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. 500+ cats helped in five years +!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Kleenex kind of day

I have to say that yesterday was a low point for me.  I took the seniors to the THS, I had run out of options and time.  Sandi who was fostering them left for Florida and I couldn't find another foster home.  We had a home for Meisha, the Himalayan, but he has early stage kidney disease and once the adopter read up on it she changed her mind.

Now I believe the THS is well run, they take great care of the cats, screen well and they get seen by a ton of people, but for me to have to take cats to a shelter, especially older ones, felt like a failure on my part to save them.  I did everything I could, asked everyone, but on this rescue my reach exceeded my grasp.  I guess it's also one of my nightmares to have something happen to me and my cats end up at a shelter, that's why I have made arrangements for them in my will

It was heartbreaking to put them into a cage, I cried and cried about it.  They are lovely cats though and someone will adopt them, at least they have a second chance.

Three years ago we adopted our little Allie in a similar situation.  Her owner had died and she lived in a cage at a vet's for six weeks before we found her and took her home (and she was adopted and returned in that time).  She is fifteen now and is the sweetest thing, just now has kidney disease herself.  I can't be the only person who likes older cats.

The kittens always get snapped up but older cats are great, loving and low maintenance.

I wish I knew what else to say, a lot of people tried to help and I appreciate that.

Dealing with ferals in some ways is so much easier.

Anyway, I wish with all my heart that Meisha and Frosty find homes before Christmas, if only I could have done more, I would have kept them if I could have.

Last night I just curled up on the sofa under a blanket and snuggled my kitties at home.

I don't usually share things like this, but you have to check out the photos of these semi-feral cats in Japan, I think I need to go there, looks like some TNR is needed.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Last trap of the season

This week I did what I hope is my last trapping for the season.  Winter is not ideal for trapping in many ways.  I worry about the trap being too cold and holding a cat in it overnight (even in a garage) but the main concern is recovery after surgery especially for the females.  It's tough to go back out with a shaved belly when it's really cold.

I was very happy to get this brother and sister done, this way no chance of kittens in the spring.  They are around 8 months old and are being very well cared for by a lovely couple.  They have a heated cat bed and electric water bowl so should be fine for the winter.
Jekyll (the female)

Hyde (the male)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A quick adoption update

I just realized that I forgot to report that Cheddar has found his forever home.  Cheddar is the older kitten that Joanne was fostering.  A little more reserved because he was rescued later, it took a bit longer to find him a home, but he is now with a lovely retired teacher who adores him and another cat who is warming up to him.  I know Joanne misses him, but all her loving care has paid off.  Congratulations Cheddar!


And I just found out that two of the kittens from the seniors' balcony rescue have already been adopted.

Everyone loves kittens.  Wish it was so easy with my seniors, nothing yet, and I'm running out of time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trapping failures

Last night I had three trapping missions scheduled, but they all were a bust.  Maria didn't get her last female, Gayle trapped the kittens who were already s/n but of course not the one we still need, and the other kittens and mom have gone AWOL and haven't been seen for days.  I don't feel good about not getting the kittens on Saturday, but not every trapping ends well.  Hopefully the mother cat just moved the kittens and we will be able to find them.  I was on a roll for a while, but there are always downturns in the trapping market.

Now that it's cold I won't do as much until spring, it's just too hard with the darkness, and it's hard on the cats, recovering after surgery and going back outside to freezing temperatures.  The trick is to get them early enough in the year before they get pregnant.  Last winter was so mild I do think it contributed to all the kittens this year.

On the plus side, Sandi and I rescued these two lovely seniors, both declawed and so affectionate.  Now they just need a home!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

100 cats!

Here is a photo of the last kitten and then the five of them reunited last night.  I was doing a tally for this year and realized that my rescue number just hit 100!  35 ferals TNRed, 13 tame adults spayed/neutered/rescued and 52 kittens rescued, since March.  Not too shabby.  I'm thankful for the opportunity and support to help all these cats.  Wow, think of all the kittens who won't have to live on the streets.  Gets me out of bed (also has me falling asleep on the sofa on a Saturday night).

Kitten #52 and cat #100 helped in 2012

The five kittens finally all together
I was out trapping again this morning, trying to get two kittens and the mother.  We had no luck with the kittens so when we caught the mother we made the tough decision to let the mother go since I haven't seen the kittens myself so am unsure of their age.  Hopefully we can get them later in the week. I keep thinking things should be winding down but kittens keep coming out of the woodwork.  What do the Marines say, we leave no man behind.

Friday, November 9, 2012

There's one more kitten!

So much for that feeling of triumph and a good night's sleep.  Jean called last night to say she heard meowing and saw a black and white kitten.  Poor thing is all alone now, I feel terrible.

I just got back from trying to trap it but no luck, will try again at dusk.  Suddenly I have way too much rescue stuff going on, other kittens to trap tomorrow, a cat to trap Sunday and hopefully some senior cats to help but I must get this last little one.  Fingers crossed I get it later today.

UPDATE: Great news, at 5:30 tonight the little guy couldn't resist the lure of sardines and we caught him (or her).  Surely that truly is the last kitten from that bunch.  What a relief.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The kittens left behind

I think I've mentioned before about my recurring nightmare that I've left kittens behind but can't remember where well that almost ended up happening.  Remember my tidy rescue from last week, momma cat and two kittens rescued?  Not so tidy after all.  I found out Tuesday night that Jean, the elderly lady, had heard kittens crying a night or two before.  Obviously there were more than two.  I felt sick knowing they were out in the cold and possibly without food for a few days since Jean had stopped putting food out thinking we got them all.  

So yesterday my wonderful husband changed a meeting and I left work early so we could get there before dark and try to find them although Jean had not seen them the night before or that day.  Sure enough, no kittens on her balcony, but we started searching the row of balconies and finally Steve spotted movement, two kittens.  I managed to charm my way into an elderly couple's apartment so I could get out on the balcony and set a trap.  This job is part detective work, part community relations.  Their apartment stank of smoke and was full of clutter but anything for the cats.  After a few minutes they grew tired of me hanging around so I was about to pack up and move my trap when I saw the door was down and best of all, both kittens were inside.  A fist pumping moment!

Heather had already so kindly agreed to take these guys so last night they joined their siblings in warmth and safety.

I'm still coming down from my cat rescuer's high today, I felt so good knowing they wouldn't be out on these cold nights, starving, and crying for their mother.  Many days I feel frustration and disappointment with other aspects of my life, but not the cat rescue part.  That I can feel great about and I went to sleep last night much more relaxed than the night before.  Oh, and momma cat is now spayed and vetted and has settled in wonderfully to her new home!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A very good rescue day

Well yesterday was a very good rescue day but unfortunately didn't allow for time to take good pictures.

A couple of days ago Tory called me to say an elderly woman she had met had a mother cat and kittens move onto her balcony.  She was quite distressed and didn't know what to do.  I checked things out and found a very friendly tabby momma and two cute but scared kittens, probably 7-8 weeks old.  Thankfully things worked out very well and Heather from TCR agreed to take the kittens and Tory's boss said she would adopt momma as her own cat had just died.

So yesterday I just needed to secure everyone.  Well it's sometimes easier said than done.  When I arrived momma wasn't there but the kittens were.  I couldn't get close enough to grab them so set up my trap.  I got one kitten immediately but the other ran off.  Momma came back and she was easy, into a carrier with a bit of Fancy Feast.  One kitten left, and we waited and waited.  Two hours later no luck.  We discovered the kitten was huddled in a chair, terrified to be left alone, so team Tory and I took the trap to the kitten and managed to nudge her in.  Hooray, three females off the streets, and into the warmth.  Momma went to the vet, kittens went to Heather, and that project is done.  Wish they could all be so easy.

Kitten safe at Heather's, the other is hiding behind

Momma cat on the way to the vet