Sorry, I posted this from the vet’s office yesterday and meant to follow up with details (typing out words on a Motorola 551 keypad is as much fun as sticking bamboo up one’s own fingernails) but I got caught up in finishing a rush project.
Sage has been losing weight pretty steadily for the last three months, and his back legs have begun to get erratic and shaky. His water intake has increased dramatically. He’s been weak and unwilling to haul himself up onto the bed with us this last week, which is sort of like the sun suddenly refusing to rise. We’ve had problems with one of the cats missing the litterbox while urinating, and when I clean it up, it’s sticky and never seems to dry completely. Before we left New Jersey on Monday the first thing Jen did was call in an appointment for him.
After a protracted fight with one of those little test strip machines, our vet concluded that Sage is diabetic. One blood test and about a half-hour later, the results were confirmed: his blood sugar was 601, an astronomical sum compared to the standard 70-110 shared by humans and cats. The sticky urine is due to its massive sugar content—he’s probably too weak to make it all the way into the litter pan after navigating the basement stairs.
The vet gave us a quick course in insulin injections, which boiled down to grabbing a handful of scruff and shooting 3cc’s subcutaneously under the skin, on their stunt cat Tommy with some saline. Jen administered quickly and professionally, and Tommy happily obliged my fumbling attempts to hold both him and the needle correctly, drooling all over my sleeve, knowing he’d get fed for his trouble. (I am terrified of needles, both giving and getting.) I was able to inject on my second try, and Tommy made it out alive.
We picked up the insulin and a 100-pack of needles, and worked out a crude system where we distracted the other cats with canned food while we gave Sage a special diabetic formula, and while he wolfed that down (the resemblance to Randy, the little brother from A Christmas Story, eating mashed potatoes with his nose, was uncanny) Jen shot him with the insulin. He didn’t even notice.
The vet tells us it’s going to be a while before his sugar evens out and recovery is noticeable, so we shouldn’t expect him to bounce back tomorrow. For us, this is frightening, considering what we went through with Penn, but having a solid diagnosis and clear treatment options provides a huge sense of relief—this is Jen’s first husband, after all.