Happy Tails: Gervais & Jesse

Last December, as a form of what she termed “cat therapy,” Trish took in two short-term fosters through Annex Cat Rescue. She had just said goodbye to her cat of 16 years and wanted some feline company. Trish had served as a colony feeder for Annex Cat Rescue and let ACR know she was interested in becoming a short-term foster during the holidays.

ACR initially asked if she could take Jesse, a grey tabby, whose current foster family was out of town. This was followed by Gervais who was feeling unsettled in his current foster home where he lived with a high-energy cat. ACR wanted to see if living with Jesse would be a better fit.

Gervais and Jesse

Both cats were rescued from the street and were at the time around five years of age. Gervais earned himself quite the reputation among the ACR community when he escaped from his foster house through a screen window; a major search ensued. He was eventually caught with a net and returned to foster care. His adoption posting was updated to include a warning that he would need to be kept in a secure home.

Trish spent her holidays helping the two very different cats adjust to their temporary home. Jesse confidently walked out of his carrier and was ready to take over the place while Gervais, a muscular black cat who resembles a mini panther, hid in a closet until he was ready to come out. Initially there was little interaction between the two.

Jesse quickly wormed his way into Trish’s heart with his affectionate personality. One afternoon while Trish was working on her laptop, Jesse decided that she should be paying more attention to him, so he pushed the laptop closed and put his face up to hers and started purring. In that moment, she decided Jesse would become her first “foster fail.”

Gervais former escape artist

Around the same time, Gervais was coming out of his shell and unable to return to his previous foster home. ACR asked if Trish could keep him for a few more weeks. In that time, Trish looked more into “Gervais-proofing” the home to prevent any future escapes. She spoke with a ACR volunteer and learned about what was required to ensure her window screens were secure. Together, they determined her home to be “Gervais secure” and that removed any hesitation Trish had about adopting Gervais as well.

The cats haven’t changed much over the year, except for Gervais’s escape attempts. It seems that the cat who tried so hard to get away now doesn’t want to leave. Instead, he installs himself on the couch in more human than feline poses.

Jesse drinks water

Jesse also has his own quirks. Trish was warned that he likes to drink out of the bathtub faucet or a drinking glass. At meal times he gets his own water glass and if Trish hasn’t seen him in a while she knows he’s in the bathroom waiting for her to turn on the tap.

The two have become more comfortable with each other as well. At night she can hear them running around playing a game they invented where Jesse comes into her bedroom and waits behind the door for Gervais so he can jump out at him.

Jesse and Gervais

Through short-term fostering, Trish feels like she really got to know her cats before deciding to adopt. She also believes that since she adopted “older” cats, their personalities are already developed. However, she feels they are more like kittens than senior cats as they’re always being silly and playful. Overall, Trish was very happy with how she was able to welcome the cats into her life. She felt she could grieve for her previous cat while still having feline company and building a bond with the two new cats through short term fostering.

–Jillian Kaster

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