MishMish quickly established a regular routine. Except when addressing Peter or Joe, she was incredibly polite. She sat by her bowl at mealtimes and waited quietly until someone fed her. And she made it her business to know who came into the house. Whenever the door opened, no matter where MishMish had been napping, she came to investigate and greet the arrival. Her legs were so short that she hopped, rabbit-like down the stairs. We enjoyed the sound of her making her way down—plumpa loopa, plumpa loopa. At bedtime, she came looking for me and my husband. She would get our attention, then stare into my eyes. It was easy to read her mind: “It’s time for bed, Mommy. Come on!” Once my husband and I were both in bed, MishMish jumped up and nestled into a place by our feet.
Whenever I came home MishMish performed our private ritual. She looked at me, tilted her head in a “follow me” signal, then led me to the dining room where she stretched out on the rug—legs extended as far forward and back as possible. It was my job to give her a five minute back rub. If I was rushed and didn’t follow her, or cut our time short, she complained with a curt mew. That didn’t happen often. After all, this was our time together.