Annex Cat Rescue Cat Adoption with a Difference Sun, 21 Aug 2016 22:00:01 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 Happy Tail: Matches (formerly Thistle) Sun, 21 Aug 2016 22:00:01 +0000 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.

Happy Tails: Matches

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.

Happy Tails: Matches Happy Tails: Matches Happy Tails: Matches Happy Tails: Matches

“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.”

Happy Tails: Matches

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



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Walk or Run for Annex Cat Rescue on October 16! Sat, 20 Aug 2016 21:31:35 +0000 some Team ACR members

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 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!

help fundraise for 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.

STWM Scotiabank Charity Challenge

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Happy Tails: Somersault Mon, 15 Aug 2016 01:36:58 +0000 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!

Happy Tails: Somersault

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


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Kittens Galore Adoptathon Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:07:52 +0000 Adoptathon - Global Pet Foods - August

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.

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Urgent: Socialization Homes Thu, 11 Aug 2016 18:34:48 +0000 volunteer with feral cats

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:

Tara talks about the joys and challenges of being a socialization home

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.

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ACR at the CNE Cat Show Mon, 08 Aug 2016 14:54:29 +0000 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!

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Happy Tail: Antoine Sun, 24 Jul 2016 22:00:41 +0000 “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.”

Happy Tail: Antoine

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

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Forces rally to capture Charlie, the accidental fugitive Sat, 23 Jul 2016 14:14:48 +0000 From whence he came and back again. That’s the short story of a cat named Charlie.

The longer version is one full of love and kindness: The love of his human companions, and the kindness of Annex Cat Rescue volunteers who went above and beyond.

Charlie was rescued off the streets five years ago and was living with Kirsten and her husband until this June, when, during an attempted trip to the vet, he escaped from the carrier and fled into a forested area around the Humber River near Kirsten’s house.


Distraught over Charlie’s escape, Kirsten reached out for help.

“My mother knows the ladies from the Annex Cat Rescue,” Kirsten said, “so within an hour Liz was there with four humane traps.”

Liz, a long-time ACR volunteer, stayed with Kirsten and her family for “hours,” providing information on what types of foods to use, how often to check the traps and, in what turned out to be the most important lesson, what to tell her neighbours.

“It was in the following days that our neighbours told us he was in the backyards, and he was slowly making his way back home,” Kirsten said.

Knowing where Charlie was, however, was only half the battle. He was petrified, and any effort to capture him using standard traps went frustratingly without result.

“It was really disheartening,” Kirsten said, “because he was so close to home but we couldn’t get him inside.”

Some ingenuity was needed, and that came in the form of Brenda and Don, who recently joined the ACR fold after doing volunteer rescue work for other Toronto agencies. The couple, in conjunction with Kirsten’s father, helped set up a manual “drop trap” that could monitored by a remote camera on a smart phone and triggered by pulling a pin out by a string. But despite Kirsten’s efforts day in and day out, Charlie remained stubborn.

“He was so slippery,” she said. “Sometimes we would see him just about to enter the trap and then something would scare him off, and then we’d have to close up shop because it was getting dark. We had a lot of close calls.”

And the stress was taking its toll on Kirsten.

“It was killing her,” said Brenda. “She wasn’t sleeping, she wasn’t eating. She was stressed right out.”

Then finally, four weeks and four days after his escape, it was mission accomplished. Charlie was finally caught and brought back into his loving home.

“When he came in from the trap, he was only disoriented for a couple minutes,” said Kirsten. “As soon as he started eating, something switched and he realized he was home and safe. He was maybe even a little extra affectionate.”

Charlie back home
Some of that affection can be shown to Liz and Brenda firsthand, when the pair will be welcomed into Kirsten’s home for a dinner to celebrate Charlie’s safe return, and to say thank you for the efforts of two special volunteers.

“The commitment from Liz and Brenda was really touching,” Kirsten said. “Despite exhausting ourselves, I was really doubting we would get him back, and I was feeling a lot of guilt that the whole thing could have been prevented. But they were very reassuring… and it was lovely that they both checked in almost daily.”

A little extra effort is all in a day’s work for ACR volunteers. And it makes it all the better when it results in a happy ending.

“Those kids, and their parents, are just really nice people,” said Brenda. “So it was great to be able to help them.”

–Edward Fraser

If you’ve lost your cat, we hope you find our what-to-do tips helpful.

Always double check the fasteners on your cat carrier are secure before leaving your home. The plastic ones can often lose the snappy bits and a frightened or stressed cat can sometimes break through.

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Urgent: Foster Home Appeal Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:17:42 +0000 Cayenne and her kittens need a foster home

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.

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Happy Tail: Maude Sun, 17 Jul 2016 22:00:45 +0000 “Ms. Maude is a lovely, chatty and super affectionate girl.”

“She’s our opinionated little love bug, for sure.”

Adoring quotes befitting a diva!

Happy Tails: Maude

“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!”

Happy Tails: Maude

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.

Happy Tails: Maude

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!

–Gillian Semple

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