Sponsor a Special Needs Cat
Your generous 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. Your support allows us to rescue and provide some of Chicago's neediest cats with the care and comfort they deserve while they wait for their fur-ever home. Special needs cats rarely receive a second chance and are typically labeled as untreatable or unadoptable. Many other shelters automatically euthanize them, if they even accept their admission at all. At Tree House, we recognize the value of any life and work hard to help those who need it most. Our sponsor cats featured below represent so many of the special needs animals that we rescue. Read on to find out what it means to be a sponsor parent for these amazing cats.
How it Works
What you’ll get:
Sponsor one of these cats today!
Renton came to Tree House in Spring 2013, badly injured with puncture wounds, consistent with dog bites, exposed muscles, fractured teeth, a torn lip, and a cloudy eye. He was admitted to Tree House for emergency treatment as he also suffered from cysts, roundworms, fleas, and ear mites. His injuries, even after intensive care, left him with permanent facial paralysis. It was also discovered during his treatment that he was FIV+ and now resides in the Sycamore Room at Tree House Uptown Headquarters. While Renton's face may not be capable of expressing the range of emotion he would like to share, it is ever clear that Renton beams with love and devotion for his human caretakers. He has a gentle nature and gets along very well with the other feline residents and can be quite the adventurer. He adores playing quiet, interactive games, such as batting at the end of sticks gliding steathily under linens and loves a good nap in cuddly blankets. Sponsor Renton today if you love sweet, orange boys, who have a bedtime story to tell of their chivalrous adventures.
Athens, also known to his foster dad as Purfessor X, is a young cat with a long journey. Every day our counselors field phone calls from people seeking help with found cats and kittens. Last December, one of our amazing counselors was puzzled by a call from a woman describing a kitten she found who seemed severely injured. The caller was walking around in the Humbolt Park neighborhood and after hearing a tiny mew decided to investigate. She peeked under a garbage bin down an alley and found a small two or three month old kitten who appeared to be in dire need of medical attention. She took him in from the wintery streets and called Tree House immediately. Her description of a young kitten with a crooked body that couldn’t use his back legs worried our counselor. Still, everybody was confused. Despite his apparent disability, he was as friendly and playful as you’d expect any average kitten to be. Clearly he needed to be examined by a professional to know more. The caller graciously offered to take him to a vet and everything started to come together. X-rays revealed little Athens was suffering from an old, untreated spinal fracture. His posture and inability to use his back legs are not reversible through surgery, but through daily physical and joint therapy sessions, we hope he can learn to cope with his unique stature. We will never know what happened to Athens before he was found, but we do know if it weren’t for Tree House, and people like you, he could have died at the mercy of the icy streets of Chicago. Lucky for him, not only was he brought in from the cold, but his savior knew the chances of a cat in his state making it at a traditional shelter were slim and called us instead. Now he has a second chance to live and maybe even walk! Support Athens today if you want to get to know a resilient kitten with a spunky attitude.
Stillsville & Nashville
Stillsville and Nashville were brought to Tree House after being rescued from CACC last November. The two are extremely bonded and rely on each other for comfort and confidence. Can you really blame them after everything that they have been through? Prior to finding themselves at CACC, they lived in a feral colony with their son, Crosby, who was also rescued and has already found his fur-ever home. While they were well taken care of for over a year by a woman in the neighborhood, once they were rescued we realized they were too sweet to return to the streets, so they waited in a foster home until space opened up in the shelter last month. Not only were they too sweet for the streets, but Stillsville needs more medical attention than the average cat given his FIV+ status. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus causes a weakening of the immune system in cats. It is transferred mostly through deep bite wounds, and is fairly common in feral colonies. Luckily, Nashville has tested negative multiple times, and there is little concern of her catching it from her dear Stillsville. We have long believed that with the right combination of personalities, mixed FIV+ and non-FIV households can work. These two are the purr-fect example of that fact. You may need to see it to believe it, but boy do these two truly love each other. The only consistency in these two lovely cat’s lives has been each other and it is clear that they have become nervous as a result, especially in a shelter environment. Luckily they have one another to love and protect while they await their fur-ever home. Help support these two love birds and the idea that FIV+/- relationships are possible by becoming a sponsor parent today!
Shimmy was admitted to Tree House in March 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 has lots of fans, and some of her favorite toys include paper tunnels, boxes, and wand toys. She is a simple cat with a great personality.
Ember was rescued from a traditional shelter in 2009. At the time, she was starved for affection, even allowing herself to be carried around like a baby! Nobody was surprised when Ember was adopted only one month after admission. Sadly, this was not to be Ember’s happily ever after. A year after her adoption, our counselors received a call from West Loop Veterinary Clinic. A young couple found Ember alone in an abandoned apartment. They fell in love and decided to adopt her themselves, saving Ember a stressful reintroduction to the shelter. Again, unfortunately, this is not the end of Ember’s story. She was clearly affected by her abandonment and grew more overstimulated and stressed as a result. To make matters worse, she was experiencing some respiratory health issues and the cost of vet visits was adding up. After a year of working with our behavior counselors, the couple that took her in decided that Ember would do better in a home with a family that traveled less and had more time to dedicate to her. So, they brought her back to Tree House. When she came back, her coughing fits resurged and Ember was diagnosed with Asthma. When she was adopted for a third time, a year later, her respiratory health improved immensely. She was still overstimulated and anxious, but her new companion was very understanding and through implemented “Happy Hours” and patience was able to provide a very loving home for Ember, but it only lasted one year. Unfortunately, her companion suffered from two strokes and had to bring her back to Tree House. All of the instability in her life has certainly taken a toll but she’s very affectionate and lovely when she feels secure. We know that she will bounce back to the affectionate cat she was when she came to us when she finds her fur-ever home. Until then, help us give this special girl all of the love and support she needs!
Big Al & Mr. 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 who we had previously trapped and admitted. Mr. Green Beans tested positive for FIV, but was otherwise in good health, and we decided he would do well in the backyard colony at Tree House's Uptown Headquarters. Mr. Green Beans can become pretty stressed out if people get too close, however, he 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, Big Al. Big 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 office for a couple of weeks and tested positive for FIV. Big Al is a burly, gray male and was truly feral. We determined that he would have a happier life in our backyard cat colony with Mr. Green Beans. To help with his acclimation, Big 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 Big Al & Mr. Green Beans, you support them and the thousands of cats who live in colonies throughout Chicago who are sponsored by Tree House. Additionally, you help support our FIV colony room, which is the largest in the Midwest.