since 2001, when sammy was first diagnosed with diabetes, many things have changed in my way of life. back then we also had spook, lee’s black cat of the same age. they were both fourteen then. spook, because of tartar and resulting gingivitis, developed acute kidney failure and almost died. the vet gave us two days at best. that’s when we first began to stand on psalm 145. we claimed spooks life back, and he recovered, although we did have to give him a new diet to accommodate his loss of kidney function. he went on to live for two more years.
sammy, during this time, was contending with the diabetes, or rather the treatment of it. we tried humulin, and she kept crashing. she was on a restricted calorie diet because she was overweight, and she was constantly hungry because of the insulin. she became dehydrated, and then her kidneys and her liver crashed, she got down to 4lbs, and she nearly died. we continued to stand on psalm 145, and she began to recover. eventually we settled on .5mg of glipizide before meals, twice daily. this, and lee’s work schedule, resulted in my getting up early every morning to feed the two elderly cats before getting him up to get ready for work. a schedule i still maintain, even though spook is no longer with us.
recently i had to put her on insulin again, because her kidneys began to fail again. she had been on a low carb high protein kitten food diet along with the oral medication to keep her blood sugar down, and it was working fine. but years of high protein had taken a toll on her kidneys. this meant a new diet for her, sort of upsetting the balance we had maintained for so long. the new diet was lower in protein, but higher in carbs. i was apprehensive about the insulin, but now feline insulin was available. she tolerated it well, and we moved on again. soon we had to start giving her subcutaneous fluids at home, because her kidneys dont do an adequate job hydrating her. so she gets 200ml three times a week.
another thing a diabetic cat encounters is neuropathy. her hind legs do not work like they used to. she walks okay, but her hind legs do not have the strength they once had. this also contributes to some recent incontinence. its all because of nerve damage due to the higher levels of glucose that we cant avoid now. she sleeps on the couch in the evenings, after dinner, and sleeps so deeply she doesnt know she has to pee. she starts to pee before she wakes up. this is a problem, obviously. she can get into the big litterbox, but doesnt always make it all the way in before she starts to go. so i have a rug under the box, with a rubber bathmat under the rug, to save my wood floor. she has been hard on the floors over the last seven years. it works out, but there is the couch to consider now.
so, i looked up pet diapers online – handicapedpets.com – and found a site that offers a free sample to try first. i ordered one for sammy, xs plus up to 4lbs. of course.
ah how things have changed for sammy and me over the years. but i will continue to do what i must for her to live comfortably and retain as much freedom of movement as possible. she is more than a pet to me. she is, on many levels, my friend.