Friday, June 29, 2012

Trapping wildlife during TNR

The other night Linda, working on TNRing in Bridgeport, trapped this opossum. Did you know that possums are North America's only marsupials?

What should you, a TNR person, do if you find yourself with a raccoon or a possum in your trap?

The short answer is to let it go as quickly as possible.

For the most part Illinois wildlife, including squirrels, are legally protected by the Illinois Wildlife Code.  It is illegal to trap wildlife and release them elsewhere.  If you trapped an animal while performing TNR, the responsible thing to do is to just let it go as soon as possible. Possums and raccoons are nocturnal and should never be left in a trap during the day. And don't forget that during the spring and summer you might have somebody's mommy in that trap.

This fact sheet from Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, I found an opossum, gives some helpful hints on how to deal with possums in general. This site also has excellent info on what to do if you've found a raccoon, bird, etc.

Here is an excellent site about living with wildlife in Illinois from the University of Illinois extension.

At all costs you should avoid being bitten. Be aware of your hands and your fingers. If you are bitten by an animal, do not release it from the trap. Contact animal control. They will (they should) remove the trap and the animal and have it tested for rabies. 

But how do I get that thing out of my trap? Quick tip: FROM THE BACK OF THE TRAP!

Possums and raccoons will  be attracted by your stinky baited traps. The most important tip is to never leave your traps unattended. If you are waiting with your trap, you will see the animal coming, and can make a loud noise or throw something near it. The animal will run away. Don't leave your baited traps out! Not only might you get a surprise animal in the morning, but the animal in your unattended trap (whether a cat or a raccoon) is helpless. Please attend your TNR traps and put them away when it's your bedtime, whether you've caught that wiley old feral you're seeking or not!

Happy and safe trapping, TNR folks!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tapioca: Happy Ending Update

Readers, an update on Tapioca, the "Bubble Tea" mama cat.

Furrrever mom Yoko says Tapi  is doing very well -- our resident cat, Poppo and Tapi are, sadly, still not the best friends in the planet but somehow we manage to live together.  My partner and I love both of them so, so much and I cannot believe it took me 40-some years to realize I am such a cat person.  I cannot even imagine my life without them -- they give me such a joy every single day."

We caught Tapioca and her four kittens in 2009. Read about it here, and search the blog for "tapioca" and "bubble tea" to see other posts about this amazing little family.

When we found her, Tapioca was a skinny little mama cat trying to survive outside. Now, she is a treasured housecat. "Our apartment has lovely balcony," says Yoko, "and Tapi loves to take a nap next to flowers during summer.”  Happy life, Tapi. Happy life.

HEATWAVE ADVISORY IN CHICAGO. PLEASE leave out plenty of extra water for any ferals you are feeding, for the birds and squirrels, etc. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Isis and May -- mini update

Update on Iris and her sister May: Fostermom Ruth says "They are doing so well. They have taken really well to food and are looking and feeling so much better. In between snoozes, they play with toys and with one another. "

May and Iris are continuing to receive veterinary care at our local animal hospital and will be transferred to their fosterhome tonight, so stay tuned for some adorable photos.

Thank you to those who donated: Brittany F. -- we are sure she will feel better soon! Kimberly C. -- thanks for the donation AND the trapping! Joseph S. and Mike. H., thank you. And Yoko K.-- we agree, "she is so tiny but she is a fighter."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Button is waiting

Button was found living with a colony of ferals this past winter in Bridgeport. He showed up starving and injured. Kim, a feral caretaker in the area, got hold of him and provided veterinary care, and discovered Button is certainly no feral cat. We were able to move him into a fosterspace with Linda, who has sent us this superstar report: "After a little more than a week since I've had Button, things are going really well. He was shy when I first met him, but he is such a love bug. 
  • I had a 1.5 minute meowing conversation with Button. I've never had a conversation with a cat before. Anyone who wants to chat with a cat would love Button. 
  • He has giant paws. This one is a big boy. He's super muscular. Did I say giant paws? 
  • When you brush Button after a while, it will sound like a helicopter is landing on your house; but don't worry, its just his purring
  • Litter habits are awesome, very little tracking outside the box.
  • He loves his dry food. He doesn't really eat any of the wet food I give him... this one time he just licked all the gravy from the canned iams I gave him but that was about it (what kind of cat turns down canned iams?!). He drinks plenty of water though so I shouldn't have to worry about him being dehydrated..
  • So gentle. So sweet. Always defensive, never offensive. He would definitely go well with other cats. He really likes another cat's company. He will never fight for top cat spot. He just wants to make friends and cuddle with everyone :) He is like Michael from Blind Side. He is big and strong and can beat everyone up, but he chooses to be nice :)
  • Who ever adopts him will never have a problem with his cat hair all over the place. He has very short hair and any that does come loose will be swept up by the brush. He loves being brushed. I brush him 10 minutes at least everyday. I brushed him for half an hour once and came back a few hours later and he still wanted to be brushed more. I'm going to take a picture of all the cat hair from his brush one day and make a sculpture of a cat. 
  • He likes brushing so much that if I just hold the brush in place, he would rub himself all over the brush. I don't even have to brush him, he brushes
  • He has giant white paws and he doesn't mind it if you want to poke them :)"
Button is so happy to be safe inside and is ready for his forever home. you can see some videos of him being talking and enjoying his new life here. He's up to date on all shots and tested neg/neg, so email to adopt him!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Egypt is waiting

beautiful Egypt

Egypt is a gorgeous, sweet, funny,  petite and fluffy girl, under a year old, patiently waiting for a special adopter to come along and give her a forever home.  She was abandoned when she was about six months old at the Hyde Park Animal Clinic for unknown reasons. One of our volunteers happened to be there and brought her into our foster program.  Egypt was very scared by her experience and was initially very nervous in her first foster home.  Michelle and family were very patient and although it took a while, Egypt did come around -- see her previous post here.

Egypt and the resident dog did not get along, so we moved to a new foster home -- with other cats.

Egypt and resident cat Tallulah (an HPC alum!)

It took Egypt about two months to get comfortable in her new foster home, but she has really come out of her shell.  She loves being around people and will follow you around to lounge on the porch or the bed, and even comes when you call her name.  She is very vocal with a range of chirps, "barks," and meows, and if you scratch her back while she's eating, she makes a hilarious "nom nom nom" noise that lets you know shes happy but busy scarfing down treats!  She enjoys a laser pointer or string toy, and goes crazy for salmon treats.  She has longer hair so does need to be brushed regularly, and especially enjoys it on her face!  She sleeps snuggled up to fostermom every night. She now gets along fine with the female cat in the foster home, but not with the male cat resident.

Fostermom has fallen head over heels for this funny girl who got such a rough start in life but hopes Egypt will get a forever home soon!  She is spayed, up to date on shots, and tested neg/neg, and will need an adopter with patience to wait for the rewards that come with giving her time to adjust and let her personality shine. Every cat needs time to adjust to a new environment; Egypt merely needs more time than most.  Email us at to meet Egypt!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Capt. Jack Sparrow: happy ending update

An update on HPC alum, "Capt. Jack Sparrow," from his loving furrrever mom Samantha: "After over a year of this sweetheart, I must say that he has won me entirely. Science (his fourth? fifth? who knows! third name, poor thing) greets me every day when I come home from work, is always eager for a belly scratch, and spends his days chasing the sun and mewling out the window at the other cats in the building. Endlessly patient and placid, his gentleness (and eagerness for a snuggle) have won over all my visitors. My favorite is when I am sick and he makes extra sure to sprawl all over my head in an attempt to cure. Thank you, HPC, for all you do and for uniting me with this lovemuffin!"

A Love Letter to Jack, from his former fostermom

Monday, June 18, 2012


Last Friday we got a call for help from Adrienne, who works with Green Youth Farms based at Dyett High School in Washington Park (on the west end of Hyde Park). She had just found two kittens in a gardening shed. "One kitten has what appears to be conjunctivitis in one eye," she wrote. "The mother apparently has a litter every year (the old timers tell me)." Mama cat is a black and silver tabby and her babies are tabbies too.

One of our volunteers, Ruth A., was able to bike over to the park to meet Adrienne, and they easily secured the kitten with the bad eye. She was seen at Hyde Park Animal Hospital that afternoon, where we learned some bad news: "Iris" had had such a raging infection in the eye that it had perforated (the eye is gone). The remaining eye is also infected but Iris is receiving oral antibiotics as well as medicated eyedrops and we are hopeful the remaining eye can be saved.

Here she is in custody:

These types of eye infections are, sadly, not uncommon in outdoor cats. Other than the eye, she is in good shape (Mama cat did her best) -- about six weeks old, not dehydrated, no fleas, no ear mites. She weighs just over a pound and has a beautiful coat with some orange in it. Ruth says she's very sweet and cooperative.

Adrienne and Kim C. (who fostered Sitwell) were able to return to the site and captured the second kitten, who we are calling May. We hope to at least get Mamacat TNRed. If you would like to foster these kittens, please email

Please consider a small donation at this time to help us treat Iris and May and get them on the road to adoption, and to get their poor Mamacat some veterinary care too.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Kenya was adopted from Hyde Park Cats last year, but her owner is in the midst of a family emergency and we are putting her back on the market.  Her owner is incredibly sad but hopes that someone will come along to give Kenya a new forever home filled with love and affection. 

Her current mom writes that "Kenya is a fun and playful cat. She loves to sit in an open window, or an open door with a screen in it. Kenya is a hunter cat, and she loves to sniff out bugs for a tasty treat. Kenya has medium energy level, and she will sleep when you sleep (she's pretty laid back). She does not like to be closed out so leave the door to your room cracked! She likes to be next to you so put her bed next to yours and she will sleep there. She doesn't really care for fancy cat toys, but she will love a shoelace, string, or a ball of paper. Kenya has excellent litter habits and is a healthy girl."

Our original post on Kenya, when she was found just wandering around a busy street, meowing for help.

So let's review ... Beautiful. Healthy. Cheap date. Loving. Smart. Awesome! Apply to adopt Kenya by emailing

Thanks James M. for the donation, Kim R. for the zumba money, and Katherine A. for the help in retrieving that paperwork!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bean Sprout

Bean Sprout is an adorable little kitten with her soft coloring, huge green crossed eyes and bat-like ears. She is a sweet kitten but -- deal breaker! -- definitely needs lots of attention and love. So if you're looking to add some love into your life ... welll ... Sprout is waiting. She'll purr forever if you scratch her between the ears or give her favorite Fancy Feast tuna flakes! She'll make a great lap cat for some lucky cat owner.
Sprout came from an alley on the South Side.
Bean Sprout is sharing a foster home with Samcat and they are quickly becoming affectionate playmates.  Both of these friendlies are fixed, vaccinated, and have clean bills of health.  They can be adopted separately or together!  Email today!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Since being saved from under a parked car on a busy Hyde Park street, Villa's life has been on the up and up. He's recovering nicely from his injuries (read original post, below) and he is gaining weight. He is an easy-going cat who really likes to be with people and snuggle and cuddle in your lap. Villa is an affectionate young boy--probably around 1 year old--who loves to groom his beautiful coat; he's already gorgeous and will only get even more gorgeous with time, if hopefully not more vain.
When we first saw Villa

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Bastete is an adorable and playful kitten, estimated to be about 3-4 months old.  She was first spotted by Magdalena at a warehouse with her mother and siblings, and after a few sightings she began showing up alone.  Magdalena was kind enough to take her in to her home temporarily.  Magdalena writes, "She is now playing and chasing the other cats around the apartment, lays down with our dog in her dog bed, and attacks anything you throw down the hallway.  She loves those noisy ping pong cat balls. She still is a purr baby and will purr her head off if you just pet her and loves to sleep in your lap. Whenever you walk in the room she greets you with a tiny little baby kitty meow. It's too cute.  She also comes when called, but not to her name, just to a kitty call or if you are calling any other pet! (Because she loves to be with people so much!)  She is very social and it's so surprising she was a stray."

Bastete was recently spayed and is up to date on shots and neg/neg.  If you are interested in adopting her, email TODAY!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gretchen is waiting

Darling Gretchen is still patiently waiting for a new home!  She was likely dumped outside by her former owner and luckily brought inside by a caring community member (after whom she is named).  Her fostermom writes "She is such a cute little girl with her plump tummy, waddling walk, and overall petite size.  She is always ready to play, but never demanding.  She spends most of the night resting at the foot of our bed.  As soon as we wake up or the alarm goes off, she turns on her purring machine and climbs up on us for some love -- it's a sweet little ritual.  She would make a lovely feline companion!  I imagine she would be fine with other cats and she is fine with our kids."  She is spayed, neg/neg for viruses, and ready to go to a home where she will be kept forever.  Here is our previous post on Gretchen.
Thanks Lauren S. for the donation of some kitty wet fud and Sarah van D. P. for the fud and the scratcher!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Maceo and Wesley

Maceo and Wesley are still available!  We will let fosterdad Patrick do the talking for these adorable little kitties: 

"If these cats were built for anything, they were built to play.  Maceo and Wesley bring a level of energy and activity to our apartment that has been missing since second week of classes.  Despite some initial skittishness upon arriving in our home they have warmed up tremendously and quickly learned what’s good in their new hood.

Maceo and Wesley are the perfect complements to each other.  Though Maceo is more friendly, Wesley’s antics are nothing short of hysterical.  These cats play with more energy than the Energizer Bunny.  Indeed, they run around our living room at the speed of light, batting at any dangling objects they may encounter and kicking ping pong balls like futbol campiones.    
Maceo will often come and sit with me as I read.  He is a junkie for head scratches and cheek massages, and flops around like a fish out of water when receiving a belly rub.  Wesley is a little less social- she calmly circles around the festivities but typically deems them beneath her.  She prefers to follow you around as you move about the apartment, tapping your leg with her head or tail when she thinks you’re not looking.   I initially thought these cats were a tad shy, but having spent time with them I realize they are just a little coy.  They need a bit of time to warm up to new people but they are eager to build trust and share their love."

They are fixed, vaxed, neg/neg, and available NOW! Email to apply.  Their siblings Bootsy and Ellis are ALSO available (as a pair). And here is how we found them, in a Church garage in an alley.