CatsMatter Hero of the Month - Adam Llewellyn
Around 8 in the morning, Adam was on his way to work as usual in the rush hour traffic. He had a clear view of the road, when suddenly he noticed something up ahead… and it was moving. He remembers that about 20 cars, at least, drove past it without making any effort to investigate further. Once he realised that it was a cat that had been hit by a car, he immediately knew he had to do something. Even though he was already running late for work, he knew this was more important. He quickly parked his car, half on the road - half on the grass verge, and when he got out to assess the situation, a lorry nearly hit the cat again. Adam was at wits end with the lack of compassion other drivers were showing the seizing cat and couldn’t believe what he was witnessing but focused on the task at hand.
On closer inspection of the cat, Adam could clearly see things were not promising. He was in shock and having a seizure. Seeing the terrified animal gasping for air, with blood pooling around his mouth is not something he will ever forget. He began talking to him gently, and stroked him comfortingly. He responded to the affection straight away and began to calm down. He was scared, alone and in pain but Adam’s presence had a profound soothing effect.
Though we always advise to keep a box or animal carrier in your car just in case, sometimes, one is just not equipped for this situation. Luckily, Adam has young children, so his boot is fully equipped with emergency extras (clothes, towels, etc.) - just in case he ever forgets them when he needs something. He quickly grabbed a towel, and wrapped the cat in it. It was a freezing cold day, so he turned his heating up, and placed him on his front passenger seat simply so he was warm, and could see him while he reassured him.
Tragically he slipped away on that very seat en route to the vets, but Adam has never questioned his decision to give him a final comfort before he passed. He wanted the owner to have closure and comfort in the knowledge that, rather than pass away on a cold, wet street all alone, he died in the comfort of a warm car with someone holding his paw while he took his last breath.
Adam continued on to the vets even though he knew it was too late for the cat. The vets were brilliant with him, and very sympathetic. They took the cat and ensured him they would make attempts to locate an owner. Costs were never mentioned.
A this point, Adam was very late for work, but he says it was all worth it.
Adam rightly contacted his local paper to share his outrage at his experience of other driver’s reactions to this tragic event. He demands motorists think twice before driving off after hitting a cat - a notion we firmly support.
Adam said, “It only takes a few minutes. There’s no one who’s so busy they can’t sort it out. We’ve all got places to be, but surely we’ve got time to stop.”
He checked in with the vets, and discovered an owner had been located. The owner then spotted the article in the local paper, and contacted Adam to thank him for his efforts. The owner, Joanne, hates how people just drive off if they hit a cat. The family are extremely grateful to Adam for being with, who we now know was called Tigger, in his final moments, and for taking him to the vets so as at least they were informed of what had happened, and got the closure they deserve. Our loving thoughts go out to Tigger and his family. Rest in peace sweet boy.
Sadly, this is not the first time Adam has found himself in this position though. Although the first time, it was Adam who hit the cat.
A few years earlier, Adam was driving along, a cat fell from a tree above. Having realised what had just happened, Adam immediately stopped to help the cat. The cat ran off, and it took Adam around 15-20 minutes to locate where the cat was hiding, as they sometimes can do after a shock like that. Once he finally located and subdued the cat, he phoned an emergency vet. Thanks to Adam’s quick thinking and compassion the cat made a full recovery.
Tragically, Adam's accounts of cats being hit by cars does not stop there. His own cat Bambi was hit by a car only a matter of weeks ago. Unlike he has in the past, the driver who hit Bambi did not stop. Bambi's body was sadly left on the roadside, and it is only thanks to a passer-by noticing her and taking it upon herself to knock on every neighbouring door until she found the owners, that they found out about her sad fate.
Like us, Adam wants to encourage drivers to stop, and help any animal they have hit with their car, and we thank him for sharing his story to help raise awareness. Unfortunately, we cannot force people to be compassionate, which is why we strive for an ultimate goal of making it illegal to hit and run.
Did the driver achieve their goal of getting wherever it was they were in such a hurry to be on time? We'll never know.
What we do know is that we are so very grateful for people like Adam and he is nothing less than a hero for cats everywhere and we are so pleased to be sharing his very important story.
In loving memory of Bambi & Tigger