"Dakota" was found, as a stray, by a Rescue House* volunteer. During their evaluation process, they discovered that Dakota was a diabetic, and as part of his care Dr. Reese would sometimes see him come in for his routine exams and bloodwork. Their relationship was rather non-descript until 2007 when Dakota became gravely ill and fell into a state called DKA or Diabetic Keto-Acidosis. In an over-simplified description this is a state where a diabetic is using up all of their energy reserves and quickly going into a coma, and eventually death. Luckily due to Dr. Reese's quick thinking and Rescue House's quick reaction, Dakota was given the emergency care he needed to save his life. Interestingly, it was through this experience that Dr. Reese came to really appreciate Rescue House. Their professionalism, care, and compassion was tremendous, and they truly showed their philosophy of doing "whatever needed to be done to treat the cat."
After the near death experience, Dakota continued to move around Rescue House. Besides the diabetes, it became evidently clear that we was a behavior marker, and therefore unadoptable. So, in 2011 when Dr. Reese bought Eastridge Animal Hospital, Rescue House asked if Dakota could live at the hospital. So, although technically Dakota is still a Rescue House cat, he has now stolen all of our hearts and is a permanent resident of Eastridge.
Of course, it takes a special cat to be a hospital cat. You have to tolerate a lot of barking dogs and a plethora of foreign cats "entering your home" (not to mention being commandeered as an example cat when we show owners how to give injections or medication), but as long as Dakota gets his treats and continues to be the center of attention, he doesn't mind. In fact last year we had a little fun with him and made his own in house calendar (as the slideshow shows below).