Annex Cat Rescue http://annexcatrescue.ca Cat Adoption with a Difference Wed, 25 May 2016 19:09:17 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 PetSmart National Adoption Weekend http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/05/petsmart-national-adoption-weekend/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/05/petsmart-national-adoption-weekend/#comments Mon, 09 May 2016 10:07:21 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4868 PetSmart Charities Adoption event 2016

Annex Cat Rescue will be participating in PetSmart Charities‘ National Adoption Weekend event on this coming Saturday May 14 from 10:00 to 4:00 pm. We hope to see you at the PetSmart Stockyards store (75 Gunns Rd)!

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Happy Tails: Patchy http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/05/happy-tails-patchy/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/05/happy-tails-patchy/#comments Sun, 08 May 2016 21:50:00 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4861 Cat lover Alexandra, a PhD student at the time, was unsure if she could commit to adopting a pet of her own. She lived with her boyfriend, who had never had a pet and was hesitant since he did not know what it would involve. At the suggestion of a friend, they decided to open their home to fostering.

Patchy

Patchy came to the Annex Cat Rescue at three years of age after her previous owner passed away. She was declawed, which made her feel especially vulnerable when she came into a new space. She was brought to her foster parents’ home in a carrier and Alexandra could hear her house guest even before she saw her.

“She made this sound that definitely wasn’t a hiss, it was low and throaty. It could only be described as a growl,” said Alexandra. As a first time foster parent, Alexandra may have wondered what she had got herself into, but volunteers at the Annex Cat Rescue were always willing to answer all of her questions. “I never felt like I was on my own,” she said.

She had set up her house to make her furry friend as comfortable as possible, including setting a pillow out in a quiet corner. However, Patchy rejected her makeshift throne and darted under the furniture to hide. She would growl if anyone so much as looked at her.

All this changed when Alexandra’s cousin came for a visit. Patchy warmed up to her right away by jumping up and plopping herself into her cousin’s lap. “She took to her immediately, even putting her paw on her face and licking her chin,” said Alexandra. This type of friendly behaviour did not extend to anyone else. “She would still growl if anyone else tried to pet her,” said Alexandra.

Patchy slows becomes more trusting

Alexandra and her boyfriend allowed Patchy to move at her own pace. Eventually, Patchy became comfortable in her surroundings and started to come out of hiding.

Alexandra has fond memories of Patchy during the time that she was writing her dissertation. “I would spend all day on my computer and she would lie in my lap. She would fall asleep and wake up, but stayed in my lap for five or six hours at a time,” she said.

Patchy also had her own computer time. Although Patchy was not writing her dissertation, she became really good at a cat app that Alexandra had downloaded on her tablet.

Patchy 2.0

After two months, Patchy found her forever home. “She deserved to be happy and I’m so glad she found a good home,” said Alexandra.

Alexandra found the fostering process very rewarding. “You’re making a difference in cats’ lives by helping to socialize them,” she said.

Shortly after, Alexandra and her boyfriend welcomed two foster kittens into their home. Because their fostering experience had been pleasant and the couple was ready, they decided to give the bonded pair of kittens a forever home.

–Jillian Kaster

If you adopted Patchy, we’d love to hear from you. Please email blog@annexcatrescue.ca

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May Adoptathon at Global Pet Foods http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/adoptathon-global-pet-foods/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/adoptathon-global-pet-foods/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:26:04 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4856 Global Pet Foods adoptathon May 2016

Join us at our next Adoptathon on Saturday May 7 at Global Pet Foods (High Park) between 10 am and 3 pm. Special reduced adoption fees.

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The happy truth about FIV+ cats (hint: they’re totally adoptable) http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/cats-fiv-the-latest/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/cats-fiv-the-latest/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:53:38 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4846 He might not relish the role but eight-year old Winston could be the global ambassador for FIV+ cats.

Winston

That’s because Winston is both a classic example of how most cats come to be infected with the immune deficiency virus and, more importantly, a persuasive example of just how manageable – normal, really – life with an FIV+ cat can be both for its human caregivers and for any potential feline flatmates.

Winston’s story is a handy testimonial for anyone who may encounter an FIV+ cat candidate in an adoption search.

Winston - FIV cat

“Winston is very playful and has a lot of energy,” confirms foster Mom Alexandra Cioppa, who grew up with another cat, Baltimore, which was also FIV+. She continues: “Winston is always hungry – he loves to eat. He is super-loving.”

Once homeless, Winston doubtless became infected with FIV via a deep bite wound that occurred during a fight with another male cat over turf or food. FIV almost always presents in males, and transmission is almost always through intense fighting.

FIV – which stands for feline immunodeficiency virus, just as HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus – can be transmitted sexually in cats and through improperly screened blood transfusions. But according to experts, it’s rare. Mother cats cannot readily infect their kittens except in the initial stages of her infection.

Casual contact such as sharing food bowls, grooming or snuggling is unlikely to transmit the virus. Meaning that unless indoor cats have screaming brawls where blood is drawn, FIV negative cats sharing a home with an FIV+ cat won’t contract the virus.

Indeed, veterinarian Dr. Vlad Stefanescu of Toronto’s Yonge-Davenport Pet Hospital says adopting an FIV+ cat and integrating it into a multi-cat household is something he endorses, albeit with a few caveats.

“The only real considerations for FIV+ cat adoption are slightly more frequent vet visits, keeping the cats indoors and avoidance of a raw diet,” he says.

That’s because uncooked foods, meats especially, can include parasites and pathogens that a cat with a normal immune system might be able to handle but an FIV+ cat might not. Leave the fad diets to Gwyneth Paltrow and stick to regular cat food, says Dr. Stefanescu.

All cats should be kept indoors. However, owners of FIV+ cats have a particular obligation to keep their pets away from homeless cats in their community to help contain the virus. As for more frequent vet visits – recommended twice a year for FIV+ cats versus once-annually for non-geriatric FIV negative cats – that’s mainly because “Dental is also a big thing with these guys,” Dr. Stefanescu says.

“They suffer stomatitis [a severe, painful inflammation of a cat’s mouth and gums that can cause ulcers to form]. Some FIV cats just have bad teeth and need a full mouth extraction. The majority of FIV cats need regular dental work.”

Plus, regular vet visits allow owners and vets to monitor small changes such as weight loss that might be more significant in an FIV+ cat. Vaccinations, meanwhile, should be maintained for FIV+ cats just as they are for other cats.

Humans cannot be infected with FIV; FIV is a cats-only infection. Dr. Stefanescu pegs the prevalence of FIV among owned cats at about five percent. “Leukaemia (FeLV) is actually more common,” he says, adding that he has never treated a cat that contracted FIV from another cat in a domestic situation.

Adds Alexandra Cioppa, “FIV has never been an issue with Winston and it wasn’t with my cat Baltimore either. I don’t remember exactly how old Baltimore was when he passed away but he had quite a long life.”

So the takeaway for prospective cat adopters: don’t shy away from an FIV+ cat.

If you are adopting a cat directly from the street, be sure to have the cat tested while he (or she) is at the vet being spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and typically readied for a new life indoors. Remember that cats with FIV do not always appear sick. In the early stages of the disease, many cats show few signs, so the only way to know for sure if they are infected is through a simple blood test.

Should an FIV+ positive cat catch you eye on ACR’s adoption listings, don’t reject the cat in knee-jerk fashion. You can’t catch FIV, your other cats probably won’t either, and you’ll be giving a forever home to a lovely fella who will reward you daily with purrs and cuddles.

Just ask Winston.

— Kim Hughes

Winston is currently up for adoption. Find out more about him.

Additional reading: http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/feline-immunodeficiency-virus-fiv

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Happy Tails: Douglas http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/happy-tails-douglas/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/happy-tails-douglas/#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 21:14:49 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4837 Douglas, now two years old, is nestled amongst a plethora of toys in his Cat Condo. He stretches to show off his soft, shiny tuxedo coat in classic black and white. Half a black moustache marks one side of his handsome face.

Douglas

Douglas’ rags to riches story began when he was 11 months old. A missing tooth gave him a snaggletooth smile. A ripped ear was just another sign of a hard life on the streets.

However, his luck changed when he befriended an ACR Volunteer dispersing food in the colony. She found his overly affectionate nature surprising since feral cats tend to be skittish and shy around humans. His sweet craving for love opened her heart and the door to a better life for him.

Stephanie fell in love with Douglas after reading his profile on the ACR website. She was adamant about not purchasing a cat from a breeder. “I wasn’t searching for the perfect cat!”

Impressed by the details of his history and temperament, she was confident that Douglas would be a great addition to her family. Although her mind was made up, Stephanie respected ACR’s mandate to wait a week before the official adoption.

“A pet can change your life.” It was a responsibility that Stephanie wasn’t taking lightly.

Douglas settled in the first night without any issues. He explored every inch of the condo that Stephanie shares with her fiancé. They both knew that he approved of his new family when he took turns curling up on their laps.

In true cat style, Douglas ignored the newly purchased comfy cat bed and preferred to sit in shipping boxes from Amazon.

Douglas and the Amazon box

His curiosity with water added to his cuteness. Douglas will sit on the edge of the tub transfixed and fascinated with swirling water down a drain in the shower or water gushing from a tap into the sink.

Douglas and his new family

Stephanie and her fiancé can’t imagine their lives without Douglas. His lively mix of playfulness and need for cuddles chase their workday blues away. His humorous antics make them feel relaxed.

“Douglas is outrageously spoiled! There are so many cat toys!” Stephanie exclaims,

“We often wake up to him sitting on our chests purring and begging for head rubs.” They are still smitten with him despite these early wakeup calls.

“Do your research,” Stephanie advises. “It paid off for us.”

The happy trio frequently play their favourite game of hide and seek. Douglas grew up playing the same game in the cat colony to survive. Today, he’s playing with his humans.

“We really couldn’t imagine our lives without our sweet little Douglas!” Stephanie gushes. “We always take comfort in knowing that we gave him a better life and a loving home.”

–Gillian Semple

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Spring Adoptathon at Pet Uno http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/spring-adoptathon-april/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/spring-adoptathon-april/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:50:35 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4822 Pet Uno adoptathon Annex Cat Rescue

Come visit us Saturday April 23 at Pet Uno (575 College St) and see if we have a new furry family member that is the right fit for you. Or just stop by to chat with us about feral cats, volunteering, cat videos… we’d love to meet you!

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Happy Tails: Sylvester http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/happy-tails-sylvester/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/happy-tails-sylvester/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2016 22:27:52 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4830 Five years ago, Catherine decided to be a foster parent. Over the years, her experience fostering has varied greatly. The longest period that an animal was in her care was over a year and the shortest, a couple of weeks. She has been in many different situations – it all depends on the cat and its circumstances. Regardless of any adversity that she might face, being a foster parent is one of her favourite things to do. It is a great way to keep cats constantly coming in and out of her life while helping them at the same time. “[It’s] the best thing ever!”

Sylvester

Partially blind Sylvester was found with his front paws declawed. His date of birth was unknown, but he was an adult cat. Likely, he was someone’s pet at one point.

Post-rescue, Sylvester spent some time with another foster parent who then had to give him up. That’s when Catherine stepped in.

From the start, she found him to be a “funny” cat with a huge personality. He was very chirpy and vocal. Like most cats, Sylvester loved scratches and naps. It warmed Catherine’s heart to see him completely relaxed, all splayed out taking up as much space as possible. Despite his partial blindness, Sylvester is a very healthy and playful cat who likes his toys very much.

Sylvester playing

To Catherine, being involved with cat rescues is extremely rewarding. Having so many wonderful stories to tell other people is just the cherry on top of the sundae. She is always encouraging her friends to foster.

Catherine strongly advises potential adopters to speak to the cat’s foster parents and visit the cats in their foster homes before adopting. These are valuable additions to the rescue process.

We are happy to report that Sylvester was adopted in October of 2014!

–Risa de Rege

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National Volunteer Week 2016 http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/national-volunteer-week-2016/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/national-volunteer-week-2016/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2016 10:00:01 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4819 Thank you to all our volunteers!

This National Volunteer Week, we’d like to honour, salute, and thank our 400+ volunteers. Annex Cat Rescue has been a 100% volunteer-run organization since the day it was founded 19 years ago. It is because of the continuous support, care, and dedication of all of our volunteers that ACR has been able to help hundreds of cats over the years. Thank you. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

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Happy Tails: Cannonball and Lady Day http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/happy-tails-lady-day-cannonball/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/04/happy-tails-lady-day-cannonball/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2016 12:22:33 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4808 Lady Day and Cannonball, at ages 14 and 15, were lucky to find their fur-ever home. It’s rare for a pair of senior cats to be adopted together.

Cannonball and Lady Day

Elaine and Jean’s desire to adopt older cats led them to discover Annex Cat Rescue. Elaine didn’t want a cat to be home alone while the couple was at work. Nor did she want to be overwhelmed by the youthful energy of kittens. She knew how demanding her neighbour’s four year old feline could be from when she was the cat sitter. “I must have played with her for an hour and she was nowhere near tired,” Elaine said.

After seeing the “super adorable” photos of Lady Day and Cannonball on the ACR website, they both became smitten with the siblings. “They were so cute!” Elaine gushed, recounting their first meeting with the pair at David’s home.

David, the cats’ foster dad, had kindly taken them in when the siblings’ owner suddenly passed away.

During Elaine and Jean’s visit, Lady Day remained hidden. It would take her several weeks to adjust to her new home with her new owners. Over the next few months, the couple would find her hiding in the oddest places. Cannonball, on the other hand, happily lapped up all the attention that they extended to him.

“The thought of being able to give two cats a few more years to bask in the sun made us smile.”

Adopting a pair of senior cats with docile personalities complemented the couple’s lifestyle and Elaine’s first-time experience as a cat owner.

“However, there are drawbacks to owning older pets,” Elaine explained. “There’s a higher chance you might have to take them to the vet [more often]. And you may not get to spend as much time as you’d like with them.”

Cannonball

Ten months after the pair’s adoption, Cannonball developed breathing problems. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to be euthanized.

“We were devastated, but we had a great year with Cannonball!” Elaine fondly remembers how he enjoyed snuggling right up to her to fall asleep. He also loved to show off how far he could stretch lying on your lap. “It’s something I’ll always cherish.”

Lady Day

Lady Day has adjusted to life without her brother. The two were inseparable. However, Elaine is amazed at how Lady Day has come to accept the couple as part of her family. It took her a while but she knows that she is home. “She’s one of us,” Elaine added.

Despite Elaine’s initial trepidation about owning cats, she can’t imagine not having the love and affection of Lady Day in her life.

“She has been an excellent addition to our home.” Although she is not an energetic kitten, Lady Day does not let her age define her. She is super affectionate and always wants a ton of cuddles.

Elaine and Jean are certain that Lady Day will outlive them. “Who knew spoiling old cats rotten was such fun?”

— Gillian Semple

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Happy Tails: Charlie and Leo http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/03/happy-tails-charlie-and-leo/ http://annexcatrescue.ca/2016/03/happy-tails-charlie-and-leo/#comments Sun, 27 Mar 2016 21:45:48 +0000 http://annexcatrescue.ca/?p=4797 When Paul Fleming decided just more than a year ago to bring some furry friends into his life, he decided two cats were better than one – and that those two should be rescues. After a bit of searching, with help from his then 11-year old daughter, Zoe (“a really, really big cat lover”), Paul found what he was looking for.

“I decided I wanted a bonded pair so we could keep them together,” Paul said.

Brothers Charlie and Leo were in a feral colony that had been rescued by ACR and were being fostered by the aptly surnamed Pat Hope. As with the majority of feral rescues, the kittens were leery of humans, especially strangers.

Charlie and Leo at 8 weeks

“They were very shy,” said Pat. “We had to spend a lot of time playing with them, cuddling them, getting them used to being handled. But that’s really a pleasure. And they turned out to be really nice lil’ cats.”

Thanks to Pat’s patience and hard work, the meeting between the Flemings and the young brothers was a success and a new family was formed.

“I knew from the get-go that they were rescue cats and it was going to take awhile to get them to come out of their shell.”

For Charlie and Leo, that shell came in the form of Paul’s bed.

“It took about a month before they would come out [when people were around],” said Paul. “But that was fine. We brought them their food and we just let them become socialized on their own terms.”

Charlie and Leo

The first breakthrough came at night, when the home was still and safe.

“They would both come up and lay with me on the bed for a half hour or so, and that was great,” said Paul.

Now, with Leo – the less timid of the two – leading the way, he and Charlie – the “troublemaker” – are full-fledged members of the clan… any time of the day.

“If you’re in a room,” Paul said, “they want to be in the same room with you.”

But as much as you can socialize them, at the end of the day cats are still cats: “They both love to play with their food. They take the kibble to the top of the stairs and let it fall specifically so they can chase it down. They still need to ‘kill’ it,” said Paul with a laugh.

Charlie and Leo on the stairs

Paul, who, prior to Charlie and Leo, owned a single cat who lived beyond 20 years, doesn’t hesitate to recommend a bonded pair to anyone who was considering it.

“It’s great to know when I’m not home they’re not lonely,” he said, “because they’re going to be hanging out together, playing together and enjoying themselves.

“And it makes me feel good that they have each other.”

And surely Charlie and Leo feel just as good that Paul gave them that chance to be together, forever.

—Edward Fraser

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