One day not long ago, I got to remembering Lou’s predecessor, Boo the cat.
Boo, as he was known around the house, became diabetic after eating an earring and developing one hell of an infection. I don’t recall the exact mechanism by which it happened, all I remember is that it did happen that way.
I can remember all too well, though, the day when I realized that it would be better for all involved to start Boo on insulin. He wouldn’t eat the diabetic cat food that was available at that point in time. Would. Not. Touch. It.
Fast forwarding through a lot of details that don’t add a thing to my point, I remember very well being at the vet’s office, getting educated on how to manage Boos’ diabetes with insulin.
I knew that if I slipped up, I could kill my kitty. It was easily as awesome a responsibility as taking him in as a half pound runt was–I initially fed Boo off of a fingertip, then a teaspoon, until Boo got big enough to eat unassisted. But I did that..so I figured I could do this diabetic management thing too. Love is love. Which sounds kinda strange when you’re looking at being on the business end of a hypodermic, but there you go.
To say I was fearful in this new development, was an understatement. I’m afraid of hypodermic needles–show me a hypodermic needle aimed in my direction, and I will show you an instant regression to the approximate age of 3. But I knew I had to get this done if I wanted to keep Boo alive and healthy for as long as I could.
So I took a deep breath and I learned how to manage the hypodermics. the insulin. the SubQ fluids, the paw sticks for blood tests, etc. I had to keep telling myself they were not for me..they were not for me..they were not for me..
The first few times I fought nausea and dizziness and cold sweat as I picked the damn needles up in their box..never mind the SubQ lines. I’m pretty sure my hands shook. I had tears streaming down my face. I apologized to Boo (who, by this time, I was sure, was thinking I’d lost my mind).
I swore I couldn’t do it. I swore I wouldn’t do it. But every morning, and every evening and every other time Boo needed something done with needles, by God I did it. Although, I was sure I was hurting him more than I was helping him at first.
But I was bound and determined to help this cat. He was, after all, my responsibility. So..relentlessly, I learned as much as I could about managing both this cat, and his condition. and little by little..I got better at it, until I was pretty confident with managing my Boo and his diabetic condition.
Unfortunately, Boo only lived a few months past his diabetic diagnosis. It wasn’t my fault. It was the damn infection caused by him eating that damned earring that wasn’t even mine!!
I still miss him sometimes. He was an awesome cat.
It’s not always easy, being the owner of a special needs pet, of any stripe. Sometimes it is downright scary–and makes you look at your fears and examine your own foibles in a way you never thought you would.
But..in order to give your pet the best life possible, you feel the fear and do what needs doing anyway.