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, August 29, 2013

Just pictures today

Guess the cats enjoyed yesterday's meal, well the part I could keep from the marauding raccoons who no longer observe the once widely followed nocturnal rule.

 Here is a picture Susan sent me of her lucky foster kitten.

I don't have too much news to add today, more trapping this evening.  The numbers left to trap at Gloria's colony are dwindling thankfully but the last few are going to be challenging.  Soon it will be time to think about setting up winter shelters, hard to believe in this humidity that it will ever be cold again.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thank you to those who foster

I am so thankful that I've been able to find people willing to foster cats that I've rescued, without them I wouldn't be able to help the many that I have.

I don't foster much due to lack of space and an inability to give them up so I try to find others made of sterner stuff.

Michelle is currently fostering seven right now, yes, seven kittens.  Some are friendlier than others so it's a whole pile of work but ultimately so satisfying.

One of Michelle's foster kittens
And Susan stepped in last week to rescue and foster the grey and white kitten from my August 17 post. Thanks to her, he's safe and in good hands.

Thank you to Kathleen, who's fostering Angus, Connie with Howie, and all the others who have answered my pleas for help and taken in cats and kittens.  Please don't block my number, I'm sure some of the husbands dread seeing my number come up on the call display.  It's Robin again, with more kittens, oh no.  Oh no, is right, but it's almost the end of August which hopefully means kitten season will be winding down.  No I don't really believe that, but it makes me feel better to say it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Catching up

Last week I had a stomach flu that laid me flat for a few days and I still feel like I'm catching up.  My life is so busy that to go down for even a day or two really causes me to fall behind.

The cats at the colony have been enjoying the warm dry weather, as have we for feeding.  I have a new feeder finally, very exciting, a lovely woman named Avril.  I love feeding my guys but it's time consuming so three times a week is perfect.  It's the dishes that I hate most of all.  I like them to have their own dishes to eat out of, I feel it prevents fights over food, but it does mean that I end up with quite the stack of dirty ones to wash.
Hank's gang enjoying their meal
MC and Hank hanging out
Meeting of the minds at the dumpster
This is Mabel, she appeared one day at our colony, but has moved down the street to another colony, I'm not really sure why.
 And this absolutely adorable kitten is a foster of Jess's, who works at Global Pet Foods in the Beach.
Jess's foster kitten
Last week I trapped two more older kittens at Gloria's one male and one female.  The cats are on to me, though, and getting harder to trap.  Luckily I've made really good progress there, only a few adults and older kittens left to do.  I've rescued 20 kittens from that location this year.  My goal is to get everyone TNRed before the winter.
Maple on his way back home

Honey about to be released
Jenny, who has been fostering some of the kittens, is going to adopt one of the moms who has turned out to be friendly, great news.  Four our of five of Mystery's kittens have already been adopted, I love that the kittens I've been rescuing keep finding homes.  I only hope they are wonderful forever homes, there is only so much I can do and control.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dory's bad day

Dory is one of our cats who started as a foster kitten with us last fall and never left, along with her brother Scooter.  She's very sweet but not the brightest star, I think there was some inbreeding in her home.  On top of that, the two of them mat no matter how much we brush them.

So on Friday I took her in and they gave her a lion cut.  She is pretty funny looking now.

Dory before
Dory after her shave
In the afternoon her day went from bad to worse.  Steve was in the office on the phone and with it being a lovely day the window was open.  Well Buddy and Dory were playing and Buddy chased her into the room and Dory was going so fast that she burst through the screen and out the second floor window.  Steve ran downstairs and discovered Dory hanging on the pergola that thankfully is under the window, Dory looking a bit bewildered.  He grabbed her and pulled her back in to safety and quickly did a head count to make sure none of the others had also gotten out.  Thank God she didn't injure herself or run away.  Even a screen isn't necessarily that secure, so we will be more careful with the windows.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

All kittens all the time

I don't think kitten season has ended yet.  Gloria called me to tell me that one of the cats had given birth in the yard so we put the kittens in a carrier, all five of them and when mom went in to nurse closed the door.  Jenny, who already has seven kittens from there, has taken in this new family too.  I trapped two more females who sadly were both pregnant.  I'm almost done with all the adult females there, I hope I can get all the cats TNRed before winter, the colony is already almost 20 cats.

I stopped by my new free kittens friend and saw these cuties, about three weeks old.  I will take them when they are old enough and find them homes, there is another pregnant cat there too.  Somehow I have to help her get them all fixed.  Thankfully the kittens are healthy and gorgeous but that's not enough reason to keep bringing more into the world when shelters and foster homes are full of cats.
Joanne is my rock, not only does she recover all the cats after their spay neuter, she will foster short term too.  Mystery's kittens are off to the THS next week and Joanne is taking care of them for a few days.  Lucky them, they will be in homes rather than living outside this winter.
There was an email about somebody having found this kitten outside their door, I went over to evaluate.  The kitten is older than I originally thought, I think it's about 12-14 weeks old, timid but not feral.  Sadly I don't have anyone to take the kitten, hopefully something can be figured out.
I guess that's this week's roundup.  The end of summer is approaching and the only upside to that is the end of kitten season.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I named him Houdini for a reason

My last trapping at Gloria's went pretty much as usual.  I love trapping there, the cats aren't too skittish, so I always get someone, it's more a matter of trying to get the ones I want.  l got one cat we knew to be female and also trapped this guy who has some kind of a deformed eye.
I keep the cats overnight in Connie's garage.  Well in the morning, bright and early, I went to pick them up.  I had hurt my back so Connie was waiting to help me and as she lifted the second trap she joked about how light it was.   Horror of horrors, the trap was empty!  Somehow the eye problem guy had escaped!  I'm still not sure how, I think he pulled the blanket into the trap enough to lift the door.  In all my trapping, must be more than 100 cats, I've never had this happen.  We quickly closed the garage door and hoped he hadn't slipped out.  The thought of him getting out in a strange neighbourhood made me sick.  Connie set up the trap and we waited.  If they are in a confined space and the only food source is in the trap they always go in - eventually, that's if he was still in the garage.  About 9 p.m. Connie called me to see she had him!  Big sigh of relief and off he went to the clinic the next morning to be neutered.  I think the eye is a genetic deformity.  If he was tame, you would remove the eye and stitch it up, but that is an expensive and complicated procedure, and his eye doesn't look infected and clearly he has been able to cope just fine.  I'll be securing the traps from now on!
Cute pic of an older kitten at Gloria's
 Unfortunately there are about 5 or 6 cats at Gloria's the age of the kitten above, too old to socialize,it's sad, knowing that their lives will be lived outside like that whereas just a month or so earlier I could have saved them, but I've pulled out thirteen there already so not too bad.

I feel like I hardly talk about the Cherry St kitties, luckily they are mostly just chugging along, I love caring for them.  I could never walk away from this gang, they feel like my babies too.  I'm happy when I go and see all of them, I wish they could have a nicer location, but at least they are fed and somewhat safe.  One of my other occasional feeding spots nearby has lost some cats  and I suspect coyotes, it's much more exposed.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A long weekend means more time to save kittens!

A long weekend just means more time for cat stuff.  I fed our colony, thankfully all seems ok there except Harry keeps taking the cats water, it's maddening, and I can't figure out why, there are hoses and taps there.

On Monday a foster home came through so I scooped up the little grey kitten and a grey and white one, also around five weeks old.  The grey one was easy but I spent about an hour trying to sneak up on the other one, and actually grabbed her while I was on the phone talking about other kittens, I did it all without putting down the phone.  The grey and white one of course has a URI but that's two more safe!

And I succumbed to another Free Kitten sign.  This time I called Steve first to give him the address before I went in.  I climbed a dark dingy flight of stairs and knocked.  Thankfully the woman was very nice, she has 5 females, 3 males, none fixed and consequently five litters of kittens.  These situations are maddening, I spend so much time and money spaying and neutering street cats so there won't be all these kittens and then you find someone with a bunch of cats all reproducing, it's an endless cycle and I don't know the solution.  I know vet bills are very expensive!

Unfortunately by the time I discovered her, she had given away most of them, I can only hope to decent homes who will take them to vets and get them spayed and neutered.  There is no such thing as a free kitten.

I did take the last four, two gorgeous tabbies, and two orange and white, all female.

Somehow I'm going to try to help her get the females fixed, just haven't quite figured that out yet.  My other free kitten person, Toni, now won't return my calls and I don't know why.  She still has a litter I was supposed to take and one unspayed female left.  I can't help if people don't call back.  I'm still frustrated at the neighbour near Gloria's big colony I'm working on, I met her at one of our sales, and she told me about the cats, I gave her my number, I said I would help, she never called and now the colony is that much bigger.  I see her sometimes when I'm trapping and she says great job but never offers to help in any way, if they could take up a collection that would be amazing, but most people are passive and want others to solve their problems.  I'm still trying to find feeders for the colony, four days a week is tough, but the location seems to put people off, met a potential feeder last week, never heard from her again.  Ok, that's the end of my rant, no wonder I like cats better than people.  Thank God for people like Connie, Joanne, Michelle, Grace, and Jenny, and the others who have fostered or recovered or fed or transported, who said yes I will help, without them all these cats and kittens couldn't be helped.

I'm taking a bit of a step back, and not really taking any new projects on, or so I say, because I don't want to burn out completely and my financial resources are finite.  But how can I turn away from a cat in need?  That remains the dilemma...because nothing feels better than saving a kitten.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My heart still pounds

With all of Mystery's kittens safely rescued, my trapping priority this week was to get Mystery and end the cycle of what has apparently been years of her having kittens.  I showed up and she was there waiting.  I set up the trap and backed away.  In she went, licking up my trail of Fancy Feast and boom, within two minutes, I had her.  Even with all the trapping I've done, my heart still pounds during those moments, especially when it's a cat you really want to get.

Mystery in the trap
Then off to Gloria's where I trapped an older kitten to be TNRed.  There are still probably about 10 cats to do there.  Then there was the agonizing decision of what to do about this little kitten.  We were able to grab him and get him into a carrier, but Gloria hadn't actually seen him eat on his own and I was worried that he might not be weaned and would need bottle feeding.  I'm guessing four weeks old, maybe five max.  Ideally you leave them with the moms for a bit longer but not too long so they are still easy to socialize, and hopefully easy to catch.  But I hated leaving that kitten behind, especially during yesterday's torrential rainstorm.  I don't want to wait much longer, I'm also short of a foster home for this little guy or girl.
I wish they could all be saved.  Frankie, who was an older kitten at Gloria's living there just two weeks ago got adopted this week!  Yay for Frankie, he won't have to scrabble for food during our cold winters.  I want the same for this cutie.