Mimi Baker has always held a special place in her heart for animals. She worked with horses as a child and began rescuing dogs at a young age. As a teenager, Baker said she began to develop a particularly strong bond with the cats around her house.

“I still had horses at that time, but cats eventually took the place of horses in my life,” she said.

In 2015, Baker opened Copper’s Cat Commune with her husband out of their home in Spring. The nonprofit operates as an indoor and outdoor sanctuary for ill, disabled, immunocompromised, senior and other ‘“adoption-challenged” cats, according to its website. The commune is also home to a pair of feral cat colonies that were rescued from abusive situations.

Why it matters

According to Baker, the majority of the roughly 110 cats residing on the property would have been euthanized had they not ended up at the commune. While Baker said caring for them is no easy task, she said she takes solace in knowing they have another chance at a happy life.

“To look at them running around or scooting around ... enjoying life, playing with toys, loving people—it's absolutely worth it,” Baker said. “Even if their lives are shorter because of their special needs, it is absolutely worth having them here for that duration.”

Baker said taking care of all cats currently residing on the property is a full-time endeavor.

“There are about 30 cats that require daily medications in some form or another, and that could be anything from expressing bladders on the paraplegic cats to just giving a pill,” Baker said. “Then, the cleaning starts, and it's constant.”

Get involved

While the nonprofit is run primarily by Baker, her husband and a small team of employees, Baker said there are plenty of opportunities for volunteer work at the commune.

"We have volunteers that come in on the weekends for both cleaning teams and what we call ‘cat socializing teams,’” she said. “They come in, and they literally sit down and cuddle cats, and that's all they do."

Baker said individuals interested in volunteering can reach out to the nonprofit through its website or social media pages. She noted individuals interested in helping with monetary contributions can submit general donations through the following websites:Additionally, Baker said individuals can view a list of specific items requested by commune officials by visiting the following websites:The takeaway

While Baker noted it’s often difficult dealing with the loss of a commune resident, she said the pain is worth knowing the cat received a second lease on life.

“We fall in love with them,” she said. “It's not a cat that just came into the rescue and maybe got sick or whatever. These guys live here for years. ... It’s so worth it.”

Copper’s Cat Commune

1014 Spring Meadow Drive, Spring