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Tree of Life
Sponsor a Special Needs Cat
And help many others like them.
These special needs cats rarely receive a second chance and are typically labeled as untreatable or unadoptable. These animals are often refused admission to shelters, or worse, euthanized. However, not at Tree House.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to help these special cats and believe every animal deserves a second chance. The Sponsor Cats featured below represent so many of the animals that we rescue. These cats suffer from chronic illnesses or conditions, are older, injured, shy or aloof, or might be anxious.
Make a Difference to Some of the Neediest Cats
Your generous Special Needs Cat Sponsorship helps provide life-saving medical treatments and medication, vaccinations, food, and shelter to the many sick and injured cats we admit on an annual basis. Because of your support, we are able to rescue some of Chicago's neediest cats, and provide them with the care and comfort they deserve until they are adopted even if that means housing them for months, years, or throughout their life. As little as $20 a month can have a tremendous impact.
How it Works
What you’ll get:
- Quarterly updates on the progress of your cat, including behavior and medical information and a keepsake photocard with a message from your cat!
- An open invitation to call, visit, or email us any time to check on the well-being of your cat
Many sponsors like to send gifts to their cats. If you choose to do so, we prefer:
- Low-carb Treats (i.e., fish flakes, freeze-dried meat treats, etc.)
- Easy to clean toys (ping pong balls,small washable fabric toys, wand toys, etc)
- Beds and blankets (again the easier to wash, the better)
Get Started Today - For More Information:
Before coming to Tree House Jean Luc, along with Tree House resident Dijon, was one of 40 semi-feral cats who, for various reasons, had been taken into another shelter instead of being returned to their respective feral colonies. In February of 2007, Tree House took over the care of these cats after assuming the shelter operations. Jean Luc is a tough FIV cat who had lived his entire life on the street and had no human contact before landing at the shelter. Needless to say, it can be a frightening and stressful transition to shelter life for a cat such as Jean Luc. But, like so many of the cats that come to Tree House, he is a survivor. Since being transferred to our Uptown headquarters, Jean Luc has formed strong bonds will his fellow residents and has gained a reputation of being the bouncer of the Cypress Room; ensuring no one is picked on by another cat and that human-cat contact is gentle and kind. While Jean Luc is still wary of people, he has been improving daily. The care and socialization he has received at Tree House has enabled him to become more comfortable, and he no longer hides when individuals come to visit. He may keep his distance, but now happily observes staff, volunteers, and visitors. Jean Luc loves sponsors who understand and appreciate the strong but silent type.
Dijon was part of the same feral cat group as Jean Luc, and was one of 40 semi-feral cats who, for various reasons, had been taken into another shelter instead of being returned to their respective feral colonies. Dijon was rescued when he had an injured paw. He was then found to be FIV+ and his rescuer decided it was best to keep him inside. Having had little human contact in his life, he was very frightened and wary of people when he came to Tree House. Dijon has experienced a couple of health issues in the past few years, including a chronic skin irritation and dental problems. The good news is that since being transferred to Tree House, Dijon has made enormous strides in his socialization. Dijon now allows people to pet him and has even begun to especially appreciate chin scratches; an extraordinary step for a once-feral cat! This cat is very laid back and a general cool character. He spends his days relaxing in baskets and seems to have an affinity for the jazz station played in his room. If you enjoy easy-going cats, this is the sponsor cat for you.
Shimmy was admitted to Tree House in March of 2006. She was aptly named, after she had somehow ‘shimmied’ to the top of a utility pole and then became stuck. There were few resources to help her down, and she became a bit of a celebrity when her predicament gained local media attention. Tree House staffers became aware of her plight after she had likely been perched atop the pole for a day or two. Thankfully, a Chicago utility company came to her aid. Upon arriving at Tree House, and despite her ordeal, she was in good health. She struggled with adjusting to shelter life, and it became apparent that she can definitely become easily overstimulated. While she doesn’t get along well with other cats, Shimmy enjoys the company of humans. Her tolerance for being touched has improved significantly since she arrived. She now tolerates a few gentle pets at a time and enjoys being groomed. She truly is a special cat and those interacting with her simply need to remain calm and pay attention to her body language. She resides at our Chicago, Bucktown Branch and greets visitors with a chirp. She loves sleeping on the desk in the adoption’s office and has a lot of fans. Some of her favorite ‘toys’ include paper tunnels, boxes, and wand toys. She is a simple cat with a great personality.
Aggie first arrived at Tree House in October of 2011. She was a very small cat, and it was first thought she might be a kitten. However, we now believe she was born around 2005. Aggie has no problem asking for what she wants and was found when she sat on a long-time Tree House supporter’s porch crying until she would take her in. Aggie’s condition told the tale of the struggle she had lived. This petite cat's ear was crinkled and scarred from a previous injury, and her right eye was damaged, the pupil enlarged and cloudy. She was also very thin, seriously dehydrated, and suffered from severe diarrhea which had caused sores. Despite her obvious discomfort, Aggie was sweet and friendly; purring for attention. Even when Aggie doesn't want to be pet, she will call out just to have attention. Aggie has struggled with a variety of chronic health issues as well as food allergies. She has had constant soft stool issues, which we’ve finally been able to get under control with a very strict diet: she can’t have treats, and eats special prescription food. Aggie lives in the Clinic office at our Uptown headquarters with her friend Pippi where her diet can be controlled, and she receives lots of attention. She meows her “hellos” to passersby. Her right eye remains cloudy, and her vision is impaired and she, therefore, doesn’t stray far from where she is placed. While Aggie is a petite and gentle cat, she is a survivor! Your sponsorship supports this gentle yet tenacious cat, and the many others like her.
Sally was abandoned with 26 other cats crammed into about 11 carriers at Tree House Headquarters in June 2010. She shared a carrier with her small kitten, who sadly had passed away before she and the other cats were found by Tree House staff. Sally was about six years old at the time, suffering from an upper respiratory infection, and had not been spayed. In Sally's carrier was a note saying that her person had passed away. Sally had been alone in her home until a neighbor had found her. The note went on to say she was extremely nervous, but not feral, and that she loved all cats. If Sally and the rest of the cats had not been dumped at Tree House, their survivial would have been in severe danger. Sally is a beautiful dilute tortie that tested positive for FIV upon her arrival and now calls Tree House's third floor Cypress colony her home. She suffered from stomatitis until we removed all her teeth, and still struggles with gingivitis, which inflames her mouth and gums. Since the beginning of her stay at Tree House, Sally has emitted a quiet dignity. She has her special bed, where she basks in rays of sun all her own. She has befriended many of our shyer residents, giving them a comfort they wouldn't otherwise receive. Jean Luc and Dijon, once her constant companions, have moved to Bucktown for their health. Her other friends have been adopted, or have passed away. Sally is resilient, and maintains her strength, but she's lonely. She savors human attention, from gentle cheek pets to bounding play sessions with the Da Bird. Your sponsorship of Sally helps us provide care and comfort for her, and others like her, who have suffered the trauma and heartbreak of abandonment, but still hope for forever homes.
Al and Green Beans
You can sponsor not one but two of our handsome, rugged teddy bears of the cat world! These two cats are the dynamic duo of alpha cats in the Tree House backyard colony. While these two cats are feral, they are curious and inquisitive – eager to check out visitors from a distance. Mr. Green Beans is a large black male who was trapped in November of 2009 by a Tree House staffer. He was the daddy of a large litter of black kittens that we had previously trapped and admitted. Mr. Green Beans tested positive for FIV, however was otherwise in good health, and we decided he would do well in the backyard colony at Tree House’s Uptown headquarters. Green Beans can become pretty stressed out if people get too close, however has acclimated well to his new territory and can be seen roaming the neighborhood or sunbathing on the cat tree in the yard with his friend Al. Al was abandoned on our front steps in June of 2011. When we found him in a carrier, he was very frightened and did not want to be touched or examined. He stayed in our clinic for a couple of weeks and tested positive for FIV. Al is a burly gray male and was truly feral. We determined that he would have a happier life in our backyard cat colony. To help with his acclimation, Al was placed outside in a carrier so he and Mr. Green Beans could get to know one another. The two soon became good friends and can be seen rubbing one another or curled up together basking in the afternoon sun either in the outdoor cat tree or snuggled together in a pile of leaves. If you like big guys who are teddy bears at heart, these two males are for you. When you sponsor Al and Green Beans, you support them and the thousands of cats who live in colonies throughout Chicago that are sponsored by Tree House. Additionally, you help support our FIV colony room which is the largest in the Midwest.