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A $19,000 kidney transplant for a 17-year-old cat? His Baltimore owner says it was money well spent

Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

When Boyd told friends she was exploring surgery for Stanley, she experienced some pushback. They urged her not to spend what to them seemed an astronomical sum on a cat of Stanley's advanced age -- and so, initially, did Ryan's renal specialist. (According to the ASPCA, indoor cats live on average for between 13 and 17 years.)

But, Boyd was undeterred, especially since Yockel supported her decision. And after examining Stanley, the veterinarians at Ryan reconsidered. Apart from his kidneys, this kitty was in robust health. He ate well when he was on medication. He just seemed to want to live.

"If he had seemed weak or frightened, I wouldn't have pursued this," Boyd said. "But, he never seemed daunted by all the vet visits, and there was something about his purr. I could feel his spirit really strongly."

Both cats made it through the Nov. 28 surgery, and it wasn't long before Stanley was showing renewed vigor. After his mandated one-month confinement to a dog crate had ended, he returned happily to his old routines, which include walks alongside Boyd at the end of a purple leash.

Though Boyd realizes there are no guarantees, she's counting the days until May 28, when Stanley will pass the six-month post-surgical milestone. At that point, his odds of long-term survival improve dramatically.

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"Knowing Stanley as I do," she said, "I think he's one of those cats who could make it to age 25."

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