my teachers again. That is one thing they must have known when we were traveling in the car. I had blocked out all their noise, but they "knew" it was Good bye... Sayonara, because that was part of their last message to me.

At the shelter, a nice man took me out of the carrier and "inspected" me, saying I was in perfect shape. Of course, I was, even though I was already seven years old at the time. They say that is 45 in purrson years. I suppose that is venerable enough for me.

I recall the day Miss E arrived. It was April 12, 2009. She said she was looking for the Calico. But, she was disappointed when she saw that she-cat. Calico must have weighed about 25 pounds! Miss E said she would never be able to pick her up. I could have also told her that Calico was very mean to other cats, but no one asked me, so I stayed quietly hunkered down in my next-to-the-last bottom cage hoping no one would bother me. I watched carefully, though, as Miss E went from cage to cage introducing herself and getting acquainted with each cat. I could tell she was a nice lady and loved cats, so when she was ready to leave I stuck my nose out the cage to have one last look at her. That was when she noticed me and came back. She opened the cage and lifted me out. I nudged her chin and I couldn't help myself, I was purring for the first time in a long time.

I took one look at her and gave her the mind control message, "Take me home with you!". I could tell she was a very smart lady to be able to discern my message. Some human brains are too thick to get a message through. So, she reached into my cage and grabbed up my toy squirrel, and she carried me closely in front of all the other cages. As we passed the by I purred Sayonara to all the other cats and wished them good luck in finding new forever homes.

I easily got into the travel crate. And on the way to my new home I practiced the chanting method that Dolly Lamar had taught me. I couldn't copy Dolly's high pitched wavering but I was able to produce a very loud and low toned voice. Miss E kept talking to me while she was driving. I thought it was odd when she said that if I were a purrson I would be a baritone! So I stopped chanting and listened to the music she had on her car radio while I practiced stillness.

So when I came to live here and was called KOBE, just like before, I turned and went in the other direction. It didn't take long before the Monk recognized who I really was, and pointed out to Miss E that I was truly a Ninja. He is a very smart man, and a brother in the monkhood so to speak, as it seems he can be "still" in the midst of chaos, too. And even though he has an innate fear of cats, he is able to maintain his integrity by his own Zen practice. So now when purrsons call me Ninja, I go to them.

It seems that Keli, the Dowager Queen, was the Monk's first teacher of "cat acceptance". I have noticed, even though he is able to pet me, he has never attempted to pick me up. So, I still have some work to do in making this man a true cat lover. I recall, though, that he would let Jeffery sprawl himself out from head to toe on his lap on occasion. And I have since got him in my control by lying down on him when he's in bed, so he cannot get up without asking my permission. He's a very good purrson and easy to teach.

Now that the Dowager Queen, Keli, and Jeffery have gone on to their next lives, I have a lot of responsibility around here. First and foremost, I guard over the household by keeping my post at the head of the bed on the bookcase headboard. Then, of course, I must be a good example and older brother to Bambi, though she has little respect for me when she chases me about. I guess I still have a lot to learn about patience and how it is to live without dogs. And ever since little Spyder joined us, it has been imperative for me to let him know who is boss around here, and teach him some manners. Though Bambi insists that she will take care of raising him in the Way of the Cat. But, he is getting so big, so fast, I suspect he will end up being the boss around here. Sometimes I'm not sure which is more challenging, to live in a household with two dogs, or to live in a household with two other cats?

I know one thing for sure. The past is the past, and it is done. That is the way of the Zen Cat. The future with Bambi and Spyder is yet untold. Though, I may attempt to influence them with my abilities and powers, we may not always see eye to eye.

Worry not, I say to myself.
The future is the future,
it is not this moment.
Spending this moment, worrying,
is not being.
It is worrying.
For right now,
I will just be
living each moment.