Emergency vets come to the rescue of the most famous cat in Coventry

A celebrity cat has been swamped with get well messages on Twitter and Instagram – after being badly injured when he was knocked down by a van.

The much-loved pet, called Rolf, is official campus cat at the University of Warwick, where staff and students treat him like a VIP.

He has more than 11,000 followers on social media as well as his own university ID card and roams across the campus buildings, libraries and lecture halls posing for selfies.

But on Monday evening at 5.45pm Rolf was hit by a van while crossing a road on the sprawling campus on the outskirts of Coventry.

He’s since received a staggering 5,000 good luck messages from well-wishers across the world.

The collision was witnessed by passing medical student Rachel Perring, who scooped him up in her arms.

She took Rolf to the nearby economics department to get help, and within a few minutes Rolf’s owner Helen Bevan was on her way.

Helen rushed stricken Rolf to Coventry’s Vets Now pet emergency clinic, where vet Adina and vet nurse Michelle carried out an immediate investigation.

Principal nurse manager Amanda-Jane Rogers said: “Rolf was in a pretty bad way when he arrived and needed a lot of pain relief.

“Adina and Michelle’s first step was to stabilise him before assessing the extent of his injuries. They then sedated him and took x-rays, ultrasounds and blood samples.

“These revealed he had severe bruising to his abdomen and some lacerations, but, thankfully, he hadn’t fractured either his pelvis or legs, although his pelvic bone was chipped.

“They then gave him fluid therapy, cleaned and clipped his wounds and monitored him closely overnight. We’re all so pleased he pulled through.”

Amanda-Jane said Rolf should make a full recovery as long he rests – and isn’t allowed to roam anywhere for the next month or so.

Image of Rolf the campus cat for Vets Now article on cat getting hit by a van
Rolf will have to spend the next month recuperating in his crate

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Relieved Helen, a social scientist with the NHS, who lives a half a mile away from the campus, said brave Rolf is now recuperating at home.

She added: “It’s an absolute miracle Rolf is still with us. He was very badly hurt but he got brilliant care at Vets Now.

“He’s a natural born roamer and I’m sure he won’t like it much having to be kept in a crate for a month.

“But it’s essential for his own good – it’s to stop him moving around too much. He needs to get complete rest or his injuries just won’t heal.”

Helen added that she’d had Rolf since he was a kitten and that he’s always had a tendency to wander off.

She said: “He would disappear for days and we’d get calls from people who’d found him and spotted our phone number on his collar.

“We took him to a cat behavioural specialist to see if there was any expert advice we could get to stop him disappearing.

“But the truth is he’s just one of those cats – and he has always been drawn to the university campus. I don’t know why, but he just has.”

Image of Rolf's x-ray
This x-ray shows the edge of Rolf's pelvic bone has been chipped off

Helen said Rolf’s so well loved by staff and students at the university that a campaign’s been launched to grant him an honorary degree.

“We set up his Twitter and Instagram accounts so that people on the campus could keep us in touch with where he was,” she explained.

“Now, as well as social media, we’ve got him on a GPS tracker so we always know his whereabouts.

“For Rolf to get to the campus from our house involves crossing three busy roads, which is a huge worry obviously.

“So I thought, ‘well, if he’s going to go there anyway, I may as well take him there myself’.

“So now I drop him off at the campus on my way to work in the morning, keep an eye on the tracker to see where he is and then collect him again on my way home.

“We post a map every night on his social media feeds showing where he has been that day.

“People love it, it’s created a real sense of community and sometimes it shows that he’s roamed around seven or eight kilometres, which is pretty impressive.

“The staff and students take pictures of him sitting on their chairs or in their offices. He’s become an internet phenomenon and it really shows the positive power of social media.”

The Vets Now clinic in Coventry – where Rolf received treatment – was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It’s one of a nationwide network of Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.