Woman spent 41% of her annual salary on a kidney transplant for her cat Stanley
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A woman, Betsy Boyd, spent 41% of her annual salary on a kidney transplant for her cat Stanley.

Jay (left) and Stanley (right) with Betsy in the middle!

Jay (left) and Stanley (right) with Betsy in the middle! Main photo: Betsy and Baltimore Sun. Inset pic: presumed Betsy’s husband Michael Yockel.

Betsy Boyd and her husband are thrifty. That’s old school. They bought their home for $95k in cash. This attitude towards money allowed them to spend $19,000 on a kidney transplant for the beloved cat, Stanley, at the age of 17. For the couple it was money well spent.

Betsy adopted Stanley when a friend of a friend gave him to her, and her then boyfriend, because the owner’s landlord refused cats. Stanley developed kidney disease at aged 16; not untypical.

A year has passed since the operation and Stanley is doing fine.

“This yearlong survival milestone means [Stanley is] more likely to live a good while.” Boyd writes on Facebook.

Kidney failure is a common cause of death in elderly cats. It is quite likely something to do with the proliferation of dry cat food. So to elect an kidney transplant operation is a big but understandable step.

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Of course you are not able to get the consent of your cat. That sounds ridiculous but it’s a valid point because in truth (and no criticism intended) the operation was done for Stanley’s owners. Yes, Stanley lives on which is great but the motivation for the operation comes from the owners desire to not let him go.

We are told that some people criticised Betsy but others praised her for her dedication. I’d praise her. I suppose the criticism comes from putting an elderly cat through a challenging operation with an uncertain outcome but at the end of the day Betsy did what she felt was best for her and her cat.

Betsy said that the heavy expenditure was the best money she has spent outside of the money she spent to become pregnant.

Stanley is currently 18-years-of-age. Dr Lillian Aronson at the University of Pennsylvania did the operation. I guess there was no certainty it would be successful so there was a large gamble involved her as well.

Betsy adopted the donor cat, Jay, as a precondition of the surgery.

Stanley likes poultry and is eating well.

“He eats a whole lot, naps and lounges with great joy (purring whenever I pet him), and has a renewed sparkle in his eyes that reminds me of his kitten-like enthusiasm.”

Betsy truly loves her little guy:

“Stanley turns 18 on March 10th, a milestone I wasn’t sure he’d reach. He’s been my best friend since 2000, and I’m so grateful to have him still in my life… I’ve always believed he conveys his thoughts and emotions to me via eye contact, and there’s something in his eyes that tells me he’s very happy we opted for the transplant.”

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