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!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


The good news continues.  Sandi and her wonderful husband Robbin agreed to foster the 2 friendly kittens and Lexi the lovely dilute tortie, all dumped.  I went yesterday morning to scoop up G & G.  They just walked into the carrier but so did Timbit, the little tabby.  I couldn't leave him behind and thankfully neither could Sandi so I delivered all four cats to her.  The kittens, even though they are older, were all purring away.  In two weeks we have managed to get out eleven kittens and one adult, absolutely amazing, thanks to my fantastic cat network, and those that are willing to help a cat in need.
Garfield (on left) and Gatsby, about six months old

Little Timbit

Chloe went to a wonderful foster home, no more wood lot life for her.

Today I did an adoptathon at Global Pet Foods for Toronto Cat Rescue and six cats got adopted, including my very own rescue, Cola, who Michelle was kindly fostering.  Unfortunately no takers for the lovely Cheddar but the right home will come along for him.

So tonight I'm having a glass of wine (ok, maybe two) to celebrate.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A mostly good news day!

Thank you to all my cat friends Connie, Sandi and Joanne for pulling me up after my meltdown.  Today was mostly full of good news.  Connie found a foster home for Chloe, so she doesn't have to live in a woodlot, Sandi will foster two kittens and the young female from the dumping site.  How fantastic that so many will be saved.  You can read more more about Chloe on Connie's blog http://boomerandteikas.blogspot.ca/

And I just saw on FB that two of the Cherry St kittens have found a home, and one of them black.  Just a couple of months ago they were living under dumpsters now going to homes.

Only two downer bits of news, someone met Cheddar but decided not to adopt him and a female that I was working on trapping a while ago was trapped by Alex but sadly died during her spaying.

We save who we can, one life at a time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Soldiering on

Tuesday night was a very successful trapping night.  First the a**hole who took his cats from his home to live in the industrial woodlot called to tell me that one of them was back and she was pregnant.  I zipped down and he just herded her into the trap, she is that tame.

Then off to my east end cat dumping site where I caught one of the adult females.  Just as I did, Maria called to say that she trapped the pregnant calico!  Whoops, only two appointments at THS so one went to the vet.  Getting the pregnant ones is always bittersweet.  For Maria's colony that only leaves one female, after 19 cats TNRed, 19 kittens rescued in seven months.

Yesterday, though, I had a meltdown, when I was told that two of the cats are tame, the one from the woodlot, and of course the dumped female.  I'm clearly burned out, drained physically, emotionally and financially.  All I could think is that I just can't deal with one more thing, especially tame cats needing a spot.

I felt better after I picked up the two grey 4 month old brothers and delivered them to Anna, their new foster mom.  Such nice kittens.  I'm glad I can save the ones I can, but there are so many, and there are still more at the dumping site.  I've come to realize that one way or another they have to go somewhere.

Mostly though I feel like taking a two by four to the people who just abandon their cats and leave us rescuers to pick up the pieces.  I can't just walk away once I've seen them, even if it means going into debt, and being overwhelmed, but I will have to take a break very soon.  Being sick never makes anything better or easier either.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Warning: cute kitten pictures, adult supervision suggested or you may want to adopt them all

I will lead with some great news, after four weeks and four foster homes, Petunia was adopted yesterday and has gone to her forever home.  A very nice couple with no other pets took her home, I hope they will spoil her and lavish her with love, she deserves it.  I find the adoption process very stressful, trusting that strangers will take good care of a cat you have grown to love and feel responsible for.

It's been busy with the new east end colony, Natalia is amazing and we managed to get 9 kittens out of there this week!  Three were already adopted and the rest are being fostered.  I can't figure out what happened there, they are all really tame, maybe they were dumped but there are multiple litters.  The rescue ledger from this week shows 9 kitten rescued and 2 TNRs on the plus side, on the minus side, a week's pay in vet bills and a bad head cold.

On Friday I went to the vet with 8 kittens, how crazy is that.
Kittens safe and on their way

Two 4 month old grey brothers walked right into the carrier

Pumpkin and Dory, brother and sister, the sweetest kittens ever


And still the calls for help keep coming in, I will have to figure out how to set some limits.  Maybe after this year I will change my phone number and email and just go back to taking care of my ferals.  I love this work, it feels like a calling, but this pace is unsustainable.  I have time for nothing else but how do you turn away from these faces, that is the dilemma.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Those early morning thoughts

I'm clearly not a morning person (maybe that's why I have cats instead of dogs), and in those early hours around 4 or 5 a.m. when I can't sleep is when I feel most hopeless.  Some days the situations seem overwhelming.  

Since being back, it's been non-stop.  My suitcases still aren't put away, there is laundry everywhere, I'm overstressed, underslept and underfed.    I just hope I don't end divorced, broke and jobless as a result of cat rescue, in the middle of the night it feels like a mug's game, but after some hot chocolate, and some good news, I begin again.

Last night, with the handy dandy drop trap, I got the last female at that laneway colony with the cross eyed cat.  And Scarborough Gayle, now 3 for 3, trapped an older kitten, just down to 2 older kittens there.

This is a picture she took of Fancy in the trap.

But it's the kitten colony that really has my IBS on overdrive.  The building is threatening to have the cats removed, and last night they were huddled in a stairwell shivering.  None of my cat rescue contacts can help, but Natalia is a powerhouse and together we have found a couple of spots.  For now five are safe.  I had one absolutely adorable one in my laundry room for a few days who I thankfully had a THS appointment for, that kitten will be snapped up this weekend guaranteed.

We won't be able to get all the kittens out, some are too old, but every one out is a victory and hopefully we can educate management about TNR for the rest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A colony of kittens

This new colony is almost all kittens.  I went by again to check it out and more kept appearing.  I think there are nine in total.  Some can be patted and picked up so there is hope if only there were foster homes.  I am desperately looking as is Natalia the woman who found them.  Seems some neighbours might take a few.  At least if we can get the tamer ones out that would be great.  Poor little scared hungry things.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My own Calcutta is full of kittens

I was reading a quote by Mother Teresa that talked about finding your own Calcutta.  Well I guess I have found mine, saving cats.  Sometimes it feels like the personal cost is a little high, especially after last week.  I was away on vacation, except there were all kinds of cat crises and I spent a lot of time on the phone and on email, and even more worrying.  My poor husband.

I had to find new foster homes for both Petunia and Cola, Biffy went to the vet for her dematting, I made arrangements for Petal to go to a sanctuary, the list goes on.  Still, somewhat refreshed, I returned home and great news, Maria caught both the kittens I had spotted on the roof the week before.  They are safe and happy at Lynn's, at this age they barely need taming.
Kittens just after their rescue


Sunday was spent moving Petunia and Cola, hopefully I will find them homes soon, they are both such sweet cats.

Late yesterday afternoon I received a call from a woman who had a stray in her yard and didn't know what to do so I stopped by and also found the tamest kitten purring away.  Then when we looked around found a half a dozen kittens of various ages, living behind an apartment building bordering on a ravine.  A new project for me, just what I need, but how can I turn away after seeing their little faces.

The tame kitten came home with me, what else was I to do, and is in my laundry room (hence the name) still purring away and playing with toys.
Little Landry

Landry in motion
At least it sounds like the neighbours will help out with this little colony, it just breaks my heart to see, especially kittens.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I dream of cats

I have so much going on in my cat world that I have cat dreams, dreams of rescuing cats or dreams where I was supposed to go back and get a kitten but I can't remember where.

I found out about a colony near me so of course had to check it out.  I saw a half dozen cats, and after some detective work, discovered, thankfully, that they are already being fed, and most have been TNRed.  What an interesting bunch, though.  Two Siamese, how strange.

In our colony, poor Biffy was all matted, so Anne trapped her and took her off to the vet for a pre-winter demattting.  We may have a new "home" for the poor orange and white feral, fingers crossed on that.

On the tame cat front, look at how gorgeous Cheddar is, he is doing so well with all the work Joanne has put in, he comes out and plays and purrs as soon as you touch him.  We need to find him an extra special home.

I've had some interest in Cola and Petunia so that is encouraging, especially because I have to move Cola, I keep shuffling all these cats around and Joanne has found a friendly stray cat in her hood too that we need to help.

All I really need is more time, more money, and more foster homes....

Friday, September 7, 2012

Climbing for kittens

This morning, after an unsuccessful attempt to catch Biffy to get her dematted, I headed off to Maria's to see about the kittens she had spotted.  I looked high and low, well not high enough at first.  Often the cats hang out on the roof of the shed so I borrowed a neighbour's ladder and lo and behold there they were, sound asleep but just out of reach.  I think they are only about 3 - 4 weeks anyway so I have a bit of time to get them, but not too much time.

Kittens just out of reach

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Ian and I managed to trap the orange and white cat at the industrial yard, even in the mud and rain.  Poor thing was probably very hungry.  Thankfully she didn't give birth in the trap overnight and we made it safely to the vet.  At least her kittens won't be born only to be eaten by coyotes or meet some similar fate.  I hate to have to release her back there, it's such a wretched place but relocation doesn't work well.   Maybe by some miracle she will be tame, although then what, I already have too many tame cats needing homes.  I got into working with ferals so I wouldn't have to worry about finding them homes.  Gayle also caught the male from her mini colony, just the older kittens to do there.

Scared orange and white kitty on her way to the vet.
This is Cola, being fostered by my niece Siobhan.  Her owner just didn't want her anymore, and either we took her or who knows what he would have done, none of his cats had been fixed, and they didn't even have names.  She is a sweet young cat, who also needs a home.
And Maria was unsuccessful trapping but saw kittens.  I'm in desperation mode, have nowhere for them to go.  If only we could get the last two females there.  I keep thinking just keep going, things will slow down soon, but it only seems to be piling up.  At fast as the cat community is spaying and neutering it seems a large chunk of the population is not and abandoning.  I don't understand how people cannot feel compassion for cats and all animals.  I'm thankful for the many people I have met who do.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It may be Labour Day but I hope it's not for the cat I need to trap

Just when I thought things were under control....I found out about a guy in an industrial area near our colony with an unspayed female, that he brought there from his home.  Unbelievable.  Well, it got worse, when we went there we saw one of his two tame cats that he brought to live in desolation outdoors.  The other unspayed one wasn't around but a very pregnant feral was.  Tomorrow it's off to trap her and pray she doesn't give birth in the trap before I can get her to the vet.  These poor cats were eating dry food off a dirty floor.  Apparently the female had kittens earlier in the year but they are gone, poor things probably a coyote's dinner.

Here are some pics from this weekend's feedings, our guys, as hard as their life can be, have it better than those ones:

Socks and Minky, best buddies

Dumpster alley

Biffy with Jo and Lily behind

MC tests out the water