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: Huxtable (formerly Rascal) Finds His Forever Home with ACR

    The concept of love at first sight is alive, well and living in the Annex area in the happy home of Chloe Fox, fiancé Devon Miller and Huxtable the cat, a roughly year-old tabby with green eyes as enchanting as the treetops of Algonquin Park.

    “We got him at the beginning of January,” Fox explains. “We had been thinking about adopting a cat since we moved to Toronto from B.C. last summer. We’d heard about Annex Cat Rescue; we started working with them in the fall. We were trying to find our cat and after Christmas we decided to ramp it up.

    “We had seen Huxtable – then named Rascal – online and he seemed like our kind of guy. So we went and saw him, immediately fell in love and took him home the next day. He was a bit shy but came up to us and wanted to be patted. And it’s just been amazing.”

    As for the name change, Fox says she had come across another ACR cat named Huxtable. “And I remembered thinking, ‘What an amazing name for a cat.’ Plus Devon and I grew up with The Cosby Show so it just seemed to fit.”

    As is often the case with cats coming into care at ACR, Huxtable’s provenance is something of a mystery. Fox was told by foster mom Jacqueline Sharp that Huxtable, whom Sharp took in last November, had been discovered living outside somewhere in Etobicoke.

    “Some old women in the neighbourhood had been feeding him but had alerted ACR about him and they went and got him,” Fox says. “I think the old women were quite taken with him. He is very friendly and loves people.”

    These days, Huxtable can be found romping with his favourite toy, “a little rectangle filled with stuffing and some cat nip. He loves that,” Fox says.

    She continues: “He loves playing with us. If he is playing by himself he will often meow at us to join which we are of course happy to do. He is a real people-cat and a bit of a Momma’s boy,” she laughs. “I work at home most days and he’s usually right beside me or on my lap all day. When I get up and move, he gets up and moves. He has adjusted nicely.”

    And Fox can’t say enough about her great experience working with Annex Cat Rescue. “It’s such a caring organization and all the cats seem to be so well loved in their foster homes. Plus the volunteers are dedicated to getting the right match between cat and owner.”

    Happy Tails - Huxtable

  • Happy Tails: Betty

    Beautiful Betty, fearful and shy after her scary time on the streets, has blossomed at last after finding her forever home with ACR adopter Linda.

    Betty

    Annex Cat Rescue saved Betty from a life on the streets, living behind a restaurant, where she was at risk of being poisoned.

    Linda had always had cats, and found herself missing the companionship a cat provides. She and her teenage daughter had been looking for an older, affection cat.

    When Linda first went to meet her, she was warned that Betty, then called Betty Boo as she was so shy, might not come out to say hi. Despite Betty’s shyness, something must have clicked, because Linda knew Betty was the one for her and applied to adopt her.

    And then came the challenge of getting Betty into her carrier for the journey home. Linda laughed as she described the scene as she and Betty’s foster mom tried to get Betty into the carrier– “Hissing, snarling and pooping, the foster parent left bleeding”. Undettered by Betty’s big show, Linda took her home, prepared to wait days, if not weeks, for Betty to come around. Opening the cage door, Betty slinked off. But within a few hours she was out of hiding and exploring her new home.

    Linda is delighted with Betty. She describes her as active, affectionate, quirky, and maybe a little crazy, but that’s just fine with Linda. Betty has turned into the most gregarious cat. She is the official apartment greeter now, not even afraid of the teenage visitors. She loves to play fetch with her special toy, a fluffy ball that makes a crackly noise, which Linda has taken to calling “The Precious” because Betty is so attached to it.

    Annex Cat rescue wishes to thank Betty’s former foster and Linda for taking such good care of this sweet kitty, who was just waiting to find the right home to come out of her shell.

  • Spring Fete Adopt-a-thon Success!

    The Spring Fete Adopt-a-thon, which was held in May, was our first of the year and a great success.  Held at Pet Uno, the Adopt-a-thon saw four cats find forever homes and raised over $690 from sales and donations.

    Pet Uno

    Pet Uno Adopters

    Danielle, the Adopt-a-thon Coordinator confirms there are two more Adopt-a-thons planned for this summer, “Our next one will take place at Wooftown – an independent pet shop at Yonge and Summerhill.”

    Not only will the Adopt-a-thons feature some of our adorable cats and kittens, but other great ways to support ACR, “This event will also include a bake sale, face painting, lemonade stand, and locally made cat treats and toys – as well as some super cute items donated from local Etsy shops.”

    The next ACR Adopt-a-thon is June 15, 11 AM – 5 PM at Wooftown, 10 Birch Avenue – we can’t wait to see you there!

  • Featured Feline: Sylvester

    Sylvester is approximately four years old with a beautiful black and white coat. He recently came to ACR as a stray but has adjusted very quickly in his foster home. “Sylvester is the best!” exclaims his foster mom Catherine, “I can’t stop taking pictures of him; he’s adorable.”

    Sylvester

    Catherine feels he’ll be a great addition to any household with his very social personality, “his meows and chirps are the cutest thing.” Not a morning person? Sylvester is here to help, “This morning I must have hit ‘snooze’ too many times, because he hopped up on the bed and sat beside me,” chuckles Catherine.

    His fun-loving curiosity keeps him busy, but he’s never too busy to come when called (in hopes of getting his favourite – a belly rub!) Sylvester will gladly accept head scratches too, and will happily thump his tail on the floor to show his appreciation.

    Unfortunately, like many cats roaming the streets, Sylvester was once someone’s pet as he was found declawed, and is blind in one eye. Neither of these things slow him down though says Catherine, “he plays with his toys and loves getting his face rubbed.”

    To give Sylvester his forever home, please visit http://www.annexcatrescue.ca/adopt.

    Check out Sylvester in action:

     

  • Annex Cat Rescue’s 2014 Annual General Meeting

    Annual General Meeting 2014

    Please join us for our 2014 Annual General Meeting. Share in last year’s successes. Help us plan for the year ahead. Meet your fellow supporters. Ask questions. Enjoy some refreshments and good company.
    Where:

    Trinity St. Paul’s Centre
    (The Fireside Room)427 Bloor Street West
    Toronto, Ontario
    (just west of Spadina)
    When:
    Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
    6:30-8:30pm (doors open at 6:00pm)


    Spread your Passion!

    Feel free to bring a friend, or anyone interested in joining ACR. As a non-profit organization, ACR is always in need of new, dedicated volunteers and supporters.

    A quick reminder about Memberships

    Thank you to those who have already renewed their memberships. If you haven’t already, please update your membership so that you can vote for new board members. Up-to-date members can also arrange for a proxy.

    To purchase a new membership or to renew, please send a cheque for $10.00 made out to “Annex Cat Rescue”, with “Membership” written in the memo field. Please also include your name, full mailing address, e-mail address and phone number, and mail to:

    Annex Cat Rescue, Attn: Memberships
    P. O. Box 19028
    360A Bloor Street West
    Toronto, ON M5S 3C9

    If you would like to renew your Membership at the AGM, please plan to arrive 15 minutes early.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please contact us by email at membership@annexcatrescue.ca or by phone at 416-410-3835.

    We hope we’ll see you there!

    Annex Cat Rescue Board of Directors
    board@annexcatrescue.ca
    www.annexcatrescue.ca

    Chair – Marianne Premuzic, 2nd year of 1st term
    Vice-Chair – Joanna Reading,  2nd year of 1st term
    Treasurer – Jacqueline Chan, 1st year of 1st term
    Secretary – Jennifer Modica, Appointed to fill a vacancy
    Member-at-Large – Kathy McDonald, 1st year of 1st term

  • The Joys of Adopting an Older Cat

    Like most clichés, the old chestnut about some things improving with age holds a fundamental truth. Consider cats. Kittens are adorable, sure, but mature cats offer potential owners huge advantages over their scampering kitten brethren. The trick is looking beneath the furry exterior.

    Lynn Deverteuil knows exactly how rewarding it can be to open the door to an older cat. Before adopting eight-year-old Cosette, who had been dumped at a barn, Deverteuil fostered the feline. But Cosette’s attributes were so obvious and persuasive that Deverteuil ultimately offered a forever home.

    “Older cats are out of the rambunctious kitten phase,” she said. “They have established a personality so it’s easier to find one to suit your lifestyle. Also, they have usually been spayed or neutered and had their vaccines.”

    She continues: “Cats can have a long life journey which means there may be years of pet ownership ahead with an older cat. Not only that, they often have a back story and it feels good to take over that relationship.

    “Older cats are easily contented and loving once settled – at least all the ones I have fostered. In the end though, cats are cats,” Deverteuil adds. “They have different personalities and quirks. It’s humbling just to accept and enjoy who they are. And Cosette is doing great!”

    Like Cosette, Fritzy has a smitten super-fan. Jane Morris adopted the seven-year-old female tabby after her previous owner had surrendered her to an animal hospital and Jane hasn’t looked back.

    “She is a wonderful girl who has settled into her forever home without a hitch,” Morris confirms. “It can be harder for older cats to find a home and being middle-aged myself, I appreciate her mature attitude to life:  she sleeps through the night, goes to bed and wakes up when I do, provides loving companionship, and enjoys goofing off.”

    “Fritz is the second adult cat I’ve adopted and I intend to continue adopting adults in the future.  I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be sharing my life and home with her.”

    Lest there remain any doubt about the benefits of adopting an older cat over a kitten, consider the story of eight-year-old Wilson, who was left behind in an apartment for two months when his owner died. Though the property manager fed him and sister Jane, by the time Wilson reached foster care, he was shell-shocked.

    Yet forever mom Dayna Shiskos, a first-time cat owner, immediately recognized Wilson’s potential when she met him last January. “It was his freckles that got me,” she enthuses.

    “After hearing his sad story, I knew I had to take him home. He had been through so much and I wanted to give him a happy forever home. Honestly, he was the cutest thing I had ever seen and though I couldn’t see his personality when I first met him, it totally shines now.

    “He and I are best buds. He follows me around, sits beside me on the couch, sleeps at the foot of my bed… he just loves attention. I’m not sure if all adoptions are this smooth, but Wilson has been a joy from the start.”

    Beat that, Junior.

    Cosette Fritzy & Wilson

     

  • Surgery Success for Stumpy!

    Annex Cat Rescue is overwhelmed with the generosity of donations and support that Stumpy has received. Our previous newsletter shared Stumpy’s transformation from a cantankerous colony cat, into a loving cuddle bug and his dire need for Femoral Head Ostectomy surgery (FHO).

    To correct this degenerative hip disease, Stumpy had the first surgery on his right hip on May 14, 2014. This life-changing surgery couldn’t have been done without the overwhelming support of our donors who gave $1,275 towards his care.

    Stumpy

    Jennifer, the foster parent helping Stumpy through his recovery said, “He was in horrendous pain on Wednesday night, but much to my amazement, Stumpy greeted me at his bedroom door on Thursday morning. Stumpy can walk!”

    Stumpy was almost entirely immobile and on a daily dose of pain medication since being brought off the streets almost two months ago. Jennifer is still overwhelmed at his progress. “Just one day post -surgery and Stumpy has mobility! I can’t believe it! And I can’t thank you all enough.”

    However, he isn’t through the hard times just yet. In a few weeks, Stumpy will have surgery on the left hip. While it’s heartbreaking to hear his wails of pain as he attempts to stand, Jennifer remains optimistic. “He was lying on his right side this morning, he’s chatty and he purrs like a roaring lion, so I know he’s starting to feel a little better.”

    Our veterinarian team says the pain should subside within a few weeks. We will keep you updated on Stumpy’s progress!

    Watch Stumpy walk after his first surgery:

    and his latest video!

  • Happy Tails: Noodal Finds Her Forever Home with ACR

    Any politician would kill for the kind of ringing endorsement Noodal the cat routinely inspires in everyone who crosses her path.

    “Awesome,” “great” and “cuddly” are just some of the adjectives the black-and-white feline has prompted in her caregivers, notably the woman who found her pregnant, homeless and living as part of a colony in the city’s east end early last year and especially, her foster mom.

    Indeed, ACR volunteer Norelle French came to adore Noodal so much while fostering her that she adopted her and is now her forever home.

    Noodal

    “She is the most affectionate and hilarious little creature I’ve ever met,” says French, who took Noodal in last summer, realizing in short order that the cat – age and provenance unknown – was destined to be a permanent part of her life.

    “She is something else. I have known many cats but none like her. You can hear her in the background, doing her little gurgle-meow,” French laughs, adding that she had previously fostered two brothers but found the separation too painful when they were finally placed in their forever home.

    “I cried my eyes out. I just couldn’t go through that again,” she says. “I took Noodal in with the intention of fostering her but just fell madly in love with her. I think I knew pretty quickly I was going to keep her. She has been so sweet from day one. She is just the best kitty.”

    That sentiment is echoed by Hedy Hurter, who discovered Noodal last winter among the cats in the colony she was then tending in the Broadview and Dundas area.

    “I noticed that she was pregnant, and she was very friendly, so I scooped her up, put her in a kennel and brought her home,” Hurter says. “She had her six babies in our bathroom last January,” – all were adopted out by ACR – “and she was just an amazing mom. She is an amazing cat, period.”

    Hurter says that while she very much wanted to keep Noodal – so named by her daughter Tamra Enman because of the white noodle-like moustache on her sweet face – the cat triggered allergies.

    “Every cat has different dander. I am allergic to some and not others but I really did love her and we would have kept her if we could have,” Enman confirms. “I mean, the moment you would walk into a room she’s like ‘Hello! Pet me! Love me!’ She was just great and a very great mom to her babies.”

    Forever mom French couldn’t be happier. “Noodal sleeps on a pillow right next to my pillow. She’s very attached to me. And when I have company over, even if she doesn’t know the person, she’ll be right up there greeting them and head-butting them and wrapping her tail around them. She is a very special kitty.”

  • ACR Spring Fête Adopt-a-thon

    Join Annex Cat Rescue at our Spring Fete Adopt-a-thon!

    Pet Uno
    675 College (at Beatrice)
    Saturday May 10th, 2014
    10am – 5pm

    Meet our lovely kittens and cats who are excited to find their forever homes!

    ACR Spring Fête Adopt-a-thon

    Come and enjoy all of the festivities:

    • face painting
    • bake sale
    • lemonade stand
    • locally made cat treats & toys

    Get your face painted to look like your favourite ACR cat by local actress Ann Pirvu who plays “Josey the Clown” on Global’s hit new TV series “Remedy“!

    ALL ARE WELCOME!

     

  • Snow-free Sanctuary for Toronto’s Feral Cats

    “I feel like part of a team – like I make a difference,” says Stephen McGillis, a resident of the Atkinson Co-operative who has recently been building outdoor shelter structures for feral cats living near the Kensington Route. Stephen believes that the city’s homeless and feral cats need refuge and security as much as people do – and this led him towards his own form of contribution – an elaborate shelter structure that can house up to seven feral cats in his own backyard during the cold winter months.

    ACR Winter Shelter

    Stephen has adapted shelter-style spaces for cats to take refuge in away from the harsh elements of Toronto’s winter weather in the Atkinson Co-op area. Cats began showing up in Stephen’s area a few years ago, and soon enough, there were “regulars” that frequented his backyard. The cats who now call his backyard home were originally afraid, but soon grew confident to approach and interact with him.

    Made of Rubbermaid tubs, Styrofoam, and straw, these shelters are predominantly built at the Toronto Humane Society and at shelter build clinics organized by the Toronto Street Cats organization. Stephen has modified these basic structures with his own materials and creative ideas – focusing on creating an environment where the cats can seek shelter, but also play and enjoy living in a safe space. Stephen’s shelters are filled with blankets, towels, and toys and are variations of the structures created by volunteers at shelter build clinics.

    ACR Winter Shelter

    ACR Board Chair and volunteer Marianne Premuzic describes the importance of these structures as a basic form of refuge, “the straw and Styrofoam insulation in the shelters really provides a great deal of warmth for the cats” says Marianne, who has participated at shelter build clinics. Outdoor shelters are intended for feral cats, usually the offspring of tame cats who are abandoned or lost and have grown up without human contact. “The winter shelters are a key element in improving the lives of homeless cats in Toronto,” notes Marianne, who advocates for a standard of care for those cats living beyond the confines of domestic homes.

    While outdoor shelters might seem like a small contribution, the act of proving feral cats with warmth, security, and refuge greatly improves their quality of life. “If they’re okay, then I’m okay,” says Stephen, who is just happy to be making his furry friends’ lives a little bit easier. “They’ve never had love, security, or a home” says Stephen, whose actions, combined with the many efforts of shelter build volunteers in the GTA, are making a meaningful difference for feral cats in need of an outdoor place to call home.

    Donations to ACR’s “Purrrfect Gifts” holiday giving campaign under the “Snow-free Sanctuary” category helped provide numerous outdoor shelters for feral cats this winter – thank you for your generosity in helping to provide warmth and safety to feral cats across the city!

    For more information about outdoor shelters for feral cats, check out the Toronto Street Cats website – a great resource for information on volunteering at shelter builds and why these structures are so important to our furry friends living outdoors in the GTA.

     

Donate. Volunteer. Adopt.