Who we are

Cherry Street Cats is me (Robin), my husband Steve, Sandi, Michelle, Verena and Kent, 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 +!

Friday, June 23, 2017

A houseful!

Thank the cat gods for Susan!  She certainly has a houseful right now!  Her five kittens are now about 10 weeks old and all spayed and neutered and ready for adoption.  Good thing, because Kathy and I went out Wednesday night to try to get the untrappable Batmom's kittens.  We crawled through the shrubbery and there they were beside the shelter.  I grabbed, Kathy grabbed, we had four, then we saw one tiny tabby and managed to get it, five kittens safe!  We rushed them over to Susan's, they are about 4 weeks old, but such a difference, two were 400 grams and the tiniest was only 250 grams.  So much for Susan sleeping, she's back to bottle feeding, but I'm so glad these ones are rescued!

Five kittens ready for new homes

One of the new batch

The tiniest

Me doing a guest bottle feeding

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Kittens and no more kittens

I am so tired, it's been an insane week or two but very productive.  I was tagged on Facebook about two kittens that showed up in a yard in Scarborough.  Jamie started feeding them and playing with them but they were too big and wily to catch.  Off we went Thursday night, easy peasy, we used a stick and string with a trap and had them both within ten minutes.  They went to the vet and then to a foster home and are doing well, can already be patted so they will be just fine!  Wish they were all that easy.

 We have also been helping a woman who lives pretty close to me, it's a maddening situation, she feeds four ferals that go in and out of her house, for years they have been breeding and she gives away the kittens.  She only reached out for help because she is moving.  We were able to trap all the cats (all females!) now they are spayed but I worry for their future, and she seems to have no plan for them.  Sadly none of them are at all adoptable.  I won't think about that today because I don't have a solution.

And yesterday we had our annual yard sale!  It went really well, it's a lot of work, but all the money goes to helping all the cats in our care.
No rest for me, they've torn down Mystery's awning, so have to figure out something for her!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More trapping!

Last week was busy with Port Perry, this week we returned to our city projects, and last night went west to Lawrence and the Allen to help Elysse with a colony on her street.  With the late afternoon traffic it took almost as long as Port Perry!  Even with the rain we trapped six cats, but with the excitement and the wet weather I totally forgot to take photos.

Carol sent me this fantastic picture of Floppy (now Bear), this makes me so happy.  Doesn't he look relaxed and like he belongs!  This is why I do what I do!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mass trapping in the country

Yesterday our dream team of myself, Lesley, Susan and Sandi headed northeast an hour out of the city to help out with a mass trapping at a barn.  It was a beautiful morning to help cats!

Farmer Ron has a large colony at his farm but wanted to get them spayed and neutered thankfully. Quite a few cats were inside a building and Susan managed to lure many of them into traps and we trapped a few more outside and rescued three little kittens!  By the end of it, we had thirteen adults and three kittens to drive back into the city, leaving only a few adults unfixed but there were a lot of calicos and torties in our bunch so lots of females.  Sadly most of the kittens who had been born this year had died so we were glad to get the ones we could, there were two other little black kittens we just couldn't catch.  We loaded up just before a thunderstorm hit, today they will all be spayed and neutered and then returned in a few days.  The farmer seems to genuinely like them and feeds them twice a day.  It was definitely well worth the drive!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I've seen fire and I've seen rain

I always turn off my cell phone at night so I don't hear the annoying pings of the texts coming in at all hours.  This morning I turned on my phone to find way too many texts!  There had been a massive fire at the recycling plant where our colony is.  It happened overnight, there were 40 fire trucks at one point.  Of course I was worried about my kitties but it was pouring rain this morning, not the best time to look for cats and access was blocked this morning.

This afternoon when the rain let up Sandi and I went down and had no trouble getting in and thankfully saw all our cats!  Hank's gang was a bit stressed, those trucks and sirens must have been terrifying and there is a lot of cleanup going on, but they still wanted to eat.  They are survivors!
Down the road at Sadie and Misty's spot it was all flooded, what a day.

It makes me so happy when I get these updates from Carol, look at our Floppy, no rain or scary sirens for him, just enjoying the view from his condo window.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mom and kittens saved!

Another urgent plea went out this week about a mom and kittens in a yard near Yonge and Eglinton.  I was feeling a bit overworked but called the homeowner, she is allergic so wasn't willing to do much but thankfully she had a cat loving friend who lived nearby who I connected with.

With some encouragement and guidance, Melanie was able to grab two of the kittens and then Friday afternoon we went and trapped one more and the mom.  That left one little one all alone, Melanie tried all that evening but no luck, the poor thing was probably so scared.  I worried all night.  Melanie had the other three kittens in her bathroom and she went back first thing Saturday morning.  She was about to pack it in after a few hours when boom last orange baby in the trap!  Case closed!

The kittens are about 8 weeks I think, they just need a bit of socializing, and we will have to see if mom is friendly.  It really makes a difference when someone in the community is willing to get involved.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Full on kittens!

Kitten season is in full swing it seems!  Our week started with a full evening of trapping.  We began at Vic Park and Danforth where we've gotten 10 of 12 done but the last two were not to be that evening.  We then made our way across town to Keele and Eglinton to a new-ish to us colony.  Last time we got three cats and this time we quickly trapped two, thankfully we are almost done there.  I had been speaking with a woman earlier about some kittens and since we were close we decided to go have a look and see how old they were.

When we arrived the feeder had five tiny kittens all out on the grass and her young sons were playing with them.  Many of the kittens had already died.  There were two that couldn't have been more than two weeks old and the other three were about four weeks.  Normally I would never take two week old kittens and even four is borderline but these kittens were no longer in a safe spot and their mom wasn't around, we had no confidence they would be cared for so we bundled them up.

God bless Lesley, she bottle fed them overnight and by morning thanks to the wonders of Facebook and an amazing community, we found a super experienced bottle feeder for the tinies.  The older ones have been placed now too!
Our first batch of kittens
 Of course we will be going back there to TNR the colony.  That was enough of the west end for the week so yesterday we went to Vic Park and Sheppard to the colony we just can't finish, too many feeders and the females are very smart.  As soon as I went into the yard I saw a mom nursing five kittens so I ran back with a carrier and managed to grab one before the rest ran under a junker car. Two hours later we had two more kittens and an adult, two babies to go.  These ones are probably about five weeks.
Batch 2 of babies

One of the ones who waited us out.
I'd say that was a good week so far!  Four adults (three females!) who are spayed and neutered and eight little lives saved!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Kitten visits are the best!

Susan is doing such an amazing job with her kittens, she has a new appreciation now for all that mother cats do.  There have been challenges with this bunch, they started as bottle feeders and are now eating on their own, but they had diarrhea and weren't gaining that much weight.  In the last few days they have turned a corner. who knew one could be so excited about solid stool.

I love going over to visit, if I'm feeling the slightest bit down about anything, watching kittens run around and play cures all.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Floppy gets a home!

It's official!!!  After two weeks at Carol's all is going well with Floppy, now renamed Bear.  He is still shy but purrs when she pats him, and is starting to explore and is working things out with her cats. So Floppy (Bear) has a real home!  I cried this morning when I saw him on the adopted page.  He's come a long way in the four years I've known him, I am so happy that he will never be cold or wet or in danger again.  You couldn't ask for a better home than Carol's!  In my shameless way I asked her if she would adopt him, knowing she has a soft spot for the cats who have lived rough.  I never imagined she would say yes.  But she did, in his case, the fact that he is older and FIV is a selling point for her, one of those amazing people who wants to help the cats who are "special".

So yay for Floppy!  It's a good day in our cat world!
Floppy before

Floppy safe inside

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A good day to save cats

It's a long story, aren't they all?  My neighbour's daughter's boyfriend has an upstairs neighbour (confused yet?) who has a cat who had kittens.  Of course she reached out to me and I said sure I can help.  I went over Thursday evening and well it wasn't quite what I expected.  Momma was friendly and the kittens were hiding, the place was a mess to be polite.  Squalid is a more accurate terms, a wall of empty Laker Lager boxes, one litter box that was all urine and feces, but on the upside the guys were nice.

I went back yesterday and the kittens were in a room, so we managed to grab them, although I must say they are pretty wild, even though they were born inside I'm not sure they have been handled much but they will come around.  There was some talk of them giving up mamma too but they wouldn't sadly, at least though they will let me get her spayed, this was her third litter.

Then back to regularly scheduled programming, I fed my feral colonies (about 22 cats in total), and then we took a break and enjoyed a small grove of cherry trees near the colony.  Who needs the west end traffic and crowds?!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Second batch of kittens!

Well clearly kitten season is on!  Michelle's kittens are doing well so this week it was Susan's turn, a fellow trapper Brenda called to say she had caught five 4 week old kittens, could we help.  Susan volunteered without hesitation even though there would be some bottle feeding involved.  Who wouldn't want these cuties?  And even better news Brenda trapped the mom too who has now been spayed.
Lesley and I went back to try to trap our elusive females at the black and white colony and amazingly we got the mom of Michelle's kittens, and a male too under the drop trap.  For the first time, the mom didn't want to leave the trap, she wanted to stay and eat!  It took a bit to get her transferred into a trap, another reason we generally don't use a drop trap alone.
It's been a good week, kittens rescued, females spayed, that's our goal!

Monday, April 24, 2017

First kittens of 2017!

Lesley and I have been trapping at a new colony this spring, if you may remember the first time out we got six cats!  Then one and now nothing.  There are three females left to be spayed, two had kittens who died, and we didn't know what happened with the third litter, but last week a neighbour spied them in her yard, and discovered they were under the deck.  With the warm sunny weather on the weekend the kittens came out to play and were able to be grabbed.  Two days three kittens safe! They are probably about six weeks and Michelle is having a great time with them, they are figuring out eating and playing and just utterly delightful.  Thankfully they didn't have enough time to decide to be feral!  We have two black and white females and the grey and white is male.  These floofs will be snapped up!  I can't spend much time with them I too may succumb to their charms.
Ariel, Puck and Ophelia

Puck our boy

Ophelia the last to be caught
It is always so heartwarming knowing these loves will have a wonderful life!

Friday, April 21, 2017

My rounds

On a day when I'm feeding more than one colony my day goes something like this, after feeding my home colony and doing any catsits, I head to the CG colony where we have 10 cats who live in a laneway.  It's only a 5 minute drive, and I leave them with six or seven bowls of canned food and the same of dry food and water of course.  Since it's a laneway and can be busy I don't always see all the cats but usually see at least a half dozen.

In the afternoon I head south and go first to the yard where I feed our two groups of four, they are big canned food eaters and because they are all getting old, I often spoil them with Fancy Feast.  Then down the road I go to Mystery's spot, she is always there, unfortunately I rarely see Patches and Owen now due to the changes, but I have seen them in the last few weeks so I know they are ok. Around the corner to my last (and newest) feeding location, I love these two cats, Sadie the tortie gets so excited about her food, she dances!  They are the youngest of all I feed they are probably only about three years old, but in the most dangerous location.  Every day I breathe a sigh of relief when I see all my regulars.
And then I fit in a lovely walk along the Spit, I love this time of the year, and the lake, especially if it's choppy and wavy, reminds me of the ocean.  On weekdays sometimes I'm lucky and don't see another person, just the water and the birds and the sky.
Then it's home to a sinkful of dishes to get ready for another day.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's spring!

Almost seven years a scrawny and shy black and white cat showed up in our backyard.  What did we do?  Fed him of course, then got him neutered.   Charlie has never been content to be indoors though so as much as we don't like it, we have let him be our outside cat, but he has to spend the night inside.

He's very happy that it's spring as are we all, here he is today having a nap, on my plants sigh.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The colony in and out

My buddy Floppy is a bit scared but doing ok I think, I am able to pat him and today he came out and I sat him on my lap!  And even better I have a potential home lined up for him with an experienced cat person who I know!  It may take some time but I believe Floppy will be a cuddly guy like Gary is with us, and how wonderful if he never had to be cold or wet again.
The rest of Hank's gang seems more relaxed with him gone, it's so odd to be down to eight, four in each spot.  Only a few years ago we were twenty-five plus.
Pseudo and Jet


Monday, April 3, 2017

Floppy's turn

I talk to my friends at Yonge Davenport a lot!!  Last week I picked up Mugsy and Pseudo, and took in Floppy.  Mugsy went back all healed up to his caretaker who has reported that Mugsy now comes inside and sits on her lap!   Pseudo spent a couple of days at Susan's and then went back to the colony.  On Thursday I easily picked up Floppy and took him to the vet, he has been getting friendlier and friendlier so we decided to see if he is homeable, especially since we think he might be the one fighting with Pseudo.

Floppy of course needed dental, and is FIV positive but is all vetted now and just recovering at the vet.  They are able to handle him and pill him so I feel encouraged about his future.
On the trapping side, Lesley and I split up today to divide and conquer but so far the cats are winning. Lesley caught one female and we did retrap a cute young black cat who oddly has become friendly since his return a few weeks ago.  I took him to Michelle's and pulled him out of the trap and patted him on my lap and he purred!  A month ago though he couldn't be touched.  Cats!

We went to our Vic Park colony this morning to try to scoop the kittens who would have been four weeks today to discover that they died yesterday.  I just hate it when kittens die, it breaks my heart, maybe it was last week's nasty weather, who knows....another reason to TNR.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A week of vetting

A few days ago I was contacted by someone looking for help with a cat she is feeding outside while the homeowner is away, he showed up with a terrible wound and she didn't know what to do. Thankfully Mugsy the street cat lived in the east end so I went over with a trap and after meowing at me for a minute, he went right in.  We rushed him off the vet and he is now being treated for a very bad abcess.  Mugsy is older and already eartipped and of course he needs dental so now we are waiting for his person to return home. 
And lately I've been noticing Pseudo showing up late or not at all and with wounds so I was able to scoop him and take him into the vet.  Bloodwork was normal thankfully but he had lost weight and had a number of wounds.  I'm trying to figure out if he's fighting and with who.  For now he's getting a bit of R&R, we were hoping maybe he is friendly but so far he's not responding to life inside, but he certainly is eating well.  We will let him wait out the rain and enjoy some regular meals, and then next week I will take Floppy in to get him vetted and see how friendly he is, he might be the bully, it's so hard to know I don't see any fights.
When you start TNRing a young colony you don't think about the future but here we are many years later and the challenge for these ones is taking care of them in their old age.  I'm sure most of us who started feeding feral cats never expected them to live to be 10+.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Butch is a lap cat

Well Butch is not just a sweetie but a lap cat!  He seems very happy to be inside, eating up a storm and chatting away...
 From the bad cat files, we have a picture of what Jack (one of my catsitting clients) was up to when I wasn't there.
 And one of mine took advantage of a fridge door open too long!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Our trapping results!

Well we had a pleasant surprise, even though Butch looks rough he is not that old (maybe 4 max) and in good health!  He's FIV/FELV negative, and his teeth are fine, he just has a few wounds that need to heal up.  First indications are he's a sweetie!  Yay for Butch!

Thankfully momma cat moved her kittens into a shelter before this nasty cold snap.  We trapped one more female there this week so in total last week we trapped seven males and seven females, not too shabby.  Unfortunately winter has returned so no trapping this week, poor cats must have thought spring had arrived.