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!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Here a tabby, there a tabby everywhere a tabby

Lesley and I have made umpteen trips out to Scarborough in the last couple of weeks to try to sort out two colonies with moms and babies.  Lesley is my new hero, 71 years old and out trapping all the time.  Any time I think I'm dedicated, I meet people who put me to shame.

Over the last few days we caught four tabbies from one litter, Michelle is my other hero because she is going to take them too.  And we met up with Joy, who was around the corner trying to trap Carol's elusive cats.  She did get three females and then we found these two wandering around crying, their eyes all goopy.  We agreed they needed medical care so I took them to THS only to be told they had no room.  After some pleading and waiting they finally took them in, thankfully, because we are out of room.  Sadly, Joanne's last batch, who went to THS, have parvo, so her bathroom is out of commission for a while.
This is our Bunny, she was rescued a year and a half ago from Niagara Falls, things have clearly worked out well for her, ok maybe too well, she's looking a bit chubby in this picture.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Saving the ones you can

It is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you that Tiny Tim crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. Heather from TCR had taken him to her vet and she called me from there, the vet was very concerned.  He couldn't urinate on his own and his back legs seemed to have no circulation.  There was real danger that at any moment sepsis could set in and he would die a horrible death.  So the decision was made to let him go.  I'm heartbroken, I can't forget his eyes looking into mine as I held him and the way he would reach his tiny paw up to touch my face.  I keep asking myself if there was more I could have done should have done.

I couldn't sit with my feelings so I went off to volunteer at the Street Cats spay neuter clinic.  And what did I find but a kitten needing help.  Sherry who feeds colonies in Brantford and drives in all that way with cats to get fixed had trapped a kitten but was out of foster space and was planning to release her.  I looked at the tiny torti, only 8 -10 weeks old and called Michelle and she said sure.  So little Sprite spent the night with me and then I took her to Michelle this afternoon.  I was so happy when Michelle called me to tell me that she was purring!

It helped ease the pain a bit knowing I had helped another kitten.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The kitten who can't walk

The story was that a couple found this kitten a couple of weeks on a bike path and he has trouble with his back legs.  I said I would take him (of course) but when I got him home I realized he was much worse than they said and parts of their story didn't make sense, but whatever, he was with me and I would do my best for Tiny Tim.

The sad news after a day of observation and a vet visit is this:  He can't use his back legs at all and is incontinent, and in fact may have to have his bladder expressed.  This is all likely due to a spinal injury.  The poor little guy is only 400 grams and right now is having liquid diarrhea which of course he drags himself through.

Thankfully Toronto Cat Rescue has offered to take him under their wing, he's way more than I can manage, his prognosis is unknown, but he's a lovebug, purring all the time, so I hope he will be ok.

There's something so unbearably sad about a little helpless creature like this, and I've been crying and crying about him since I got him home and realized what bad shape he was in.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

From the cradle to the grave

I don't even know where to start, from Monday morning to now it's been a blur.  I'll begin with a happy update from the family of Scout, formerly Private Peabody, one of the kittens born in the trap at the end of March.  Now almost three months old she is clearly very happy in her home.  Vay and Susan fell in love with her the moment they saw her photo just after she was born.
Monday morning Lesley and I were in Scarborough for a mass trapping.  It would have made a great episode of Cat Trappers.  Fueled by a Timmy's iced coffee, we set up multiple traps including the drop trap.  Within two hours we caught one female, three males and one kitten, not a bad morning's work.  I still need to get the three remaining kittens.

Tuesday evening brought a panicked call from Carol, she discovered five abandoned kittens.  They were only about two weeks old.  She bottle fed them throughout the night and then I took them to THS in the morning, returning in the afternoon with our tabby litter.  We thought it was just a vetting but they were big enough so off to adoptions they go.
Five two week old tabbies
 In the midst of all this I dealt with a sick feral.  Mabel was living in the shop of an building just down the street from the colony, we feed there on weekends.  She hasn't been looking well lately, and she was sick enough that they managed to get her in a carrier, never a good sign.  The vet called to say she was in very rough shape and looked like liver failure so sadly the only thing to do was to let her cross the Rainbow Bridge.  That's two lost from that location in recent months.  Sigh...RIP Mabel. All the men working there will miss her, she sat outside their office door every morning waiting for breakfast.
Mabel in better days

Friday, June 12, 2015

Three hours, three kittens

Last night I drove to far north and east Scarborough to try to rescue some kittens and check out a new trapping situation.  As I was on my way there I had a flashback, I realized it was the route I took exactly one year ago to visit a very sick Teddy.  Today is the anniversary of his death, I still miss him every day I feed at the yard.  I broke down in tears last night as I was driving but I shook it off reminding myself that I was off to save kittens and that would be how I would honor him.

A lovely lady named Casey has been feeding a few ferals outside her house and knew the moms had seven kittens.  When I got there no sign of them but thankfully I found them at the neighbours and quickly got two in traps.  The rest scattered and we waited.  I managed to get one more before the sun set, at least three were one their way to a new life.

Not to worry, we will be going back for the rest and to get the adults fixed.

If you are in the east end of Toronto tomorrow (Sat June 13), please drop by our annual sale at 1101 Queen Street East, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., lots of good stuff for a good cause and the fabulous Connie is making cupcakes!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Did I mention the kittens?

In the midst of gathering up Colleen's cats, I was also dealing with what else, kittens.  At a nearby colony I've been helping to TNR Marcelo discovered three little kittens so we scooped up one on Saturday and he got the following ones Sunday morning.  We found one dead one too, so sad.  The conditions there are quite wretched so not surprisingly they have eye infections and coccidia but they will be fine, they are only about five weeks old.

And Joanne took one a litter of five tabbies that somebody found outside.  They are a tiny bit wild but with Joanne's magic touch are coming along well.

With summer approaching catsitting is ramping up too, right now I'm taking care of two adorable ragdolls, although one is still hiding under the blankets but I hope she will come out soon, it's only been a day.

Monday, June 8, 2015


It's a situation that I can't even imagine, being evicted and putting all my cats outside to fend for themselves but it happens probably more than we know and just last week it became my problem.

A couple of years ago I helped a woman, Colleen, who had multiple unfixed cats and hence many kittens.  I found homes for the kittens and got the adults spayed and neutered.  She is on ODSP and although she doesn't have much money loves her cats dearly so I brought her food sometimes and even took a couple to the vet.

Just over a week ago as I was lying flat on my back in bed in pain she called to tell me she had been evicted.  She knew this was coming but the day finally came when the sheriff locked the door and she had nowhere to go so she put the cats outside.  Apparently she slept there for 2 days then went to a shelter but came back to feed them.  I only found this out later as I had no way to phone her.

As soon as I was mobile I went up and sure enough found the cats outside in the parking lot behind the building.  Thankfully a cat rescue friend of mine happened to have a spare room and agreed to take the cats in, we just couldn't leave them out there to fend for themselves.  So every day last week I managed, with help, to get a cat or two.  Six are now safe and Colleen took two to the shelter, now there are still three out there but they are making themselves scarce.  What will happen next I don't know.  Should Colleen get them back if and when she finds housing or should they be re-homed? That's a tough one, I am just glad some of them are safe.  

I've been finding this an incredibly stressful situation, and I wake up every day grateful that my cats are with me.  
The parking lot where the cats were/are 
One of the cats safe inside

Handsome Picasso in his temporary sanctuary
UPDATE as of Tuesday at 530 p.m.: All the cats are now safe inside and accounted for!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer time at the yard

Well after a week in bed I'm finally up and around, still sore and trying to take it easy but very grateful not to be in agonizing pain.

Summertime at the yard invariably means things moving around.  Our trailer, which used to be over by Harry's boat, was moved to Hank's.  All the cats at Harry's are gone now so it was sitting unused. Hopefully Hank's guys will use it this winter, it's got shelters inside.  I wish all the cats lived at Hank's, it's so much quieter and more comfortable.  I feel badly for the dumpster gang, it's not nearly as hospitable over there.  

Every time I see Hank I wonder how he's still alive, he looks so rough.  He has to be well over 10 years, who really knows.  Almost three years ago we had almost all his teeth removed, amazing what dental work can do to help a cat.  At least he has nice comfy shelters to hang out in.

Hank getting a bit of sun

Trailer in its new spot
I've got a bunch of trapping to do but I'm taking it easy this week and trying to get my back healthy.  Too many cats need me for me to be laid up again.