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 27, 2011

Poor little Benji

There are still a few stragglers in the colony to be fixed, so I went out trapping yesterday in the cold drizzle. Within ten to fifteen minutes I had caught one of the ones I wanted, an orange and white cat we call Benji. Benji is a newcomer and shows up occasionally. In the trap Benji looked small and not in the best shape.
As I was finishing my dinner, I got a call from the THS clinic. Turns out Benji was female, with missing and infected teeth, and most importantly riddled with mammary tumours. With a heavy heart, I agreed to the vet's recommendation to euthanize Benji so that she didn't get released just to die a horrible death during the winter. That's the fourth one we've lost in 2011, the seventh since last fall. It doesn't get any easier. Worst of all, I know I have to go through it twenty-one more times. Poor little Benji, at least she's not suffering anymore.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love to show off the cats

Our cats are getting so much media coverage these days. City TV came down and shot some footage. I love to show our guys off. Tina, Teddy and Jackson made me proud.

This is a picture of Buddy just a week after being rescued. He looks like an entirely different cat, and must feel so much better.
I think all the ferals are beautiful. I've come to develop so much affection for each and every one of them.
It makes me happy when I feed them and I know that at least their bellies are full.
I hope all this coverage of feral cats raises awareness and people take care of the cats in their neighbourhood or donate to the great organizations trying to solve the problem.
And need I say it, but my hope would be that everyone spays or neuters their cats. That day may still be a ways off. I'm excited that we have made it through this year with NO kittens, all the work getting them spayed and neutered has paid off.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Buddy needs help

Last week I was helping to TNR five cats in the west end. Well, it turns out two of them are tame. One of them, a sweet little white female, kept purring and rubbing against the bars of her recovery cage at Joanne's. It was clear we couldn't return her outdoors. Only six pounds, she had a URI and was matted and dirty. Lisa Marie, a woman I met through this blog actually, and who does a lot of fostering, very kindly offered to take her. She is now safely inside and I am sure will find a wonderful home. You can read about her on Lisa Marie's blog:

And then there's Buddy, the last to be caught, I can't say trapped, because he walked right into the carrier and as you can see was very happy to be cuddled.
When Buddy was taken to the THS clinic to be neutered, it was discovered that not only did he have a nasty URI (that's why there is all the black discharge around his eyes) but that he is at least a few years old (even though he's only six pounds too) and has a mouthful of rotten teeth. Poor Buddy is off to another vet tomorrow for dental extractions and then to a foster home. Dental surgery is not cheap, as those of you who have cats who have had dental work know. I'm hoping some of my readers many be able to make a donation to help pay for his surgery.
He is a sweet cat who has a second chance to have a wonderful life. If you can help, please go to Toronto Cat Rescue's website and just specify that it's for Buddy's dental surgery - you'll get a tax receipt and everything.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A very catty week

I have to start with exciting news, The Toronto Star was doing an article on feral cats and came down and photographed our guys. Check the story out:

In between that and being sick with yet another cold, I got involved with another group of cats in sorry need of help. A woman has been feeding 5 or more cats for a while and there were two kittens that Heather kindly took in. All the cats have URIs, you can see this guy's nasty looking eyes.
We trapped four cats this week and they were all female. It was a fantastic team effort. This may be my blog but I don't do any of this alone. TCR helped with the kittens, took care of two of the spays, two were done at the THS clinic, Connie stored them at her garage for a while, Joanne is doing recovery, Arlene is helping with shelters for these cats...there is a legion of cat lovers out there and I am proud to be a part of it. Four females = a ton of potential kittens.
Now they are all spayed and received an antibiotic shot so they should start feeling better very soon. The orange guy should be neutered on Sunday and their caretaker is going to take a TNR course and build them some shelters.
Oh, and we did a clean up at Hank's, restuffing the shelters and making the feeding station more waterproof.
Now it's all tidy and ready for winter.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Getting ready for winter

Even though the fall has been lovely, the nights are getting cool so we decided we should get the cats ready for the cold weather. Last Saturday we loaded up the car with straw and styrofoam and headed down.
Three hours of hard work later we had one area all done, fresh straw in the all the shelters, everything all tidied up. Here is the trailer at Harry's with its fresh floor and lots of cozy sleeping spots. Next week we will work on Hank's - it's not quite as glamorous over there.
And although I swore I was taking a break from other cat rescue projects, when these pictures came in, I just couldn't turn away. A friend of Sandi's has a group of feral cats, some of whom have had kittens.
After lots of emails and phone calls, I found a foster home for this little orange guy and will TNR a couple of the adults. I also found a colony caretaker nearby to help with the remaining ones and the homeowner has expressed interest in learning more about TNR.
Feral cat colony management really needs the caregivers to get involved, it's not enough to just feed, TNR is key. If I can save this guy and get these people on the road to having a colony all spayed and neutered, then it's worth the investment of my time - even though I would much rather curl up on the sofa and watch House. Ironically, Maggie, my rescued colony cat, is the only one of my cats who sits with me there.