Cat Photos Auctioned to Help Pay Vet Bill

Canadian cat owner finds a novel way to save her pet.

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Sandy Dubrow & GabrielWhen Sandy Dubrows cat, Gabriel, developed a urinary tract infection and began bleeding profusely, she never questioned the need to take him to a vet and have him treated even though she is a dance student without a lot of money.

He's part of our family, Dubrow says from her home in Canada. Its part of our responsibility, just like a child.

But after the initial treatment, Gabriel continued to have problems. Throughout the next month, he required medication, shots and a catheter. Though his condition had improved by Christmas, the medical bills had climbed to $3,000.

Having spent her student-loan money on the emergency care, and covering the rest of the expenses on a credit card, Dubrow turned to eBay for help. Or rather, her mom did.

Ria Dubrow, an Internet-savvy Winnipeg resident, is currently auctioning photographs of Gabriel on the website in exchange for donations. For $20 you can obtain a matted 8x10 photo of Gabriel, who poses impassively in the close-up shot and stares into the camera with his big, round eyes. Sandy Dubrow says that both Gabriel and his brother Lucifer might have some Scottish Fold in them, but for the most part they are mixed-breed housecats.

So far, the auction has brought in nearly $350 through about 15 donations, and has been repeated four times since early December. The funds raised barely make a dent in the total, but the Dubrows are grateful for anything that comes in.

Its amazing, says Ria Dubrow. Some of the people are telling stories about the same thing happening with their cat. One girl donated $5.18 which was all she had left in her savings account for Christmas.

Ironically, many of the people donating some from France and Germany, Rias native country are declining the photo to save the expense of mailing it.

You can visit the auction for Gabriel on eBay.

Posted: Jan. 4, 2006, 3 p.m. EST

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