Sunday, May 23, 2010
It all started with a sore.
It all started with a sore on the side of his face. I took him in to the vet and it turned out to be just a sore that he had continually scratched because it itched. The vet was astounded at this 22 lbs and promptly put him on a diet. I gradually weaned him off his usual full bowl all day long to just 1 cup of food a day with a spoonful of canned food at night. I also blended in the low fat food until he was eating only that. Then I switched to the low fat canned food. He lost weight---success. But. . . then he kept losing. Three people in a row commented on how skinny he was. The third was my husband who hadn't been up here for 2 weeks. He thought that he was bony ,and that she was now bigger than he was. He thought that wasn't right because she was a smaller cat ("she" is his sister, Scruffy). So I called the vet and told her how much he had lost. She was not concerned, but said that I could add more food or give him some "fatter" food. I did both. He LOST MORE WEIGHT. He started staying on the floor---sleeping there instead of up on the couch, bed or the dresser downstairs in the basement. Then one day I came home to find him lying in the shower in the basement by his water bowls. They had both drunk more water with this new food which was normal. But he was craving the water more than she. Plus the shower retains some water, so he was actually lying in water. I picked him up and brought him upstairs from the basement. As he lie on my lap, I realized his head was hot ---his ears and forehead were so warm, it was uncomfortable to keep my hand there. I called the vet and made an appointment and prayed the illness was fixable and that he wouldn't die between now and the appt.
We made it to the vet. The symptoms were consistent, but she wanted to take blood work. The tests confirmed her suspicions---George was diabetic. I really like the woman vet; she has two cats of her own and two that live at the vet's office. She loves my cats, esp. George. She explained everything to me after first asking me how I felt about needles. Needles don't bother me. So after practicing injecting him with saline, I took him home loaded with needles, a dispenser, a bottle of insulin, and new high protein food.
He loves the food and is eating much better. He's not as thirsty and is now meowing again. I've given him his two shots today without any problems.
My kids are grown, married, and have kids of their own, of whom I'm not necessary in the daily care . While growing up, my kids gave me plenty of practice in nursing. My son broke 15 bones(skateboarding, basketball, jungle gym, falling down the steps when he was two,etc.) and my daughter topped him by breaking her neck in a car accident. He had continual ear infections. She had bronchial asthma which didn't get diagnosed until she was 8, so there was a lot more sickness before that diagnosis. Antibiotics were almost a staple in our house. I got used to trips to the ER and sleeping in uncomfortable chairs in a hospital room. Both kids each had a stay in a Children's hospital--she actually had two. She had a routine operation at age 2 that went wrong in so many ways. Then came the long 6 hour one from which she didn't readily wake up(the one to fix her neck and her broken leg).
But we've moved on to another stage of our lives where routine care of them isn't necessary. So as far as nursing sick "kids," I thought those days were over. (But I guess in reality they are never over because if one of my kids or one of the grandkids got really sick and needed me, I'd take family leave and be there to help out. Plus the worrying and praying that comes with motherhood doesn't stop when they reach a certain age. The morning that she had a C-section after inducement had failed was long and nerve-racking. She always had complications, so it was tough on all of us. Her dad and stepmother and his sets of parents and stepparents were there in Texas, but I was at school here in Ohio. We had decided that she'd need me more once she got home with the baby, which was true. But that morning when the doctor decided a planned c-section was much better than an emergency one, I doubted the initial decision about me going down later. A long morning it was! Everything turned out great---for the first time there were no complications.)
However, NOW I will be giving insulin shots to a cat possibly for years. I have to chuckle (I'm daily thankful for my sense of humor). Just when I need life to be a bit simpler, it gets more complicated. I will be spending time this summer helping my husband down in Cinci, so that he can move up here. George does not travel well. You haven't lived until you've had a cat squalling for 4 hours while you're both "trapped" in a car! He doesn't take pills well--what cat does? So giving him medicine to make him sleepy isn't really an option. We will have to find someone willing to give him insulin shots. I know the present "care-taker" won't do it---she'll run at the mention of a needle. Sooooo---time will tell. Meanwhile, I'm thankful he's on the road to recovery. I'm also glad I don't mind needles.