Mischa came to us a couple of years ago as a surrender – one of two cats brought in when the family had to move. The other cat was outgoing enough to be an adoption prospect, but Mischa was very shy and it was decided that the Sanctuary was a better place for him.
His first home in the DoubleWide gave us a chance to see how approachable he was; staff and Kitty Comforters alike spent time with him. He wasn’t actively unfriendly – no hissing, spitting and lunging (the KCs do shed blood from time to time!) – it just became obvious that he was a very private sort of cat, and didn’t much want people in his space.
When it was time to release him, he rapidly made his way into the back pens, and investigated all the places he could hide. He became something of a ghost cat, avoiding attention, sneaking in to eat when nobody was around.
Not only was he not keen on people contact, but he also largely avoided other cats – not aggressive in any way, just being “the cat that walks by himself”. He presented a challenge for Kitty Comforter Mel, who spent a good bit of time coaxing him to interact with her, and to trust that she wouldn’t push him outside his comfort zone.
He’s still not entirely easy with us, but is more ready now to relax around selected people, and allow a little gentle petting.
I think I “get” Mischa – he’s an introvert who likes his own company, who’s not into parties, but would rather have small, high-value interchange than a whole bunch of small talk. He’s not edgy and high-strung like Emery, he doesn’t look to pick fights like Licorice – he just wants to be able to make his own decisions about when and where and for how long he will allow interaction. And when time’s up, he heads back to his safe corners to recharge by himself.