Sunday, February 17, 2008


Yesterday, Michael's beloved kitty, Taniko, died. She was fourteen years old, and he found her as a kitten. Well, actually, his friend Mark found her behind a Taco Bell in Terre Haute, Indiana. Like many of us, Taniko found herself living in many different places and adjusted well to all of them. Taniko died yesterday, just two days after Valentine's Day, of kidney failure. She didn't suffer long.

Taniko was an amazing kitty. She was true calico, with a thick heavy coat, and she was stocky and loved her food. She had lots of personality. Unlike most kitties, Taniko talked. She talked and talked. I never met a cat who wanted to converse with you so much. Meow, meow. She was beautiful, playful and happy.

Taniko and Mike made quite a pair together for several years. Before Mike met Michelle, Taniko was there for company. She played feather, and ball, and had a nice cabinet full of good things to play with. She stayed away from Mike's candles, mostly, only once setting her tail on fire. It was a small hiccup in a very comfortable life. She walked across his keyboard countless times and helped him play the kind-hearted Loral on Evequest.

We will all miss Taniko very much. Everyone hates to see a cat get sick, and it was a blessing, I guess, that Taniko got sick suddenly on Friday and went down fast.

Taniko learned a new skill in the past few months. She learned how to handle a 70-pound (lovable but rambunctious) dog named Jebu, and let him know who was boss. She made cat compromises (of which there are very few) and let him have part of the house. She let him know when his spunkyness and ball gobbling got a little too much for her. She sniffed and spit, but only when he really became unbearably puppylike. She retreated gracefully. She meowed and talked to people, and ate her Iams food, and looked out the window, walked across the keyboards, and even learned to share her window seat with Jebu. That must have been hard!

Taniko has a spirit that will never leave us. She had a nice life, and really went places after her humble beginnings as a starving kitten behind a Taco Bell. She was the best thing a cat can be...a great friend. She was there when Michael needed someone, and we will always love and admire her.

Bless you Taniko!