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. 500+ cats helped in five 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.

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