I just wanted to tell you about my cat, Mishka. I found him on Petfinder two months before my return to Seattle from Baltimore, back in 2005. I knew I shouldn’t be searching for a cat yet, but I did, and then I saw Toby. A large, long haired, grumpy faced orange cat, exactly what I had imagined my next cat to be. I figured there was little chance of it working out in my favor, but I contacted Oasis anyway. Jean, his foster mom, told me that he had been found near starving, with his coat horrendously matted. In her first email, she said that he was very shy and had probably had a hard life. I explained to Jean that I would not be around for another two months, and she very kindly offered to keep him for that long, to slowly work out his mats so that he wouldn’t have to be shaved. I’m am eternally grateful to her for keeping him, because that cat has turned out to be the best cat in the world!

The first Saturday after my return, I dragged a friend to Petsmart with me to finally meet my new cat, whom I had already named Mishka. I was entranced, and kept sticking my fingers into the cage before Jean finally told me to open it and give him a pet. No sooner had I stuck my hand in there than he began to lick it. I told him then and there that I loved him, and that hasn’t changed since.

It’s hard to imagine Mishka as once being shy. He loves everyone, regardless if he’s met them or not. Visitors frequently threaten to steal him, for his so kind and so loving. He’s gentle and patient, and purrs frequently and loudly. He loves to be held, and if you pick him up, he will melt into you immediately and probably start to try to groom you. He’s also pretty big -- no one believes me when I tell them he was once skin and bones. My roommate and I have tried to put him on a diet, but he just finds his way to the other cats’ bowls and sneaks food when we’re not looking, as if determined to keep his portly 16 pounds.

He has a little sister now, Thomasina, whom he loves, grooms and plays with. Thomas is a sweet cat, whom I adopted during a second stint in Baltimore, but she is very much like all the other cats I’ve owned during my life. Mishka, however, remains far and away the best cat ever, and I can’t imagine life without him. I am so thankful to Oasis and to Jean especially, for stumbling upon whichever kill shelter he was in and recognizing that he should be saved. Mishka is the greatest joy in my life. Thank you for all your hard work!