• Living With A Diabetic Cat

    I never really mean it when I say I am going to kill that damn cat. Almost never. It has been suggested that I ought to sell him…..don’t try to make a profit, I was told; just get back what you’ve got in him.

    Okay, let’s add up three years of twice-daily insulin, syringes, special food for diabetic cats, litter, visits to the vet, etc.  So I’ve already priced most folks out of the market – not that I suspect there will be large numbers clamoring to take him home with them.

    Bat, the black cat, came into my life uninvited. He appeared as a tiny black spot in the middle of the den floor, apparently having entered the back door from who knows where before it closed. This within itself was no easy feat because it was my mom’s house where he appeared, which is a half day on a fast horse from the closest civilization.

    When my mom spotted him, she calmly (well, fairly calmly) said, “What the heck is that! It looks like a bat.” I grabbed something to poke with and approached the critter who suddenly stood, stretched to his full six inches and announced with a certain arrogance, “Ta Da – here I am!”  It’s been that way ever since.

    You’re thinking, of course, that a cat with diabetes is a poor pitiful thing. Oh not so, although he does milk that image from time to time. Bat is a brat. A spoiled bat. And I would love to blame someone else for that character flaw if there were anyone even remotely close enough to blame besides me.

    I have done much better with my other cat whose name is Little Guy (but who isn’t by a long shot). LG is mild-mannered, sweet, waits to be spoken to, is seen and not heard….well, I did a fine job raising him so clearly I do have some parenting skills.

    Anyway, since Bat must have twice-daily insulin shots, I have had two choices: stay at home or take him with me. I have noticed that my number of weekend invitations has dropped. The good thing is that he travels well. I open his carrier, he gets in, goes to sleep and he stretches and gets out when we arrive.

    Recently I was gone for a holiday visit and hired an adorable young lady from the local vet’s office to give Bat his shots. We staged three trial runs before I left. The first was a disaster which could have left her bruised and bloody if I hadn’t intervened; the second was somewhat better but still discouraging; but the third seemed like it went okay. Then I left town.

    I kept my cell phone clutched in my sweaty palms, waiting to hear from my new young friend about how it went (predicting it would resemble a rodeo). At the expected time, a text message sounded on my phone.

    When I opened it, it was a picture of Bat rubbing on her feet with a look of total adoration on his face. “Ah ha, she has drugged him!” I thought.

    The next day, same thing. And when I arrived home, expecting Bat to meet me at the door and throw himself on my mercy, he merely stuck his head around the corner, saw it was me instead of his new love, and went back to his corner of the world.

    So, okay, my feelings were hurt as he pouted and waited for his new friend to return. When she didn’t come back, he got even with me in unpleasant, smelly ways. I guess if you can’t talk, there are limited ways to protest. I’m going to kill that damn cat right after I have the carpet cleaned. (Did I say that already?)

    So – since Bat is not welcome at the vet clinic because of a series of “bad behaviors”, I suggested that our new friend help me draw blood at the house last night for Bat’s annual insulin check. I am going to make this story very short, but it wasn’t. We finally got Bat wrapped in heavy towels and threw him (calf-roping style) onto the dining table and started getting ready to draw blood.

    The black 15-pound Bat was transformed instantly into a roaring screaming panther ….hissing, biting, clawing, drawing blood (mine, not his). Just as we thought we were ready, suddenly appeared a second roaring screaming panther ready to pounce on the table to save his friend.

    Yes, sweet mild-mannered LG has a side I had never seen before. My vet friend, realizing our lives were in serious peril, warned loudly with wisdom beyond her years, “Let him go, this ain’t gonna work.”

    So – I sit here today, bandaged and discouraged. And mad. I’m really going to kill those damn cats.

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