Note that he’s clearly snuggling some kittens, which we at Tree House have dubbed “The Donuts.”
You see, we pulled Stan from CACC, our city shelter, and found that four kittens had decided he was their new mom. It’s rare to see a male cat so receptive to the charms of kittens, but here we have proof in Stan, a fellow with a kind heart but a stoic demeanor, willing to let kittens try to suckle his nonexistent milk. Have a look:
The kittens and Stan need a bit of medical care for upper respiratory infections, so they’ll be in foster for the next few weeks. But after that, LINE UP! These guys are going to go like hot cakes, and to further sweeten the deal, ::insert drumroll here::
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.
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!
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.
We are so excited to let everyone know that the long-awaited cafe` is now open for business!
As Chicago’s very first cat cafe within a shelter, we had a few ordinances to work with and a few hoops to jump through, but with a lot of help from our community, our supporters, donors, volunteers, and Alderman Debra Silverstein’s office, we have finally succeeded! We currently have five fabulous FeLV-positive kitties just waiting to meet you and knock your coffee on the floor politely sit with you.
Why FeLV-positive kitties you ask? Because they need you. They are healthy cats, but they have a virus that can cause complications down the line. They’re harder to adopt out because of a stigma around this virus, and just a few years ago (and sometimes still today) they are euthanized upon entry into a shelter. Programs like the one here at Tree House give other shelters who cannot care for these animals a place to send them to give them a second chance. Putting them front and center in our cafe` gives us the opportunity to speak more about this virus to help destigmatize it in the public eye and give these cats the possibility of a loving home. The more of these cats we can place into homes, the more we can save.
We think that when you meet them, you’ll see that there’s really no difference between the love they can offer you when compared to an FeLV-negative cat. They may have a shorter amount of time in which to do it, but that means the love even harder for the years they have left.
Please come join them for a cup of coffee or tea! Appointments can be made at our Cafe Page. We book in 30-minute increments, $10 per person, and that includes a drink of your choice made by our barista. We can’t wait to see you!
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.