The $15,000 procedure was successfully performed at the University of Georgia

By Amy Jamieson
Updated November 06, 2015 05:30 PM

Fred Petrick and Tony Lacari were willing to do whatever it took to save their dying cat Arthur.

Their beloved 2-year-old feline, according to the Daily Mail, was diagnosed with fatal kidney disease which had robbed him of half his weight.

They discovered a pricey transplant operation that could save him, but there was one important thing they’d need to do: adopt another cat to provide the kidney.

“It cost $15,000, but to us we were happy to pay that to give Arthur a new lease of life,” Lacari said. “There are only three places in the country that will conduct a cat kidney transplant and we were turned down by the first two. But fortunately we found a third just in time.”

A donor stray named Joey would join their family after the procedure, which was successfully performed at the University of Georgia. Arthur, who will also receive regular stem cell treatments for the rest of his life, is recovering well and Joey is loving his new family, reports the Daily Mail, and has become particularly close with the cat whose life he saved (kitties Seamus, 11, Coco, 9, Cat Ballou, 6, and Pearl, 6, are also apart of the fur family).

The University of Georgia has a careful screening process for cases like these. “Recipient cats must be healthy and have no other major problems except for the kidney disease,” said Chad Schmiedt, Associate Professor of Soft Tissue Surgery at the university. “Owners of donor and recipient cats are also screened. They must be committed to providing optimal care for their animals.”

They require that donor cats are adopted into the recipient’s home, where the animal hero will receive care for the rest of it’s life. Despite what you may assume, the incidence of cat fights in this scenario are surprisingly low.

“We find, almost without fail, that donor cats easily integrate into their new homes,” Schmiedt said, “and are quickly loved by their new family.”