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!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A field guide to the cats

Steve just got a fantastic new camera with a long lens and took lots of shots of the cats on the weekend. It's great to be able to see their faces close up. This isn't all the cats but most of them so I figured I would share all these photos as kind of a field guide to the Cherry Street cats colony. This is Biff who lives at Harry's boat. Poor Biff has a cold every winter. And here's the handsome Teddy, the patriarch at Harry's. Teddy is a huge cat but the last few months has become very friendly.
Clyde lives over at Clayton's trailer with Minky and we feed them in the winter while Clayton, who works at the boatyard, is in Jamaica.
Pebbles and a UBC hang out a lot together over by the Madonna boat. Pebbles is very skittish.
Tina lives at Harry's. We think the poor thing is blind in one eye. Right now she looks pretty rough with all her mats but she is a beauty, always one of the first to eat.
Tibbs had a couple of litters of kittens a few years ago but we caught her and her kittens in October of 2009 and she was spayed and returned. She keeps her distance.
Arrow keeps company with Pebbles and Tibbs mid-yard. She also is very shy but frequently around at feeding time. I have a special spot where I put food for her.
Jo is one of the newest members of the group at Harry's. She and her brother Mo showed up last year when they were about 4 or 5 months old. They must have been born to a cat in another area but amazingly were accepted by Teddy and the gang. Thankfully we caught Jo and had her spayed before she could get pregnant.
Now Mo on the other hand has been impossible to trap. He's just not food motivated and in fact I've never seen him eat. We haven't given up but thank God he's male.
Over to Hank's Haven we go, where Hank hangs out with his gang. Hank is an older guy, probably around 8 years old.
This is one of the UBCs (there are 2 or 3 or more - we're not really sure).
Sally is Hank's gal pal. I'm sure she was responsible for many of the cats at the colony but finally last year after many attempts we were able to trap her. The vet thinks she is around 8 as well. She and Hank are quite content to just hang out and wait for food to show up.
And here's our beautiful MC, twice we've tried to socialize her to no avail. Guess this is her home, she seems quite happy these days, and always up for a pat and some Whiskas.
That's the gang minus a few. I'm still amazed how much affection I feel for all of them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A happy ending for two

I'm glad to be able to report a happy ending for the two grey cats we trapped last week. A home at a barn was found for them, a barn with other rescued cats and horses, with sheep and chickens, even wild mustangs.

Lynne and Sharon greeted my husband and the cats warmly when they arrived at the Red Barn. True ferals, Jerry and Georgette didn't make a sound on the way up or once they arrived.

This is the cats' new home, snug and safe. They will stay inside for a few weeks to get used to their new environment then they will be able to roam the farm or sit on the lower barn roof, basking in the sun. The cats were frightened and went straight from their carriers into the little shelters but I'm sure they will adjust.
That's Frankie, the one cat welcoming committee.

I don't know, it looks pretty idyllic to me. Where's my room?
Thank you Lynne and Sharon, for giving sanctuary to these cats with nowhere to go. I've met some truly wonderful people during this cat rescue journey.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's raining cats

Sunday turned into an all cat rescue day. We tried to trap the remaining cats I wrote about on my last blog, but to no avail. We only saw one cat who would not come near the trap. That project is ongoing, we need to get the rest, as we especially worried that one may be pregnant. We're regrouping and restrategizing.

Then Brenda, one of our group, discovered kittens under a porch a few doors down from her. Naturally, Cherry Street Cats sprung into action. Apparently the mother is a stray and somehow these kittens have survived being born in the winter. Based on their appearance we guessed about six weeks old, old enough to be separated from mom and socialized.

Under the porch Aaffien went and came out with the black and white kitten pictured above.

She took it home while we decided what to do next. Toronto Cat Rescue (thank you so much!!!) found a foster home who would take the kittens so we went back and managed to catch two more. We just couldn't get to the others.
Here's a picture of them all snuggled together at their new home, safe and warm.

Thankfully at this age they are easily tameable, they were already easy to handle. They are so adorable!
Don't worry, we are not giving up on the rest. We'll be going back to figure out a way to rescue them too and then will get the mother spayed. I guess kitten season has already started, the season all cat rescues dread. At least these guys will go to wonderful homes instead of living out a miserable life on the street. I tumbled into bed after a hot bath, tired but satisfied.

Friday, March 18, 2011

There are always cats who need help

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a woman who has been feeding a group of cats for the last couple of months. Problem is, they are living in a sensitive wildlife habitat plus the trailer they have been using for shelter will be demolished very soon. These poor cats were dumped in this location and a group of us have been working to find a place to relocate them to. Relocating ferals is a last resort but they really can't stay where they are. Toronto Cat Rescue has been trying to find them a barn to live in.

The three grey cats we suspect are siblings and the orange cat is apparently 12 years old. We have someone willing to take the orange one in.

On Wednesday we set out to trap as many as we could. Within minutes we caught two grey cats. A third timidly came out to eat but retreated just short of the trap. We waited and waited to no avail.

Two is a good start, so we trundled off down the road (it's a bit of a walk out) with the traps on our borrowed wagon.

The cats went to the vet for spaying and neutered. Turns out one is male, one female. We'll go back to get the rest. The cats will board at the vet until we find them a place to go, but time is ticking, they need somewhere within the next week. I'm hoping the universe provides.

Back at my own colony, we returned Henry after his neuter. A couple more neuters and it's just maintenance. Yeah, right, that's what I always say and then something happens.
I just hope we can find a happy (well relatively) ending for the grey cats.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


When I was feeding on Monday (of course I didn't have my camera) Henry showed up, meowing at me. I've been trying to trap him off and on for months. I've been able to pat him recently so I just walked over with a bowl of food and the carrier and as he was eating, boom, I grabbed and plopped him in the miracle top loading carrier. I called the office, said I wouldn't be back that afternoon, and drove off to the vet in Scarborough. One more down! Hopefully now I won't come home smelling like cat urine anymore.

It's been a messy weather week. The cats are desperately trying to find a way not to get their feet wet.

MC decided she would go straight to the source.
Here's Hank, looking very grumpy about the weather.

I'm trying to help some other cats who are in a dire situation. Here's the info:
http://torontocatrescue.ca I hope we can find a solution for them. It's sad how many cats are living a rough life outdoors due to irresponsible pet ownership.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hurry up Spring

There's been a few nice days lately that reinforce my belief that spring is on the way. The cats definitely prefer above freezing temperatures as do I.

Teddy says it can't come soon enough. He and especially poor Tina have so many mats. Long haired cats do not fare well in this kind of life. I think once it's warm we'll have to trap Tina and get her shaved. It must be painful.

Thankfully the cats have lots of shelters like these to curl up in.
On Friday Henry was very friendly or just very hungry. I could have easily picked him up but of course vets don't do surgeries on weekends. He's never like this on a Sunday or a Monday. The poor guy is pretty skinny under all his fur.
This is Ollie, we've only started to see him occasionally in the last few months. He is very skittish.
MC is back at it, being friendly, and wandering around up high.

First day of spring in just over two weeks!