Donor Kitty is Survivor and Hero

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Photo: Amy Selleck

Pekoe, the 14-year-old feline from Coverdale, B.C., Canada, has fought the odds to not only live a long life, but to help save the lives of cats in need.

Pekoe was rescued as a tiny, 12 week old kitten, while suffering from a blocked urethra, which required several surgeries before the age of six months. He was adopted by veterinary Dr. Susan Thompson and her husband Jim.

Until his recent retirement, he donated blood to cats needing life-saving surgery at Cats at Home, a Dr. Thompson’s veterinary practice in Cloverdale, where the orange tabby has been a resident since they opened the doors in 2000. Pekoe has Type A blood, which means he is a good match for about 95 percent of all domestic cats in North America. Only a few times a year was Pekoe called upon to donate a very small amount of blood (no more than 60 ml) when a feline patient had suffered a violent trauma or was in an acute medial emergency. When not in the business of saving lives, Pekoe visits with the patients and their cats in the waiting room and “helps” the staff.

Pekoe was ready to retire as a donor this past January when Dr. Thompson found a tumor wrapped around his abdomen. He underwent surgery to have the tumor removed, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy. They weren’t sure he was going to make it, but then in March, Pekoe rebounded and the cancer went into remission.

His story caught the eye of the producers of the Canadian TV show, Pet Heroes — a 12-part documentary series that airs on CMT. The producers flew from Alberta to tape a segment at Cats at Home, and wound up featuring Pekoe’s story. “They really liked the idea, because they don’t think people really know about it,” Jim said.
The producers interviewed Dr. Thompson and Jim, as well as the owner of a cat whose life was saved, thanks to Pekoe. In addition to featuring Pekoe’s story, they took footage of Nicholas, the grey shorthair who’s replaced Pekoe as the Cats at Home donor/mascot. When asked the question “What makes Pekoe a pet hero?,” Dr. Thompson said, “We’re showing people that we’ve had a kitty that had adversity throughout his life and is still surviving, and we can show people that this is a kitty that’s had cancer and this is how he’s doing.”

The scheduled show time is TBA.

6 thoughts on “Donor Kitty is Survivor and Hero”

  1. What a sweet story! I loved hearing about the heroic deeds of orange Pekoe (I have an orange Julius at my house).

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