Monday, December 5, 2016


In the month of November my husband and I made the difficult decision to euthanize Merry.  It was tough but he was getting really old.  His arthritis was just getting to where he didn't really move from one spot in the living room.  When he would go up and down the stairs it was clear it was so painful. One time I sat him on top of a box and he fell off.  When I say he fell, he just fell.  No trying to save himself or land on his feet.  I also knew that if when I looked at him and felt sad for him it was time. We used an amazing service for him. We had a veterinarian come to the house to euthanize him.  The man we used, Dr Humphries with Home with Dignity really made a huge difference. He came to the house and first game Merry a mini exam and did tell us that he thought we were doing the right thing. This made me feel better because I kept going back and forth all week if I was doing it too soon. The vet then gave Merry some medicine that was pain killer and also a drug to help him sleep.  We got to hold him the whole time.  After a few minutes when we were ready he then gave him a shot of the medicine that sent Merry over the rainbow bridge.  My husband then took a blanket the vet had brought in at the end and carried him out to the vet's car.  It was so dignified.  I will always use in home euthanize.  Now my Pippin is an only kitty. I miss Merry so much and can't believe he is gone.  Life will never be the same.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Skin Cancer

I haven't posted before about my cat Merry's skin cancer.  It started at the beginning of the year. Around April. I noticed a scratch on his nose.  About 6 weeks later it wouldn't heal and was becoming circular. I took him into the vet.  The vet gave me some meds to put on it but said it's probably skin cancer. The way we would know is if the medicine didn't get rid of the cut then it was for sure skin cancer.  He said really there is no reason to take a sample and send it in since I had already decided that I wasn't going to do chemo or radiation.  I also refuse to have Merry's nose removed.  Those are the only options if a cat has skin cancer on their nose. I have no idea why he got skin cancer.  He's not an outdoor cat so there hasn't been that much sun exposure on his nose. When we went to the new vet she felt the same way.  Merry is now 16 years old. Here are pictures from when we first discovered it:

Now that it is November it has progressed a lot since this then.  Most of the year it has only been a superficial wound.  Meaning it was really just eating away the top layer.  I think that now it is finally actually eating through the skin.  Now we must make the painful decision when to call it.  He is walking very slow with a pronounced limp.  Honestly I'm not sure if he will make it past the end of the year. But we'll see.  I try to look at him and see if he still has quality of life.

Pippin my other cat is actually doing pretty fantastic health wise.  We had a scare about a month ago though.  One morning we gave the cats double shots.  It was a scary day.  I got up and gave the cats shots and then my husband got up and gave them shots again.  We had to take a lot of glucose curves that day. The lowest reading Merry had was 54.  After that though his glucose went up.  Just goes to show communication is very important.  The many years we have been giving these cats shots that was only the first time for that mix up to happen.

We will be taking care of another cat come January.  My sister is unfortunately going through a terrible divorce.  Her husband has left here with nothing.  Of course she will fight for child support but she has asked me to take her little kitty.  Toast is about 9 years old. I am of course going to help my sister out and bring Toast to my house.  I am going to do everything in my power to make sure Toast doesn't get diabetes.

Well.... hope all your fur babies are doing amazing

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Veterinarian Office

A lot has happened since my last blog post, especially with the vet office. We'd been going to my last vet office since 2010.  I was there so often I know most of the staff personally. 3 of the techs have been my cats sitters and even though 2 of them have moved we still texts or talk on facebook about my cats.  I really have great relationships with them. Well... the vet finally was able to retire and sell his business.  The new vet came in and boy were things changed.  She pulled Merry off Metacam first thing which didn't surprise me.  The old vet had him on it for only about 2 months but I know there is a black box warning for cats since it can really hurt their kidneys. The new vet wanted to do laser therapy, acupuncture, a shot for me to take home that inserts gel on his joins, a supplement, and a narcotic. Ughhhh I already pay so much money for his other meds for his diabetes I just couldn't do all that.  I did get the supplement and the pain med.  Merry is really old now, and honestly if his arthritis looks so bad that he can't get around happily then I'll just have to put him down.

Anyways... the new vet ended up requesting that I bring Merry in.  She wanted to do a free consultation.  It was odd to me that she didn't want to see Pippin also since they have pretty much the same issues.  I took Merry in and she was really wanted me to switch their food to wet food.  She said each cat would need 3 cans a day.  So that's 180 cans a month.... I would guess that's going to be at least $150 a month doubling the amount I pay on food now.  Plus Merry is regulated really well on dry food and I'm afraid to switch him.  OK... fine.  So I had already made up my mind that I wasn't going to do that.  Then I did a glucose curve on the cats.  I did it every three hours for a 12 hour period.  Now that they are more regulated my original vet set this was fine to do instead of the every 2 hours for 12 hours.  I emailed the results of this test and then I got a snarky email back about how I did the curve completely wrong and that I needed to poke their ears every hour for 12 hours.  That's 12 pokes in their little ears.  After this email I googled cat glucose curves and the information I found was ever 2-3 hours.  So I was doing it correctly.  Then one of my vet tech friends (who got me my records for the new vet) told me a lot of long term clients are leaving because of the new vet's bedside manner. This tech also told me that the doctor had without insulin refill for another client who had decided to find another vet.  I was shocked at this because insulin is life saving.  Not just some vitamin.  I knew I had to go.

Changing vets is not easy if you have special needs cats.  You have already established records at the old vet.  When you switch vets you have to do a whole new wellness visit.  So there went $120 for both cats.  Then since Pippin's glucose is high and he's already on 6 units of Prozinc the new vet wanted to get some more current blood work on him just to see if something is triggering it, another $140.  The results came back just find so now we are going to try Pippin on 7 units of Prozinc. So $260 to switch vets.  Another unexpected cost of having diabetic cats. I never imagined it would be as expensive as it is.  I am happy with the new vet office.  I am already more comfortable there then I was so that's good.  I recommend if you ever feel it in your gut to switch vets just do it. In the end it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cat Paw Prints Framed

My cats are my world.  I would never abandon them.. even if I was moving, they were sick (see previous posts), or for any reason really.  They are getting older so I've been thinking more about ways to enjoy them and be able to remember them.  Sooooo I started thinking about making their paw prints into cute art.  I looked all over the internet to find out how.  Pinterest and blogs all gave some great advice.  All the posts I saw were for dogs and the paw prints always looked perfect.  That certainly was not the case.

I got my supplies together first.  I ran by IKEA the other day and picked up some frames (I can't find the frames on their website... they have them in stores only $2.99) and then I went ahead and grabbed some popsicle prints that were .99 cents that are supposed to go in the 2.99 frames (found here). Honestly those .99 cent prints were way cheaper then any card board stock I could find in a store.  I then went by Michaels and bought some paint and stickers.  Then paint was $1.69 Crayola Brand Washable Kids' Paint. You want your paint to be washable and you want it to be nontoxic.  Believe me!  The paint will get everywhere (so you want it washable) and your cat will lick their paws even after you wash their paws so you want to make sure it is nontoxic.  I did see some people use acrylic paint but I was worried about using that. The stickers were in the scrapbook section and were $4.99 but I used the Michaels' app and got 50% off those.  I have horrible handwriting so that's why I used stickers.  If you have nice handwriting maybe paint their names on the print.

Strong Paper for the art work (card stock)
Paper towels
Scratch Paper to practice

Get ready to begin.  Corral your cat into the location you want to do this.  Don't do it on carpet. I brought in a tray thinking I was going to have them stand on it to get the print but I found it easier to just have Merry and Pippin lay down and hold the paper up to their foot once the paint is on it.  Also... originally I had painted his entire foot. Don't do this.  Try to use a paint brush and only get the paint on the paw pads and none on the fur. If you do get a lot of it on their fur you may end up with a blob of paint rather then a paw print.  There were five of the popsicle prints from IKEA so I only had five shots at getting a good print so I practiced some.

Trying out a few paw prints on scratch paper

Chose your favorite paw print

Pippin wants out of the bathroom!

After you push their paws onto the paper get their paws washed off right away.  Not only so the paint doesn't get everywhere, but also so they don't have a chance to lick their paws. I have no idea how people get a perfect paw print.  I did read some people were using ink pads but I like the look of paint better.  The advice for this project I can give you is have fun and don't worry about perfection.  I do believe that cat paws are going to be harder then dog paws because they are smaller.  Luckily my cats are short hair too because cats with long fur in their paws might be messy to wash off!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Homemade Cat Box

So you may have read on my previous post that Merry has arthritis and it's getting advanced.  So he does have a harder time getting up and down stairs to use the litter box and was even having a few accidents.  I knew I needed to move a litter box up into the living room but really hated the idea because litter gets everywhere.  One night my husband went out in the garage and created a box he had seen online.  I wanted to wait and post about it after we sanded it and painted it but we still haven't got around to that so ... I'll post what it looks like now.  It's still pretty.. but I would like it to be painted white.

It's easy to clean out and really makes a big difference for Merry going to the bathroom.  He hasn't had an accident since we built it.  I had Merry on only a narcotic (torbegesie) for his arthritis but since it's getting worse I asked the vet to try something different.  He is now on Metacam and was also on Tramadol for pain (Tramadol comes in little tubes and you wipe it in their ears).  Well, turns out that now Tramadol is under control from the FDA so I have to get a prescription and take it to a pharmacy?  That doesn't totally make sense to me because isn't a vet office technically also a pharmacy for pets?  Anyways... it wasn't really working so I was just about to switch him back to Torbegesie.  So when I went to the vet and asked to switch apparently Torbegesie has been on back order for 6 months.  I was like... what are cats getting for pain then if neither one of these meds are available at the vet and they just kind of shrugged.  Annoying.  A new vet takes over the practice tomorrow (see previous posts).  I am kind of excited about it because maybe they will be able to help me get Merry on something better for the pain.

I had to find another cat sitter.  Sigh.  The second one I found is now moving.  So the third one is also from my vet office (this is my third vet tech who will be a cat sitter). I am really comfortable having them sit my cats incase something bad happens. My other cat Pippin has been doing really well.  We did just do a glucose curve and he was a little high so we upped his Prozinc 2 units.  It's scary though since he had that major drop in glucose last summer.

If you ever wonder how to make a cat box like this for your little box be sure to check out Pinterest.  They have a lot of ideas.

Edit:  We added another entryway for us to be able to clean the litter.  It makes a big difference to not have to take everything off of the top every time we scoop.  I tried to get an up-close shot of the hinges being used. Now I just need to paint this thing!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Updates!! #diabeticcats

Well... next cat (Pippin) was up for a teeth cleaning.  I had been putting it off for a couple years. Merry went in a few years ago and it cost soooo much money.  So I had to wait.  I wish cat teeth cleanings weren't so expensive, maybe more people would do it. Pippin's teeth aren't as bad as Merry's.  Even though diabetes can ruin their teeth Pippin's has stayed pretty good.  In Pippin's 12 years of life I've had his teeth cleaned 5 times. I do think it's well worth it.  We had a cat growing up who passed away because an infection that went from his teeth to his liver.  Plus... have you ever had tooth pain???  Wowsers.  A cat can't even tell you if they have pain so it's pretty important to get their teeth cleaned.  Pippin did have two teeth pulled.  Both had Resorptive Lesion. I had no idea what this was so I had to look it up.  Apparently.. this is where cells will absorb the tooth into the gum until eventually the tooth is gone!   WHAT THE!  It is supposed to be quite painful.  Just goes to show why it is even more important for you to clean your cats teeth.

Merry has been limping a lot, so I contacted the vet office and told them.  I asked if we could try a different medicine to treat it.  My old vet had put him on Torbugesie which I think he's been on now for about 1 1/2 years.  He doesn't seem to be doing great on it.  So now we are trying Metacam (anti-inflammatory) and Tramadol for pain.  I really hope we get him able to not limp as much.  He is still mobile though, gets around the house.  Can get to his food and water.  We noticed he's had a few issues with his bladder (Merry is supposed to be about 15 1/2 years old).  He was sleeping on the couch recently and must've been so comfy didn't bother to get up to pee.  So there was pee on the couch.  We built a litter box cover and moved one of the litter boxes up to the living room which seems to be really helping him.  In my next post, I'm going to show you what it looks like.

My vet office is now going to switch vets.  So if you've read previous posts you would've read that my vet was let go... and ever since she left I haven't really had to see the owner of the vet office.  He's an older man and wanted to pass the vet office onto his niece (the vet who was let go).  Since that didn't happen the office has been up for sale.  On March 1st a new group is going to take over.  I am not sure if they will keep it a cat only veterinarian office or what.  One of my favorite vet techs (and current cat sitter) left before the new company takes over.  I am so sad.  It is hard to find a good vet and now everyone is leaving.  I hope the girl at the front desk doesn't leave, I interact with her a lot.  March 1st we'll see what happens.

How are your diabetic cats???

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Drastic Glucose Drop in Cats

Everything is going well right now with Merry and Pippin.  Though... back in July I was out late one night.  When I got up in the morning Pippin was acting really strange. Pacing, strange meows, and his tongue hanging out.  The only time I have really seen a cat have their tongues hanging out is when they are really hot and panting (they have no sweat glands so they have to pant).  Pippin was not panting just had his little tongue hanging out.  If you have had your cat for a long time.. you should recognize when something is off and I knew it right then and there.  I called the vet office.. luckily I have a really good relationship with them and so when the vet tech answered the phone and I described to her how Pippin was acting she told me to bring him in right away to make sure he was stable.

I dropped him off and came home impatiently waiting for the phone call.  I thought for sure he was going to die.  When I dropped him off I told the vet to be sure to call me because I didn't want him to die alone.  The vet wasn't worried one bit though so that made me feel better.  I got home and they called me to tell me that Pippin's glucose was at 54.  This is SERIOUSLY low.  Coma low.  I don't even know how or why that happened.  The vet told me that this can happen at any time really.  A cat could be going along with their insulin regulated (Pippin's had been regulated over a year by now) and then just drop out of no where. I was so worried.  He stayed there all day but of course he refused to eat for them.  So they gave him an emergency sugar kit.  Eventually when I picked him up at the end of the day he was at 176.  My vet tech sent me home with an emergency kit (be sure to ask your vet for one if you have a diabetic cat, I'm surprised I didn't have one in the house prior to this).  The product is similar to this one:

That night Pippin still didn't seem to be doing well.  He was straight moaning under the bed.  Moaning.  I have never heard a cat do this before in my life.  He looked confused... jumping on the bed.. jumping off.. in the bathtub, every where.  Restless.  I knew he was in pain.  If you have read previous posts, you know Pippin not only has diabetes but pancreatitis too. I called my sister and told her how worried I was and that I wanted to get some blood work done.  She finally told me "he's your cat, you're paying for it so just bring him back."  That made total sense.  So the next day I set my alarm for as soon as they opened and called and requested some blood work done.  Pancreas blood work is a different panel then the general blood work a vet normally does on a cat.  So I had them do both.  I went back up to the vet office and they did the blood work.  The vet said he was glad I came back and what I was describing did sound like Pippin was in immense pain.  He also said... "it's lucky this cat is still alive.  If it weren't for us keeping up with his health he would surely not be around."  That made me feel better... to know I really do what I can to keep Pippin and Merry alive.

Pippin came home and seemed to be feeling a little better on the narcotic. Most likely after all that happened with his glucose his pancreas acted up again.  Which is supposed to be very painful.  He did take a few days to get back to eating. So I had to force feed him a few days.  Eventually he was back to normal.  It was surely an adventure.  I am so glad though I was able to see the signs of low glucose.  We moved Pippin's insulin from 7 units of Prozinc, 1 steroid, 1 glipizide, 1/2 cerenia to 4 units of Prozinc, and 1 steroid.  The vet did recommend taking Pippin off the steroid but that seems to help the most with his pancreas I was really reluctant to take him off that. So he's still on it 5 months later.

Hope this might help those of you with diabetic cats who might have a drop in glucose.  It's really important to have some insta-glucose at home!