Sunday, January 23, 2011
I bet I know more about feline diabetes than you do
Maude's diagnosis has put her in some very distinguished company.
A recent vet visit revealed that Maude's long streak of perfect health is finally over. She is diabetic and I must now give her twice-daily injections of insulin and feed her special food. It is certainly the beginning of a new chapter in our lives together.
But I'm coping -- and doing lots of internet research. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has a very helpful video series featuring some adorable cat actors. And this website has some very dramatic rhetoric: "Your Emotions Will Be Raw" cautions one section; another warns that:
Gone are the days of putting out food and water, giving a quick pat on the head, and hurrying out the door ... Friends, relatives, and co-workers may make insensitive comments that you are crazy to care for a chronically ill pet. Although it is difficult, try to ignore the unsupportive people - they do not understand the special bond of love that you share with your pet. Their inability to have compassion for an animal means that they will never experience the pure and unconditional love that can be shared between a human and a companion animal.
I'm going to be the best caregiver that I can and take it one day at a time. Apparently, feline diabetes can go into remission and not all cats need insulin for their entire lives. Honestly, though, the syringe is tiny and Maude doesn't seem to mind so far. And if anything, she likes her new food more than the stuff I was feeding her. So we're adjusting. Our emotions are a little raw but we'll pull through. Feline "diabeetus": it's not a death sentence.