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 +!

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.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How about a dozen trapped instead!

Well my precision plan kind of went out the window yesterday.  We showed up at our first stop, a lovely man named Peter has been feeding a colony for years, almost all black and white.  We set up trap after trap and they just kept going in, we got six in forty-five minutes!  Unfortunately that was all the empty traps we had with us or I'm sure we could have got more.
Within minutes they were up eating on the deck.  Every colony is so different, some scatter as soon as you trap one.  With only limited appointments we cancelled our next two stops and took this crew up to the recovery centre.
Peter called me later in the day to say one of the cats we hadn't trapped had just given birth in a planter!  It's clearly kitten season.  We went off to a new west end location and it was far more challenging, but we got another six there!  Ten appointments, thirteen cats, oops, but thankfully TAS took them all to be spayed and neutered.  Now we wait to see how many male and how many female and how our battered tom is.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

One down, nine more (or more) to go

March means it's time to get trapping, our weather has felt more like spring, and we already have reports of pregnant cats.  We have ten appointments for Tuesday and multiple locations, so we started tonight and trapped this guy.  He has really bad eyes but seems tame so let's hope we can get him fixed up.
I prepared a detailed plan for tomorrow, with trapping every hour on the hour, starting at 8 a.m. and home probably 12 hours later!

Monday, February 27, 2017

What a February 27!

It was hard to believe that today was February 27, it so feels like spring.  Our winter has turned out to be great, and the homeless cats and I are grateful.  After feeding today I went for a walk on the spit, it does one good to be out in nature, I've been feeling stressed the last week but Stubby is looking and eating better, so that is a relief.
 At home, the cats all vied for a position in the sun, more cats than beds!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Last male done!

I don't talk as much about them, but I do feed regularly at another colony close to me, there are 10 cats there, I got involved almost 4 years ago TNRing and then when Gloria had to sell her house and move I started to feed as well, I just couldn't turn my back on them.  We've had one male holdout who I haven't been able to trap, well I actually did trap him when I first started but I didn't have enough spots and let him go so I could get a female, thinking I would get him again.  It's taken me all this time but I went out Monday morning to give it a shot, tired of all the cat spray, and set up my trap with the remote.

At first the cats scattered and wouldn't go near then amazingly Teddy walked right in and boom I had him!  It's a matter of pride too to have a colony totally TNRed and now they are!
I released Stubby thinking it would be the best thing for him since he was so stressed, but now I'm worried about him, I've seen him pawing at his mouth and having trouble eating.  I'm just sick about it, because I don't know how I would get him again, I'm buying BFF pouches for him with lots of gravy and at least he is eating that.  Sometimes I find the stress of the responsibility of all these cats' lives just a bit too much!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stubby's turn for dental

Stubby is one of my favourites,  and I had been noticing lately that he hadn't been eating very well and of course I was concerned.  A couple of weeks ago I booked a vet appointment for him and managed to almost get him into a carrier but lost him.  Then I got some expensive BFF pouches and he was eating those but in the last week he rejected them, so I decided it was time to try again.

With Steve's help I was able to get him yesterday so off to the vet we went.  As I suspected his teeth aren't good, well what is left of them, he did have major dental two years ago.  Dr Vlad has taken out the rest of his teeth today, fingers crossed he recovers well.  Poor Stubby gets terrified at the vet and didn't eat last night, unlike Lily, who chowed down happily, even though she is way more feral.
I guess I have to see it as a positive sign, that these cats are living long enough to need all their teeth removed.  If you google life span of a feral cat, you will find many different answers, and I think it all depends on luck, the genetics of the cats, and of course how well they are cared for.  I think our remaining cats are all 10+, but they have shelters are fed daily and receive medical care when needed. Of the nine at the Cherry colony, seven have had dental, they are the lucky ones who have people who care about them!  Although right now I guarantee that Stubby doesn't feel lucky, but he will feel better soon.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Helping a limpy cat and finding another colony to help

In the fall I was contacted by a friend of a friend (you know how these things go) about a small colony in the east end, thankfully it is close and there WERE only three cats to do, so Lesley and I went and in November easily trapped two older kittens, but couldn't get the mom.  Sue, the lovely woman who feeds, called me recently to say dad was showing up not able to use his front paw. Strangely dad looked eartipped, we were unable to trap him so we hauled up my handy dandy but heavy new trap, and managed after a few tries of sitting inside their house looking out the window to get dad.  Smarty pants mom was not going in.

Dad went off to the vet and sure enough he wasn't neutered it must have been frostbite or a fight that caused his ear to look like that.  They x-rayed, no break, so he got some anti-inflammatories and some bed rest, then neutered and back out after a week.  He is still limping a bit but much better.  
Sue had noticed some cat shelters in a yard a block over, so we knocked on their door, and sure enough, they have a colony too of about 10 cats, some fixed, some not, that's where all these cats are coming from, at least that part of the mystery is solved.  We are going to work with both locations to try to get everyone spayed and neutered this spring!

Meanwhile the trap will have to go back to the yard, Stubby hasn't been eating as well as usual and I want to get his teeth checked.  I almost had him in a carrier but lost him, sigh.  The other day I got him to eat a pouch of BFF, I was happy about that, but our boy has expensive tastes.  Sometimes now I give the cats a bit of Fancy Feast too, nothing is too good for my ferals!  Hopefully it makes up a bit for their hard lives.  I do love to see the cats spill out of the trailer when we arrive, it's pretty toasty in there.  Floppy is becoming increasingly friendly, he seemed wet last week and let me wipe him all over including his paws!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Just another week in January

Lily did very well after her dental extractions, was eating like a champ, so this week I took her back to the colony.  Home again, Lily.  I always worry that maybe they enjoy being warm and having meals brought to them but she showed no signs of friendliness and in eight years I've never been able to pat her.  I see her come out of a shelter so I know she has a warm place to sleep at least, and of course we show up every day with tasty meals, she has lived there her whole life.
 I also spent some time trying to trap a cat with an injured foot with no luck as of yet, and volunteered at the Street Cats clinic, where 30 cats were spayed and neutered in one evening.
And visited with the snow prince kittens, one got adopted, two are up for adoption and the one with folded ears, well, he may have gotten "lost" at Susan's if you know what I mean, wink wink.
I have to say I am loving this winter!  Above freezing, no snow, for me and the cats a fantastic January!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A dog and dental

It was a quiet week in some ways, I tried to catch up on paperwork and laundry but of course there is always a bit of drama.  One day I was coming back from the dentist on the subway and for some reason got off a stop later than I usually do.  It must have been meant to be, because I saw a dog alone crossing Pape, a very busy street.  I followed it and it sure looked like a lost dog, just kept on the move and I tried to catch up with him.  A run around the block and finally I got the dog to stop, poor thing was covered in ice and snow.  Here I was, crouched on the Danforth, trying to hold on to a dog who had no collar and not sure what I was going to do.  Thankfully a nice man stopped to see what was happening and I explained.  He held the dog and I ran off to the dollar store and got a collar and leash and meanwhile Steve drove up to meet me.  

What a good dog!  As soon as we got the collar on he seemed much calmer and happily hopped in the car.  We went to the THS and sadly no microchip so I left my dog with them.  I posted immediately on line and later that night I got a message that somebody saw the post and went to collect their dog! Apparently it was in the backyard and a Rogers guy left the gate open.  I'm so glad I was in the right place at the right time!
OK, back to our normal scheduling program, cats!  Last week I noticed that Lily didn't seem to be eating that well, and at one point she went to eat, cried out and ran away.  I sighed and thought a vet visit was in order.  We took down our new feeding station trap and boom, in she went.  Love that thing!  Poor Lily had to have the rest of her rotten teeth removed but she is recovering well.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Ugh, it's January, the holidays are over, winter still has a lot left to throw at it, it's dark, it's cold, what is there to say.  For the winter I mostly focus on keeping my ferals going, feeding is harder, the bundling, the water and food freezing, my hands going numb.  For the life of me, I can't figure out how to open a can without taking my mittens off.

These three are the lucky ones, Maggie, Betty and Twig were all living outside, now they get to curl up on the sofa and be warm.  I wish I could bring them all inside!  Maggie is on some meds and thankfully seems to be doing well, Twig is back to running around and just a stray eye infection to deal with.
Maggie, Betty and Twig
I do worry about the ferals but so far they seem ok, this is the life they know and at least they get yummy food every day and they have shelters to curl up in.
 The cats know the sound of the car and rush out when we arrive.
MC, Jet and Pseudo
 Mystery clearly is doing well, she is actually obese!