Support Spay/Neuter Month – Help Cats Like Amelia

 

Imagine being outside, pregnant, malnourished, searching for shelter, and scrounging for food – then giving birth – and living through this three to four times a year for approximately seven years! This is not a good life for any cat!

A Solution to Cat Overpopulation

Amelia was born outside in a neighborhood that struggles with a high population of stray and feral cats. Cats in these situations live very difficult lives outside in cold winter temperatures struggling to find food and shelter. Many cats are malnourished, ill, and injured.

She was TNRed (Trap Neuter Return) and has a different story. Trap Neuter Return is a proven solution to cat overpopulation. Stray and feral cats breed at a very high rate. With TNR, cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, and returned to feral cat colonies. This breaks the reproductive cycle for these cats, eliminating the birth of hundreds of kittens year after year.

Cats at Work – Saving Displaced Feral Cats

Unfortunately, Amelia did not have a safe place to return to. Enter Tree House Cats at Work – a program that gives displaced feral cats a chance to live out their lives while providing a “green” solution to rodent control.

Amelia’s caretaker shared that her yard was overrun with rats. “It was so bad, I had to shuffle my feet so the rats would move when I walked across the backyard to our laundry room.” We placed Amelia, along with several other cats, together. Within a few short months, the rats are all but gone. A cat’s presence alone is often enough to send the rats running.

Caretakers for cats in the Cats at Work program provide shelter, daily food and water, and veterinary care for the cats.

The cats live in a cat haven – an old carriage stable that was converted to a cat house, complete with perches, a landing, scratching posts, and throw rugs. It stays warm thanks to adjacent rooms that are heated. The cats can come and go through a cat door.

57,500+ Cats in Just Ten Years

A cat like Amelia can begin having kittens at just five months old. Still very young, she would struggle to find food and shelter for herself, let alone to protect and nourish a litter of kittens. She would continue to have litter after litter of homeless kittens.

In ten years, a pair of unsterilized stray or feral cats can lead to approximately 57,500 new cats!

Support Spay/Neuter Month and Be a Part of the Solution

Give for one spay or neuter surgery. You can help us reduce cat homelessness and give feral cats a better life. Just 15 cents a day or $55 pays for a spay or neuter surgery.

Catfe Final Stages Begin! (Closing for Construction – Fri., Feb. 9)

The Next Phase

We are so excited to be starting the final stages of Tree House’s Cat Cafe Purrfect Roast Catfe.

This past summer, we opened the Catfe Lounge to visitors and began serving complimentary coffee and tea. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit the cats as well as rate the coffee and tea to help us make menu selections.

Closed for Construction

The Catfe will be fully closed Friday, Feb. 9 at 5:00 pm while we complete construction.

Stay Tuned for the Opening

We’ll be getting ready for the full Catfe and Lounge opening in the coming weeks.

Uniquely located inside Tree House, the Catfe is an extension of our work. As a nonprofit, 100% of the proceeds go directly toward helping save sick, injured, and stray cats. The Catfe will include a full-service counter and barista, free wi-fi, and cats, of course.

The menu will include:

  • Hot and iced brew coffees
  • Hot & iced tea varieties
  • Espresso beverages (latte, mocha, and more)

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.

Volunteer Roles Adopt A Cat Button

Holiday Open House & Lighting Ceremony Highlights

We are grateful to everyone who joined us for our first Holiday Open House since moving into our new shelter. We were glad to welcome nearly 250 Tree House friends and supporters to celebrate the season at our new home. The evening featured our Lights of Love Lighting Ceremony during which we lit thousands of lights as a symbol of the Tributes our supporters made to honor and remember the special people and pets in their lives.

A Night to Remember and Honor

Thank you to everyone who donated for a Tribute Light. What a wonderful way to celebrate someone special in your life while giving back to homeless cats. We cherish the beloved people and pets whom have been lost with white lights and celebrate those still in our lives with multi-colored lights.

Stop by at This Special Time of Year – The lights will remain lit throughout the month of December. You can still make a Tribute Light donation for a beloved person or pet and learn more – here. We welcome everyone to stop by during the holiday season to see the shelter “dressed” for the holidays.

Guests enjoyed refreshments, the cats (who were eager to greet visitors – the kittens enjoyed showing off a bit), our silent auction, and meeting new friends and fellow animal lovers.

A kitten named Dabble also made an appearance. Dabble was abandoned on our front ledge just a few weeks ago. He had been left in a shoe box, unable to move his back legs. Learn more about his heartwarming story of perseverance here.

Thank You & Happy Holidays

It really is all about the cats and together we are making a difference in their lives. Proceeds from this event as well as Tribute Light donations are an important part of helping us continue our work.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season

~ Your friends at Tree House

We Need a Loving Home

Toby is an incredibly sweet cat who was TNRed (trap-neuter-return) as part of Tree House’s Community Cats program when he was approximately a year old. Toby tested positive for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) but other than that was in good health. At one point, we thought Toby would be a good candidate for Tree House’s Cats at Work program. This program places community cats (or outdoor cats) in a managed outdoor colony where they have a caretaker who provides the cats with shelter, food, and veterinary care. These cats then provide “green” rodent control; their presence alone is often enough to deter rats from an area. However, it was soon apparent that Toby was incredibly friendly. He was also closely bonded to another cat named Pegasus.

Toby and Pegasus were placed together in a foster home, and their loving and gentle sides further emerged. Over time, the cats’ foster parent became attached to the boys and wanted to adopt them. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, and Toby and Pegasus were placed on our adoption floor. The pair was so tightly bonded that it was important for them to be adopted together, making it more challenging for them to find a forever home. The two cats waited a year and a half before they were finally adopted. It was wonderful to receive updates on how well Toby and Pegasus were settling into home life. Sadly, due to no fault of their own, the cats were returned to Tree House this past May, shortly after celebrating their one-year adoption anniversary.

Upon his return, Toby was diagnosed with several health concerns including early signs of a URI (upper respiratory infection), something that can become very serious for an FIV+ cat if not quickly managed. Tree House was in the midst of moving into our new shelter, and Toby was one of the first cats to stay in our new clinic isolation ward to recuperate. Meanwhile, Toby’s cat brother, Pegasus, was placed on a wet food diet to assist with his weight and health. We transitioned Toby to an all-wet-food diet so that he was able to join his brother in one of our new cat adoption colonies for cats on wet-food only diets.

The pair was among the first residents of our new shelter and quickly made themselves at home in one of our new adoption rooms. This duo has become quite the shelter ambassadors since our July opening. Both cats are sweet when meeting new people and have a tendency to show-off, playing and chasing one another. They love hanging out on our “catios” (cat patios) as well as receiving attention from visitors. The cats enjoy children and welcome cuddles and pets from many of our youngest visitors.

Both Toby and Pegasus have moved around quite a bit in their lives and are ready to settle into a home together. If you are interested in meeting these two wonderful cats – learn more about Tree House adoption here. Plus, help us spread the word about these loving, happy guys.

Black Cat Ball – What a Night

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who attended the 2017 Black Cat Ball and helped us raise tens of thousands of dollars to support our work to help the cats who need and deserve our care.

Guests enjoyed live music, passed hors d’ oeuvres, wine and cocktails, and a seated dinner.

A special thank you to Fox 32 Chicago News anchor and reporter, Natalie Bomke, who hosted the night which featured live music, video presentation, and live and silent auctions.

Black Cat Bash a Blast!

What a wonderful night! We were thrilled to welcome approximately 200 guests who had an opportunity to enjoy Tree House’s new shelter in a unique way.

Guests enjoyed many delectable tastings from a variety of some of Chicago’s best restaurants. A big thank you to all our incredible participants including Hub 51, Swirlz Cupcakes, Wow Bao, M Burger, The Bad Apple, and Food Life.

Visitors also enjoyed specialty cocktails, wine, and beer along with a live DJ on the patio. And had a chance to win some great prizes at our raffles!

Helping Cats in Need

All proceeds from this event support our work to save, rehabilitate, and adopt cats in need!

We are grateful to everyone who made this, our first fundraising event at our new facility, a success – the cats are the real winners!

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. 

Our Opening and Beyond – Photos!

Our Grand Opening was just the beginning. We were thrilled to welcome more than 300 guests to our public Grand Opening Celebration, Saturday, July 29th. The festivities started on Friday with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and intimate reception. This was a historic event for Tree House as we opened the doors to our new, state-of-the-art facility. We share this celebration and give many thanks to our supporters, donors, volunteers, and friends, both in Chicago and around the country, who helped make this dream a reality.

Guests Joined the Celebration

Thank you to everyone who visited.

Cutting the Ribbon

Pictured l to r: Ald. Debra Silverstein (Chicago’s 50th Ward), Colleen Currigan, DVM, Tree House Board President, and Kerri Burns, Tree House Interim Executive Director, cut the ribbon to officially open our new facility – Friday, July 28th.

And 22 Cats Found Forever Homes

We were thrilled that we adopted out 22 cats from Friday though Sunday (as many guests came back after meeting the cats on Saturday)! Thanks to everyone who gave a deserving cat a second chance.

Heated Floors, Catios, “Quiet” Cat Rooms, and More

Guests had a chance to see our new cat adoption rooms which feature floor to ceiling windows, heated floors, new cat towers which provide plenty of space to jump, scratch, run, and of course curl up for a nap, and sound proofing which significantly reduces noise and creates a calming environment for the cats. Plus, our unique “catios”, cat patios which provide opportunities for cats to venture outdoors for some fresh air.

Just the Beginning

Our Grand Opening Celebration represents new beginnings for Tree House. Over time, we anticipate doubling the number of cats we can help and adopt on an annual basis.

 

Tree House’s Catfe Lounge Opens Thurs. Aug. 3!

The kittens are excited and ready to welcome guests “whee!”

Uniquely located inside one of the premier cat shelters in the country, Tree House’s Purrfect Roast Catfé is more than a cafe with cats; it is an extension of Tree House’s work to save sick, injured, and stray cats.

Catfe Lounge Opens Thurs., Aug. 3

Complimentary Coffee and Tea to Guests

As the first cat cafe in Chicago, we are working closely with the City of Chicago on the finishing steps of the cafe side (beverage brew and purchase) of the Catfe prior to officially opening that to the public.

However, the Catfe Lounge is ready! And the kittens are waiting to hang out with guests. We will serve complimentary beverages to guests including various coffees and teas which can be taken into our Catfe Lounge. Plus, guests will have an opportunity to rate the choices and help us choose our menu. And all the cats in our Catfe are available for adoption.

Catfe Lounge Hours (Kitty Hugs Free of Charge!):

  • Mon & Tues: Noon – 5 p.m.
  • Closed Weds
  • Thur – Sun: Noon – 5 p.m.

Reservations Available: Call 773-262-4000

One-hour maximum time limit

Walk-ins Welcome:

Guests with reservations will have priority

Guest Limits:

The cats are first and foremost our priority. And the Catfe Lounge also doubles as one of our cat adoption rooms – it is the cats temporary home while they await their forever home. Therefore, the number of guests who can be in our Catfe Lounge will be limited to six at one time and, currently, there will be a one-hour time limit on visits to ensure the kittens do not become too overwhelmed.

Location: