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, June 26, 2014

It makes me proud

I've been trying to get my system back to normal after that stressful month, and just enjoying our family.   The PTSD is settling down a bit but our door and window paranoia remains, that may never go away, but at least it's starting to feel like a bad dream.  Those 32 days that Buddy was gone made me crazy.

Buddy having a much deserved rest
Buddy with his pal Blinky
I did trap a female cat in Rosedale last week, there's still some work to do there, but everyone fixed is a good thing.  We took in some kittens to THS on Friday and on Tuesday I went by on my lunchhour just to check in, I was happy to see that two were already in adoptions, and as I was there, a lovely young woman came along and adopted one of them.  It was great to be able to thank her and explain where the kittens had come from, I always wish I knew the background of some of mine.

There were quite a few kittens at THS but they almost all had hold for adoption.  I left feeling proud that I had helped in a small way to ensure that these kittens, and all the other ones I've rescued, didn't have to grow up to live outside and instead were going to loving homes.  No matter where a homeless and/or feral cat lives, or how well it's cared for, it's still a hard life.

At the colony, after not seeing him for weeks, I'm seeing Morris again, and occasionally Penny, so it's just Clara who I haven't seen since the beginning of May.  Bonnie seems to have joined the dumpster gang, smart move on her part, the ones who have buddies and come to eat when we arrive definitely do better.

Today is a rare day when the only cats I have to feed are my own!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

So happy together

I haven't been able to stop smiling since Buddy returned home, I am just overjoyed that our family is back together.  Buddy seems very tired and is clingy as well, always near us, and purring away, so I have to think he is happy to be home, even if he was having fun.  Having to always be vigilant and searching for food must be exhausting.  We're paranoid now about open doors and windows as you can imagine.
Buddy having a much needed nap
Tired Buddy
Otherwise he's the same old friendly Buddy he always was.  Funny, Baxter and Ernie keep hissing at him, after a month they aren't sure who he is, or maybe Ernie is jealous that Buddy is getting so much attention.
Ernie enjoying new bed thanks to Avril
Joanne has been fostering these two cuties for a few weeks, this week it's musical kitten time, some go to THS, and Susan and Michelle get new ones, and Joanne gets a much needed break.
Me, well off to Rosedale in the morning to trap, but mostly what I'm doing is dancing for joy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Buddy is home!

Buddy is home!!!  I'm overjoyed, as you can imagine.  We decided to set up the trap tonight in the laneway where Steve has been seeing Buddy lately.  I went to bed and was awoken by Steve yelling "we got him", and just like that after 32 days Buddy is back.  I guess hunger finally overcame him.  As soon as he was in the house, he was purring, and happy to be patted.  He seems ok although he is so skinny compared to how he was was.  What a tough month this has been.  I'm still in shock.  All that matters is that Buddy is home.  Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts about Buddy.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Life goes on and Bonnie makes friends

It feels sad feeding without Teddy, I looked at my list and since I started feeding five years ago we've lost 15 cats but that is the way of a colony.  For those left, life goes on, and their bellies still need to be fed.

I was happy to see that Bonnie, one of the relocated cats, joined the dumpster gang yesterday at meal time, and seemed to be accepted.  It's so much better when the cats can be part of a group, I hope she continues to make friends....

Bonnie makes friends 
That was yummy...
Hank looking a bit rough
The gang at Hank's
Sally and Pseudo rolling in the dirt
Steve sees Buddy every night but can't get closer, the heartbreak continues, it's Day 32 now.  I'm worried, he has herpes and has always had runny eyes and teeth problems, and last night's picture shows his eyes very weepy.  I just want to take care of my Bud Bud.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

TNR tribute to Teddy

Although I was grief stricken on Thursday evening after getting the news about Teddy, I did what I felt was the best thing to do and went out trapping and managed to get two females.  Every cat who won't be born to live to be a homeless cat is a triumph.  No matter how well fed they are or how good their environment is, it's a hard life being a feral cat.  Teddy did pretty well compared to many.

I think that's what is so heartbreaking about Buddy, that I can't care for him even as well as my ferals, that he won't come for food, even the ferals run to us, but Buddy the other way.  The other difficult part is that he was such an integral part of our day to day life, he was the light of the house, and I miss him profoundly, it's been more than 30 days now.

The animal communicators all say he's having fun, but it's hard to accept and just let go.  Maybe that is part of the lesson of all this, Teddy, Buddy, caring for ferals, I feel like I have control and want to have control, but that's just an illusion, not just with cats, but with life in general.

Two of my relocated cats have disappeared after things got too busy at the yard with boats and dumpsters moving, but there's another example of things I can't control.

What's the saying?  Show up, do your best and don't be too attached to the outcome.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Teddy's journey comes to an end

At 530 tonight my phone rang and it was the vet with sad news.  As they were inserting the feeding tube Teddy's heart stopped, Teddy had decided enough was enough.  I burst into tears and sank to the ground.  I so wanted him to pull through but there were just too many complications.  At least I can rest knowing we did everything we could for him, and I'm so glad I visited him last night.

Rest in peace my king of the colony, at least you are free from pain now.

The right thing?

Bear has been my secret foster for the last month.  At 20 years old, her family was discarding her and threatening to euthanize her.  I said I would take her in short term, unfortunately she turned out not to be a fan of other cats and I've had to keep her in a room by herself.  Bear is in pretty good shape for her age and she's been adjusting to her new space after a few hisses the first few days.  But I knew I couldn't keep her, and today thanks to Urban Cat Relief finding a wonderful adopter she's gone to her forever home.  A lovely man named Paul drove from Orillia to get her after reading about her plight on Facebook.  I liked him instantly and I know she will have a great whatever is rest of her life with him.
20 year old Bear

I wanted to share this picture of Teddy from three years ago when he still looked his best.  Yesterday the vet called to say he still wasn't eating, had a URI and anemia.  Avril and I went to visit him last night, it was so sad to see him curled looking so ill.  I've cried and cried trying to figure out what the right thing is to do, how far to go.  Today a decision needed to be made.  So I decided to try a feeding tube as a last ditch effort to save Teddy.  Time will tell whether Ted Ted can rally and recover.  I don't want to give up on him but don't want to see him suffer either.
Teddy in better days

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More kittens, and updates

Last night I went back to see if I could get the mom and kittens.  In just a few minutes the two kittens ventured into the trap and that was that.  Mom made herself scarce, even using the kittens as bait didn't work, I will have to get her another time.  These two look about 10 weeks to me but are so cute and were quite docile when we pulled them out of the trap so I hope they will be fine.  Thanks to Joanne for taking them in.

Last night Buddy made his usual appearance in the yard, Steve is amazing, he goes out every night, trying to get food to Buddy before the raccoons can.  It's been four weeks now I miss Buddy so much, he was the leader of the gang and my buddy.  The only thing I want is for him to come home.
Teddy has had another setback.  Although his infection is clearing up, now he has developed an upper respiratory infection and has stopped eating again.  We may be looking at a feeding tube.  I feel so terrible that he has had complication after complication.  I just wanted to help him....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy kitten news

I have some happy news to report (finally).  Christie, a kitten who was rescued from the big colony I TNRed (well not entirely) last year, and was fostered by Joanne and then Susan, got adopted on the weekend, and her three siblings are doing well and are sure to find wonderful homes too.

Christie, now in her furever home
And here's another foster of Susan's in his new home.  It took a little longer as he was older and a black kitten but he too found a great home.  I love getting updates.  It makes the harder stuff easier to bear.
Ricky looking very comfortable in his home
Buddy continues to elude us.  Every night Steve goes out and sees him, and tries to get some food to him all the while running interference with raccoons. And Buddy is returning to the back door again, this weekend we will try locking everyone up and leaving it open, again it will be the raccoons that will be the challenge.

Teddy is still at the vet while they deal with his infection, poor old guy, but he couldn't be getting any better care.

I took on a new little project, a female and her three kittens, but they seem pretty old, sadly are probably just a TNR but at least there won't be more, and thankfully it's close by.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


I worry that my blog has been too negative lately, but there are a lot of challenges in my world right now, cat and otherwise.  My job isn't going well, Steve and I fight a lot due to all the stress, and of course there are the ongoing sagas of Teddy and Buddy.  I wish I could report good news on either front.

Teddy had to go back to the vet on Thursday, he was barely eating at Sandi's.  His infection in his ear hasn't cleared up so he's staying at the vet for now so they can treat it, but when I checked in yesterday he hadn't eaten overnight so that's a worry.  We will just have to take it day by day and hope he turns a corner soon and the meds kick in.

After a week of not trying to trap Buddy, and seeing him and having him run away or seeing him on the camera at the back door in the middle of the night, we decided to try the drop trap.

Steve sat in his office watching the feed from the camera, with the string out the window.  At 230 a.m. Buddy showed up and went under the trap, Steve pulled the string but somehow Buddy escaped.  It was a crushing blow.  We just have to hope he comes back.

In other news, a friend of Steve's who lives in Rosedale found some kittens, and they seemed to be related to some cats I was trying to trap last year so I went and trapped a female, and a kitten, but discovered three other kittens that I couldn't get.  Oddly, it seems there are more kittens this year, there are certainly more raccoons, I think nature is trying to compensate somehow for the brutal winter.

At this point I don't know what to do but press on and hope for better days....

Buddy is clearly our smartest cat, which is working against us, I even taught him to high five just a month ago.

UPDATE: Just got back from visiting Teddy, and taking him some tasty food.  He ate some friskie's chef's dinner while we were there, last night they gave him fluids and an appetite stimulant.  His jaw is making a funny sound when he eats.  He looked so pathetic in his cage, all shaved with his cape, I really hope we can get all these complications cleared up soon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Teddy leaves the vet

Last night after ten days at the vet I was able to go pick up Teddy.  Here he is in the carrier looking a bit grumpy with all his fur shaved off.
He's doing pretty well, the facial paralysis is diminishing, he does have a bit of an infection in one ear, but he's been eating well, and amazingly letting the staff at the vet pill him and put in eye meds.

He's at Sandi's now for further recovery and evaluation.  It's hard to tell if he's lost his hearing, it's probably quite likely, and I feel sad that chances are he won't be able to go back to what he knows as home, but he's not in pain anymore.

He ate in front of us and even let me stroke his head.  At that moment I had a tiny hope that maybe he could go into a home....

The surgeon at the Scarborough VEC, Dr. Porter, and his technician Stephanie were so great, I got first class treatment as did Teddy, daily updates, and even though he was hospitalized for many more days than was estimated, he discounted the bill by thousands so that it pretty much matched what we had fundraised.  Never once did I get the attitude of "he's just a feral cat" and for that I am truly grateful.  Teddy is a magnificent creature deserving of love and compassion, as do all cats and creatures.

If I'm "sick in the head" as I was recently called for taking care of feral cats, then bring it on.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Well Buddy isn't exactly home but he knows where it is.  We stopped trapping a couple of nights ago and Steve just sat out on the deck.  Buddy came into the backyard, looked at Steve and took off, and did that again around 4 a.m.  Last night we corralled all our cats into the bedroom, no easy feat, and left the back door open but after an hour our cats started trying to tunnel out so we had to abandon that idea.  Our watches at midnight and 4 a.m. didn't produce any Buddy sightings but the camera showed him coming to our back door three times between 3 and 3:30 a.m.  This picture broke our heart, here he is looking in, and we were asleep...

Buddy looking in the back door
 In Teddy news, he is doing well after his surgery but has remained at the vet due to a not uncommon complication, facial paralysis, which means he can't blink and lubricate his eye, so has been developing ulcers.  Thankfully he is allowing the staff to medicate his eye so it's clearing up and there are signs the paralysis may be starting to ease up.  He may be able to go to Sandi's tomorrow for further recovery.  The surgeon and the staff at the Scarborough VEC have been amazing and so caring, I get daily updates and it seems like they have a soft spot for Teddy.

Friday was a busy day, took a male from Gloria's to the TNR clinic, picked up some kittens from the vet, took them to Nikki's and finished off the Bowmanville hoarding project.
Six week old kittens!

Kittens on their way to a foster home
Even with all the stress of Buddy and Teddy, things have to go on, the ferals need feeding, other cats need rescuing, our litter boxes need scooping.
Minky at the yard
I hope I can post some super news really soon especially about Buddy, we've changed our thinking, it's not about catching him, it's about encouraging him to come home.  We keep trying to put out food but the pesky raccoons get it every time.  I just want to know that he's ok, and that he's not hungry.