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 +!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kittens everywhere

Well it's a new day and I press on.  I don't know if you can really see, but there are five tiny kittens in this picture.  Momma had them on Sunday just under a tree in the yard so we put them in a carrier to keep them dry and then Tuesday night Gloria was able to close the door while momma was inside and now they've gone to a foster home where they will be much safer.
There are still five older kittens at this location that I can't find anyone to socialize, sadly they may end up spending their lives outside.

There are kittens everywhere, all the rescues are full.  Michelle, a feeder in Scarborough, has taken in seven kittens, and one of my outreach projects has a litter of five who need somewhere to go soon too.

No sense preaching spay and neuter to the people reading this blog.  I don't know what the big picture solution is, I wish I did.  I just try to help the ones I can.

A couple of my friends in cat rescue are trying to help this wonderful boy get the surgery he needs, just thought I would share.http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-tibby?c=home

It's a trapping night tonight, let's hope I can get a couple of cats and prevent more kittens from needing places to go.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I'm feeling totally overwhelmed right now, too many cats needing help, not enough resources.

I was able to trap the two other cats at the downtown location last week, 2 males, 2 females in total so I thought whew ok that's done.  No sooner did I breathe a sigh of relief that I found out about a colony near me.  I met a lovely older woman feeding numerous cats in her yard.

Big guy, back home after neutering 
Big girl hanging out, now spayed
There seem to be about eight adults and numerous kittens.  At first I thought there were only a few older kittens, around 10 weeks old, then when I was there more frequently I kept seeing more, 9 so far, and I only have space for 4.  I found myself on the floor the other night crying over having to leave some behind and the enormity of this project.  One of the cats gave birth on Sunday under a tree so just before the downpour we moved them into a carrier at least.  It will take me so long to get them all TNRed, two at a time.  I know I just have to press on, one thing at at time, but I'm so tired, and I always hate when I can't help them all.  I've got cats all over the place now needing homes.  I also just found out about another colony in Scarborough plus the one I just started TNRing there.  Thankfully one of the feeders has taken in 7 kittens and the moms herself.
New colony, this guy is missing an eye
Mom and one of the kittens
Yet another kitten
Sandi's foster kittens, lucky to be inside their whole lives
I've already helped over 100 cats so far this year, TNRs, kittens, rescues, spays and neuters, no wonder I'm exhausted and still they keep coming.  I have so much support that I'm grateful for, and I thank every one of you who helps me with fostering, recovery, transport, all those things.  I wish it didn't feel like we were all putting our fingers in the dike but anyone who does cat rescue feels like this at the end of June.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Teddy to the vet

We've been planning to take poor matted Teddy to the vet and finally it seemed warm enough this week so Anne and Gary met me at the yard yesterday morning and we set up the drop trap to try to get the big guy.

At first he just looked confused and annoyed and wasn't interested in going under but finally the smell of Seafood Supreme, thank you Friskies, got the better of him and we got him.

Off he went for a shave.  The vet also flushed out his ears and removed some polyps that had totally blocked one ear canal.  Teddy has lost 2 pounds since last year, he used to be 16 pounds, now down to 14, so we ran some bloodwork to see if anything was going on, thankfully it came back normal, guess he's just getting old, or maybe it's because Harry takes their food and water, sigh.
Teddy before his shave
He's just recovering at the vet now for a day or two.  I'm sure Biffy and Lily are missing their protector, he's still an intimidating cat.  Teddy is a favourite, I hope he hangs in for a while longer.  I hate that so many of them are getting older and it's hard to provide any vet care.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A weekend of frustrations

My weekend turned into a weekend of frustrations.  Thankfully I had a couple of days "off" last week to lower my cortisol levels.  I hope you will indulge my rant today.

On Friday I dealt with the grumpy parking lot owner who doesn't want us to feed the cats there.  I managed to convince him to allow us to keep one box as he called it in the corner, so we set up a feeding station and hid the shelters.

At my colony Friday afternoon I had to worry about raccoons as usual eating the cats food and then when I got to Harry's I discovered the bowls full of moldy food.  When I confronted Harry he said he got the food from some woman who feeds cats at one of the piers, I hate that he lies.  I know he's mentally ill, but I didn't set out to help mentally ill people, I'm trying to help cats.  I bring him fast food twice a week, and I hate going in those places, all I want is for him not to sabotage the cats.

On to Saturday.  I managed to trap a male at one colony and really wanted the female, and twice she went into the trap and somehow managed to not trip it, meanwhile eating a copious amount of fried chicken.  Onto Scarborough where the female cats I wanted had vanished I left Michelle with traps and she later got two males (one who has turned out to already be neutered).

Also on Saturday I spent some time looking for a lost cat who belongs to one of my outreach projects.  I met this couple a while ago after seeing a free kittens sign in their window.  The apartment seemed full of cats running around, so I returned two weeks later to take four kittens and when I did suddenly there were three more who needed homes.  Two weeks later I went to get those three and there were four more who had appeared, it was like one of those Russian dolls.  In total I took out 13 older kittens, and I got three adult females they were keeping spayed.  They still had three un-neutered males stashed away somewhere.  Last week I got an email saying one of the cats who had been spayed had gotten out but they were going away.  So I went looking for her and found a cat around the corner that I thought was her.  Their granddaughter was staying in the apartment so I ran to tell her and suggested leaving food outside and opening the window so she would come in, she was so rude to me, it seemed that she didn't care.  Then I found out that some of their other cats go out and one went missing a month ago, clearly they can't be bothered to look for them, and it's a busy urban spot where they are.  When they open the door the cats get out, that was their response, well yes, cats will, you have to watch the doors.  I am so glad I got those other cats out of there.  I feel like that poor cat will never be found.

Then the topper was Sunday.  I got early to drive to Scarborough to pick up the two males, then to Connie's for the other guy, then to the clinic for 9 a.m.  Well that was the plan.  I discovered I had a flat tire.  It was pouring rain and you can't really call a taxi to pick up stinky feral cats in traps.  Thank God Michelle and her husband drove the cats, picked me up at Connie's and took us all to the clinic.  I met a woman there in the cat community with two cute social kittens who was planning to take them to a barn.  I begged her to give them to me, adoptable kittens do not belong in barns.  I keep hoping she will change her mind, I know they could get great homes.  I felt terrible thinking these kittens would never have a chance to have a real home.   It just isn't right.

I got home a couple of hours later, soaked and hungry and finally managed to book a rental car big enough to accommodate three traps and three carriers for the pick up later and I still had to feed the ferals.  Speaking of that, as I was leaving to do so, I got a call from the woman who was feeding Saturday, she was in tears, she forgot to feed them.  I know she felt horrible, but I felt sick to think of the cats sitting there all day Saturday waiting for food, not having eaten since late Friday.  If I had known, I would have gone down, no matter what time and fed them.

I got home after all my chores around 6:30 and thankfully had a lovely dinner (and some wine) and crashed into bed.  It's Monday, a new week, our car is at the shop getting a new tire, not just a repair, crap, cats to release, more cats to trap, but it's all ok because look how well Howie is doing at Connie's.

Howie before

Howie after
This is why I will fight for every cat, this is why I will persevere.  His life has been transformed from a future of living outside like a wild animal, cold and scrabbling for food, to a future where he will be a beloved part of someone's family.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Milo update

Milo is the kitten I was briefly fostering, and who has been adopted by a wonderful family on our street.  Looks like Milo has found a new BFF, Bella the resident dog.  So cute.

Milo and Bella

I've got lots of trapping lined up for tomorrow, possibilities at four different locations, hopefully I have a good day and make lots of headway with the two new colonies I'm working with.

At DD, the parking lot owner has decided he doesn't like us feeding the cats there, so maddening, so I'm hoping I can work my charms on him, we've been feeding them for months, I can't just walk away and there is nowhere else to feed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trapping in the rain

Talk about dedication, I was out last night trapping in the rain, no pictures I'm afraid.  Ian and I were at the downtown colony trying to trap the two females.  When we arrived, there they were on the porch on the abandoned house where they live, and within minutes I got one of the females.  The other one ran off and finally came back half an hour later but even with the enticement of hot fried chicken we couldn't get her into the trap.  Oh well, one female is good.  Drenched, I went home, had dinner and told my cats how lucky they were.

Lots of feral kittens going in to the THS today for socialization.  They have a great program there, there is such a shortage of socialization foster homes out there, at least these kittens will have a life that doesn't involve scrounging for food and dodging cars.

These are the two kittens my niece Siobhan is fostering who were destined for that exact fate until I came upon them, trapped them and Joanne quickly discovered they were friendly.  Siobhan has been working with them and now they are ready for a home, hopefully together.  Know anyone who wants two gorgeous wonderful kittens, they are already neutered and vaccinated, all set to go.

Bailey and Barnum, four months old


B & B in their basket

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New projects

I don't know if you can see the little face peeking out from under the steps but there are four fluffy kittens living there.  This is one of my new projects, on this street there are four females, two males, these kittens and somewhere some kittens that were born a few weeks ago.

One of the feeders has caught three of the kittens and although they are a bit old, we are still going to give socializing them a shot.  I will get the adults all TNRed and hopefully we can find the younger kittens soon and scoop them up.

I managed to get the fifth kitten from behind the factory on Friday.  They weren't easy, took 4 tries and I think the mom will be a real challenge.  Lesley is working on them, amazing that even at 8 weeks they can be so wild.  I really didn't think I was going to get the last kitten when I went to trap on Friday, there was no sign, and I was standing in the very woody area behind the factory, worrying about West Nile, when I heard the snap of the trap.  That's five more kittens, well six with Jessica's, who will be safe and have a life.

On Friday I also scooped up five kittens from someone, got two females spayed and checked out another colony, sadly without my camera.  This one is four cats living around abandoned buildings right in the heart of downtown.  The males are dirty and scruffy and one was mounting one of the females when I was there.  I'm trapping there this week, I have to get ahead of the inevitable kittens.  It's way better to put in the time trapping then try to catch and socialize feral kittens.

In good news, Acer (formerly Mr. Wiggles) who Connie was fostering, got adopted yesterday.  She has Howie right now who is getting so big, soon it will be his turn for a home.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Now it feels like kitten season...

When we fed at the colony on Saturday we were very surprised to see a new cat, this lovely dilute tortie.  Funnily enough, when I tried to get close she didn't run but just sauntered away and wasn't that interested in the food I had.  She certainly didn't seem feral but I couldn't get closer than about 10 feet.  Of course I didn't have a trap with me, so I just have to hope she sticks around and I can get her.  With her markings, she is definitely female and you know what that means.
We went to visit Sandi's adorable kittens that she is fostering.  Somewhere in the picture below is the mom and seven kittens.  The kittens are 4 weeks old and doing really well.

In other kitten news, I got involved with catching two different litters of 7 or 8 week old feral kittens in Scarborough.  Lesley is socializing them, a few have still eluded me so back I go tonight.

I also checked out a new Scarborough colony some neighbours have been feeding, 4 females, 2 males, and of course kittens.    The kittens look to be about 10 weeks though and it broke my heart not being able to take them.  They will be really hard to socialize at that age and there is nobody anyway to do that anyway, everyone is full with kittens.  If they had only contacted me a few weeks before, I hate leaving kittens behind.