Dionne (now Xena) was first brought into the Ferndale Cat Shelter’s care from an animal-hoarding situation, and she was under-socialized and had developed a distrust for humans.

Dionne After Being Rescued by Ferndale Cat Shelter

Xena (then Dionne) shortly after being rescued.

Dionne was a shy, adolescent Persian mix with a semi-long coat that had an abundance of tangles and clumps. She was transferred to us from Oakland County animal control with nine other female Persian/Himalayan cats in 2018. She came from a hoarder/breeder home that kept 60 cats and kittens in a pantry, and she had very little human interaction and no playtime. Half of the females that came to us were pregnant, and all were unspayed.

After a few months of slow progress and light grooming in foster care, Lisa Woolworth, her husband Gerry, and her stepson Ross welcomed the beautiful, black two-year-old kitty into their home in February of 2019 and renamed her Xena.

Xena Sitting Down After Her Haircut

Xena shortly after getting her new haircut.

At first, it was a tough commitment for Lisa to connect with Xena. “She was adopted in February and hid from us for the first three weeks,” Woolworth wrote. “We had her severe mats and feces shaved (hence her “no pants/poodle cut”) and spent hours each day talking to her, coaxing her out with treats, brushings with soft baby brushes and playing cat games with toys.”

After consistently nurturing Xena and acclimating her to her new home, they eventually had a breakthrough. “Now she runs up to us, carries her toys around to play and sleeps on our bed every night,” Woolworth said.

Xena Laying on the Bed

The Princess lounging on her throne.

After warming up to her new humans, Xena also started to show affection for her new brother Pudgy. “She tries to cuddle with our 16-year-old rescue but he is not as enamored with her as we are!” Woolworth wrote. “But they have begun to sleep on the bed together at night and share toys and games.”

Xena's Adoptive Brother Pudgy

Xena’s adoptive brother Pudgy laying by the fireplace.

In a few short months, Xena went from “super shy to super fly” according to Lisa. Gone was the reclusive kitty of the past – Xena had developed an outgoing and affectionate personality after adapting to the consistent love and care in her new home. “She is adorable & loving. She just needed some time to warm up to ‘hoomans,'” Woolworth wrote. “As retirees, we had the time and energy to devote to her after losing both our cats last September to old age.”

The Ferndale Cat Shelter would like to thank Lisa for her love, care and patience and for providing a wonderful forever home for Xena.

Ready to make your own forever memories with a new kitty companion? Click here to apply to adopt a cat on our website!

Xena Lounging on the Bed

All hail Xena, Warrior Princess!