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!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to cats

Well our holiday is over, although I was happy to have a break from feeding cats and scooping litter boxes, I went through severe fur withdrawal, we kept following people's dogs trying to get a pat in.  Thankfully yesterday we found a pet store with a cat for adoption.  At one point I got a text from our cat sitter saying she had found cat pee on the counter, eww, maybe I don't want to go home.  That's our Blinky with some behavioural issues, but the counter is a new low.  I did buy cat toys to bring home, though.  I wonder if anyone skypes with their cats while they are away...

Here are some pics of the colony that I TNRed last year that is near me.  Now that Gloria has moved, we are fortunate to be able to feed right next door, I feed one or two days a week and wonderful neighbours are doing the other days.

While I was away Connie trapped Picolo, one of the orange and white males in the Portlands, you can read more about it on her blog http://boomerandteikas.blogspot.ca/, I already got his brother Bobsey, and Carol trapped another of the older kittens.  I've got to get back to my long list of cats still to be trapped.  Somehow summer is over and before we know it we will be shivering as we feed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The call

It's the call you never want to get, especially when you are on your way out of town for a mini-vacation.  I've been helping a woman in Scarborough with a colony and Sandi was fostering a litter of kittens rescued from her place.  As soon as we saw them, we knew Tadpole was different, there was something going on, he didn't play as much, slept more, fell over sometimes.  We didn't know if it was a neurological thing or what.  Luckily I had these kittens set up with THS as a foster to surrender so they did all the vetting.

The other four kittens were fine bouncing around, but Taddy went to the vet a few times, had a URI, improved, then would seem lethargic then improve again.  A week ago they all went in to THS, the others to go forward for adoption, and Tadpole for some tests, there was talk of a possible liver shunt.

I spoke to one of the vets last week who indicated he would probably come back to us for a while to monitor him.  Then he went downhill, and was on a bunch of meds.  Yesterday they called to say he was getting worse and after much discussion they felt the most humane thing was to euthanize him, he was losing weight and couldn't stand up, even with with all the care they were providing.

I wished more than anything that the last week of his short life hadn't been spent alone in a cage, this is the first kitten we've lost in a long time, and it hit me hard.  I know I did what I thought was best for him, but he was just a baby and such a sweet little guy.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New homes

There were lots of homes for kittens this past week.  Cinnamon and Pepper, who were originally rescued from a woodlot three months ago, are now in a wonderful home together.
Cinnamon and Pepper in their new home
My little white kitten went home with Cara Thursday night and is now Albus.  I knew she was the right person for him when she took him even though he started experiencing terrible diarrhea that day.  Even though I had him dewormed and had done a fecal apparently he still had some parasites, but she didn't care, and now he's recovered and is doing well.  Unfortunately it meant deworming all my guys, oh well, a small price to pay.

One of Michelle's foster kittens found a home the day before she was supposed to go to THS, but she got returned when she scratched the resident dog, so now Michelle has adopted Clove, that too was truly meant to be.

I took Clara to the sanctuary on Saturday.  I was sad to leave her, but she has a big enclosure of her own to start while she adjusts and she will have access to food and the air is fresh and there are trees there.  When I took her on last year I took responsibility for her but right now this feels like the best scenario for her.  I think if I hadn't gone looking and found her after she disappeared she would have died.  I saw Petal, one of the other cats I took there two years ago, who had nowhere to go, and she looks so healthy and happy.  I hope it works out as well for Clara.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I need a spreadsheet

This week I've felt that I needed a spreadsheet to keep track of all the cats and kittens movements, sometimes it's quite the exercise in logistics.  This morning I took cats to the vet, picked up cats from the vet, took others to THS, let's hope they all went to the right place LOL.

This weekend we found a lost cat in our very own neighbourhood, Steve had seen him Friday night at one end of the large park by our house, on Sunday he had travelled to the other end and was following people.  When we spotted him for the second time, so far away, we realized he was lost and corraled him into a carrier with no problem.  Oddly he had a collar but no ID information and isn't neutered, but really friendly.  I posted on line and put up found cat posters but nothing.  So today I took him to THS along with a bunch of kittens, although not all the ones that were originally going to go.
My found cat
At the last minute Pepper and Cinnamon found a home together, hooray, so another kitten of Susan's went in their place, and one of Michelle's kittens was also adopted.  And my adorable white kitten is going to his home tonight!  In the last week that makes four private adoptions and fourteen cats off to the THS to find their homes too.  My slate is almost clear.  Susan is picking up her new foster tonight, a tame kitten from Carol's and Clara is going to the sanctuary on Saturday.

The colony cats survived last weekend's reggaefest, the yard was jammed with cars and it was so noisy, luckily most of them are used to it, the newbies must find it a bit tough.

Have I mentioned how friendly Stubby has become?  I brush him every time and pat him, we all just love this fluffy orange boy with no tail.  I dream of finding him a home...
I'm seeing Penny more regularly now, I'm happy about that, I always feel better when I see all of them when I feed.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cute kitten alert

Know anyone who wants to adopt an adorable playful kitten?  Fitz is seven weeks old best guess,  healthy, sweet and loves to play with toys or anything resembling one.  You probably can't see it in the picture but one eye is blue and one is green.  Too cute!  Danger, can't stay long at my house, and besides, somebody has taken offence and is peeing outside the box (not him).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Work is the cure

There's been a lot written recently about depression especially after Robin William's death.  I've suffered from depression and anxiety myself in various degrees throughout my life, as many people do, I did lots of talk therapy and it did help quite a bit.  But I have to say that for me I've found that having a purpose really helps.  The last five years, taking care of feral cats, and doing cat rescue, has its own challenges, but every day I can feel satisfied that I made a difference.  I keep busy, I work hard, for the sake of the animals, and it keeps me from spending too much time inside my own mind.  I'm turning 50 this year, no time to look back, only forward.  500+ cats helped and more to go.

In addition to Cherry Street, I also feed at Gloria's old colony once or twice a week and once a week I feed at the DD colony.  It's really just three cats, Byron, Bowie and Murphy.  We feed them on private property and kind of have permission although they keep throwing out our bowls.  Still the cats show up and eat.  They have become friendlier over time, it's these semi-ferals that are the saddest I find, not quite adoptable but not quite feral....

Bryon, Bowie and Murphy
Off to take nine kittens to the THS on their way from being born outside to ending up in loving homes, then off on our rounds of feeding.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Clara is recovering

Clara spent 3 days at the vet on fluids, and is now at Raven's in recovery, she is eating well and thankfully seems to be recovering.  I visited her yesterday and she seemed relaxed and content in her cage and although I couldn't touch her she took treats from me.  Oh how I wish I had the money to open a sanctuary of my own, so I could have somewhere safe for Clara and all the others.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Buster - and Blinky the kitty contortionist

Last week we trapped the mom at the construction site, Friday night we got the dad and Saturday night the kitten.  One two three all done.  The adult male and female seem tame so Reed, the feeder, has agreed to foster mom and her kitten, and I talked Andrea into taking the dad, thankfully she has a soft spot for the rough guys, and rough looking he certainly is.  Who knows how long he has been on the streets but clearly wasn't born there.  Maybe he was adopted as a kitten and then abandoned when it was deemed he wasn't cute enough.
Buster, rescued and needing a bit of TLC
No chance of that with our Blinky!  Even though he's occasionally an inappropriate peer, he's ours for life.  Here he is showing off his yoga moves.
Blinky the kitty contortionist

Clara is doing well after spending three days at the vet on fluids.  She is at Raven's now, getting fattened up.  She should be able to go back out in a week but the question is whether to release her and risk her disappearance or take her to a sanctuary.  I don't want her to have gone through all this to go back and starve to death.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A 28 hour day

I'm just writing this while having a beer and some potato chips at 1045 p.m., after a very busy Wed afternoon and evening and another equally nutty day today.

Andrea and I took on a little outreach project in her hood, a guy with multiple cats, all unfixed, all going outside.  One of the females is missing but we managed to corral the other one yesterday afternoon and take her kicking and screaming to be spayed.  His apartment was totally filthy but he clearly loves his cats, he's a bit of a cantankerous guy,  and will need some convincing to let us take the males to be neutered, they are all flea ridden, he has a cat door that they go in and out of.  We were concerned about 3 Spot going home and running outside so Andrea kindly took her home but that did no go well so today she went back home.
Three spot in a rare calm moment
I stayed for the evening to help at the spay neuter clinic, 51 cats were brought in, that's a lot of cats to be fixed in 5 or 6 hours.

This afternoon I picked up a cat that Carol had trapped, dropped off a trap to John for his feral with dental issues, delivered the cat for recovery, met a new cat sitting client, came home and quickly ate, then met up with Lesley and Reed at the construction site to try to get the mom and her kitten.

Mom showed up and was quickly trapped but no sign of her kitten.  Lesley is my new hero, and let me tell you why.  I was using a new trap and clearly didn't latch it properly because the cat got loose in Lesley's car, but somehow she managed to scruff her and get her into another trap.  What an adventure!

Clara is staying at the vet for a day or two to get IV fluids, and then we will have to see how she does after that.  Pancreatitis is not an easy condition to manage, especially in feral cats.  One day at a time, but it's hard not to remember that's what I said about Teddy.   Complicated medical issues and ferals do not go well together.

But for tonight, I will remind myself that we got two more females spayed this week (well one to be done tomorrow), and one male neutered, and every cat fixed is a small triumph in and of itself.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Clara is sick

Our yard sale was a huge success!  Many thanks to all who donated and huge thanks to Sandi, her husband Robbin, Michelle and Susan for working the crowd.  We were lucky enough to be supported by great local businesses, Contemporary Computers, Goods and Provisions, Yankee Lady Cruises, Timeless Nails and Joseph's Barber and Hairstyling, who donated for our raffle.

Sadly I'm already using the money to pay for vetting for Clara.  Clara is one of our relocated cats, she disappeared a couple of months ago when things got busy.  I found her two weeks ago and started leaving food, but then when I saw her on the weekend I realized how thin she was almost emaciated so last night I trapped her and took her to the vet.

Once chubby Clara now only weighs four pounds!  She is dehydrated and her pancreatic enzymes are high and the vet also suspects IBD or worse could even be lymphoma but it's hard to know without doing more tests and after all the bloodwork, sedation, and a night of fluids the bill is already up there.  And the problem with ferals is you can't medicate them and you certainly can't manage conditions long term.  I don't even know if she would stay at the yard if I took her back.  I don't know what to do...I feel responsible for her, as I do all of them.

Clara in the winter in healthier times
One day at at time, I'm off now to try to help a low income guy get his cat spayed, but he's not making it easy, and of course he doesn't think we need to get the males done, even though they all go outside.

Ah the cat rescue rollercoaster.