Do you know about our Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program? What about our Cats At Work program, which is helping businesses and homes all across Chicago solve their rat problems in an ecologically sound manner? If you’ve heard of either, then you are already familiar with the work of Bob and Paul, the core members of Tree House’s Community Cats team!
Bob has been with Tree House for almost a year and is the one most seen hiding in the bushes waiting for cats. His role is an important one, because trapping is the very foundation of our TNR program.
If a cat is living outside with no one to care for it, it can fall prey to a number of dangers including illness, hunger, and procreation. What happens when cats have kittens? Those kittens have more kittens. And then what? Overcrowding happens, and that leads to more illness and more hunger. Therefore, TNR is the solution for a more humane future.
If you identify a cat living outside, Bob is the person at Tree House who can help assess the situation and assist with trapping. Once the cat is trapped, s/he’ll be brought to Tree House for neuter or spay surgery, microchipping, and medical assessment, and if the cat prefers to live outside based on our team’s evaluation, he will be returned by Bob to where he was initially trapped. Bob will also coach you in how to trap and return so you can continue being part of the solution after he leaves, but he’ll leave the neutering up to our resident vet Dr. Emily, so no worries there.
Moving on to our Cats At Work program! The best choice is to always return community cats to where they were trapped, but that may not be an option. When they cannot be returned, such as when an abandoned building they are living in is going to be demolished, Tree House places them into the Cats At Work program and that’s where Paul, who has been with Tree House for three and a half years, comes in. Tree House, and Paul, will take those cats and re-home them to your location through an acclimation process following their trapping and neuter or spay.
As part of our Community Cats program, someone near the colony of cats will become a caretaker and be able to feed and care for the cats legally, with support from Tree House.
So, if you see Bob hiding in the grasses of your neighborhood, remember that he will be very happy to teach you how to TNR so you can be a part of your community’s cat overpopulation solution. He also likes to cook every single day, so you may want to invite him in and direct him to your kitchen. And if you get a call from Paul asking about your rat problem, take a moment to ask him about his accordion. He only plays in private, so it’s kind of a mythical topic at Tree House.
In either case, don’t forget to thank these awesome Community Cats team members for doing their part to save cats’ lives and making sure that all cats, indoor and outdoor, thrive.
If you want to learn more about these programs, call us! We’re happy to help.
P.S. Many of you asked about our outdoor Community Cat shelters. We now have more in stock! We have plenty of the Large size ($35) and the Small ($25), with a limited number of them decorated by area school children. Come get yours and make sure your Community Cats are comfy and warm all year!