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White cat
White cat (Photo credit: valentinastorti)

Well, I officially have a diabetic cat now. He is about 12 years old, and he is huge and very affectionate and not terribly bright, this cat, and as white and pink as any 80s lithographed fantasy cat. And a few days ago he began flopping around like a walrus on flippers, which meant he got to go to the vet today, where we found out that when a cat walks around on its hocks rather than its toes, that is quite indicative, but that once he’s been treated for a short while, the damage should reverse itself. He will go on a low-carb diet and lose weight (did you know a cat only needs about 225 calories a day? That’s his “gradual weight loss” requirement), and get insulin shots when he needs them.

I was very worried. His glucose isn’t like insanely high, but it’s high enough to cause issues. That means we’re going on Body Fluids Patrol at Casa Cas, and since Mr. Captain is needle-phobic, by “we’re” I mean “I’m.” I did this for many years with a cat with kidney trouble–the geriatric one I mentioned bringing with me in the Miata on the big road trip–but I’m still not thrilled. But I love this cat–he’s really so sweet, and he’s stood by me in many times of trouble in the past–and so I will do this.

The real concern was money. You can imagine nobody nowadays is made of money, and the supplies to get started are not cheap. After the diagnosis, while waiting for the cat to get his tests done and be observed and whatnot, we found a way to make it work, kind of, but we were still worried. We’d do it, but we’re already stretched thinner than plastic wrap.

OneTouch Ultra2 is being used by a diabetic pa...
OneTouch Ultra2 is being used by a diabetic patient. (Photo credit: Wikipedia). You can use this for cats too, but there’s a special one for animals that is like 10x the cost of this one.

Then the vet’s office called a few minutes ago to tell us that someone there had overheard us talking about this financial situation we were in, and happened to have some old supplies (the sort that can be safely re-used and donated, of course) and offered them to the vet, who immediately called us to advise that several hundred dollars of our worries have now evaporated. I don’t even know who the donor is–and apparently the donor wishes to stay anonymous. But whoever it was, this person has helped us and this sick cat out of the kindness of his or her heart, unasked and out of the blue, and it reminded me once again that humans tend to look out for one another, and that we try to do our best no matter where we are.

I love this cat. I love him so much I am willing to poke him with a needle and monitor his blood glucose and do glucose curves and input numbers on a chart and all of this, because he is a good cat and deserves to be comfortable in his declining years. BTW, if you’re wondering, I’ve already learned from the vets how to do all this, and it ain’t hard. You prick his shell-pink ear, get a drop of blood for the tester, and if he’s under 250 you give him insulin. And none of it hurts him in the least. My old ladycat HATED fluids at the end, and I could tell it hurt her even with the small needles, so we stopped when she put her foot down about it even though I knew what would happen if she didn’t get those fluids, and that is indeed what did happen. But this cat didn’t give a damn what we did with these teeny-tiny little needles. Wouldn’t you think it’d sting at least if someone pricked the outer edge of your ear? But no, he totally didn’t even flinch or notice.

And someone loved that we were trying this hard and willing to go to these lengths, that he or she was willing to give us some equipment that will make it a lot easier to get this cat what he needs.

I’m so in love with humanity today.

The cat is still at the vet’s, but he’s okay, just getting some more tests done. And we’re okay too, now.

Though I will mention–his littermate is a tuxedo cat with a black button nose, and she is the most evil cat I have ever personally met in my entire life. Think “Burger the Angry Cat” without all the hissing and occasional bouts of obsessive cuteness and friendliness, just enough to keep her from whatever fate awaits purely anti-social cats in her little world. When she saw her big brother get packed into a carrier, she realized something was going on and she was having absolutely none of whatever sick, sadistic scheme the humans were hatching up now. She did this Kitty Teleportation thing and quite literally vanished this morning. I’ve been back for a few hours now and she is still in hiding. Not even her Cat Dancer (shameless plug: I’ve never yet met a cat this toy didn’t make spastic) or the Evil Dancing Red Laser Dot are drawing her out from under the bed. She is not in love with anybody or anything, and whatever we’ve got going on out here, we can bloody well keep it to ourselves.

On the balance, this situation could have turned out a lot worse. Thanks to a kind stranger, it has gone a lot better than by rights it should have. Y’all can blame whatever agent you wish for that. I’m just happy for the help.

Incidentally, we’re going to be talking about Creationism a little bit next time, and I want to say this right now: any Christians who think that the cats I’ve mentioned are suffering because the Fall magically punished animals by transforming their perfect, disease-free bodies into fallible, vulnerable ones when humans ignorantly ate of the fruit of that tree, you can kindly go to your own hell, because these cats did not deserve to be punished for anything, and did nothing. No good and loving god would ever punish cats in such a sick and demented way–or people for that matter, but especially not innocent dumb animals. Thank goodness there are people around who can help with these accidents of evolution. And thank goodness they have enough love in their hearts to share and help when they hear of a serious need.

Humanity, this is my love-letter to you today.

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ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...