Hoppy: The “Feral” Foster – The Vet Bills Begin

Hoppy This blog was posted before our name change to For All Animals.

Due to the veterinary clinic, where we had made appointments for two feral cats, being closed because of the snow storm—we brought Hoppy and Big Guy to the Pet ER. The costs are typically higher at an emergency vet, so we avoid it if possible, but with the clock ticking we thought it was worth it to get the cats looked at asap.

To our surprise we were met with a friendly face. Turned out the veterinarian on duty was a past client. We had photographed his wedding in July of 2013. He examined our boys, confirmed Hoppy’s eye had to go, and gave them both Convenia shots for their upper respiratory infections (URI). Convenia is an antibiotic that continues to work for two weeks—ideal for feral cats who you can’t medicate daily. The vet graciously waved the exam charge ($90)—so we only had to pay $67 for the two shots. Quite a bargain for an ER.

Pet ERBig Guy stayed over one final night and was then returned to his colony. Hoppy’s eye appointment was rescheduled at Spay Now for Tuesday.

I dropped Hoppy off at the clinic on my way to DC and received a call at about 4:00 pm to say that the surgery went well. Then the vet tech mentioned me bringing him back in fourteen days to have his sutures removed. I was puzzled. Strangely enough this was not the first feral cat I had helped have his eye removed. The other doctor had used dissolvable sutures so that the cat could be returned right away. I had two options: 1) return Hoppy and cross my fingers that in 14 days I was able to retrap him to bring back to the vet, or 2) I would be fostering a feral cat for two weeks. Truthfully #1 was never an option, but the vet tech had suggested it. Thankfully the clinic was holding Hops overnight for observation, because I had feral cat living quarters to build.

We had fostered before—most recently two adolescent kittens from a different photo shoot site. So we had two large dog cages. Seeing as Hoppy would be with us for two weeks, we thought it best to cut a couple holes, so he had access to both crates. The feral cat den and litter box basically took up an entire crate, so it only seemed right. We picked up Hoppy from Spay Now and paid our second vet bill. Enucleation – $225, Rabies Vaccine (since we didn’t have his certificate from when he was neutered) – $11.00, FVRCP – $11.00, Revolution – $5.00, and a new antibiotic, Clavamox, that would target the URI – $22.00 = $274.00. Making vet bills a grand total of $341.00 at this point. Less than expected. The other cat’s bill (whose eye was removed previously) came in at a cool $900.00. So we thought this was a bargain.

We brought Hoppy home and showed him his new apartment in our basement.

Hoppy Post Op

Hoppy – Post Operation: recuperating in his feral cat den.


Ella Putsché is the executive director of Photographers for Animals.
Recognizing the impact and influence imagery can have on an audience to
take action, she founded Photographers for Animals to promote animal
issues and to help organizations utilize opportunities for photography and film.