In one way MishMish behaved like a stereotypical cat. She was curious. That’s how she inspired MishMish: Spy Cat. Place a bag or box on the floor or open a cabinet, and she was in it. Leave a closet or the attic door open and you’d best not close it too soon, because before long there’d be a “meow” from within.
We all admired MishMish for her expertise in yoga. She could lie down with her front paws extended to touch the rug to the right above her head. Her belly would be up and her back legs twisted to rest on the floor to her left. Joe took numerous phone pictures of her poses. But we all learned early in her residence that we were forbidden to touch her exposed belly. If we did, we were guaranteed a warning bite. So I suppose, I should not blame myself for discovering the tumor under one of her nipples so late. Her pose was just so cute one day that last winter, that I risked a bite to tickle her belly. And there was the lump. Two and a half centimeters said the vet when she examined her. Cats, too, get breast cancer. The tumor was extensive. The surgeon was certain he had gotten it all, but the lab said Mish’s lymph glands were “dirty” so the prognosis was not good.
“Chances are the cancer will return in several months to a year,” said the doctor. “And she has a heart murmur too.”
We were crushed and MishMish was miserable. She wore a plastic collar to prevent her from licking her stitches. Given her yoga proficiency, she could reach the incision anyway so she graduated to a larger plastic collar and a longer healing period. Mish hung her head and hid under any furniture that the collar permitted her to pass. We tailored her food bowls so she could reach her food. We all passed an unpleasant five weeks until the collar came off. Then MishMish’s mood improved and she returned to her usual routines. We decided to hope for the best, shower her with love, and make her the happiest possible cat in whatever time she had left to share with us. Her backrubs became longer and I constantly told her how special she was.