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  Midnight

Midnight belonged to a friend and neighbor of mine, and in fact was not my first choice. I'd wanted her brother, an adorable grey kitten named "Smokey". However, he was promised to someone else and I was unable to have him. So I settled for Midnight's twin sister, "Samone". But she had what looked like bites in her ears, and this troubled me. Thus, I gave her back and got my little Midnight. When I first brought her home, she used to like to sleep on my chest. How I loved cuddling her and nuzzling noses with her.

   
 
Midnight was a very cute kitten, and very clever as well. I actually trained her to climb onto my stereo cabinet and open the door to leave my room (if I put a sock over the doorknob so that she could turn it). Learning about the chirruping noise that mother cats give their kittens, I discovered how to call her that way and she responded very well (especially since I'd learned how to mimic cats from another cat we'd owned). You can imagine how much I annoyed my mother whenever I did that. Midnight also was clever at learning new combat methods to use on the neighborhood cats. Her favorite toy, a stuffed cream-colored Stegosaurus we called "Spike", was an excellent source of strategizing as well as entertainment. Midnight soon developed her trademark "Karate Kitty Maneuver" from playing with her toy - hugging it while fiercely kicking at it with her hind legs. This method earned her tons of respect and fear from local cats (and grief for my foot one time she attacked me when I wouldn't play with her). Over time, I noticed that she was staying small in size unlike some cats I'd seen, and we began calling her "Baby Kitty" for it. Her first nickname of several. As she grew older, even more interesting quirks arose. She was like a miniature panther, and often showed that to the world whenever she climbed into our nextdoor neighbor's tree and sharpened her claws on a branch. How I regret never taking a picture of her looking so ferocious - often horsing around and wrapping her paws (and claws) around the branch if I drew near (I think she was showing off her feline pride). And then there was the times that she hid in the shadows of our fence in the front yard.....waiting for an unsuspecting victim to pounce on their ankles when they walked past. This practice, and the fact that she's a Black Tabby with stripes that only appear in direct sunlight, earned her the second nickname that she came to recognize and enjoy hearing - "Shadow Tiger" (but having profound love of Japan, I called her that in Japanese: "Kage Tora"; often adding the word "Chibi", which means "Little", to it). It seemed as if she knew the meaning behind that name, for she always seemed to be a bit more show-offy whenever she heard it. She also responded warmly to being called "Chibi Kuroneko"
(Little Black Cat), which quickly became the number 1 nickname to call her (even when calling for her at the door; makes me wonder what the neighbors thought). And then there was the most remarkable quirks of all: near-doglike behaviour. Yeah, she liked to fetch, as long as it was something she could sink her claws or teeth into (especially her beloved "Spike"). She also loved to follow me and my dad whenever we walked to the grocery store (which was 10 blocks away), like she was our little silent bodyguard. She never went all the way, but always waited on this one person's front steps until we came back that way. It was hilarious to see her running up to greet us, because she often meowed while running and it sounded really comical. That earned her the amusing nickname my dad used to call her - "Squeak Toy". And just like dogs can learn things well, I was able to train her to do some pretty cool things (well, cool to me anyway). First, I got her to come whenever I rang some little jingle bells. That was a lot of fun around Christmas time, but sadly it only was used for two Christmas holidays since I soon lost the bells. Then just a few years ago, I got her to the do the neatest trick ever. I'm a huge fan of a comic series and cartoon about ninja and their daily struggles in life, called "Naruto", and one of my favorite combat moves used by some of the characters is one that summons a valiant creature to aid them in battle. So I managed to train Midnight to come running up to me if ever I shouted out the words used to summon a ninja's ally! You can imagine how fun it was to show her little stunt off to folks.
But I feel so sad that I never had the chance to show her off to my friends who're Naruto fans.....bummer. All-in-all, Midnight was a highly unique cat and my best friend for 12 awesome years. I dearly miss her, as does everyone else in my family who came to love her many quirks and charms...

In parting I'll say something special in Japanese: "Sayonara, chibi kuroneko... sayonara, otomodachi... ai-shiteiru zutto..." (Farewell, little black cat... farewell, dear friend... I love you forever...)

A fitting farewell for the coolest cat I ever had.....my dear little Midnight.....

~Katherine Rene'e

 
 
 
Posted Nov. 7,  2005  |     Printer Friendly Version

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