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!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The cat express

It was a busy cat transport day but the best part was that I didn't have to do any of it.  A rescuer friend who moved to Niagara Falls recently of course has gotten involved with the ferals there and rescued a six month old kitten who she couldn't keep, so I said I will foster her.  Maybe it's because she reminds me a bit of Ernie.  Anyway, there was a lot of logistics involved but Bunny went from Niagara Falls to St. Catherine's to Scarborough to the vet today, now she is spayed and vetted and I will pick her up tomorrow.

Another rescuer friend needed to move a cat who was being fostered so since Carolyn had a spot open we arranged to have Guido go there.  I briefly met this handsome guy today and then he got delivered to the west end (he started from Oshawa this morning).
I wonder how many kilometres these two cats logged today.  It's great that there is such a spirit of cooperation out there in the rescuing community.

Last night I left my trug outside the door when I got home and within minutes a smart raccoon showed up to pilfer the leftovers.  It was so cold I didn't have the heart to chase him away.  Somehow he managed to dig frozen canned food out of the bowls and eat it.  I try not to encourage raccoons but they too are just trying to survive this winter.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cold, cold and more cold

My posts are starting to get repetitive, as is the weather.  Freezing cold every day and occasionally throw in some snow.  I saw everybody over the weekend so I felt good about that but yesterday and today there were a couple of customers who didn't show up for service.  I try not to worry too much.  I'm providing food, water and shelter, there's not much more I can do.  

At least it's almost February!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Getting from day to day

Right now it feels like it's just a matter of survival, of hoping the ferals make it through each day of this brutal winter.  I wish there was more I could do for them, that I could bring them inside and warm them up.  Hank was shivering yesterday, he's an old cat and I worry about the old ones making it through and my new ones who haven't experienced a winter outside like this before.  All I can do is bring food and water and make sure there are shelters, and pray.  I've managed to get 7 days of antibiotics into Teddy and his ears are looking much better and he's eating well so I'm grateful for that.

For me too I'm just going from day to day, loading up the car, rushing down on my longer than an hour lunch hour to feed, emptying out the car, doing a sinkload of dishes, prepping the next day's food.  I think it adds up to about two and a half hours, perhaps three hours a day.
A days worth of dishes
I think of all the homeless cats out there and my heart breaks a little bit every day.

I'm glad Bailey and Gus who were outside got rescued, and Bailey is going to her new home tomorrow.  Two orange kittens that Nikki was fostering got adopted by a wonderful couple who adopted a kitten from me earlier last year.  Seems like people are interested in adopting cats right now, it makes sense, there is nothing better on a cold night than curling up with a purring cat.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What to do when you're sick

I've been sick all week with a nasty cold, and have basically just been sleeping, coughing, blowing my nose, feeding the ferals and watching bad movies.  I did get bored the other day and decided to clean out one of the cats' toy boxes.  Here are the contents, count them 118 toys, are my cats spoiled or what. Now somehow I must remind myself of this when I go to pick up another toy to buy.
Ernie surveys his stash

I managed to get pill #2 into Teddy, the pill pocket didn't work, he ate the pill pocket but not the pill, so I put the thankfully small pill into a little bit of Fancy Feast and he gobbled that up.  It may be wishful thinking but he seemed better yesterday.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to pill a feral cat

As a stop gap measure, until I can trap Teddy, I decided to try getting some antibiotics into him to at least treat any infection that might be there.

Any of you who have cats at home know how difficult it is to pill any cat, and to pill a cat you can't touch or pick up, well that's a whole other process.

I'm relying on Teddy's hunger to do the trick.  Today, Day 1, I put the pill in a pill pocket and put it on the top of a bowl of Fancy Feast pate.  He managed to eat around the pill of course.  Teddy was looking rough today and drinking a lot of water, poor old guy.  I fished out the pill and mixed it in just a bite of food and waited.  Finally he ate the food and the pill!  Nine more days to go.

I will continue to try to trap him, he knows my drop trap, it's a metal one, so I've borrowed a wooden one from a friend to see if that will deceive him.  I wish cats were easier to help...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January thaw

I have to admit I like the warmer temperatures, although I'm sick with a cold so mostly inside anyway, but there are no sick days when you feed feral cats.  The cats are happy that it's not bone chillingly cold, but now they have to deal with the melting snow and ice and the pools of water.  There's hardly a dry patch anywhere and the cats jump from high spot to high spot.  On the weekend I was scrounging wood to make little bridges for them to get to their shelters and feeding spots.
Teddy and Lily, a sad photo in a way, Lily is Teddy's last surviving friend

Teddy showing his age

Hank picks his way along the ice
Teddy's ears have been bleeding recently, he has chronic ear problems, and I need to get him to the vet, but that's easier said than done.  He's been trapped before, and no way is he going to eat on the ice.

Off to feed and then back to bed.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Why I do what I do

Rosie, now Lily, is clearly overjoyed at being in her new home, and based on the emails, it sounds like it goes both ways.  I couldn't be happier, and to think just a few weeks ago she was scrounging for garbage to eat in the frigid weather.  And Bailey and Gus, who were outside in this weather last week, are safe and warm in their foster homes.

So this is why I do what I do.  And what I remind myself of on those occasions when I think what I am doing with my life, but those are actually few and far between.  Certainly what I have come to think of as my vocation or perhaps more aptly my calling has meant that I don't have time for other things in my life, but at this point I wouldn't have it any other way, can't imagine what else I would do.  Go out for brunch?  Go to the mall on a Saturday afternoon?  No way, I'm a gladiator (those of you who watch Scandal will get the reference, I do fit in time for a bit of TV).

Rosie now Lily enjoying the good life

I fed my ferals today, I hadn't seen them since Tuesday and I saw all but two, they looked all right thankfully but almost like they have PTSD from the extreme cold, I wish I could bring them all somewhere to warm them up.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I tossed and turned last night, worrying about my ferals down there, I could hear the wind outside our windows and it would be so much worse by the water.

At least today was sunny and things always seem brighter in the daylight.  I went down on my lunch hour to feed, and it was not a pleasant feed.  The guys at Hank's are lucky and have a pretty snug spot.  Not so much at the dumpsters, it's a wind tunnel and I'm not sure where many of them sleep.

Overall though, thankfully, I saw most of the cats, they certainly looked cold.  Penny one of the new ones, wouldn't even come out of her shelter to eat so I put the food right beside it.  It doesn't help that there isn't a scrap of bare pavement there.   I have to be so conscious of my footing.

What a nasty winter it is, hope there is a respite soon, for all the creatures out there.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A prayer for ferals

This is the coldest night I can remember since I've been feeding ferals, and it's so hard to feel happy in my warm house knowing they are out there in the cold.  Even in their shelters they must be freezing.

Please god let my ferals make it through this.  Please don't let them die in the cold.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

How to entertain cats (a poor man's Disneyland for cats)

I was feeling anxious tonight about a few things, going back to work, my poor ferals in yet another storm to be followed by a deep freeze, and Teddy.  He is one of the ferals with chronic ear problems, I saw dried blood there yesterday but of course no luck trapping him.

So I decided to distract myself and made a little box fort for the cats at home with a knife, some guerilla tape and catnip to entice them in.

Now I really seem like a crazy cat lady!  Well I'm going to embrace it.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Too cold for cats

It's been such a brutal week weather wise, it breaks my heart every time I go to feed the ferals.  

I found out about two separate situations with friendly cats living outside in this and had to do something to save them.  The first was a cat who was discovered in a garage on Christmas Day and although was being fed the homeowners couldn't take him in and couldn't find his home so off he went to the vet and then into a foster home.  

Gus making himself at home
And then there was a cat in Etobicoke being fed for the last few weeks behind an apartment building, but again nobody would take her in.  I couldn't sleep thinking about the cat being out there so when Tania so kindly agreed to help, we drove off to get her, and now she is safely at Tania's.  She is a bit shy but is coming around.
Beautiful Bailey
I don't know what all these cats are doing outside in the winter, whether they were lost and nobody is looking for them or whether they were dumped, but it's just not right, at any time of the year but especially now.

My little Rosie who I have been fostering for the last few weeks, went to a wonderful home.  A friend of Jennifer's, whose cat coincidentally died the same day Rosie was found, met her yesterday and off she went.  I got an update this morning it sounds like a perfect match, Rosie settled right in and slept on the pillow beside her.  It's a good thing, I was getting attached, but I'm overjoyed she has such a great home and will get so much attention and love.