Ten-year-old girl vows to become a vet after penning heartfelt letter about her injured pets
She’s only 10 and still at primary school — but little Holly Floyd knows EXACTLY what she wants to be when she grows up.
Yes, Holly wants to be a vet — just like the dedicated medical team at our pet emergency clinic in Swindon who saved her kittens, Bailey and Charlie, after they were hit by cars on separate weekends.
After the first incident involving Bailey, Holly wrote to the staff at Vets Now to tell them about her future plans.
On a hand-drawn card and in her neatest joined-up writing, Holly said: “As well as saving Bailey’s life you have inspired me, even more, to become a vet one day myself.
“Thank you so, so, so, so much for looking after our precious and most loved cat Bailey – you have saved his life.”
Then Holly added that “our whole family – grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins and friends” would have been devastated if Bailey hadn’t made it.
Our senior emergency vet in Swindon, Kate Russell, was so touched by the card she invited Holly and her seven-year-old sister, Ella, who also wants to be a vet, to the hospital.
During their visit, Kate showed the girls around the emergency unit and exotics ward and introduced them to some of the pets in our care.
She said: “We were really touched to get Holly’s card. It’s a lovely reminder of the human dimension to what we do – as well as the animal one.
“We like to think that we care for owners as well as their pets so it’s great to get this sort of feedback. I’m so pleased that Holly and Ella want to be vets, it’s a very satisfying career and I can honestly say that no two days are the same.”
And Kate added: “But their case shows just how dangerous it can be for young outdoor cats. Not long after we received the card about Bailey, Charlie was rushed in after being hit by a car. Both are lucky to be alive.”
Mischievous one-year-old Bailey got struck by car when he was out prowling for mice at night. But the first Holly and her family knew that anything was wrong was the next morning when Holly went downstairs to get breakfast.
Somehow, Bailey had managed to drag himself back through the cat flap and into the utility room where he was lying with a hugely swollen head, with blood coming from his nose and mouth.
Poor Holly screamed in shock. “Holly yelled up the stairs to me,” said her mum Lorraine. “She said, ‘Mummy. Mummy, it’s Bailey, something’s happened. I rushed down and poor Bailey really did look in a terrible state.
“He was sprawled out in our older cat Oscar’s bed and barely breathing. At that stage, we didn’t know he’d been hit by the car. He looked awful. I really thought we were going to lose him.”
Lorraine, from Highworth, Wiltshire, frantically searched the web for emergency vets and phoned Vets Now in Swindon, which is open 24 hours a day, and she was urged to bring Bailey in immediately.
“I’m very glad I did,” said Lorraine. “It was touch and go. Bailey was in intensive care for two nights and they warned us he might well not make it.
“He had a really bad trauma to his head which the vets said could only really have come from being hit by a vehicle.
“Those two days were awful, just awful. The outlook was so bleak I felt I had to be honest about it with Holly and Ella. The girls are just devoted to their animals so they were obviously very upset.”
To make matters worse, not long after getting Bailey home, Charlie was rushed into Vets Now after suffering terrible injuries following a collision with a car. Like his brother, he somehow managed to make it home.
Lorraine added: “Bailey and Charlie are part of our family and if we’d lost either of them it would have had a terrible effect on us all.”
Bailey is largely back to his old self now, although sadly he has ended up losing the eye that was badly swollen after the accident, but Charlie faces weeks of rehabilitation after undergoing surgery for a fractured pelvis and dislocated hip.
“The main thing is they’re both in one piece and that’s what matters. But they will be inside at night times from now on,” said marketing manager Lorraine, 39. “No more cars for them.”
In her card, Holly spelled out the letters from Vets Now for us and wrote, ‘Very helpful, Extremely kind, Test when needed, Super dooper at making animals welcome, Never giving up, Open 24 hours, Well trained.’
This touched the team in Swindon so much, they’re now planning to turn the card into a poster and frame it.
The Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Swindon — where Charlie and Bailey received treatment — is one of three Vets Now hospitals across the UK that are open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.