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!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 year in review

Here it is December 31 already and time for my annual year in review.  For the Cherry Street colony, it was a tough year, we lost four cats in 2016, I guess as the colony ages it's understandable but still my heart breaks as each one passes on to the Rainbow Bridge, I worry I won't be able to get across it will be too crowded.  Even typing this I tear up.  First we lost our pretty Penny, just a few years old I found her dead in a shelter last winter.  She was one of the cats that was relocated, and she had a tough short life.  

Then last spring Lionel, one of the dumpster gang, just disappeared.  Sometimes it happens that you don't see them for a few days but when it stretches into weeks you know something has befallen them.
 Next was Arrow, the most feral of them all.  We noticed she was crying out and having trouble eating, her face was swollen, but try as I might I couldn't trap her.  It took months and somehow she stayed alive, getting skinnier and skinnier and then finally I caught her with the drop trap.  As I suspected, she had a tumour in her mouth and had to be euthanized.
 In the fall the same fate beset our senior orange guy Hank, his mouth was a mess and it took me weeks to get him to a vet.  It's always hard trapping them knowing the chance is high you are doing it so they will be euthanized but it's so much better than watching them suffer and having them die horribly and slowly.  Hank was a very old cat, and I must remember that these cats would not have survived as long as they have without our providing food and shelter.
We will miss you Hank
So now we are down to nine, well ten right now, because for some odd reason, Morris has returned from down the road.  I will continue to do the best I can for them....

On the rescue/TNR end, it was an insanely busy year.  When I start to document it all, I'm not at all surprised why I feel exhausted.    Lesley Towers is a force of nature, and I am inspired by her dedication, we had a trapping team going this year, and of course I must thank all our supporters and the amazing fosters, especially Susan, Michelle and Joanne.

So many kittens this year, I've lost count, maybe between 50 and 75, some feral, some born to pregnant cats who gave birth within days, in one case hours, of being brought inside.  All are now spayed and neutered and have homes!  We took on big colonies in Scarborough and have made huge progress.
My favourite 5 kittens of the year!
We also took on our biggest project ever, helping out a friend of Sandi's who had a colony of 30 cats living outside her place in Haliburton.  Yes, I said Haliburton!  What a logistical challenge, but we rented a van, and drove up, taking a van load of cats back to Toronto for a mass spay and neuter clinic, bringing in pregnant cats and moms and kittens, it was a huge labour but at the end of it incredible success.  All cats were spayed and neutered, 15 returned, 15 adults into homes, 20+ kittens too!  A few of the cats had health issues including my Twig, who had an eye removed and has partial vision in the other.
And happily, we helped some adult cats along the way before kitten season hit.  We've virtually cleared out the new colony near Cherry, adopting out three adults from there this year.  This friendly boy escaped Michelle's house, found his way back to the colony (crossing the Lakeshore), was re-rescued and now adopted.  Every cat out of the cold is a good thing!

Maximus Tig
I'm sure there is more to mention, but I'm tired dear friends, it's been a challenging year in many ways, I wish everyone reading a wonderful new year, and wish a life free of suffering for all animals.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas from the crazy cat world

Thankfully the snow prince kittens are doing much better now, and we've added this adorable guy to the mix!  His name is still up for grabs, maybe MacGregor or Mittens?  I looked in his ears tonight though and they are full of black stuff.  I'm hoping it's ear wax rather than ear mites, these were supposed to be easy kittens but they are costing a fortune!
Twig is taking it easy over the holidays, me not so much, crazy busy catsitting and of course feeding the feral colonies.  Homeless cats still need to be fed on Christmas Day!  We've been battling URI at our house, and Twig with her delicate system was hit hard but she is on meds and doing much better.
Maggie came from the colony and has been with us for five years.  When she stopped eating I thought it was the same URI going around but I took her to the vet and ran bloodwork since she's older.  Unfortunately her results showed anemia, we ruled out a few causes, and still don't know what it causing it, but our vet suspects lymphoma sadly.  For now, we are trying steroids to see if that helps.  I'm not sure Maggie would be a good candidate for chemo, I've never even been able to clip her nails.  It's certainly not the news I wanted to get on Christmas Eve....
And we were worried about Pseudo (who may very well be Maggie's brother, don't they look alike), he didn't show up for four days which is highly unusual, but we wandered around today calling his name and he finally appeared.
Merry Christmas to all and I thank you for your support!  Time for some sleep, it's 12 hour days for me this week, all cats all the time!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The snow princes

Last weekend Susan and I rescued these three beautiful kittens, they seemed healthy and social and we thought perfect, an easy rescue, get them vetted and they will be snapped up!  Well in rescue it's rarely that easy.  It started well, we had them seen by our favourite vet, vaccinated, dewormed and examined, all appeared well and good but then they just didn't eat much this week, and when we took them to the vet yesterday two has lost weight.  Kittens should not be losing weight!  But we have no idea what is going on.  We are waiting on a fecal test to see if maybe it's giardia.   Fingers crossed they perk up soon, they are truly lovely kittens!



Sick kittens sleeping

Friday, December 9, 2016

What do the cats know?

It's certainly feeling like winter now, and the cats know it too, they are all eating like crazy and are nice and fat.  This is Sadie and Misty, they live at the industrial spot where Betty came from, the wind really whips off the lake there.  Sadie will let me pat her if she's hungry....
My displaced colony is adjusting, thankfully, to their new feeding spot, and after lots of canvassing, we have two neighbours who have allowed us to place shelters in their parking areas and the cats are using them.  It's not as ideal as their previous spot and the really annoying thing is the work hasn't started yet!

We had some sad news this week, we took Moon, the cat who showed up at Connie's colony to the vet, and he tested positive for FELV and FIV, he hadn't seemed very well while he was at Susan's. The best decision unfortunately was to send him to the Rainbow Bridge, but it hit all of us hard.

In good news, though, one of Michelle's fosters, Maggie, got adopted last weekend, and the senior cats Susan has been fostering since the summer are going to their new home on Sunday.

I'm dealing with URI going around my household, oh the joys of medicating cats!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Last trapping before winter and a colony loses its home

There is a never a quiet week in this racket.  Lesley and I went out Monday for our last trapping before winter hits, we managed to get an older orange kitten and two six month old females.  Time to put away the traps and focus on getting everyone through the cold weather.
Morris, who moved down the street to be on his own, is clearly putting on his winter weight!
But this week had true heartbreak, we found out that one of the colonies we have been feeding, is losing their home.  For the last few years we have fed the six ferals in an abandoned yard, we had a feeding station and shelters all set up.  Just this week we were told that the site will be developed any day.  Sadly many nearby residents are very hostile to the cats, and we've only been able to place two shelters in a driveway and feed in front of a garage.  I cried today when I had to remove their shelters from the yard, and we went back at dark to find them still huddled there.  Sometimes I truly can't bear people's lack of compassion.  I don't know what else to do for them, we've canvassed the neighbourhood and relocation isn't a good option.  This is where my Gary Cooper is from, thank god we got him out before last winter, but he was the only friendly one, now he sleeps on a heated bed.  I can't even think about the others being cold, I had nightmares last night.

Here Jackie and I are just a few weeks ago, getting the cats all set up for winter, I hope somehow they can survive without this....