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!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready for winter

It's that time again, the trees are almost stripped of their leaves, only a week until it's dark at 5. Time to get our colony ready for the winter.

Last weekend we all got together and did our winter cleanup. With this many hands and my husband, hidden behind the camera, we got a ton of work done in lickety-split time.

We replaced all the straw in the shelters, cleaned up the trailer, made sure there would be plenty of spots for the cats to get out of the inclement weather.

We made some very simple shelters out of heavy duty styrofoam coolers by cutting a hole for entry/exit and putting straw inside. We are fortunate that our location provides many sheltered areas already, containers, old boats even abandoned cars so I don't worry as much as I would if they were living in an open area.

The cats seemed quite disconcerted by all the industry and just wanted for us to feed them.

We also did a cleanup of our feeding spots.

Great news to report, Pumpkin has found a forever home. He'll be heading off on the weekend, I know Connie is happy but will still shed tears. What a long way he has come in just 10 days. He has transformed into a happy playful friendly kitten. He would have lived a rough short life in the cold and wet, often hungry but now he will get to be warm, fed and loved. What could be more satisfying than that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Population explosion

When I started this blog, I worried that it would become repititious, just feeding the cats. Well, it seems there is something new happening all the time. Last week a small orange kitten was spotted at the colony as well as a new fluffy black cat and a new orange cat. When we fed on Saturday two orange kittens appeared, playing together. I managed to trap one and Connie, my new cat hero, took in little Pumpkin to be socialized.

I went back the next two days to catch the other one but he was nowhere in sight. Tuesday evening Aaffien and I set out on one of our regular trappings and there the other orange kitten was. We set up two traps and within five minutes not only did we get the kitten but we also got a black adult who had not been fixed previously. High fives all around. Spice is now with Connie but seems to have a URI and is much wilder than Pumpkin. I know Connie will persevere though and with Aaffien's help, those two kittens will turn out great (I hope). Socializing feral kittens is not for the faint of heart. I got quite scratched up getting Spice out of the trap. The older they are, the harder it is. The window of socialization is quite small and these are probably ten weeks, still workable, but a few weeks earlier would have made all the difference.
Look how cute Pumpkin is. Scared (his first day in a house) but so adorable. How do you just walk away and let him live out a miserable life?

Here is Basil, the adult we trapped. He has been neutered and will go back to the colony tomorrow.
And this is Pumpkin and Spice. Littermates?

I can only hope that with all the trapping that this is the last of the kittens. We're not sure where the new cats are coming from, perhaps from the recycling plant, but they'll become part of the gang, and we'll care for them as best we can.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving

The cats will have a happy Thanksgiving with full bellies thanks to a donation from Global.

Jackson couldn't wait, and decided to go straight to the food source.

I realized that I started this blog a year ago, after I spent Thanksgiving 2009 rescuing a litter four week old kittens and their mother that were living on a boat. I had started feeding occasionally a few months prior but it was as I pulled those tiny kittens out from their hiding place, that I made a committment to care for this colony. There have been times that I have felt weary and burnt out, but we have accomplished a lot and the cats have a better life because of us. That's why I do this. I am thankful that I don't have to do this alone, that I have a wonderful group, that there is now a feral community, that there are caring cat people out there.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Turtle and the elusive tortie

We're still trying to find a home for little Turtle, the kitten found under a pile of tires. Four weeks of fostering, and you would never know he was born feral. He's everything a kitten should be, playful, curious, cute and affectionate. First shots yesterday so he's ready to go. I guarantee you won't be sorry if you adopt him.

But there are already way too many kittens and cats looking for homes so we continue to trap. Finally after months of trying we caught the elusive tortie, the one who would sit by the trap or pull the food out. Apparently she's seven or eight, old for a feral, and was pregnant. We did a spay/abort and she'll be released. I know some people might find that decision controversial, but I believe for ferals it's the only call. It still doesn't feel great. Poor Sally also has bad teeth but it was going to cost too much money to fix them. We've raised a lot of money this year but I'll probably average out to spending about $200 a month on the ferals. Once the trapping is all done then it's just food. Our count for TNR this year is four females, three males TNRed. Huge progress.

Before I caught Sally the tortie, Hank and Sophie couldn't resist the KFC and got themselves trapped. Don't believe the people who say you'll never trap a cat twice, that was Sophie's third time.

I love the high spots cats find to perch on.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rainy days and Tuesdays

I don't know about you, but I always feel like staying inside on a rainy day. However, there are ferals to be fed so raincoat goes on and out I go. I do notice that the cats are never wet. They are smart enough to find a dry spot and only come out because it's mealtime.

Here's Queenie, trying valiantly to keep her paws dry.

And Teddy, perched under a boat.

We're lucky that there are plenty of spots for the cats to stay out of the rain.