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.
- Annex Cat Rescue’s 2014 Annual General Meeting 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
(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.
We hope we’ll see you there!
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.
- 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.
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.
“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!
Meet our lovely kittens and cats who are excited to find their forever homes!
Come and enjoy all of the festivities:
- face painting
- bake sale
- lemonade stand
- locally made cat treats & toys
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.
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 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.
- Happy Tails: Toby Finds his Forever Home with ACR!
When Toby first came to the ACR community, he was rescued from a rough start in life. Abandonment, feral colonies, street life, and even a brush with death are just a few of the trials Toby has faced in his short life. Despite these hardships, Toby wasn’t ready to give up on a bright future – and his spirit must have seen him through. His alley cat appearance allowed him to blend in with a feral colony, but ACR volunteers soon discovered this fearless fighter and knew that he needed a place to call home.
The harsh lifestyle endured by feral colonies left Toby with FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – necessitating a warm and welcoming foster home. Toby was taken in by Roz, an ACR volunteer who believed in his right to a rich and full life. Roz recalls the process of adjusting Toby to domestic life off the streets: “He would scarf down tuna out of the can, he would tear open the garbage bags if they contained chicken, he sat by our sides when we were eating, just like a dog, and beg for scraps! You see, he lived in Kensington Market, fending for himself.” Although often facing an upset stomach, Toby certainly retained his appetite and soon regained much of his strength.
In addition to being a hearty eater, Toby was often vocal and sought interaction. He had a talent for playing ball and served as an excellent in-house alarm clock with plenty of morning meows. After vet visits and a stabilized diet, Toby regained much of his zest for life. 9 months after taking him in, Roz prepared Toby for adoption and recalls the change she witnessed – “his coat was shiny and smooth, he had a bit more fat on his bones, and he was so comfortable with the people that came to check him out!” She couldn’t have been happier that two people came along and saw the real Toby.
In his new home with owners Karen & Ian, Toby (who now goes by “Khan”) has a FIV+ brother named Neelix to bond with. Karen was pleasantly surprised at how easily Toby and Neelix accepted one another. Peaceful during the daytime and playful at night, Toby and Neelix have a cardboard castle that they share when they’re not chasing each other around the house. Like Roz, Karen notes Toby’s chatty disposition — “[He’s] a very vocal little guy, he tends to wander into other rooms and then start chirping, meowing and having loud conversations by himself. When we follow him into the room, he stops and stares at us like ‘What? There’s nothing happening here’ It’s a riot.” Toby’s desire for companionship, after facing so much solitude, is part of what makes him truly special. Although he will continue to live with FIV, Toby’s monitored diet helps to keep his tummy troubles at bay. Karen focuses on Toby’s wonderful spirit, noting that he “bounces back to normal after a day or two” when feeling under the weather. Toby has an inner strength that simply cannot be broken.
We couldn’t be happier that Toby has finally found the forever home that he deserves. ACR would like to thank Roz for fostering Toby and nursing him back to health and happiness, to Karen and Ian for making room in their lives for another furry family member, and to the ACR community for always caring about Toby and believing in his right to life and love.
Read Toby’s Story from the ACR blog last year.
- Purrrfect Gifts
Looking for the purrfect gift for the person who has everything? Just in time for the holidays, Annex Cat Rescue is happy to announce Purrrfect Gifts – a giving program that allows you to commemorate holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions by providing life-saving help to homeless cats.
A variety of gifts are available, ranging from winter shelters for cats living on the streets to complete cat rescue packages. Gifts of volunteer time in honour of a loved one are also available. Each Purrrfect Gift comes with the option for you to send the recipient an e-card or have Annex Cat Rescue mail you or your gift recipient a beautiful card and certificate featuring one of our rescued cats and their story. Tax receipts are provided for financial gifts. To find the Purrrfect Gift for everyone on your list, visit annexcatrescue.ca/purrrfect-gifts.
- Holiday Promotion
For the month of December, the Annex Cat Rescue is having a special promotion on the adoption fees of all of our cats over 6 months old. The adoption fee of $100 will help us get more cats home for the holidays.
See all of our cats for adoption!
- Aviva Community Fund Semi-Finals
The final round of voting is Dec2 to Dec11, 2013, and then the top 10 ideas will each win $5000 and maybe be funded for up to $50,000.
You have 15 votes but only 10 days to use them, so you can support more than one idea.
Please vote EVERY day! If both ideas make top 10 then both will get $5000 and maybe more, and that will help a lot of animals!
Click on the images below, to vote for each idea (you will need to register once, or you can vote via your Facebook account).