How a connection with a special-needs cat inspired a unique gift 

By Kathy Eaton 

Charles the cat with owner

In March 2018, I adopted Charles, a Red Tabby Manx from Oregon Humane Society. When I spotted him in the cattery and learned his story, I felt compelled to adopt him and give him the best life I could.  

Charles was an insulin-dependent diabetic cat who had previously been adopted and returned to the shelter. Most recently, he had been abandoned in a dumpster. A good Samaritan found him and brought him to safety at OHS, where the medical team worked hard to treat him and get him healthy again. Charles was a fighter. His health was restored, and he was made available for adoption.  

I’ve been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 25 years and knew that with a steady home environment and reliable medical care, Charles would thrive. My father’s name was also Charles and with so much in common, it seemed like a perfect match. 

As plans for Oregon Humane Society’s New Road Ahead advanced, I was intrigued by their Community Veterinary Hospital (CVH). I wanted to donate something, but rather than direct my gift towards a naming opportunity, I decided a meaningful contribution would be to pledge financial resources to support adopters with cats just like Charles. 

My passion for helping diabetic cats led me to create an estate plan that will leave $150,000 to create an endowed fund at OHS. With feline diabetes on the rise, my future gift is intended to help treat diabetic cats. If diabetes is caught early and given proper treatment, there is even the opportunity for remission for these wonderful pets. OHS will manage the fund, and the earnings from the $150,000 will help diabetic cats, year after year, in perpetuity. The treatment and care of diabetic felines in the community will be managed through CVH, as directed by the Chief Medical Officer and supporting veterinary medical staff. The endowment can cover medical tests, supplies, specialized surgeries, medication, and equipment expenses. When I adopted Charles, the cost of one vial of insulin was already $100, and related expenses like monitoring glucose curves and veterinary care now far exceed that.  

As a President’s Circle donor, I’m confident that the funds I’ve allocated will be spent and invested according to well-established OHS policies. The endowment fund, named for my beloved diabetic cat Charles, is also a tribute to my father. 

I loved and cared for Charles in my home for 13 months before he passed from diabetic ketoacidosis. And I can’t think of a more meaningful gift to help cats served by OHS. I encourage others to support OHS in similar ways to ensure their good work for the community continues, and animals in their care thrive. It’s my privilege to support OHS in perpetuity.