New York, Aug 19: In a heart warming deed, a US couple may end up spending a whopping USD 30,000 set aside for a house to save the life of their pet cat that has recently undergone a kidney transplant.
Andre Gonciar and his wife have got the procedure done on their cat 'Oki' at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital.
Oki, whom the couple had found clinging to life in a creek in Romania, has used up most of his nine lives.
"He's definitely a fighter," Gonciar was quoted as saying by CBS News. Oki's latest affliction was a kidney failure.
Gonciar came all the way from Buffalo for a transplant. The surgery alone cost more than USD 16,000, plus airfare, hotels, medical tests and follow-up appointments.
Gonciar said he hopes the final cost will not be more than USD 30,000. It was money he had set aside for a down payment on a house.
The hospital has done about 155 of these operations since 1998. On average the cats live about another three years.
Gonciar admitted that some people think he is a little crazy to spend all that money on a cat that is nearly 12 years old.
When asked how he would explain it to those people, Gonciar said, "Well I would tell them to look at their child or their mother and ask themselves the same question."
Oki's new kidney came from Cherry Garcia who was found in a shelter. That may sound cruel but Cherry probably would have been euthanised and part of the deal is that the owner of the cat that receives a kidney must adopt the cat that donates it.
"This little kitten (Cherry) has given Oki the gift of life," said Gonciar.
"We owe him thanks for that."
Following the surgery both Oki and Cherry are doing well and are slowly adjusting to the fact that, like it or not, they are in this together.