greenmossgiel - your post comes at a very opportune moment for me. I returned on Saturday, after a couple of nights away, to find my cat in some distress and quickly decided that he had a recurrence of cystitis. I rang the village vet and was transferred to the emergency number. I then had a seventeen mile trip up the A1 with Badger crying pitifully in the back of the car. Anyway, to cut a long story short, they examined him, agreed with my diagnosis and said they needed to keep him so that he could be sedated and a catheter inserted to remove urine. He also needed a blood test to check the level of enzymes in his blood. They rang us in the evening to say that he was ok and could be collected. Lots of advice and explanations were given and also the bill - £205.60.
I do know that if we had been here we would have caught the problem before it developed, but these things happen. It has been agreed that Badger is now on tablets to try to stop the problem recurring.
I have the account in front of me - there is all sorts of medication listed, some of which I understand and some I don't. However, I can tell you that the largest amount on the account is for £42.62 (BT SA - Pre GA (mini Biochem) - I assume that the BT stands for blood test, but obviously I can't be sure.
On the way home from the vets I was pondering on the advisability of pet insurance (not for Badger as he is 13, but if we have any more cats) - I think the idea of saving the amount every month is a good one.