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, May 30, 2013

The mystery cat appears!

On our portlands route we leave food for a cat that I've only ever seen once, but I've heard from workers there that she exists and sometimes other people leave food too.  Imagine my surprise when we showed up yesterday and there was a cat.  We've been calling her Mystery but there she was in the flesh and boy was she hungry.  She ate a can and a half of food in no time at all.  I think she is either pregnant or nursing and isn't really that feral, she allowed me to get pretty close.  I would love to trap her but it's very difficult to trap a cat you only see every few months.

Mystery appears
Baby Howie is doing well at Connie's, having a great time playing with her kitten Acer, and thanks to the meds, his eyes look soo much better.  I think we will be taking him back in a few weeks to run with our herd once he gets a bit bigger.

Howie having a snooze
My list of cats to trap is actually shrinking, what will I do with myself.  Well, tomorrow, I'm taking five cats to be spayed and neutered, the moms of all the grey kittens and a new foster.  At some point I will get my herbs planted perhaps and file my five months of personal paperwork.

My 2013 total of number of cats helped (TNRs, kittens, tame cats fostered/adopted, cats spayed and neutered) is over 75 already, the majority of that in the last three months.  Might be time for a cocktail on a patio or seeing a movie.  Yeah, right, we will see how long that idea will last, I'd rather help cats.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last week was a blur

I've fallen behind on posting, last week was a blur of cat activity.  Howie the four week old kitten needed bottle feeding every few hours so my wonderful husband did the middle of the night shift.  He is doing really well, meds have cleared up his eyes and he's eating on his own.  Thankfully Connie has now taken him in and he is having a great time playing with her foster kitten.

On top of that, plus caring for our guys at home, I fed the colony, went to work and had a full week of cat rescue.  Barnum and Bailey, the three month old kittens trapped the week before, went to Siobhan's for socializing, they are shy but can be handled.  
Barnum and Bailey
I trapped three female cats on Wednesday and Thursday night from three separate locations, and did transport to and from the clinic with them.  I met a woman trying to find homes for two of the cutest three month old orange kitties so of course I said I would take them.  They were born to her 12 year old cat who has had multiple litters over the years, I don't even want to know how many.
One of the cats was born unable to walk, and she has been caring for her for the last three years. I seem to spend a lot of time right now doing what I would call outreach, helping people whose cats have had kittens.  I don't know if it's financial or lack of education but it's amazing how many unfixed cats are out there.
On Friday I was at yet another one of those situations, took out four kittens, got two females spayed, then discovered there were three more that needed to be rehomed and three males to be neutered, I'll deal with that over the next few weeks.

And yesterday three females to be spayed from the free kittens home http://cherrystreetcats.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-sign-said-free-kittens.html
that I discovered a couple of months ago.  I thought all was good there once I got the male neutered and the females didn't go out but oops one did and had kittens last week so I just bundled up the rest yesterday and got it taken care of, the kittens coming out of there haven't been in great shape, one batch had litter box issues and most of the last litter died, only Mr Wiggles now Acer http://boomerandteikas.blogspot.ca/(who is at Connie's) survived.  Now I just have to figure out how to pay for it all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why I do this

I have days when I wonder why I do this.  My weekend started out rough, I dropped off a couple of cats and still had a full day of cat stuff and I had woken up exhausted.  Distracted, I didn't the car coming in the next lane and I scraped the whole side of someone's BMW.  I burst into tears and thankfully the woman was so nice to me but it was not what I needed.  Things improved that evening though when Scott (the human) met Liam (the feline) and decided that they were a match.  They sure look like they belong together, don't they.  Two months ago Liam was living outside, now look at him, that's one reason I do what I do.
Liam on his way to his new home with Scott
Here's another one.  This is Howie, 48 hours ago he was a feral kitten I found on the roof of the shed at Maria's on Sunday.  With his eyes looking that way I couldn't leave him behind, so after a tutorial from Connie, we became bottle feeders.  He is doing well, starting to eat on his own and using the litter box. Now I just have to get him healthy.

It was quite the event trying to get him.  I was on a ladder trying to reach him but couldn't quite, and the shed has a hole in the middle, so I wasn't going to take the chance of whether that roof would support my weight.  Luckily Marisa was with me and went inside the shed and reached around through the hole and managed to grab him.  At four weeks, they need no taming, they don't even know to be feral.  He's purring and playing.
Little Howie, looking worse for wear
Oh, and I fed our colony three times, two other colonies once plus transported the mom and seven kittens to Sandi's.  What I didn't get done was any gardening, I just need to find a few hours for myself, but it's another busy week.  Tonight I'm moving the 12 week old kittens Barnum and Bailey to my niece's for socializing, and trapping the next two nights.  You don't even want to hear about my Friday, every hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. is scheduled.
Me with the gang at Hank's

Pseudo lets me pat him!
I'm not sure how long I can keep up this pace, but the cats in need never cease.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

From rags to riches

A couple of months ago Pat and Linda, our Monday feeders contacted me about trying to socialize and adopt one of the cats at the colony.  They really wanted to be able to give one of them a home.  Now, every cat is an individual, but I don't believe that true ferals are happy in homes generally.  We talked it over and decided that Chester would be the best one to try since he was new we didn't know his background, perhaps he had a home at one point and was just terrified, he is also a young cat so perhaps more adaptable to indoors life.  I wanted to give him a chance at a life as a beloved cat so in early April I managed to trap him and Pat and Linda took him in to work with him.  I was a bit skeptical that it would work, but I am so happy to say that I was proven wrong.  After six weeks of patience, Chester is part of their household, sleeping on their bed and allowing himself to be patted.
No more eating under dumpsters for Chester!

I can also happily report that Guinness has found a forever home!  A lovely young woman met him last night and he will now be part of her life.  Two plus years outside, three weeks in a foster home, and now a forever home, how amazing is that.

I trapped a pregnant female yesterday and two 12 week old kittens, I'm really hoping the kittens can be socialized so they don't have to go back out there.

I'm doing some community outreach on Saturday, I've got a table at the Withrow Park Farmers Market, so please come by and say hi if you are in the neighbourhood.  Maybe I can find some more potential adopters, Sandi is taking in the nursing mom and 7 kittens this weekend (sssh, don't tell her husband there are 7), so I will post some pics next week of their inevitable cuteness.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Four year anniversary

Amazingly it's been four years since I got involved with the Cherry Street feral cats.  I was just looking for a way to help out cats, and look where I am now.  I started with feeding one day a week, then we fed more, started trapping, and got involved in the cat community.  Now I feed at our colony, at others, do trapping for many people and even rescue tame cats.  My one hour a week has turned into 20 or 30 hours a week, and as a by-product of the rescue, we have twice as many cats at home as we did four years ago.

Over the four years, we have seen the colony change in size, up and down, have managed to fix all the cats, have found homes for the kittens and some of the adults, and have had our beloved cats disappear and die.  It's been almost a year since Tina crossed over and more than a year since Jackson drowned, and there were many that we just never saw again and still miss but I know all of their lives are better for my involvement.

Our patriarch Teddy is looking worse for wear these days.  He is probably more than 10 years old now, I really need to get him to the vet to deal with his fur but this weather is crazy, yesterday we fed in the hail.

Right now the colony has 17 cats so I expect and hope I still have a few more years to feed.  I've learned a lot doing this and have met so many great people.  It's certainly not something I ever imagined I would be involved in but here I am.

Teddy in better days

Teddy now

New member of the colony

MC and Pseudo

Hank and MC

Our little foster kitten, Milo, went to live with a family down the street from us.  They adore him already, I know he will have a great life with them, but I'm heartbroken to lose him.  I am the worst foster parent ever, I think everyone who knows me was surprised I could give him up, since we have had three foster failures in the past year.  It helps that I know where he is, that's neighbour number four who has adopted a cat from me in the past year.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend warrior

The weather was gorgeous this weekend and as I drove around doing cat things, delivering cats to adoptathons, to foster homes, feeding ferals, I saw everyone out and about, doing normal things, cycling, sitting on patios, hmm, not sure I remember what that's like, but I wouldn't trade it.

The three tabbies I took to the adoptathon all found homes.  The two six month old kittens that were trapped last week have turned out to be tame so Zoe is fostering one and Joanne is fostering the other.  I don't know what I would do without Joanne, all the recovery she does for me, and the assessment and short term fostering, it means that cats who are friendly don't have to go back to live on the street.

At the same place the kittens came from, a cat gave birth on the weekend in the yard of the feeders.  Maria, whose west end colony I TNRed last year, is a friend of theirs, and not able to stand seeing the mother cat and her seven kittens just lying in a hole in the dirt, took them in and now they are safe in a spare room at her house.  Clearly the mother cat is not feral, she could be picked up.

Cassidy, one of the six month olds
And I have a little guest too in my basement, the product of rescuing tipsy, I was on kijiji and saw an ad, must get rid of kitten, first come first served.  Come on, really, this is a sentient being, not a possession to be discarded, he deserves better than that.  So I picked up Milo on Sunday, they asked no questions, just handed him over.  He is sooo cute!  As if there weren't enough cats in my house but who could resist this face.

 Guinness has settled in well to his foster home with Siobhan, sleeping on her bed the very first night.
 Down at the yard, the cats were jumping for joy over the nice weather.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tabby time

Last night I delivered Guinness to my niece's for fostering.  What a lovely cat, two years plus outside and still friendly and loving.  He slept with her last night, how wonderful is that.

I'm taking the other cats from that building to the vet tomorrow and then to an adoptathon.  I'm pretty sure the kittens are Guinness's, they sure look like him.  I hope they all find great homes.  

Momma cat now Hannah
Larry, the six month old
Darryl his brother
Maria trapped 2 older kittens the other night at a friend's colony, turns out they are tame.  Now to find foster homes for them.  I'm trapping tonight, trying to wrap up a few colonies, it's always a drag having outstanding cats, but the last one is always the hardest.

I got a call from a guy who I was TNRing for last year, but he changed his mind mid-way and wouldn't let me finish.  Well, no surprise, now there's a litter of kittens he wants us to take away.  Of course we will and then he'd better let me trap the adults.  So maddening but again, you put away your feelings to help the cats.