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Misha was a purebred, male Siberian cat who was first and foremost, a striking figure among felines. His beauty was arresting, and most people who were lucky enough to encounter him, couldn’t keep from commenting about his looks. But his visual appeal was only part of why Misha was so special. From his time as a kitten, Misha was a ball of bounce-off-the-wall whack-job energy that to the uninitiated, ran counter to his image of dignified grace, elegance, and regal pedigree…because he was intelligent, he bored easily and more often than not, was on the lookout for something interesting to do, and again, more often than not, it had to involve the people he was closest to – his human family. Like other Siberians, Misha was most comfortable around the people who made up his social world. He would wait until you came home from work and start in with playful taunts that demanded your attention, and even implored you to come up with some interesting game or activity – and quickly, please – or he might lose his patience and be “forced” to motivate you in other ways, through love bites and some harmless – haha – claw scratches. It was a playful exchange that forced you in a way, to invent games that stimulated and tired him at the same time. One favorite involved a laundry hamper with taut mesh sides that we’d lay sideways on the floor. Misha would get inside on his back while we placed some small object on the mesh surface – usually a soft, foam ear plug – and Misha would pause momentarily before punching the mesh where the object sat, sending it flying for us to retrieve and set up for another round. Misha punched that thing with the force of a quick right to the jaw by a heavyweight boxer and sent the projectile higher and higher every time! That particular game was one we looked forward to joining in because it was probably more fun for us than for Misha, who loved it because he would get into position without wasting a second whenever the hamper was pulled out. His curiosity and sense of play were the leading characteristics for most of his life. Whatever we were doing – Misha usually wanted in. If it was job around the house – a repair or adjustment to something, even simply opening the curtains or making the bed – Misha was there! He would usually jump ahead and take the lead especially if you were heading somewhere, like into the basement and toward that space behind the water heater…Misha trotted ahead and took the lead and then hung around walking over your tools and looking at you as if expecting a role or assignment. It endeared him to us because it was pure enthusiasm, which is something you appreciate no matter the source. Through this “helper” behavior, Misha earned the nickname, “The Inspector”, but also went by other monikers including, “Little D”, “Mishka”, and with great affection, “That little nut job”. As time went on, Misha’s routines became set in stone and we assumed they were a great source of comfort and security for him, because ultimately, they were a source of comfort and security for us, knowing he was home waiting for our return, anticipating his repertoire, and placating to his need to expend a high degree of energy every day, no matter the level of our enthusiasm or distraction. We gave in much of the time to Misha like any animal – dog or cat – lovers will…because we loved him so much – because he gave us so much in return – because he was a kind of magnetic source of so many compelling attributes: beauty, personality, crazy comic genius, affection, dependability and mind-blowing surprise. We would give him anything he wanted because he gave us everything we could ever want – and more – in a cat friend, good buddy, handsome gunslinger, beautiful and good, good, so good boy – our Misha, who we will never forget and remain ever grateful to for his well-lived and love-filled life.

1 Comment

  1. Beautifully written. Everyone says their pet is unlike any other, but it’s not an exaggeration with Misha. I’ve never met another cat like him and I doubt I ever will. Such personality. Like he knew he was all that, but at the same time didn’t care what anyone thought of him. That may be weird to say about a pet, but his presence always felt very knowing, and wise. Like he wasn’t just a cat, but a silent (sort of haha) family member, always there to either mess with you or comfort you. He was and is still loved. We miss you buddy.

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