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, January 29, 2015

Jet to the vet

When I fed last Friday I noticed that Jet, one of the cats at Hank's, was limping and not putting any weight on his left back leg.  I hate it when they are sick or injured but I decided to monitor it, sometimes a leg thing will clear up on its own.  All weekend the same and we could see what looked like a small wound of some kind on the elbow.

Connie kindly offered to help me trap, at this location, a drop trap works best and it can be tricky to transfer on one's own.  The cats sometimes go right into the transfer carrier, other times it can be difficult.

We showed up hopeful, it was sunny, but no sign of Jet.  All the others were there, I clicked and clicked, but nothing.  After a half hour we packed up the trap and then Jet showed up so we set up again.  Sally went under, then MC and Pseudo.  They ate their fill and left.  Hank ventured under and so did Jet so Connie pulled the string.  Poor Hank, just minding his own business.  He let out a plaintive meow.  Thankfully we were able to quickly transfer him out and then Jet also went quietly in.  Off to the vet we went.

They sedated him, flushed out the wound and gave him meds.  Jet will stay at the vet to heal up.
It was such a relief to get him taken care of.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A few of my favourite things

Sometimes I feel like our house is kind of like a test kitchen for cat stuff so I thought I would feature a few of my favourite things - for cats.

Today I'm featuring beds.  Disclaimer: I'm not receiving any compensation from the manufacturers of these products - wish I was!

The Thermo Kitty Fashion Heated Cat Mat is very popular, it's basically a plush bed with an insert of a heating pad that plugs in.  Nice and snug on these cold days.

Recently I was given two of these, the Molly Meow cat duvet, you stuff it with old t-shirts or blankets.  Initially I was skeptical but the cats actually like them, they are more like a mat than a curl up in bed.  And washable which is great since the cats like to vomit on their beds never on the easy to clean tile floors.

 This was another gift, a slipper bed, again well liked.

But then again, you can save yourself a lot of money and just pick up some box lids, their rating is just as high with the cats as any of the others and no washing needed, just recycle and head back to the beer store.  I've featured the Keith's box since I'm a Maritimer.

Oh and add a bit of tissue paper in the box and you've got yourself the best cat bed ever, well next to the laundry basket full of clean clothes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

So far so good

Although it was cold last week I have to say that so far this winter isn't so bad.  I'm very happy about the lack of snow and I think the cats are too.  Bad enough to be cold but to have wet feet as well adds insult to injury.

I fed at Gloria's colony this morning, there were about 10 cats there, then when I parked I fed another couple and then at lunch I fed Mystery's gang of three and fifteen at Cherry.  It was sunny so everybody was out, having a drink of fresh water and chowing down on the Friskies before it could freeze.

Stubby with his nice thick winter coat
Sally has a scratch
But wants to know what's taking so long
Jet registers his disapproval as well
Hank, looking a bit old

Saturday, January 17, 2015

First rescue of 2015

How far will I go to save a cat?  Well yesterday it was Hamilton.  Somehow, through Facebook, I got involved in a situation with a cat living outside for months and months.  A woman had been feeding him but couldn't bring him in.  The cat had been limping and finally she reached out for help.  Of course in this frigid weather my heart goes out to any cat on the streets and a friendly one, well that's just not ok.  Thanks to help from Andrea, Annex and THS a rescue was arranged for this guy and a quarter tank of gas, and a 3 hour drive later the cat was safe.  I breathed a sigh of relief when we let him out at Andrea's and he was happy to be patted and seems sane and well adjusted, however in desperate need of neutering.  It's only one cat but every cat who won't be shivering tonight is a victory.
Fluffy black cat rescued!
At home life goes on without Allie, but for such a tiny cat she left a huge hole in our household.  She was a real presence, from meowing for her breakfast, to the frequent demands to turn on the tap or for snacks, she was always there, and virtually every night she would come to bed with me and curl up between her pillows.  For five years I patted her right before I fell asleep and said good night Allie. We miss her desperately but I know she's at peace and reunited with her former person and someday with us, but I have a lot of work to do to help more cats first.
Our cats enjoying the fireplace

Monday, January 12, 2015

The story of Allie RIP my sweet little girl

Five years I saw a post on craigslist that was entitled Help, and it was about a 12 year old cat who was going to be euthanized unless a home could be found for her.  Her person had died leaving behind 4 cats and 2 dogs for days before she was discovered.  All the other cats and dogs found homes but for some reason Allie had not.  She had been briefly adopted by an elderly lady but Allie was vomiting frequently and she was returned.  As soon as I saw her picture with her cute little face and her sad story I was in.  I drove to the outer reaches of Scarborough to get her.  

Allie was a bit shy at first but quickly settled in to our lives, sleeping in the bed with us every night. She has put up with all the kittens and new arrivals.  A year or so ago she developed kidney disease but with fluids and medications she stabilized.  Tiny little Allie ate well and meowed for the tap to be turned on, she was always sweet and a joy to be with.

Today was not the day I thought I would have to lose her, she's been doing so well but last week she started using the litter box frequently.  I thought it was a urinary tract infection so I took her to the vet Friday and she received antibiotics.  Over the weekend her symptoms didn't improve and she wasn't eating much so Steve took her back this afternoon.  Our vet did an x-ray and saw a blockage. Blockages can be life threatening; Steve rushed her to another clinic for an ultrasound and there it was, a massive tumour in her bladder blocking her urethra.  Nothing to be done, the tumour was too big to be operable.  At this point she had stopped urinating, she was in pain and her bladder in danger of bursting.  I got to the vet as fast as I possibly could so that I could say goodbye to my beautiful baby girl.  I held her in my arms and tried to surround her with as much light and love as I could as she left this world.  Even though the house is full of other cats it seems empty.  How fortunate we were to have five years with her.

Monday, January 5, 2015

I hate winter and a mini-rant

All of us who care for feral cats despise the winter.  It's hard to feel happy inside all comfortable and cozy on a night like this knowing our ferals are outside.  Even with shelters they have to be cold. And the food freezes, the water freezes.  I am grateful though that the ground is dry and up until now it hasn't been that frigid.

I was worried about Bright Eyes, she hasn't been showing up as much lately but we saw her Saturday. We were feeding in the middle of that snow and rain mix so not as many cats appeared.  Lily oddly enough was frolicking in the wet snow.

I heard from Shannon tonight and Tonks is settling in well to his new home, and is Tinks to hers. Joanne's kittens are being adopted and now we just need to get Susan's tamed up.

I do need to rant just a little.  I had brunch yesterday with some old friends and one of them was telling me that they got a new kitten for Christmas.  Fantastic I said where did you get her?  The answer was from a breeder on kijiji.  Well actually a Bengal breeder whose unspayed cat got outside and got pregnant.  My friend, because she has a seven year old child and a dog, wanted a well socialized kitten from a home where she could meet the mother etc.  I had to bite my tongue but it was difficult, I didn't even ask what she paid for this kitten.  She knows I do cat rescue and didn't even ask me if I had kittens, or go to the THS or contact Toronto Cat Rescue or Annex Cat Rescue.   Now of course I'm happy this kitten got such an amazing home, but this is what rescuers are up against.  She's a smart educated woman who still bought a kitten from a breeder.  Argh!  Ironically at this time of year it seems there is almost a kitten shortage, but in just a few months there will be kittens being born everywhere that we will be scrambling to save and find homes for.