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A Little Black & White Cat Named Ninja

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about the whole idea of calling cancer a gift.

As my friend Rachel used to say, “If someone says cancer is a gift, they’ve been drinking the chemo.” Rachel had such a great sense of humor. I miss Rachel’s wisecracks. I miss Rachel.

Some people believe their cancer is a gift and aren’t afraid to say so. That’s fine.

Everyone has the right to live and express their own cancer truths, but as for me, I will never call cancer a gift. Never.

I am grateful for some things and for many people that have come into my life following my diagnosis, but those things and those people are the gifts, not cancer. In my mind there is a huge difference.

One of those “things” that came into my life post-cancer diagnosis was a little black and white cat named Ninja.

I’ve always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs and have always had a dog as an adult as well. I didn’t care much about cats. I didn’t dislike them. I just didn’t like them, or so I thought.

Dear Hubby on the other hand, has always loved dogs and cats.

He’s been telling me for a fair number of years that we really should get a cat. My answer was always no. I always had the same reasons excuses; cats are aloof, cats aren’t friendly, cats don’t care about people, cats walk on your counters, cats scratch up your furniture, cats need litter boxes, cats don’t like dogs and the biggie – I’m allergic to cats.

After Dear Hubby stood by me through the recent chaos of cancer, I decided well, why the heck not get a cat?

Dear Hubby deserved a cat and a whole lot more. Plus, about a year ago Dear Daughter was fostering a certain tiny black and white cat that no one wanted.

You know where this all ended up don’t you?

Lots of “talking mom into a cat” dialogue ensued.

The surprising thing was the small amount of “talking into” that was needed.

I was ready.

Exactly one year ago, Dear Daughter delivered our new little black and white fur bundle all the way from Fargo, North Dakota. This kitty was petite as cats go. We didn’t know where she came from, how she became homeless or exactly how old she was. She did appear to be young, healthy and very feisty for someone so small, hence the name Ninja.

She’s our little Ninja warrior.

Almost immediately, I realized I had been wrong about cats.

Just as with dogs (or humans) it’s never fair to make sweeping generalizations.

Some cats are aloof, but not Ninja. Some cats are unfriendly, but not Ninja. Some cats scratch up your furniture, but not Ninja. Some cats walk on your counters, but not Ninja. (okay, she does this once in a while, but not very often).

Some cats don’t like dogs, but Ninja does (big relief here). Some cats don’t care (or pretend not to care) about people, but Ninja clearly does and isn’t one bit concerned about keeping up the appearance of aloofness.

In fact, Ninja loves people.

How do we know this?

Well, because she “tells” us all the time.

Ninja is a meower. You’re probably saying, all cats are meowers, right?

Well, Ninja meows a lot and I mean A LOT!

Everyone who meets Ninja says she is the most vocal cat they have ever seen heard.

Who knew cats had so much to say?

I sure didn’t.

Who knew someone so tiny could quickly garner so much attention and power influence within a household formerly “ruled” by dogs?

And who knew a little black and white cat could so easily wiggle her way into our hearts?

Though my dogs still take “top billing,” Ninja ranks right up there.

No, cancer is NOT a gift!

But our little Ninja warrior is.

To read more of Ninja’s story, check out this heartwarming post from That Mutt.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?

Have you ever adopted a pet from a rescue facility?

How do you feel about calling cancer a gift?

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A little black & white #cat named Ninja #cats #pets #tuxedocats #rescuecats



Who says cats and dogs don’t get along?

Dianne Duffy

Sunday 10th of June 2012

Great story! So glad you found just the right cat. We adopted one after my cancer journey too. Our dog died of a heart attack right in the middle of cancer. It was such a terrible time. After things settled a bit, we adopted Tiger Lily. She is so friendly and is also a meower. Talks all the time. Blah, blah, blah...

She gets along great with our other dog, our other two cats and our new puppy that we got just before my husband herniated his disc. (We have so much fun at our house)

I think rescue pets are absolutely the best! So does our cat Tiger Lily. You can read her story on her facebook page. (she claims to be royalty) No matter what happens, pets can always bring joy into someone's life!

Thanks for writing.



Monday 11th of June 2012

Dianne, Oh that must have been so hard to lose your dog in the middle of cancer treatment. I'm sorry. I'm glad you found a lovable cat to adopt too! That's great. It sounds like you have quite a houseful of pets! I thought we had a lot! You're so right about the joy pets bring into our lives. And they don't ask for much in return do they? Sorry about your hubby. Hope he's doing okay now. Thanks so much for reading and taking time to comment, Diane. Glad you enjoyed the post!

Beth L. Gainer

Thursday 7th of June 2012

Great post, Nancy! Your cat Ninja looks a lot like my cat Hemi, even the unique white marking on the face! Ninja is actually a tuxedo cat (black and white), as is my Hemi. I also have a brown tabby named Cosette.

I've always been a cat person, although I like dogs. Cats get a bad rap -- a lot. Many cats are affectionate and sweet and love people. My kitties are wonderful pets.

It's the same thing about dogs: some dogs are vicious and mean and scary, but many are not. So you are right: generalizations shouldn't be made about a particular animal.


Monday 11th of June 2012

Beth, I remember you have a cat that looks a lot like Ninja. Something else we have in common! Cats do get a bad rap pretty often, but you're right, dogs do too I guess. It's never good to make generalizations about anyone - including the four-legged species among us! Thanks for your comments, Beth.

Cancer — the gift that never was : Mourning Has Broken

Wednesday 6th of June 2012

[...] people call cancer a gift. Nancy’s Point doesn’t think so. A genuine gift touches the heart. That’s why she calls her cat Ninja [...]

Jan Baird Hasak

Wednesday 6th of June 2012

Nancy, Ninja is just the cutist cat! I love how you focus on her life to the exclusion of the cancer. I'm more of a dog person than a cat person. I currently don't have a pet, but I have my teddy bear, who sleeps with me and watches over me. He's my current gift, courtesy of my dear departed mom.

We adopted two dogs from a rescue facility back in 2002. They are now with my husband. They are so cute, and I miss them very much.

I don't think cancer is a gift. Some people say that to make "chemonade" out of chemo, but it's not something I would "give" to anyone, no matter how I felt about the person, no matter what the gift wrapping looked like (including lymphedema bandages). It has destroyed much of what is dear to me. So keep on writing so that others will know how many of us really feel about the disease. It sucks! xx


Monday 11th of June 2012

Jan, I'm still more of a dog person, too, but I do love our Ninja! I bet you do miss your dogs, Jan. It's sweet you have a teddy bear from your mom to "watch over" you. Thanks so much for sharing.


Wednesday 6th of June 2012

I have a dog and cat and love them dearly! They add so much to our lives, don't they? Although I now have to teach my dog not to be afraid of the ceiling, it is a job I am happy to do. :)


Wednesday 6th of June 2012

Ann, Pets do indeed add so much. I can't imagine living without at least one pet. Your comment about your dog being afraid of the ceiling really cracked me up. My golden has a few fear issues, but hey, don't we all? Thanks for commenting.

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