My Terminally Ill Neighbor Needs Help Finding New Homes for Her Pets

Back in December I found out my neighbor is terminally ill and I wrote about it. The doctors sent her home and gave her one year to live. She has done lots of dog and cat rescue in the neighborhood.

She is looking to re-home her two dogs and four cats. Understandably, she is not taking her diagnosis well and is in a lot of pain. She agreed to let me take photos and post about her pets. I did the best I could with the photos.

If you are interested in adopting, fostering, helping with courtesy posts, networking, sharing, etc, please let me know and I will send you her information to contact and work with her directly on this. All of her pets are fully vetted.

She has two dogs: a shih tzu and a border collie mix (?). They are friends with each other and every human that walks into a room.  Kim's dogs

They are VERY well-trained.  Kim's dogs in their crates She has four cats. I  believe all of them came from outside in our neighborhood.

This light orange tabby male and black/white long-haired male are kept in a bedroom together. The orange male tabby cat is very friendly. Kim's orange tabby cat

The long-haired black and white male cat is semi-feral. Kim's black and white male cat This black and white female cat is FIV+ and had to have all of her teeth pulled. She meowed at me the entire time I was there, hid under this stool and let me pet her.

Kim's black and white female FIV+ cat This is a brown tabby very friendly female. I believe her name is Zena.  Kim's Zena cat

Again, if there is anything you can do to help find her pets new homes please let me know and I will send you her contact information. Thanks again.

Sonia says:

You should contact Abby at Felines and Canines,

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Cats Know How to Ask for Help, You Just Have to Pay Attention

Last week in the midst of another deep freeze here in Chicago I was checking on my outdoor cat colonies and found this TNR’d cat from the Mother Colony just sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, trying to warm himself in the sun.

Munkimo on the sidewalk When I got closer he ran up the sidewalk to his feeder’s house. He was shivering and looked much thinner. He has not looked like himself within the last month or so, but he never let me get too close to him. This time was different. He meowed at me repeatedly, and then started winding around my legs, rubbing and purring. I saw blood on his back. I put down a can of wet cat food and he scarfed it down. There was another plate of dry food still there, and a cardboard box with a towel in it. Munkimo at his feeder's house The feeder poked her head out the window and said she had not noticed anything different about him, but that he was trying to get into her house the past few weeks. She never let him indoors, and said he is now always on her stoop. He used to leave after eating, so I wonder if he lost his shelter, or perhaps it was just much too cold to matter. I explained he looked injured and sick, and she said her landlord doesn’t allow pets in the building. This is government housing, and she has limited means to care for cats. With her blessing, I came back with a trap for him, which was hardly needed. He was all over me to get more food, so I just placed him in the trap with a full plate.

The vet clinic said the wounds on his back were bite wounds that were so old and infected that the skin and hair just peeled off. They cleaned up the area and gave him antibiotics. He was also dehydrated, weighed only five pounds, had a fever and tested FIV+. Munkimo back wounds When I first TNR’d him in March of 2011 he was a lot sleeker, cleaner and healthier at 7.5 pounds. I actually trapped him in my yard, but he didn’t return after his surgery.  Munkimo during TNR Instead I found him feeding at the Mother Colony two blocks away from me and kept tabs on him these past few years.

Here he is during the summer, while his feeder explains to me that she only feeds him, no other cats. She also did not realize he had an ear tip or anything else like that.

He was always waiting by her door for food and she seemed to diligently feed him. Munkimo at her door

I don’t know what happened to him recently, but he is indoors with me for now. I took him to North Center Animal Hospital for another look. They gave him more antibiotics, and he is also now being treated for roundworms. His blood work showed that he had low red/white blood cells and low protein levels, but these were due to the infection and malnutrition.

His little monkey paws were also a mess.  Munkimo's paws

Once indoors he seems fairly content to sleep a lot. Seriously, look at those monkey paws! Munkimo sleeping The funny thing is that he also seems to prefer to sleep on a hard surface. I’ve tried every configuration of a cat bed, towel and blanket, and he has shunned them all. He scrunches his body to get away from them.

Munkimo in the corner When I removed everything, he finally spread out and seemed comfortable. It’s like he wants to sleep on a tatami mat. Maybe this cat is Japanese? So I named this little five pound Japanese monkey cat Munkimo. Munkimo tatami mat

Munkimo is also named in honor of my Polish monkey pet cat, Mowpa, that I had to euthanize last year the same day I took Munkimo to the vet this year.

Now a week later Munkimo’s monkey paws seem to be cleaned up and healing. Munkimo's healing paws

As well as his back. Munkimo's healing back

In the meantime Munkimo is a very chill, polite, quiet cat that likes to stare at me a lot.  Munkimo stares

A LOT. Munkimo up close

Please keep your fingers crossed that he continues to heal.

Dawn says:

what ever happened to Munkimo, do you still have him ? Thank you for taking care of him : )

Vanessa says:

He’s doing great! He’s fed daily by a woman on the next block that I donate wet food to. Here’s a new photo:

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Hoping for a Positive Outcome for the Hoarder/Drug House this Holiday Season

My neighbor just spotted the Anti-Cruelty Society van again outside the hoarder/drug house of the indoor Stealers Wheel Colony. It sounds like they may be closer to getting all of the animals out of there. I will share the news if that happens. It’s been over a year since I was told about this house and tried to help, but I’m always hoping we are getting closer to a resolution.

This same neighbor has been reporting this house for years to the alderman because of the number of animals inside, the filthy condition it is in, and the fact that it appears there are drugs there as well. A few months ago she saw the “owners” of these cats giving away kittens outside. I once again called Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago Animal Care and Control, and Cook County Animal and Rabies Control.

The last time I was inside it was hard to keep track of the cats. They swarmed the food. Stealers Wheel Colony feeding

They swarmed the new litter boxes we brought. Stealers Wheel new litterboxes This is what the original litter boxes looked like. So there was also feces all over the floor, even though the cats still tried to use the boxes.

I counted sixteen cats, two birds, and one chihuahua, but I also could not get into three of the rooms because the doorways were blocked. The cats could go in and out of them so it was possible there were even more cats hiding from me.

IMG01521-20121210-1244 Last year my neighbor Kim and I managed to TNReturn eight of the cats at Anti-Cruelty Society and using vouchers at PAWS Chicago’s low-cost vet clinics. Kim also ended up having to foster and adopt out two of the cats. Once these cats were out of that house you could see they were friendly and adoptable. DSC08382 We had to stop rescue efforts because the “owners” started arguing with us and the situation got dangerous. If nothing transpires soon, I’ll keep calling everywhere again. Once the animals are out then maybe someday the people there can also get the help they need.

In the meantime I’m hoping for a holiday miracle!

Hami says:

Can you give us an update about this hoarder case? Are you able to get all the cats out of that house now?

Vanessa says:

So far Anti-Cruelty Society has been able to remove nine cats from that house. Here is an update:

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Please Send Healing Thoughts to a Fellow Animal Rescuer

A few days ago I called to check in with my neighbor, Kim. I met Kim in 2009 and she is known here in our neighborhood as the “Dog Lady.” Kim is the type of animal rescuer that will jump fences to save dogs from starving and freezing because of neglectful owners, and will take in an animal if you bring it to her door. We first met because my next door neighbor agreed to relinquish his sick dog to her since he could no longer afford to provide care. Kim and I talked about outdoor cats and trap-neuter-return, something that she had not tried before.

We didn’t always agree on how to go about rescuing the animals we encountered, and we’ve even argued, but last year I felt we finally gained a tentative mutual respect and understanding when we tackled the indoor Stealers Wheel Colony together. Kim found that house because she is always walking her dogs in this area, talking to the neighbors about their pets. Kim called every rescue group she knew to help get the 16+ cats out of that house. When I heard about it, I called her and said I would help, and her response was to laugh and say, “Well, sh*t, you’re the only one that called me back, Vanessa. I wasted my time because I could have just called you myself.”

When we went to try to get the cats at the Stealers Wheel house, Kim always brought food and litter for the cats, and brought groceries and medicine for the people there. She tried to clean and fix the house. The house is a wreck, and the people inside are most likely addicts, and I felt trying to help them was hopeless. It was certainly thankless – we just got yelled at a lot. And it was dangerous. I only wanted to try to help get the cats out of there. Kim, on the other hand, tried to fix everything, and I admire her for the effort, even if I didn’t agree with the method. Anyways, we did the best we could with that situation, but ultimately could not handle it on our own. One of the few things we managed to do is she fostered these two cats from there and got them adopted out together.

Kim with the Stealers Wheel house cats and foster dog.

Kim with the Stealers Wheel house cats and foster dog.

I called Kim a few weeks ago because I now may have another solution for the cats there, and wanted to see if she had been there lately. She called me back to let me know that she hasn’t been to the house since last winter. She also let me know that she was diagnosed with terminal cancer just recently, along with other ailments, and the doctors sent her home because there was nothing else they could do for her. It was hard for me to keep track and understand everything she was saying, but one thing I latched on to is that she said a man came with a dog to her house last week and she had to turn him away.

I’ve never seen Kim turn an animal in need away and put herself first. She just cannot handle more animals at this time, and is currently trying to re-home her two dogs and four cats.

Kim doesn’t want help from me because she said there is nothing that she needs or that anyone can do. I feel helpless because we’ve only interacted mostly during rescue situations, never socially, but will try to reach out to her again. Please send healing thoughts her way.

Lynne says:

How is she doing, and has she found homes for her animals?

Vanessa says:

Hi Lynne – No, this is a very new development as she was just diagnosed. I will update if/when I know more. Thank you for your concern! When I talk to her I will be sure to let her know about the people who are reaching out here. Vanessa

kathy gorenz says:

how is Kim?

Vanessa says:

Last I spoke to her she is doing as well as can be expected and has a friend living with her.

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