Annex Cat Rescue: Cat Adoption with A Difference

Annex Cat Rescue is a 100% volunteer charity dedicated to addressing the plight of homeless cats in the Greater Toronto Area by:

  1. Humanely trapping homeless kittens and abandoned or stray adult cats for placement in our foster and adoption program;
  2. Feeding and providing medical care for feral cats in designated colonies;
  3. Curbing population growth in those colonies through trapping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating;
  4. Educating the public on the compassionate treatment of homeless cats and responsible pet ownership; and
  5. Improving urban environments through community cooperation.
  • Happy Tails: Carling

    Carling, or “Carly” as he’s affectionately called, was found wandering around Ossington and Leeds, starving for both food and affection. An ACR volunteer brought him in and the four-year-old cat began his foster life in a small apartment with nine other felines. Being small and slight, Carly worked to hold his ground, especially near the food dishes. Though very affectionate toward his foster mom (think lots of head butts and leg rubbing), he was not about to be pushed around. This cat was going to prove he was worthwhile.

    Happy Tails: Carling

    Foster dad Greg Robertson took Carly in and got him comfortable in his new home. Robertson already owned another cat, one who looked very much like Carly, and the two went from unsure acquaintances to best buddies in a week. “There’s lots of snuggling as well as rough housing,” remarks Robertson. He says that the two have been a wild source of entertainment ever since, and their strong bond was the driving factor for him to adopt Carly.

    Happy Tails: Carling

    Now in his forever home with a loving dad and a best friend, Carly has been able to welcome new siblings to his family. “I now have two older cats, so four all together,” says Robertson. “One of those is an ACR rescue as a matter of fact.” In addition to showing the new felines the ropes of living with Robertson, Carly has taken on the role of leader. “While he’s by far the smallest he does tend to run the house. His primary interests involve keeping the other cats in line and being a lap cat. In curling up into adorable poses he’s unmatched,” laughs Robertson. “He’s known as ‘Snarly Carly’: full of the devil at any given moment. He is small, feisty, unpredictable, and hilarious.”

    Recently Carly has even decided to get involved with home remodelling and has made a habit of thoroughly inspecting the renovations Robertson is having done on his home. “Each night when the workers leave I let the cats upstairs to inspect the work. Carly’s taken a particular interest in construction,” he chuckles. Robertson takes pictures of Carly’s nightly inspections and posts them online, getting a huge response from his friends and family.

    Happy Tails: Carling

    Robertson now can’t imagine his home without Carly and is deeply thankful for those who helped make it happen. “I couldn’t be more pleased that little Carly came to live with us. I’m very grateful to the ACR for their work helping vulnerable animals find safe homes.”

    — Leah Morrison

  • Happy Tails: Franky and Frida

    When Aleighsa Abraham and her boyfriend first went to visit siblings Franky and Frida in their foster home, the two felines made themselves scarce.

    “When we sat down there were other cats playing in the living room and Franky and Frida were hiding,” the 25-year-old Ryerson student says.

    “Then (foster owner) Jennifer got them to come out and play. Once they were playing, the other cats left and it was just Franky and Frida. We felt like the other cats and Franky and Frida knew we were there for them.”

    Frida and Franky were the last kittens to be adopted from a litter of five who’d been born in a Toronto alleyway and taken in by Annex Cat Rescue. Abraham and her boyfriend had already fallen in love with the tiny tabbies’ pictures. Once they met them, it felt like it was meant to be and they took the kittens home.

    HappyTails: Franky & Frida

    “They were scared at first and hid for awhile,” Abraham says, “they were already six months old when we got them and were coming from a house that had many other cats for them to play with.”

    Frida, who was a little shyer, took a little longer to adapt to her new home – but her brave bro Franky helped her out.

    “It was really cute the night we got them. Frankie was more adventurous and kept coming out to see what was going on and exploring, but Frida was hiding. When we went to bed, I looked in the doorway and Franky was standing in front of Frida as if he was saying ‘It’s OK, they’re asleep now!’ ”

    Giving Frida and Franky their own room to adjust to the new house helped with their transition. “We would go in and just sit with them and play with them until they felt more comfortable to be around us,” explains Aleighsa, “I would say it took Franky maybe two weeks or so until he started actually coming around and jumping on our bed to be pet while it took Frida about a month or so.”

    Patience and love do pay off – three years later, the cats have really come into their own. “Now their personalities definitely shine through. Franky is such a little cuddle monster and Frida loves attention. She is always meowing at us when we’re walking around, wanting some love or food. And when we have people over she will hide at first, then come out and walk in front of the couch as if to say, ‘Look at me! You know I am cute!’ ” Abraham laughs.

    HappyTails: Franky & Frida

    As first-time adopters, taking in two kittens was a significant undertaking for Abraham and her partner, but the happy family of four has no regrets. “I know my life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have them,” Abraham states. “They’re both very special cats.”

    — Sheena Goodyear

  • Volunteer Profile: Deborah P

    VolunteerProfile-DeborahP-Kensington

    What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?

    I was helping an ACR volunteer, Jen, with feedings at a colony near Bathurst and College, which at the time wasn’t her “official” colony to feed, she had discovered the cats near where she lived. We fed up to 11 cats in a vacant lot in a laneway. Eventually, Jen had an opportunity to move out of the country and so I approached ACR about the colony officially being under the guidance of ACR. Jen had already had many of the cats spayed/neutered and so we didn’t have too much to do to catch up.

    How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?

    After doing the feedings at Bathurst-College about three times a week for two years (alternating with volunteer Anna D.), the colony became part of ACR and we were able to get more feeders. Currently I do the Friday night feedings there, and I am also the scheduling coordinator for our team.

    Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.

    There are a few, but I recall how we were able to rescue a neglected young cat who was in severe need of dental care, and have her taken under the wing of ACR. She recovered well and went into the foster system, eventually finding new forever home.

    Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?

    If someone really loves cats and wants to make a difference, even in one cat’s life, ACR is a great place to do it. As they say, if you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer in some other way. Not everyone can do the feral feeding, but it is very gratifying to meet the kitties close up and see firsthand how you are helping them.

    In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?

    Probably the TNR aspect. As we know, the feral cat population needs to be controlled humanely, and this is the best way to do it. TNR combined with educating the public about the importance of spaying/neutering their pets and trying to encourage them to keep pets indoors are important. Next would be the foster/adoption program, of course – finding homes for the tame cats that are lost or abandoned and find themselves in an ACR colony.

    What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?

    I work in an office as an administrative assistant, but I still consider that my “day job”. I am also a professionally trained actor; I love to do theatre but recently have been branching out into film.

    Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?

    As well as being an actor, I enjoy writing, reading, movies/t.v. and am learning how to play the piano.

    Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?

    One of my four sweeties was found living with the colony at Bathurst and College about five years ago. Kensington was skinny, slightly injured and looked like he could use some love. He had a scraggy plastic collar on him and was very friendly, so obviously he had been lost or abandoned. The colony cats have always been very good about letting new cats eat with them, so he found a place to have a meal. I was fostering him but after about a month, I was in love so he joined our family! He is a lovely purring lap cat. And much chubbier now!

    What cat do you dedicate your volunteer work to and why?

    I dedicate my work to all the Bathurst-Colony cats we have lost over the past seven and a half years that I have been feeding there – Black Fluffy, Grey Fluffy, Duchess and Sweetie, and some where I did not know their names. They were all wonderful but sadly each cat’s time came. We are down to two cats in the colony, Lilybell and Tabby, who must each be about eight years old, but they are still there and we will care for them for as long as they need us.

    VolunteerProfile-DeborahP-Ferals

  • Happy Tails: Lola (formerly Tabitha)

    In 2012, Tabitha was found living amongst a colony in Kensington Market. It’s presumed that she once had a home due to her gentle nature in foster care, especially during play. Having once lost a home may account for Lola’s great desire for human affection, as her foster Nick Gunz fondly explains, “Once she expanded her territory into the whole apartment she clung to us and was really emotionally giving.” Her affection included sleeping on or beside Nick’s bed at night, and other times sitting on his chest while purring. Nick adds, “she was timid but hands-on, or rather paws-on – she really wanted to snuggle.”

    Happy Tails: Lola

    Jessica Friedmann & Beny Matrundola, who adopted Tabitha in January 2013, agree that she is the sweetest girl. “Her personality is just fantastic, she’s really adorable,” Jessica gushes of her sweet girl whom they now call Lola.

    Initially, Beny thought having a pet might be more responsibility than he wanted, but Jessica managed to convince him otherwise, having grown up with many pets herself. “After a lot of pestering from me, he told me I could pick out a cat as my Christmas gift from him,” Jessica states. Gorgeous Lola, with her beautiful stripes and great green eyes struck Jessica from the start, “I was sold as soon as I saw her, my boyfriend knew…” Since then, Beny & Lola have grown quite close, so much so that Jessica often enters a room only to “catch them cuddling.”

    Jessica goes on to describe how much she loves coming home to her little pal, “she comes running out from wherever she is and rolls on her back for a belly rub.” Not only is Lola affectionate, but she’s also known for giving vocal expression to her satisfaction and content, “She’s very talkative, so chatty, always purring and happy,” Jessica exclaims.

    One of Jessica and Beny’s favourite things about Lola is that she’s very affectionate and likes to spend a lot of time with them. “She follows us around and always wants to be in the same room and she likes to cuddle and sleep under the blankets with us,” Jessica declares. And from the sounds of it, it’ll be happily ever after for this loving trio.

    Happy Tails: Lola

    — Alie Marconicchio

  • Volunteer Profile: Alison F

    Volunteer Profile: Alison F

    What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?

    I got involved with ACR shortly after leaving another cat rescue I had been with for almost 6 years. I really loved what ACR stood for, and felt it would be a rewarding and valuable experience to be able to volunteer with Annex.

    How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?

    I volunteer with ACR as a Monday adoption volunteer, screening adopters, and also volunteer as “cat marketing admin”, updating the available cats page with new available cat profiles.

    Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.

    A real winning moment for me is when I have made a successful match for a cat and adopter. It is very rewarding to help find kitties find a loving forever home.

    Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?

    People should volunteer with ACR as its a wonderful organization that helps feral cat colonies as well as finding homes for kitties. They really care about their volunteers and the public.

    In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?

    The most important thing that ACR does is helping care for feral colonies, abandoned cats as well as educate the public. It is also wonderful that they help adopt out cats into forever homes.

    What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?

    When I am not volunteering with ACR, I am a stay at home mom to 5 kids.

    Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?

    Besides rescuing cats, I am an avid reader of fiction, entering contests, (I have won a number of great prizes over the past years), and I love taking fitness classes several times a week.

    Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?

    Currently I do not have any ACR adopted cats. My two cats are Tuli and Paige (Tuli is a TCR adopted kitty, and Paige is from Forever Home Cat Rescue).

    What cat do you dedicate your volunteer work to and why?

    I dedicate my cat work to Tuli, because it was his back story that got me started on volunteering with a cat rescue. Tuli was a kitten that was not rescued until he was 5 months old. He was part of a colony that was forming (he lived with his brother, mom and grandmother outside of an apartment building). . He was semi-feral when I adopted him. After months of socializing him, he came around. I wanted to be able to help save kitty lives and give back to the community. :)

    Alison F: Vounteer Profile

  • Happy Tails: Pete and Mille

    This adorable brother and sister duo named Pete and Mille found their happily ever after together. Although they shared the same journey, these two are unique in every way.

    Mille is described as the more adventurous of the pair by her adoptive parent Simon, “Mille is the one who will take off into the basement for hours at a time so you think she’s lost.” A curious creature, “she gets into everything right away. You’ve barely put a bag down and she’s climbed inside and chewed on everything.” A sassy feline no doubt, Simon says that she was “the first to start bossing us around.”

    HappyTails: Mille

    Simon however jokingly refers to Pete as “the fat one”, but Pete is a complex cat. The shyer of the two, “Pete will be the one to hide longer when there are guests over, and he doesn’t jump on your lap as much,” Simon says. Simon believes that Pete may have had a more difficult time at the cat colony, causing him to be more nervous and attached. Adds Simon, “Pete is the guy who never leaves your side; as soon as you get home, he just follows you around.”

    HappyTails: Pete

    Despite being shy at first, Pete and Mille were quick to adjust to their adoptive home. Their new family brought over their toys and belongings from their foster home so that they had familiar things around. Simon recalls, “They hid under the tables and chairs for a little while; it wasn’t until maybe an hour before I got my first head bump on my leg. Within two days, they were comfortable just walking around openly on their own.”

    HappyTails: Mille & Pete

    It seems that their comfort levels grew quickly from there. Simon thinks back to one of his favorite pictures of the cats, “That one picture of the two of them on the chair and Pete, the fat one, is lying on his back with his legs sticking out looking like a slob – that was taken at about day seven,” he says. “I sent that to the foster caregiver and to some of our friends and said, ‘I think they are settling in just fine.’ Since then, they own the place basically.”

    —  Margaret Yu

  • Happy Tails: Spoon (Spumoni)

    Spumoni, better known as Spoon, was fostered by ACR volunteer Larissa. Spoon came to her when he was around one year of age and Larisa recalls his wonderful personality. “I was won over when I realized that when he’d play with a toy or string and his paw would come near me, he would immediately retract his claws! He was just naturally so gentle.”

    Happy Tails: Spoon - Spumoni

    Larissa, hoping that Spoon would be adopted by a friend eventually had Kate persuade Maeve to come over to meet the cat. Maeve, had never owned a pet before that didn’t dwell in a cage or bowl but both women were absolutely smitten once they met this special fellow. Maeve says, “When I met Spoon, I had to hold him. He’s just got such a great demeanour – cuddly, mellow, sweet and friendly.” Once back in the car, she told Kate that they should go for it.

    Happy Tails: Spoon - Spumoni

    The next day, the couple went to PetSmart and bought all the things that Spoon would need. Immediately, Spoon fit right into their home, “I thought I’d need to sleep with the bedroom door closed for a few weeks before I was comfortable with him having the run of the apartment… turns out it only took one night!” Maeve laughs.

    Happy Tails: Spoon - Spumoni

    Maeve now describes herself as a proud pet owner, “It seems like he’s been here forever…in a good way,” she states in her blog which details her conversion to a cat lover – and with a cat as affectionate and cuddly as Spoon it’s not hard to see why.

    —  Kaitlyn Uniacke

  • Happy Tails: Pekoe (formerly Goldie)

    Sometimes it’s just meant to be – this was certainly the case for Pekoe and her adopters, JP Davidson & Erika Range. JP & Erika had been searching for the perfect cat and on a fateful day in January 2013, they thought they had found the one. At the time her name was Goldie; she was 4 months old and had been found living with her sister in an alleyway beside an auto garage. Erika & JP decided to get in touch with ACR to express their interest in meeting Goldie; however, before they had the chance to do so they received a call from Erika’s friend, Ashley Leifso. Ashley told them that she thought they’d be interested in a cat she was fostering, and…lo and behold – it was the very same cat!

    Happy Tails - Pekoe

    Pekoe’s effervescent and affable personality was evident from the start. Of their initial meeting JP recalls, “she was very friendly right from the get go, she didn’t seem especially shy or scared, and she didn’t hide from us.” Since then Pekoe has grown into an incredibly outgoing and well-travelled cat. “She’s really chill in the car and when we get to our destination she’s right out there exploring & saying hi to other animals” says JP, “sometimes it kinda freaks the other animals out, they’re like, ‘What? This is my house!’”

    Happy Tails - Pekoe

    Luckily for JP, he gets a daily dose of love from Pekoe as he works from home. “Every afternoon around 2:30 or 3:00 she comes and jumps up on the desk, says hello, and hangs out with me” he says. He and Erika also enjoy frequent cuddles from Pekoe while relaxing on the couch.

    Happy Tails - Pekoe

    When asked about their impact on each other’s lives, JP replies, “we’ve enhanced each other’s lives. We’re really, really happy to have her… she brings life and a lot of joy to our home. And she seems to like us, she has lots of toys and we give her treats and play with her every day.” Truly, it seems like a match made in heaven.

  • Happy Tails: Bug

    Even though his name may suggest he’s pesky, nothing could be further from the truth! Words like friendly, playful and affectionate have been used to describe this little Bug. He is also known to be quite the singer, due to his roaring and musical purr! This handsome boy is about two years old and originally from our Dufferin/Ranee colony and has demonstrated to everyone he has met how happy and grateful he is to have been given a chance to have a home.

    Heather Page fostered Bug in 2013, until he was adopted that September. She fondly remembers him, “When we got him, he was a year old. He was a very cute and friendly cat. He got along very well with my cat, Jean Luc Picard. They spent lots of time playing and cleaning each other. He also liked human attention. I was studying for my CFA exam and he would sit on the table and watch me, nap, and knock around my pens.”

    cat

    Heather adds, “He loved to be petted, and would purr in this very bizarre musical chirping kind of way. Very unique, but very sweet. Like Luc, he would sleep on my bed. When my boyfriend went on a holiday with his friend for two weeks, both cats would sleep beside me on the bed each night.”

    Heather kept a blog while she was a foster parent, in which she wrote two posts about Bug. One post included a video with Bug’s famous purr which helped him find his forever home with Alison Paprocki.

    When asked what made her want to adopt a cat, Alison explains “I was missing having a pet. After I moved I was living with two of my girlfriends, they both had their own cats and I wanted one too. I ended up inheriting one from a family member. Unfortunately, she did awful with the other cats and after a few months I found her a better home.”

    Alison’s desire for a cat companion remained, “The next year another girlfriend of mine was moving in, I had mentioned to her I’d really like a cat. While at work she was looking on the Annex Cat Rescue website and saw a video of Bug getting pets and purring. She sent it to me immediately in excitement! I think we both fell in love watching that video. Phone calls were made, papers were signed and he’s been my Bug ever since.”

    cat

    Bug now lives with Alison, her roommate, and her roommate’s two cats. All the cats get along very well and sometimes all cuddle together.

    Alison describes Bug’s personality as “super, super friendly! Bug has a lot of energy, he runs around a lot, and eats a lot; he’s a typical male. He loves everyone! It’s great.”

     

  • Happy Tails: Greydon

    Dapper, steel-grey Greydon is friendly and good-natured, so he was easily approached and petted by the feeders at the Chester colony. A good candidate for domestication, Gredydon stayed briefly in a feeder’s home before Bonnie Cook fostered him.

    Greydon and Feral Colony Friends At first, Greydon was very shy. He managed to hide himself in Bonnie’s small apartment for the first two weeks. Bonnie says that Greydon is “ one of the smartest cats I’ve ever known. He had my routine figured out in a day or two and avoided me entirely.”

    After taking time to adjust, he started to come out of hiding. Bonnie patiently won him over by playing with him, and got him used to living with humans. After Greydon had been with Bonnie for a year and a half, he was adopted by Carole Paul. Bonnie loved fostering Greydon, “It was hard for me to let him go as he is such a great cat. He is calm and cool and very smart. He liked to sit in my lap and watch TV and loved to be petted. He came such a long way from the cat who hid under my bed for the first two weeks!”

    Greydon Inside

    When Carole first saw Greydon’s picture, there was just something about him that she liked. Greydon adapted to his new home, and the bond between cat and cat owner developed quickly. Carole kept the name Greydon since he was an older cat and she “felt it would be wrong to change his name. Since he is dark grey the name fit him perfectly!”

    Carole is a trombonist, so she wanted to make sure that Greydon wouldn’t be afraid when she practiced in the apartment. “I went to great lengths to introduce him to the horn in a way so that he would not be afraid,” she explains. First she played records, and then she practiced in the bathroom, so that by the time he met the trombone, he was used to the sound of it. In fact, he now enjoys classical music. These days Greydon is a very social cat. He likes visitors, especially Carole’s brother. Carole is very happy to have Greydon, “He settled in and has become a great pet.”
    Happy Tails Greydon

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