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!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Trapping before demolition

I've been helping with a colony whose spot is about to undergo massive construction.  There remains one female to TNR, but she has gotten herself out of a trap 3 times.  We also want to relocate a couple and one or two may be tameable.  The clock is ticking so we went last night.  Frustratingly, there were almost no cats to be seen, perhaps it was the wind.  Of course the female would go nowhere near the trap.  Finally after an hour and a half of standing out in the cold, we managed to trap one of the cats we wanted.  
These situations are heartbreaking, yet another example of why we work so hard to get the kittens and tame ones out and TNR the rest, you never know when even a seemingly stable site can be sold and suddenly the cats are in peril.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The moral of this story is don't stand in the way of a crazy cat lady

A few weeks ago I told you about the apartment building where the super ordered me off the property and didn't want my help with the cats there.  I reached out to my contact at Animal Services and they sent an officer to assure her of the merits of TNR.  It was of no avail, and I was counselled to perhaps walk away and deal with easier situations.

Well that's not what a gladiator does (yes I've been watching Scandal again) so I went back and discovered a spot off the property where the cats could come.  I trapped a female last week and this morning I went super early and trapped her two kittens and the calico who is about nine months old. I wasn't able to get her brother this morning but I will.

We will see if the calico is tame enough but those kittens will now have a life that doesn't involve shivering under a dumpster amidst construction rubble, and hopefully I've put a stop to the cycle there.  I expect the super and the other grumpy feeder would not be happy if they knew what I've done, but they aren't "your" cats if they live outside unfixed, without shelter, to reproduce and live short lives.  I'm glad I didn't let it go, now to go back and finish the job without getting caught...

Anyone want to join me for a 7 a.m. adventure?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Chillin' at home

On weekends Steve and I have cat feeding rounds that we head out on in the afternoon.  There's the Cherry Street colony of course (14-15 cats) and we also have three other stops in the portlands feeding another 5-8 along the way.  We often finish with a laneway colony that Richard and I have had to take over now that the feeder has moved away.  There are 6 cats there, it seems most of the neighbours dislike them so we've found an overgrown lot behind an abandoned building to feed them in.

After all that, we mostly chill at home with our cats, as we did last night.  The cats all nap after dinner waiting for their before bed snack and playtime.  We are lucky that our cats let us sleep in!

Friday, October 23, 2015

A blur

Where did the week go?  I fed, I trapped, I did dishes, and more feral dishes, I need an intern just for that.  I responded to numerous emails, talked on the phone about cats, transported a friend's cat to and from the vet, bought cat food, did more dishes, tried to sell some stuff so I could buy cat food.  The week went by in a blur.

This is a great photo of Hank, it's a screen shot from a video but looks like a painting.

I got an update on Bonnie, she's eating well, mostly hanging out in her shelter, she's still very shy with Gerri, but that was pretty much how she was at the colony.
I haven't seen Penny since they moved her car and Bright Eyes is missing but I did see my three friends at Mystery's.  I wish they could all be safe and warm.....

Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy National Feral Cat Day

Apparently today is National Feral Cat Day, every day is feral cat day for me, but to celebrate I got up super early yesterday, yes at 5 a.m. and went trapping with Lesley.

We had to trap a colony in Scarborough before the 93 year old feeder got up and put out food.  We snuck around in the dark and trapped 6 adults and 3 kittens before the newspaper arrived.

After checking them all in to the Recovery Centre we went to East York and trapped 4 more.  And it was only noon!  I was exhausted last night.  However, I needed to trap an injured cat so out I went this morning and with the help of my remote control trigger I got him.  

When is nap time?!
One of the customers

Lesley's poor car

Monday, October 12, 2015

Six years of blogging

Six years ago right around Thanksgiving I started blogging about the feral colony I had recently gotten involved with.  At that point there were still kittens it was totally different from now in terms of feeding locations and the cats.  Sadly many we were feeding then are gone but some new cats have appeared too.  

I spent my first Thanksgiving at the yard rescuing Tibb's kittens out of a boat.  She is still around, that means she is at least 7 years old, could be even older.  This Thanksgiving weekend we spent time cleaning up for winter, Hank's gang have gotten the luxury trailer and we tidied it up.  As always though, things change, and Penny's car (her shelter for all of last winter) was moved, and the dumpster have been moved, making feeding challenging.  After six years of this I've learned you can't control it all, there will be change and loss, but I've done the best I can for them and prevented thousands more from life the hard life of a street cat.

I am thankful that I found a purpose that I can be of service to cats in need, and grateful for all the support and the wonderful people that I have met along the way.

Trailer all tidied up
It's got 2 cat doors should be pretty cozy for them.
Here is a picture from my blog from October 2009, when we fed at Harry's.  Sadly all those cats have died with the exception of Lily, the tortie.

Teddy, Biffy, Tina, Lily and Cali (the originals)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cat trapping extravaganza!

With the three little kittens placed it was on to the next project.  I still have to trap their momma, but I've made good progress there, four females fixed in a month.  I released one last night and when I did so the dilute tortie ran up to me and let me pat her.  It broke my heart, I wonder if she is tameable...
Pretty dilute tortie

Momma cat
Lesley and I headed out yesterday morning to trap at three colonies!  First one, an autobody shop, where we caught two females and their five kittens.  The man there who feeds is so sweet, he clearly loves them, has houses he has built for them and has named them all.

Next stop Scarborough, a quiet residential street where a lady in her 90s feeds the cats and the pigeons much to the dismay of her neighbours.  Not so easy there, she had already fed and the cats are very skittish but I did trap one and realized that in future we will have to go when the papers are delivered and before she gets up.

Our last stop was a goldmine, cats being fed by a resident, and I saw a dozen for sure.  Thankfully they didn't run away and boom boom almost instantly we trapped five, we could have kept going but ran out of traps and appointments.  

And we did all of that by 130!  Now that's a productive day....

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The latest litter

Here is a picture of the kittens I grabbed last week, they have been at Joanne's temporarily but today I took them to Cassandra, their new foster parent, kindly arranged through Toronto Cat Rescue.  They are a bit shy but will be tame in no time.  Good thing they didn't make it to my house, way too cute for me to spend any time at all with.
I'm heading out with Lesley in the morning for a multi colony trapping!  Wish me happy hunting.  The cats we trap now will prevent many spring litters....these kittens are the lucky ones, most are born to harsh futures.  The weather has gotten cold fast and all the cats are hungry, they know what is coming, as do we.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Maybe I am an idiot

I came back from my vacation and got right back at it.  With winter approaching, the trapping window is quickly closing.  I checked out a site I was told about, some cats behind an apartment building that was undergoing construction.  Sure enough, I saw 3 cats and kittens.  The cats didn't appear truly feral.  I went again tonight and was patting one of the cats, about to grab it, when a woman started to yell at me.  It became apparent she was the super, I tried explaining that I wanted to help but she said they were "her" cats and she told me to leave the property immediately.  As much as I tried to reason with her politely, it was of no use, she continued to berate and threatened to call the police, saying I was an idiot.

I had no choice but to leave, I was angry and heartbroken, I felt those cats could be saved, she might feed them but they had no shelters and will continue to have generation after generation of kittens.  I will try calling Animal Services and the owner of the building but I don't have much faith that will work.

I also returned to the colony near mine this week, the feeder was away but I found the three little kittens, two orange and one grey in the machine shop.  I didn't have a carrier with me so I gathered them up and put them in a cardboard box, they are only about 4-5 weeks old so easy to grab.  Thankfully Joanne was willing to take them in.  This morning I got up at (gasp) 5 a.m.! to try to trap there.  I wasn't able to trap the mom but did get another female.  I feel surprisingly awake for having been up that many hours.