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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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.

 

A Special Saturday for Three Special-Needs Cats

A special update: Recently, Tree House had a very special Saturday when not one but three cats with special needs found loving homes!

Andee, who was featured for our Lights of Love Tributes, Abbie, and Flyboy have all had challenges in their lives. On the Saturday of Tree House’s Black Cat Ball, they all received the home they so needed. Text messages came in from the shelter as staffers and volunteers were setting up offsite for the evening’s event and word spread that not one, but two, and then three special-needs cats were adopted! It is heartwarming when cats whom some might think are not worth all the effort, or who are overlooked by many people due to their challenges, get the home they truly deserve.

Andee’s pet parent and cat brother had both passed away, and she was all alone in the world trying to find her way. Like many senior cats, Andee battled chronic health issues. She dealt with arthritis in both elbows, urinary crystals causing her discomfort, a chronic ear infection that left her with a “crumpled” ear. She won over staff and volunteers alike with her quirky deep meow and sweet nature.

A supporter of adopting special-needs cats, Kathleen had previously volunteered at Tree House’s Bucktown Branch Spay/Neuter Clinic. Recently, Kathleen and Tim had lost Señor Meow, a special-needs cat they adopted from Tree House several years ago. Kathleen decided to stop by our new location, if only to visit with the cats. She noticed Andee with her “crumpled” ear and was curious. Andee started meowing and rubbing against Kathleen’s legs and hopped up into her lap the moment she sat down. When Tim met Andee later, he also knew that she was the one.

Andee content at home

Kathleen shares that “Andee clearly loves being in a home of her own again. She has surprised us by showing us that even though she’s an older cat, she still enjoys playtime. She found our stash of cat toys on her own, and once a day she carefully selects one of them and initiates a soccer or hunting session. Her arthritis doesn’t seem to slow her down, and she sprints through the house a couple of times a day, and when it’s time for dinner she takes the stairs like a cat half her age.”

Abbie

Abbie had been waiting for a home at Tree House for a couple of years. Tree House saved her along with several other cats who were living in a home that was overrun with cats. The cats had been suffering from long-term lack of proper care. As a result, Abbie, who is a sweet and gentle cat, was very wary of humans. She simply needed a patient adopter who would give her a chance. That chance came in the form of a young boy in search of a cat with whom he could bond. They visited Abbie several times, and this young man’s mother shared that he looked at his Mom one day and let her know it was the day, and Abbie received the best gift – a new home! What a wonderful story. Often, animals and young people have a special language.

Flyboy

Flyboy struggled with the shelter environment. The sweet cat inside was masked by his outer fear which caused him to become easily overstimulated. He would communicate his tension with nips which made it difficult for people to understand. Yet, he would also lounge on the laps of volunteers, signaling that he had a tender side. His adopter saw his photo online and came for a visit. She took the time to get to know Flyboy and “listen” to what he was trying say in his own language. She explained that when she was growing up in Germany, “red” cats were known as “devil cats”. She really wanted to give a red cat a chance. Once he became comfortable, Flyboy settled onto her lap for nearly an hour, enjoying forehead pets, while she learned all about his special care. It was a perfect match!

We salute all the special people who open their hearts and homes and take on the care of senior cats and cats who have special medical and emotional needs. While not every cat at Tree House is young or perfectly healthy, we believe that they are perfectly wonderful and deserve a home and a chance at happiness.

Give a cat like Abbie, Flyboy, and Andee the home they deserve. Help us spread the word.

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Opening Day Happy Ending

On July 1st, we had our soft opening at our new facility and began adoptions. Since then, we have been overjoyed with the number of visitors and have adopted out more than 150 cats! 

An Opening Day Adoption – Teddy Finds a Home

We are excited to share the happy ending story of Teddy Flood (now named Farooq). Teddy has had a rough journey in his life, but on July 1st, the first day of Tree House’s soft opening, things changed. Steve Browne and John Verkleir came to Tree House for a visit and joyfully decided to welcome Teddy into their family.

Months of Healing

Teddy was originally found on the streets and admitted to CACC (Chicago Animal Care and Control) before we transferred him to Tree House. We don’t know what might have happened to Teddy before he was rescued; however, upon arrival at our clinic, it was clear that this gentle guy was suffering. Teddy was battling a URI (upper respiratory infection) and severe diarrhea.

We placed Teddy in a foster home to give him time to heal; yet even with our ongoing care and efforts, his digestive condition endured. We knew his health would be seriously compromised if the diarrhea continued. After three long months and much trial and error, we determined that Teddy was suffering from a food allergy. Finally, his health began to improve.

Anticipation

With his rough past behind him, a very special day awaited Teddy. Steve and John were eagerly anticipating our opening. Big supporters of animal rescue, they have adopted three cats from Tree House in the past twelve years. They lost their beloved cat Billi last summer, and Rajiv, their remaining Tree House cat, was a solo kitty who needed a new friend. When Steve and John met Teddy at Tree House, he was gently interacting with another cat in one of our new cat adoption rooms – they immediately knew he was the one.

Besties

(pictured: Farooq and Rajiv – they could be twins)

Teddy (Farooq) has since integrated well into the family. Steve shares that Farooq, “loves to sleep on our legs” and “loves a good face stroking. He and Rajiv get along very well. [The two boys] play chase with one another, watch the birds together, and sleep and sing together.” Rajiv has also taught Farooq a couple of things about home life – they are now “much more vocal in the kitchen and quite a chorus at mealtime,” commented Steve. “We think it is quite funny.”

We are so grateful that Steve and John opened their hearts and home to Teddy and for this wonderful, happy ending. We are glad that these two beautiful cats have each other and a loving home and wish the entire family years of joy together. 

Adopted: From Outdoors to a New Home for FeLV+ Cat

Queen Victoria, who is FeLV+ (Feline Leukemia Virus Positive), was recently adopted into a wonderful home!

This snuggly, sweet, and active girl had been living outdoors, however, it was apparent that she was an incredibly friendly cat who needed a good home, and in January, 2017, she was admitted to Tree House. When she arrived, Victoria was covered with fleas and understandably a bit cautious. She was also FeLV+.

Feline Leukemia Virus, also known as “FeLV,” is the cause of a variety of diseases. It is not cancer, but instead an incurable retrovirus that compromises a cat’s immune system making them more susceptible to other illnesses. FeLV is specific to cats and does not pose a risk to other animals or people. Read more about FeLV here.

Last year, Tree House created a pop-up FeLV+ adoption room, the first of it’s kind in Chicago. Previously, FeLV+ cats were placed in foster homes and did not have as much of an opportunity to meet potential adopters. We were also grateful to have received grant funding from the ASPCA Lil’ BUB’s Big Fund to support the cost of care for FeLV+ cats and help cats like Victoria get the home they deserve.

The success of our FeLV+ adoption room has been wonderful and enabled us to not only adopt more FeLV+ cats but educate visitors and potential adopters about FeLV+ and led to our FeLV+ adoption room becoming a permanent part of our shelter headquarters.

At first, Victoria took some time to adjust in a foster home and was then placed in our FeLV+ adoption room. She is an incredibly affectionate cat who loves being held and would chat “hello” to anyone who walked her way! It was a happy day when a lovely adopter came in to meet a furry friend who could co-exist with their dog. The adopter fell in love with Victoria and decided to give her the home she had been waiting a very long time.

More Happy “Home Comings”

Also recently adopted:

  • Tofutti Cutie
  • Suzuki
  • Micro Shimmy
  • Gris the Tamale
  • Fuzzy Wuzzy
  • Tavaras
  • Rosie Day
  • Celery
  • Sassy Kat
  • Regular Sized Rudy
  • Fidelma
  • Aoli
  • Rainbow Roll
  • Tempura Roll
  • Unagi
  • Crunch Roll
  • Achak
  • Moon River
  • Snoopy Shnuffleupagus