Back in Spring, I noticed Arthur stopped rushing for the automated
feeder whenever it would dispense food. I didn't think much of it, but
a couple months later I could tell that he had lost weight. I wasn't
too concerned since he was always a heavier cat, but the weightloss
didn't stop. He had lost about four pounds. Out of concern, I brought
him in to see his doctor, and
tests positively confirmed he had become diabetic.
This was tough news,
because I am already dealing with a cat (Snickers) who is costing a few
thousand dollars a year in medical bills and may be facing a $6,000
surgery. Now I am looking at a future of Arthur needing daily
injections of insulin for the rest of his life, which, at best, will
cost several hundred dollars a year. And both cats are now on
prescription food. This is an unwelcome expense, not to mention the
fact that as Arthur's only at-home caregiver, I will not be able to
take so much as an overnight vacation for the remainder of his life,
which I hope will be at least another seven years.
Like many pet owners in
this situation, I played out several scenarious in my head. It goes
without saying that if I did not have either cat, I'd have more money,
I'd have more freedom, and I wouldn't have to work as hard to keep my
home clean. (My vacuum cleaner collects enough black fur in one week to
make a whole new cat.)
But earlier tonight as I
was doing laundry in the basement, Snickers came down to play "catch me
if you can" and squeaked with delight as I chased him around. And later
that night, Arthur jumped up onto my bed and onto my pillow, and
nuzzled against me purring like a kitten.
There's absolutely no way
I could take the life out of these two cats. Nothing I'd gain from
doing that would be worth it. When Snickers and Arthur are feeling
well, they are full of joy and contentment. I'm committed to doing
whatever it will take to keep them that way.
doesn't seem to mind the injections. The needles are thin and short
(think of a big mosquito) and he likes the taste of his new
prescription food. The biggest challenge will be whether or not I can
maintain a regimented injection schedule. Some weeks it will be
impossible since my schedule as a performing musician can be crazy, but
I'll do the best I can.
UPDATE: Arthur weathered
the test injections just fine at the vet, but it's a very different
story at home. He leaps away and bolts out of the room, making the
injections impossible. And his food intake is way below average, making
it so that any insulin could do him harm. I'll be in contact with his
doctor this week to help find a solution.