Back in June, I took in a cat from a family moving away that could not take her with them. Enter Miss Duchess. Originally my plan was to keep her out of the shelter and find her a forever home, but when I went to pick her up I found an extremely underweight, sick cat who could not be adopted out. Her previous owners either did not know or did not care that she needed veterinary care.
While trying to save the money needed for her blood tests to find out what was wrong, Duchess stopped eating and drinking and became lethargic. We brought her to our family vet and they diagnosed her with chronic renal failure and recommended we put her to sleep.
I wanted to give Duchess a chance to decide whether or not she wanted to keep living, and so she was hospitalized in intensive care with IV fluids and made a pretty surprising comeback, but without a new kidney, her days are numbered. She proved she is a fighter and that she wants to keep living.
To save her life I have spent everything I have in savings, borrowed from family, spent bill money and sold everything of any value I have. Her last hospital visit caused by her kidney failure cost me thousands of dollars.
There are three facilities that offer renal transplant surgery in the entire country, and the cost for the surgery is approx. $20,000. The donor cat must also be adopted by us after the operation, which is a nice gesture as the donors are often shelter rescues. So, in reality, two lives are saved. Since the facilities that offer the surgery are teaching schools, Duchess having this surgery would provide valuable experience and information to the students and veterinarians of the future in addition to saving her life.
Most people will say “it’s just a cat…”, but Duchess is family to us. She has had a hard life, and we want to give her as many more good years as we can of a good quality of life. With transplant surgery, she can potentially live many more years.
Any little bit helps. While I can cover most of it on my own I do not have all of what I need. I don’t expect to meet my goal of $8,000 but I could never forgive myself if I didn’t try every possible avenue to get her the surgery she needs to continue living.