Volunteer’s Love and Patience Wins Untrusting Cat’s Affection

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Mia catMia first arrived at The Cat House in 2004 after being rescued from a local cat hoarding situation.  After her arrival, Mia had four kittens, three of which survived, and all of whom were adopted.

Mostly feral and generally untrusting of humans, Mia wasn’t warming up to volunteers and didn’t want anyone near her. This continued until a particularly dedicated woman, Wanda D., began volunteering with The Cat House over four years ago.

Wanda took it upon herself to meet Mia’s challenge and get the small, six-pound tabby to trust her.  Over the next three years of volunteering, Wanda succeeded at gaining Mia’s trust!  At first, Mia would only accept treats from Wanda, but with time, she began to allow a few gentle strokes and even allowed Wanda to brush her fur.

As time went on, Mia began looking forward to Wanda’s visits, coming to the door of her room and talking to Wanda when she came in for her volunteer shifts.  Mia still loved her treats and brushings, but Wanda knew that she had gained Mia’s full trust at long last on the night she butted heads with Wanda and rubbed her face against her head.  Several other volunteers at The Cat House suggested that Wanda and her husband adopt little Mia.  Over several months, they discussed the idea of bringing Mia permanently into their family to live out the rest of her days, and decided it was time.

With four other cats in the house, as well as Mia’s history, Wanda and her husband worked to make a separate room ready for her arrival so that she could be eased into the family.  But when Mia came home for the first time, she didn’t run or hide as is so common.  Instead, as Wanda described, she strode proudly into her new home, as if to say, “What took you so long?”

Wanda says that Mia still has a kitten’s heart, and lives happily with the other cats in her forever home.  Mia has several spots for sleeping and watching the world pass by outside.  She is strongly bonded to Wanda, and always needs to know where she is in the house, coming to find her when Mia feels she needs to check on her human.  Mia now trusts both Wanda and her husband and allows them to hold her, pet her, butt heads, and even clip her nails without resistance.  And of course, Mia still loves it when Wanda gives her treats.

The love and patience of a single TCH volunteer brought Mia from a frightened feral to a happy housecat!


Stories like Mia’s are very common in The Cat House’s history. At The Cat House, it isbelieved that every cat has a forever home, even if it takes a while for them to find it. The Cat House was formed in 1998 and is Lincoln, Nebraska’s only no-kill cat shelter. Hundreds of local cats are brought into the system every year, through the cage-free shelter, volunteer foster homes and a successful trap-neuter-return program that alters and vaccinates local feral colonies.


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