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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Tree falls across road in Surrey

Crews on scene to clear the debris

Cloverdale store owner giving away free face shields

Tricia Ellingsen offering more than 200 free protective shields

B.C. announces regional cancer treatment centre to be included in new Surrey hospital

Services expected to include treatment, supportive care, research, education, innovative technologies

Fraser Health warns of possible COVID-19 exposure at Surrey hookah lounge

Health authority says exposure dates are July 31 to Aug. 2

Politicians want Surrey’s Civic Distinction Awards done ‘virtually,’ not postponed

City staff recommended they be put off to the fall of 2021 because of the pandemic

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

VIDEO: A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

As CERB winds down, labour group asks Liberals to rethink EI

The government estimates four million people will be moved onto EI after CERB ends

‘Tiny home’ being built for Abbotsford woman with severe allergies

Online campaign raises $59,000 for custom cargo trailer for Katie Hobson

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

2016 kidnapping, extortion by Hells Angels member related to Hope cannabis grow ops

Various Hope area grow ops connected to distribution network in Edmonton, court documents detail

Most Read