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.
- My Purrfect Valentine – Charity Fundraiser
Join us for an evening of comedy on Sunday February 14 at 7:00 pm
All proceeds will be given to Annex Cat Rescue.
Raffle Prizes and Silent Auction.
Thank you to our sponsors for their past and continued support:
Via Rail, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Pet Uno, Global Pet Foods, Hops and Robbers, Nutrience, Insomnia.
Get your tickets today!
- Be Mine? PetSmart Adopt-a-Thon
Annex Cat Rescue will be participating in PetSmart Charities‘ National Adoption Weekend but only for one day: Saturday February 13 at PetSmart Stockyards. We’ll have some of our cats who are looking for good homes there and be able to answer any questions you may have about volunteering with us or about feral cat colony care.
- Saluting Fay Neuber 1959-2015: Daughter, sister, aunt, friend and ACR volunteer
A quote often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi goes, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” That same maxim also applies to individuals, and by that measure, Fay Neuber was a sterling example of moral progress where cats were concerned.
A dedicated, long-time volunteer colony cat feeder with Annex Cat Rescue throughout the 1990s and much of the aughts, Neuber – who died last December after a lengthy battle with cancer at age 56 – had a devotion to cats that was boundless.
Indeed, Neuber almost miraculously met friend and fellow ACR volunteer Liz Cabral shortly after she was diagnosed in early 2015 while Cabral was coincidentally trying to locate some feral cats near Neuber’s home in rural Ontario, where Neuber had recently moved after two decades in Toronto.
“It was like divine intervention,” sister Kelly Neuber confirms, “because at that point Fay wasn’t going outside much. But she just happened to walk outside at that very moment.”
“I saw this lady and asked if she knew anything about stray cats,” Cabral recalls. She did. And with Cabral’s help, four ferals Neuber had been tending despite her advancing illness – Trixie, Pixie, Jackie and Danny – were eventually taken into care as were Momma, Manny, Tara and Jessie, Neuber’s owned cats.
“Fay would always refer to cats as her ‘little loves,’” says Cabral, who Neuber referred to as her “cat angel.”
“When Fay was in hospital last fall, I went over to her place to get her cats. Manny was frightened so I had to call Fay and she called out to him, ‘Manny my love’. She said that for about a minute and he calmed down enough for me to get him in a carrier.”
Says Kelly Neuber, “Fay always talked about Annex Cat Rescue being a grassroots organization, which was really important to her.” (Fay Neuber’s family asked friends to make donations to ACR in her memory).
“Even when she had moved to the country,” Kelly Neuber continues, “she was so devoted to feral cats. And she stayed in touch with ACR and would occasionally reach out for help with trapping [for TNR].”
“Fay was like a long-lost sister to me. She had such a loving heart,” adds Cabral. “She thought cats were such unique creatures. And they gave such unconditional love.”
And so did Fay Neuber, to the very end.
— Kim Hughes
- Happy Tails: Nipper and Tucker
Imagine being separated from your best friend of 11 years? That could have been the fate for Nipper and Tucker had they not come to Annex Cat Rescue.
ACR did not dare to separate these two pals and put them up for adoption as a bonded pair. As they are senior cats, ACR was not expecting a line-up for adoption.
Nipper and Tucker were able to wait comfortably in their foster home and their patience was rewarded. Eventually the pair was adopted by cat lover Carolyn. By this point, they had lived in their foster home for quite some time and Carolyn believes that the cats and their foster parent grew quite attached to each other. As she picked them up to take them to their forever home, she promised to take good care of them.
The excellent care began with slowly introducing Nipper and Tucker into their new home. Since Carolyn has other cats, it was important that the pair was introduced slowly so that they did not get off on the wrong “paw”. “It helped that they can rely on each other when they were nervous,” Carolyn said.
Nipper and Tucker were kept in a separate area of her apartment until they were ready and the other cats were happy to accept them. Carolyn has noticed that Nipper and Tucker have become much more independent than those initial days. They enjoy surveying their neighbourhood from their screened-in balcony, and Tucker, the shy one, has become more confident and loves to be petted. Even as they gain their independence, Carolyn admits that it is always cute to see them curled up together.
Carolyn, who has adopted through different rescue agencies, appreciates the care ACR volunteers take to screen potential adopters to ensure that each cat finds the right home.
Her advice for anyone looking to adopt a cat is to look at their budget and see if there is room for two cats. “It’s preferable to adopt a pair so that they always have a buddy,” she said.
She is grateful for the work of ACR as she now has two really great cats!
- Happy Tails: Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster, rescued from a feral colony, was far from a monster. He was very shy and what Sky Lamothe saw at their first meeting were only bits of Cookie – a bit of body, a hint of face and a portion of tail.
Sky was looking for a companion kitty for her cat, Finnwin. After his 20-year-old, jet-black buddy Rupert passed away, Finnwin seemed to be lost and lonely. Since Sky’s other cat Jackson is more of a maverick type, the pair was just “tolerating each other” rather than friends.
On the suggestion of the adoption team at Annex Cat Rescue, Sky visited Cookie’s foster home. Although she never got to see the “whole” Cookie and he wasn’t black (the colour that Sky had set her heart on), observing his interactions with other cats at the foster home and talking with his foster mom helped her make a decision. The shy, buff feline was sitting in Sky’s bathroom the next day.
Sky was very careful introducing Cookie to the other residents of her home because rushing the integration process could affect their long-term relationships. Cookie got privacy with a covered bed, food, water and a litter box in the bathroom. Sky left the door slightly open, so Cookie could see out but would still feel safe, and she let Cookie decide when he was ready to come out.
Cookie spent the first night in the bathroom, but started venturing out the next day. However, Cookie wasn’t interested in Finnwin, who desperately wanted a buddy; he only had eyes for Jackson, who wanted nothing to do with him! A few days later, though, Cookie bonded with Finnwin, and they started sleeping together and grooming each other.
It’s been a year and half. Cookie has grown into a big cat – much bigger than his older brothers. “My gentle giant,” Sky called him. He has been a great companion for Finnwin, but his relationship with Jackson has both surprised and delighted Sky. “Jackson came from a horrible background and to see them chasing each other around the apartment, playing their little hearts out, makes me very happy,” she said.
Cookie’s relationship with Sky has come a long way as well. He is still a little shy, but he sleeps on her lap and at the foot of the bed. “I knew it would take a while for Cookie and me to build a relationship as he still had a ways to go in trusting humans, but figured we would have years to do that,” she said.
Patience seems to be the key, especially when adding new kitties to the family. Sky took a few months to find Finnwinn and about two to find Cookie. She visited a lot of cats, and talked with the foster families to find out about their personalities. “I think it pays off in the long run to take your time when adopting a cat, especially if you already have one and are looking for a second or third one.” she said.
- Happy Tails: Clyde
Clyde is Nicole’s first cat. Previously a dog owner and always a pet lover, she wanted a pet but a dog would have been too much with her schedule. The independent, casual attitude of most cats felt like a far better fit and would still provide all the companionship and company at home that she wanted.
Having heard of Annex Cat Rescue online, she started to look around the website at various cats.
Clyde was a fluke – she just happened to see his cute picture. She wanted a friend for the long haul and since Clyde was young and sweet, she knew he would be around for many years.
Clyde’s background is unknown other than the fact that he was surrendered. Sadly, Clyde had been declawed both front and back. Nicole saw the adoption as an opportunity to give a home to a cat who had suffered this painful procedure.
Clyde is a super-friendly and well-adjusted cat – “like a dog”. He is always ready to greet Nicole when she comes through the door and he follows her everywhere once she’s inside. He likes to run into the bathroom with her and play with the bathtub. He is also partial to paper bags and loves exploring the laundry room. He’ll sit and cry at the door until he’s let in.
Since she never owned a cat before, Clyde’s behaviour is especially fun for Nicole to watch and learn about. She laughs about how she is unsure if his traits are “cat things” or just “Clyde things”. He sleeps in her bed and is so sweet and lovely. She’s obsessed with him. With others, Clyde is friendly and social and is even okay with most dogs, as long as they are calm.
Nicole feels like she has really lucked out with Clyde and insists that adopting him was the best thing ever. He is cute and perfect and ever since he entered her life, she has been telling everyone about him!
–Risa de Rege
- New Year, New Start Adoption Promotion
ACR’s special needs cats can’t see their disabilities – they just want to be loved in a forever home. Be their hero and ACR will guide you along the way with post-adoption support! Our special needs cats are available at a reduced adoption rate.
- Happy Tails: Sassy (Formerly Checkers)
You passed away in July of last year. You were 8 years old and had cancer in your kidneys. Your human family was with you until the very end. You are resting peacefully in the memorial that they built for you in their garden. They miss you very much.
I spoke with your foster mother, Kaitlyn. You were in her care for about a year. She remembers you as a very affectionate cat. If she was sitting down or had time to pet you, you would always find a way to turn it into a snuggle session. Even though your face appeared a bit angry, you were a very sweet cat.
I also spoke with your adopter, Kelli. Your bio in ACR’s “Senior Adopt-a-Thon” caught her attention in June 2014. In her eyes, you were a beautiful cat. From her experience working with cat rescues in Hamilton, she knew that being a senior animal, you faced a harder time being adopted. But she was ready to adopt you. She drove into Toronto to pick you up.
When Kelli first brought you home, you were timid. You stayed close to her and she cuddled you in her lap. As time passed, you grew to become more comfortable in your new home. You developed a special bond with her three year old daughter. Kelli would often find you at the end of her daughter’s bed. Although her daughter was allergic to you, she didn’t care; she loved snuggling with you.
Kelli renamed you Sassy because of your sassy personality. When you wanted to eat in the morning, you would let out a sassy cat meow. If Kelli did not feed you soon enough, you were able to convince her daughter to feed you instead. When guests came over, you would let them scratch your belly all of 2.5 times and then go on to attack their hands and give them lots of love bites.
There are a couple of things that Kelli wants potential adopters to know about senior cats. Senior cats are great additions to homes, especially where the household is quite busy. Senior cats have their personalities fully developed so that adopters will know exactly what kind of cat they can expect to have. Senior cats are also very mellow and just want to hang out and cuddle. You were the perfect example of this.
Thank you for letting us into your life. Goodnight Sassy cat.
- Happy Tails: Jasmine
When Amy moved to Toronto, she was looking for an opportunity where she could make a difference and got involved with Annex Cat Rescue. As a volunteer blog writer, she heard stories of older cats being passed over in favour of energetic kittens. Amy knew that when she was ready to adopt, she would want an older cat.
It was the description on ACR’s website that initially piqued Amy’s interest in Jasmine. Jasmine was described as having a quiet disposition and her story encouraged Amy to schedule a visit with Jasmine’s foster mom, Holly.
As her first foster cat, Jasmine provided Holly with fond memories, but she was not an easy guest at first. When Jasmine wasn’t hiding, she would fight with Holly’s resident cat. Previously a stray, Jasmine came to Annex Cat Rescue at about five years of age with a tear in her ear and thinning fur. Holly immediately put her on a diet of veterinarian grade food and enjoyed watching her transformation. Her magnificent grey fur fluffed back up to give her a healthy coat that framed her sparkling green eyes.
Jasmine started to bond with Holly as well. She would rub up against Holly’s leg and seek Holly out when she was relaxing on the couch for cuddle sessions.
In preparation to meet Jasmine, Amy was warned that she may hide when Amy comes over, but the visit exceeded all expectations. “I sat next to her in a small room and she came out of hiding and would purr when I pet her,” Amy said.
Amy returned a few days later with a carrier to take Jasmine to her new home. When Jasmine arrived at her forever home, she hid away for a week and would only come out at night. Since Amy was getting settled in her life in Toronto, she could relate to Jasmine’s need to find her place in her new home and gave Jasmine her space and time.
“Jasmine wants to be loved and she has a lot of love to give,” Amy said. In return, Amy was rewarded for her patience and her new feline friend started to come out of hiding. Jasmine wanted her thick coat to be brushed and she became quite vocal about her needs. “She would meow at me to let me know that she wanted to interact with me.”
Amy’s advice to anyone looking to adopt a cat is to give an older cat a chance. “Meet them, they might surprise you!” Amy is constantly being surprised by her companion. Since being adopted almost a year ago, Jasmine has come out of her shell and Amy has even seen her playful side – anything becomes a toy for Jasmine including string or paper balls. Most of the time, Jasmine still likes the quiet and craves affection. Each night, Amy cuddles with Jasmine in her bed, drifting off to sleep to the sound of her gentle purrs. “It is very sweet to see her so loyal and happy to have my companionship and love!”
— Jillian Kaster
- Happy Tails: Uma
It was clear that Uma was a special cat from the second Sarah and Jenna started talking about her.
Uma was rescued as a kitten by ACR, so her disposition with humans has always been friendly and required very little work in terms of the typical process of assimilating feral cats.
Jenna, a seasoned fosterer, says Uma was one of her favorite fosters. “She was amazing – she walked in on day one and owned this place!” Jenna’s cats at the time, Randy and Odus had no trouble welcoming Uma into their home. Uma, at 7 months, was a baby compared to Jenna’s cats. She quickly took to grooming them like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Jenna has been fostering cats for years. When asked about the process and what she would recommend to a new foster parent, she spoke of the fear that many people have. Those with animals and children are particularly worried about the unpredictability of the process. “99% of the time, there are no problems with fostering cats and it’s very rewarding; it’s also a great way to test out owning a cat if you’re thinking of adopting.”
Jenna describes Uma as a true partner, and knew that she needed to be adopted into a home with other cats to be happy. So, it seemed only fitting that Uma ended up with Sarah.
Sarah had lost one of her cats a few months previous and her cat, Hugh, was clearly very lonely. When Sarah read Jenna’s description of Uma on the ACR website, talking about how friendly and snuggly she was, she knew she had to check her out.
Sarah spoke about what an easy transition it was to bring Uma home, and how Uma and Hugh instantly took to each other, sleeping together and keeping each other company constantly.
Uma remains her vibrant and unique self. She lures her “neighbourhood boyfriends” to the window during the day and “chirps” instead of meowing to get her point across. Uma is also a huge lover of water. Having discovered a leaking faucet in one of the bathtubs, she loves to sit under it until she’s completely soaked.
Sarah recommends previous and new adopters to take their time when meeting a new cat, and make sure that they are a good fit for their home and other pets. Uma was the perfect fit for her new home and family.
Here she is wishing us all a happy holiday wearing her sparkly holiday dress!
— Kathy Ribeiro