Woman Pays 19K For Cat's Kidney Transplant

Baltimore woman pays $19,000 for cat's kidney transplant 

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In late November, Betsy Boyd spent $19,000 -- 41 percent of her annual salary -- on a kidney transplant for her 17-year-old cat, Stanley, the Baltimore Sun reported. 

As a condition for the surgery, Boyd also adopted the kidney donor, a 2-year-old tabby named Jay, the Sun reported. Now Boyd has six cats in her household, but saving Stanley was her biggest goal.

“Anything could happen. If Stan did pass away sooner rather than later, I’d know I had done what I could for him,” Boyd told the Sun. “We’ve already had a few really good weeks. He’s really happy, and that alone is worth the price.”

Boyd, 44, is a part-time member of the University of Baltimore’s creative writing faculty and earns $46,000 annually, the Sun reported. Her husband, Michael Yockel, is a freelance journalist and stay-at-home dad who cares for the couple’s 3-year-old twin sons.

“I’m smart with money,” Boyd told the Sun. “I’m very frugal. I drive a used car and wear clothing from consignment stores, and I have no debt at all. The message I’d like to get across is that if you save your money carefully, you can spend $19,000 on something that moves you.”

And there is no question that Stanley is important to Boyd.

“Stanley is the only human cat,” she said. “I love all my cats, but Stanley is the only one who acts like a human being trapped in a cat’s body. He’s so vocal and communicative. He maintains eye contact better than any cat I’ve ever known. When I’m at work, he waits at the window or front door for me to come home, just like a dog.”

Boyd realizes the cat’s life can be fragile, but the odds of long-term survival improved dramatically after six months. So Boyd is eagerly awaiting that milestone, which occurs on May 28.

“Knowing Stanley as I do,” she told the Sun, “I think he’s one of those cats who could make it to age 25.”

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