I spoke to the owner a while ago and asked if her daughter had explained the treatment and what needed to be done. The owner said she had. I also told her that if she doesn't treat the cat, chances are not good that the cat will survive.
She said the operation was expensive (it's around $500) and I asked if they had financial problems. She said 'quite' and asked if we could pay for the operation.
I told her in general that we don't usually help out with home cats. I did say though that if finances were an issue, and they could send us their income documents we would see what we can do.
On the way home yesterday, the daughter had told me her father was a technical engineer and her mother an accountant. Of course they may indeed have other financial constraints that we are not aware of - and if that's the case, then we can try our best to help out. If it's because they don't WANT to spend the money though that' a different issue.
One of the caregivers will call and speak with the owner in a bit.
I am sure that there are people who cannot afford to bring their cat to the vet, and may really want to. On the other hand, some people may be able to afford a large screen LCD TV but not be able to 'afford' their cat's medical fees.
Also some people may truly be ignorant the cat needs the vet (the vet estimates the cat has been in this condition for two weeks), but now that they are aware of it, I hope they will do the right thing.