All's Well That Ends Well!
Successful Rescue Stories
Read about some of our success stories with cats that we brought in out of dire circumstances, and their journies to recovery, healing and finally - adoption. Click on an arrow to read more.
Katie - Adopted!
Welcome to the newest member of our rescued cats. This kitten, probably about two months old, was found in Richmond Hill. Neighbours had heard mewing for two days and decided to investigate. They found this small kitten, hungry, dirty and all alone but worst of all, it had hurt it's back leg and seemed unable to move.
On closer examination, it had a huge gash right down it's leg, which looked dirty and infected. We feared it may have broken the leg as well. It was certainly in urgent need of veterinary attention. Fortunately the surgery did not find any breaks in the bone but the gash went right down to the bone and was, as we had seen, badly infected.
The leg was cleaned and encased in a huge bandage. We have put the kitten in with a mother and her kittens and the mother has accepted it completely. This kitten would certainly have died in a day or two without intervention. It's a spunky little soul - we wondered how it would move around and get to food but you should see it! It can get anywhere, it just pulls the bandage along and gets to everything it wants. We haven't named it yet - what would you call it? It will have to be a 'any sex' name as we haven't disturbed it to discover it's gender.
Welcome to the newest member of our rescued cats. This kitten, probably about two months old, was found in Richmond Hill...
Balsam and her Five Kittens - All Adopted!
"Tail" updated April 2011
Balsam's Kitten Billy (Formerly Buffy): Update - April 2011
I wanted to let you know that Buffy (now Billy) is loving his new home and family.
When we came home last night with Buffy we let him get used to his new home before introducing the rest of the family. First we introduced Boots (our female cat). They hit it off right away. Then we slowly introduced the dogs one at a time. Buffy had never seen a dog I assume because he was very unsure, yet curious. Within minutes they were sniffing each other and to look at them right now you would think they have been best friends for years!
He has been eatting, drinking and using the litter boxes. He is also playing with all the toys. His favorite place to hang out is in the homemade cat house or cuddled on the couch with us. We are very happy with the decision we have made to adopt Buffy (Billy).
We will keep you posted on our journey with him and I look forward to you seeing the photos!
Thank you so much Donna!
Balsam and her Five Kittens: Rescued
Balsam and her five kittens were rescued in October. A family was spending their last week-end at their cottage and heard a plaintiff meowing at their door. They found a very thin ginger cat begging for food. Being cat lovers they let the cat in and fed it. After a while they noticed that the cat seemed agitated and wanted to go back outside. Only then did they notice it had obviously been feeding babies. They followed it to see if it would lead them to its kittens and sure enough it did. In the middle of a field, in a hollowed tree stump, were five kittens about two weeks old. Knowing that this cat could not survive winter if left her out with no real shelter or food, they picked her and all her kittens up and took them home. They couldn't keep Mum and five kittens and thus set about finding somewhere where they could be safely looked after. Luckily, they called North Toronto Cat Rescue and the cat, now named Balsam, and her kittens were accepted. Had Balsam not come to their cottage that fortuitous day, she and her kittens would most surely have died as the cottagers had all left for the winter. Balsam has been a wonderful mother.
She is the most lovely, sweet tempered and friendly cat who is now ready for adoption. Her five kittens will be ready for adoption in early January when they have been spayed/neutered. Although found homeless, this cat is not and never was feral. How she came to be alone with five kittens at least five miles from a road we don't know, we can only surmise that she was thrown out pregnant.
How she came to be alone with five kittens at least five miles from a road we don't know, we can only surmise that she was thrown out pregnant.
Mozart and Ruggles - Both Adopted!
"Tail" Updated - April 2011
Ruggles: Update - April 2011
After bringing Ruggles home in August, my family and I realized that we made the purrrr-fect decision in our new addition to our home. Ruggles is a bundle of energy who enjoys playing with his brother and sister cats, and loves his big friend Jake the great dane. He has brought so much joy and laughter, and his antics always make us smile. He has also discovered the joy of food at our house, and has developed quite the belly!
A discovery of a new pet product has allowed for us to keep his eyes clean and the tear staining he had previously has now almost disappeared. Ruggles is also huge people cat, and is always the first one at the door when someone comes home or comes over; he even beats our dog to getting there first!
He loves having his belly rubbed, and giving love bites and licks to anyone who will let him. He has also converted several of our non-cat friends into cat people. We want to thank the North Toronto Cat Rescue for all the wonderful work that they do and for allowing people to find the cats and kittens who bring love and warmth to their lives!
Mozart: Update - March 2011
Here's Mozart chillin' at home. All he's missing is a beer, some chips and a good hockey game on tv!
Mozart and Ruggles: Rescued
A friend of NTCR was witness to the dumping of these 2 boys, believed to be father and son. They left these sweet kitties all alone in a cabbage patch off the side of the road in the middle of the night.
Mozart has now been adopted, by a music teacher of all things.. :) Ruggles went home with Rebecca and lives with 2 other rescued cats and a Great Dane!
They left these sweet kitties all alone in a cabbage patch off the side of the road in the middle of the night...
Wynter, Snow and Lenny
Wynter Snow and Lenny: Rescued - December 2010
December 13th was a lucky day for one of these siblings! Captured in the wee hours of a freezing night (minus 23 degrees with the wind chill) by one of the NTCR volunteers, cold and starving, one desperate kitten went into the trap. Our voluntter knew that there were at least two other siblings.
Several days later, the remaining two were caught and brought in. Merry Christmas indeed for these little ones!
The three are now at the shelter recuperating, and waiting to get their initial vet checkup.
Update: Wynter , Lenny and Snow are now out playing with the rest of the kittens. They are happy and well and are turning into delightful kittens. Snow and Lenny are still a little shy, but Wynter loves to be cuddled. The kitties have started to "clean-up", and are looking much better! Check out Wynter's "before" and "after" pictures.
And here are Lenny and Snow.
December 13th was a lucky day for one of these siblings!
Cricket, Bandit and Kittens - All Adopted!
"Tail" Updated - March 2011
Bandit: Update - March 2011
I loved your article about black cats…I wanted to thank you for the information and help you gave me… and because of it we did adopt a Black Cat…From North Toronto Cat Rescue and he is the loveliest creature ever! I am English born and Black Cats were always considered lucky!
We are so happy with our lovely Big Black Dude …with the Major attitude, and large manly ego…Winston (aka Bandit) walked into our house, wandered around to get his bearings for about an hour, found his bathroom and of course the food dish and then came to the couch and landed between my husband and I, and slept as though he has been there all along. He is a big hunter and loves to corral 3 to 4 of his sponge balls upstairs in the kitchen, then delicately like a talented hockey player maneuvering the puck…(my husband a hockey player himself appreciates this) towards the top of the stairs to the basement…then pushes them down the stairs to the basement (the Bat cave) and hurtles down after …after a loud and thorough thrashing he brings them back upstairs delicately in his mouth and lines them all up kitchen. We love to watch him as he takes his hunting seriously..there is a lot of grunting, groaning and hissing going on…during the Hunt! He is also the most affectionate fellow…he loves to lie across your feet and purr, leaving you no option but to pet him. He loves to sit or lie/stretch on one of us and throw a paw around you and will do this for hours at a time. Winston will greet any guest and expect at the very least a massage…luckily he is never disappointed…It hasn't taken Winston long to figure out everyone's routine in the house and gives everyone a certain amount of his time…giving us all ample opportunity to give him some attention…and he purrs to his heart's content…His vocabulary has really picked up too..he now understands 'Good food', 'Massage', 'Brush', and 'Treat'… Winston is settling in nicely and is a very very happy cat and loves being the centre of attention! is a big loud grunty Boy who is full of energy and does everything in a loud large way…Winston just walked into our lives and decided we were his! From our part, we could not have asked for a gentler kinder more affectionate creature!
Hey Cats, Winston (aka Bandit) here…do not give up hope my fellow feline brothers and sisters!!!....There is a forever home out there with your name on it …just waiting for you. My new cat parents are coming along well. I have my big Daddy Cat well trained…he is a big softie and all I have to do is put my head on his chest and throw my paw around him and is putty in my paws…My mummy cat is a bit more of a challenge but I work on her every day… The daughter I view as my equal…so I know I can get away with things with her and she won't tell…As soon as I walked in the door, I just knew these were the pet parents for me!!…It only took me a short while to figure out where the heck everything was and then I joined them on the couch …and it felt so right I fell asleep… hoping my snoring would not disturb them. I did have a few adjustments issues…namely marking my territory…Hey I figured if it's on the floor …it's fair game!... I had to do what I had to do. Those days I hope are now behind me. Still I must admit to chowing down on a few spider plants now and then…hey I am an Animal…what do you want from me…!!
My typical day starts out being fed my all natural wet and dry food first thing …and a lovely massage …then I have to hunt a bit to keep in shape…every time I walk past a mirror I swear I can see I am getting a bit of a pot belly…I heard when you are in a good relationship you gain a bit of weight…so I have packed on a pound or so…then I see her off to work..then I go to my bed for a quick nap before the next one is up…I see him off too after he had given me my just attention….then I wait for the youngest one to get up …for her I keep an eye on her in her bathroom while she is putting on her make up and getting ready for University. Once everyone has gone …I choose between which of my three beds I need to get some rest in…I am settling in very well..they have quite a few friends that pop over …I have an Uncle Larry and an Auntie Linda and Auntie Ann that I have wrapped around my paws…I also hear that I will be going up north to the Cottage this summer…I am not sure what that all entails...so all in all things are really great…I believe this is one of my 9 lives that I will thoroughly enjoy!!
Cricket, Bandit and Kittens: Rescued - Winter 2010
Cricket and Bandit were found wandering in the park. Like many cats who come to us, they had obviously been abandoned (though perhaps not together.) They were very friendly and not afraid when approached, so we can assume that both had at one time belonged to someone.
Both animals were extremely thin and on the brink of starvation. Two young and caring people took them home, fed and sheltered them and then, to their surprise, Cricket gave birth to five beautiful little kittens.
These folks were a bit overwhelmed as they already had several cats of their own and an additional seven would have been too much. They began calling around to try to re-house the cats, and North Toronto Cat Rescue agreed to help. We took the family in and they have happily settled into the shelter. Cricket, Bandit and the kittens have been seen by a vet, given the necessary vaccinations, and will be spayed/neutered at the appropriate time after which they will be put up for adoption.
Cricket and Bandit were found wandering in the park...
Molly and Kittens - Adopted!
Updated February 2011
Molly's Kitten: Update - February 2011
Hi! My name is Sandy Molnar and I adopted one of Molly's little kittens - the little orange one from the photos. His name is Archie now and he's the light of our life. He came into our one-cat home and fit-in right away... He was scared and in need of cuddles at first, but after a day of sleeping on my husband's chest, he decided to venture out into his new environment. He's now a strong, wonderful, loving cat who has contributed to our household in such a meaningful way. Thank you so much for saving Archie that day. He's a wonderful, wonderful boy who brings us joy and has a nice, comfy life. You changed his future that day and I will always be greatfull. When we have money to donate, the money will be coming to you. Thank you for your efforts in saving these animals.
Molly and Kittens: Rescued
Molly was rescued from an undeveloped marsh area north of Toronto on a Saturday night at the beginning of June, and was immediately taken to one of our foster homes. As Molly seemed to be fairly calm, Carol, her foster mom, took her to the vet two days later for a checkup and shots.
When she lifted the frightened cat out of the carrier, Molly's foster mom felt a hard, swollen mass on Molly's stomach and asked the vet to check it out. She gently turned Molly onto her back and discovered not one, but six swollen areas... full of milk. Molly had kittens - somewhere.
Since he hadn't fed her kittens for two days, Molly had begun to develop mastitis, which ended up requiring antibiotics.
A frantic search for the kittens had then begun. The area in which Molly was rescued is a vast, undeveloped marsh land, with swampy areas, abandoned tires, garbage and overgrown foliage. It was going to take a miracle to find the kittens, and even if they could be found, would they still be alive?
As luck would have it, four kittens were found. Four little bundles of fur, about 4 weeks old, were huddled together in the corner of an abandoned, rotting sofa. They were too weak even to cry.
Mom and kittens were finally reunited, and over the next few hours, the kittens were fed nursed and slept, nursed and slept. Kittens being kittens, after a few hours they were up on the wobbly little legs, with their little triangle tails in the air, they began to explore their new surroundings, falling over each other and themselves.
While searching for food and water, her front leg was caught...
Trooper - Adopted!
We called him Trooper as he was such a brave soul. He had been burned all down his back. Was it by accident or had someone thrown something like acid at him? His injuries had obviously happened some time ago as the burns were relatively clean and some had even started to heal, but he certainly would have had a much better chance of surviving if he was safe, clean and well fed.
After some weeks, sure enough, the burns were healing well. We wondered if they would stay as scars or would the fur grow back? Now the fur has grown back but strangely enough, most has grown back white.
Through his ordeal, Trooper has remained a happy and confident cat who even likes to be picked up. His trust in humans amazes us.
We sincerely hope Trooper finds a happy forever home where he is loved - he certainly deserves it!
We called him Trooper as he was such a brave soul. He had been burned all down his back.
Melody was found on a busy downtown street corner. She must have been outside for quite a while because this cat, who should be a fairly large cat, weighs only five pounds. Luckily for Meloday, all her blood tests (done when she came into NTCR) are normal, so she has survived without major injury or disease. She appears to have been quite traumatized by her experiences and sits quietly on a bed in the shelter, leaving it only to eat. She is very friendly and will happily sit and be stroked. When she has gained some weight she will be put up for adoption. She needs a quiet, stable "forever home". It will be very rewarding to see her come out of her shell as she gradually responds to stability, love and affection.
She must have been outside for quite a while because this cat, who should be a fairly large cat, weighs only five pounds...
Hobo - Adopted!
Would you believe this handsome cat was a stray? He was homeless and hungry until some wonderful person took pity on him, brought him in and looked after him until they found a temporary home for him in NTCR. Look how he is enjoying snoozing in a patch sunlight now he is safe and well fed. This is the story of many of our cats - it only took one person to take responsibility and to care enough to see that he is safe and looked after. After that, it still takes the reader's kind donations and volunteers to care for him until he is adopted. This photo of him snoozing in sunlight is their reward.
Would you believe this handsome cat was a stray...
Enzo was living in a colony and was trapped and brought inside just as winter had begun to approach. He was limping and an x-ray confirmed that he had a broken hind leg.
In spite of the fact that the fracture was determined to be about three months old, it had not healed. We can only imagine the incredible pain he must have endured as he searched for food in the harsh environment in which he lived. He certainly would not have been able to negotiate the snow while dragging his leg behind him, and would have surely starved as winter set in.
After being seen by the vet, his leg was immobilized in a cast and Enzo sat patiently in a confined space for three months while we hoped his leg would heal without surgical intervention. Fortunately the fracture did heal and Enzo is now out of the cage,socializing with other cats in the Shelter.
Enzo was living in a colony and was trapped and brought inside just as winter had begun to approach...
Lost Boy - Found!
This cat was caught in a trap which was set in an area in which we had just begun the rescue of yet another colony. He was very friendly and a vet-checked confirmed that he was microchipped. This enabled us to return him to his owner.
We found out that he had been missing from his home for two weeks, which explained why, when trapped, he was so hungry. We also learned that he had wandered about 2 miles from his home and realized that he must have crossed three major highways at least once each. It was nothing short of a miracle that he was not hit by car in this journey. North Toronto Cat Rescue STRONGLY advises that ALL cats be kept indoors to avoid a this scenario which is only too likely to lead to injury and very possibly to the end of the cat's life.
This cat was caught in a trap which was set in an area in which we had just begun the rescue of yet another colony...
Zoe and Kittens - All Adopted!
Zoe was a new mom living outside with 6 kittens - like so many others at this time of year. It is extremely difficult for a mother to raise her kittens on the streets. She has to leave them exposed to danger while she herself searches for food in order for them all to survive. If she dies, so do the kittens. This is a very typical scenario.
It is hard to believe that there are people who will take an animal in to be part of their family, and at the drop of a hat turn around and abandon the animal, throwing her away to fend for herselt on the streets. We hear stories of people doing just that simply because they're going on holiday or they're moving from the area.
They leave their "pets" behind, possibly to starve to death. Those who manage to survive awhile will begin to reproduce at random thus compounding the already exploding over-population of street animals. An unspayed female will be pregnant again within three months of her last litter and in another six months so will her kittens. Before long this family will grow to an unmanageable size.
Left outside, this family is then forced to take refuge under a deck or in a shed, thus becoming a 'nuisance' through no fault of their own.
North Toronto Cat Rescue recommends that all pets be spayed/neutered, and outside cats be trapped so they too can be spayed/neutered - this is how we prevent the birth of so many unwanted kittens.
Zoe was a new mom living outside with six kittens - like so many others at this time of year..
Dot and Dubsey - Both Adopted!
If you take a moment to read "The Stray Cat Prayer" on our home page, it describes a cat who watches at it's "owners" move. This is Dot’s story. According to neighbours, her "owners" did wave good bye as their moving van pulled away.
The neighbours, now aware of Dot's predicament, were kind enough to begin feeding Dot outside. However, before long, outside and unspayed, she gave birth to four kittens.
Although unable to take Dot and her family in themselves, these kind and caring people were concerned enough to take it upon themselves to find homes for them. They succeeded in placing three of the kittens, leaving only Zoe and one of her kittens still in need of a home. There are many many such sad stories out there.
Dot and Dubsey have now joined the other abandoned rescues currently residing at the North Toronto Cat Rescue Shelter. They have been to the Vet and had their first vaccines. Spay/neuters will follow in due time prior to their being put up for adoption.
According to neighbours, her "owners" did wave good bye as their moving van pulled away...
Annie - Adopted!
While searching for food and water, her front leg was caught in a "bear-claw" trap. In agony and desperate to survive, she either pulled her leg free or chewed it off. Her paw was gone, her leg was in shreds, tendons were hanging from a torn and bleeding stump.
When we found Annie, her leg was severely infected and infested with maggots.
Our vet amputated her leg at the shoulder, cleaned the wounds, and treated the infection with antibiotics. One of our foster moms provided tender loving care while Annie got her strength back.
Annie is now completely healed and is managing well on three legs. She has been adopted into a warm and loving home. She cuddles and plays with her new parents as well as several feline brothers and sisters. She climbs stairs, jumps onto her favourite chairs, and is healthy and active. She is a loving, gentle cat who has finally found the happiness she deserves.
While searching for food and water, her front leg was caught...
Leroy - Adopted!
Many of the cats and kittens taken in by North Toronto Cat-Rescue are found starving in the refuse-strewn dump area behind an industrial/commercial row of buildings in suburban north Toronto. They have been abandoned to fend for themselves through blistering summers and freezing winters.
Leroy was such a cat. At one time he must have lived with humans, as he so enjoys being loved and petted.
Leroy was discovered last winter in this place, emaciated, half frozen and very ill. It is unknown how long he had lived this way. He somehow managed to survive the intense cold despite the fact that both of his back legs were severely injured and infection had crept deep into the bones. His legs were so swollen, he could not walk and had to drag himself along on the ice and snow with his front paws. Much of his fur had been lost due to the intense cold and his nose, ears and paw leather had been badly frostbitten.
For five days Donna of North Toronto Cat Rescue attempted to help him, but Leroy, fearful, dragged himself off to hide. On the fifth day he was found in one of the insulated feral cat houses we provided as temporary housing for the dump cats. He was just barely still alive, partially frozen, starved, and too sick to try to hide.
Donna took him directly to a veterinary facility where she was advised to have him euthanized. when Leroy looked up at Donna, it seemed to her that his eyes were saying, "I managed to survive for nearly five days in minus 30 degrees, sick and barely able to seek shelter. Please don't kill me. Give me a chance. I really want to live." Donna insisted that Leroy be given the best medical care. And so began Leroy's journey to recovery.
Today, although he is a bit wobbly when he runs, Leroy has regained the use of his back legs. His lovely grey fur has grown in thick and long, and the frostbite scars are barely noticeable. He loves his forever home, his wet cat food, the other cats and dogs he lives with, and he adores his soft blue blanket that he stretches out on every day while he looks out the window at the outside world. Leroy is content knowing he never has to be out there again.
We are grateful to have had Leroy in our lives, and his courage and determination continue to inspire us.
Many of the cats and kittens taken in by North Toronto Cat Rescue were found close to starvation...
Chivas - Adopted!
Chivas was dumped by his owners early last year.
A beautiful, sweet natured boy with gorgeous blue eyes, Chivas had obviously been somebody's pet. When he was found, he was painfully thin and had been injured by another animal. His ear was torn and his fur was dirty and matted.
With lots of TLC from his foster mom, he began to thrive. Snuggling and purring were his favourite activites. Finding a forever home for Chivas was going to be a challenge, as he tested positive for FIV.
Chivas made the transition to a second foster home, where he was, once again, adored. His new foster parents wanted to adopt him but they were moving out of the country, and government regulations made it impossible to take an FIV positive cat with them. They were devastated when they had to leave without him.
Chivas made the move, once again, to a third foster home, and for him, it was third time a charm! His foster mom fell in love with him, and after a few weeks, she decided to adopt him. Chivas' health is good, and with lots of love, good food and a warm, caring home, he now has a chance at a long, happy life.
Chivas was dumped by his owners early last year....
Garfield - Adopted!
Adopted! Thanks, Janet, for giving Garfield a wonderful home.
We rescued Garfield last winter from a narrow pathway covered with ice - the only home he had known since his family deserted him. Garfield's paws were torn and bleeding, the pads so raw, he couldn't walk. He was shivering with cold and pain, and his pitiful cries broke our hearts.
As it turned out, Garfield tested positive for FIV. Garfield was unneutered when he was abandoned by his uncaring owners. Uneutered males get into fights with other unneutered males and this is how FIV is transmitted - by bite.
Garfield was neutered, and placed with a wonderful foster mom who nursed him back to health.
Adopted! Thanks, Janet, for giving Garfield a wonderful home...
Charlie - Adopted!
Charlie is a beautiful 3-year-old male, Maine Coon mix. When he was rescued, Charlie was scratched and bleeding, his coat matted and filthy from life on the streets, and he was starving. A very kind couple took him in, cleaned him up and called Cat-Rescue for help.
When Charlie was placed in our foster home, he ate and ate and ate. His body began to fill out and his coat began to shine. With lots of love, good food and many brushings, his coat is now glossy and healthy and he is very contented.
After a short period of time, we came to realize that Charlie was deaf. We will never know whether he was born this way, or whether severe winter weather and lack of veterinary care caused this condition.
Charlie took everything in his stride, and learned quickly to respond to body language and facial expressions. He always looked forward to being loved and petted and quickly learned how to play. Because Charlie is an adult cat with special needs, it took several months in foster care before the perfect "forever" family came along, but now Charlie is safely and permanently in his new home, with a loving family and lots of cuddles. Charlie will never again have to know life on the streets.
When he was rescued, Charlie was scratched and bleeding...
Ruffles - Adopted!
When Ruffles was rescued, he was in terrible condition.
Ruffles had probably been caught in the fan belt of a car while trying to keep warm under the hood. When the motor was started, his fur and skin were shredded. His wounds were extensive and crusted with blood, and he was in a lot of pain. Ruffles has since been seen by the vet and had his wounds treated. Employing both pain killers and tender loving care, Ruffles was nursed by to health.
He has now been adopted by a wonderful family who love him very dearly. Ruffles deserves a life free from pain and cold and we are relieved to know that he's now inside and safe from the harsh elements that very nearly claimed his life.
Ruffles had probably been caught in the fan belt of a car...