UPTOWN — Employees and volunteers at the Tree House Humane Society in Uptown, joined by supporters, will illuminate thousands of tribute lights Saturday in remembrance of family, friends and pets who have passed away — including Jeepers, a feline mainstay at the shelter who succumbed to digestive disease in July.
From 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Tree House is holding its annual Lights of Love celebration at its Uptown headquarters, 1212 W. Carmen Ave.
A lighting ceremony followed by a candlelight procession will start at 6 p.m.
"White lights will be lit in memory of those who have passed away, while colored lights will be lit in honor of those who still make our days bright," according to the Tree House website.
The event is being used as a vehicle for gathering donations for Tree House. The event includes live music, a bake sale, silent auction, holiday themed bazaar and offers attendees guided tours of the shelter and introductions to some of its resident cats.
The shelter is dedicating this year's events in remembrance of Jeepers, but also in honor of his surviving brother, Creepers. Tree House said both cats were just seven months old when a Good Samaritan found them 10 years ago wandering a neighbor's yard with their mother "nowhere to be found."
The feral cats were brought to the shelter, where the animals, having lived their whole lives outside up to that point, were wary of human contact and cautious in their new environment. But the shelter said the kitties eventually warmed up, and were beloved there.
In 2009, however, Jeepers "began to show signs of digestive disease," according to the Tree House website, and in in July, "Jeepers became incredibly weak," and died.
"Creepers remained by his brother’s side until the very end," Tree House said on its website. "In the days following losing Jeepers, Creepers wandered around the room as if confused, searching for his brother."
The shelter said that "slowly," Creepers has made new friends, but that they still seek a permanent home for the cat, who has struggled with inflammatory bowel disease.
Tree House is asking for a $5 suggested donation (or a bag or can of dog or cat food) for admission to the event. For more information, click here.