Ah. You’ve clicked. That means you want to save a life. That means we’re on the same page, you and Tree House. There’s one really easy way to do it. Ready?
That’s it. Every cat you foster is a life saved, especially for kittens under six weeks of age. CACC can’t keep kittens under six weeks, so they have less than 24 hours to find a safe place. We can pull them, but we HAVE to have a place to put them, and because kittens’ immune systems are delicate and they’re too young to be vaccinated, they need a safe place to rest until they’re big enough and strong enough to become full-fledged cats and come into our shelter.
Do you have a bathroom? Perfect. That’s all they need.
Do you have a spare room with a door to keep them separated from your resident animals? Great. You’re ready.
Do you live alone and have no other pets? Fantastic. You’re the perfect candidate.
It’s not hard, and once you do it, you’ll see why it’s one of the greatest experiences you, as a human, can have.
Hey you. Yeah, you there. I’ll bet you like kittens. It might be a little or you might already be wearing one on your t-shirt right now. If they’re not on your shirt, they might be on your socks. If they’re not on your socks, they’re probably on your mind. We know they’re definitely on OUR minds here at Tree House because it is just about to be kitten season. And what happens during kitten season? Kittens arrive. And then they need medical care. And food. And love. And they need to grow. Why? So we can spay and neuter them so they can go on to lead a long, fruitful life as someone’s best friend while not bearing any kitten-like fruit.
Now, let’s talk about the rub, for there is indeed a rub: Kittens aren’t generally spayed or neutered until they’re at least 2 lbs, which is around two months or later, depending on their health when they come in, and they can’t be admitted to our colonies until they’ve had their surgeries and vaccinations. So, where do the kittens go from the time we get them until they’re ready?
That word deserves its own paragraph because that’s how important it is. If you want to directly save a life, you foster. You see, if Tree House (or any rescue, for that matter) has open foster homes, we can pull more kittens from CACC because we know we have a safe place to keep them. If we have no place to keep them, we can’t pull as many. Every foster home equals AT LEAST one life saved. And if you take a whole litter of kittens? MORE lives saved!
Tree House needs two things right now: Long-term fosters and emergency fosters. If you are able to keep newborn kittens in a safe place for up to 72 hours, we need you. Those 72 hours are crucial and give us a place to stash these little critters while we find them the other thing we’re looking for: long-term fosters.
Our long term fosters will keep the kittens until they’re ready for the adoption floor. This is usually from 6 weeks to a few months.
Imagine it: you watch them grow, you love them, you scoop their boxes, play with them, enjoy them, and then, you set them free. Not back into the street, obviously, but into Tree House where they’ll find the homes of their dreams, all because of you.
PS If you want a little experience before you accept your first foster friend, come to our Kitten Shower & Foster Recruitment Event this coming May 5, from 11 am to 1 pm. We’ll play some games, provide some foster information, have some snacks, and we MAY have a visit from some kittens. It’s $10 per person, RSVP required.
Last Sunday, many of us from Tree House (staff, fosters, volunteers) gathered in our community room together with ten other rescue organizations to take a class from the National Kitten Coalition (NKC) that delivered important information about saving more kittens. Presented by Rosemarie Crawford, the class covered topics ranging from providing urgent care to kittens upon intake to dealing with infectious diseases and how to offer supportive care for illnesses likepanleukopenia. Everyone walked away with a comprehensive handbook and much more confidence to go forward caring for little ones.
Tree House was also able to host the NKC for an afternoon session aimed at helping shelters/rescues start or improve and expand their foster programs, a particularly important initiative during kitten season, when it seems like the little guys are falling out of the sky. This was all thanks to a grant from Maddie’s Fund to the NKC so that they are able to offer this lifesaving program to organizations who need it. Topics included information on how to find fosters, the benefits of fostering (For this writer, it has always been the joy of seeing kittens in my bathtub), how to fund your programs, and how to set your fosters up for success throughout the program. Thanks to Maddie, Tree House and all the organizations who joined us are now ready to improve our foster programs for this season and in the coming years.
A big thank you to both the NKC and Maddie’s Fund for making this day happen. We were so proud to host you and all of the wonderful organizations who joined us for the day so that, as a community, we can do more to help further our unified cause of saving lives.
P.S. For our readers who are curious about fostering, send us an email at fosterATtreehouseanimals.org to learn more. Olga and Kate, our fabulous foster team, will answer all of your questions with no pressure to go forward if you decide it’s not right for you. We’ll even be having a foster recruitment Kitten Shower this year on May 5, from 11 am to 1 pm (details to come) if you want more hands-on demonstrations. Fostering is a direct way to save a life (or many tiny lives) so if you’re even a little, kitten-sized bit interested in bottle feeding, snuggling, cuddling, and helping to raise a furry little friend who will always hold you forever dear as their very first loving human, send us a note. All you need is a spare room and a big heart.
Isaac was clearly struggling. Imagine the terror this poor cat was feeling: trapped in the middle of a busy Chicago street — turning in every direction, only to be confronted with another car rushing past. Isaac didn’t know how to get to safety.
It was only a matter of time before Isaac would be hit by a passing car and severely injured or killed.
Drivers Sprang into Action
Remarkably, several Good Samaritans saw that he was struggling and stopped their cars in the street, surrounding Isaac to protect him from oncoming traffic. One driver jumped out of her car and pulled him to safety. Immediately, she could tell Isaac was suffering and called Tree House for help!
In Bad Shape
When Isaac arrived at Tree House, he needed urgent care. During his initial veterinary examination, our clinic team discovered that Isaac had severe and painful infections in both ears and very limited vision — both of which contributed to his disorientation. He was also missing 13 teeth and suffering from dental disease, which is not uncommon for cats who are malnourished from living on the streets. In addition to treating his ear infections and extracting several infected teeth, we biopsied his tumor.
When Isaac arrived, his first and most noticeable condition was a large raw tumor bulging on his right shoulder. Tests revealed his tumor was cancerous. But this beautiful cat’s good fortune continued — the type of cancer he had rarely spreads or recurs. We removed the tumor and his prognosis is very good!
A New Start
We placed Isaac with one of our foster parents so he could rest and recover and have the security of a warm bed, food, and water along with the love that he so desperately needed.
Isaac has healed incredibly well both physically and emotionally. He is a bit camera shy but a sweet and affectionate cat who turned out to be a real snuggler. He loves taking naps on a comfy lap. Despite being a senior cat with limited vision, Isaac is an active boy who enjoys playtime.
Ready for a Home
Thanks to people like you, Isaac is safe at Tree House and ready to be adopted. We hope this deserving cat will not have to wait long for his new home! Please share Isaac’s story to help him find a loving home.
Your Gift Helps Even More Cats Like Isaac
There are thousands of cats just like Isaac living outside in Chicago – many of whom are struggling. We believe every cat deserves to live a safe and healthy life.