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, October 30, 2014

From cats to squirrels

Crazy me has taken on more dependents!  Months ago the wonderful Toronto Wildlife Centre was looking for people to take on squirrels who needed a place to relocate so I signed up then forgot about it.  Last week we got a message saying they had three young squirrels for us!  For some reason, I was inordinately excited about this.

They showed up and installed a wooden nest box in our sugar maple and lo and behold we had three new friends in our yard.  They appear to be adolescents.  The wildlife centre left us with what was supposed to be a month's worth of seed which we went through in a week, all the other squirrels came too and then the birds.
I really want to find out why it's so easy to relocate squirrels but so much harder with cats.  I forgot to ask about other things, do they need water, are they spayed and neutered.  Of course now I worry about them, the other night we came home and a raccoon was trying to get in their nest and they were upset.

They are very cute, and are learning that when I come out it means food.  Just what we needed, more mouths to feed.  At least we haven't named them yet.

Last night I went back to try to find a cat with a broken leg but no luck however I did manage to trap two kittens from another location, two more to go.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The power of the cat community

Last week I posted about the plight of some abandoned cats living in a demolition site.  I can happily announce that three of the four cats have been trapped thanks to the dedication of Lesley, Vanessa and Richard.  Just one extremely skittish one to go...

On Thursday evening I trapped a cat from Denise's colony who was suspected pregnant.  Turns out she wasn't but was female and unspayed.  Her tameness at this point is in question.  I also trapped one of my rooming house cats, who I thought was a Lucy but boy was I wrong there.  Let's call him Lucky, but not lucky enough to be tame enough to find a home so back he went.  I still have a few to do there but thankfully they all appear to be male.

Blue, the dental patient, went back to his colony but I've been unsuccessful so far in catching Mabel, who also appears to be in need of vet attention.  I desperately need to finish restuffing the shelters but every day just flies by.

Tonight I'm dropping off some kitten traps so that we can catch more kittens for Susan to foster and then trying to find an injured cat.

I have to make sure to spend enough time with my guys, we are still dealing with Blinky peeing outside the box on a daily basis.  Every day I still give thanks that Buddy is back with us, he's a delight.  I bought these cubes from Petsmart, I'm a sucker for cat stuff.

I want to give a shout out to the Toronto Humane Society.  A while ago, I rescued a footless kitten and his sister from a hoarding situation.  THS kindly took them in and amputated what remained of his leg and neutered him, and spayed his sister.  Someone who met them while they were being fostered fell in love and went in and adopted them both.    That vetting would have cost thousands in a private setting but thanks to THS those cats now are taken care of and have a forever home.  I also took in two friendly cats from that rooming house who have health problems and are out on foster.  So much more than I could have dealt with and I thank THS for taking in the tough cases.  I know some people are still wary of THS but all my dealings with them have been great and I know them to be advocates of the animals.

I have some exciting news, for those of you who aren't my Facebook friends, I'm turning 50 very soon and Lynn and I are hosting a fabulous party/concert/fundraising event in honour of my time on this planet and the 500 + cats I've been able to help.  If you want details be sure to email me, it would be great to see you there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Only a day to save them

Last week I was copied on an email about some cats living behind another building about to be demolished.  I went out Friday night with Richard and Vanessa and we saw four cats, the problem was that the entire area was fenced in and no way to get access.

We slipped food under the fence over the weekend and then yesterday at lunchtime I went to the site and spoke Carlos who is in charge of the demolition.  He said we only had until possibly Wednesday before they established a drop zone.

A flurry of emails and phone calls followed and a group of us met there last night with hard hats in hand.  Nothing like trapping in the dark in the rain.   We set four traps in various locations and waited.  We did see a black and white cat wandering around but she didn't go in the trap.  Just as we were out to pack it in after a few hours we heard the clang of a trap shutting but it was a raccoon.

Lesley from the Trapping Task Force has gone out today again in a desperate attempt to get these cats before it's too late.  We presume they were abandoned when people had to move out, yet another sad story.  It was heartbreaking to see them sleeping huddled in the leaves beside the building they used to call home.

Good news, as of noon today, I just received a text saying they caught one!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Every day is Feral Cat Day

Apparently today is National Feral Cat Day but for me I take care of feral cats every day!

Today I'm heading out after work to trap a possibly pregnant cat and perhaps one of my rooming house cats that I now feed every day on my way to work.

The Regent Park cat that was trapped is so far not turning out to be at all friendly.  It's a real problem when you have a cat that isn't adoptable but can't be returned, I truly don't know what the solution for this cat is yet.  And I got an email about two more in a similar circumstance, possibly abandoned and the building slated for demolition....I hope I can figure out a way to help.  That is in between cleaning up cat urine, one of our cats Blinky, has become a peer, there's another frustrating situation to deal with.

The highlight of my week has been watching the documentary that the very talented EK Park made, there is a whole series she did, and this one features me rescuing a mom and kittens and then feeding at the colony.  I'm only one of so many doing the same thing but I'm proud to be part of it all.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I was thankful for many things, for the blessings that have allowed me to help all the cats in my life, for people like Andrea and Joanne who keep saying yes even though I keep asking for more.  I've been plagued with a headache all day so I tried in my own way to take it easy.  Last week remained busy, with the usual and I trapped two more cats from North York on Wednesday (again thank you Joanne).

After a week of getting a regular feeding routine going, I was grateful that Lesley offered to try to trap today and she got the cat!  Now to see how tame he or she is....more thanks to Andrea.

I spent some time at the colony this weekend getting the cats shelters ready for winter.  My handy friend Bob came along to help.  And I tried twice on the weekend to trap Murphy, we almost had her at one point.  No wonder I'm tired tonight.  I almost forgot about the last minute scramble to find a foster for an extremely obese stray cat destined for Animal Services.  If this post seems disjointed it's due to the pulsing pain in the side of my head...

Car loaded up with supplies

Bob helping rebuild the shelters at Hank's

Me today

Bunny is wondering why this one looks so much like her...

Bunny and Buddy having a lovefest

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No time to worry about gunmen on the loose

On Sunday night I was tagged in a facebook post about an abandoned cat living behind a vacant building scheduled for demolition.

I loaded up the trap and went after work to see if I could find the cat.  As I passed an area cordoned off by police tape I turned on the radio to hear that there had just been a fatal shooting an hour before and the gunman was still at large.  Well I had a cat to trap, no time to worry about gunmen.

I wandered around the building and saw the cat in a back yard but as soon as I approached the cat looked terrified and took off.  I set up my trap and waited.  A deserted building is a sad sight, there were vestiges of people's lives scattered everywhere and clearly somebody couldn't or didn't take their cat.  Apparently there is still one tenant who refuses to leave, so there may be a delay in demolition.

Sadly no sign of the cat so I left some food and will return again.  As I was driving home, I realized it might not have been the wisest decision to be in a such an isolated area with the recent activity but hey I at least texted my husband the address in case.

After feeding my ferals I will swing by tonight on my way home but the cat seemed quite skittish, not surprising if it's been on its own for a long time.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I love my drop trap

We've been struggling with a little colony I feed once a week, we got kicked out of the one parking lot where we had been feeding, and started to feed in another lot adjacent, but it's more exposed and the cats have been stressed.  On top of that, a guy living in the building got upset about us feeding so it's become clear it's an untenable situation but what to do.

Tania stepped up to the plate and offered to take them into her basement apartment and see if they could be socialized.  Today, using the drop trap, we managed to get the two siblings, Byron and Bowie.

It was heartbreaking leaving their mother Murphy behind, she is much more skittish and I expect will prove harder to trap but we will go back tomorrow and keep trying.

Murphy, Byron and Bowie
It's frustrating that so many people have issues with homeless cats and won't allow us to feed, we even canvassed all the nearby houses to no avail.  At least the two boys are safe now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Best toy ever!!

My cats at home very extremely excited when a package arrived, not about the contents of course, but about the empty box.  There is nothing better and it caused a bit of a swarming.  Steve says we look like crazy people and no wonder nobody comes for dinner.