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, December 26, 2017

Merry Catsmas!

Seymour says Happy Holidays, and thanks for the spring toy, now throw it, again and again....and again.
It's been a busy couple of days, first a big storm Christmas Eve to dig out of, and today bone chilling cold, it's not an easy life for our feral friends, but we made sure they had full bellies, and me too after a 12 hour day.  Today I fed 59 cats, 25 ferals, 34 catsitting clients, no time to feed my own, and I've been sick for over two weeks now, it makes everything harder.

Hope you are all having a lovely holiday and snuggling with your cats!  Off to bed for me!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Bakery kitten out of the cold!

My friend Steff who feeds feral cats at her house emailed me earlier this week.  A co-worker of hers was at a bakery last weekend and a kitten ran up to her looking for food, of course she told Steff who emailed me.

The bakery is way in the west end and I've been sick and now very busy with catsits but luckily Lesley was going near there and agreed to check it out.  I don't think either of us expected she would just randomly show up and the kitten would appear but she packed a kitten trap anyway.  Next thing I know Lesley called and said she had the kitten!  There he was in the lot and was so hungry that he practically fought her to get into the trap!  Yay Lesley to the rescue!  Then the challenge was where did he go?

Thankfully Susan answered when I called and agreed to take him, we set up a crate but it quickly became apparent he wasn't feral, he started purring immediately.  When we picked him up to check his gender we noticed he had a bloody bum so off to the vet we went.  They thought it was from diarrhea and that he's about 5 months old.  We've named him Rusty after the bakery and he's a sweetheart.  He's not hungry and cold anymore, our little pre-Christmas rescue!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Meet Gizmo!

Well it wasn't much trouble rescuing that orange cat, he went right into a carrier and has turned out to be quite the friendly guy.  He's also got a terrible URI you can hear his wheezy breathing from miles away, but he's on meds now and eating well.  Gizmo is about 3 years old no chip and not neutered, so glad he is out of this brutally cold weather.
I find these next three months difficult every year.  I think about all my feral friends outside, even though they have shelters I know it's hard for them.  Gary was sitting at the back door this morning, I don't think he misses his outdoor life though.  He was at a colony for years this will be his third winter inside, and he likes to snuggle with me on the sofa at night, a far better life.  His buddies aren't as friendly and still out there but are well cared for.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Awash in orange cats

It's funny but we have an orange cat theme going on with our latest rescues.  There are Colbert and Kimmel, our Black Friday specials who are doing well after two weeks inside, now I just need to find them a home!

At our 7 colony another new cat has showed up recently, we call him Mr Orange, I really don't know where these new cats are coming from....

Then Jackie found a cat in a desolate area near her house, and we quickly trapped it last week, he is now at Lesley's for assessment and doesn't seem feral at all, just a shy cat!

And last but not least we are trying to get this cat off the street, the feeder says he is friendly, but we have cats stuffed in every room everywhere, it's hard to turn away with the cold weather coming on hard and fast.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday specials

It was a busy Black Friday!  Michelle and I headed out to Scarborough, stopping first at Petsmart to load up on sale items, Fancy Feast, litter and a cat tree.  With the car jam packed we continued to our real destination, a backyard where two cats had been living for the last few months, probably abandoned or dumped. 
Jim and Karen had been feeding them but couldn't take them in and with the cold weather approaching reached out for rescue.  They were able to pick up the orange and white one but we had to trap the orange one, or really just lure him in with a few treats.  Off we went to the vet, where they were neutered etc., the vet thinks they are about a year old.

I'm sure we will be able to find them a wonderful home! 
And yesterday I helped trap a 10-12 week old kitten at another location, Lesley took over today and got another, one more to go!

Friday, November 17, 2017

The lucky ones

The nights are chilly now and I think of all my feral friends out in the cold, I hope their shelters keep them warm enough, but they weigh on my mind, and I'm grateful for all the ones who no longer have to endure the winters.

My gang love the gas fireplace and as soon as I turn it on they all gather.
Carol sent me this picture of Floppy, who we rescued and she adopted this past spring.  I love that he won't be shivering this winter, he's made friends with two of her cats and looks pretty darn content.  Quite the lifestyle change he's made, surrounded by dumpsters to now living in a sunny condo in the sky.
And this will be Gary's third winter safe and warm, he spent years living in a laneway colony before I scooped him up.  He's a doll, he snuggles beside me on the sofa every night.
We can't forget the adorable Twig, who came from a colony outside Haliburton, virtually blind, she just had most of her teeth removed, but I think she actually feels better, she's been playing and eating well since she came home.  She's a real inspiration of resiliency!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Onwards into November

I've been taking things a bit slower recently, I hurt my back so I haven't been trapping and thankfully kitten season is winding down although there are still kittens being found.  We've been replacing all the straw in the shelters and trying to get the cats ready for winter, it got cold fast and they are all eating a lot.  Herb seems to be a regular fixture now and has made friends of a sort with Sadie and Misty, he was a recent arrival who has been neutered and now looks fat and healthy.

Sadly my cats trapped on the spit have not turned out to be tame, and I faced a tough decision about what to do with them.  I felt I couldn't return them so found a responsible barn to take them to.  We had to retrap them in their room in Sandi's place and last week we drove them to their new home.  Relocation is always a last resort, but the woman is lovely and committed and they love food so I hope and pray they will stick around.
Herb (in back) and Sadie and Misty
At home, the cats are compensating for the windows being closed by sleeping in front of the fire and here is Apollo snuggled in a new bed I bought. 
 But even better than a new bed is a new box!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Happy gotcha day Buddy!

It's been six years since Buddy joined our family.  He was one of my first rescues when I just started trapping other colonies.  Buddy was one of a number of cats at a house at Dufferin and Eglinton, and the last one I got. Joanne offered to take him to the TNR clinic but we soon realized he was friendly, he kneaded and purred at the vet.  Buddy had a terrible upper respiratory infection, bad teeth and an ear infection, they thought he was between 3 - 5 years old but once he got healthy he acted like a kitten.

I was all set to take him to a foster home but found myself unable to, so he came home with us, and he's been a delight, a friend to all the cats who come into our home.  Even though he's super friendly, twice he got out of the house and had to be trapped, the last time three years ago was 32 days of hell.

Since that time, I've trapped and/or rescued somewhere between 750 - 1000 cats I think.  This year it's around 85 and I'm tired.  Compassion fatigue is real and I'm worried about burning out, there's been challenges lately, a prior adoption with a sad ending and my spit cats aren't tame and I need to relocate them (always a last resort).  I'm going to try to have a quiet November, the winter is coming and the outdoor cats are hungry, they know what is coming, and we've been getting them ready for winter.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cutest kitten ever?

Maybe I'm partial to white cats, but I swear this fluffy kitten is one of the cutest we have rescued!  She was part of a small colony in the west end, for 10-12 weeks old she is surprisingly friendly for a feral kitten, she has siblings who we still have to get...but this baby is safe inside!  

Monday, October 23, 2017

New shelters!

Connie met a lovely woman named Pam who noticed her feeding the cats and she offered to have new feeding and sleeping shelters made.  Our east outpost colonies got new digs before winter, so when the bad weather comes they can eat and stay dry.
Sadie gives it the thumbs up!

Mystery has new accommodations too

But of course she is sleeping on top of an old shelter

Monday, October 9, 2017

Eight years of blogging

It's hard to believe but I started this blog 8 years ago this weekend!  It was my first year feeding and I spent Thanksgiving Day rescuing Tibb's kittens, that was her last litter.  There have been so many changes since then, now we just have eight cats left, but still, who would have thought that feral cats would live to be 10+ years old!  It's a testament to the care they receive from all of us who love them.

This is the first picture I posted, only Lily the tortie is still around.  I miss all of the ones who have passed on, but we have new friends we feed too like Sadie and Misty.  I
I'm grateful for all the wonderful people I have met and the support, I often joke about how getting involved was the best and worst decision in my life.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Oh oh new cats at the colony

Recently there were reports of a cat near one of our existing colonies so of course I went to check it out.  No cats in sight, but I got good intel from the woman who has a hot dog cart there on weekends.  She said oh yes, the last 3 weekends two cats were looking for food, they had just been there!

I went back the next day, put out some food and sure enough two cats emerged from the woods.  They look pretty young under a year and were so hungry.  The problem is they are in a very unsafe area with no shelter, and there are coyotes and a bird sanctuary, not a good place for cats.   First step is to trap them and hope they are friendly.  Born there or dumped?  Hard to know....

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our new rescues

Meet our newest rescues!  Cisco is an older kitten who was rescued from an autobody shop and is being socialized.  He's come a long way and is now enjoying being held and purrs!
And then we have Gigi, well that is her name now, we will never know her real name because she was abandoned.  One of our colonies is near an apartment building and a tenant told us her sad story.  He tried to take her in but his cat didn't like her so she was being fed in the yard, supposedly she is 10+.  Well Jackie and I couldn't bear that so thanks to Susan offering up a spare room we were able to get her in to safety!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Some are easy, some are well impossible

It's been a busy catsitting time, I've gone more than six weeks without a day off, so I've had less time for trapping, but I did do a few local ones.  A new cat showed up at the 7 colony about a month or so ago, clearly male, so I decided it was time to get him neutered.

I showed up and he was sitting beside the feeding station, I set up the trap and barely got back to the car before he went in, one of the fastest ever.  Poor Herb was terrified at the clinic and hasn't been seen since he was released, I hate it when that happens, but I hope he is smart enough to be hanging around and comes and eats after we leave.  Update: just hours after I posted this I saw Herb around the corner at Mystery's!
Then there's Batmom, the nemesis of every trapper.  She's had litter after litter and is incredibly smart.  I was feeding her in a new spot recently and had hopes that Liz our master netter could get her.  Here she is out in the open with me just a couple of feet away but as soon as Liz showed up with the net Batmom was out of there, she knew something was up, and no amount of hunger was going to bring her back, sigh.
Guess I will be rescuing another batch of kittens in about six weeks or so....

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The dangers of dental floss

Last weekend Oliver wasn't eating and was vomiting, at first I didn't worry because occasionally that will happen and the cat recovers but when day two came and he still wasn't well I was worried and then Steve mentioned that he had seen Oliver digging in the bathroom garbage.

Thankfully one of our vets was open Sunday and he took an x-ray and sure enough his intestines were bunched up indicating he had swallowed something.  They sedated Ollie and found dental floss under his tongue!  As the vet explained, sometimes when you release it the floss or string or whatever can then pass through but not necessarily and there was a chance he would need emergency surgery.  Needless to say, we were extremely upset.  We took him home and watched him every minute, thankfully there was no more vomiting and he perked up and started eating.  I think we are now almost at the point where we can stop being concerned that it's probably passed through but he could have died and/or had to have very expensive surgery.  I felt like the worst cat mom ever, now our floss is secured.  Our little sweet boy is only three so I hope to have many more years with him.  

So be careful, you never know what a cat will get into!
Oliver and Blinky

Oliver and Apollo

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Odds and sods of kittens

Even though summer is winding down the kittens keep coming!  This week's trapping provided us with an odd assortment of kittens, one cute tabby before the cops were called and Lesley was ordered off the property, a cute little orange guy from a colony in a residential neighbourhood and older black kittens from an autobody shop.

We also trapped two females that we were trying to get for quite a while so it was a good week!  Well not as much for Lesley since she has the black kittens in her living room and they have liquid diarrhea!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Furever homes for these lucky cats!

We had some great news recently, we found wonderful homes for three of our special rescues.  Licorice and Hershey were living in a barn, so were so friendly we couldn't leave them behind and Hershey has a birth defect to her paw, it hasn't prevented her from playing though.  We figured out Licorice is her mother and they are so cute together.  A lovely couple adopted them and they will have a great life with them!

 And of course you remember little Frankie?  At one time in danger of dying from an infection due to wounds on his legs, he made a full recovery and just last week Jess drove all the way from Brantford to adopt him, he's been making up for lost time, playing like a fiend.
I'm over the moon happy for these three fantastic cats and I wish them a long and happy life!  This is the great part of cat rescue.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Our wobbly girl

Our latest big job has been a large group of cats in a laneway behind an apartment building.  They are fed by residents but don't seem to have homes so we came in and caught eight in one night, another eight or so to go.  One of them is this adorable white cat who has mild CH, she is a delight and so doesn't belong on the street!  Meet Annabelle!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My ferals in July

I don't post much about the colony because thankfully for the most part things are stable but I thought I would share some pictures taken last weekend, I still feed at least three days a week, I love these cats as much as the ones in my home!