In Havian lore, it takes six days to go crazy.
So, the first day is the worst, he figured. But he's wrong.
On the second day, he can't feel his fingers or his toes--not because he's cold, but because he can't see them and Aikens depend on sight to sense touch. The guards that feed him think it's funny that he can't pick up his food with his hands or feet, that he has to use his tail to grab anything. They laugh and heckle and call him foul names in the brutal southern-drawl of Havian that Mishka never bothered to learn because his lover never spoke it around him--always common, or Aiken, or northern-drawl Havian, so he could understand everything, if he said it very slowly. He recognized a few words: "queer" and "junkie" and "freak" and "/deadmeat/", but none of it made any sense. And he couldn't feel his fingers or toes.
On the third day, it felt like his head had fallen off his shoulders. He couldn't hold it up, and everything was at a strange angle, and he couldn't feel anything holding his head up, so he figured his tail must have been and his head fell off while he was-not sleeping, but whatever it was that prisoners did in the penitentiary. The guards still call him names, but now one worries, and speaks in common when none of the others are near. He smiles, and says everything will be fine. Mishka doesn't think he's real, but it's only been three days; he tells the guard that, and the guard must think he's already crazy, but it's only been /three days/.
On the fourth day--Mishka doesn't remember.
On the fifth day, it must be his lover, because it feels like him, and smells like him, and sounds like him, and he doesn't complain or make any sound when he's pulled away from the wall and slammed into the floor. He doesn't make any sound when he's stripped of his shirt and breeches. He doesn't make any sound as someone who isn't his lover (because he's dead/, damnit) but who sure as hell /feels like him, fucks him into the rough frozen ground of the cell they'd given him. It brings the sun with it. He thinks he can feel his fingers again, but his toes are too far gone to worry about. He sleeps.
When the sixth day comes, Mishka isn't around to see it, and he figures that his lover must be right, with the Havian lore.
But he only lasted one day.