Annex Cat Rescue is a 100% volunteer charity dedicated to addressing the plight of homeless cats in the Greater Toronto Area by:
- Humanely trapping homeless kittens and abandoned or stray adult cats for placement in our foster and adoption program;
- Feeding and providing medical care for feral cats in designated colonies;
- Curbing population growth in those colonies through trapping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating;
- Educating the public on the compassionate treatment of homeless cats and responsible pet ownership; and
- Improving urban environments through community cooperation.
- Happy Tail: Matches (formerly Thistle)
Even before she discovered that Matches maintained a robust Instagram account to chronicle his adventures, Aliana knew her newly adopted cat was very, very special.
OK, so maybe Matches’ Instagram posts are abetted by Aliana. But the roughly six-year-old orange-and-white male does assist by lolling fetchingly atop the duvet, keenly watching as the CN Tower elevators go up and down and occasionally, climbing atop Aliana’s refrigerator for added visual impact.
“He’s pretty chill and very independent as cats are,” Aliana says of Matches, who she jokingly describes as her “cat husband” and whose odd name references an in-joke between Aliana and her BFF who lives in the same condo building downtown.
Aliana continues: “Matches is quite funny; I think he has a sense of humour. He’s not just about laying around and having food. He’s a bit of a rascal which is what endeared him to me. He just seemed like a cat I’d like. He’s very entertaining.”
Add to that list of traits “ambitious” with a keen desire to be homed. As the story goes, in and around autumn of 2015, Matches – then known as Thistle – was captured by ACR at his north Toronto colony and taken to be neutered and vetted.
As foster mom Catherine explains, when the very affection cat’s caretaker went to return him to his colony, he actually hopped back up into the car.
“There was no availability to keep him at that moment but of course it was pretty endearing,” says Catherine, who cared for Thistle/Matches from January to July of this year prior to Aliana’s recent adoption.
“As soon as there was space for Matches, he was brought in,” adds Wood, a long-time ACR foster caregiver.
As for Aliana, Matches was the latest in a long line of successful rescues, both canine and feline. “I am a firm believer of rescues over breeders,” she says, noting that she has adopted from ACR previously. Aliana saw Matches on the ACR website and “I knew I had to meet him right away.”
Both Catherine and Aliana agree Matches, though a smidge quirky, is a superstar and may well have once been owned given his demonstrative nature which includes head-butts and lots of purrs. His snoring during naptime is another matter…
“The bed is his favourite place which is funny because Catherine had said he wasn’t really a bed cat. I can’t get him off,” Aliana howls. “I think he loves the squishiness of the duvet. We’re still getting to know each other but every day he is more and more cuddly.”
Adds Catherine, “Fostering is awesome. I’ve done it for about five or six years. It gets harder each time to let the cats go even though it’s rewarding to see them go to a home where they are loved.
“I was sad to see Thistle go, but within a week Aliana had the Instagram account active and was posting and it was pretty clear how happy the cat was. It’s great to be able to follow along with his story.”
— Kim Hughes
- Walk or Run for Annex Cat Rescue on October 16!
Last year was our first participating in the Charity Challenge. We were bowled over by the enthusiastic response from our supporters and team members! In addition to the money raised, for which we (and ACR kitties) were very grateful, we genuinely had a great time doing the race and invite you to join our team for 2016! There is room for both casual walkers and dedicated runners. Children accompanied by adults are welcome! Not only will it be fun and for a great cause, but you’ll get a one-of-a-kind ACR team t-shirt and meet some nice people. There will even be prizes. Any team member who raises at least $150 for ACR will have their race registration fee reimbursed after the race.
Most of us are doing the 5k walk but you can run the 5k, Half-Marathon (21.1k) or Marathon (42.2k). It’s up to you!
Every Team ACR member will receive a special ACR T-shirt and there will be prizes in several categories (e.g., top fundraisers, best costume, etc.).
To join our team, please email Joanna at email@example.com so she can get you placed on our team. ***Note: you MUST register for the race using Annex Cat Rescue’s charity discount code in order for us to reimburse the fee.
Don’t delay — join today and help us help homeless cats!
And if you aren’t able to participate this year, you can still support Annex Cat Rescue by making a team donation.
More information on the STWM Scotiabank Charity Challenge is available here.
- Happy Tails: Somersault
Can you guess how Catherine the Great Somersault got her name? Chances are you’ve guessed right! It’s because she would do tricks and somersaults around the feet of the Annex Cat Rescue volunteer who came to feed her feral cat colony. Her active personality, in spite of her slightly crooked walk, caught the attention of the volunteer, who eventually decided to adopt this lovely,miniature black panther.
Born on the streets, Somersault had a rough start to life, fighting to survive for 7 years as a feral cat. Nonetheless she took a liking to her volunteer feeder Minh, coming close to Minh’s feet to perform tricks, and looking up with a bit of trust in her dark blue eyes. This convinced Minh that Somersault was looking for a warm, loving home, and she was happy to provide it.
At first Somersault had a tough time adjusting to house life. She hid in the kitchen for the first two months, wary of both her human family and her cat sister, Cassie. Eventually she realized that she was in a safe place, and started to come out of her shell. That was four years ago.
Now she’s a full-fledged member of the family! She and Cassie do everything together, including sleeping together in their giant cat bed, and sitting side-by- side for hours while staring out the window at the birds and squirrels going by. She even gets along with her canine brother.
While she’s not one to cuddle on a human’s lap, she does have her morning and afternoon routines: twice a day she makes her way in to the kitchen and waits patiently for Minh to hand her treats.She also gets special treats twice a year, including ones wrapped up and placed under the Christmas tree in December!
Feral cats all have a little bit of baggage, and Somersault’s comes in the form of a funny habit: at 10:20 every night, she meows about 10 times. Minh and her family still can’t figure out the reasons behind this, but they say it’s part of what make her such an interesting and endearing cat!
Minh says that adopting a feral cat can be challenging, but is worthwhile in the end, because you’re saving a soul from a life on the street. Feral cats might need a little extra time to adjust to your household, but once they do, they can be great members of your family. She especially encourages people to adopt black cats like Somersault because they’re often overlooked.
— Stacia Sahi
- Kittens Galore Adoptathon
Our next Adoptathon will be at Global Pet Foods High Park on Saturday August 20. Come stop by and see if one (or two) of the many kittens in ACR care is right for your family.
- Urgent: Socialization Homes
URGENT: We need assessment/socialization homes for semi-feral cats. The role of the assessment home is to get to know the cat and see if he/she is socializable. Sometimes traumatized stray cats get into the mix and can need additional support as well. You would be helping the Foster team decide what sort of more long-term foster home the cat needs. The cat may need you for only a few days or for a few weeks.
A socialization home works with semi-feral cats to regain their trust. This is a more long-term commitment. Here is one ACR volunteer’s description of the role:
It is best if assessment and socialization homes have had some exposure to feral and semi-feral cats and have great compassion for cats that are transitioning off the street and the trauma that street life may have caused to a cat.
If you are not sure what is involved, here are a few helpful resources to help you decide if you and your home might be suitable:
The Socialization Toolbox: How to rehabilitate stray and semi-feral cats
How to help a semi-feral adjust to your home
Can you help? If yes, please read through the information here and apply. If you’re applying to be a particular cat’s foster home, please mention that somewhere on the form.
Do you know someone who might be interested? Share this post with them.
Please allow a few days for a response as our Foster department is swamped. We have more cats in foster care than we’ve ever had before! And there are even more on our waiting list. Thank you for whatever you can do to help.
- ACR at the CNE Cat Show
Annex Cat Rescue will be down at the 2016 CNE for the 45th Annual Cat Show on August 27 & 28. We will not have cats with us for this event. It is primarily an outreach effort to bring awareness to the issues of feral and stray cats in Toronto. We will have “purr pads” as well as organic catnip toys, t-shirts and other original crafts made by our talented volunteers. Drop by and say hello if you’re down at the Ex!
- Happy Tail: Antoine
“Antoine was one of those cats that you don’t forget,” says Catherine, who has been fostering for Annex Cat Rescue for about five years.
An asymmetrical white strip runs down Antoine’s otherwise grey face and wide expressive eyes reflect his big personality. “I kept his original name; it just seemed to suit him,” says Robyn Jensen.
Robyn, who previously owned pure breeds, hadn’t had a cat for about three years and found that she missed the company. This time, she decided to go with a rescue organization rather than a breeder because she wasn’t looking for a particular style of cat but rather just a great personality. During her first call with ACR, the volunteer she spoke with thought she knew a cat who was a match for Robyn – he wasn’t even on the website yet.
For Robyn, it was love at first sight.
“I think it was for him too,” she says. Antoine found his forever home with Robyn in March 2015.
Antoine was a surrender and in rough shape when he made his way to ACR. He needed ongoing veterinary care. Clinic staff were always excited to see laid back Antoine arrive for his monthly visits. Catherine recalls that after the vet gave Antoine his check-up, he’d say, “I’m just going to take him around to everyone so they can see him – they missed him so much!” Antoine was happy to spread the love.
True to form, it took Antoine little time to adjust when Robyn brought him home. Surprisingly, Antoine doesn’t really like toys.
“Over the last year, I’ve tried buying him many different toys, but he just doesn’t really like playing with anything.”
However, what Antoine lacks in playfulness he makes up in curiosity, an attribute that led Robyn to start taking him to visit friends. “He’s so easy going that he never runs or hides when meeting people for the first time,” she says.
The pair has even gone on a road trip together! Robyn kept Antoine in a crate while driving and took plenty of breaks so that he could stretch his legs. Upon their arrival in Ohio, Antoine quickly adjusted to his new environment and revelled in the attention – even from two and four-year-old children – an age that many cats prefer to shy away from.
“I’ve never met a more mellow cat,” says Robyn.”I couldn’t be happier with him!”
— Leslie Sinclair
- Urgent: Foster Home Appeal
URGENT: We need foster homes! We are bursting at the seams with kittens of various ages that have been rescued from street life. They need patient and loving people to help them to learn to trust humans and to prepare them for adoption. We also have some adult cats who are looking for temporary shelter. Can you help? If yes, please read through the information here and apply.
Do you know someone who might be interested? Share this post with them.
Please allow a few days for a response as our Foster department is swamped. We have more cats in foster care than we’ve ever had before! And there are even more on our waiting list.
- Happy Tail: Maude
“Ms. Maude is a lovely, chatty and super affectionate girl.”
“She’s our opinionated little love bug, for sure.”
Adoring quotes befitting a diva!
“Ms. Maude showed up in a managed cat colony in the west end with her kitten Lucy late last fall.” Jen, a volunteer with the Trap, Neuter, Return Program for Feral Cats, explained. “I don’t know whether or not Maude previously had a home. I assumed they were feral and trapped them for TNR.”
Jen fostered the pair while they recovered from being spayed. Normally, they would be returned to the colony but Jen was deeply touched by Ms. Maude’s lovely, chatty, and affectionate personality.
Ms. Maude deserved a real home and the Annex Cat Rescue helped facilitate her quick adoption.
“It was a week and a half!” Jen exclaims. “The folks at ACR have always been incredibly helpful and supportive.”
Ms. Maude is cherished in her new home. Jen tells us that she has settled in beautifully. These happy endings make her feel like her volunteer work is worthwhile.
“She has all the personality!” Nora, Maude’s new owner, gushes. “Cheerful! Self-possessed! Chatty! Loving! Playful Girl! We are so, so happy she’s part of our family!”
Ms. Maude likes to wait by the door when she hears the key in the lock. She yells to be picked up for a long purr-y cuddle and chin-scratch session.
Mischief always lurks on the other side of her demands for affection. Knocking over unattended water glasses, breaking into the catnip, and feeling not an ounce of remorse…these are only some of her misdeeds.
When Maude wants attention, she will scratch the couch knowing that it’s a sure fire way to get noticed. Maude loves to socialize but is no lap cat. She welcomes visitors, but Ms. Maude makes it known to ALL her guests that they are in HER home! Luckily, Nora is quite forgiving of Ms. Maude’s territorial nature.
Ms. Maude is a natural diva. She rolls over in her comfy bed to stretch, pride gleaming from her jade green eyes. Her attitude could be misconstrued as indifference but Ms. Maude is paying her new family the greatest compliment. A truly happy feline expresses their appreciation when they are themselves. Ms. Maude is at peace knowing that she can thrive in the loving home that she has found.
Jen and Nora can’t thank ACR enough for seamlessly facilitating the relationship between a foster and an adoptive parent. Jen has been involved in “stray/rescue” for years. She believes that the efforts of the whole ACR team are outstanding!
- Happy Tail: Stella (Formerly Girlie)
Dr. Vlad of the Yonge-Davenport Pet Hospital first met Girlie when her owners brought her in because she was suffering from severe gingivitis. Although she recovered quickly with antibiotics, Girlie was soon back to see Dr. Vlad as her teeth and gums were in terrible shape. Four canines and a molar were removed but Girlie still needed a second dental.
Her owners balked at further cat care. The female owner loved the cat, her partner did not. The cat did not like him, he said. Girlie hated being in the car for the weekend trips that the couple took. She refused to go in a cat carrier, and would climb all over the car, panic-stricken.
Dr. Vlad suggested surrendering Girlie to Annex Cat Rescue and her owners agreed. ACR took in Girlie and paid for the second dental. After her recovery, Girlie spent three months at the clinic, having the run of the third floor all to herself.
With her teeth gone, Girlie is quiet, does not meow nor hiss, but lets you know what she wants through birdlike chirps. While she shuns head rubs, she will demand belly and bum rubs over and over again.
“She is the sweetest cat ever” said Dr. Vlad, “I do not see how anybody could not love this cat.” “She loves all people, dogs, and cats.”
After the third month of ruling the third floor of the clinic, Girlie was adopted. Her current owner, tells us “Girlie (who we have renamed Stella) is settling in very well. She and my other cat Jules have become fast friends and she is slowly adapting to the overly friendly dogs. She spends most of the day sleeping on my bed in the sunshine on any clean piles of laundry she can find. We love her so much and are so glad she found a home with us!”
No word on whether Stella has meowed yet but nonetheless, it is very happy ending for “the sweetest cat ever” with the quiet disposition.
— Natasha Charles