Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Insert Cat Here

"An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language."

-Martin Buber

It's been a tough week, but it's getting better. Sigh. It all started kind of slow, it was subtle little things. Elvis was just not his usual self. Even as I sit here right now, it's difficult to describe his symptoms. He was his same happy little self, alert and eager to play. He had a good appetite, and he would greet us when we came home, but his afternoon naps where suddenly much longer than usual, and he had begun to lose weight. That was the first big signal we had, that something wasn't right. He had also begun to sneeze... a lot. And with the sneezing came the wheezing and some coughing, then just as suddenly as it began, it all stopped and seemed to be gone. Everything seemed normal again, but at his birthday party Alan and I noticed he was a good bit thinner than he was at his last weigh-in last February. We decided to call his vet, Dr. "B" and tell him what was happening. Dr. "B" said to bring him in last Thursday, early in the morning, for blood work and a urine test. We found out Friday, that Elvis has advanced Diabetes.

It was a terrible thing to find out. All kinds of terrible thoughts ran through my mind about how I was about to lose my best little buddy. Sigh. I was reeling a good bit, when Alan reminded me to do what I always do when something changes in my life, do some research, find out the facts, and educate myself. That is the way forward. So, feeling really lost and scared about what kind of decisions might be in front of us, I went and did my homework. As it turns out, while Elvis's diabetes is advanced, we can get it under control, and help him stay on the right track with an adjustment to his diet, and two injections daily of insulin. We can do that! He will be fine, it just means paying a little closer attention to him when he eats, to make sure he does indeed eat his meals, and when he is done, we give him a shot of insulin, followed by a treat.

Dr. "B" says that a spoonful or two of his favorite baby food or some plain cooked chicken will do fine. Whew! We are lucky, in that there was no damage done to his liver or kidneys, and other than the diabetes, he is in excellent health. He has to do some special exercises to gain back some of the muscle tone he has lost, but we will be able to help him with that, especially now that he will begin to feel like his old self, as the insulin does it's job. The most difficult part will be the first time I have to give him and injection. Sigh. It will be a lot worse for me, than for him. LOL. But I will be learning how to do that later today, and I will be able to deal with it. I have done more than one thing in this life I would have sworn I wouldn't have survived, and in the end, I did indeed get through it.

He has been in the hospital for the last couple days, while Dr. "B" regulates his insulin intake. It was hard sending him off last Monday, with his favorite hat on and his stuffed monkey, "Cap-N-Federick" by his side. He didn't even fuss about being put into his carrier, an event which usually brings about a good bit of protest! LOL. Not this time, he simply gave his daddy a dirty look and sat down on his companion, and said nothing. I think I wished in that moment he would have given me that defiant "NO" mew, which really does sound like he is saying, "NO!"

Alan and I have been alone since Monday morning. It's the first time in a long time, and it was strange to realize how much time we had spent with him individually and the three of us as a family. Elvis is our child. He is a part of every single day, and is a factor in the decisions we make. We take our jobs as parents to this cat seriously. Not everyone does. A point which has caused a good bit of stress lately with a neighbor of ours. There is a responsibility in owning a pet, and sometimes I wish it could be regulated who is allowed to keep a pet and who isn't, but I will save that rant for another entry.

Anyway, Alan and I both have head colds. It is the second one I have had since the first of the year. Apparently when I get stressed out to a certain level, I catch a head cold. LOL. The fact that Alan and I are both sick, at the same time, is another thing which hasn't happened in quite some time. LOL. We have been having record heat in the Bay Area... just making things about as uncomfortable as it can be, but he and I have been enjoying our time together anyway. The other night we ate Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese in bed, while we watched a spooky movie on TV. Last night it was soup and the very scary Irwin Allen movie, "The Swarm." LOL. There is nothing better than macaroni and cheese, a head cold which produces a fever of at least 101, a comfy bed, and the company of someone you love. I just wish Elvis could have been there also, stealing a bite of the cheesy noodle yumminess. Noodles of any kind make him giggle. :)

Today will be a good day.The temperature is supposed to be 70 degrees. Whew! My fever is down to 99, and we pick Elvis up from Dr."B" this afternoon. We will be fine, the three of us, we will work it out together. It's just another one of our adventures. Right? Oh, and in case you are wondering about the pamphlet in the above photo, well see, Dr. "B" had run out of the pamphlets with cats on the cover, so he gave us the one with the dog, and said, "wherever it says dog insert cat." Hmmm... cats and dogs are treated the same way. That makes sense... I guess. LOL. Elvis would hate knowing he shares something with dogs. LOL. I don't think I will tell him. Nope. Not a good idea. LOL. See, I still have my sense of humor, thank goodness, because I think I am going to need it. :)



DesLily said...

my last cat had diabetes and I gave her 2 shots a day for 5 years. at first it was scarey giving an injection but that goes away pretty quick when you realize they don't really feel anything! you will need to check his urine now and then with test strips (not fun) but he will most likely do just fine. And they use so little insulin that a bottle lasts a long time, so it's not real expensive either.

Steven said...

Thanks for the update on Elvis! You'll get the hang of the injections and Elvis will too. Team effort.

Feel better soon with the head colds. Spring-summer colds are no fun.

I've got Pickle back eating like a hound again :-) Happy cat, I am.

Nancy said...

Oh Carly, I do hope that Elvis (AND you two) feel better soon. Elvis is now on a path of you are as well. Perhaps you can help one another.


Karen Funk Blocher said...

Oh, Carly, that sucks. But my brother kept a cat with epilepsy going for years. I'm sure you can take good care of Elvis - you always have, right?