Monday, January 31, 2011

seeking barns

Do you have friends or family who live in the country or on a farm? We're seeking some possible placements for unsocializable/feralish cats. These are cats who can't be put out on the streets of Chicago because they're not members of a colony, yet can't be adopted because they are not domesticated.

We would love to find some places who would at least give these kitties a chance at a life.

So ask your friends and families if they will take in a couple needy cats ... mousing abilities not vouched for, though!

Thanks to Kalisha B. for the donation, and to Meng for donating her labor ... and for the furreal kitty ...

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Today's blogpost is for Nancy, who does independent cat rescue in Hyde Park. She is seeking a home for the beautiful Nola, originally rescued from Hurricane Katrina. Nancy writes "she is very very smart, very affectionate, very strongly opinionated cat, she demands attention and wants to hunt and chase rolled up newspaper balls all the time, that would be heaven for her, someone to play with all the time. She does not get along well with other cats, she is both aggressive and scared of them. she was with a dog in her last home and she and the dog were best of friends. she is a about six years old, a calico tabby, spayed, all her shots are up to date, and she is fiv and leukemia negative and is inoculated against leukemia as well. she has been an inside only cat and is not declawed. she is very graceful and very neat. she has a cat climbing condo that she loves to climb up and down and that would come with her to her new home. "

Friday, January 28, 2011


Madison is a young (under one year) long-haired black beauty. She always comes to the ktchen when fosterdad is making dinner and says "Hey where's mine?" Fosterdad reports that "She has the cutest high pitched kitten meow that is adorable. However, she's gotten a bit more bold so she also uses her louder and deeper meow when she really really wants food." She loves to chase shoelaces. She loves to stretch out in fosterdad's arms, especially if he is wearing a wool sweater and she absolutely loves the brush.

Fosterdad Mike says "The best thing about Madison is unlike most cats who will avoid eye contact, she looks right into your eyes and will try to talk with you. She is definitely the sweetest little cat I've ever had. I know that whoever adopts her is going to absolutely adore her."

Madison backstory.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cat 707

Yesterday our adoption coordinator was on the phone with Animal Welfare League when she learned that at that very moment Cat 707 was being adopted. This kitty had been at the shelter for three of our volunteer trips. It turns out 707 was about eight-ten years old. He had been adopted from AWL over six years ago ... but returned in November, we don't know why. What we do know is that a ten-year-old "regular" cat sitting in a city shelter doesn't have a great shot at being adopted. But then he met Briana, who had come on the volunteer day last weekend. She fell in love.

She went back to see if 707 was still there, and there he was, and there he is no longer, because now he's in Briana's home. She declined to name him Boeing (my suggestion) because obviously his true name is Nigel. Briana says "Nigel LOVES scratches, headbutts and snuggling."

I love this story. I feel so grateful for everybody opening their homes to foster and adopt animals. Right now the city (and surrounding areas) are experiencing a real crisis, however, with evictions and foreclosures, and people surrendering or abandoning their animals. And kitten season isn't even here yet! Every shelter is overflowing with animals. If you have been thinking you could foster or adopt, or add another pet to your home, now is the time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Samantha and TJ

We reported last week on some Hyde Parkers who went out during that big snowstorm to trap three outdoor cats. As it turned out only one of those cats was a friendly, so Samantha and TJ were released after recovering from spay/neuter surgery. If you have feral cats like Samantha and TJ outside your building, please get them spay/neutered. Every cat we spay or neuter now means fewer unwanted kittens come

Thanks to recent donors Mike H., James, Emma, and Leslie!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Soft tabby greyness available

Hidey and Minion are a matched pair of supersoft gray tabbies who were born in the garage of a southside church. Hidey is the official bedwarming cat of her house. While’s she’s happy to chase her brother madly around the house during the day, as bedtime nears she stays close so she can be sure to beat us to the bed. Once there she takes the best spot and makes herself available for eight hours of uninterrupted snuggles and pets. And with fur as soft as hers, happy pets are really no trouble. Hidey got her name from her habit of demurely hiding her nose in under a nearby elbow when cuddling in her humans’ arms. She prefers to be close to the action and often comes to sit on a lap during dinner. Hidey’s favorite playthings (other than her brother) are carpet fringes and superballs, but she says she’ll adapt to whatever you have available.

Minion’s favorite pastimes include racing around the house, extreme birdwatching, and begging for belly rubs. He’s pretty sure almost everything in a human house is worth playing with, and that all people are worth rubbing on. He also likes to masquerade as Hidey. Minion got his name from his devotion to Dad, a gray tom who shares his foster house.

If you are considering adopting a kitty, please view ouravailable for adoption list. This page includes some cats who have not been profiled on the blog yet! Petfinder has been undergoing some administrative changes and it is very difficult to keep our Petfinder page updated, so the available for adoption page is your best bet.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The scene right now: fosterkitten Oatmeal (who was in the ACC iso unit all by himself just this past Saturday) getting some snuggly love. Yeah, it's hard luck for the kittens who have to be fostered in my house. Apples in a similar position, September 2010.

AWL volunteer day report

Hyde Park Cats sent a volunteer group to the Animal Welfare League this Sunday to play with and socialize the animals. Thank you to everyone who participated. The animals there currently have only two ways out: to be pulled by a rescue group or to be euthanized. Your visit to these animals is a true mitzvah of kindness.

Darren Leow took this wonderful photo of one of our volunteers, Ginny, giving some love to a needy kitty. This was Ginny's post-church Sunday. Personally it looks like much more fun than sitting in front of the TV watching a football game!

If you're on Facebook, you can see more photos here and here. The second link contains a heartfelt letter to volunteers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ACC Open House

This morning we attended an open house event (for area rescues) at Chicago Animal Care and Control. We do a lot of rescue work over email and it was nice to match some names with faces! We also got to tour all the pavilions, including the iso ward. We only had ONE space in our program, and it had to be kittens three months or under (due to resident adult cats) ...

We learned about the different pavilions in ACC, such as Medical. The public doesn't get to view these animals. This kitty needs surgery on both eyes. Another rescue group grabbed her!

Bunny ... chihuahua ...

chickens ... these were animals not in the adoption pavilions.

Cage of doom? This cage held a family of the softest-looking kitties ever ... all so very scared, and pressed up against each other. We hope another rescue took them all together.

This single kitten was in the isolation (medical) room. So we took this one.

And ... here he is a couple hours later, after a visit to the Hyde Park Animal Clinic (where he didn't even get antibiotics, so we're not really sure why he was in the iso ward), getting some tough love from his new fosterkid.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Skairt Kittehs

These two gray and white cats were abandoned by their owner about a month ago and left to fend for themselves on the streets around 68th and Kimbark. They are a male and female sibling pair. A cat-sympathetic neighbor found and rescued them and contacted us. They are very scared and need their faith in humanity restored. Fostermom Juliana and her roommates are taking on the job of loving these cats and helping them become real housecats again. Kudos to you, ladies. Your compassion is inspiring--thank you fosterparents, who care for the sick and sick at heart as well as the cute and cuddly.

We'll be tracking these kitties' progress. Stay tuned ...

Email if you want to join us for this weekend's volunteer activities of meatball making and/or visiting the kitties at the Animal Welfare League.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Templeton is our new intake from Indiana, where he was in an animal-control facility. This facility does not do adoptions so the animals there have two options: find a rescue organization to take them or be euthanized. Templeton went for Option A. He's a smart boy! He's a little lovey in a cute tiger suit. He's neutered, vaxed, neg/neg, and Fosterdad Jim wuvs him a wot.

This facility in Indiana needs drivers to transport animals from there (Gary) to Chicago. If you are interested in performing an occasional life-saving good deed, please email and I will put you in touch with the organizer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


A community member found this handsome rapscallion in a dumpster in Washington Park in late December (probably scavenging for food). He was skinny but friendly, so we believe he was dumped there perhaps in the mistaken idea that he could provide for himself.

Tiberias (aka Space Cat) is an extremely playful, curious, and kittenish one year-old boycat. Fostermom Sarah thinks he would do well with another young cat or dog since he is so playful (he is always trying to play with his fostercat sibling). He loves lots of love and attention from his people, too!

You should consider Tiberias because ...

1. He loves to play (he loves paper bags, boxes, mouse toys, string, chasing a ball up and down the hallway)
2. He also loves being social with people and enjoys human company
3. He's great at entertaining hmself (He is curious about pretty much anything. He loves looking out windows, exploring closets, playing with water from the bathroom faucet, playing with blankets).
4. He would make a great playmate for another cat or a cat-friendly dog!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Ending update

Forever mom Jessica sent us this update -- "The little ones are doing so well! They love snuggling (including sleeping right on top of my face!!) and from what I can tell are very happy. They definitely know who their mom is and they are slowly getting snugglier with their dad and enjoy playing with the other roomies. We have a lot of fun together and we are so happy to have these two." Happy Life, Rabbit and Piglet (two of Sophie's kittens -- aka last spring's famous "Skinnymom" group)!

Thanks for the donation, Mike H.!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Heather S., our TNR partner in Pullman, has an amazing rescue story to share.

"I picked up Tinsel on that Saturday morning Hyde Park Cats volunteers met at PAWS for shelter building [in December]. The night before (Friday) I left work at 4 pm and was driving on 290 east out of Oak Park to go to my husband's work holiday party and was very late. I saw this gray spot perched up on top of the concrete median that separates the road from the L tracks in the MIDDLE of 290, right before the Austin exit. I was going 65 mph so it happened so fast but I knew it was a kitty huddled up there. Traffic going the other way was at a dead stop and there was no way to turn around and re-do the route to pass by kitty again, and I was very late to the one thing that my husband wanted me to be on time to--his work party at his new job. I had to weigh my options and kept driving east just totally miserable for not being able to go back to that kitty. I was miserable all night thinking about kitty. So I got up at 6 am and thought I had to go back and check out that area on 290 again when there wasn't as much traffic just to make myself feel less miserable. Kitty was in the EXACT SAME SPOT (this is 15 hours later, mind you) perched on top of the median. I thought perhaps she was dead as she had not changed positions AT ALL. I had to do three drive-bys but eventually I was able to pull right up to where she was, put on my blinkers and ran over and plucked her right off the median and put her in my car where she huddled on the floor right under the heat vent. She was stunned and frozen and starving. I drove her to PAWS where they set her up in a crate and gave her food and she ate and purred and still seemed stunned. I took her home after shelter building. She has since been fixed and tested neg/neg. Tinsel is estimated to be a little less than a year old."

WOW. What a survivor. Tinsel is currently living in a big enclosure (hence the chickenwire in the photo) while she waits on a forever home of her own. If you are interested in meeting this gorgeous graysilver girl, email You will have the most awesome "the cat who came for Christmas" story to tell for years to come.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sunday round up

Strawberry soaking up some sun. This beautiful girl has a wonderful gentle disposition and would make an excellent companion for children. Adopt her!

Found a cat on the street? Please read this FAQ.

New pending adoptions: Rigoli! Bullseye and Cucumber, together (our favorite kind of adoption, when we can keep bonded pairs together). And Leo Lionni, formerly known as Basement Cat, has become a victim of fosterfailure (this is when a foster parent falls in love with their foster cat and decides to keep kitty).

Did you get the Friday Chicago Tribune? If I can have it, email

Thanks to Christine R. and to Jennifer P. for her donation to help feed the kitties.

AWL Volunteer Day

Please join us for our monthly visit to the Animal Welfare League intake facility on Sunday, January 23rd, to cuddle and play with their kitties. This is an incredibly rewarding volunteer opportunity, as AWL has many adult cats and kittens who are literally pining away for the lack of attention. The more socialized these kitties become, the better their chances of eventually getting adopted or pulled by a rescue group. Depending on how many people are interested, we will organize ourselves into shifts from 10am-3pm. We welcome drivers to help with carpooling, and we also arrange safe public-transit togetherness.

We have received a special request to bring wet cat food in cans. If you would like to donate cans of wet food, please see the post below.

On Saturday the 22nd we will have a meatball-making session, because HPCats loves our doggie friends too. Meatballs help skinny dogs by providing extra protein; they also help the staff feed and socialize the dogs. Everyone is happier to cooperate when meatballs are involved! If you just want to make meatballs at home by yourself and then donate them, that's also fantastic. We have a dog-specific recipe; please email. Meatball making takes about an hour and is a nice social event, too.

If you're interested in participating, email Kim at (kriosmorrison) @ (

* * *
One story of a dog brought to AWL. This is why you should come with us.

Thanks to Sarah for the donation! And the talk!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rigoli and updates

2011 is moving along with cats coming in from the cold and seeking forever homes, like Rigoli. Fostermom says he is "supersweet" and affectionate. Another one who looks like a Pillow Pet (we have a Pillow Pet maven in my home) -- see also Buckley for this look. If you prefer nonpillowy cats, we have that too! Email us and describe what you're looking for in a cat, and we'll try to make your match.

Updates: Cleo and Darius went home! Adoption pending on Lola! Adoption pending on Marlo (Cat 233)!



We seek your donations of cat food, including open bags. Wet food in cans is great for alley cats in the winter, who are not only hungry but have trouble finding sources of water. We will also bring canned cat food to our next volunteer day at Animal Welfare League. AWL is absolutely overflowing with cats and donations are very much needed. Your local pet market has graciously agreed to accept donations: Parkers, a natural dog and cat market and cats on 1342 E. 55th Street. The folks and dogs at Parkers are bigtime animal-rescue (not animal selling!!!!) supporters and we thank them for their help.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowstorm Rescue

Over the last few days we've been working with an outside-kitties problem around 44th and University. Thanks to Janet and KP for organizing themselves and for actually getting out there in that wonderful snowstorm yesterday. Because of their efforts, three cats are at Treehouse right now being fixed and receiving veterinary services.

The kitties are Precious, Samantha and TJ (at least for now). One seems to be about five months old and begged and begged KP to take her in. Another seems scared. The third was reportedly climbing the curtains in an effort to escape the nice warm room. However, we will reserve judgment until after the spay/neuter and a few days to acclimate to new circumstances.

We are seeking foster and/or adoptive homes!

Good work, Janet and KP!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Strawberry is the pregnant cat we took in from a high-kill animal-control facility in NW Indiana. She was rushed by a volunteer to the clinic at Treehouse just in time for ... her vaccinations. Strawberry was not pregnant at all! In the words of the vet, she is "just a fat little thing."

She's a Hyde Park Cat now, and ready for adoption. Fosterdad Matt is quite smitten. He says "Strawberry is beautiful, sweet, and incredibly gentle. She has a beautiful calico coat, white with big tan and black splotches. She's very, very gentle, and very friendly. She follows me around and twines herself around my legs when I am standing still. She loves to be near people and will purr for hours just sitting on the bed. She's playful (loves strings) but not hyperactive (doesn't run around the apartment like a maniac). She'd probably be great for a family with young kids. She is generally one of the sweetest, most even-tempered cats ever."

We all had a pretty good laugh about Strawberry's hysterical pregnancy. The clinic at Treehouse even sent me an email: "she was a very sweeeeeeeeeeet girl. I am glad she faked them out having them think she was pregnant- now she will find a good home! Man--she was such a lover. :) (and a pretty hefty eater!)"

Thanks much to Lauren B. for the donation!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


You should adopt beautiful black Lola because ...

1. She has the neatest eating habits of any cat fostermom has ever known. She starts at one side of the dish and carefully works her way to the other side.
2. She has excellent yoga skills.
3. She is a wonderful calming presence, but is also very playful and sociable!

Lola came to us last November when she was abandoned with another cat when the owner moved away. She didn't appear to be attached to the other cat, and that kitty (Ginger) has already been adopted. Lola is a sweet young cat with excellent litterbox habits; spayed, vaxed, neg/neg, etc.

Thanks to Chris G. for the donation!


I spent a while today with Effi in his foster home and was struck by his complex personality. He is not one to fawn all over you. He's also not a cat to be fawned all over. He wants to be treated like an equal; and so demands some personal time and space. He has a sense of humor and likes to play; he is friendly and companionable. But make no mistake about it, he's his own man.

Previous Effi

Friday, January 7, 2011

Eemo and Gomo

These two almost-twin 10-week-old girls were brought to us from a high-kill shelter in NW Indiana, where their owner had surrendered them. They are delightful and sweet. They have unusual amber eyes and are distinguishable by the tiger spots on their backs. Excellent litterbox habits, playful, and just as adorable as can be. Eemo, the braver one, and Gomo, the shyer one, must be adopted as a pair and will keep each other occupied and happy for life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bullseye and Cucumber

Bullseye and Cucumber are a bonded pair of adorableness!

Bullseye is the loudest purr-er and most spirited play-er. Bullseye and her brother Cucumber can often be found camped out on the couch together, where Cucumber grooms Bullseye until they fall asleep wrapped in each other's paws. Bullseye is about eight months old, fully vetted with no behavior problems. She loves other cats and kids. She has a white belly, neck and paws and a bullseye pattern of black on her tabby sides. (She may secretly be a white cat wearing a patterned mask and cape, trying to blend in. That would be just her style.) Disguised or not, Bullseye is a terrific little cat and would make a great playmate. She requests any home with a sunny windowsill for her to lie on.

Cucumber loves to hunt, wrestle and groom stuffed animals, especially a small zebra he has had since kittenhood. (It will come with him when he is adopted.) Cucumber gets along well with kids and other cats, although he occasionally wants to play more than his older housemates do. Cucumber is fully vetted and has no behavioral problems (unless you count trying to drink out of water glasses and tipping them over).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Breaking News

Two pieces of breaking news!

Strawberry, the pregnant cat mentioned in our Facebook page, has left the high-kill shelter where she was slated for euthanasia. She was transported by a valiant volunteer to the Treehouse clinic. She will come to Hyde Park tonight or tomorrow.

And ... Hyde Park Cats now has an animal welfare license!!! We are now a licensed animal shelter/humane society.


This calico just looks like a ruby, doesn't she? Heather S., who manages the Pullman side of our community cat-rescue project, says Ruby "just appeared a few nights ago on my street just as all the snow started coming down. She was running up to people meowing. I had just pulled up in front of my house after work and I opened my car door and said 'who are you?' and she ran up to me and jumped into my car. I have never seen her before and I think she must have been recently dumped. She was vetted at PAWS, is negative for viruses, is about one year old, and was pregnant. She is so sweet and has these amazing calico markings."

Today we are transporting a pregnant kitty from a high-kill shelter in Indiana, where she was slated for euthanasia. She is probably in the car on her way to Treehouse as we speak!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Buckley came in from the cold at Parkview Cats, our colony at 51st and Cottage Grove. Buckley was a scared and skinny young tom when Aimee took him inside, but fostermom Sarah L. must be feeding him some premium food. Look at that big boy! Looks like a Pillow Pet.

You should adopt Buckley if you want a cat who...
1. Helps you wake up in the morning by sitting in the bathroom door, watching you get ready, and purring against your legs.
2. Curls up with you and watches TV with you. (He especially loves PBS nature shows!)
3. Is really, really funny. (He falls off things, chases yarn and toys all over the place, smooshes his head all over your hands when he wants to be petted, and so much more!)

Thanks to Florence W. and Martha V. for their end-of-year donations. We can know receive tax-deductible donations via Treehouse; read how here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

lap lap lap lap lap

My new foster kittens, Eemo and Gomo, providing some feng shui for your Monday with the sound of moving water.

Here is the recent study on the way cats drink.

Thanks Mike H. for the donation!