I've actually wondered a little about Hortense. Unlike the McNinjas, who are masked at birth and never reveal their faces to anyone, Hortense is perfectly happy to show her face all the time and use her mask only when on the job (and sometimes, not even).
We know she's a member of the American Ninja Guild
. So she is a ninja ... but the ninja guild apparently doesn't compel her to observe their ninja tricks.
Just speculating - but maybe Hortense is part of a different ninja faction. Technically the guild that Dan and the McNinjas belonged to was called "The Guild of American Ninja
". A minor distinction, maybe. BUT - that guild was wiped out. Frans Rayner killed all the ninjas back in the 80's. The McNinjas were among a very few who survived by going into hiding. So who's this new "American Ninja Guild" set up in the mid 90's-ish era? Dan never mentions being the active head of a new ninja guild - he never talks about calling up some ninja backup from the guild, despite all the crises they go through.
My theory is that the American Ninja Guild are "new-age" ninjas - ninjas modernized for the contemporary world. No more lame masks, ninja tricks, and old rules - no, the new American Ninja Guild is in yo' face, down wit it, and rad to the x-treem (90's style!). Same stealthy killing, but without the black masks and pajamas. And no traditions. This ain't your daddy's ninja guild ... literally, because this is not Dan McNinja's ninja guild. These ninjas moved in from some other location and started advertising in an empty market - recruiting right off the street. And their scorn for the ancient ninja ways is what causes the rift between them and the survivors of Frans' ninjas holocaust.
Or maybe ... maybe Frans IS the founder of the new guild. Once he killed all the ninjas, then got famous for it in the movies, then set up a ninja school. Frans Rayner's American Ninja Guild franchise dojos, popping up like McBonald's.
Some kinda side story about that, maybe. Actually, I'm hoping if Doc Hastings ever decides to pull a JK Rowling and do a "Stories of the McNinja-Verse" kinda thing, that learning more about Hortense and her daily life would be an option.
Alternatively, a story about the talking hyenas. I love those guys.