Remy the cat owes one of his nine lives to a popular neighbourhood tabby whose strong blood kept him alive.
The poor puss ate rat poison on a Sunday morning about two weeks ago and an urgent blood transfusion was needed to save him.
Owner Deirdre Robert realised Remy was seriously ill when he let out a "very loud, angry meow" and refused to touch his food.
The Birkenhead resident took Remy to her regular vet where he was stabilised before being transferred to the Mt Albert's Veterinary Specialist Group.
"He was in pain, he was bleeding internally and he couldn't breathe properly," said Robert.
Cats of the same type are needed as donors because they are more likely to be compatible.
Robert asked long-time friend Nicola Russell, who was stunned but didn't think twice about conscripting her tabby, Tom.
"I don't think I've ever known anyone one to love their cat as much as Deirdre loves hers," said Russell.
About 60ml was taken from Tom and the blood was drip-fed into Remy over four hours.
Robert said her pet perked up almost immediately.
"His fur became brighter, he started to eat again.
About four days after the transfusion he was almost back to himself," she said. He was still skinny because he hadn't eaten.
They said it was remarkable he survived."
Robert said the procedure cost more than $1,000 and Remy was not covered by pet insurance because he has muscular dystrophy.
Russell said Tom, who often appears on the Cats of Auckland Facebook page, also bounced back from the procedure.