Would you spend $20,000 to save your pet cat? For Kathy Lee, there was no hesitation.
The 53-year-old from Rochester was a regular visitor at the Safe Haven Pet Rescue and in 2009 met Elvis.
She wasn’t planning on getting another cat at the time, but in an interview she gave to VetSpecialists.com (watch the video above), she said: “Every time I turned around, he was there. He picked me out.”
The reason Lee – who is known as “Miss Kitty” in Rochester – was being interviewed by the veterinary organization was because of a large lump she discovered on Elvis’ leg, which was diagnosed as cancer.
The Rochester Post Bulletin reports Lee had lost three of her other pets to cancer, and was determined for Elvis not to become the fourth, showing no qualms about signing off on a complex and, at $20,000, an expensive procedure to cure him.
As the video details, the approach taken by the BluePearl Veterinary Partners in the Twin Cities was to amputate Elvis’ back right leg, while at the same time performing a hemipelvectomy that removed half of his pelvis.
“I was really freaked out about that [the prospect of him losing a leg],” Lee told VetSpecialists.com, adding: “But animals adapt very well to having a leg amputated, so I said ok, I didn’t want to have to lose Elvis.”
‘I don’t spare any expense for my babies’
Such was the complexity of the procedure, the YouTube video above was compiled and used to open The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2016 Forum in June, the Post Bulletin notes.
After a successful surgery, Elvis was required to sleep on the living room floor for a month, with Lee right there alongside him.
He’s now adapting to life as a three-legged cat, and has shown no signs it’s affected his personality – nor his appetite, with Lee saying in the video that she ended up having to control his feeding “as he was getting a little on the heavier side.”
Asked by the Post Bulletin about her $20,000 outlay, Lee said: “I don’t spare any expense when it comes to caring for my babies.”