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They've even protected the prime minister at number 10 Downing Street , although Larry the cat is described as a terrible mouser. Even cats you costume for internet videos or holiday cards maintain that hunter instinct. David Cameron: Farewell my feline friend. Knowing this history, Tree House organizers started the Cats at Work project five years ago.
It transplants these colonies to areas that need their kind of help. Paul Nickerson, who manages the program, became one of its early customers after construction workers demolished a factory across the alley from his home. Nickerson called Tree House, which agreed to give him a colony. His cats have kept his yard rat-free for years. In Chicago, cats keep the rats out of people's yards, too. The organization doesn't merely drop the cats off in a new neighborhood. Instead they acclimate the cats, using giant dog crates turned cushy "kitty apartments," with a litter box, scratching post, toys and shelter to protect them from the rain, until they feel at home.
It takes about four weeks for the cats to get used to each other and to their new territory's sounds and smells. The colony's caretaker agrees to feed them twice daily and provide shelter and vet care as necessary. Cats may eat rats, but they also deter rats from coming near by, as cats mark their territory, not with urine, but by simply rubbing up against things.
Even this scent of a cat can make rats scatter.
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Neighbors say they haven't seen rats since the cats got to work. When the cats are put in place, they'll kill off a lot of the rat population, "the other rats will get a whiff of the cats' pheromones and bug out and leave the area," Nickerson said. To Thomas, cats Patch, Fluffy, and Skinnerina are worth every penny. I feel kind of proud of them," Thomas said.
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Even neighbors have sent thanks to Thomas. The cats have caused rats to disappear from their yards, as well. Venkman the cat guards grain at Empirical Brewing. They got four "adorable monsters" about a year and a half ago. The brewery had an online contest to name them, picking names from the original "Ghostbuster"s movie: Egon, Venkman and Raymond.
They are the perfect guardians for the grain. Gozer, a tiny female cat, was named after the villain at the end of the movie. Despite her small size, the guys know she'd be a match even for the giant Jesus rat. Gozer, "the destroyer of hearts," guards beer.
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Before the brewery got its colony, the rats bit holes into their grain bags. Staff had to toss pounds worth of malt over the year. They haven't lost a grain since the cats came. Now, cat toys litter the floor and the team has built them a shelter several stories tall nicknamed the Dark Tower, complete with shelves, windows and a door. It's a prominent feature on the brewery tour, with some visitors confessing they came specifically to see the cats.
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Venkman even has his own Twitter followers. Not everyone loves Cats at Work.
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We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide. Read More. Schedule Now Request Appointment Please complete the form to request an appointment. If you live in Chicago or the Chicagoland area, then you have picked the perfect place for the care of your cat. Chicago Cat Clinic is passionate about progressive and comprehensive veterinary care for your cat from kittenhood through the senior years. When you bring your feline friend to our cat hospital, you will be surrounded by a professional care team that is uniquely focused on cat veterinary care.
Our mission is to care for our patients in a compassionate and progressive manner. We understand and respect the extraordinary and profound relationship between felines and their caretakers and, therefore, seek to educate and actively involve clients with the care of their cat. Ongoing Support. Facebook Twitter Instagram.
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Sign up. Building No Kill Communities! Close Menu. Cats Available for Adoption. View More Cats Available for Adoption. Step 2: Matching Expectations Our volunteers will review your survey and answer any questions you may have about the type of cat you are looking for. Step 3: Meeting the Animals After completing your survey, you will receive a Guest Pass to meet cats of interest to you.