Donor kitty lauded as ‘Pet Hero’

The inspirational story of Cloverdale's Pekoe the cat will be featured in an upcoming episode of the television series, Pet Heroes.

Cloverdale's Pekoe

The inspirational story of Pekoe the cat will be featured in an upcoming episode of the television series, Pet Heroes.

The 14-year-old Cloverdale feline is notable because he’s a kitty blood donor. Until his recent retirement, he provided blood for cats needing life-saving surgery to patients at Cats at Home, his home base since 
being adopted by Jim and Dr.

Susan Thompson.

The prize-winning orange tabby is also a cancer survivor. Reporter readers learned about Pekoe’s health struggles a few months ago (“Donor kitty living on borrowed time,” March 18, 2011).

Pekoe does have a remarkable story to tell: he was rescued as a tiny, 12-week old kitten, suffering from a blocked urethra requiring several surgeries and lengthy recoveries – all before the age of six months.

Pekoe was already nearing the end of his donor days this past January when vet Dr. Susan Thompson found a tumour wrapped around his abdomen. It was removed, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy. It was touch-and-go for a while, but in March Pekoe rebounded and his cancer went into remission.

In fact, Pekoe is doing so well, his owner and practice manager Jim Thompson is considering entering the handsome marmalade kitty in an upcoming cat show this summer.

Producers from the TV show, meanwhile, flew out from Alberta a few weeks ago to tape a segment at Cats at Home, Jim said.

The TV crew spent nearly seven hours taping what will likely end up as a seven-minute segment on Pekoe, says Jim.

Pet Heroes is a half-hour, 12-part documentary series that airs on CMT. It showcases the amazing heroics of pets. Each episode

features interviews with the pet owners and family members involved, and includes dramatic reenactments.

Producers heard about Pekoe’s role as the veterinary practice’s kitty blood donor, and wanted to know more.

“They really liked the idea, because they don’t think people really know about it,” Jim said.

It’s impractical and cost-prohibitive for a veterinary practice like Cats at Home to have a blood bank on the premises. Instead, they rely on mascots.

Pekoe’s been living on the premises full time since the Thompsons set up the practice in 2000.

Pekoe has Type A blood, which makes him a good match for about 95 per cent of all

domestic cats in North America.

Very infrequently – just a few times a year – he’s called upon to donate a small amount of blood (no more than 60 ml) when a feline patient has suffered a violent trauma or is in an acute medial emergency.

When not saving lives, his main job has been to mingle with the other cats and their owners in the waiting room.

The Pet Heroes producers were hooked.

“Once the decision was made, I was surprised at how quickly it happened,” Jim said.

They flew out and interviewed Jim, Susan, and the owner of a feline patient whose life was saved, thanks to Pekoe.

They also took footage of Nicholas, the grey shorthair with aquamarine eyes who’s replaced Pekoe as the Cats at Home mascot.

They stayed overnight in Cloverdale, then went to Telegraph Cove to cover the story of another pet hero: a dog who’s  a seeing eye dog for another pooch who lost both eyes in an accident.

Pekoe’s role as a cancer survivor may be even more heroic than his track record as a blood donor.

When they asked Susan what makes Pekoe a pet hero, she responded, “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.”Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey man’s extensive report calls city’s policing claims ‘unsubstantiated garbage’

Surrey’s Richard Landale has taken public engagement to a whole new level

474 Surrey intersections monitored by live-feed cameras

Cameras prove to be useful tool for commuters, ICBC, RCMP

White Rock woman seeks fellow hockey players for BC 55+ Games

Sue Rittinger aiming to put Zone 3 women’s team together in time for September event

Surrey’s Eat the Dishes named finalist in Small Business BC awards

Marissa Bergeron says she ‘jumped for joy’ when she found out

Surrey RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Delta police officer

One officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving another officer is investigated

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Fraser Valley poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read

l -->