Sleek and fit for his 17 years, there are few clues that Gus had a traumatic, abusive kittenhood.
He is still cautious of new people, doesn’t like being picked up, and a long pat down his back shows the location of one of two shotgun pellets still buried in his back.
Gus originally lived in a gang-house, where he was shot at and tossed over the fence.
His neighbour rescued him and kept him for many years.
He was brought to CPW for a new home in August 2021, and a vet visit found a number of dental issues that needed to be addressed.
An x-ray also revealed the buried pellets (pictured below), but it was decided to leave them where they were as they didn’t appear to be causing Gus any discomfort.
Anna and Doug had just lost their foster cat suddenly to mycoplasmosis during the 2021 lockdown, and found it too hard to be without cat company.
Long-time supporters of CPW, they found themselves back at the shelter looking for another cat.
The couple fostered Carrie (formerly Paprika) in 2014, Maggie in 2015, and Yondu (formerly Fred) in 2019.
The Care For Life permanent foster programme means that CPW takes care of all vet bills for elderly cats or cats with ongoing medical issues.
The fosterer agrees to care for the cat for the rest of their life.
Anna admits it can be hard knowing they will only have elderly foster cats for a short time.
“It does break my heart every time, but we love what we do,” she said. “We want to give older cats a home.”
Gus is a reserved cat, but he has clearly bonded with his foster folks, and sleeps on Anna’s legs in bed.
“In the shelter, you don’t always get a picture of what they would be like,” she said. “He goes around in the bush, in and out of other homes, he hangs out with the neighbours’ cats.”
Gus is in terrific shape for his age, with just a touch of arthritis that’s being managed with supplements.
He shows every sign of enjoying the rest of his comfortable foster life, the past now a dim, distant memory.