MISCHA- THE 'CAN-DO' CAT
I found Mischa behind the garbage bins of the apartment building I lived in when I was 17.
I had been modeling since I was about 14, and when I was 17, I moved out of my parent's home and started a licensed modeling and talent agency of my own, with a Hungarian woman I knew, Julianna. We shared an apartment with her two children. I'd gotten out of high school early, and had already spent a year in cosmetology school earning my license for that as well.
I didn't have a car at the time, so I used to ride the bus and take Mischa to work with me. I would tuck him into a big bag, and nobody would know. This was way before the current 'pocket pet' fad with all the fancy pooch-carriers. He would stay with me at work all day, and then ride the bus home with me. I modified a dog leash so that I could take him for walks. One time I got locked out of my office and it took a whole day to get the super to open the door, so I fed Mischa by pouring Catfood through the mail slot.
My roommates' children were badly behaved, and after (among other reasons) the second time they emptied his litterbox on my bed, I moved back home.
When I got a car, he loved to ride around with me. He'd sit on the dashboard with his paws on the wheel when I drove. One time I took him to the park with my fiance and I let him off the leash to play around the waterfalls. And then when I wasn't looking, he disappeared. I called and called for hours. I went home crying. And then went back. After hours of searching, I headed back to the last place I'd seen him, and just by chance looked up into the pine tree overhead. There he was. Not saying anything. Needless to say, I never took him to the park or let him off his leash again.
He was a beautiful grey Russian Blue cat. He was featured in many photoshoots, some of them mine, some not. My fiance used to tease me that I loved Mischa more than I loved him, and he may have been right.
My parent's house is pretty much out in the boonies, which means great fun for cats to roam and explore, but it also means there are some people who drive irresponsibly thinking the police won't be out there, and very soon after I moved back home Mischa was hit by a car. I buried him across the street in the fields. Now there is a house where I buried him.
Julianna, my previous Modelling and Talent Agency partner? She ripped me off and disappeared. I don't think of her often, but I still think of Mischa.