Reaching Out to Everyblock to Help a Kitten and her Mama Cat

Joann responded again to a plea on Everyblock looking for help with a mama cat and kitten.


We’re no strangers to Everyblock – we’ve met a lot of neighbors and helped a lot of cats by networking on that site throughout the years. It’s a great way to connect with your community and to find colonies of cats.


In this case, this wasn’t a colony, although the location was very close to the Central Park Colony that Kim and I also just TNR’d a few weeks ago that another neighbor, Karen K., directly reached out to us about in Logan Square. So I guess for now I’ll consider it the Central Park II Colony. This was a single mama cat and her single kitten that a man named Jon was feeding and posted his plea.


Joann trapped the mama cat, Loretta, for her TNR surgery. After a few days of observation and recovery in Kim’s house, they determined Loretta was feral and returned her back to the original location. They also provided her with an outdoor cat shelter and Jon will call us if he sees any more cats.


Loretta’s kitten, Dolly, was young enough to be socialized. Here is the photo of her that Jon initially posted. screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-2-50-41-pm

Dolly is hysterical – she always has those same startled eyes, but she quickly turned friendly and socialized to humans. She acclimated into indoor life almost immediately and enjoy free reign in Kim’s home. Isn’t she gorgeous? This girl knows how to pose. img_9427 img_9430 img_9434 After her vet appointments for vaccinations, Dolly had her final admission appointment to PAWS Chicago for their adoption program today. We are so happy for our most recent kitten adoption graduate! We can’t wait to see the lucky family who gets to take Dolly home.



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Helping Neighbors Through EveryBlock

Gertrude is 85 years old, has Parkinson’s Disease, and cares for the cats outside at her home in Portage Park.


Her neighbors help watch and care for her, and posted on about two months ago looking for additional help with the cats. There were kittens born outside. I have found a lot of neighbors caring for cats in the past through EveryBlock. I highly recommend utilizing that site.


Since then, the adult feral cats were TNR’d. Joann answered the EveryBlock post and has been going to Gertrude’s home ever since to help socialize, care for and transport the kittens back and forth to PAWS Chicago for their vet appointments. Their initial admission date was delayed twice for a month now because the kittens were sick.


Today the kittens are going for what we are hoping will be their final admission date at PAWS and will be ready for adoption soon. Today is also the day that the five kittens from the KFC Colony will also hopefully be admitted.



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How EveryBlock Helped Me Keep Track of Free-roaming Cats

I found another cat that visit colonies across a major street. Last fall I saw Star visiting the Eleanor Rigby Colony.

I see cats and cat ladies. Where's the food?

I see cats and cat ladies. Where’s the food?

I tried trapping him but ended up trapping Gracie and Blackie again instead. I took the girls to get checked out at the clinic and re-vaccinated because it had been three years since they were first TNR’d.

The Eleanor Rigby Colony cats were not pleased when Star showed up. So he only came around once in awhile.

Who dat cat?

Who dat cat?

Star would not let me near him because he was freaked out by the other colony cats, but he definitely wanted food. Star

Then last month I saw a post on Everyblock about a black cat with a white patch on his chest found in my neighborhood. This was not the only time helped me connect with other people trying to help cats. These neighbors turned out to live a block away from me and have also been doing TNR. They named this cat Domino, and we’re pretty sure it’s the same cat as Star. This means he roamed for over a half-mile. Which is a good thing – Domino is actually very friendly and is now available for adoption.

Here is Domino recuperating after being treated for a tail wound. He will be neutered and fully vetted soon, ready for a new indoor home. He clearly does not want to roam anymore. Domino


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RIP Sweet Stacy

A young man named Atticus was worried about a TNR’d colony cat on his block. The cat was acting sick and lethargic, so Atticus posted this heartbreaking message on Everyblock, asking for help:

“so there’s a feral cat, a sweet old man, who lives on my block. i think a neighbor across the street usually feeds the colony, because i see them hanging on his porch a lot.

the old man cat seems like he’s really sick. his nose is all crusted and he’s on my back porch right now, seeming like he has a bit of trouble moving. he’s just hunched there, breathing heavily.
i know not to touch him, because he’s definitely an ear-tipped feral. i tried to make him comfy, brought him a little bit of food. he sat up when i got near him, but did not run, which is one of the ways i know he is not doing well, because he used to run when i got within 30 ft orso of him.

i guess my question is, am i caring too much for what is basically a wild animal? he surely won’t even live the month without medical attention, but he is ‘no ones’ cat, just there to keep the rat population down.. i’m not posting to say, “dang i don’t want this guy to die on *my* porch!” as much as i am saying, “is there a way we can do something for him?”

i don’t have the money to pay for medical attention for him, and i’m not sure if it’s even a cause worth fighting for because he might just be old as hell and withering with age.

thanks, neighbors. i’m sorry to post something so bummerific, i just love this old cat.”


Joann and Kim brought traps to Atticus. Atticus and his girlfriend, Katie, watched the traps day and night. This sick cat would come and go, and sat by the trap for a few days.


In the meantime, they trapped another black cat. They named her Ditto, and she received her TNR treatment at the Anti-Cruelty Society’s clinic.


Finally, after a week of setting traps, the sick cat went in. img_9078 img_9091

We went to our friend, Dr. James Harris, at Elmhurst Animal Care Center.  We found out there that this sweet “old man cat” was actually a female. She was a senior cat, sick with upper respiratory infection – URI, underweight, had only a few teeth left, and had some pretty extensive mats on her back. They also found her microchip from her TNR, which was traced to PAWS’ clinic. img_9077 The Elmhurst clinic sedated her, did her bloodwork and FIV/FeLV test, and gave her an antibiotic injection of Convenia for her URI. They carefully clipped off her mats, but left the fur intact underneath. Afterwards I set her up in my feral cat recovery lounge. Her total vet bill was $121. If you’d like to make a donation towards her care, you can do so through the Paypal donation link at the top of this page, or directly through with [email protected] img_9159

In the meantime, PAWS let us know that she was TNR’d in 2010 on the same block we trapped her. Her name was Stacy. The person who TNR’d her has since moved from the block. She was the only cat she ever TNR’d because Stacy kept having litters of kittens. But Stacy had other feeders caring for her since then, including Atticus, and his neighbor across the street.


The next day Dr. Harris informed us that she tested negative for FIV/FeLV, but her bloodwork results were dismal. She would need ongoing daily medication and care for lymphoma, most likely. This was just not possible in her situation and Stacy was already very sick. She was acting very lethargic, barely moving in the dog crate, yet very scared and stressed at being confined. At the same time, if we put her back outside, she was not in a situation where she stayed in a single place and could take daily medicine and daily care. Winter was coming and the cold would eventually kill her. After much discussion between all of us, Jenny N. at PAWS offered to take her to their clinic and euthanize her.


RIP, Sweet Stacy. You were surrounded by love at the end of your life, and brought a lot of people together who tried to help you the best way we could. We are so grateful for the compassion of Atticus and Katie for caring for her, for reaching out to the local Everyblock community, and to the vet care from Elmhurst and PAWS. Every animal deserves a dignified and humane death when they are suffering, and this is why we provide that care as best as we can to the colony cats.






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Introducing the KFC Colony: Kittens!

Joann answered a plea on about kittens born in a junkyard. The person who posted wanted to do the right thing, even though he is not partial to cats, and his wife is allergic.


Yup, there were kittens.  IMG_20150924_174841356_HDR

Five of them total, all different colors: tortie, black, orange, brown tabby, and torbie, not pictured. backyardcats

These kittens were eight weeks old at the most and already weaned: the prime age for being socialized and having a chance to get off the street.


This junkyard also happened to be a few blocks away from the Joyce Division Colony, and so it’s now added to the list of our targeted TNR area. It’s a city lot filled with construction materials for the cats to hide and find shelter in, which also makes it pretty dangerous should anything be moved.



Joann started trapping the kittens right away, and of course started seeing adult cats hanging around also. This colony is behind a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, which is ironically the go-to bait for trappers to use for hard-to-trap cats. So, I named this new location the KFC Colony.


The kittens were trapped quickly and crated at my place. They were pretty suspicious at first, and huddled together. They looked healthy, and came around quickly whenever we brought them food.


Introducing, from left to right, Tori, Tilly, Tigger, Tabitha and Tater. IMG_3339

PAWS Chicago agreed to admit these kittens into their adoption program as long as they were socialized, and put them on their vaccination schedule right away. The entire process should take about a month. We are so grateful for their help with vet care and professional guidance.


Besides care, the kittens needed daily socialization. We networked looking for a foster, and my rescue friend, Chicago TNR, found one for us, Robin T. George from Chicago TNR is absolutely selfless when it comes to rescuing cats, and I am so thankful for her friendship.


Joann has done most of the work of this rescue, including transport. She sent me the cutest text on the way to Robin’s house. IMG_3357

Robin and her family welcomed these kittens with open arms, and the kittens have flourished under her care. We could not have done this without her, and I am happy to have a new friend in the world of animal rescue.


The kittens are learning how to eat like house cats, each getting their own plate of food. 11059780_10206738606517858_7200523987439298243_n

Playing. Obviously Tigger is the alpha male of the group. 12079050_10206738613598035_4840496342071354174_n

Still all cuddling together. 12079597_10206769759856672_7873601894885272180_n

But most importantly, they’re learning to love people. Robin’s daughter is reading a bedtime story here to Tilly and Tabitha, while Tigger investigates. 12096405_10206753458329144_4432203286917100953_n

They don’t want her to leave. 12108119_10206753465489323_3287355668263261024_n

All of the kittens had their first vet visit with PAWS, and are scheduled for admission soon. In the meantime, Tabitha started sneezing a bit, so another vet visit may be due soon. Robin is keeping a close eye on her and sent me this message, “She lets me manhandle her little kitten body, so I was able to listen to her lungs (I’m a PA) and her nose area is dry. She was purring too loud for me to hear anything! That’s assuming I could translate human medicine to cats, but my vet has the same stethoscope.” Seriously, how could you ask for a more perfect foster and scenario? She is amazing, and these kittens are on their way to their amazing new life outside of a junkyard.

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Networking with Your Neighbors to Help the Outdoor Colony Cats

Relocation for feral cats is very difficult and should be used as a last resort. I’ve managed to avoid it in my area so far by networking with neighbors to find other people to feed the cats when a feeder is no longer able to do so. I’ve written about The Rockstar Colony before, a colony that lost their home, and a new feeder on the same block stepped up to care for them, providing food and shelter, and even adopted one of the cats.


The Eleanor Rigby Colony is another example, as they are on their THIRD home since 2009, also all on the same block. Their previous feeders died, but each time another neighbor stepped up to care for them. People care about the cats much more than you may think. You just have to talk to them and network.


Ingrid H contacted me two weeks ago from Everyblock for advice on finding another colony or another feeder for her TNR’d feral cat, named Veda. She’s been feeding this cat for almost a decade. I was very excited to hear from another person here who did TNR that long ago! I asked to share her story, and she kindly obliged, even providing me with photos.


Ingrid is moving at the end of this month to another state, and she knew she was the only person that fed Veda. She let Veda into her basement during the winter. Veda is pretty feral and not suited to be a full-time indoor cat, though, and Ingrid was worried about what would happen to her when she left. Ingrid initially thought that Veda would have to be relocated elsewhere.


This is Veda.

Veda, Logan Square cat

Veda initially came to Ingrid’s apartment building looking for food. Ingrid fed her, and before long Veda showed up with her kittens.


One of the kittens, Ratso, was adopted out by PAWS Chicago. Ratso, the logan square kitten

Ingrid ended up keeping two of the other kittens.


This is Malvina. Malvina, Logan Square colony And this is Andy. He’s still a scaredy cat that only allows Ingrid to pet him when she’s laying down next to him.

Andy, logan square colony

Obviously Ingrid is going to take these indoor cats with her to her new home, but she was worried about what was going to happen to Veda.


Once Ingrid started talking to her neighbors face to face, she found people willing to help. A neighbor across the street from her said that not only would she continue feeding Veda, she would do it in the same spot Veda was used to! No relocation necessary at all.


Ingrid also just bought a Feral Villa hoping that Veda will use that this winter. I suggested sprinkling some cat nip around it to entire her. Do you have any other suggestions? I love a happy ending.

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Help Needed for Cats Thrown Out of Home

An animal rescuer posted on this week about 6-9 cats that were thrown out of a home. Their owner was a hoarder that was evicted, and the landlord put the cats that he left outside.

Please let them know if you can help trap any cats.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the posting to see if they still needed help. Today I randomly turned down a side street looking for parking for an appointment. And I saw a trap in a yard covered in a white sheet. IMG01653-20130124-1533

A woman was sitting in her car keeping an eye on the trap. We introduced ourselves and talked about TNR, and it turns out this was the place that the Everyblock posting was about. What a strange coincidence. Well, in animal rescue, especially, things always seem to happen when you think about them a lot. I wish it would work that way for the lottery.

The woman told me that so far two cats have been trapped and there may even be cats left inside the empty house. Neither scenario is very good for these cats.

Diann says:

I can help trap. Is this in Logan Square? – Diann

Vanessa says:

That’s wonderful! Yes, this is in Logan Square. If you can’t respond directly to the Everyblock link above in this post, please email the person coordinating this rescue effort at [email protected] Thank you!

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