Back in June we met the owner of a Polish restaurant in Avondale feeding three feral female cats. They would wait outside the back door in the alley for their meals.
We are calling this the Polska Kittens Colony. It is the next alley over from the Big Daddy Colony.
She fed them raw ground beef from her restaurant. We have donated beef wet cat food to her since.
She said they all just had kittens.
We soon saw what she was talking about.
This mama cat was moving the kittens from the garage to a basement accessible from the outdoors, and back again.
We talked to the owner of the basement as well, who owns a grocery store. The owners of the garage were not available. Other neighbors told us that these feline families were being moved all around by the mama cats and disrupted by kids and drunk men in the alley, that they didn’t have a clear idea of how many kittens there were, or who had them. This alley is BUSY with lots of traffic and people.
We decided to let everyone be, and that Barbara, the owner of the restaurant, should call us when the kittens come out to be fed after they are weaned.
So about six weeks later in July, Barbara called on a Friday and said she saw kittens running around outside of the garage.
Joann went there immediately and first trapped the last female cat that we knew about from the Big Daddy Colony. Esther was pregnant and TNReturned. We couldn’t believe she was already pregnant – we had trapped her kittens in June, which were all admitted to PAWS Chicago. Here’s Esther, the mama of some of the orange creamsicle kittens. She is the 28th cat trapped from that alley this summer.
Then Joann and Kim trapped all three lactating mama female cats and six little kittens at the Polish restaurant.
Here’s Abby the Tabby.
And Tabitha, the star of the video moving all of the kittens around.
These mama cats were kept for recovery for a few extra days in Kim’s laundry room.
They also trapped six kittens: Harley, Jordan, Payton, Penelope, Poe, and Shakespeare. We guessed they were from 2-3 litters because of their sizes. It’s really hard to tell when you are not the one who is feeding the cats yourself, or have a set location for the colony. The kittens were trapped, three to a trap.
Kim and Elissa started socializing and fostering them.
One of the black kittens had this gummy gunk all over his side. It has since been combed out. Who knows what the heck they were getting into in that garage!
Some of the kittens were quickly ready for their close-ups!
Then on Monday, Joann got a call from Barbara saying she found another kitten. Joann went to trap him immediately. Kitten #7, Lucky Johnny, was absolutely frantic, meowing his head off after being alone all weekend.
Long-time supporter, Kati E., donated and sponsored his care. Thank you, Kati!
All seven of these kittens are being fostered currently by Kim, and went to PAWS Chicago for their first round of vaccinations on Monday. They will be admitted for adoption in August. They are currently being fostered by Elissa.
Then, on Wednesday of this week, Joann got ANOTHER call from Barbara about two more kittens there. Joann again went to trap immediately, and got THREE more kittens.
Meet Rutabega, Radish and Turnip. All three of them were at PAWS today for their first vet appointment, and will also be admitted to PAWS Chicago’s adoption program in August.
We think we now have all of the kittens, but Barbara will call us if she sees more or other intact cats. We have now trapped 38 cats and kittens from the Avondale TNR Project in tow alleys. Almost half of these cats will be admitted to PAWS Chicago and adopted into indoor homes, rather than living on the streets. If you’d like to help us traps cats, foster or make a donation, please call us at 773-609-2287. Thank you!