Cat who's spent over 8 years in a shelter wins $10K donation

For 2,801 days and counting, a cat named Grace has been waiting for a forever home.Grace entered Colonial Capital Humane Society in New Bern, North Carolina, as a kitten. Over the past eight years, she’s become the mama cat of the shelter, helping the most scared and timid newcomers learn to feel safe and secure.

She’s pickier with humans. While Grace is a volunteer favorite who doles out head butts and purrs to those she deems worthy, she’s been overlooked by potential adopters since she’s initially standoffish.

Grace is mama cat for scared newcomers at Colonial Capital Humane Society in New Bern, North Carolina.Courtesy of Arm & Hammer Cat Litter

So Colonial Capital Humane Society entered Grace in Arm and Hammer Cat Litter’s “Purrfectly Impurrfect” contest to remind people that she could make a wonderful pet.

On Dec. 18, the company announced Grace as one of three winners of the contest — earning a $10,000 donation for Colonial Capital Humane Society.

Rebecca Blank, group brand manager for Arm & Hammer Pet Care, hopes the recognition helps Grace and her fellow contestants find loving forever homes.“We hope this raises awareness for these cats that tend to get overlooked in shelters,” she told TODAY. “There are so many reasons why these cats get overlooked: It could be age, it could be appearance, it could be a personality thing. There were so many interesting stories that came through and made it really hard for judges to choose.”

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Your dog is as smart as a two-year old! Ever wonder why children around this age seem to have a special bond with the family dog? It could be because they speak the same language, roughly 250 words and gestures in fact.

Shelters across American nominated nearly 2,000 adoptable cats. Because of the overwhelming response, Arm & Hammer Cat Litter pledged to donate an additional $50,000 to shelters each year through its platform Feline Generous.Grace and her fellow winners, JR and Frank, also won their shelters counseling services from Pam Johnson-Bennett, a certified cat behavior consultant who will help transition the pets into forever homes when they are finally adopted.