More than a year after a 17-year-old cat named Stanley received a kidney transplant that cost his owner US$19,000 (RM79,500), the black and white kitty continues to thrive.

Betsy Boyd, a member of the University of Baltimore’s creative writing staff, wrote on her Facebook page, “Just realised this week marks a full year since my best friend Stanley’s kidney transplant.”

Boyd is the mother of four-year-twin sons. Except for the money she spent to become pregnant, she wrote, Stanley’s kidney transplant was, “the best money I’ve ever dropped. Long live Stan, the talking cat (age 18). Thank you, sweet Jay, for the kidney. Thank you, Dr Lillian Aronson and the U Penn team! Thanks, Dr Nancy Kauder Schreiber! Stan’s thriving and eating up a storm (of poultry).”

On average, cats live between 13 and 17 years. When Boyd revealed last March that she’d spent 41% of her annual salary to prolong the life of her very senior feline, the story was picked up nationwide in the United States. (As a condition of the surgery, Boyd also adopted the donor cat, Jay.)

After the story ran, Boyd heard from many people wanting to weigh in on her decision, only some of whom she knew personally. Some readers criticised the expenditure as extravagant, while others praised her dedication to her pet.

But Boyd said at the time that she and her husband, freelance journalist Michael Yockel, are exceptionally frugal. They bought their home for US$95,000 (RM398,000) in cash and had no debt. Their thriftiness gave them the flexibility, she said, to occasionally spend large sums on things that mattered to them.

“This year-long survival milestone means (Stanley is) more likely to live a good while,” Boyd wrote on her Facebook post.

“Yahoo!” – Tribune News Service/The Baltimore Sun/Mary Carole McCauley