Injured kitten on road to recovery thanks to Sheffield bus driver

Bus driver Richard Simonite with the cat he helped save after finding it injured in the street. Richard has named the cat Oliver.
Bus driver Richard Simonite with the cat he helped save after finding it injured in the street. Richard has named the cat Oliver.
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A young kitten is on the road to recovery thanks to the actions of a kind-hearted Sheffield bus driver.

Richard Simonite, aged 43, was driving his bus along Birley Moor Road when he spotted an injured kitten slumped at the side of the road.

The animal lover, who works for First, scooped up the injured kitten as he made his way to his first early morning pick up point of the day and stopped at a veterinary surgery to find a number for an out-of-hours vet.

He contacted the pet ambulance service and dropped the injured kitten off at a nearby filling station, where two members of staff cared for him until help arrived.

The kitten, named Oliver after First’s Olive Grove depot, had a fractured leg and two fractures to his jaw, which was also dislocated.

He also suffered severe damage to his mouth and needed specialist orthodontic surgery, which was carried out at the Dore and Totley Veterinary Surgery.

Oliver is believed to have been hit by a car.

The bill for all the veterinary care received, at two practices, is expected to be around £1,000.

Bus driver Richard, who says he feels he has a ‘duty of care’ towards the kitten, wants to foot the bill.

His bosses have offered to donate a one week paid holiday from work as a raffle prize to help raise the money for the kitten’s treatment.

First employees are paying £1 a ticket and on the first day alone raised £360.

Any spare cash at the end of Richard’s fundraising efforts will be donated to the South Yorkshire pet ambulance charity.

Richard, who shares his Mosborough home with a cat and dog, said he is thankful Oliver survived.

“When I first spotted him he was all curled up and bleeding heavily, he was in a bad way,” he said.

“I scooped him up and took him on the bus to the nearest vet’s surgery, where I got a number for an out of hours vet.

“I need to say a big thank you to the two ladies who offered to look after him at the Co-op filling station until the pet ambulance arrived to pick him up, as I had to leave him with them so that I could work.

“We don’t know Oliver’s background and I would love to take him in after he recovers but it’s impossible because of the cat and dog I already have, so I am hoping an animal lover colleague will offer him a home.

“I feel like I have a duty of care for him which is why I am doing all I can to raise the money to pay for his treatment so that he can make a full recovery.”

Donations can be dropped off at the Archway Centre, Pond Square, Sheffield.