ENGLEWOOD — A PAWS volunteer rescued a neighborhood cat Saturday after Englewood residents called to say the animal had been tortured with firecrackers by local kids.
Georgie Black, a 59-year-old Pilsen resident, does regular volunteer work for PAWS animal shelter in the city. She was on her way to drop off some kittens and cats at the organization's low-cost neuter clinic in Little Village when she received a call from an Englewood resident telling her that a cat had been severely injured near the caller's home.
When Black arrived at the resident's home, in the 5700 block of South Elizabeth Street, she found a badly hurt, black-and-white short-hair male cat.
According to the resident, teens strapped firecrackers to the cat and lit them. Black took the animal — which the resident had placed in a cat carrier — and put him in her car.
"He was sweet as can be, it's almost like he knew somebody was coming to help him," said Black, who is unemployed. "At first, I had worries he would be feral, but this one was looking at me in his car seat all the way to PAWS. He started purring at the end."
Chloe Riley details how Nikki the cat was saved by a Pilsen resident:
After technicians at PAWS cleaned the cat's wounds — which included a broken back leg and several deep burn wounds — Black volunteered to take the 1-year-old cat, which she named Nikki, back to her home for recovery.
Black — who's been volunteering with PAWS for almost four years — said she noticed that violence to cats was all too common in some neighborhoods. She believes violence against dogs, though, is taken more seriously.
"It's very common, I'm telling you," she said. "If it were a dog, ... [people] would be very emotionally charged, but for some reason cats are invisible out there."
"Chicago is so far behind in animal protection it's tragic," she said.