Hyde Park Cats 2016 Calendar Now Available – Cats in My Yard Featured for October

We are included again (!!!) in the Hyde Park Cats calendar for 2016.


This highlighted link includes instructions on how to order this calendar from hydeparkcats.org


Every cat in a trap here has a story that deserves to be shared and celebrated, which is pretty much why I started this blog in the first place. Here are their stories:


From left to right, top to bottom:


FIRST ROW, left to right:

Ferret, from the Jose and the Pussycats Colony, TNR’d in February 2012, and still feral and thriving outdoors. She has a cat bed outdoors with fresh, clean blankets every day. IMG01281-20121020-1306

Frostie MacCreamsicle, also from the Jose and the Pussycats Colony, TNR’d in March 2012. He is friendly so I fostered him and he was adopted by my friends, Eliya and Mary.


Whip, the orange cat, is from the Boonie Colony, TNR’d in March 2015. We have not seen him since he was TNReturned outside, but he comes from a very large colony that is fed daily by a feeder who lets the cats in and out of his basement. IMG_0457

I trapped this tabby cat from the Eleanor Rigby Colony in March 2015. I let him go right away – he was already ear tipped but I don’t know who originally TNR’d him. There are multiple feeders on every block in this area. IMG_0655


SECOND ROW, left to right:


Wally, the black cat, from the V Colony, was TNR’d in May 2014. He was very friendly and very sick – the first vet I took him to advised me to euthanize him. I took him to another vet for a second opinion. He tested positive for FeLV, then reversed the test results, and was adopted by my friends Carlin and Kathy in St. Louis. Now over a year later he is still very much alive and thriving in their home. 12212066_868127303256882_1569841162_n

Garfield, the long-haired orange cat from the Armando Colony, was TNR’d in December 2014. I still see him periodically when I visit. IMG_0372

Mala, the black cat, also from the Armando Colony, was TNR’d in December 2014. She was very feral and also returned to Armando’s house once she recovered from her surgery.


Cosmo Moon Eyes, this black and white cat from the Peacock Colony, was TNR’d in August 2014. He is still around and being fed according to his feeder, Ashley, a young girl in junior high who learned all about TNR from this process. IMG_7741


THIRD ROW, left to right:


Mr. Friendly, the brown tabby and white cat from the Rockstar Colony, definitely lived up to his name. He was TNR’d in February 2012 and his feeders wanted to keep him as an indoor/outdoor cat. He was still thriving later that year and I would see him periodically throughout the neighborhood. Unfortunately the following year he was killed by a car. My rescue neighbor and friend Kim found him and gave him a proper burial as he deserved. RIP Mr. Friendly. IMG01278-20121020-1302

None, the grey cat, was the first to be TNR’d from the Chester Colony in March 2015.  none

Joann tried to foster her indoors for a bit, but None turned out to be feral and was ultimately returned outside. Their feeder Chester feeds daily and they have shelter in this garage. IMG_0972

Popcorn, the brown and white tabby from the front yard of my very own colony, James Gang Colony, was TNR’d in September 2014. I named him Popcorn because he kept trying to pop out of the trap and made a mess inside the entire time. He is feral and still visits my front yard feeding station at night, although I have no idea where he goes otherwise. IMG_7992

Apple, also from the Chester Colony, was about five months old when we trapped her and her sister Ava in March 2015. Joann could not bear to put them back outside without trying to socialize them first. She ended up keeping both of these sisters where they are living their lives indoors with her and her other five pet cats. IMG_1076

We can’t wait to get these calendars to distribute as gifts for the holidays!














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Update on the Chester Colony: Kittens Available for Adoption!

Snowball was the eleventh cat we trapped from the Chester Colony. We wanted to get her the entire time because she looked pregnant, but she held out for another week until Joann finally was able to trap her.


She WAS pregnant. This is the third female adult cat from this colony that we TNR’d, and ALL of them were pregnant.


We recovered and returned Snowball fairly quickly to the colony because she was terrified in the trap. IMG_1098

Joann is also still fostering and socializing the two kittens from the colony, now named Ava and Apple. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA They’re about four-five months old, from the same litter, both females, fully vetted, and both tested negative. They are shy, but really like pets and start purring when they start to trust you. They are available for adoption. Please contact me if you’re interested at [email protected]

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Introducing the Chester Colony

Alderman Joe Moreno’s office referred me to a woman within our 1st Ward in Chicago who said there were cats spraying in her alley. Almost at the same time, another woman found me online and said there were kittens. She happened to live within a block of the first referral.


Joann and I are teaming up on TNR, and she went to the site to investigate several times. Joann talked to neighbors, and saw some cats going in and out of a few garages. Joann has done tons of rescue, but Trap-Neuter-Return is still fairly new to her. She is a natural, though. She took methodical notes, and started cataloguing the cats. She made flyers for us to pass out. She sent me photos like this. DSC04164

One night, she set a trap, and immediately trapped this grey female she called None. It was great timing, because None turned out to be pregnant. Joann gave her extra recovery time in a crate, also hoping to see if perhaps None is friendly. She turned out to be feral and she was returned to the alley. none

After canvassing the neighborhood even more, Joann found Chester, an elderly Polish man who sporadically feeds the cats from his window.


Chester has no idea how many cats he feeds. His story changes, but this makes sense as he had to trust us first. Also, it’s confusing to know how many cats there are. They take shelter in multiple garages. The cats go in and out of Chester’s garage and shed, which as far as I can tell are permanently locked, with stuff piled up to the ceiling. There are multiple holes for the cats to go in and out of. It would be impossible to see what’s going on in here. IMG_0979

We asked Chester not to feed, and started trapping a few days ago. Meanwhile, we talked to several more neighbors. The general reaction was polite indifference, but we were free to use people’s carports, and they told us where we could find the cats.


We had no idea what to expect, but so far we trapped ten cats total. The females were pregnant, there are older semi-feral kittens, and we even trapped someone’s in/out pet cat. Clearly this block, like so many other blocks, has a cat overpopulation problem. The only way to stop the breeding is through TNR, with community support. We cannot do this alone.


The first day of trapping we just trapped in the alley. None came by to check it out, but then was gone for the rest of the time. Smart girl. But she showed us one of the many cat entrances into the garage. IMG_0972

We trapped four cats in an hour. They were all clearly related.


Ash, male cat, was neutered without incident.


As was Aspen, another male cat. IMG_1019

Avery and Applejack are two older female kittens we think are siblings, and they are showing signs of friendliness. Currently they are at Joann’s house crated together, while she sees if she can socialize them for adoption. IMG_0987 IMG_0992

Then we started trapping in Chester’s yard. IMG_1001 IMG_1002

We started getting tabby cats, who looked more rough and feral.


Charlie’s ears are curled, most likely from frostbite. He needs a dental badly. But he is a good weight, and was so clearly feral in the trap. I don’t think he would do well with bringing him in for a dental now. He refused to eat, refused to pose, and refused to look at me the entire time. IMG_1033

Frankie is another male cat that is in a bit better shape. IMG_1031

Billie was pregnant, and weighs only 5.5 pounds. She was so frantic to get out of the trap that she had facial swelling on her nose from rubbing and hitting the bars. You can see how red her nose it. IMG_1060

Joey is a male cat, who looks a lot like he could be Billie’s brother. IMG_1053

And we trapped Keelie. Keelie is a long-haired black male cat that was already neutered. And microchipped. His owner came to the clinic to pick him up, and asked how he could prevent Keelie from getting trapped again.


Of course, if we were to accidentally trap Keelie again during this TNR project, we would let him out.


There’s at least one other pregnant cat that we know about, and most likely even more cats. We will keep trying to TNR there and reach out to the neighbors as best as we can.

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The Animals Have to Eat Too

My neighbor watched me fill the outdoor cat bowls with food this morning.

He said, “I hope the raccoons don’t come back this year.”

I was put on the defense at first, explaining again how I put away the food at night, and I only put out enough for the cats.

Last year we did have raccoons visiting regularly at night.

One day I'm going to invest in a night camera.

One day I’m going to invest in a night camera.

He said, “I know the raccoons are mostly here because they want my grapes and apples. But I don’t want to stop growing them.”

Long pause.

“But they have to eat too.”

I LOVE my animal-loving neighbors.

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