Adopting an adult cat through a foster-to-adopt arrangement is often a great option to make sure the cat is right for your home. Adult cats come with fully developed personalities and temperaments, they are mature, trained, better behaved than kittens, and know they’ve been rescued and will be forever grateful to you.
There are so many reasons to adopt an adult cat over a kitten, but in cat rescue, it’s often the kittens that get all the attention and get adopted, leaving the adults behind. But it’s the adult cats—the ones who have often been abandoned, are homeless, or have lived through loneliness, suffering, and maybe illness—that need the unconditional love of a committed home.
The Story of Gigi
My beautiful calico rescue, Gigi, had been up for adoption for two years, with only a handful of interested adopters. I wrote about her rescue earlier, and after she regained her health, I started taking her to my rescue group—Community Concern for Cats’ (CC4C)—adoption weekends, but Gigi officially turned her back to any and all interested parties and pretended to be in some far off place. I posted her on Petfinder as well as CC4C’s website, with little interest over the two years. A couple of people asked about her, but when put through the paces of pre-qualifying them, there was always a red flag. I didn’t want her to end up with irresponsible, neglectful people, like the ones who abandoned her in the first place.
So when I received an email a year later inquiring about Gigi, I almost fell off my …. chair! I was going to say “rocker,” but I’m not there quite yet. She graciously answered all my questions, with openness and honesty. They had a 7-year-old cat that had died suddenly, and were distraught and grieving for her still, and were looking for a companion for their remaining cat. But they wanted to make sure that Gigi was the “right” cat for their kitty, and for them too. After many emails, we set a date to meet at our house, and for them to meet Gigi. They were thrilled.
The first visit lasted a couple hours, I gave them tea, turned on the TV, and they sat in a room with Gigi so she couldn’t escape! They both petted her and talked with her for two hours after work, on a dark, cold winter night. Gigi—who can be cautious, scared, and timid—loved their touch, their soft voices, their compassion, and sensitivity to accepting her just as she was. I could tell, she was a happy cat and loving all the affection bestowed on her.
I gave the couple an application to take home and fill out—if they were still interested after the visit. She emailed it the next day, eager and excited to come back and spend more time with Gigi. They wanted to know about Gigi’s food and about ways to help transition bringing home a new cat. They were already thinking ahead, preparing for her, and making the two cat’s transition easier. They were willing to put in the hours to make sure Gigi was the right choice, and they always had a positive attitude that the time they were investing was well worth it. They would drive from Berkeley to Concord three more times during commute hours, to make sure that Gigi too was as happy with them as they were with her.
On their second visit they brought some clothes for Gigi to smell and leave with her, which also had the smell of their cat. I had suggested this would be a good way to introduce the cats to each other, but also for Gigi to smell her new parents while they were away. When they left, Gigi was so incredibly protective and would lie on their clothes for hours, not moving! It was amazing to see.
Every time this couple came, they would spend 2-3 hours alone with Gigi, happily, just talking with her and hanging out with her. Their level of commitment was impressive and they were patient with the process that they felt was important. So after the fourth visit, it was our turn, and time to bring Gigi to her new home in Berkeley, with cat bed, blankets, and toys in tow.
The arrangement was a Foster-to-Adopt Agreement, which we both signed, for one month, until they felt the cats would get along and be good companions to each other. This was a great option, and provided them a way out if it didn’t work, with no guilt. I didn’t want them to feel stuck if it didn’t work out—and this presented a way for everyone to be happy in the end.
A month later I came to visit them to say goodbye to Gigi, and since then I’ve received some texts and photos of Gigi happily living in her new home. It’s hard to let go, I wasn’t even sure that I could—but finding this couple for Gigi meant that I could. I wanted Gigi to have a home of her own, and people who could focus on her, dote on her, adore her, and spoil her—this is what she deserved, no less.
April 2014 – One year and some months later, Gigi’s adoption parents just sent this! Here’s happy Gigi in her home now.