Rosie Rezaie, of Inala, had her cat Jet
Rosie Rezaie, of Inala, had her cat Jet "misplaced" by a woman who responded to her ad for a cat foster carer.

Gumtree petsitting nightmare: ‘Your cat’s gone’

AN Inala cat lover wants to warn pet owners to thoroughly vet Gumtree petsitters and foster carers after a nightmare experience.

Rosie Rezaie, 24, said she had advertised for a temporary foster carer for her one-year-old shorthaired domestic cat Jet. Ms Rezaie said she needed someone to look after Jet temporarily, perhaps for a few months, until her busy schedule settled down.

But the nightmare that unfolded - ending up with the police involved after her cat was given away and then disappeared - serves as a warning to anyone thinking of doing the same.

"I am really busy and my other cat, Max, keeps rejecting Jet and I live in a townhouse," she said. "I put an ad on Gumtree that clearly said I wanted a temporary foster carer.

"But after this experience, I honestly wouldn't trust anyone online. I would warn people to make sure they check out (petsitters) very thoroughly. Be careful, especially if they keep asking for money."

 

Rosie Rezaie, of Inala, had her cat Jet
Rosie Rezaie, of Inala, had her cat Jet "misplaced" by a woman who responded to her ad for a cat foster carer.

 

 

Rosie Rezaie, of Inala, had her cat Jet
Rosie Rezaie, of Inala, had her cat Jet "misplaced" by a woman who responded to her ad for a cat foster carer.

Ms Rezaie said a woman from Clayfield in Brisbane responded to her Gumtree ad, saying that she was looking for a cat to adopt.

"She then asked what 'fostering' meant, and I explained it to her," she said. "I should have known then that something was off. I told her, 'It means I only give it to you for a short time, but I will look after all expenses until I get it back'. She said she understood what was needed. So I drove around to meet her."

Ms Rezaie said when she arrived at the house about 1pm on Saturday, the woman already had another cat there.

"I asked her, 'Does that cat get along with other cats?' and she said it was fine and to trust her and that everything would be OK," she said.

She said her instincts were telling her something was wrong, but she ignored them. She now regrets that decision. She gave the woman $100 for pet food and expenses, and drove home.

"I didn't know what else to do," she said. "I had driven half an hour from my house to drop the cat there, and I was hoping it would be OK for a few days.

"But she messaged me saying that the cats weren't getting along. I said I'd come and pick Jet up the next day, but she said they would be fine," she said.

"But at 8pm she messaged me saying Jet was with someone else now."

Ms Rezaie managed to get the name and address of a man, who the woman said had taken the cat.

"But she warned me, said that if I went to get the cat back the man was crazy and would do something to my cat, because he loved it so much," she said.

After a sleepless night, Ms Rezaie drove back to inner-northern Brisbane, to the man's address.

"The man told me that he never had Jet," she said. "He said that the true story was that she lost the cat and was lying to me.

"So I went back to her house … at this stage I was standing in the front yard, looking for my cat, crying, and really pissed off. She took money off me and was careless with my cat, and was now lying to me about it.

"All the neighbours had come to see what was going on. (The woman) was there, and she had another cat. She threw it at me and said 'Your cat's gone, take this one instead'.

"The neighbours saw this and were shocked. They took the cat with them and I called the police."

Ms Rezaie spent the next few days driving back and forth to Ascot to look for Jet. She put posters up and offered a reward.

Finally, she received the phone call anyone who has ever lost a pet yearns for.

A good Samaritan had found Jet.

"He turned up in a family's backyard (at Ascot) and the kids noticed him," she said.

"They had my contacts from the community Facebook page. So it was the best thing that could have happened.

"At least we have a happy ending!"

She said she would keep Jet close from now on.


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