the good news

Skellig the cat went to the vet to get his blood sugar tested over a 12 hour period. This long of a visit was really not to his liking.

He is a fierce cat. When he does not like something, he will take action.

End result: a sedated cat

actually, the end result was a cat that got a higher dosage prescription of insulin which has turned him back into the healthy cat he has always been.

He is less affectionate and more playful than he was while sick. He’s back to himself basically.

I still have to inject him every 12 hours, but he takes it like a hero, not even flinching when the needle goes in.

Hooray. One more hurdle crossed.

The next big scare is when we decide to go on a vacation and leave him in the care of someone else.

Adventures in blood sugar

I got a glucometer. I wanted to try to test my cat’s blood sugar.

My poor cat. He loves me, he trusts me. He doesn’t understand what I’m doing to him.

I have read up on what this is supposed to be like. I am supposed to read the instructions on how to set up the glucometer.

I did that.

I am supposed to load up the microlance. It had a one button spring that

I did that.

I even called the 800 number and spoke to Hattie about it. She affirmed that I had done everything correctly.

But after wrestling with my cat, and using the button that shoots out a stabbing needle, I could not get any blood out of his foot pad.

I had to resort to the ear. But the microlance didn’t seem to be jumping out far enough. I set it to jab further.

That made the cat jump. And made the lance give this huge scratch on his poor kitty ear.

WHICH DID NOT BLEED.

I could not get enough blood to do the test.

after all this, the time for the cat’s injection had arrived.

He was not interested in seeing me for a while. After peering suspiciously around the corner at me, he relented and came up for his treats and injection.

He took one treat and then wiggled away. He stood at the other end of the room and glared at me. He was saying with all his kitty body:

I Object.

At last he returned, with great dignity and was injected.

This home blood testing is not going to work out.

And he really hates the vet.

more to know

My friend Janet had diabetes. I am thinking again and again about the time she showed me her test.

I am reading about how other cat owners have taken their cat’s glucose levels. This is altogether terrifying. I am pretty overwhelmed by what this disease means for me.

And I was feeling rather overwhelmed before. But, as Chris keeps reminding me, this has been a bad week.

I am recovering from Strep throat. The worst sort of stret throat I have ever had. It basically left me in so much joint-achy pain I couldn’t sleep, so throat swollen I couldn’t swallow, and so weak I couldn’t walk.

We postponed thanksgiving in honor of my illness.

And Skellig had to come up with a new creative health issue. I was in such a shape that I could not even sit steadily the first time I injeted him.

Oh yeah, then Chris had to catch something. Not quite as bad as my illness, but he was a bundle of ick last night. We are both on the road to recovery now.

Are you noticing my lack of thankfulness? Thanksgiving left me a little cld this year. I still haven’t had turkey or pie. Tomorrow, we think, we will try it.

And now I am trying to swallow a lot of information about treating my cat that I just couldn’t take before. It’s hard to concentrate when you are shivering beneath about a hundred blankets.

I’ve finally gotten around to reading the instructions from the vet. I did a few things wrong already.

“ROLL the bottle of insulin, don’t shake it!”
“No, the OTHER kind of expensive prescription cat food.”
“I was supposed to write down everything the cat ate, peed, and injected?”

Oh man.

Did I mention that this is overwhelming?

And to know that if I don’t do it right, the cat could die. And it would be entirely my fault.

Well. I have made some mistakes. I haven’t been journaling everything. But I think I will purchase a blood meter. That way I can keep better track of how my cat’s treatment is going.

There is a meter, there are special strips of special paper, there are extra lancets that draw the blood out of my cat–either from the ear or his paw.

But I think I should do it. I know I’ll need it.

I’ll keep you posted.

I love my cat…That’s what makes it so hard


Skellig is 8 years old in about a month. He was born January 97. He’s been with me for a long time.

He is beautiful and very large. He’s gotten into a lot of different kinds of trouble over the years. But he still runs to the door when I get home from work.

Chris tells me that if I am particularly late, he will wait by the door and cry a little for me. What a cat! That’s friendship.

He is not a shy cat. If people come to the door, he sniffs them thoroughly to make sure they are acceptable. He’s not looking for pettings, he’s inspecting the new arrivals for problems.

Some people call their pets the “children” or “family”. Skellig is not that to me. He’s my friend, and when we are on the outs, he’s my annoying roommate.

But over the course of 8 years, wow…we know each other pretty well. If I am upset and crying, he gets agitated and checks on me to make sure I am okay. He usually manages to cheer me up with his kitty concern.

If I am sick, he will join me in the sickroom for communal napping. He’s an expert at napping.

I love him very much. I try not to go on about it, but pretty much everyone who has been to my home knows I’m crazy about my cat.

Here lately, the cat has been sick. He’s been sort of down. He had stopped trotting over when it was time for his food (his favorite time of day). He wasn’t interested in playing.

He had taken to doing this moaning thing. Sort of a throaty quiet meow. And worst of all, he was obsessed with water and peeing ALL THE TIME.

In inappropriate places. So we took him to the vet.

This week Tuesday, I learned that Skellig has developed Feline Diabetes.

This is a pretty high-maintenance disease. I have to inject him twice daily with a sharp needle. He is so brave, and he trusts me, which breaks my heart.

The good news is that it is not too expensive. The medicine seems to be about 40 bucks a month. And I haven’t done any bargain shopping yet.

He’s taking it okay. Since I give him treats before and after the injection, he even runs up when I am preparing the syringe. What a hero!

His fur is amazingly thick. It is impossible to see through it to the skin. I have to jab and push. I always worry that I haven’t quite got the needle in the skin. I mean, before Wednesday night I had never injected anything or anybody. Now, I’m expected to stab my cat every 12 hours.

Yesterday, I pushed it a little harder and he twitched. So this morning, he was more hesitant to accept the needle. He wanted to sniff it a little longer. So I was more gentle.

Then, I worried that I hadn’t punctured the skin. I suppose it’s obsessive of me, but this is an important thing! So I petted his neck for a while to see if there was a wet spot. It’s such a small amount of insulin, I wondered if it would even show?

So, I took the needle I had just used and took the same amount (2 units) of water and squirted it on a napkin. It made a decent sized puddle, so I felt reassured that I would notice if I had missed.

I have spent this morning trying to read up on what there is to know. The vet wants to have the cat back for the day to do a glocose curve and see how he is responding to her guess-diagnosis of 2 units of insulin every 12 hours.

I’m looking into home tests. He truly hates the vet. This vet is nicer than most I’ve taken him to, but…I’d rather see what we can do at home.

There is a lot of information about this on the web. But then again, medicine is moving fast these days. Sites that are 5 years old may not have information about new technology.

I am really grateful for the data I’m finding. That’s why I am going to share my own experiences. I know that some of my readers are not so enthralled with the ins and outs of cat stabbing, but there may be some new readers out there who are grateful to hear someone else’s experiences. Hence my new category:

Feline Diabetes

Any comments from people who have experience or knowledge about this subject or any related topics is much appreciated.

My big worries are when I have to leave the cat. What pet sitter would be able to do this care? I would like to find maybe a once a day treatment. If it could be oral instead of injected, too, I think that would be nicer.

I know there is a lot of information out there. It will take a while to sort it out.

The other good news is, they say that cats with diabetes will still live long lives if they get good treatment. I want Skellig to live for another…Oh..ten years. I would miss him too much.