Cat lady shares her collection at Shiloh Museum

Cat lady shares her collection at Shiloh Museum


Lona Mullins’ cat collection may be filled with cute, happy faces and figurines that just cry out to be cuddled.

But the Cave Springs collector — who happily accepts the moniker of “cat lady” — will have a serious mission Jan. 11 when she brings her cat books, stained glass artwork, cat drawings and more to the Shiloh Museum’s Cabin Fever Reliever.

“Most important to my collection are our real life rescue cats we have adopted over the years,” Mullins says. “The most we have had at one time is 10; right now we have six.”

Mullins goes on to explain that she has been a cat lover since childhood and over the years, rescuing cats has become a passion.

Not all of the stories have happy beginnings — but they all have happy endings for the cats at the Mullins home.

“Two of the rescues were litter mates. They were so young, they did not know how to eat solid food. However, they soon learned and are now healthy and happy,” she enumerates. “Some had been mistreated, found by others, and we adopted. Two examples, a calico kitten had her two front legs tied together with wire and thrown into a creek. A lady rescued her, she had to have a front leg amputated, and we adopted her from foster care. The other example, a purebred Siamese kitten, came to us with both legs broken on his right side. After several surgeries and recuperation, he is healed, but has a permanent limp.”

Mullins, retired from a career as a clinical social worker, is also a volunteer at the Springdale museum, where the Cabin Fever Reliever has been a tradition since 2009.

“For many years, we hosted an open house in December, as part of the holiday season,” remembers Susan Young, the museum’s outreach coordinator. “In December 2008, the museum was closed for roof repairs, so no open house that month, but the next month, in January 2009, we celebrated our grand reopening. Museum visitors and staff alike enjoyed the laid-back January vibe, so from that point on, our annual open house has been the second Saturday in January. Since 2011, the event has featured local collectors and their collections, which has proven to be very popular with folks of all ages.”

In addition to Mullins’ cats, this year’s collections include coins, onyx carvings, cats, paper wheels, seashells, magnets, miniature metal buildings, kitchen gadgets, Victorian dolls, Wacky Pack collectibles, hand-carved toys, elephants, postcards, turtles and family keepsakes.

“I think people will enjoy the diversity and whimsical aspects of my collection,” Mullins adds. “I hope all will become cat lovers (if not already) and consider adopting one or more rescue/shelter cats.”



Cabin Fever


WHEN — 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 11

WHERE — Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale

COST — Free

INFO — 750-8165 or

Categories: Family Friendly