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, April 29, 2013

Can't save them all

This is Joey from the DD colony about a month or so ago.  We've noticed for a while that he's been looking skinny and dirty and doesn't seem to eat but the last few days we've seen blood coming out of his mouth (I won't post those photos) so realized we really needed to get him trapped and get him to a vet.
Megan, a woman I just met, put in extraordinary efforts to catch him, yesterday she was under a porch for hours trying to get him and finally did.

I just got off the phone with the vet and it's all bad news.  Joey is in rough physical shape and has tumours in his mouth that are probably cancer.  We decided the most humane thing for him is euthanasia so I'm afraid Joey has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  I didn't know this cat well but the death of any cat is very upsetting.  I know that it was the right thing to do, at least he is no longer suffering and didn't have to die a painful death on the street.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

There's always more cats!

It seems every apartment building in Toronto must have kittens or cats needing homes.  The other night I went to check out a stray who has been living outside of a building for almost two years, and the person who has been feeding him is moving.  Amazingly, he seems like a very friendly boy, and I will scoop him tonight, get him vetted and then off to a foster home.  But of course, as I'm looking for him, I meet a guy who has a litter of kittens who need homes plus the mom (this is her second litter) and two six month olds from the previous litter.  It never ends.  The kittens are easy, the older ones I still have to figure out.
The guy handing me a kitten through his window
Guiness, the stray who will soon be safe
And I just thought I would share some photos of my favourite boys at home (yes, I have favourites, even though you aren't supposed to).
Ernie and Buddy hanging out on a pillow 
Ernie and Buddy enjoy the fresh air, that's as close to outdoors as either of them are getting.
My Ernie!
The only problem with all this running around is that I don't get enough time to spend with them.  Tonight is another go go go evening, all cat stuff.  Not quite sure where eating is going to fit in....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

On this dreary mid-week day, just thought I would post some photos from the colony this past weekend, too tired for much else.

Bright Eyes
Socks and Lionel 
Me feeding a friend's ferals in a charming industrial area
Pebbles and Socks

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tux finds a home (and so does Flossy) and Jersey too

Well these two weren't really my rescues but I have been involved with Tux's story and met the lovely Pippin.  Both these guys showed up at the G&G colony, and my friends there realized they needed to get out.

Tux has a sad story, somehow he ended up at TAS, but turned out to be a bit of biter, so was deemed unadoptable and the decision was made to release him to the colony.  Tux was clearly not happy, and was shivering out in the cold of March so off to the vet he went and then my niece agreed to foster him.

It quickly became apparent Tux was not meant to be a colony cat, he made himself right at home, and was friendly and affectionate, with some occasional nipping.  Nipping isn't such a big deal and can be managed fairly easily.  Lorena played matchmaker and found a lovely retired man whose cat had died recently who wanted a new companion.  We drove him out yesterday to meet Tux and hooray, it was a match.  Tux will now have a forever home.

Tux and Pippin

And Pippin was taken in by Annex Cat Rescue, so he too won't have to live out in the cold.  I'm sure someone will adopt him.

I have some more good news to report, after 18 months, Flossy, a rescue of mine that Lisa Marie has been fostering, was finally adopted.  You can read more about Flossy on Lisa Marie's blog http://catfosterparent.blogspot.ca/

If you would like to keep up on Mr. Wiggles progress here is Connie's blog:http://boomerandteikas.blogspot.ca/  He is such an adorable kitten.

News flash: I just found out Jersey got adopted at THS!  Jersey was rescued a month ago and had an injured paw, he had been outside for months, living as a feral, but was not at all, now in a home.

This all is just fuel for my fire.  Liam, another rescue from last month, went to a TCR adoptathon on the weekend but unfortunately he didn't do well in that environment.  Patience, he too will find his own home soon I hope he's a sweetie and doing well in his foster home.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

And then comes the trapper's low

I was riding high on the wave of trapping four cats Thursday night until I picked them up on Friday afternoon and was told that one of them was lactating.

I hate inadvertently trapping nursing moms.  You are left with a bad situation and a bit of a Sophie's choice.  The vet did what's called a flank spay so she could still nurse and protocol is to release her as soon as you can, as long as she has had enough time to recover.  You hope the kittens have survived her absence but there is no way of knowing whether the kittens are even alive, or a day old, or two weeks or six weeks.

Marisa, who has been a godsend, went out twice last night to look for kittens to no avail.  I released the nursing female cat first thing this morning, but felt terrible about the whole thing.  It was such a cold day and I worry about her going back so soon and having her incision opening up.

Anyway, lots of hand wringing, but I did the best I could and have to hope for the best for her and for her kittens.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trapper's high

I'm just trying to come down from my trapper's high.  I kind of outsmarted myself tonight with my team of trappers and filled every trap.

I only have two appointments at the free TNR clinic but trapped four cats so I will have to take two to a private vet and pay.

Susan trapped a feral she was feeding for a while while I was setting up at DD.  Lesley took over there and caught a lovely little grey and white cat while I was on my way to Scarborough.

I could have called it a day but I knew there was one pregnant cat there for sure so I pressed on and met up with Marisa.  It was truly a lucky trapping day, within minutes we had the pregnant cat but spotted another that had a bit of a belly so said what the hell and set up one more trap and we got her.

That's seven out of the eight cats there done and seven cats already TNRed just a block away.  I have to feel good about that.

It's 8:30 and I'm just sitting down to dinner with a celebratory glass of wine.

Well the alarm will go off early tomorrow and I'll load up the car and drop off all my charges.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It takes a village

Between the bad weather and my bad back last week I only managed to trap one male so this week I ramped it up, booked appointments for two days and assembled trapping teams.

Monday night Lesley, Denise and Mary trapped at one location while I went to meet up with Marisa in Scarborough.  Luck (and the weather) was on our side, within minutes Lesley had gotten the pregnant cat at DD we've been trying to get for weeks.

And once I arrived in Scarborough, it was easy pickings there too.  The cats were all sitting and waiting to be fed so boom, I caught number two and we were done for the night.

That one also turned out to be pregnant too.  That's three pregnant cats from that colony, four from DD, two or three from another, all since the first of March.  I hate spay aborts but it's the best of a bad situation.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I can count on Connie

A few weeks ago I posted about knocking on a door that had a free kittens sign on it.  The woman had 2 females, and a male and two litters of kittens.  We took the older litter and I got the male neutered and the plan was to get the other litter of kittens when they were old enough.

I got a call from her yesterday and the momma cat had moved the kittens on the weekend, and something went wrong and all but one died and the mother cat had partially eaten them, how horrible.  She separated the one remaining kitten and was trying to bottle feed it but it was all too much for her so Connie came to the rescue and said she would take the kitten.
Connie picked him up yesterday and promptly named him Mr Wiggles.  He is about 4 weeks old and so cute.  I know he will now be safe in Connie's hands.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kitten delivery!

This weekend seven of the grey kittens were ready to leave their moms and go to foster homes so I made a few deliveries.  There is just one little one left, and then the females to get spayed.  It's kind of like an intervention before the situation gets out of hand.

These kittens are healthy and social and will get adopted quickly I'm sure, and importantly, will be spayed and neutered before they go to homes.

There have been a lot of cat hoarding in the rescue news lately.  TCR and TAS took out a multitude of cats from a woman's apartment.  She had 54 in a bachelor!  None fixed of course.  I think the people mean well, they take in a few cats but can't afford to have them fixed, and boom, look what happens.

Back to trapping tonight, the weather is thankfully better than last week, so we will see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The logistics of trapping

Last night I went to Scarborough to return a cat and do some more trapping.  Amazingly, even though it was pouring, we got one cat (Marisa, our marvelous new feeder) joined me.

TNR is one of the most crucial things in the feral cat world, and in a way it seems easy, but it actually involves a lot of logistics.

The process starts by booking appointments, I mostly use the THS due to proximity.  Then I have to make sure Joanne can do recovery and that I can use Connie's garage overnight to hold the cat.  Unfortunately I don't have the space to do either.

Then I have to make the feeders don't feed that day.  The day of I load up the car with traps, blankets, cardboard for inside the traps, and bait.

Last night I drove 15 minutes to Joanne's, picked up the cat trapped last week, drove another half hour to the colony site, set up the traps and waited.  Luckily one brave soul went into the trap quickly, but Marisa and I stood in the pouring rain for an hour waiting for another to no avail.

Then I drove another half an hour to Connie's and left the cat in her garage and went home to dinner.

This morning I left my house at 7 a.m., picked up the cat from Connie's, drove to THS for their spay neuter clinic.  At 3:30 I had to pick the cat up so used vacation time and left early.  Off Bandit and I went to Joanne's.  Bandit is male so two days from now I will need to pick him and drive him back to Scarborough to release him.

Most weeks I am doing this process at least once, sometimes twice, it can be very time consuming and sometimes you don't even trap a cat, that's when it's maddening.

I'm scheduled to go out again tomorrow night but they are calling for an ice storm so we will see.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Keep on a goin'

Last Thursday night I went out to a colony in Scarborough that's been fed for a few years but none of the cats have been fixed yet.  They all came running to eat and within 15 minutes we had three cats.  Those were the easy ones, there are still five more there to trap, but of the three we trapped two were female so that's a good start.  Marisa and Jessica came out to help.

On Friday I transported the cats to and from the spay neuter clinic and spent a large part of the day on a fake rescue.  Somebody had found a cat a few days before and couldn't find its home.  They thought she was pregnant so I picked her up and took her to the vet.  Well, not pregnant, and actually spayed, then we discovered she had a microchip.  CC had a home, of course back across the city where I had just picked her up.  When I returned her it was to a store, which I wasn't thrilled about, but I can't really be confiscating cats because I feel that the home isn't good enough, although I had a moment where I was really tempted.

CC on her way back home
Liam, who was living in a back yard just two weeks ago, is clearly happy to be inside.  His foster mom  Kathleen is really enjoying having him around.

For the first time in many months we went away overnight and it wasn't until I had 8 - 10 hours in which I wasn't working in some way that I realized how much I had needed even that mini break.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Down the rabbit hole

I have days where I feel like I've gone down the rabbit hole and can't climb out.  Sometimes getting involved with feral cats and cat rescue feels like the best thing that's happened to me and sometimes it feels like the worst thing that's happened to me.

The last two nights I've gotten home at 9 p.m., not getting any exercise, pulling something out of the fridge to eat.  On Monday evening I trapped (unsuccessfully) after work, then Connie and I went to Ruth's to give her a bottle feeding lesson as the one little two week old kitten was not nursing well.

Last night I took her cat Emmett, the huge grey male who was recently neutered to the vet, as he was drooling and not eating well.  Poor Emmett had a tongue ulcer and ear mites.  Of course Ruth has no money so I paid for the vet visit.  I don't know what the answer is for people who have pets but can't afford vet care.  

I just hope the kittens are ok, I'm worried he has the calici virus and if young kittens get sick it can be bad news fast.  The other seven kittens are about 5 or 6 weeks old running around, so cute, and will be able to go to a foster home next week.

I also returned Ava, who was TNRed last week.  Tomorrow night it's off to Scarborough to trap.  Right now on top of my full time job I think I'm doing about 20 hours of feral cat feeding/cat rescue work and trying to fit in my personal life (oh right I don't have one), ok, just manage to spend some time with my cats and do the laundry.