Cats are resilient and independent creatures. As people often point out, they haven't been fully domesticated, and some cats will run away from home when given the chance. However, many cats really do just want a safe, happy home, especially those that have experienced the difficulty of living on the street.
A Minnesota resident named Sandra learned how true this is when she came across a tabby cat that had been put up for adoption by her local Animal Humane Society. The cat was a 6-year-old tabby that volunteers at the shelter had affectionately named Bruce Willis.
Bruce — or, rather, Mr. Willis — had come to the shelter after living as a street cat for many years. During his life, he'd experienced a number of injuries and problems. When he was brought to the shelter, he had (among other issues) multiple chipped teeth and an eye injury that hadn't healed quite right. In addition, he tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus. Poor Bruce had seen his share of troubles.
Still, this didn't mean this boy was rough all over. As soon as someone tried to pet or cuddle him, he instantly began to purr. The shelter put him up for adoption on its Facebook page, writing, "Bruce is the sweetest and most affectionate boy around. All cheeks and love, he will brighten every day you spend with him."
On August 8, which also happened to be International Cat Day, Sandra saw him and instantly fell in love. "When I saw his picture," she told Love Meow, "it just spoke to my heart."
She decided to visit him at the shelter. Unfortunately, Sandra lived in an apartment complex that didn't allow pets, so she knew she would never be able to take him home. However, just one look at his face made her want to do just that.
Heartbroken, Sandra went home, hoping he would be adopted by someone who would love him just as much as she wanted to. Still, she continued to check the website for updates and wound up visiting him again. After a month, no one had adopted Mr. Willis. That's when she knew she needed to take matters into her own hands.
Sending her landlord a pic of the adorable kitty, she asked if an exception could be made. It worked. Soon, Sandra had been given special permission to bring Mr. Willis home.
As soon as Sandra brought him inside her apartment, he immediately flopped down on the carpet and began to purr. It was as if he knew he was finally where he belonged.
"He didn't stop purring all night," Sandra said. "Since that day, he's been following me around no matter where I go."
Mr. Willis kept his tough name and his sweet nature. He loves to curl up beside Sandra whenever she sits down on the couch.
In addition, he continues his habit of purring often and loudly. In fact, when Sandra brought him to the veterinarian for his checkup, the vet couldn't hear Bruce's heart beating because he was purring so loudly.
After more than nine months, this ginger street cat has adjusted beautifully to being a lap cat, a homebody and a beloved pet. Domestication may not be the way of every house cat, but for Mr. Willis, who knows how rough the streets can be, it's the sweetest life ever.