Once again, Tree House will be taking part in the NBC/Telemundo Chicago Clear the Shelters big event, where we welcome many potential adopters to our location and waive all of our adoption fees for the day for kitties 6 months of age and older.
This year, we’ll be welcoming Pet Supplies Plus to our shelter, and they might have a few little surprises to give to our visitors.
Additionally, you’ll get a chance to meet and greet Saffron P. Sorbet, better known as Saffy P, our fabulous calico mascot. She’ll be dancing around and celebrating the occasion of all her furry friends finding their forever fhomes. (Sorry, but we had to keep the alliteration going.)
So, if you’re ready to adopt the love of your life, set aside some time this Saturday, August 17th between 12 pm to 6 pm and get up here to Tree House. Our kitties have all their bags packed and are prepped and ready.
Update: Post was updated at 12:38 pm CST August 16th to specify that adoption fees are waived for cats 6 months of age and older.
If you haven’t heard by now, Leonardo Pescatore, our two-year resident and carrier of FIV and FeLV, was finally adopted! We heard it might have been because of his #ChickenHatProtest when he wore a chicken hat (at his discretion, when he felt like it) to bring attention to his incredibly long length of stay. Such was the success of the chicken hat that Leonardo left instruction upon his departure to name a worthy successor in the hope that its magic will work once again. Who did he name? We’ll tell you at the end of the post, but first we need you to know something about FeLV+ cats.
Cats like Leonardo often don’t get a chance to find a home. Up until very recently, cats with FeLV were euthanized immediately upon entry to a shelter. The virus wasn’t well understood and the cats who carried it were feared.
Tree House is one of a few shelters in the world offering a safe place for cats with FeLV. You’ll notice we feature them in our Cat Cafe. Currently, we have roughly 9 spots in our shelter – they live separately in their own colonies, away from the general population to minimize any spread of the virus, which could happen for cats with underdeveloped or compromised immune systems. Each time one of these cats is adopted, a spot opens up in our cafe or adoption floor and we bring in a new FeLV+ kitty from other shelters and from foster homes.
Being the forward thinkers that we are, Tree House started wondering how we can help even more of these special kitties. We can’t increase space in our shelter, but we CAN increase space in our foster homes, and that’s where YOU come in! We need YOU to open your home to our FeLV+ waiting list.
We’ll bet you never looked at your spare bedroom or back office and thought “Man, this room is lifesaving.” Well, it is! It can absolutely save a life or two because you can fill it with an FeLV+ cat that we can pull from another shelter and take into the Tree House family. The cats can then be transferred onto our floor when space is available, OR they can be adopted right out of your home as part of our Home Base program. Either way, we all win.
And what’s the “Sweet Perk” mentioned above? Anyone who agrees to foster an FeLV cat gets free admission for life to our Cat Cafe and 10% off any drinks. That’s a pretty impressive club to be a card-carrying member of, we think.
It happened – the first-ever Tree House Cat Walk Pub Crawl event took place on July 27th, 2019 and it was a success! Thanks to everyone’s efforts, including all of our supporters, we were SOLD OUT two weeks before the date. Over 250 people got together to have fun, try some tasty drinks, and support Tree House’s vision to see every cat thrive. Here are some other major successes connected with the event:
Two of our sponsor cats, Leonardo Pescatore and Adam(o), were adopted! #TeamLeoCat and #TeamAdamoCat can celebrate big wins. That just leaves Cleopatra, our darling Calico, here. She’s waiting and she’s ready, so send everyone you know to meet her! And, since she’s still here, you have one more chance to donate in her name to help her and other cats like her get that one thing they’ve been waiting for: a home.
We Raised: Just over $20,000!
There are winners! Scroll down to the end of this post to see if you won one of our fantastic prizes.
A special thanks goes out to all of our sponsors and our host bars, to Wow Bao for donating a post-event snack for everyone, and to all of our attendees for being available and ready to support. No event can be a success without you. Our kitties send their love and thanks to you all!
Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket to Cat Walk. It is officially a sold out event! Therefore, there will be no on site ticket sales (Insert sad face here), but there are still two things you can do: 1) Support a Cat Walk cat and donate in their honor and 2) Wait until next year!
If you were lucky enough to snag a ticket, here are some things to look forward to!
Free tour of Empirical Brewery and the chance to meet some of Tree House Humane Society’s very own Cats At Work! Show your blue Cat Walk wristband for entry. Space is limited. 20 person maximum per tour. Available times: 2:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm
Activities will be held at each bar from 2-5:30pm
Use #THCatWalk to share the fun!
We invite you to join us for a final toast at 5:45pm in the back of Empirical Brewery for celebrations and a free and delicious bao, courtesy of Wow Bao (vegetarian options available).
You’re already a winner if you’re going to Cat Walk, but you don’t want to miss out on these exclusive raffle prizes! To be eligible to win, all you have to do is have your “passport” stamped (which you will receive at the beginning of Cat Walk), at each of the four participating bars. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
Some of our prizes include…
A one-night stay for two at the Drake Hotel
Two tickets to a Cubs game (Section 134), donated by Michael Gerhardt from ReMax
Two club seats to a White Sox game (with Stadium Club Access), donated by Barry and Bobbi Ann Fulk
Two cocktail class passes from KOVAL Distillery
Four distillery tour and tasting passes from KOVAL
Two tickets to a performance at the Joffrey Ballet
Two tickets to a performance at Victory Gardens
Dinner for two at Ramen-san, Sushi-san, and Il Porcellino (three prizes – $100 value each)
Seven $25 gift cards to Two Dots and a Dash
A pet lovers’ gift basket, including a $20 gift card to Jameson Loves Danger
Submit your completed passport at any Cat Walk venue to enter. Winners will be announced July 29. Surprise mini prizes will be given out to everyone at each bar just for attending.
Tree House would like to give a special thank you to all of our incredible friends and partners who have graciously donated to our raffle and helped make this possible!
Three special cats who are looking for homes need your help. Choose your favorite and let everyone you know know that you are going to be walking in their honor. Share their names, share their stories, and share that you care! Choose from:
Adam(o) (left) arrived at Tree House in dramatic fashion, aboard an aircraft filled with 180 other cats and dogs seeking refuge from the Oklahoma storms. He is one of the thirty cats admitted to Tree House (he hypothesizes the “o” was added to his name to remind him of his Oklahoma roots). Adam(o) has a touch of the FIV, but you’d never know it by looking at him. He loves to cuddle and is raising awareness for his fellow #OKStormCats! Choose Adam(o) and know that there will be fireworks (tiny, furry ones) awaiting you at the Cat Walk finish line. #TeamAdamoCat
Cleopatra (middle), a charming senior kitty, would love to be your choice for the 2019 Cat Walk. Around Tree House, her own very special cat walk is famous. A little bit swagger, a little bit arthritis and neurological condition, and a little bit confidence, Cleo has some trouble with non-carpeted floors and other cats. She’d be perfect for a home with carpets (or rugs), living the life of a single cat, where she could be adored by her human. She’s been at Tree House for a while now, so choose Cleo and help bring attention to this fabulous girl so she can find the home she deserves! #TeamCleoCat
Leonardo Pescatore (right) is Tree House’s longest resident at this time! He’s been looking for a home since December of 2017, and is currently staging a quiet protest where he wears a chicken hat (at his discretion) to speak out about his length of stay. Tree House has been caring for his Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, obesity, and skin condition. While he’s no longer dealing with the obesity or the skin condition, he will still have the other two viruses for life. In spite of all of this, Leonardo is perfectly adoptable! He loves (loves) to eat and have his back scratched, and he’s really into sitting on floors of all kinds. Choose Leonardo to walk in honor of #ChickenHatProtest! #TeamLeoCat
PS. Don’t have your tickets yet? Get ’em now! We’re halfway to sold out already and t-shirt size guarantees end July 11th, as do the sweet $25 tickets. You can still get them later, but it’ll cost you and your t-shirt might be too tight. Consider yourself warned.
And so, we’d like to introduce you to our newest fundraiser: the Cat Walk.
Think: Catchella. Think: bar crawl meets fundraiser meets community engagement. Simply put, you can have a cocktail in honor of a kitten.
All of this fun will take place in Andersonville on Saturday, July 27 from 2pm – 6pm. Come hop along with us to Empirical Brewery,The Meeting House Tavern,The SoFo Tap, and Fat Cat. They have beer and one of them even has cats and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the chance to see them as they patrol Empirical Brewery doing what they do best: keeping the rodents away as part of our Cats at Work program. No cat sighting, though? No problem! Every bar will be offering amazing drink specials. The Meeting House will have $5 Meow-garitas and $12 Purr-fect Mimosa Carafes. Empirical Brewery is planning a $4 house special on tap, Egon’s Ale, brewed specially for their brewery cat Egon’s birthday. The SoFo Tap is offering their Lap It Up special, half-off brews, and $4 Cat’s Meow Shot. And the aptly named Fat Cat will have $4 mixed drinks, featuring mango and paw-megranate.
Excited? There’s more! Get ready for cat trivia, kitten naming, and all kinds of other things our feline-serving staff are dreaming up for you. You’ll receive a passport at your port of entry (one of two bars, your choice when you purchase tickets) that will get a stamp for every activity you complete. When you hit all four Cat Walk locations, you get entered to win some big giveaway prizes, including an overnight stay for two at the Drake, box seats at a Sox game, and a cocktail making class at KOVAL Distillery.
We invite everyone to come out, bring your friends, and help us raise some funds to support our mission to empower communities of caregivers to protect, nurture, and support new solutions so no cat suffers. Be a part of the first-ever, hopefully-to-be-repeated, feline-fabulous, beer-filled Cat Walk and help support socially conscious sheltering and animal welfare in Chicago.
Tickets for Cat Walk can be found at treehouseanimals.org/catwalk. If you can’t make it, you can donate and support the Cat Walk with a virtual cocktail. Our kitties will love you for it.
And if you happen to be neither a cat lover nor a beer lover, why are you still reading?
We did it. In partnership with Anti-Cruelty and HSUS, three of Tree House’s team members showed up on the tarmac at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, IL to meet 181 dogs and cats. With PAWS Chicago, Felines and Canines, Green County Humane Society, and Animal Care League, we took in almost 200 animals to make room at the Tulsa Humane Society in Oklahoma for the animals who need shelter while they’re separated from their families during the storms.
They were hot. It was noisy. There was a lot of meowing. But we got them all back to Tree House safely and the rest of our team took over unloading them, getting them into the clinic, and processing each one. Some went right to the floor for adoption. Others are too small and will go into foster. A few more are awaiting space on the adoption floor to open up. All are safe.
It’s days like today when someone like me, your writer, is thankful to work in animal rescue. All the way over here in Chicago, our community of rescuers and supporters came together to offer relief to animals and their families halfway across the country. The work is hard but so rewarding and it’s impossible not to be utterly, completely thankful on days like today that there are people out there who care enough to make sure these animals are safe and sound. Being out on that tarmac today brings an indescribable joy and satisfaction that I’ve never felt in any other place. Of course, not every day feels as heroic as today. Not every day includes airplanes and tarmacs, engines, running around, and hundreds of animals. Some days are quiet. But all days are important. And all days, we need each other because the animals need us.
Tomorrow, Tree House is joining the Anti-Cruelty Society and the HSUS for a major transport of animals, almost two-hundred cats and dogs. They are coming from the Tulsa, Oklahoma Humane Society in order to make room there for the hundreds of animals who have been separated from their families by the storms that need to stay local; we’re taking the ones who are already looking for homes.
We don’t normally take in this many animals at once, so we are going to need some help. After all this transport, these animals might get sick or stressed and need some time to recuperate. We’ll need foster homes for them so they can do just that. If you’ve ever wanted to foster, now is the time. Visit Treehouseanimals.org/foster to find out more and apply.
And if you can’t foster, please donate. We’re going to need funding to help all these displaced kitties out, so anything you can spare would help. You can see more at treehouseanimals.org/okstormcats.
We’ve noticed recently that people have been coming in to play with the cats. Not to adopt, just to play. How did we notice? Because our cats have been utterly exhausted at the end of the day, sometimes even way before the end of the day. And so, we must do what’s best for the cats.
We have to end unrestricted play time for non-adopters.
We know! Our cats are amazing. They are special and sweet and wonderful and sometimes, there’s nothing better than to show up and just cuddle them for awhile. And we still want you to do that, so we have another option for you: our fabulous cat cafe.
We have stocked that cafe with some amazing cuddlers. Nayla, Dr. Jones, Jaspurr, and Felicia are all waiting specifically to hug and snug while you chug the beverage of your choice made by our barista. Of course, because there are only a few of them and they also need a nap, we request that you make a reservation so it doesn’t get too crowded and so you can get plenty of cat time. You can make one ahead of time here
you can walk in and ask if there’s some time available and our staff will help you out. Yes, it costs $10 for 30-minutes, but it comes with a drink! And we are a non-profit, so all those $10 bills go right back to taking care of the cats we all clearly love so much.
The point is, from now on, any cuddling has to be done in our cafe, unless you’re planning to adopt. If you want to adopt, come on in and meet one of our counselors. They’ll introduce you to some fabulous future family felines who we have kept fresh, just for you.
And for the rest of you cat lovers? We still welcome you, we still appreciate you, we still value you. We just have to do what’s best for the cats, and we know that that’s something you want, too.