Chicago Cat Café
Jenny Tiner, a cat lover and former Tree House Humane Society volunteer, is in the process of bringing a real cat café to Chicago. Not even knowing they existed, when she saw one while traveling she had to learn more, and began the process to bring one to Chicago to help find homes for adoptable cats.
Jenny’s vision for The Windy Kitty Cat Café and Lounge (love the name!) is what a cat café can be. Here’s what Jenny said her cat café will be, according to her crowdsourcing page, “The Windy Kitty is going to be an expectation-free cat lounge with free roaming, adoptable cats ready to give & get some love while you enjoy locally and ethically sourced food and drinks. We will have special events for everyone like yoga or movie night with cats, story time for kids, free wi-fi and local art.”
Free roaming cats, all spayed/neutered, vaccinated and available for adoption, coffee, food and free wi-fi? Not what visitors will get when they visit Tree House’s new shelter, explained in, “Can a Cat Café Save Tree House Humane Society?”
The real reason many supporters believe that Chicago is getting its first, real cat café, is due to the disappointment in what Tree House failed to deliver to their donors, the first Chicago cat café.
Tree House Humane Society
Tree House is trying to move on after the bad publicity received during June for euthanizing an “aggressive” cat, despite its original no-kill mission. The shelter is planning two big events to celebrate opening it’s new, $7 million, over budget, and one year late, shelter: Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening.
After the death of the cat, Little Miss Solid Gold, Tree House went on damage control through its Facebook page by blocking followers and posts disagreeing with the shelter’s decision. But, the protests were heard with Tree House posting a letter on June 14th answering questions, attempting to justify their decision, save its dwindling support and reputation. This author is not completely convinced it worked, but was very happy to see that on the next day a post appeared announcing the transfer of 16 cats from Chicago Animal Care and Control to Tree House for adoption . Something that hadn’t been done regularly for some time and is desperately needed to save Chicago’s stray cats. A good sign for the shelter for sure, and the cats.
Because of the June events, a passionate group made up of former volunteers, employees, supporters and donors are planning to protest these two events. Citing lack of transparency and fraud by not notifying donors of their change in mission from no-kill to “a humane organization that promotes the inherent value of every animal,” whatever that means, there are several ways you can support NOT MY TREEHOUSE:
If you are in the Chicago area:
- Attend the Ribbon Cutting Protest, Friday, July 28th, 9:30-11:30am and, or
- Attend the Grand Opening Protest, Saturday, July 29th 1-4pm
If you are not in the Chicago area or can’t attend the protests, here’s what you can do to show your support:
- Write the President of the Board of Directors, Colleen Currigan, DVM, c/o Tree House Humane Society at 7225 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60645 to let them know how you feel about the shelter’s lack of transparency and defrauding it’s donors. Yes, snail mail, due to limited staff, phone calls or emails will go unanswered.
- Sign Not My Tree House’s petition at change.org petitioning for a new Board of Directors and transparency at Tree House Humane Society.
- When posting about Tree House on social media use #notmytreehouse or #treehousehumanesociety.
Also, read Steve Dale’s article, “Cat Café Will Open in Chicago with Your Help,” to learn more about Jenny and her vision for Chicago’s first authentic cat cafe, including the animal rescue organizations it will support.
You can support The Windy Kitty by visiting their crowdsourcing page, where you’ll learn all about the plans already completed, to be THE Chicago cat café, located in Chicago’s prominent north side neighborhood of Lincoln Park.
Be sure and follow The Windy Kitty on Facebook too!
It will take more than Tree House’s “cat café” to get it back on its financial feet again, while providing the services that donors and the community expect. Meanwhile, I’m throwing all my support behind Windy Kitty Cat Café and Lounge.