New Friends, New Home, New Life: Sammy and Morris Adoption Update

We are happy to be able to share an adoption update about two easygoing cats, Morris and Sammy, who were recently adopted together.

Liang and her husband Casey visited Tree House, “determined to adopt that day after the recent death of our beloved cat Mieville.” Casey had adopted Mieville many years ago before meeting Liang. Mieville was Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Positive (FIV+) and had 11 good years in his forever home, “We attributed his calm, kind demeanor to the wonderful socialization he received at Tree House. When we were ready to fill our home again, we knew we had to return to Tree House at their amazing new location.”

Now fondly referred to as The Beefy Boys, these two have taken over their new home. These lovable guys can be found wrestling each other, lazily lounging around their new home, or meowing ferociously — begging to be fed.

Liang shared their experience of meeting Morris and Sammy at Tree House, “The Saturday of adoption day, both of us were wracked with nerves. We were so excited, but had no idea what to expect! All we knew was that we would shortly be growing our family by two. Casey and I both agreed that we wanted to adopt adult cats and were open to cats with special needs. Sammy was in one of the first cat adoption rooms we visited. He approached us right away and perched gracefully on a cat condo. His sleek, tuxedo coat and cute black goatee drew our attention, and he loved rubbing his face and neck against our hands. [He had] a shy demeanor, and the most adorable “elevator butt”! He was instantly one of my favorites.”

They continued visiting cats at our shelter when, “This beefy orange and white, 15 lb. furball strutted into the middle of the adoption room. We loved how he [Morris] seemed like a luxurious boy, commanding to be petted. Despite his big ‘tude’, he was also very gentle and welcoming. We considered how these two cats would get along and decided to take the chance.”

The two cats love to wrestle and hang out together. After arriving in their new home, “By the end of the first night, Morris was walking around like he owned the place. Sammy was hesitant and slowly came out of his shell over the next several days. Introducing the two to each other was  a breeze — they nose-booped and the rest is history!”

“Sammy and Morris have brought so much joy into our lives. We will continue to adopt from Tree House for the rest of our lives as they have truly helped us in so many ways!”

Morris was obese for his size when he arrived at Tree House. We are glad to learn he has continued to slim down in his new home, “his svelte new figure weighs in at around 13 lbs!”

We are so grateful to Liang and Casey for giving these beauties a loving, forever home together and for their wonderful support of Tree House.

You can help a homeless cat by adopting or donating to help us save more lives. Give to Tree House >>

 

To Tree House Humane Society

Black Cat Bash 2018 Photo Gallery

What a Party!

This year’s Black Cat Bash was a great night of food, fun, and furry friends. We had guests from throughout Chicagoland as well as from across the country! Proceeds from this event support our work to save sick, injured, and stray cats. Thanks to all our wonderful supporters. A big thank you as well to our tasting partners — Amazing Edibles, The Bad Apple, BUB CITY, Dream Cakes, Foodlife, HUB 51, Octavio Cantina & Kitchen, RPM Steak, and Wow Bao, for the incredible food!

Thanks to everyone who supported the Bash. The homeless cats who were at the shelter that night were intrigued by all the activity, and it truly was all for them. Thank you for being a part of helping save their lives!

To: TreeHouseHumaneSociety

Photos provided by Susie at CrimsonCatStudios.com

A Bittersweet Happy Ending Story: Love, Loss, and Catships

While this is a bittersweet story, it is also a heartwarming one about two Tree House cats, Cloud and Cashew (pictured l to r), who found the loving forever home they deserved.

Loss and New Love

Shortly after we moved into our new shelter, Jacob and Matt visited Tree House on the suggestion of friends. Sadly, they had lost their cat Peanut very unexpectedly due to a heart issue. Their other cat Noodle was very lonely without his buddy. Jacob and Matt knew they were a four-member household and decided to adopt another cat. “We were mightily impressed with [Tree House’s new facility] and wanted to see it for ourselves.” The visit was also difficult, “…a mixture of sadness about losing Peanut and the stress of trying to choose just one cat to be the right one.”

After meeting various cats at our shelter, Jacob inquired about cats who were attention-seekers, similar to their cat Peanut. That’s when they met Cashew and knew he was the one.

Cashew and Noodle became quick friends, and the family settled in.

Cashew settled into his new home very well. He was an affectionate cat and a true love bug.

Another Heartbreaking Loss

It was doubly heartbreaking when Cashew fell ill just a few short months after being adopted. He was diagnosed with cancer and passed away shortly thereafter. We are so glad he was able to have a loving home — even if only for a short period of time — and the care and compassion he deserved in his last days.

A Twist of Fate – Cloud’s Return

Jacob shared, “Because we had such an incredible experience with Cashew…and we had such a first-rate experience when adopting him [at Tree House], we felt it was only right to honor Cashew and his memory by giving another cat in need the vacant place he left in our household. Enter Cloud.”

It seemed to be fate that Cloud (who also resembles Cashew) was returned to Tree House the same day that Jacob and Matt also returned to Tree House to find a furry family member and to honor Cashew’s memory.

Cloud had been adopted from Tree House shortly after Cashew but was returned through no fault of her own. Ironically, as she waited in our clinic admissions room, Jacob and Matt had been meeting other cats in our cat adoption rooms. They hadn’t quite met their match, and Tree House staffers just had a feeling….  Staffers asked if Jacob and Matt would like to meet Cloud.

“What a trip Cloud was…she chatted and chatted and chatted. We were able to get her to play with a string toy, and after that, she rubbed our legs and continued her serenade.” Fate truly stepped in that day to bring this family together.

Cloud settled in quickly…it only took her a couple of days to manage to escape from the bedroom, and Jacob found her resting calmly in the living room with Noodle nearby. It was clear that these two cats were going to be the best of friends. Cloud and Noodle are very close and often cuddle together.

Enough Love

We are incredibly grateful to Jacob and Matt for all the love they have shared with all of these cats. As so many can appreciate, grieving the loss of a beloved pet is painful and takes time. We are glad that Cashew received so much love in his final months and days and that Cloud received the gift of a loving home in his memory. We wish the entire family (furry and human) many happy years together.

Goofy Finds a New Girlfriend – Adoption Update

A New Home for a Senior Cat

We are happy to share an adoption update about a senior cat who now has a second chance. Goofy (now named Cairo) was in need of a new home after his guardian suffered a serious illness and could no longer care for her cats. It was a heartbreaking situation. Fortunately, Cairo did not have to wait long before he found his new home.

Tami adopted a senior cat, Billy, from Tree House several years ago. Sadly, this sweet cat passed away suddenly in May, due to a heart issue, and Tami’s other cat, Florida – whom she also adopted from Tree House, was left without a buddy. Tami knew she wanted to find a new friend for Florida and visited Tree House. Tami felt an instant connection with Cairo. “He was very shy when he first met me but also very polite. He is also very handsome – with a beautiful orange coat. He seemed like a wonderful cat, very dignified and calm.” She knew he was the one!

A New Girlfriend

When Tami took Cairo to his new home, he was very timid at first and hid under the bed or in the closet. While he had his own room to acclimate for a couple of weeks, Tami brought him out each evening to say “Hi” to the other cats.

Florida and Cairo seemed to ignore one another, and Tami thought the two might not hit it off as she had hoped. But, they just needed time to adjust, and soon, their “catship” grew. The two cats are now the best of pals – “they are always sleeping next to each other and giving nose kisses. Florida is so thrilled to have a new friend, and I think Cairo is very happy to have a female cat who is very interested in him.” Cairo spends his afternoons sleeping on the sun porch and is quite fascinated with the birds and squirrels.

The Joy of Senior Cats

When asked about adopting senior cats, Tami mentioned that senior cats have more life experience. She believes they are more centered in themselves and can adjust to their surroundings very well.  Moreover, “I think adopting a senior cat is not much different from adopting a younger cat. The two options have much more in common than one would think. Cairo is still the same beautiful cat individual at the age of 14 that he must have been as a two or three-year-old cat.” She added, “…older cats are as much fun if not more fun than younger cats. There is also a certain wisdom to senior cats, an inner beauty – an extraordinary dignity.”

We could not have said it better. We are grateful to Tami for giving this dignified and sweet gentleman a loving home. We hope this will help others consider the joys of adopting a senior cat.

Give a Senior Cat a Loving Home

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Tree House Volunteer Feature: Meet Brian

Volunteers are a vital part of enabling Tree House to do the work we do to help thousands of cats each year. We currently have just under 200 volunteers working in many different areas of our organization. Together, they give hundreds of hours of their time.

We are grateful to all of our volunteers for all their efforts to help the cats.

Since June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month, we wanted to share a volunteer’s perspective from one of our adoption team volunteers. Meet Brian – who also recently adopted a “shelter cat” from Tree House and talks about his experience.

In what department do you volunteer at Tree House?

Adoption department

How long have you been volunteering at Tree House?

I’ve been volunteering at Tree House for about five months. Interestingly, the day I was scheduled to start in adoptions, a request came up that help was needed to pick up some cats who were being transferred to Tree House from another animal control center. Since I had a car, I knew I could help out. It was an interesting experience, and I was surprised when I met the cats. They were so eager to see me and jumped up in my arms. I then began my regular volunteer activities at Tree House helping in the adoption department.

How did you first hear about Tree House?

I heard about Tree House through a friend in my neighborhood. She knew my love of cats and told me about the brand new building on Western. So, I had to check it out myself. It is pretty awesome. The cage less, spacious, and open building offers a more natural environment for the cats and is beneficial to both the cats and potential adopters.

What drew you to volunteer at Tree House?

My job allows me some free time during the week, so I wanted a way to do something fulfilling with my free time. After visiting Tree House, I thought it was a great organization and a cause worth my time. I appreciate how the organization treats the cats and guests. It is a no pressure [adoption process] that allows adopters to get to know the cats. The adoption counselors are very helpful both during the adoption and after. [The adoption counselors] help people find a cat who is a good fit vs. just trying to get a cat into a home that might not be a good match.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering at Tree House?

The most rewarding part is watching people get “chosen” by cats. When potential adopters come to visit the cats at Tree House, there is always that one cat that is drawn to them and who develops an instant connection. I love it.

Why do you believe having an organization like Tree House in Chicago is important?

Tree House is vital to Chicago because they not only place cats in wonderful homes, they provide essential programs like the Community Cats program which offers TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) services to help keep the feral cat population under control and healthy. Tree House also assists pet parents with cat behavior advice through their Behavior Hotline. They also have a compassionate stance towards FIV+ (feline immunodeficiency virus) cats. I previously had an experience at an animal control center that treated FIV+ cats negatively. Cats with FIV can live long, happy lives and can live together with cats who do not have FIV. Tree House places FIV+ cats in the same adoption rooms as cats without FIV and gives them a chance. (Brian recently adopted a Tree House FIV+ cat).

What are your thoughts on the work that Tree House does?

I think the work that Tree House does is amazing. I’ve been to many shelters, and Tree House has the most humane set up I’ve ever seen. The cats are clearly happy.

Adopting a cat from Tree House

Brian is also a recent Tree House adopter – having been “chosen” by a Tree House cat. Brian quipped that his cat is now French, having named him Henri. In honor of Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, we wanted to share more from Brian’s perspective as a Tree House adopter!

Henri is not afraid to let Brian know when it is quiet time.

When did you adopt your Tree House cat?

I adopted Henri on Feb 15, 2018. He was my Valentine’s gift to myself.

Do you have any other pets?

I have one other kitty named Charlie who I adopted from the ASPCA in New York City in 2016. She is a Tuxedo just like Henri.

Why did you choose to adopt a cat from Tree House?

I was looking for another cat to keep Charlie company. At many shelters, the cats are kept in separate cages, and it is difficult to predict how they will get along with other cats. I also had a very negative experience at another shelter. At Tree House, since the cats are in cage-free adoption rooms, it is easier to get an idea of how a cat will interact with a companion. Also, as a volunteer, I’ve seen how well the cats are treated at Tree House and the extensive records that are kept, so I knew I was adopting a cat who had been well cared for.

Tell us about your adoption experience.

The adoption counselors provided a lot of information and assistance. I was nervous about bringing a second cat into my home and at one point thought it wasn’t working out because my first cat, Charlie, is a little shy compared to Henri who is an outgoing and friendly cat. The counselors were there for me to help out with tips and things I can do to create a peaceful cat home.

How are the cats doing at home?

They are doing very well. The two cats continue to improve with how they get along with one another. It is funny to watch how they figure it out with each other. I’ve caught Charlie playfully instigating things a bit as she flips her tail in Henri’s face. Then, when Henri has had enough, he goes back at her. One of the tricks I learned is to give Henri a time out when he gets too aggressive, which is fine with him because he loves the bathroom and drinking from the faucet. I’ve discovered that if I wait until he is calmly sitting on the floor when I open the door – it’s a sign that he has calmed down and is ready to come out. Henri also loves to take walks on his harness. He is like a dog. He will grab his leash off a cabinet, jump down and drag it over to me, meowing to ask to go outside.

We are so grateful to Brian for not only all his help as a Tree House volunteer but for giving an FIV+ cat a loving home.

Interested in finding out more about volunteering?

Abandoned in a Shoe Box, Dabble has a New Home

We are thrilled to share an adoption update on a special-needs cat who has come a long way. Some of you may remember a story we shared over the holidays about a kitten named Dabble.

Tree House staffers found Dabble abandoned on our front ledge. Someone had placed him in a shoe box, punched holes in the top, taped it shut, and left him at our door.

When we found him, his legs were listless at his side. With months of physical therapy, socialization, and treatment, Dabble began to thrive, seemingly unphased by his disability.

We were grateful to receive a cat wheelchair that was donated by an organization that offers pet wheelchairs for cats and dogs. Dabble took to his new cart quickly. Yet, he also figured out how to maneuver very well on his own – scooting and crawling – gaining incredible upper body strength.

What had happened to Dabble remains a mystery. We determined his condition is most likely neurological.

We began introducing Dabble to other cats and people in our cat adoption rooms. Little did we know it would not take long before a chance encounter would lead to a new home.

A Chance Meeting

Josh, Meredith, and their two children came to Tree House looking for a cat to add to their family. They were not specifically looking for a special-needs cat, but when they met Dabble, they could not resist. It was a triumphant day when Dabble headed to his new home.

It has been several weeks, and Dabble has been doing remarkably well and is very happy having a loving home of his own.

Dabble, now named Toby, loves spending his mornings basking in the sun and snoozing in his basket by the window “looking overwhelmingly content.”
Meredith homeschools the children. Therefore, the family is home during the day providing a stable environment for Dabble with daily attention and care.

 

Meet the cook’s apprentices (a.k.a. the sniff masters). Dabble spends time in his cart each day (although he prefers to get around without it). He enjoys roaming in and out of the kitchen while Meredith cooks. He is often joined by the family dog, Bob, whom Dabble finds incredibly interesting. The two of them are endlessly fascinated by the various spices and curiously sniff each one. Here they are eagerly waiting for the next sniff test (or perhaps a little morsel).
 
Dabble is a great study buddy (or perhaps more often a distraction – but that is what cats are for). And we’ve learned he thinks Roxy, the family’s other cat who is taking a nap here, is the coolest, most interesting thing in the world. Dabble spent so much time in recovery, he had limited interaction with other cats. It is wonderful to find him so intrigued by his new cat sister.

 It’s Been Worth It

“Thanks to you all [at Tree House] for taking such good care of him! He’s such a people-oriented cat — it’s obvious that he has been surrounded by kind folks his whole life. He’s learning to climb onto the furniture, so whenever he sees an appealing lap, he’ll scamper right up and settle down for a snuggle.” Meredith went on to comment, “Toby’s (Dabble) an awesome little guy. It would be great if his story inspires someone else to take a chance on a cat who needs a little extra care. It’s been worth it for us!”

 

We wish the entire family – human and furry – many happy years together. We are grateful to Josh, Meredith, and their children for giving this special cat the home he deserved.

Give a Special-Needs Cat a Chance

At Tree House, we believe stray cats deserve a chance at a caring home, including those who might need extra care or who have physical disabilities or chronic illness. The joy and love these cats give in return is immeasurable.

Tree House Names New Executive Director

We are pleased to announce Raissa Allaire as Tree House Humane Society’s new Executive Director. She will be joining the organization effective Monday, May 21, 2018.

Raissa brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership including various roles over the past 12 years at The Center for Economic Progress (CEP). The Center is an award-winning, mid‐sized organization focused on improving the financial lives of 20,000 families in 15 Illinois communities. Most recently, she served as the Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the agency’s administrative operations and direct services and serving as a member of the organization’s leadership team.

During her tenure at CEP, she was responsible for developing and leading the organization’s fundraising and re-branding strategies.

Prior to joining CEP in 2006, Raissa served as a vice president for a Chicago museum and developed and managed communications campaigns for major non-profit clients as an account executive for a top-ranking public relations firm. Raissa earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Humanities from the University of Chicago. In 2016, she was selected for the Allstate Foundation’s Greater Good Leadership Program, created in partnership with Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management to help leaders transform their organization, community, and the nonprofit sector through year-long coaching and academic instruction.

Raissa, her husband, and two sons live in Berwyn. In 2016, Raissa and her family adopted Sulley and his son Sal, a pair of orange tabbies rescued from a hoarding situation. Since then, the family has made it their personal mission to find ways (small and large) to advocate on behalf of homeless cats.

Looking forward to her new role, Raissa comments, “I’m honored for this opportunity to help realize a world where every cat is valued. I am excited about building on the many successes Tree House staff, Board, volunteers, and partners have achieved to date – saving thousands of lives, creating an innovative  21st century shelter, and providing valuable services to Chicago’s community cats.”

The Tree House Board and staff look forward to working with Raissa to expand our efforts to save sick, injured, stray, and feral cats.

Please join us in welcoming Raissa to Tree House Humane Society.

Three Kittens Born Outside: Sick, Scared, Helpless

It was a cold, wintry day and these little strays were frightened, sick, and struggling to survive. No food, no water, no mom in sight. The kittens were only six weeks old and weighed less than two pounds. Without help, they would die.

Luckily, Robert, William, and Larry were found by a Good Samaritan. This caring woman took them to a veterinarian to get medical treatment, especially for their eye infections, but the treatments didn’t work. They were getting worse. She knew Tree House could save them and brought them in for urgent care.

Saving These Tiny Strays

Thankfully, these kittens were found in time. All three suffered from eye infections, Robert with the most severe. They were riddled with fleas and were battling upper respiratory infections. These kittens were in serious condition and in need of immediate care.

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Emergency Surgery to Save Robert

By the time Robert was found, his simple infection had become a very serious issue. His eye began to bulge from his eye socket before it finally ruptured. If he did not receive urgent treatment, this little guy might not survive.

Robert was rushed to Tree House, where he received late-night surgery to remove his eye – which was his only option. After his surgery, he went to foster care to recover in a quiet and caring environment.

Three Long Months of Multiple Illnesses

In addition to Robert’s urgent care, we provided his siblings, Larry and William, the treatments they needed. Thankfully, we were able to save both kittens’ eyes. They also suffered from serious upper respiratory infections and ringworm and spent months recovering in our clinic isolation units. But these resilient little guys fought back.

Safe at Home

Robert (now name Willie), Larry, and William (now name Max) had a long and tough road to recovery. Despite all they have lived through, these little guys are all loving and gentle cats. Each was adopted only days after they arrived on our adoption floor. All are healthy and happy; thriving in their new homes with lots of purring, playing, and contentment!

These kittens are the lucky ones. There are thousands more like them who do not survive. 

Please Help Us Save Them

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I Need a Home

A Tiny Cat with a Big Heart

Due to his small stature and playful nature, many assume they are meeting a kitten upon first introduction to Purrnino. But this handsome boy is really an adult cat inside a kitten’s body.

We transferred Purrnino to Tree House from an animal control center in 2016. Paperwork listed Purrnino as a pregnant female kitten, approximately six months old. To our surprise, during his initial clinic exam at Tree House, we quickly discovered that not only was Purrnino not pregnant, she…was a he.

A Frightened Cat – A Remarkable Change

When Purrnino arrived, he was very frightened, and our staff had difficulty handling him – he would back into a corner of his cage, hiss, and place his ears flat against his head. But with care and work on his socialization and environment, this little guy’s progress has been remarkable. He has become increasingly comfortable and now enjoys visitors. He will roll around in a cat bed asking for pets. With the recent adoption of our longest-term resident, Mitch, Purrnino has now been waiting at Tree House the longest for a forever home.

Why Isn’t He Growing? A Rare Disease

Shortly after arriving at Tree House we noticed Purrnino was drinking and urinating excessively. And, he was not growing. Various tests finally revealed a rare disease called diabetes insipidus. With this disease the body does not properly conserve water, causing the excessive drinking and urination. Purrnino responded very well to medication, and his condition is stable. His prognosis is very good and with medication and management of his illness, he can live a good quality of life with a normal lifespan. He never physically matured and remains the size of an older kitten which may be related to the diabetes or an issue with his pituitary gland.

His small size makes him very cute, but he has the personality and independence of an adult cat – all of which makes him even more adorable!

Purrnino Needs a Home

Purrnino loves playing with other cats. With an ever-changing population, he greets new cats, ready to have a new buddy. Yet, shelter life can be very stressful, and Purrnino is a cat who has been challenged with the constant change and uncertainty of his environment. We know this pretty little cat would do better in a stable home of his own, especially with some cat buddies.

Stop by and meet Purrnino and help us spread the word to find him the forever home he needs.

 

A Special-Needs Cat Gets a Second Chance

Recently adopted, it is wonderful to see how well Juicebox is doing in her new home! This sweet cat has been through quite a bit in her life. We transferred her to Tree House from an animal control center when she was about a year old. We don’t know much about her background or what might have happened to her. She didn’t have to wait long before she was adopted. However, after eight years in a home, Juicebox was returned through no fault of her own. She was suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease – a chronic illness in cats.

So…where’s dinner?

Juicebox’s Secret Admirers

With a special diet and medication, we were able to stabilize Juicebox’s health, and she began to do very well.  Besides being an incredibly beautiful cat, she is very gentle and loving. She eagerly greeted visitors and sought affection.

We hoped that someone might give this girl a chance. What we didn’t know was that Juicebox had admirers. After learning about Tree House from a neighbor, they had been browsing our website and saw her photo. They decided to come for a visit.
Initially, we were slightly apprehensive at the thought of adopting a special-needs cat, but Tree House patiently explained her treatment and answered all our questions about additional expenses.
Juicebox’s adopters took the time to understand her illness and how to manage it. In addition to a limited diet, she needs monthly B12 shots, and her adopters spent time with our veterinarian to learn how to administer her injections.

A Forever Home

It is heartwarming when people are willing to take the time to learn more about special-needs cats and their care. While it might seem intimidating, there are many illnesses that can be managed with the right care, diet, and medication. With a stable home environment, consistent schedule, and familiar humans who love them, cats often become increasingly comfortable with their treatments.

 

Juicebox settled into our home almost immediately. She’s found her favorite windowsill to watch birds and isn’t shy about jumping on us in the morning for breakfast (she’s a natural alarm clock). Juicebox has been the perfect companion when we work from home, punctuating any silence with little snores. Her IBD flare ups are something that we accept as an occasional incident rather than see as a hindrance. Recently, we’ve been introducing Juicebox to cat music and showing her the magic of a laser pointer. We’re getting along very well, and we’re very grateful to Tree House for all the help to make this process as simple and stress-free as possible!
We are so grateful to Juicebox’s adopters for taking on the care of this special cat and giving her the patience, understanding, and home she deserves.

 

We hope this story will help give other special-needs cats a chance and encourage people to learn more and consider a special-needs cat. While many cats at Tree House are not perfectly healthy – they are all perfectly wonderful and deserving of a loving home. 

 

Help support our efforts to save, rehabilitate, and adopt – sick, injured, and stray cats.