News and views of Chicago's animal rescue community and supporting businesses

Posts tagged ‘cats’

Too many cats. . .

If you walk into any shelter that takes in cats, it doesn’t take long to notice how many cats are in their care. How many adult cats that once had a home, a family, a warm place to sleep to call their own. It is just overwhelming…

Sun Pacific is a senior cat found wandering the streets of Chicago. She is waiting at Tree House for her forever home.

Why are there so many kitties? The economy and aging population play a very small role in this. The sad answer to the question is this – although cats are America’s favorite pet, outnumbering dogs by 15 million (according to the AVMA), they are the most likely to be relinquished to animal shelters. Too many people don’t get that the cute little kitten could be a 15- to 20-year commitment and in our disposable society dump them and move on.

Here’s another staggering number for you. Tree House Humane Society is in the midst of a trap neuter return program in Chicago’s Humboldt Park. An astounding 65 percent of the cats they trapped last year are friendly strays – 65 percent. As they’ve canvassed the neighborhood, someone has usually been able to pinpoint where the cat used to live before being dumped by his or her family. Even the folks at PetSmart Charities that are providing the grant money for the program were shocked by that statistic.

Many TNR programs do just that – Trap, Neuter, Return. For Tree House, feral cats fall into the TNR part of the program, but strays do not. They are given a second chance and finding a permanent home. The organization took in 300 cats off the streets through its TNR efforts last year.

Yor came in through the TNR program at Tree House and is looking for a home.

Those 300 cats were fortunate to have been taken in by a no kill shelter that considers them “Tree House Cats” for life. That means they will live there until they find a home and will come back if the need to find another home. It also means that those cats didn’t end up at Chicago Animal Care and Control or another open admission shelter where adoption prospects are dim and where many adult cats especially don’t make it out. Tree House is working on building more partnerships with foster homes and boutique pet shops to help more kitties find homes.

My goal this year in this blog and in the Examiner has been to shed more light on the plight of cats in our community. As the cat lady of my neighborhood, I’ve failed on that front so far in 2012.

The dogs have taken over – with pit bull controversies, parvo and puppy mill stories – for the first few months. But, that is changing. Next week I’ll be focusing on a new suburban group that is working on FIV education/adoption and rehoming black cats. We’ll also look at TNR efforts in Lake County and update you on events in the city.

In the meantime, please forgive a typo or two on my blog – like may animal lovers I get all kinds of furry help when I write…and the cats never did too well in editing class. So, meow for now. The Blog is back and check out my stories next week on the Examiner.

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Just a little cat-itude…

My best friend has abandoned me…gone over to the darkside…given me the cold paw.

Yesterday was kitty dental day and we loaded up Max and Ellie bright and early to drop them off at the vet. Max sensed it was not a normal field trip (like therapy cat day) and actually went under the bed. I eventually corralled them in the carriers and hit the road for the vet.

Ellie hates to go to the vet. I know that is typical for a cat. But, when her first family abandoned her, the animal control was a vets office and I think she kinda wonders if I’m leaving her for good when we go. So, she sang all the way there.

When they came home later in the day, it was payback time. First, Ellie hid from everyone. Then, she’d run up to me like it was going to be lap time – stop short – give me a look and then go away. She totally skipped lap time during my designated lap hour last night and went to hang out with my husband.

At bedtime, she started to curl up next to me like all was forgiven – then a little light went on in her head – oh  yeah, I’m still mad at you – and she switched sides of the bed.

I thought all was forgiven this morning….but I was wrong. She did breakfast and then promptly hid in the center of the cat condo. A little birdie told me she came out as soon as she heard the garage door go up.

The late Scarlett used to make me pay for an hour our two after any trip to the vet.  However, the cat that really had it down to an art was Smokey Jo – the cat I had growing up. When I would go away to college, she’d make me pay for a good 2-3 days every time I’d come home. I’d need a week-long break at least before she’d begin to act like all is forgiven.

I just need to figure out which spirit she’s channeling and I’ll know how to react.

Sorry to miss the Meow Monday blog post – see what I was up against 🙂

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