Kittens, Kittens, Kittens, Lots of Action Photos of the Orange Creamsicle Kittens

The six creamsicle kittens trapped a few weeks ago in Avondale are thriving in Robin’s home. We are so thankful to her for fostering and socializing these boys!

And keeping track of all of them. She keeps sending us photos, but they look so much alike. Bert and Ernie are mostly white with orange fur. IMG_3545

And then there’s the rest of the boys, who are mostly orange, with some white fur – Bosco, Oscar, Phoenix and Rascal.

These kittens are living the life. As of yesterday, Joann also now has Bert and Ernie to help with socialization. Their next appointment is at PAWS Chicago next Thursday. IMG_3582 IMG_3580 IMG_3544 IMG_3540 IMG_3539 IMG_3507 IMG_7738 IMG_7737 IMG_3511 IMG_3506 IMG_3505-2 IMG_7690 IMG_7691 IMG_3521 IMG_3526

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Using a Drop Trap for Trap-Savvy Cats

We think Maribella is the mama cat to at least some of the kittens being fostered from the Avondale TNR Project.


In true mama cat-like fashion, she’s been very hard to trap. George, the feeder there, will not stop feeding, so that doesn’t help either. In fact, there’s been a lot of things happening here that have thwarted our efforts and things escalated last week, including involving the police, angry neighbors, and more dead cats, but I’ll be writing about each in separate posts. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it otherwise.


So, since traditional Tru-catch traps weren’t working because the cats are being fed no matter what, Joann spent a few days last week using a drop trap in Ray’s courtyard. We’ve been trapping there behind the gate so that we can stay out of George’s way.


This is what it looks like. IMG_7728

The cats were quite interested in the trap. FullSizeRender-6

This one was even playing with the string. FullSizeRender-6 copy

You can see that those cats are ear-tipped. But finally the tabby mama cat went in after two days of trying. Joann transferred Maribella from the drop trap into the Tru-catch trap. IMG_7727

Maribella is now currently at PAWS Chicago for her TNR treatment. She is the 21st cat we trapped so far at this project, all almost within the same alley.

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Avondale Kittens are Ready for their Close-Ups

We brought the kittens from the Avondale TNR Project to PAWS Chicago for their second round of vaccinations. They ended up needing a little more vetting than that.


These kittens are hilarious. Robin has been fostering them and keeping track of their shenanigans. She sent us photos, and I couldn’t tell them apart. I was convinced she was sending me photos of the same two kittens, when in fact there’s six of them. They stayed with me the other night in my bathroom because we had to drive them to PAWS for their vet appointment the next day.


When you see them in person, then it makes more sense. There are some true look-alikes in there. Also, they’re hard to keep track of and rarely stop moving, in true kitten fashion. Robin said that when they run they look and sound like “a herd of stampeding orange elephants.”


My bathroom is tiny so they didn’t have as many places to go to. In the morning I found them all in the sink. IMG_7627

Yes, there’s five kittens in there. The sixth orange one was who knows where at this point.



Some of the kittens are more relaxed than others, and they started posing for close-ups.  IMG_7629 IMG_7634

Some are more fearful than others, like this tiny little guy, but it really depends on what situation they’re in. Robin has been working really hard on socializing them. IMG_7632

Basically there are two litters, and the older, larger litter is more social at this point.


In the car and carriers somehow they are even more hard to keep track of. The orange ones were all over the place. It was like an orange kitten convention.
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The creamsicle kittens were more photogenic this time. IMG_7656 IMG_7651

Joann and I took them to PAWS where they determined that all six kittens are boys! They received their second round of vaccinations, and saw they were starting to get URI, upper respiratory infections. They sent them all home with two weeks worth of doxycycline. They are back with Robin who is busy socializing them more and administering the meds daily for each of them. She is amazing!


Their next appointment at PAWS is this June 30th.



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All Six Avondale Kittens Are Ready for Second Round of Vaccines

Robin F. has been fostering the six kittens trapped from the Avondale TNR Project ever since they were first brought to PAWS Chicago’s clinic.


We are so grateful to have her as a foster and her expertise in socializing! The kittens have come a long way since being born in an old garage in Avondale. They were pretty scared when they were first trapped.


Now they’re all very playful, although some are still more shy than others. IMG_3370


I still can’t tell them apart, but I’m hoping to remedy that tonight. Joann and I are picking them up now from Robin’s house, and they’re going to spend the night here at my house. Then tomorrow we’re taking them to PAWS for their second round of vaccinations and possible admission. Fingers crossed their appointment goes well!


Check out their head shots. Yes, every single one of these is a different kitten. IMG_7518 IMG_3333 IMG_3331 IMG_3330 IMG_3328 IMG_3327

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Introducing the Big Daddy Colony: TNR in Avondale

Kim and Joann trapped last week with great success: fifteen cats and kittens trapped so far, and there’s a lot more.


Kim reached out to me this year about her neighborhood. Joann and Kim started trapping and working through her area in Avondale last week.


Kim trapped two kittens and a male feral cat. Once the kittens were spayed/neutered, the feeder adopted them into her home. The male feral cat was TNReturned outside.


She also trapped a sick cat that visited her yard sporadically. She has been trying to trap him for over a year, and believes he finally went in the trap because he was so sick. She called him Big Daddy, and the colony is named in his honor. Big Daddy was taken to Roscoe Village Animal Hospital, where after a thorough examination and tests, they all made the hard decision to humanely euthanize him because he was just too sick. RIP Big Daddy.


Joann trapped along with Kim throughout the neighborhood and saw a lot of cats and talked to a lot of feeders. Some TNR was done here before by Erica from PAWS Chicago and other volunteers, because they saw a mix of ear tipped and non-ear tipped cats. Kim has also trapped 22 cats visiting her yard in the past two years.


They trapped this beautiful TNR’d cat a few times, who also loves to pose. Her name is Georgita. Georgita


And a lot of non-ear tipped cats. eartipped orange one of the daddys IMG_0443-2 IMG_0471-2

A lot of these cats are fed by a man named George. George feeds these cats no matter what, and also tries to impede trapping. He moved the traps, closed them, and did everything he could  to stop them. George is an outdoor hoarder and there’s nothing we can do but to work around him and wait until he leaves.


Joann and Kim also discovered that this restaurant feeds other cats. Check out these cats waiting for their dinner in back! IMG_0477

The restaurant employees and several people throughout the neighborhood were all for TNR. Joann and Kim talked to a lot of neighbors and found out a lot of people feed and were concerned for the cats. TNR always involves community outreach, and more people that live in this area need to help trap. They also discovered a few other hot spots that we are hoping to work on, with colonies of 10-12 cats. In all, Kim has estimated there may be up to 50 cats within these few blocks.


They trapped in a few people’s yards and near where George feeds. So despite his ongoing efforts to stop them from trapping, they trapped eleven more cats and kittens. That means these cats are hungry. They range in all kinds of ages and litters.


All of these cats are currently at PAWS’ clinic for TNR surgery. Some of these orange cats look absolutely identical. IMG_7741 IMG_7745 IMG_7750 IMG_7755 IMG_7759 IMG_7761 IMG_7763 IMG_05061

If you know of anyone that lives in Avondale and cares for cats that can TNR, or would like to help us in any way, please contact us at the link above or at [email protected] , or call 773-609-2287





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Saving Sanderson: Community Outreach and TNR

We trapped again at the Pallet Colony this week. As usual with TNR, there were a few surprises. But we think now we have a good relationship to make this an established, well cared for colony.


One of the places that feeds the cats there is an assisted living center. In preparation for trapping, Joann called to let them know to stop feeding.  They told us they brought in a cat from outside and wanted us to take him.


Joann went to collect the cat and had no idea what to expect. It turned out an employee brought this cat from her home in Indiana and had him waiting in her car all day, without a carrier. This employee has two mama cats at home with two litters of kittens, seven weeks old and two weeks old. Sanderson showed up from outside her house and wanted to nurse on one of the mama cats. She didn’t want this cat, so she thought we would take him.


Well, of course we did, because this woman did not have any other plans for this cat otherwise. It was a total coincidence that Joann called even that same day. Thank goodness Sanderson turned out to be a friendly, healthy love bug. Just look at him. IMG_6904

Had he been feral, we would have had nowhere to return him. He is a purring machine that begged for attention. He spent the night here and when PAWS Chicago met him, they agreed to admit him into their adoption program. Thank you, PAWS!


We have trapped 20 cats so far at this colony site. Nine of those cats and kittens were admitted to PAWS. Sanderson is the 10th cat admitted for adoption, although obviously he is not really from this colony.


We know he’ll be adopted in two seconds. We all fell in love with him. This cat was cooped up all day in a car, and was absolutely fine – just wanted us to hold him and not be left alone again. IMG_6909

We are also working with PAWS to help counsel this employee and find help for the rest of the animals in her house. Right now she does not want them spayed and neutered – she believes every animal should have two litters first. This is where community outreach is crucial while you are doing TNR. Obviously people cannot just bring us animals and expect us to take them. We totally lucked out with getting Sanderson admitted.


Joann also called Ron, another feeder on that block, to tell him to stop feeding so that we could trap cats. Ron feeds the cats and they hang out in his yard and the other yards because there are tons of places for them to hide and find shelter. They climb in and around all of those porches. IMG_6933

Ron also has some sort of substance abuse problem. Anyone who does TNR regularly has dealt with stuff like this. I’ve dealt with it before, and in this case, I’m just happy he doesn’t have cats in his house. Those situations turn into hoarder houses a lot of times.


There are usually a lot of cats in low income neighborhoods and lots of people feed them. We do the best to help, but personal safety is paramount. Ron asks for money each time we come, and we’ve complied and given him donations of cat food as well.


He also has a lot of other men show up randomly at his house. Yesterday was no exception.


We set up traps all over the assisted living center, and in Ron’s yard. IMG_6926

Immediately the cats started poking their head out from underneath his porch.


We have TNR’d a lot of the cats there already, but we wanted to see if we can get any more that we may have missed. In the meantime, one of Ron’s visitors had a lot to say about how we were trapping. He wanted us to bring him food and drinks. He had his own plan to get the cats in the traps, but then he disappeared for awhile and did nothing.


It was very obvious the cats were fed. They circled and played all around the traps for a few hours. We caught one ear tipped cat and released her.  Some more people showed up periodically and randomly walked through the yard and in the alley where we were parked. We talked to each of them about what we were doing. I wish I had a high zoom video camera to tape the cats, they were pretty entertaining, but we didn’t get any new cats.


When we started rounding up the traps to go home, three of Ron’s visitors came out. This time I felt nervous because I was alone in the gangway with them. The man who said we were doing it wrong showed me some cat food cans in his pocket, said he was going to get the cats, and asked when we were going to take them. He said he was going to keep them in crates. I had no idea what he was talking about as he was leaving in an entirely opposite direction, but I told him firmly that we were not coming back. I was scared he was going to do something with the cats otherwise, not hurt them on purpose or anything, but I have no intention of working out a plan with him. It was apparent that I had no say in these plans. But really, it’s doubtful he was going to do anything anyways.


Instead, Joann and I are again working more with the assisted living center to set up a permanent feeding station and schedule for the cats in their secure and safe courtyard next door. We already provided them with outdoor cat shelters. Hopefully then these cats, and any new ones, can be cared for there. We want them to call us for help with new cats, or medical needs for existing cats. We are happy to donate cat food as well. The residents and staff there really care for the cats and with a proper plan in place for colony management we are confident this can be accomplished.



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Twin Kittens from the Pallet Colony Adopted Together!

Getting bonded cats from the same colony and kittens from the same litter adopted into indoor homes TOGETHER is always a dream for animal rescuers.


Joann and I were so excited to hear that these orange twin siblings, Hunky Dory and Stardust, went together into their new forever home, courtesy of PAWS Chicago. Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.00.59 PM


They were trapped together in mid-January. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

PAWS immediately admitted them into their no-kill shelter, but they needed some foster and medical care for their URI’s. 12604825_1656019254649601_9223141072311691109_o On February 27th they hit PAWS’ adoption floor, and were adopted together the very next day.


Congratulations, Hunky Dory and Stardust!

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Two More Cats from the Pallet Colony are Off the Street

We trapped these kittens finding cover from the snow in outdoor drain pipes two months ago. Joann and Robin fostered them ever since.


Pinky and the Brain are now admitted into PAWS Chicago! Their new names are Pacifica and Montara. Stay tuned for adoption updates about them.


We trapped 20 cats so far from this colony, and PAWS admitted nine of them. There are more to be TNR’d, and we will be out there again trapping in April.


Congratulations, kitties, we hope you’ll be adopted soon!


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Injured Cat Trapped at Pallet Colony

Jeeves is the 20th cat trapped at the Pallet Colony this year. And there are still more to be TNR’ed.


Joann trapped Jeeves last week. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can see he’s drooling, most likely from stress, and not feeling well in general. Joann took him to PAWS Chicago for his TNR surgery, where they discovered he had a wound, most likely from a bite, that required stitches. As part of their TNR package, they cleaned and stitched the wound, and gave him a shot Convenia to offset infection. PAWS is the only clinic that will include these services for feral cats in Chicago for free. We are immensely grateful for this service.


Jeeves then required just the regular amount of recovery time since he was trapped before infection set in. He is back and happy with his colony.


We’ve been really lucky with this colony so far as they have all been healthy and without injury until Jeeves. Also, every cat we tested for FIV/FeLV for shelter admission has turned out negative.


When Joann returned him, she talked to Ron, the colony’s main feeder, and saw at least ten cats in his yard. Some were already ear tipped and TNR’d by us, and some were not. She also met Ron’s landlord, who brought out his pet cat to show Joann. This cat also needs to be neutered.


They knew all about Jeeves, and said he liked to fight. Typically tom cats like this have those big old cheeks, and are fighters since they are looking to mate. Jeeve’s fighting days are over as he is now neutered, and he will calm down once his testosterone levels go down after his surgery.


Joann and I will go back to the site this week with multiple traps to see if we can get more cats. Most likely we’ll be also accidentally trapping ear tipped cats, which is why it’s great to have extra traps on hand for these projects.

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Sonia Traps Her First Cat, and Gives Her a Chance to Be Indoors Again

Sometimes you trap outdoor cats that are already fixed.


That happens to all of us who do TNR at some point. But it happened with my friend Sonia with the FIRST cat she ever trapped last week.


Yoshimi has been coming to her place since last summer for food. Yoshimi got bolder and bolder, walking up three flights of stairs to get to Sonia’s door. Then this winter she became friendlier, and started rubbing up on Sonia, and asking for pets. 12736913_10206001487497262_567769397_o

*And Adorableness Alert – Pretty much ALL photos of Yoshimi are AMAZING. And Sonia took all of these, with permission to share here.



So Sonia came by to borrow a trap from me and see how it works.


It was textbook TNR. Yoshimi sort of tried to pretend that she didn’t want to go in the trap, 12734270_10206027945398693_8790868476362414111_n but then she rubbed on it, 10593044_10206027951438844_5956462963154169654_n

and “investigated,” 12729151_10206027951558847_7226454316668444725_n

and she pretty much went right in immediately. 12066007_10206027951918856_7318225214595103501_n

Doesn’t she look pleased? She meowed A LOT in the trap. That was yet another sign that she is friendly. 12729000_10206027952038859_7235281229127966071_n

Sonia brought her in to PAWS Chicago for her TNR surgery. It turned out that Yoshimi was already spayed, and even had a tattoo from PAWS’ clinic. But no microchip. Sonia had no idea who her previous owner was, and at this point, since Yoshimi had been coming to her place exclusively for months now for food, Yoshimi was most likely a former pet cat that was dumped last summer.


Yoshimi was very comfortable in Sonia’s bathroom. 12788342_10206038203215132_1542746388_o

A lot more comfortable than in the trap.

Sonia contacted Felines & Canines who agreed to admit Yoshimi into their adoption program. She’s already available. They shared this photo of her enjoying their window views. IMG_5082

Thanks to Sonia and Felines & Canines for getting Yoshimi off the street, and on her way to her second indoor home!

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