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!

Monday, July 30, 2012

We got the cat

Madge went in the trap last night, whew, hunger is a great motivator. She's off to the vet to be spayed and then back with her buddy Boots rather than live the rest of her life in Joanne's ceiling.

Lionel ate over the weekend so that's also good news, he just needs some more R & R.

That's my cat worries taken care of for the moment, hurray.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sometimes you get the cat, sometime the cat gets you

Things were going kind of well a couple of days ago.  Thursday night we caught the other Portlands female, Friday morning trapped Lionel from the colony.  I took Lionel in for a skin condition, of course he needed five teeth extracted.  I hope he will be fine.

Now Madge, the Portlands female, was all set to go to the clinic this morning, but Joanne called to tell me that Madge had escaped her kennel and bit her husband in the struggle to catch her.  Oh boy.  Now we have a very feral cat loose in a small room.  Nothing to do but try to re-trap her.  This is a new one to deal with.  Hope it has a happy ending very soon.

It hasn't been the best day for ferals.  My friend Lesley took three cats in and they all were so sick they had to be euthanized.

After all that Sturm und Drang I wanted to share a happy photo with you.  Meredith and Anna took this absolutely adorable shot of the Cherry Street kittens.  What a difference a few weeks makes.

Oh, I almost forgot.  On Saturday we had to save MC from an ugly pit bull-ish dog.  It was with some guy working on a boat and next thing we knew this dog is over at Hank's chasing the cats, poor MC took off and he chased her.  I took off after them both, yelling at the dog and his owner.  All that perimenopausal rage finally got a chance to be useful.  It made me realize how much I love all these cats and how protective I feel towards them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kittens need a home!

This fabulous photo is of Nellie and Stella, taken by John, their current foster dad.  Nellie and Stella were part of a small west end colony.  A few weeks ago, when I trapped them, we thought that due to their age, they would just be a TNR but within a few days they started to purr and there was no way they were going back.  Now you would have no idea they spent the first part of their life under a porch.

These adorable kittens need a home together.  They are about 14 or 15 weeks and are already spayed and have their shots so are ready to go.  Know anybody who wants these cuties?

Their sibling, Cinder, who was only trapped last week, is also quickly turning into a tame and loving kitten.  Connie has so kindly agreed to foster her.  You can see a picture of her on Connie's blog: http://boomerandteikas.blogspot.ca/

Trust me, whoever adopts these kittens will be lucky indeed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The R part of TNR

This weekend was spent mostly doing the release part of Trap, Neuter and Release.  Not the most glamorous part of the job, and for us it entailed driving back and forth from one end of the city to the other.  All my TNR seems to be way in the west end.  Funny that I barely have to commute for my real job, but for the cat rescue one all I seem to do is drive.

First we returned the male that Maria had trapped on Friday, then the next day two from another colony nearby, and we also returned one of the two kittens from last week.  We kept one of them to socialize and find a home for, but the male was just terrified, and although it was sad, we have to pick our battles.  As hard as it is to acknowledge, I can't save them all.
Mart says let me out of here

Marty back at home
While I was west, I checked out a new colony that I heard about.  Heartbreakingly, I think the kittens are about 12 weeks old and very skittish, so probably too old to socialize.
Beautiful kittens, what a drag they were only discovered now

This must be their momma
At our colony, we were happy to see an old friend who we thought was gone.  Sam is back after disappearing for a month.  I don't know where he has been but he was starving.
Sam runs to see us

Sammy is famished, where was he.
On the kitten front, Nellie and Stella, the two 14 week old kittens from Clairton, are at my friend Janice's being fostered, and she has fallen in love and forbidden me from taking them to the THS.  Now I have to find them a good home!

Cinder, their sibling, who is a couple of weeks behind, will go to Connie's to be fostered.  At least we saved three more from life on the streets!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The last kitten?

I hope that this is the last kitten from our colony.  This little one is number five that we have caught in the last ten days, surely there can't be any more from this litter.  He was so hungry that he went right in the trap.  Now they are all together.
All went well at the clinic last night, four females and one male, and one of the females was pregnant so great we got her and the others.  We'll see if the kittens tame up or if they will have to be returned.

For tonight I'm going to do some exercise, laundry and top it off with a cold beer and a good night's sleep.

Oh, I totally forgot, Maria called me this morning to say she had trapped one of the females, finally, after months of trying.  She's off to the vet - just three more females there to go.  Persistence pays off.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Filling my quota

There is a spay neuter clinic tonight and I have five spots booked and I was bound and determined to fill them all, and I have.  I have two 14 week old kittens, one grey female, and two other rather sickly adults, possibly female, to get all these I went to three separate locations.  Just to give you an indication of what it takes to TNR five, let me give you some details.  Stop me if you get bored.

First I booked the appointments and arranged recovery spots.  On Sunday morning I drove to Dundas and Bathurst (I live in the east end) and dropped off a trap to Robert, a surrogate trapper.  Sunday afternoon after the rain we fed our colony and managed to trap a kitten, drove the kitten to Woodbine and Danforth, got home about 7 p.m. Then at 8 p.m I got back in the car, drove to the Portlands to try to trap a female there.  I got a phone call from Robert saying he got the grey female, so I abandoned my trapping, drove to Dundas and Bathurst, picked up the cat, and took her to Joanne's at Coxwell and Danforth for holding.

Monday I transported Nellie and Stella from Joanne's to a temporary foster home at Yonge and Summerhill, then drove to Scarborough to pick up Minky, returned her to the colony and fed.  Monday evening back to the Portlands, waited around for an hour or so, no luck.

Tuesday after work I went to our colony to try to trap the kitten I spotted on Monday, but no sign so I drove to Scarlett Road to try to trap three older kittens and the mom.  I got two of the kittens right away but not the mom or the other kitten after an hour and a half of waiting.

I joined Lesley at a newly discovered colony off Rogers Road and since I still had two spots and two empty traps we thought why not and got two cats very easily.  There are still many more there but Lesley will go back, she has rescued four kittens so that's great.  Poor cats, they all seem skinny and sickly.  Then I drove to Connie's near me, dropped off two cats in traps, then to Joanne's at Coxwell and Danforth with the kittens, and then home for 10:30 p.m.

Today I have to leave work at 4 p.m., get the cats from Connie, get the other cats from Joanne, go to the THS for the clinic, then meet Sandi at the colony to get the other kitten.  Later this evening I will pick up the five cats and take them to two recovery homes and on Sunday or Monday I will have to return them to their original locations.  If the two kittens turn out to be tame like the others we have to figure out what to do with them.  I'm tired just typing all this.  Plus my cell phone just died and my brake pads need replacing, both overused from cat rescue.  I have to thank Connie and Joanne, I couldn't do any of this without their help, they are both so dedicated to cats.  I love the cat community I have become a part of.
My car last night

One of the cats at Lesley's new discovery

Another pathetic cat
This reminds me a bit of my production coordinator days but then I had production assistants to do all the driving, I just sat at a desk and organized it all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The land of infinite kittens

Yesterday Sally seemed to have changed her mind about the kitten, perhaps she was showing it the ropes of how to get by at the Cherry Street colony.
For this kitten the life of a feral cat was not meant to be, we managed to trap her and off she went to join her siblings in foster care.
Last night the momma cat from Dundas and Bathurst was trapped, she is a beautiful solid grey.

Today I returned Minky to the colony after her dematting and extractions and what did I see, you guessed it, another kitten.  They just keep coming.  Back to the drawing board tomorrow with my kitten trap.  Tonight I'm off to the Portlands to try to trap the mom of the wild foursome and tomorrow night back to the west end.  Between the heat and the pace I'm keeping I'm on the verge, of what I'm not quite sure.  Last night I ate dinner at 10:30 p.m. when all my cat stuff was done.

Let's hope I can find the strength to get through this week.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Will it never end

We thought we had all the kittens from our colony but alas, not so.  Yesterday when we went back to Hank's before leaving, what did we see, a very hungry and dirty little kitten.  Of course I didn't have a trap with me, sigh.  I hope the kitten is there today and can join his or her siblings, one of whom is already purring in its fantastic foster home.  Meredith and Anna said they have fostered 200 cats, how amazing.
 Hank didn't seem bothered by the kitten.
 At first I thought how nice, Sally's maternal side is coming out.
 But no, Sally decided the little one was a competition for food.  Poor little kitten.
 Then there are the raccoons to contend with...
I also took Jackie's kittens to the vet.  Oh boy, were they a handful.  The vet tech was having trouble handling them, even with gloves and a towel.   They are 8 - 10 weeks old, those few weeks make a huge difference.  All four are female, that would have been a lot more cats had they not been caught.  The foster mom has her work cut out for  her with these guys.   
I have a full slate of trapping the next few days, six potential candidates, we will see how many make the cut.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Four more off the streets!

I've been helping Jackie with a newish cat situation down at the Portlands.  She has been feeding two cats, one who we got spayed a few weeks ago, the other she discovered had a litter of kittens.

The kittens have been elusive and only started appearing regularly last week.  I, and others, guessed about 8 - 9 weeks old, that age can start to get a bit tough to socialize.  But god bless Jackie, she wouldn't give up on these kittens, and found foster homes so last night we set out to trap them.

At first it wasn't looking good, feral mom was keeping them away but we got one grey one then waited.  Mom and Sis wandered off in search of food elsewhere leaving the kittens behind and the remaining three decided the Fancy Feast and sardines under the drop trap was too good to resist.  Boom, three at once.

I am constantly amazed at the cat community and how many people out there care about cats and are willing to help.

Now to trap momma, I've got a full trapping plate for early next week, and still haven't figured out how I can possibly do it all, good thing I used to be a production coordinator.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More cute kittens!

Joanne's husband took these photos of Nellie and Stella.  They were rescued last week.  We first thought they were too old to be socialized so had them spayed, planning to return them, but within a few days they started to purr for Joanne and we realized they could be saved.
So they are being fostered and will go to the THS to be put up for adoption unless we can find someone to take them but all of us cat people have exhausted all our contacts.
The Cherry Street kittens are being moved tomorrow to a foster home with tons of socializing experience, they are pretty wild little things but amazing that if you get them young enough they become wonderful domesticated cats.

Lesley and I spent last evening sitting in Maria's laneway, desperately trying to trap one of the calicos, wishing we were on a patio drinking beer like everyone else, especially when we didn't catch anyone. Actually, that's not 100% accurate, we did trap a cat, one who had already been trapped, when another of the playful cats was playing with the string and tripped the trap.  Not very helpful.

I think everyone in cat rescue has a love hate relationship with this time of the year.  Sure, the weather is beautiful, but it brings kittens upon kittens, and never enough homes (and not enough time for drinking cold beer).

Monday, July 9, 2012

We caught the kittens!

What luck!  When we went back yesterday we saw the kittens again so set up the drop trap and waited.

First we got the black one, then the tabby and finally the grey and white one.  They are all terrified and hissy but safe at Sandi's.  They are eating like crazy and need socialization but thank god we got them out of the colony.
Aren't these two cute!

The black one says get me out of here.
Now we just have to track down the mom and get her spayed.  It's hard to trap an invisible cat.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kittens at the colony!

I expected yesterday to just be a normal feeding day and then, what did we discover, three little kittens, who look to be about six weeks old.  I was flabbergasted, all of our colony cats have been TNRed.  There must be a new cat who we haven't seen.  We haven't had kittens for two years now, I've worked my butt off to get all the the cats fixed and now this, argh.

Clearly we can't leave them, they are young enough to be socialized.  Too many kittens right now, not enough foster homes.

So much for my relaxing weekend...

Friday, July 6, 2012

In and out

Today was my day off, well, my day off from being paid.  It was a full day of cat rescue on a sweltering day.

At 8:30 this morning Sandi and I met at the yard to trap poor matted Teddy.  Luck was with us and within five minutes of setting up the drop trap we caught Teddy.  Off he went to the vet.
Teddy says WTF
While I was there I picked up Morris, recovered from his neutering, and I returned him to the colony.  He flew out of the carrier, clearly happy to get as far away as possible from me.
Morris sees the light of day - let me out
Lynn and I spent the afternoon putting up flyers hoping to find her foster kittens homes.

Back in the hot car and off to Scarborough to get Teddy, freshly dematted, ears cleaned, an antibiotic shot and some de-fleaing and deworming.  He was happy to return to his home and immediately was looking for something to eat.  I was relieved that the vet didn't find anything else wrong with him.

I reversed my Minky decision and she had her dental extractions today.  I didn't want to put her back with sore teeth, mostly when we have done dental it has been successful and has improved their quality of life, I was just apprehensive after the Tina experience.

It's looking like I can't find anyone to socialize any of the older kittens and I may just have to TNR them, it's so heartbreaking, but there is a lot of kittens out there looking for homes.  It's amazing what a huge difference those few weeks make, at 5-6 weeks it's easy to tame them, 8 weeks a bit of work, after that a lot of work, and by four months not really doable.  Sometimes the harsh realities of cat rescue suck.

Today's count: $22 in colour copies, $40 in gas and a vet bill whose total you don't want to know.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The count

Between last night and this morning it was a crazy 12 hours.  It included four cats trapped, two really bad bruises and one cell phone left behind and heroically recovered from a laneway across the city by my husband at 5 a.m.  Unfortunately all this left no time for pictures.

A team headed west last night.  Lesley stayed at Maria's to try to get one of the females while Kathrine and I went farther west and trapped two of the older kittens at the new spot.  There is still the momma to get and more kittens.  Although Lesley had lots of cats sniffing around the traps but no luck.

Home at 11, off to bed, up at 6, down to the yard where Tory and I attempted to trap two of our cats with horrible mats.  We almost got Teddy but he wasn't far enough in.

We did get Minky, who had a tail full of burrs and finally Morris, our last unfixed cat in the colony.  Minky is 6 - 8 years old apparently and of course has bad teeth but as much as I would like to I can't do dentistry on all our ferals.  I wish I could, I love them all, but there are 18 of them, it's hard to justify spending $600 to pull out teeth when she could be hit by a truck tomorrow.  I go back and forth on dentistry.  If she wasn't eating, then probably, but she has been fine.  There are many people who can't afford to spend that kind of money on their own cats.  Clearly I'm trying to make myself feel better about my decision.

Morris is a young cat, only about two years old, and was a nice simple neuter, what a relief.  Now to get poor Teddy, his skin is raw where a big mat pulled off.

In the midst of all the trapping last night, Jackie called to say she saw five kittens where she has been feeding at the portlands, guess that's tonight's project.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Crazy for catnip

What else is there to do on a steamy long weekend but break open the catnip.  Yes, feral cats like catnip too, as you can see from this series of photos.
UB says open it now

Oh yeah

Come on Hank, try it, man

I'll just roll in it
Well, not surprisingly, word has gotten out about me, and friends of Maria called about cats in the neighbours backyard.  I went to check it out and found a litter of kittens, but sadly, they aren't tame, and are really too old to be socialized so will have to be TNRed.  Another month earlier and they could have had homes.
 Their location is dangerous as well, next to a busy street, and apparently many have been hit by cars.
I hate this part, but I'll do what I can to make sure there aren't more.