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Cat gets new home in exchange for kidney

Dec. 14, 2011 at 1:34 PM

MEMPHIS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A cat destined for euthanasia in a Philadelphia animal shelter has a new life and new home after giving up a kidney to a cat in Memphis.

Catherine Addy-Bernstein, whose Siamese cat, Opie, suffered from terminal kidney disease, agreed to take the year-old stray, Cadbury, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported. That is one of the requirements of a feline transplant program that matches pets in need of organs with potential donors in shelters.

This week, Addy-Bernstein and the two cats marked the three-month anniversary of the surgery. Both cats are doing well, although Addy-Bernstein said the anti-rejection medication makes Opie short-tempered.

She said the two cats have a "special connection" and Cadbury occasionally licks Opie on a spot just above the kidney.

Opie, now 12 years old, had suffered from kidney disease for years. But the disease worsened during the summer and a vet gave him two months to live without a transplant.

Opie is scheduled to be featured on the Animal Planet show "Must Love Cats" early next year.

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