Some people own pets while others have companions. I happen to associate more with the latter description. The two feline friends I have now have been with me half of my adult life. I do not dress them in cute little outfits, but they are still spoiled with love and affection. I hug them often, tell them I love them, play with them and talk to them as well. They are little furry friends as far as I am concerned. When they are happy, I am happy. When they hurt, I hurt. We have a very tight bond, and I love them dearly.
Cat Diagnosed With Diabetes
A few years back, my oldest feline friend, Zazu, was diagnosed with diabetes. He was losing weight, drinking a lot of water and just not himself. I took him to the vet right away, and he was diagnosed with diabetes. Thankfully, it was something that could be controlled with insulin. He required more attention and insulin shots twice a day, but it was worth it. He even responded so well that I was able to take him off the insulin within a couple of years. He was still a lot thinner than before he developed diabetes, but back to his natural, grumpy, yet loveable self. I thought all was well. I was wrong as it turned out.
Recently, he started showing signs that his diabetes might be back and started to get rather sickly looking again. I could tell that he was dehydrated and just did not have any energy. He would lose his balance and fall over. I knew from experience that electrolytes were a good way to help with the dehydration. Unfortunately, he had also stopped drinking water, so I had to feed him the electrolytes with an eye dropper. He did well the first couple of days and even started drinking his water again. Then he stopped and even refused to let me use the eyedropper. That is when I started to become worried.
It was a Sunday, and the vet’s office was closed. I searched for emergency clinics that were open on Sundays, and the only one that I found did not have good reviews at all. Not only did it seem extremely expensive, not that it mattered, but the care of the pets did not receive good reviews either. I decided I should wait until the next morning to take him in. I didn’t get much sleep that Sunday night, in fact, I only got about three hours of sleep. I felt horrible trying to force water into him but knew he was so dehydrated; it needed to be done. I didn’t even really want to go to sleep because the thought of waking up and finding out he had died during the night was a horrible thought. I eventually did fall asleep though. I think more out of mental exhaustion than anything.
Beating A Pet Illness
The next morning I woke up promptly when the alarm went off. The first thing I did was scan my bed, looking for Zazu in his normal sleeping spots. As soon as I didn’t see him on the bed, I feared the worse and slowly got out of bed. As I rounded the corner of the footboard, I saw him lying in front of his water dish. He caught sight of me and let out a faint “meow”? as he tried to lift his head. Thank God, he had made it through the night! I quickly loaded him into his pet carrier and was off to the vet’s office. We got there just as they opened and got into a room right away. In my mind I was optimistic. I assumed he just needed to be hydrated and go back on insulin. The vet took him off for some blood work, and I was left to wait. After the tests came back, my optimism soon vanished.
The blood tests revealed more than just diabetes. I took everything in, trying not to break down as the vet went over the results. All I could do was hold my little guy, stroke him, and fight back the tears. Line after line of numbers highlighted in red was all I saw. His diabetes was back in full force; he had a problem with his liver, urinary infection, pancreatitis, he was anemic. The list seemed to go on and on. It was starting to sound pretty hopeless and when the doctor suggested that we “discuss his age”?, I thought to put him down was the option that was about to come. I immediately said, “He’s not ready to go”?. The vet agreed and was only suggesting that he stay as an inpatient, opposed to home care.
After three days, a lot of visits and worrying, he was doing well enough to continue treatment at home. I about jumped through the roof with excitement! I knew he had been looking and feeling better, but I wasn’t sure how effective all the meds were. We would discuss various numbers either lowering or getting higher, depending on the condition, but I still just wasn’t too sure. As soon as we got home, he perked up even more. He ran to his water dish, then hopped on the bed and did a couple of circles. My optimism instantly returned. I followed the vet’s schedule of when to feed, give shots and administer meds, to a tee. After ten days all of his numbers were within the normal range. He had beaten this last round of illness.
It has been three months since he was diagnosed with so many complications and is doing extremely well. I could not be happier, although it made me realize, his days could be numbered in the long run. We take it day by day and enjoy every one. Zazu being so close to death has just made me appreciate the time I have with him even more. I make sure I take him outside as often as the weather permits. He is naturally an indoor cat but loves to roll around in the grass. The six-foot privacy fence ensures he can’t try to run away. The whole experience was emotional and scary, but we got through it!