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Part-time professor spends $19,000 to get kidney transplant for 'best friend' — her 17-year-old cat

A part-time professor forked over $19,000 for her 17-year-old cat's kidney transplant. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Even though Betsy Boyd earns just $46,000 as a part-time writing professor at the University of Baltimore, when her 17-year-old cat Stanley was in end-stage renal failure and needed a kidney transplant, Boyd didn’t hesitate fork over some serious cash for the procedure, People reported.

As serious as $19,000 straight out of her pocketbook.

Boyd even agreed to the other condition of the surgery: Adopting the donor cat, the magazine said.

“Stanley loves me as much as any human being has ever loved me and I love him the same way,” Boyd told People. “I want him around.”

Her beloved feline underwent surgery in November and is now back home in Baltimore — along with Jay, a formerly homeless 2-year-old cat who was the kidney donor, the magazine reported.

“Stan is thriving, and I’m relieved that this pet — who means at least as much to me as my siblings — still has a pulse,” Boyd added to People. “There’s a great chance Stan will now live to 20 at the very least.”

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Boyd, 44, adopted Stanley as an eight-week-old kitten and he’s been by her side through ups and downs including breakups, marriage to husband Michael (a freelance journalist and stay-at-home dad), fertility struggles and pregnancy. He even was the inspiration for the cat character in her new book.

“Stanley is like my spirit animal,” Boyd told People. “He’s the friend who has witnessed my trials and tribulations.”

What does the transplant entail?

Boyd took Stanley to the University of Pennsylvania’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital, one of only three in the country that performs feline renal transplants, the magazine reported.

Dr. Lillian Aronson — a surgery professor at the university’s Veterinary Medicine school who started the transplant program in 1998 — told People the procedure costs $12,000 to $16,000 for surgeries on both cats, hospital recovery, testing, medications and monitoring.

“For many people, their pets are truly part of the family,” Aronson told the magazine. “This is what they’re passionate about.”

But Boyd had to pay around $19,000, People reported, after Stanley suffered a complication and needed the services of a local emergency vet.

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Though the price tag was hefty, Boyd says she’s built up savings through frugal living and is compensating by cutting back on expenses, including forgoing a new car to replace her 2009 Toyota. Boyd has no regrets; Jay — who came from a shelter, as do many other kitty donors — has already become a beloved member of the family with his “friendly, happy-go-lucky” personality, while the spring has returned to Stanley’s step.

How did Boyd's friends initially react to her decision?

Boyd's friends tried to talk her out of going through with the expensive procedure for her feline — as the cash could have gone toward college savings for her 3-year-old twins, Texas and Miner — but she doesn't appear to have any regrets, People said.

“He’s my muse and my best friend,” Boyd added to the magazine. “He’s here purring. I know I did the right thing.”

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