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 Tail: Riker (formerly Ponzu)

    Finding the right cat for your home is tough, and so is finding the right home for a cat. It needs to be a perfect fit, so the cat can be safe and happy and thrive, and the humans can get all the joy a new family member can bring. For Riker, that perfect fit was with Kimberly and Andrew.

    Happy Tail: Riker
    Happy Tail: Riker
    Panko (left) and Ponzu (right)

    The couple had two cats, Rosie and Kittenstern, that they adopted from the ACR in 2011. After Rosie suddenly passed, the house felt emptier.

    “We both never had pets as kids, so we both felt the loss of losing a pet for the first time,” Kimberly says. “We knew that we eventually wanted Kittenstern to have a companion but needed some time to grieve.”

    Eventually, they began to look at the ACR’s website for available cats and discovered Riker (formerly known as Ponzu).

    Happy Tail: Riker

    Riker had been rescued with his brother Panko outside a BBQ restaurant, where workers may have been feeding them meat. His foster Stephanie says Ponzu was a food-motivated kitten, always yelling for food and wolfing down premium wet food. “These kittens definitely had a taste for fine cuisine!”

    The two kittens grew and played together, slowly adjusting to life indoors before Panko was adopted. Now Riker was about to find a home of his own, too.

    Happy Tail: Riker

    “I was immediately drawn in by his silly face and also thought that his personality, based on the description, would match Kittenstern’s,” Kimberly says. She and Andrew made the trek to visit Riker, who hid for most of their visit. “We knew that one visit wouldn’t really let us get to know him but we knew that we wanted to adopt him, so we did.”

    After a year together, Riker has completely come out of his shell. He spends his time flopping around and chasing Kitternstern or snuggling up to Kimberly. 

    Happy Tail: Riker
    Happy Tail: Riker
    Riker and Kitternstern

    Despite the shy start, Stephanie knew right away that Kimberly and Andrew would be the right people for home for Riker. 

    “They were so patient and understanding. I think that’s really the key. In my time fostering, I now look back on some interactions I’ve had with families that were pushy or demanding and thought I should make the kittens interact with them — as those kittens exist on human timelines. Those are the kinds of people I would assess differently now.

    “Cats have hopes, thoughts, and dreams just like we have. And you need to give them time and safety before they trust you. Kimberly and her partner understood that. The adoption wasn’t a light matter for them, and they thought about it deeply, because they knew it was a lifelong commitment. And when I see how happy Ponzu is with them now, I know it was the right fit.”

    -Jenn Reid

    Happy Tail: Riker
    Riker and Kitternstern
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  • Dora Needs Your Help!

    June 18 Update: Dora has been regularly passing stool and was discharged with flying colours from the Central Toronto Veterinary Referral Clinic yesterday! She spent the day bouncing around like a jumping bean and happily distracting (and charming) all the staff by climbing onto their shoulders and demanding snuggles. She is celebrating her freedom and was thrilled to go to her foster home last night.

    We are so immensely grateful for the staff at Central Toronto Veterinary Clinic for taking care of this girl and we are so proud of our community for rallying behind her!

    June 15 Update: After trying a less-invasive procedure to “get things moving” yesterday, Dora’s vets had to put her back under general anesthesia earlier today for her surgeon to very carefully remove more of the blockage.  She’s now awake from her procedure, and we are waiting on the results!

    June 13 Update: Dora’s initial surgery on Friday was a success, but she isn’t recovering as fast as hoped. The poor little girl is having trouble passing her impacted fecal matter, so instead of coming home on Saturday, she has remained at CTVRC, where she will receive 24-hour care for as long as necessary. Thank you for your continued support!!

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

    Dora is an 8-week-old adventurous and curious kitty known for her love of cuddles and gentle kisses. 

    On June 9th, Dora was brought to the vet because she was showing signs of severe constipation. Unfortunately, Dora was diagnosed with an extremely rare birth defect: an Imperforate Anus, in other words, she was born without a butthole.

    Dora has miraculously survived to 8 weeks without ever being able to pass a bowel movement (although she gets in the litterbox and tries), and she has a painful and life-threatening amount of fecal matter built up in her colon.

    In addition to being born without an anal clearing, Dora also has a tear between her colon and her vagina. Dora needs immediate life-saving surgery to construct an anus, reroute her insides and repair the tear. 

    The surgery alone will cost about $6,500, and Dora will need extensive aftercare, follow-ups, and continuing treatment, given the very high risk of complications (such as infections) and permanent damage.

    Dora’s short and long-term care costs are highly uncertain, and at a minimum are expected to exceed $10,000. If we raise more generous donations than her care ends up costing, every dollar will go towards rescuing and providing vet care to other street cats in need.

    Annex Cat Rescue is a volunteer-run rescue and we rely entirely on donations. We want to provide Dora the best care possible, but we need your help! 

    Will you help Dora keep exploring? 

    To donate, please visit this site.

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  • Happy Tail: Pearl and Trixie

    Renee first came across Trixie during her search for a new sibling for her tabby cat named Poundcake. Having a soft spot for grey tabby cats and amazed by her bio, Renee knew Trixie would make a great addition to the household!

    When Renee went to meet Trixie, her foster mom Michelle had been taking care of a litter of five kittens. By chance, Renee spotted a tiny kitten with a big pink cast named Pearl. “It was heartbreakingly cute, and she gravitated towards me — snuggling, playing, and showing off,” Renee says. Growing fond of this little kitten, Renee inquired about adopting Pearl as well.

    Happy Tail: Pearl and Trixie

    Pearl had a broken leg, and it would be a few more weeks for her to recover and have her cast removed. In the meantime, she continued to be looked after by Michelle. “Pearl had this adorable little cast she wore, and everyone loved her because of her sweet demeanor and ability to cuddle on demand,” Michelle says. Originally, both Pearl and Trixie had been found with their mother outside on the street, and ACR had been contacted to assist them.

    Happy Tail: Pearl and Trixie

    Trixie was brought home first, and Renee had intended to slowly introduce her to Poundcake over the next few days. However, the cats were eager to get to know each other, and spent the first few hours meowing at each other and touching paws under the door. Renee cautiously supervised them as she decided to let them get closer. Followed by a few initial hisses and grumbles, they warmed up to each other. “By the second day, they were sleeping wrapped up together and are inseparable; they have this unbreakable bond that I’ve never seen before,” Renee says.

    Happy Tail: Pearl and Trixie

    Two weeks later, Renee brought Pearl home. “Pearl’s happy place for the first few weeks was cuddled up in the crook of my neck or elbow,” Renee recalls. After a gradual introduction, the three cats all soon became affectionate with each other.

    Pearl is quite the extrovert, and her favourite pastime is being perched on top of narrow surfaces such as the TV and open doors. She also takes joy in crashing Zoom calls and excitedly greets visitors, earning her the nickname “Baby Squeaks.

    Happy Tail: Pearl and Trixie

    By contrast, Trixie is a bit more introverted compared to her sister. She is a confident and curious cat that loves to connectwith everyone that visits. “She loves springs, dangly toys, and laser pointers, and lets out a little roar when she attacks, earning her the name Baby T-Rex,” Renee says.

    Now that Trixie and Pearl are settled into their home, they are thriving! Along with Poundcake, Renee says the three of them have formed a little crew, and regularly perform treat heists together. Renee says she is ecstatic to have them in her life, and they can often be found comfortably lounging in their cat tree.

    -Justina Tran

    Happy Tail: Pearl and Trixie
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  • Happy Tail: Mr. Parmesan (formerly Wilhelm)

    Like many cats who come into Annex Cat Rescue, Mr. Parmesan’s story has a rough beginning, but a sweet ending.

    In November 2019, he was left in a box outside of the Toronto Humane Society with a note that said, “Help Me.” The volunteer who found him also volunteers with Annex Cat Rescue and took him to the Yonge-Davenport Pet Hospital to make sure he got medical attention before he was placed into foster care.

    Happy Tail: Mr. Parmesan

    Mr. Parmesan (formerly known as Willhelm) was taken in by foster parent Joanne. Joanne has been fostering cats for a long time and also cares for a cat colony. Joanne describes Mr. Parmesan as delightful from the get-go. Although timid and shy with strangers, he loves to be cuddled and stroked and is a true lap cat. He especially loves to have his ears and head massaged and he also enjoys throwing toy mice into the air and catching them as they fall.

    Happy Tail: Mr. Parmesan

    When Chloe and Britton came to meet Mr. Parmesan, Joanne knew they would make great adoptive parents. They got on the floor with him and were very gentle and patient. Although he was such a joy to foster, Joanne knew that this was the right match for Mr. Parmesan and was happy to see him going to a home where he would be so loved.

    Happy Tail: Mr. Parmesan

    Mr. Parmesan lives with Chloe and Britton and big brother Tonks (another Annex Cat Rescue adoptee). Chloe describes Mr. Parmesan as a perfect cutie. When he first went home with them, he was very shy and would often hide in his carrier, litter box, or under the bed, but now he sleeps with her every night. In fact, he was hiding under the bed and finally came out when he smelled the Parmesan cheese rinds that Chloe was snacking on, which is how he came to be “Mr. Parmesan.”

    Happy Tail: Mr. Parmesan

    Mr. Parmesan is not subtle about wanting attention – he will lie on his back with his belly exposed trying to catch the gaze of his humans.  He enjoys playing and hanging out with Tonks and getting his cardio in by chasing Tonks around the house. He also likes to chase his own tail, particularly attacking the stripes on his tail.

    Happy Tail: Mr. Parmesan

    Thanks to helpful hands along the way, and the trustful nature of his adoptive parents to see past his initial shyness, Mr. Parmesan’s tale has a happy ending.

    Happy Tail: Mr. Parmesan

    -Sandra Dania

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  • April 11 is ACR’s first-ever online auction!

    National Pet Day is a day to recognize companion animals — beloved pets as well as community cats and those still waiting for their forever homes. What better way to celebrate this “holiday” than by participating in ACR’s first-ever Spring Auction?!

    Important Details:

    • Our auction will be live and open for bidding starting Thursday, April 11 at 8 a.m. and ending on Saturday, April 17 at midnight.
    • Browse our items on 32Auctions website, a very easy-to-use platform. You don’t need an account until you want to bid.
    • Add items to your watchlist to be notified of bidding activity, so you won’t miss out on the things you want most.
    • At the end of the auction, you will receive a summary and invoice for all of the items you have won!

    Payments will be by EMT only, and we will have pick up locations in various locations in Toronto. You will have 72 hours to make a payment before we deliver your items to the pickup location you’ve chosen, respecting social distancing measures for your safety. Shipping of smaller items, like gift cards, will be available at bidder’s expense.We hope you enjoy our first-ever auction, and hopefully future ones to come! Please help us to gain supporters by sharing our auction with your friends and family. Make a list of all your favourites now and get ready to start bidding when the auction opens on April 11th!

    THANK YOU so much for your support! 100% OF PROCEEDS SUPPORT ANNEX CAT RESCUE.

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  • Happy Tail: Prince and Qasali (formerly Milan and Jiggly Caliente)

    Two tiny little cats with very big names found their way to Annex Cat Rescue in 2019. Longtime ACR volunteer Robin trapped the duo behind a restaurant in Scarborough. They were promptly named after two of Rupaul’s Drag Race stars: Milan and Jiggly Caliente.

    Happy Tail: Prince and Qasali

    The cats were just six months old when they met their new owners, Coby and Tiffany, who had recently moved to a new apartment. They decided that was the right time to bring some new companions into their lives, and who better than a cat?

    Tiffany really wanted a black cat. Her previous cat was black, and she thought they “were really sweet.” Next on their wish-list? “We wanted a really small baby cat, so we could train it. That didn’t work out so well,” Coby laughs. “Cats will not be tamed,” Tiffany adds.

    But kittens tend to adopt out quickly. So, it took almost two months of searching before Tiffany and Coby found Milan and Jiggly on the ACR website. They had only been looking for one cat, but when they saw the sweet little duo, they knew they couldn’t separate a bonded pair.

    Happy Tail: Prince and Qasali

    When they went to see the cats in person, foster mom Heather told them the cats’ backstory, and let them hang out for a few hours. The cats were shy and cute, and Coby and Tiffany instantly fell in love.

    “Coby was like, ‘We have to get them,’” Tiffany recalls. It was less than a week later that they brought the kittens home. One of their first acts was to rename them. Milan and Jiggly Caliente became Prince and Qasali. Prince is named after the musical legend, while Qasali is named after a species of cat in the card game Magic: The Gathering.

    “That was Coby’s idea,” Tiffany laughs.

    Happy Tail: Prince and Qasali

    It took a while for the kittens to warm up to their new home. When they first arrived, they spent most of their time hiding behind the shower curtain. Tiffany would bring them water in the bathroom, which they seemed reluctant to leave. Prince eventually started coming out, while Qasali took much longer. “He would hide in Coby’s shoes,” Tiffany says. But with time, they both came out of their shells.

    “Qasali’s a big baby,” Tiffany says. “He’s a big lap cat. He’ll sit on us any chance he gets, especially if we have this one blanket he really likes.” Prince, on the other hand, is the more adventurous one. “Prince is so bossy. He’s always the one who has to get the food first. He’s a lot more assertive than Qasali.”

    “But Prince is also the smaller cat, which is funny because he has a really big personality, but a smaller frame.” Prince also loves playing with pens. “I think he was a writer in a past life,” Coby says.

    Together, they’re unmistakably brothers. They wrestle and chase each other around but Tiffany and Coby will still catch them cuddling from time to time. What’s unexpected is how the two have changed since they first arrived.

    Happy Tail: Prince and Qasali

    Prince was the more social one at first, but now, Tiffany says, “when we have guests, Prince will be the one that hides. He has some very crafty hiding spots. While Qasali will come out and play with our guests.” 

    Although Coby and Tiffany had both lived with cats before, this was their first time going through the adoption process themselves. And they couldn’t be happier with the results.

    “It’s really nice having them,” Tiffany says. “Especially in quarantine, it’s really improved our quality of life. They’re really great companions.”

    -Aleks Kandic

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  • Happy Tail: Coco and Rio

    For Abby and her boyfriend, moving into a house not only meant extra space – it meant they could finally open their home to a rescue cat, something they had been wanting to do for some time. “We were keen to give a home to an animal in need,” she says.

    After expressing interest in two kittens profiled on the ACR website, a volunteer contacted Abby to provide some sound advice. “We had a call with an adoption advisor who suggested slightly older cats as we couldn’t be at home all day to look after kittens,” she says.

    Happy Tail: Coco and Rio
    Coco
    Happy Tail: Coco and Rio
    Rio

    In light of this, Abby and her boyfriend decided to meet a bonded pair of cats named Coco and Rio at their foster home. Abby says it’s nice to adopt and care for two cats, if you’re able to accommodate them, as they definitely enjoy having a playmate. “We knew we wanted two cats because we thought they would have a more enjoyable life as a pair,” says Abby.

    She was right. Coco acted as a protector to Rio when they were young, helping the smaller cat survive during the difficult period when they lived outside. As a result, Coco and Rio were, and still are, inseparable. The two cats made quite the first impression, with Abby and her boyfriend feeling immediately like they could not leave them behind. “Even though they were so shy, they just needed a loving home to bring them out of their shell,” she says.

    Once in their new home, it did not take long for Coco and Rio’s confidence to build. While Coco is very affectionate and loves to be tickled, Rio is more wary but still finds a way to show his love to his chosen humans. “He joins us in bed every morning, singing for his food,” she says. The pair seem to love each other very much, play-fighting and chasing each other around the house, but also taking in tender moments like cleaning each other and snuggling.

    Happy Tail: Coco and Rio
    Rio (left) and Coco (right)

    One of the best parts about adopting a rescue cat is watching their progress. It’s a humbling experience to be part of a rescue cat’s journey as they build up trust in you and in their new home. Abby’s final thoughts for those considering adoption?

    “I would say go for it! And don’t be put off by first impressions. We have enjoyed watching our cats go from being shy to being the loving pets they are today.”

    -Jessica Pellerin

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  • Happy Tail: Puff
    Happy Tail: Puff

    Puff was found on the streets of Toronto – sadly someone decided to give him away. Luckily, ACR trappers Robin and Michelle brought Puff to his caring foster, Ming-Ming, a veterinary technician at the Yonge-Davenport Pet Hospital.

    With no medical care required, Puff went straight to his foster’s home where he bonded with another foster kitten. During his month of fostering, Puff became Ming-Ming’s shadow and constantly followed her around. “He was a very sweet kitten – very loud, loving, and demanding of my attention,” says Ming-Ming. “He actually helped a lot, as the other kitten I was fostering was quite scared. She saw Puff interacting with me and became more interested in people.”

    Happy Tail: Puff

    After a month of fostering, it was easy for Ming-Ming to help Puff transition to a forever home. Puff’s adopter, Melissa, found him through an adoption post on Instagram. It had been a year since Melissa’s cat had passed away from cancer. Upon seeing Puff, Melissa felt ready to bring another kitty home. “We just knew we had to have Puff,” says Melissa, who generously adopted a second cat around the same time through the OSPCA.

    Puff was a bit scared while travelling to his forever home, but his fear didn’t last long. Within minutes of arriving, Puff and his new sibling, Berlioz, were running around the house. Melissa recalls Puff’s initial days at home: “He was occupied by playing with his foster siblings,” says Melissa. “He was so sweet, cute and playful – we fell in love with him right away.”

    Happy Tail: Puff

    In just one year, Melissa has seen Puff grow even more trusting with a little help from his family. “Puff and his brother still play and snuggle with each other – they are best friends!” says Melissa. “He has become more confident, cuddly and he is truly one of the most loving cats.” When he isn’t getting his exercise from playing, Puff follows his owners around the house and enjoys flopping onto the floor to ask for belly rubs.

    A special routine Melissa and Puff share are their mornings: “Puff snuggles up to me in bed, purring, with his head right under my chin,” says Melissa. “Sometimes he kneads on my stomach or even suckles on the bed sheet.” Before starting a new day, Melissa enjoys time with the two kitties and their human baby brother, Greyson!

    Happy Tail: Puff

    When reflecting on adopting Puff through ACR, Melissa is grateful for the proactive care he was shown. “I cannot thank ACR and Puff’s foster mom enough – for taking such good care of him and for opening our eyes to the joy that comes with adopting two kittens at the same time,” says Melissa. With a home full of loving family members (human and feline), Melissa is thrilled to have given Puff the second chance he deserves.

    -Amy Ellen Soden

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  • Happy Tail: Goran

    When Annex Cat Rescue adopter Gillian set out to find a new cat to join her family, she only had one item on her wish list: must get along with Drago.

    “I said in my email to ACR, ‘my cat Drago is kind of an asshole,’” she laughs. “And that I was looking for a cat who is chill and can handle it.”

    Happy Tail: Goran

    Drago, her first cat, was semi-feral. He’d had a tough relationship with Gillian’s other cat, Luka. It had taken a year for Gillian to get them to stop fighting all the time, and even after that, they never fully got along. After Luka died in 2016, Gillian wanted to find Drago a new friend. But it wouldn’t be easy finding one that was easygoing but not a pushover — and who had FIV, like Drago.

    Happy Tail: Goran

    “I needed to go to a place where they really know the cats, so that I wouldn’t be surprised by their personality,” Gillian says. Her boyfriend’s sister told her she’d had a great experience with ACR, so Gillian decided to reach out. She almost immediately heard back. A volunteer told Gillian that the perfect cat for her had recently come in. He needed some medical attention, so he was in the care of foster mom, Carol.

    “So I went to go meet Carol and her wonderful brood,” Gillian laughs, referring to Carol’s six cats. New to the brood was Goran, then called Vinnie. Gillian was taken with him immediately. “He was so chill!”

    Happy Tail: Goran

    But Goran’s laidback attitude belied a dramatic backstory. He had been found in a cat colony by two local rescuers. At first, they thought he was feral like the rest of the colony, but after they saw how comfortable he was around people, they wondered if he was a house cat who had gotten lost instead.

    Either way, his rough upbringing didn’t seem to have made a big impact on his personality. Gillian knew right away that he was the cat for her and Drago. She even gave him a new, Croatian name, so he could fit in with the rest of the family: Goran. 

    Happy Tail: Goran

    Gillian was worried about the integration process, as it had given her so many headaches with Luka and Drago. But Goran’s integration went more smoothly than she could have hoped. Luka had been very passive around the house, and Drago had taken advantage of that. Goran, on the other hand, wasn’t afraid to stand up for himself. They balanced each other out. Soon, they were napping together, and even playing tag. 

    Happy Tail: Goran

    A year after his adoption, Gillian is thrilled with how well Goran fits into the family. “He’s become very bossy. He comes in at 6 am and wakes us up for food. He’s very affectionate, he loves to come between us in bed and snuggle. He has really blossomed and owns us all!”

    Happy Tail: Goran
    Happy Tail: Goran

    What could have been a tricky adoption has become a huge success for everyone: Gillian, Drago, and Goran.

    -Aleks Kandic

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  • Happy Tail: Tomas (formerly Sweet Pea)

    Tomas (formerly Sweet Pea) was a little kitten when he was rescued by ACR. He was fostered by ACR volunteer Emily, who remembers him as a very friendly and affectionate kitten.

    Happy Tail: Tomas

    “He loved to jump up high and bump his nose against our face — too precious for words,” says Emily. He took kindly to Emily’s other cat and was affectionate and playful with them soon after.

    Happy Tail: Tomas

    In search of finding a ginger kitten to adopt, Lynne had been following the ACR website. “When the picture of baby Tomas popped up, I immediately sent my loving request,” Lynne recalls. Fortunately, Lynne was the first to contact Emily and was excited to adopt him.

    Happy Tail: Tomas

    Tomas had a difficult start to his life. It was discovered that he had giardia and stomatitis and would need to remove his teeth.Fortunately, ACR was able to assist with the cost, and Tomas successfully got through the surgery and was ready to begin the journey with his new family.

    When Tomas was first brought home, he initially hid in the closet. Lynne also had two other rescue cats (Willie and Larry) that were very curious about their new brother. However, it did not take long for Tomas to become comfortable and decide that this was home for him.

    Happy Tail: Tomas

    “Tomas is the most gregarious, social, vocal, playful, and spirited baby we have ever known,” says Lynne. He enjoys grooming and chasing Willie and Larry around the house. He’s also claimed a special spot on the bed, which he likes to cozy up to on the blanket every night. Recently, Tomas was selected as the winner of a “Cat of the Week” contest on Facebook!

    Happy Tail: Tomas

    “Tomas loves marmalade. If we had known this at first, we may have just called him Marmalade,” says Lynne. He’s also very fond of hisCat Dancer toy, which consists of a wire with bits of corrugated cardboard attached on the end. Every morning, Tomas sits patiently at Lynne’s feet, gently nudging her so they can play with it!

    Happy Tail: Tomas

    Having spent a lot more time at home in the past few months, Lynne says that Tomas has helped make time fly by with his antics and love. “All three of our kitties act like its Christmas every day, and we look forward to sharing a quiet Christmas with all of them,” says Lynne. In anticipation of the holidays, all the cats even had their own advent calendar with salmon treats behind every door.

    -Justina Tran

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