State of the Cat …

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Yep. A post about my cat, just to get it out of my system.

This weekend we took poor Zootie in to the pet hospital (our local vet was closed). Left him there for over 24 hours, because … well, he’s diabetic, and his blood sugar level was as close to zero as possible, and he was having seizures. ACK!

We went in with the thought we might have to put him down. That’s been in the back of my head for a bit, since last weekend we took him in. I mean, my goodness, he’s 15 years old, a tabby, not pure-bred, etc. Sweetest cat I’ve ever known, but still, 15 is old for a tabby.

We figured out what caused the seizures after we talked to the vet. He hadn’t been eating much, and he got his regular insulin shot. Low blood sugar, insulin which reduces blood sugar levels … and …

Anyway, they hooked him up to an IV, and monitored him heavily (this wasn’t cheap, but …), x-rayed him, etc. Brought him home Sunday, and he was a little better, but far from stable. At least the seizures stopped. We had set up an appointment to have his blood sugar levels checked yesterday (Tuesday), but I was now getting concerned again. CJ had noticed one of his eyes was dilating funny, and I noticed his left front paw was HUGE (swollen, but either not sore, or he just wasn’t complaining about it). And then Monday he started to exhibit pre-seizure behavior. His head was bobbing and he was starting to drool, etc. Then … it stopped, he lay down, I wiped the drool off his chin (literally), and all seemed to be okay. Weird.

Anyway, took him in yesterday. With all the symptoms and concerns again I was worried I was going to have to request euthanasia. The vet checked his blood levels. They were at a better point — high, but not insulin high. The vet also showed me x-rays. He has arthritis in his lower spine (at least a couple of joints, one looks pretty swollen to me). So we have an anti-inflammatory med to give him. Since the blood-sugar is above normal for a cat, but not high enough for insulin (he’s somewhere in the middle there), the vet prescribed something else. AND we have him on a high protein diet. It appears that the kibble he’s been eating all these years may have caused the diabetes in the first place. Figures. (Recommendation to all cat people — stop feeding your cat standard kibble — if you want to give them kibble get the “No grains” types …)

Lots of support from friends who pointed me at a variety of high-protein cat foods. I settled on Evo for the moment, which both cats appear to like better than what I was feeding them. And I am giving them a can of Fancy Feast each day (split between them).

This has been a helluva roller-coaster emotionally. Luckily I am not actually in front of the classroom right now — it’s the break between quarters. He’s a good cat. He seems to be coming back closer to normal. He actually visited me in the middle of the night on the bed to get some pets, which he hasn’t done a lot of recently. He tends to hang out near one of us (when herself is home, or me — prefers me, but … as long as he can see one of his people, he’s good).

It looks like we still have two cats for the time-being. I do think he’s going to slowly fail on us to the point that within a year or less we’ll have to ask for euthanasia, but until then, I will enjoy his company and his sweetness, and make sure he has a good life. Our concern is extending his life past a certain point where he can’t possibly have any quality at all. That’s not good for the cat. Well, now I have that off my chest, I suppose I can go back to class prep for next quarter …