BROOKINGS – Nine-year-old Ninja is the sort of jet-black feline you might associate with a scary Halloween – and if you’re the superstitious type, you don’t want him crossing your path and bringing you bad luck. But as for his own luck, for the long haul it’s been pretty good.
After going missing in March here in Brookings, he was found and returned to his owners, who had moved after he disappeared.
Ninja was a New York cat, owned by David Hulle. When he moved to Brookings in September 2019 to join Cydne Perry, a professor of health and nutrition sciences at South Dakota State University, he brought Ninja and Deputy, Ninja’s littermate-brother, with him. And all was well – for a while.
“One day in March, I opened up the door and Ninja ran out – and he didn’t come back,” Perry explained. “And we searched for him but we couldn’t find him.”
In July, Hulle and Perry, with Deputy but minus Ninja – relocated to Bloomington, Indiana, where she took a faculty position at the University of Indiana.
On Monday, Sept. 14, Perry got a text message from a friend in Brookings, with a picture of Ninja from the Brookings Regional Humane Society. Perry looked on the website and it said the cat was from New York. On Friday, Sept. 18, the couple drove from Bloomington to Brookings, and on the afternoon of Sept. 19, they were reunited with Ninja, who had been found as a stray on the streets of Brookings. How many of Ninja’s nine lives were spent during his months on the streets, or wherever he was, remains a mystery.
“Ninja was brought to us from Brookings Animal Control on Aug. 24,” said Samantha Javier, of the BRHS, recounting what little was known in the saga of the at-large feline. “So between March and August, we don’t really know what he was doing or where he was. Luckily, he picked a good season to be outside.
“We had scanned him for a microchip, but the chip company was no longer in service; so there was no way for us to reach out to the previous owner.”
Ninja was then processed into the BRHS system: he got a medical checkup and was brought “up to date on everything.” His picture and other information were posted on the BRHS website.
“That’s where they saw him and they were reunited,” Javier said. She noted how the return of Ninja to his owners proved the value of chipping a pet. The BRHS will chip a pet for $25 plus tax; call 697-7387 for an appointment.
Contact John Kubal at [email protected]