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Feline Diabetus

Today, the vet diagnosed our cat Baby with feline diabetes. We now have to give him a shot of insulin twice a day. And to top it all, the vet says he expects Baby to live for only another 3-4 years [he is 10-years-old]. Obviously, this is all very shocking to us. I thought Baby would be the cat that lived to be 20. Emily and I always assumed it was going to be our other cat –  who is severely obese [23-lbs] – that would have the health issues. But no, she’s just fine: ornery, fat, and healthy. 


I first noticed something might be wrong with Baby when there was an excessive amount of urine in the litter. Now, the litter box we use is actually a 40-gallon Tupperware tote that I fill with about 40+ pounds of litter. When I saw urine soaking through about six inches of litter, I knew something was going on. When I mentioned this to Emily, she said that one of the signs of diabetes is excessive urination. We observed the cats for the next week and noticed that Baby kept drinking water [our other cat Carolyn drinks only occasionally]. So when I cleaned the litter again the next weekend and noticed the same excessive urine, I knew we had to take Baby to the vet.

And I guess the warning signs were always there. Baby was always begging for food – regardless of how much you fed him – and it was probably because he wasn’t getting enough sugar into his bloodstream, and not because of gluttony. So yeah. It stinks, and we’re sad. Hopefully, the insulin will lower his bloodsugar and keep him comfortable. The hardest thing for me is knowing that he might not be around in five years. I mean, I still miss the two dogs with whom I grew up. And they passed away years ago.

What’s disturbing is the number of people who suggested that we should put Baby down. Honestly, Emily and I briefly discussed it, but it was quickly – and I mean quickly– ruled out. I think if it was something like cancer or kidney failure, we would have considered it more, but in this case it seems rather extreme. And you know, who wants to euthanize their pet?

I adopted Baby when he was still a kitten back in 1999, and you know, I wasn’t always nice to him. When he was younger, he chewed a hole in the carpet at one of my apartments, and he was always getting into things and destroying my stuff. And Baby constantly begged for food, like a dog. [He once stole a whole half of a pizza when I was trying to offer him a pepperoni]. And for all that, I always favored Carolyn, who was never interested in anything except maybe my milk. Baby did settle down with old age [and Carolyn just got more and more ornery]. And I think living with Emily helped. He always favored her and was always on his best behavior when she was around.

Anyway  . . . I think this is due to God’s punishment for the way Emily and I laughed at this video.

Categories: General Chatter
  1. The League
    April 24, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Whether a person or pet, when you find out someone close to you is sick, you’re going to begin to evaluate and try to sort out the time you spent together. No doubt Baby thinks the world of you, and is unaware of much in the way of animosity.

    Soon the insulin will seem like old hat to everyone involved. My in-laws have to put drops in their cat’s eye twice a day, and its just part of the daily routine.

    Kudos to you to taking the extra steps to keep a member of the family healthy. I’m partial to believing pets are family, and a little inconvenience associated with a pet shouldn’t mean you get rid of it like a piece of broken furniture.

    Baby will know you love her, but she’s going to be baffled by this whole insulin business. Just show her some love aside from the shots when you get a chance.

  2. Ned Beatty
    April 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Sorry if you thought I took the news lightly. Baby’s a good cat. Never met a cat so affectionate.

  3. April 27, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I gave a diabetic cat insulin injections for years . . . without regretting a single shot. She was worth it, as I’m sure Baby is.

    Whether man or beast, we adapt to our circumstances remarkably well. Baby will probably be none too pleased with the insulin routine initially, but soon it will just be a part of daily life for the lot you.

    All my best!

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