By Kristi OHarran Herald Columnist
Cafe Mocha Valencia the cat was almost a dead duck.
Rescued from a shelter, she is now on top of the cat show world.
Laura Holland of Everett adopted her from Purrfect Pals in Arlington, a no-kill shelter, where Holland is a volunteer worker.
The gorgeous Mocha, with a Veronica Lake look, had been with families with small children who apparently tormented her, Holland said.
“When I adopted her in March of 2008 she was a terrified cat.”
Holland, who owns a bookkeeping business, couldn’t touch the kitty’s face, paws or tail. And if she saw small children, the cat trembled in fear.
With lots of love, and time, the cat turned into a love bug.
“She now will lay on my lap, flat on her back, as I trim her nails. And she head-butts me while being bathed.”
Holland enters Mocha in the household pet class in shows held by The International Cat Association.
TICA has members and clubs around the world. Besides pedigreed cats, those adopted from shelters or rescued off the street compete for titles and awards.
Last show season, Mocha finished second best in the Northwest — just points shy of best in the Northwest, Holland said. “She also finished eighth in the world out of thousands of cats.”
Perhaps what is more important than all the titles and ribbons, Mocha gently head-butted a 3-year-old boy at a Portland, Ore., show.
“She knows now that no one is going to hurt her,” Holland said.
Kathleen Shaw, outreach coordinator for Purrfect Pals, said they are thrilled to have a rescued cat not only find a wonderful forever home, but to have her become a top TICA show cat both regionally and internationally.
“She has come a long way and is a great ambassador for our shelter and for the plight of shelter cats,” Shaw said. “She is proof that shelter cats are special and are real winners.”
Holland, who dotes on her dogs, cats and ferrets, is from Canada. She moved to Everett six years ago from Florida to escape the heat and accept a job.
Before she adopted Mocha, the cat had a rough life.
“Twice she was nearly euthanized and twice the microchip Purrfect Pals put in saved her life and brought her back to us,” Holland said.
Holland took a chance on the sullen kitty. She was patient. Mocha, a new type of purebred cat called a RagaMuffin, came around on her own speed.
“She loves being shown,” Holland said. “It’s one incredible ending for a shelter cat.”
She continued: “With the right amount of love, care, understanding and patience, even the most pitiful, unwanted animals can turn into amazing, loving pets.”
Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, email@example.com.