A sad tale! When our cats go into foster we give guidelines and try our best to make life easier for the cat and the foster too. We don't always know or have any real background on the cat in question, so we play it safe. We want the cat to be happy and settle quickly and easily.
It's standard practice for us to suggest that the cat go into a room with the door closed, the cat carrier placed in the room with the door open, and then we suggest the cat then gets left to come out in his/her own time. You leave food, water and the litter tray (not next to each other) placed in the room, along with some toys, scratch post and maybe a cardboard box.
Give the cat a few days to get used to the new place and smells. Don't try and make friends too quickly, let the cat come to you. Keep all the windows closed and balcony doors of course. It's common sense really, especially if you have a cat or have had a rescue cat before.
With all that information, one of our cats went into foster last year and the foster decided to ignore most of the above, resulting in the loss of our cat. Terrified, he ended up going onto the balcony and hiding in the planter two floors up.
To add insult to injury, instead of once again following our advice and waiting for the SPCA Inspector to come and net the cat, they tried to grab the cat themselves and off he went...off the balcony never to be seen again!
There was a large, lush green open area on the ground and that's where our cat went. I know the area and so I also knew it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This was completely preventable, and instead of offering an apology or offer of help, I got a barrage of insults and abuse for giving them a 'feral' cat!
This is why we truly do appreciate good fosters and those who follow our advice. We wouldn't be where we are without you.