Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stabbing the Cat

Cat in a bowl
Originally uploaded by alpharat.
Just after Zilla did this post about getting cats in to the vet, we took the Bean in for a doctor's appointment. She had been drinking large amounts of water and we thought it may be her kidneys or diabetes.

A trip to the vet is no small production when it comes to the Bean. If you don't know Miss Mina, you don't know what a handful she can be, and that's putting it lightly. Several years ago, one vet sedated her just to give her an exam. This was after she lunged at him when he came into the room. She was still swiping at him while she was under sedation. She was swiping veeeeery slowly, but she was technically unconscious at the time. After her recovery, I had to go to the back room to retrieve her after she cornered a nurse.

We have since found a vet that can handle her, but even at this vet, when she went in for bloodwork this time, had her squealing and kicking and spitting. He told us that she was "a strong little girl". Of course, once she was returned to my arms, she calmed down but continued to shoot the death glare at the doctors and nurses, just daring them to try that move again.

The Bean's test came back showing that she is diabetic (which surprised the doctor, who thought she had too much energy to be diabetic, but he didn't understand her capacity for evil), and requires twice daily insulin injections. Normally, the vet would keep her there, to monitor her blood sugar until they got it exact, but her vet confessed that they can't handle that, so they've released her to our care, with weekly visits until she's evened out. It's cheaper this way to be sure, and while I don't relish loading her up to go to the vet once a week, my little princess is going to have an easier time of it, and is less likely to kill a vet while in my presence.

To add further insult, she got so worked up that she peed in the crate on the way home from the vet, subjecting herself to a bath when we got home, and to me calling her "Pee Cat" for the rest of the evening, which only served to further sour her mood. Additionally, as she is wont to do, after her three recent visits to the vet, her first course of action upon arrival back at home is to seek out the dog and punch him in the mouth. I don't know if she is taking out her aggression or simply ensuring that the natural order of things has remained in effect during her brief absence, but it's what she does.

I never wanted a cat, and we didn't seek out Miss Mina. She walked into a party at Nicole's apartment when we were in college and has been a part of our home for the past 13 years. She sleeps in a giant purple bowl in the middle of the living room floor, and is a little ray of sunshine for Nicole and I, even though she would like to destroy much of the rest of the Western World. I don't know what things would be like without her, and I am very attached to her, so you do what needs to be done. The shots aren't bad; she doesn't even flinch. It will put a damper on travelling for the foreseeable future, but this is the responsibility you take on as a pet owner.

So that's where we are with our little "pee cat". Things will return to normal and, like Wilford Brimley, she'll deal with her sugar diabetes and be a part of our life for quite a few more years.


stray_thoughts said...

I'm glad to hear that the scourge that is Mina will be around for years to that she will have many more opportunities to draw my blood.

P.S. Just thinking of her makes the ring finger on my left hand hurt.

Jennifer said...

Love your labels for this one.

Love how you're handling this, too. It's admirable. Truly.

Okay -- gonna email the rest of the ultra-private-nobody-else-can-know shyte. Because I'm a very private person.

Between the ears scritchies for Mina. (OUCH, dammit! But isn't she cute! OW OW OW!)

Anonymous said...

Been there, done this like a zillion times. I can hit a cat with a 5 units of insulin at 10 paces, and it won't even blink.

The reason Mina peed in the crate might have been the diabetes; they drink so much that (of course) they have to pee more. We learned to lay down several towels in the bottom whenever we had to transport out over-sugared little hairball.

Main thing is to keep an eye on her blood sugar levels - you can learn to test at home (although I have to confess that I never have been able to do it myself) using a human kit. You just use one of the veins in the edge of the ear all you need is one drop of blood. I wish I could have learned how to do it; it really is best for Mina if you can test once a week, and she'll be less stressed.

As an FYI, cats with thyroid will also drink a lot of water, as will cats with kidney disease. Thyroid cats will be very restless, and will not sleep as much as they should (older cats should sleep at least half the day) and will lose weight. Cats with high blood pressure will have big, dilated pupils all the time. The high blood pressure can lead to blindness (retinal bleeding) so be sure to keep an eye out for other symptoms. Older cats can be fairly high maintenance.

Miss Mina sounds pretty cool. I like her!

stray_thoughts said...

Perhaps I wasn't clear before...