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, February 27, 2014

Sponsor a feral

Right now at the colony we have 17 regulars and we feed both canned and dry.  The cats seem to prefer the canned and it's better for them, more moisture and protein.  Try as I might, they don't always have access to fresh water, it freezes or somebody dumps it out.  We go through a lot of cans, anywhere between 12 - 16 cans of Friskies a day.  Some of the cats will eat a whole can (they are only fed once a day) and Teddy himself can put away two cans, he is 16 pounds after all.

I was doing the math and realized that adds up to between $2400 and $3200 a year.  I also have my crew at home to feed and vet as well as my fosters.  Most of my income goes towards cats LOL.

So in an effort to make this sustainable, I'm looking for 30 people to sponsor canned food for the colony, 12 cans for one day of every month, works out to between $7 and $8 depending on where you shop.  The price of two lattes to feed a whole bunch of hungry cats whose lives depend on us, and it still works out to just under $100 a year.

If you can help please email me at robinsw189@gmail.com, it would make all the difference.  I always hate asking for money, but I love these cats and want to ensure I can take care of them.  It seems hard to believe that it's been almost five years I've been doing this, I was looking at pictures and sad how many we have lost.  It's a hard life they lead, but we do our best to make it better.

Hank and the gang enjoying a meal

The dumpster gang coming for dinner

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Neuter day

I haven't been doing much trapping this winter, just too cold, for both me and for the cats but I'm still trying to do my part to reduce the cat overpopulation.

Last Friday was neuter day, Joanne transported three male cats to the vet to be fixed.  One was from a neighbour taking in a cat, one was a cat who had been hanging around Joanne's (tame so either lost or dumped) and the other was one of my outreach projects.

Ken loves his cat but is on social assistance and cannot afford to neuter his cat and he goes outside and gets into fights so I said I would help.  Of course, as often happens it wasn't that simple.  Kempo (the cat) had been limping and Ken actually took him to THS last week to have him looked at but they will only provide vet care if you surrender the cat which he didn't want to do.  Turns out the limp is due to two abcesses that had become infected.  So Kempo is being treated at my vet and has been neutered, he is boarding while they change his bandages daily.  Unfortunately there aren't many resources for people with pets who can't afford vet care.  I'm glad I could help Kempo, those wounds must have been painful but the bill is over $500 and the meter is still running.  Thank you Dorothea, for your generous donation, you know exactly where that will be going.
Handsome Hunter, one of the cats who was neutered, now safe and warm inside.
And thank you to Grace and Krista and James for dropping off food, I am always profoundly grateful and touched by people's support.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Helping out at the clinic

Last night I volunteered for a few hours at the Toronto Street Cats spay neuter clinic.  Twice a month volunteer vets and others have a free TNR clinic.  Here in Toronto we are very fortunate to have free spay neuter services for ferals cats.  All the volunteers last night had already put in a full day at their jobs but came to spend the evening helping control the overpopulation of street cats.

I have brought cats to the clinic before but this was my first time helping out.  I met caretakers who had come all the way from Brantford and Niagara Falls with cats to be fixed.  Now that's commitment and dedication.  Caring for feral cats can sometimes be isolating and I've found this winter very difficult, worrying about the cats throughout all this nasty weather and trudging down in the snow and cold, always hoping my car can get out of the laneway.  My back went out this week and all I can think is that I have too many dependents for this to happen.  So it was inspiring and uplifting to spend some time with others who have the same passion.

I think almost 40 cats were spayed and neutered last night, more positive steps forward.  Now I just have to worry about the heavy rain coming overnight, I don't want the cats' shelters to flood.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A furry Family Day

Most of my family is furry, I had a relaxing morning with the gang at home, then in the afternoon went to feed the rest of my cat family.  Pebbles hasn't been seen for a week so I'm worried about him and we tried yet again to trap Teddy with no success.

Some of my furry family enjoying the sun

The forecast is for more snow tonight, but surely spring will be here soon.

Meanwhile, I'll curl up with my cats and hang out with my foster cat Bunny.  She is coming along very well but still shy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Does anyone have room in their heart for a wobbly kitty?

Last year I got involved with what I call my outreach projects, helping low income people who were giving away "free" kittens.  In five cases, I found homes for the kittens and got the cats spayed and neutered so the cycle wouldn't continue.  I still have two of these people that I'm just finishing getting the cats fixed for.

Lori at one point (before I met her) had 21 cats in her apartment.  She took most of them to Animal Services, and now just has four cats.  One of them is a three year old cat that was born never being able to walk properly.  None of Lori's cats have ever seen a vet so Lori has just cared for her.  Scratches can't use a litter box and has pretty severe mobility issues and Lori feels she just can't handle it anymore so Scratches is looking for a new home.
As soon as I saw her I thought CH (cerebellum hypoplasia) a neurological condition where the cerebellum part of the brain is underdeveloped at birth.  It's non-progressive, meaning cats don't get worse, but won't necessarily get better either.

I took Scratches to my own vet and he confirmed that diagnosis.  I just hope there is somebody out there who falls in love with her and is willing to take her on.  She is a sweet friendly cat.  It's heartbreaking to watch her try to get around.  Here's a video of her that we shot last weekend:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mystery solved

Recently Connie emailed me a photo of a new cat that showed up at her colony and I said hey, I know that cat, I saw him earlier a kilometre down the road at another spot I feed at.  The next day I thought I was seeing double, there were two fluffy orange and white cats there.  We call them the Bobbsey twins, but of course I wonder where they came from.  

Then I was looking at a photo of Petal, a cat I TNRed from a remote site near our colony and relocated to a sanctuary and lo and behold the Bobbsey twins look just like her!  They must be related, siblings perhaps or even her kittens that somehow made their way and have finally found a reliable feeding spot.  Better put them on my trapping list for the spring.

Pretty Petal, safe at a sanctuary

One of the Bobbsey twins, quite the resemblance to Petal.
Speaking of mysteries, we were also happy to finally see Mystery, another cat we feed that I TNRed last summer after finding homes for her kittens.  We've been leaving food for months but no sign of her.  Naturally I was worried but there she was on Saturday looking nice and plump.

Simon, the kitten who ran into a Global store in November, went to his forever home on the weekend.  Woo hoo for smart Simon!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Show Your Heart

I'm extremely fortunate that Donna, who owns four Global Pet Stores, is a supporter of Cherry Street Cats.  She has donated expired food for the ferals, offered her store for adoptathons, and I am extremely honoured that she has chosen us to be the recipient for the Show Us Your Heart 2014 campaign.

Those donations will enable me to help many cats and I am incredibly appreciative.  Every cat costs money to rescue, vetting can be very expensive as those of you with pets know.  Even with rescue rates it adds up fast.  Just as a couple of examples, Gus a recent rescue, $125 for neuter and vaccines, $240 to be treated for bad diarrhea and not eating.  Bunny was $240 for her spay, vaccines and treatment of her parasites so donations are so important.  I thank Donna and Global and all of you who have supported Cherry Street.  Every cent goes towards helping the cats, whether it's vet bills or food.
So if you can visit one of Donna's stores, on Danforth just east of Broadview, Queen Street East in the Beaches, Lower Jarvis across from the Market, or York Mills and Leslie.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello February

Bunny is settling in well at our place.  I crated her for the first night since she seemed quite shy and I didn't want her to hide somewhere but she has come around quickly and loves to be patted.

Blinky and Paolo were very interested in the new arrival, but I need to keep them separated for a bit, Bunny had tapeworms and roundworms and lord knows I don't want that to spread.  We've already had girardia (another parasite) spread through the house twice.  Bunny has been exploring her room and eating well, she is all spayed and should be ready for a new home very soon.  I need to rename her though, we already have a Buddy, it's bound to get confusing.

Greeting the new arrival
I hope Ruth doesn't mind me sharing this picture of Bailey, now Abbie, with her new buddy.  I was a little worried about the two integrating since the incumbent is twelve but clearly they are getting along very well.  I love these stories, she was living behind an apartment building for weeks this winter, being fed, but nobody would take her in.  A foster, $125 at the vet, some great connections, and a month later, here she is, in a wonderful loving forever home.  There is no better return on an investment than that.  Many thanks to Ruth for opening her home and heart to another.

 Same old at the yard, the endless winter marches on, but it's February, one step closer to spring.