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!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

142 cats helped and it's not even August!

Back to reality and back to work.  Mystery's five kittens have all been vetted and parcelled off to foster homes, Michelle has two, Grace has two, and Joanne has one for now.  One of the boys is tiny, half the size of the others, and had to separated as his sister was gobbling up all the food.  Thankfully they are proving to be somewhat easy to socialize.  I'm hoping to trap momma Mystery this week and put an end to her days of having kittens.  I've been told she has been having kittens for years but none of them are around so I wonder what happened, or should I say I prefer not to think about it.

Little Slate
Angus is my only adult foster, Kathleen is now taking care of him.  She has turned out to be a great foster parent, she has fostered two other cats who have now been adopted.  Poor Angus has a skin condition that I have to sort out, I already had his teeth cleaned.
This is the problem, I take on a cat or kittens and you never know what will come up in terms of vet bills, in July my rescue vet expenses have been crazy with Angus and sick kittens.  I just keep using my visa and will figure it out.  I already collect bottles from neighbours to return and cat sit, in addition to donations, and using my own savings.  I guess I can't expect to help the amount of cats I do and not have it cost a lot of money.  I hate even talking about money, but it's one of the limitations of this kind of work, that and foster space are the main ones.  I just did a quick tally and I've TNRed 42 cats so far this year and rescued 100 tame kittens and cats.  That's kind of crazy, but good crazy I hope.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Connie caught a kitten!

I'm on my way back from what quickly became clear was a much needed vacation, but in my absence I have to thank all those who helped keep my money losing time sucking cat saving empire going.  Tory, Sandi, Michelle and Marisa took care of the ferals, Georgia looked after our guys.  Tania took two kittens to THS who had been fostered, Joanne kindly took care of two of Mystery's kittens for the week + Frankie and Connie spent the week trying to get Mystery's other kittens.  This morning she trapped this little cutie.
And it's looking like all the Rebel kittens have homes!  Not a bad week at all.  Back to scooping litter boxes and scrambling around dumpsters feeding cats.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Every cat counts

In the midst of all the busyness and drama I have neglected to report good news of recent adoptions.

The seven kittens Sandi was fostering all got adopted and Maria, who originally rescued them all, took home the mother cat.  Barnum and Bailey found forever homes, and just on Sunday Bourbon was adopted.  It's important to celebrate those cats finding homes, that's the point of all this, cats who would otherwise have led a tough life outside have now gone to loving homes thanks to the efforts of all those who help me with this crazy hobby of mine.

Two of Mystery's kittens, now safe, two more to rescue

Frankie, being fostered at Joanne's, one week ago he was living outside, now he is on his journey to a home

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I'm an outlaw!

Well yesterday was quite the day.  It started with a phone call from a foster person saying her cat needed to be moved by today.  Of course I don't have any spots for adults, there are already too many kittens floating around.  I scrambled and finally have two options to move him to.

Then the kitten that I trapped this week (Frankie) and Joanne is fostering stopped eating so off to the vet he went, $250 later, and we still aren't sure what's up but he has some meds and ate a bit overnight so hopefully he will be ok.

I got a phone call in the afternoon from the cleaners who also feed Mystery saying they had one of her kittens so off I went to get the cutest little grey kitten.  I had been told that they were also seen across the street and spoke to the company on Friday so I went over to look and there was a kitten sitting in the grass.  I grabbed it and popped it into the carrier and was then accosted by a security guard.  I told him I had permission but he didn't seem to care and tried to take the carrier away from me to let the kittens go, saying since they were on that property they belonged there.  Then he threatened to call the police.  At this point I wanted him to, I was alone, and feeling a bit scared of this crazy guy.

Finally after we wrestled over the carrier for a while, he went off to find a supervisor, who never showed up.  He took my name and license number and I left with the two kittens, frustrated I couldn't get the other ones.  So ridiculous, why would he want to stop me from rescuing homeless kittens.  Guess I'm a a fugitive now.  Outlaw Robin, they call me, driving around, stealing kittens from industrial wastelands so they can live long happy lives in a home.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer sickness

Summer colds suck!  I've been sick for the last few days, mostly lying in bed or on the sofa, it just feels wrong when it's so hot outside.  It feels like I'm in a bit of downturn, although I'm happy I got the Rebel kittens, other foster kittens have had more vet bills, we had to replace a tire (probably because we drive in godawful spots to feed cats) and even my long suffering husband is starting to lose patience with our all encompassing hobby.  Hopefully we can take a much needed break next week and celebrate being together 20 years.  I did manage to trap 2 more cats from Gloria's, a female and an older kitten who may turn out to be tame.  Oh, and Mystery's kittens appeared this morning for the first time.  More kittens!  Please let them stop soon.

Anyway, I don't have any good rescue pics so thought I would share some scenes from hanging around the house going through boxes of kleenex the last few days.  Only upside to being sick is being able to hang out with my babies.

Buddy and Ernie

Blinky and Dory

Buddy, Ernie and Blinky

Blinky on top of Scooter

Ernie and Blinky

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And baby makes three

Guess who's now safe at Connie's?  Yes, the last kitten.  Now this baby is a fierce one, what different personalities they all have.  Freddie the orange boy is so friendly he could go to a home almost anytime, Nutmeg is in between and little Rebel, well he or she is going to need some work.

And I trapped a female and an older kitten last night so I was doing my happy cat trapping dance.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Two more kittens off the mean streets

This rescue of the kittens living under the restaurant patio has truly been a team effort.  I went Saturday to try to get them after finding a foster but no luck, so Cary, a fellow trapper I know, kindly agreed to go out on Sunday.  Sunday morning she caught Freddie the orange kitten and the mom and Sunday night got Nutmeg, the tabby.

Now only the little black kitten remains, of course there was no sign of him last night.  Connie has been holding them until Grace the foster can pick them up, and Ian is covering their initial vetting.   These two and hopefully three soon, will now have a future thanks to everyone helping with their rescue.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ernie Ernie Ernie

I love my Ernie cat so much, I just had to share some cute photos of him.  When I'm tired and just feel like staying home with my cats instead of going out trapping or rescuing, I remind myself that I wouldn't have Ernie if I hadn't rescued him, same with many of our other beloved cats.  He is such a sweetheart, impossible to imagine someone just left him behind (and outside) in February.

Ernie says don't read the paper, look at me

Ernie puts his big paws to use, no wonder nobody wants to come for dinner at our house

Friday, July 5, 2013

Second wind

I think I've recovered from my messy meltdown, I'll consider it a learning experience, that I need to find a way to help cats but not have it occupy every waking moment.  I'm thankful to have people to listen to me and who will help.  I'm extremely fortunate to have a wonderful husband who picks up the slack at home and waits for gaps in my monologues on cats so he can insert something else into the conversation.

I have a plan now for the restaurant kittens, all it requires is time to trap them.  I slept today until 6:30 a.m., very exciting, about to hit the road for cat sitting, and then cat transport from east to west to east.

I talked to another tired trapper last night who had 3 ferals (not in crates) recovering in her bathroom so that helped me feel not as crazy, or at least in good company.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A very long weekend

I haven't written for a while because it's been an insane week and I've been struggling with how to post without being too negative.  I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning with a panic attack, just trying to figure out how I can possibly do what needs to be done, I'm exhausted to the point of collapse.  The last few weeks I've been going non-stop morning to night.  The tipping point was the weekend, was there a weekend in there, I got sick, my cats got sick with giardia, and that triggered my old girl with kidney disease not to eat, many vet visits and hundreds of dollars later and gallons of medications administered, we're trying to get everyone healthy.

Meanwhile, Gloria's colony grows, more kittens every time I go, even though I've managed to get some out, the older ones I have to leave behind.  I've trapped 4 adults so far, but the kittens break my heart.  Three that we rescued are very sick with URIs, one has pneumonia.

So when I got a call from Wendy last week about kittens around the corner from her living under a restaurant patio my heart sank.  I'm still trying to figure them out.

Kittens under a patio
I've been trying to find new feeders for the colony.  I met two people but no luck, one thought that TNR for ferals is a waste of resources and that perhaps euthanasia would be more appropriate, hmm, don't think that will work out.
Hank looking kind of old and ratty

MC hanging out

Blinky the one eyed kitten
I've clearly taken too much on, and I know that, but how do I say no, although it seems that it now has gotten to the point where maybe I have to, but I also know that these cats won't get helped because I say no.  It makes me very sad.  I see why others doing this get burned out.  What do they call it, compassion fatigue, I so didn't want to get to that point but here I seem to be.