Checking before adopting the cat
I just spoke with a woman who called for the first time yesterday about her cat being adopted out. Apparently she adopted the cat out two days ago, and felt something was wrong. She asked for the cat back yesterday but the woman who adopted the cat out was unable to meet. The adopter asked if she could return the cat this morning instead. The foster went down to the home and said she was standing there looking at the balcony where they said the cat was being kept and she could not see it, so she got worried and called me.
The foster called me in a panic. The cat had been posted on another website (not CWS) and that is how she got to know the potential adopters. She had not signed a trial agreement nor an adoption contract but she wanted to know what her recourse was if they did not want to return the cat. Frankly it would be difficult to prove because she willingly handed the cat over in the first place.
The cat was returned this morning, but only after the husband had sent her an SMS which the woman claims was a threatening SMS telling her to leave his wife alone. The woman said that she did not harass the wife.
This morning apparently the cat was dropped off at the guard house by someone whom she says was neither of the couple. She felt this showed that they passed the cat to someone else. The woman said the cat smelt of urine and looked thinner. She said she planned to post all this on the internet, identifying the couple and their address.
First of all, as I pointed out to her, the cat was given two days ago- it is going to be difficult to prove it was starved or ill treated. The cat might have urinated in the carrier on the way back - it can and does happen that cats being frightened do dirty themselves especially if in a strange car or vehicle. It is also difficult to prove the cat was starved if it was a matter of two days because it would be hard to see any appreciable weight loss.
As for handing the cat to someone else, again there's no proof of that. The couple I suspect does not want to see the foster. It does seem that they think she is harassing them so they may have asked someone else to drop the cat off. I told her that she should think very carefully about posting potentially defamatory remarks on the Internet unless she was sure she had proof to substantiate it. She decided she probably should not.
Bottom line - be careful before you adopt the cat out and make sure that you do get some agreement in place between yourself and the adopters if you do. It's always easier to make the decision not to give the cat to them then to try and wrest control back once the cat has been adopted out.