Monday, December 06, 2010

More Dojo Friends

On the dojo website under the dojo friends section there is a whole piece devoted to Tiger. Actually over the years there have been many feline friends associated with me and the Aikido of San Jose, especially in its early inception. I remember the first 2 cats, one gray and one white, I named Gray Mouser and Elric after the sword and sorcery heroes. We kept Mouser and gave Elric to I believe Nick de la Torre, who then re-named him Frodo. We had a couple of plantar boxes in front of the old Japantown dojo and a litter of kittens was left. I named them for the Golden State Warriors of the time. We wound up keeping the one named for Sonny Parker. Sonny was a unique Russian Blue shaded cat. He had a gentle disposition and he and I were very close. Unfortunately he went missing.There are no photos of him.And out of the next litter left on our doorstep came Christina. She was an Orange colored cat who had several litters, one of which produced Jenny. Jenny was named by my own daughter, who is also Jenny. Both Christina and Jenny had many litters. Jenny produced Puff, who is pictured above with my daughter. Puff had long fine fur much of which had an almost flame-like quality. Now having so many litters meant the cats had to be given away. Many dojo members took members of litters. And this also meant the dojo had to be flea bombed very often. During one of these Jenny and her mom were visiting Jenny's grandmother in Walnut Creek. I was staying over in the dojo office. In the middle of the night I heard a little cry outside the office door. I opened the door to find Puff who had wandered away from his mom and his litter. I brought him inside and he spent the night with me. And I got in the habit of taking him upstairs with me at night when I was going to sleep. So he and I got very close. Unfortunately after only a few years we awoke to find him dead in the office. I am still haunted by the fact I should have realized how sick he was and gotten him help.

Sonya was Puff's half-brother. My daughter named him Sonya even though he was a male cat. He came out of Jenny's next litter. He and Puff were close. After Puff died He and I became great friends. He was a very big cat and carried a lot of weight. I used to race him up the stairs. He used to let me think I was going to beat him then race effortlessly past me on the last few steps. Sonya had a much longer run than Puff, but he succumbed to a stomach tumor in 1994. Both Puff and Sonya are buried by the old Japantown dojo.

Dennis and I have been practicing some Christmas songs. We did this one last week. I put it together with some photos. Also featured in the photos is Swiftwind, a white cat from one of Christina's litters. I named him after She-ra's winged unicorn. He was a good friend to both Puff and Sonya. Also pictured is Flash, who belongs to my friend Lorri Verzola, and of course Vladi needs no introduction.


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