This Nearby Cat Museum Has Nine Lives’ Worth of Knickknacks

Redner’s Rescued Cat Figurine Mewseum in Menomonee Falls has an estimated 3,500 cat items on display.

Shawn Redner and Hilary Siegel-Redner are into cats. And not just a little bit. The Menomonee Falls couple, the parents of eight felines, have amassed a collection of cat figurines and knickknacks so large they decided to open their home to the public. 

Acting “on a whim,” Shawn took up this unusual hobby back in 2018. The dozen or so figurines he found at thrift stores and garage sales soon turned into a diversion that “overcame his entire life,” he says. Saying that Hilary didn’t quite share his vision at first is an understatement, he says. 

Shawn Redner and Hilary Siegel-Redner; Photo by Marty Peters


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“She thought it was kinda strange, but when the first wall went up,” he says, “she saw what I was going for.” Hilary balked again when Shawn told her the next step – opening Redner’s Rescued Cat Figurine Mewseum. “She said, ‘We’re going to do what?’” her husband says. 

It was a departure from their relatively normal lives – Hilary is a paraprofessional at an elementary school, and Shawn works at a surface treatment plant. But her reluctance turned not just to acceptance, but active participation in the treasure hunt. Now the Redners’ living room, kitchen, spare room and basement rec room are filled with floor-to-ceiling shelves and display cases stuffed with a seemingly unending clowder of cats. 

The museum holds a monthly open house that usually draws about 25 visitors, and private tours can be arranged by appointment. A $5 donation is the asking fee for entrance, which the Redners donate to local cat rescues and shelters. 

Redner’s Rescued Cat Figurine Mewseum; Photo by Marty Peters

Shawn doesn’t know exactly how many items are in the constantly growing collection. “I counted 130 on one shelf, and then I gave up,” says Redner, dressed the day we met in a cat-print bowling shirt, baseball cap covered in cat-shaped pins, and a playful golden cat necklace. He estimates that there are at least 3,500 items on display and probably more packed away in storage – most gleaned from their own thrifting, and some donated, from as far away as Hawaii.

The couple’s own menagerie of felines – Snookie, Batgirl, Space Panda, Trapper T. Cat, Birdie, Blue, Squeaky and Blackjack – act as mewseum ambassadors. 

Besides supporting cat organizations, Shawn says payoff for the project is the joy it brings to cat fans: “It just makes people happy, there’s a lot of joy that goes into the museum.”

With the collection quickly growing by the hundreds and crowding their living quarters, a future dream for the couple is to move and expand. “We’re hoping someday to open Blackjack’s Cafe, where we can have a coffeeshop with adoptable cats and our museum in the same building,” Shawn says. “That’s where we’d be able to continue to grow and reach more people.” 

Find more info and upcoming open houses at:



This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s April issue.

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