Friday, 3 October 2014

The importance of pet insurance

A post from guest blogger Anna Henderson-Mutch 

We adopted Alfie, a tabby domestic shorthair and Delia, a black-and-white domestic longhair from Cats Protection in January after losing our last old cat Marcel at Christmas. Delia was almost five years old and rather nervous. Alfie was just five months old and a bundle of barely contained energy, desperate for release.

Alfie playing when he was five months old
Alfie at five months old
At Cats Protection he’d been very vocal and also shouted all the way home, but once he arrived at his new home and we showered him with attention, toys and above all, space in the house to run around, he stopped shouting and started purring! Within 48 hours he’d figured out the best place to sleep was our bed and demanded head rubs and snuggles every morning – his favourite thing was for you to cup his whole head in your hand and he’d lean into you purring.

We introduced him to the outside in the early summer at about eight months old. He loves to climb trees and would chase and attack anything stick-like, including next door’s clothes prop. He was a very happy little man who even made friends with a couple of other kittens roughly his age.

One night, the day after his first birthday, he didn’t come home. We’d trained him to come home when we whistled and rattled his treats. He’d never failed to turn up. We were concerned, but figured it was another stage in his development. We were very wrong. The next morning I spent some time rattling his treats and whistling in every direction, expecting him to come home looking a little lost and sorry for himself. I stood on the street whistling for ages thinking he’d roamed too far. Five minutes later, a neighbour from across the street knocked on our door. “Were you looking for a cat?” she said. “Yes” I replied, “he’s only a year old and didn’t come home last night”. “Is he a tabby?” she asked. “A car knocked a tabby cat over last night just down the street. We didn’t know who he belonged to but they took him to the vets” she told us. I was upset but relieved as he’s microchipped so I waited for that horrible call. By 10am I was even more worried, surely someone should have called by now?

I started calling all the local vets and got their out-of-hours numbers. I rang far and wide, registering his details with anyone who would listen. I double-checked his microchip details to make sure they were correct – they were. By the afternoon I was distraught. I made leaflets with his photo on. We printed them out and started posting them through the letterboxes on our street asking if anyone knew where he’d been taken.

My daughter and I only got as far as nine houses; we were talking to each other and he must have heard our voices! I heard a faint ‘miaow’ and turned to find a battered and bruised little face propped on the kerb under a car. He couldn’t even lift his head. We rushed him over to the emergency vets and they immediately gave him pain relief and assured us that he was a fighter: he’d survived for 20 hours on his own. He had a crushed left leg and his pelvis was cracked on both sides. His face had lost the skin on the left where he’d been pushed into the street and he had damage to his gums and lips and his whiskers have been sheared off by the impact. They were amazed that his jaw and teeth were intact! The damage to his leg was beyond the repair of our local vets; so he was transferred to a specialist Orthopaedic vet.

Alfie is happy that he can climb his scratching post again
Alfie's happy now that he can climb
He’s now got a bionic leg and is recuperating slowing. He was able to walk (wobbly) within five days of his injury but has to be contained for a minimum of six weeks. I’m so glad we found him in time. When his free Petplan insurance ran out, I was in two minds about whether to take it out – at almost £30 for the two of them, it seemed a lot on top of the excess. Alfie’s little accident has so far cost over £3,000 so I’m so glad I took out the insurance!


This post has been written by a guest blogger. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Cats Protection. 

We believe pet insurance is an important part of responsible cat ownership. Caring for a cat is both fun and rewarding but if they are to suffer an illness or injury it can also be expensive. Having pet insurance means you can concentrate on what’s best for your cat rather than worrying about the cost of vet bills.

Every cat homed from Cats Protection goes to its new home with four weeks’ free Petplan insurance. Additionally, whenever a Cats Protection supporter takes out a Petplan policy, Petplan gives 10 per cent of the premium paid back to Cats Protection, and a further 10 per cent each year the policy is renewed. Through these valuable funds raised we are able to continue our work caring for and rehoming more and more cats.

To find out more about please visit Petplan’s website.

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