Last Friday at 4.48pm, I got a phone call from my housemate Sam.
"Jess, I'm going to keep this short. Dafydd has been hit by a car. I'm taking him to the vets. You need to get here as soon as you can."
Sam had got home from a run to find our cat lying motionless on the verge of our street, with blood pouring from his eye and mouth. Still in running gear he scooped him up and ran to the vets, getting covered in blood and poo in the process.
The vet and nurses did an incredible job, immediately getting him on painkillers and oxygen. The prognosis, however, was cautious.
"It's all about the next 24 hours." advised the vet, "He has suffered extreme head trauma. His jaw is broken, his eye looks very bad, he may have ruptured a tear duct." Pause. "The eye may have to be removed. We need to take him to the hospital for x-rays, blood tests and scans to make sure there is no internal injuries, and keep him in intensive care."
No mention of how to fix him up after. They didn't want to give us false hope.
Following this we were presented with a list of estimated costs to keep him alive and find out where the injuries were. Hospitalisation, painkillers, oxygen therapy, blood tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, consultations, revisits. It went on.
The number at the bottom was £1,766.39. Half was to be paid there and then.
I didn't flinch and took out my credit card, but inwardly I howled at my own complacency. We do not have pet insurance. It was just something we hadn't quite got around to. A fine example of laziness, stupidity and optimism.
Since then, while he has stabilised and improved, the costs have accumulated. Blood was found between between his lungs and body wall, and had to be drained. On Sunday evening I received another call, he had difficulty breathing, they drained him again and he was put into an oxygen cage. The following day he was stable enough for surgery on his jaw where they inserted a wire to hold the broken parts together. This paragraph represents another £1300 on top of the original estimate.
Having your head hit by a vehicle moving at high velocity is no easy thing to bounce back from. For the first day he could only walk in tight circles, as his brain collapsed with shock. The costs beyond this are unknown but it's obviously going to be a long journey to recovery. He's unlikely to return to the precise hunter he once was.
Whilst it's obvious that we made an fundamental error in not getting pet insurance before this, we are only human and we make mistakes. We've wholeheartedly learned this life lesson – I instantly bought insurance for my other cat, Dewi – and we've made this page to try and help raise money to pay the vet bills.
We don't expect this for nothing and will be creating some items to sell and put the profits towards the vet bills. These will be coming soon. In the meantime thanks for reading and if you do decide to donate, thank you so much. Your generosity and kindness means the world to us.