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I began volunteering at a cat shelter in 2005. There was one room that I loved to volunteer in: the playfully dubbed "shy cat room." I spent hours in that room, playing with the kitties. Some of them warmed up to me a bit, but the most beautiful of them, a Siberian named Alyssa, didn't. Every time she saw me come over to her side of the room, she'd hiss and spit, then turn tail and hide behind something. She was, however, quite friendly with a few of the calico and tuxedo cats. When her "best friend" decided he liked me and began sitting on my lap, she gradually got more and more used to me.

Around this time, I asked another volunteer what her story was.

Alyssa was found on a local college campus, abused very badly, as a one-year-old. A volunteer brought her to an emergency veterinary clinic and she was treated extensively. When she was healthy again, she was brought to the shelter. She was very skittish and defensive. She loved other cats: she was always rubbing against them and playing with them. However, she was, understandably, terrified of humans. She was put in the "shy cats room," where she quickly made friends.

As the weeks went on, she became increasingly comfortable with me. Of course, she was never quite friendly with me, but she let me pat her. None of the other volunteers could even touch her.

One day in late October, I decided to bring her home.
It was amazing: about two hours after I released her into my bedroom, Alyssa jumped up on the bed where I was quietly reading. Every night since then, she's slept on "her" pillow, right next to my head. For the past ten months or so, she follows me around whenever I'm home and she's awake: she's staring at me from her perch next to the computer right now.

Alyssa is my little miracle, and the proof that I must offer to prove that a cat that seems mean can be the sweetest kitty of them all.
 

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That's a beautiful story. It seems Alyssa is happy living comfortably with you.. :D
 

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Wonderful!! Good for you for sharing so much of yourself with the shy kitties.
 
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