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!

Friday, November 29, 2013

A mountain of cans

This is what the kitchen sink looks like after a day of feral feeding.  I go through at least 15 cans of Friskies every feed.  The recycling guys must be wondering what kind of business we are running.  We have 2 full bins and then always a few bags on the side come pick up day.  Our ferals get both canned and dry food.  I think the canned food, even though it's Friskies, really helps keep them healthy, they get added moisture and lots of protein.  There is certainly no shortage of opinions about cat food and what's best, for the ferals I do the best I can financially to provide for them.
I try to feed my guys at home a higher grade of food but they often prefer Friskies or Fancy Feast, I make sure they mostly have good food with a bit of junk, kind of like kids who have to eat their broccoli to get cookies.

Many thanks to Sally and Stephen this week for their donations, it's really appreciated.  My ferals are looking nice and chubby, it will help them get through the long winter to come.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ho ho ho happy ending

Molly, one of my neighbours who adopted Milo the kitten earlier this year, sent me this wonderful picture of Milo and her daughter Sophie.

Milo and Sophie, ready for the holidays
I love it when a cat gets such a wonderful home!  It's what I wish for all of them.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The winter routine begins

I know it's only November but it feels like winter already.  No trapping for me until spring, just feeding ferals, so I'm happy to spend most of the chilly evenings inside with my cats.

I fell asleep on the sofa one night and Allie took advantage.
 Blinky and Ernie have enjoyed watching the falling leaves and the squirrels cavorting in the yard.
 And Blinky has a new friend close to his own age.
Apollo or Paolo, was a summer rescue who was adopted and then returned.  It's a long story, don't ask, but he joined our gang, and now I'm not sure he's going to leave.  He's such a lovely little guy.
With darkness falling at 5 p.m., during the week I've been feeding the ferals at lunchtime, and my days look like this:  Wake up, surrounded by purring cats, drag myself out of bed, scoop multiple litter boxes, feed multiple cats, get myself ready for work, then make six trips to the car with food, water and bowls for feeding.  Rush off to work, already late, park, walk 10 minutes to the office.  Work for a few hours, eat at my desk, then go back to the parking garage, drive to the colony, feed all the cats, fingers numb all the while, rush back to the office, my lunch hour more than an hour, work for a few more hours, then go home, wash a trug load of dishes and load up food for the next day and of course feed my guys and scoop their litters again.  Good thing I love my ferals, I'm feeding five days a week right now, and it's just that much harder when it gets cold.  I feel even worse for them than for myself, I've provided shelters and hope they find warm spots to curl up in.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The kittens keep coming...

I keep naively thinking that since it's November the rescuing will slow down but this week that wasn't the case.  Katie, my vet tech, discovered a litter of kittens living at an autobody shop and my team swung into action to get them out of the cold.  I couldn't have helped them without Joanne and Susan.

Katie took a trap up to the guy feeding them and on the first day he caught two.  Joanne drove over and got them and stashed them in her bathroom, and the very next day the other two were trapped and rejoined their siblings.  Joanne took care of them for a few days and had them vetted and today Susan their foster mom picked them up.    Susan was fostering four other kittens but they moved on this week so she thankfully had space.
It's always gratifying to rescue kittens but it's especially satisfying at this time of the year.

Just as that was all taken care of, and I breathed a sigh of relief, another situation presented itself.  I was feeding the colony yesterday and Clayton who works in the yard, came over to tell me that a friendly cat had shown up.  I finished feeding and went over and sure enough a little black cat ran out, so friendly, and painfully thin.  Luckily I had a carrier in the car so in she went.  But then I had no clue what to do with her, no foster homes available, no room at my inn, so I took her to the vet for boarding and vetting as a start.

She didn't appear well so we ran some bloodwork and did an x-ray, little Sophie now Peyton, about five years old, had kidney failure, anemia and an infection.  One theory was pyrometra if she was unspayed.  I left her there for the night after paying a hefty bill, and tried to figure out what to do.

After some emails, the THS, who I have a good relationship with, agreed to take her.  At least she will get the medical attention she needs, and possible surgery,  and then they will find her a home, two things I can't provide right now.  Too many rescues, too many cats in foster homes.  I was sad to say goodbye to such a sweet cat but know it was for the best and she will be fine.  I'm just thankful she found her way to us, no way she would have survived the winter with those kind of issues.

That's the third tame black cat found around our colony in the last couple of months.  Sometimes I hate people, and anyone who could dump a cat, well it's beyond my comprehension.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My niece to the rescue

When my phone rang yesterday and I saw it was my niece, I was worried.  She never calls, we just text.  Turns out it was a kitten call what else.  Siobhan has been interning outside Guelph and was told that they heard a cat crying for the last 3 nights.  Of course Siobhan sprang into action and crawled under a portable to rescue this little guy.
Only a couple of weeks old, he wouldn't have survived much longer.  I told Siobhan about bottle feeding and off she went to buy KMR.  Luckily she was able to find someone nearby who has raised kittens before.

I am so proud that she saved this kitten!  Siobhan loves cats, and has fostered for me in the past.  Steve and I have already joked that we will have to leave her all our money and our cats.

Crazy Cat has not settled down, her behaviour is so odd, she doesn't appear frightened, she plays and sleeps on the bed, but when Sandi goes in she still lunges at her claws out.  She is going to be spayed tonight and then Ian, unable to stand the thought of putting her out in the cold, has agreed to take her in.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cat rescue is rarely simple

I've pretty much stopped trapping for the season, but it's hard to resist a cry for help.  A woman I know has been feeding some cats in the ravine area behind her apartment building for the last few weeks.  Holly, the cat below was the first one rescued.  About six months old, she was friendly, and found a home just this weekend.

Holly Golightly

Earlier this week another cat was caught, and also proved to be friendly, so I went to pick her up.  As I was waiting, I caught sight of another cat, a calico, and when I approached her with food she came up to me meowing.  I opened the carrier and in she went.  I thought, fantastic, another one saved.

Well, this one hasn't worked out so well.  Sandi has been fostering and this cat is crazy.  She's clearly not feral, but she hisses and lunges at Sandi when she goes in the room.  We are hoping she is just traumatized and settle down, but aggression is a real problem.  I hate people who just dump their problems.  It's cold and dangerous where she was.  I hope I don't have to put her back but the options are few for a cat who attacks people.  Sandi is a cat person so for her to be terrified is saying something.

Cat rescue is rarely simple.  I also got a call from a tech at my vet, she found out about kittens at an autobody shop, so this week's mission is to get them to safety and warmth.

With the short days, I'm rushing down on my lunch hour to feed the ferals, and I'm down a feeder, so it feels like I'm always doing feral cat dishes and buying food.  We've even run out of room in our recycling bins.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The cat came back

Socks is one of the regulars at the yard, he shows up like clockwork at the sound of the clicker, so when we didn't see him last weekend we worried.  Then when he didn't show up Monday or Tuesday we worried more.  Steve and I searched the yard Wednesday for about 2 hours, climbing on boats, looking in windows and in dumpsters, wondering what had happened.  So many possible dangers.  Had he gotten hit by a truck, fallen into a dumpster, got trapped in a boat or something we hadn't even thought of?  By Saturday we sadly resigned ourselves to the fact that he was probably gone.

So when we showed up yesterday to feed and there he was in his usual spot by the dumpsters, I cried for joy.  Socks was alive and back.  Whatever happened to him he was hungry.

Don't scare us like that again, Socksy.