Monday, October 2nd, 2006 • 3 Comments on For the Love of a Cat
This is Annabelle.
Annabelle is fourteen years old and has been with us since she was four weeks old. Because she wasn’t weaned properly, she didn’t know how to eat solid food when we got her. We fed her with an eye dropper until she learned. Over the years, Annabelle has moved with us from Virginia to South Carolina to Rhode Island and back to Virginia and has tolerated (barely) the addition of other cats and a dog.
Annabelle is a rather timid kitty, but she is sweet, friendly and very vocal. She does not like moving and has requested we don’t do that again. She doesn’t like going to the vet, either. She is not terribly fond of the dog and is terrified of Grace, the cat I brought home two years ago. Other than that, Annabelle seems pretty content with life. Oh, and she likes chocolate ice cream.
Last week, Annabelle was diagnosed with diabetes. I started suspecting something was wrong a few weeks ago and my research pointed to diabetes, so the diagnosis wasn’t a shock. I wish I’d been wrong, though.
This morning, the vet showed us how to give her injections. Tomorrow, the injections start. Once a day, every day: Keep the insulin in the refrigerator, make sure she’s eating, make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe, alternate sides where the shot is administered, make sure not to hit a vein, monitor for signs of drooling, staggering, lethargy. Follow-up in one week, then three weeks, then every three months. Realize she may not be easy to regulate and dosages may be increased and adjusted as necessary.
I love animals. I really love animals. I prefer them to most people, really. I’ve been bitten and scratched by just about every pet I’ve ever owned and several that weren’t even mine. I have scars from some of those encounters. I’ve required antibiotics for more than one infected bite. I’ve been bled on, shed on, peed on, puked on. I’ve given pills. I’ve given syrups. I’ve made liquid meals in a blender. I’ve collected urine and fecal samples. I’ve adopted animals, I’ve rescued strays. I’ve picked up 40-50 pound dogs. I’ve gotten in the middle of cat, rat, hamster and rabbit fights. I’ve had animals die in my arms. I’ve buried animals and taken animals to be cremated. I have cried over animals the way you’re only supposed to cry over humans.
I’m a wimp. I don’t like needles. I don’t like hurting my cat. I don’t know if I can do this. I have to do this.
This is Annabelle and she’s my diabetic cat and I love her, I really do, but I’d rather be puked on than have to give her a shot tomorrow.