Owner Decides 17-Year-Old Cat Is Worth a $19K Surgery

Betsy Boyd didn't hesitate to pony up money for kidney transplant for her 'muse' Stanley
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2018 8:52 AM CDT
She Spent $19K on Surgery for Her 'Muse': Her Elderly Cat
This November 2017 photo provided by Betsy Boyd shows Stanley, left, recovering in Baltimore following his $19,000 kidney transplant, alongside his kidney donor, Jay. Both cats are thriving post-surgery.   (Betsy Boyd via AP)

When Stanley needed a potentially lifesaving kidney transplant, Betsy Boyd didn't blink at coughing up the $19,000 needed to pay for it. What has the generosity of this Baltimore mother of two making headlines, per the Baltimore Sun: That amount is more than 40% of her annual salary, and Stanley is her 17-year-old cat. Boyd says Stanley (named after filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, per her Ozy post) was diagnosed with renal insufficiency in November and given only three months to live. But despite the protests of friends and even a renal specialist—Stanley is already at the top end of the ASPCA's average lifespan for indoor cats—the 44-year-old Boyd, a part-time member of the University of Baltimore's creative writing department, decided to pay for his transplant.

Her husband, a freelance journalist and stay-at-home dad to their 3-year-old twins, gave her the thumbs-up to do so. "I'm very frugal," Boyd tells the Sun. "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." As for those who are wondering why Boyd would risk all that dough on a cat, Boyd says, "I love all my [six] cats, but Stanley is the only one who acts like a human being trapped in a cat's body." She adds to People that Stan, whom she calls her "muse," "means at least as much to me as my siblings." She predicts Stanley could make it to age 25. He just turned 18 on Saturday, per WMUR. Boyd has also taken in Stanley's organ donor, a young tabby named Jay. Read her own words here. (Good news for cat owners.)

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