This is Miss DJ, a former Purrfect Cat foster who is once again available for adoption. This post began as a plea for a home or foster for Miss DJ but I kind of veered off course (I am prone to being pedantic), so if you care to skip my editorial comments the information pertinent to the cat above is contained in the last three paragraphs.
It isn’t often that a cat is returned to us, but when it does happen we suffer a mix of frustration, anger and concern. It’s our policy that those who adopt have thirty days to bring the cat back, allowing plenty of time for the cat to become used to its new home and family, as well as any pets the family may already have.
Sometimes the new cat and older pets do not get along, or the personality of the cat doesn’t fit the home. Sometimes—despite our doing our best to ask the right questions before we send anyone home with a cat—people have not given as much thought as they should have to what is involved in keeping a pet, or the person adopted too soon after the loss of a previous pet, leaving them feeling disloyal to their old favorite. Whatever the reason for a cat being returned might be, we meet it with both disappointment and concern.
Often, even if the adoptive home was not the perfect choice for the cat, it has become accustomed to its new situation. When it returns to its foster home, it might need a few weeks to readjust before it is relaxed enough to be seen at one of our adoption clinics, further slowing down its adoption, and becoming more attached to its foster home. It’s not good for the cats, and it’s not good for the fosters who may have already taken on a cat or two since this one left.
Despite all of these negatives, it is important that we allow people this 30-day “backing out” time. Sometimes people need that insurance policy: people have fond memories of their childhood pet but are now adults living on their own and know it’s more work than they saw it as kids; and there are people who lost a pet long ago, swore they wouldn’t get another, but now feel the time is right, yet they still have some hesitance.
Beyond that, I think it’s important because it allows the pet a safety net as well. If we did not have this policy (as well as our recommendation that people call either us or their vet right away should the cat develop a behavioral issue), I fear people who changed their mind, or faced a challenge they felt was beyond them, that the cat might end up being tossed out to fend for itself. (My main effort in pet rescue is to bring down the population of cats either dumped or left behind in the rather large townhouse complex where I live, so I feel pretty strongly about this one.)
Returning to my jumping off point: Miss DJ does not fit any of the scenarios I have mentioned. She and her brother were adopted last summer and fit in with their new home and family nicely. The reason they were returned to us is that the family is now leaving the country and cannot take the cats with them. I am glad they called us for help rather than taking them to the shelter or just tossing them out, but at the same time, our responsibility to them and the cats ended months ago. They are now essentially in the position that all of us in the group are as fosters: they must feed and house the cat, bring it to and from the weekly adoption clinics, and be totally responsible for it until is adopted, despite them no longer seeing the cats as theirs.
It would be great if one of us could foster Miss DJ until she is adopted, but in another month we will be bombarded with dozens of litters of new kittens on top of the fosters we still have. This means that in all likelihood, if she is not adopted in the next couple of weeks that the family will have no choice but to turn her over the local animal shelter. I would take her in myself in a heartbeat, but I currently have four adult foster cats contained in my bedroom, a litter of kittens in my living room, and my own cats (who are less-than-thrilled) everywhere else.
If you know of anyone who either might be interested in adopting Miss DJ or in fostering her until she is adopted, please contact us via e-mail (see contact tab above) or by leaving a comment to this blog. She is just under a year old, a gorgeous gentle giant of a girl, happy to be held, brushed and pet, a calm sweet presence. Naturally, she has been spayed and all her shots are up to date, and given the need to find her a home quickly her adoption fee has been waived.
Please share this on facebook, twitter, or anywhere you think it might find someone who can help.
Charles on behalf of Purrfect Cat Rescue