Who we are

Cherry Street Cats is me (Robin), my husband Steve, Sandi, Michelle, Verena, Vinyse, Derek, Kent, and Connie, a group of dedicated cat lovers who care for a colony of feral cats in the east end of Toronto. I also have a great rescue team of Lesley, Joanne, and Susan. Together we do our best to make the lives better for feral and homeless cats and kittens. 900+ cats helped in nine years!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A successful trapping!

Aaffien and I set out early this morning to try to trap another of the pontoon cats. Yesterday we didn't feed them so they would be hungry enough to be enticed into a trap.

Here is Aaffien setting up the trap and baiting it with always irresistible salmon flavoured Fancy Feast, the McDonalds of cat food.

Immediately one of the black cats began eyeing the trap, weighing his hunger against going into an enclosure. We went to feed cats at another area, knowing he or she wouldn't go in while we were in sight.
We came back after 10 minutes and voila, we caught a cat! The poor cat was agitated but immediately calmed down once we covered the trap with a blanket. Off we went to the vet with Sam or Sammie, depending on whether the cat is male or female. I'm still crossing my fingers that we caught a female. The vet will spay or neuter, vaccinate, apply Revolution and eartip to make sure that we don't catch the same cat again. In two days (if the cat is male), 4 days if it's female, we'll bring them back and release them. In feral cat lingo, it's called TNR (trap, neuter, release).
Before we left, Aaffien got some love from Jackson, who was cruising for a meal and a bit of head scritching.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thoughts on food

We feed our cats at home canned Wellness and a bit of TD for their teeth. My personal opinion is that cats do best on a grain free diet and canned is better for them than hard food. However, premium cat food is expensive so for our ferals, well, they have to take what they can get. We feed them whatever is donated or if I'm buying, I'll buy middle of the road, Whiskas hard, and big cans of Friskies canned.

There is a difference in cat food, though, and I've really noticed it through feeding these guys.

Here is uneaten food. Hard to believe that feral cats would reject food, but they definitely are not fans of No Name hard food.

When you read the ingredients, it seems clear why. Corn is the first ingredient, followed by chicken and turkey by-product meal, corn gluten meal, poultry fat, meat meal, fish meal, chicken digest, a bunch of other things and artificial colour. Cats are carnivores and need lots of protein.

I'm very grateful to have received donations of some Orijen hard food. Look at the difference: deboned salmon, salmon meal, deboned lake whitefish, russet potato, Atlantic herring meal, sweet potato, deboned lake trout, deboned walleye, deboned cod, and all kinds of other ingredients that I actually recognize.

So before you buy cat food, read the labels, buy the best you can afford, it really does impact your cat's overall health.

A bunch of the regular boat cats, gathered around for their meal. I'm happy that I can say that all the cats in the picture below have been spayed or neutered.

Queenie is my current favourite. She's been very friendly lately, allowing us to pat her.

This is Callie, one of the boat cats, only seen occasionally.


Although we have some donated canned food from THS, we've still been buying food. It takes a lot of food to feed 20 cats on a daily basis. I did the math and if we had to buy it all ourselves (canned and hard) it would run $200+ a month. I've personally been spending at least $100 (OK, maybe more, I'm afraid to actually add it up) a month on food and vet bills so last week I decided to keep this sustainable I needed to get some donations.

I made up a flyer (my last post), sent it off to friends, posted it at work, and also went to a few pet stores in my neighbourhood. The response has been great and reminds me how many animal lovers there are out there. I got donations of hard food from three pet stores and one extremely wonderful friend has offered a monthly donation.
So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Please help us!

These cats desperately need your help. They will never know a real home. Please help us to provide food and shelter for them.

I'm part of a small group of volunteers who care for a colony of feral cats in the east end. Every day we feed almost 20 cats. As well, we have been trapping them and getting them spayed or neutered so they don't reproduce and add to the cat overpopulation problem.

Food donations (hard and canned food) are needed to care for these cats. Monetary donations also appreciated to cover our spaying and neutering costs.

If you can help please email me at robin@nabet700.com. We're happy to pick up food donations.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A wet weekend

It was a windy wet weekend but like the mailman neither snow nor rain stops us from feeding our needy felines. Here's part of our setup at the boat with bins containing hard food and dishes. There are raccoons so everything has to be secured.

Tina is no dummy. She's not about to get her feet wet and smart girl that she is, was waiting in a feeding station for food to be delivered to her.

I thought I would show a photo of Arrow. She is a gorgeous spayed female who lives in the boat colony. She is very shy and rarely seen.

Here's Jackson hogging the food at Clayton's trailer. He can be found at Clayton's or the boat - whereever there is food. Jackson is quite the character, he loves to eat and enjoys a nice pat. He seems to have it figured out and enjoys his life by the water.

These two, MC and Queenie, are my favourites right now. They are so sweet together and Queenie let me pat her on the weekend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The nice weather brings them all out

The weather has been milder and the snow is melting. We definitely see more cats on a nice day. You can't see them all in this photo, but there were 8 cats at the pontoon. Usually we only see a few, they're very skittish, and mostly wait until after we leave to eat but no waiting here.
That's MC front left, Queenie front right and an unnamed black cat in the center. We know there at least 3 black cats at this location, only because I've seen them all at once.
Most days MC is waiting when we arrive. I still think she had a home at some point. She gets quite close to us but that experiment of taking her to Sandi's didn't work, sadly.
I love this photo of Tina. She is always excited to see us and eager to eat. Sometimes she's a sorry sight with her matted fur and cloudy eye but she's a group favourite.

Tibbs has been pretty shy since she got returned to the colony in November. I think it was stressful for her to be at the Humane Society for almost two months. Thankfully though she won't be having any more kittens.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lily comes home

Well, this shot should tell you all you need to know about us and what we spend our time doing. Boy, does our car look like a crazy cat people car.
On Saturday we went to the vet and picked up Lily. Apparently all day she would hide in a carrier in a cage and only come out at night to eat after everyone had left. After four nights at the vet it was time to release her back to the colony after her spaying.
We opened up the door and she popped out, looking none the worse for wear.
All the females and most of the males at the boat part of our colony have now been spayed or neutered. Time to move on and get the rest done. My goal for this year is to have no kittens born at the colony. Let's see if I can beat the clock and make that happen. The snow is thawing, it will be full on kitten season soon.