Yes, another cat post. But I'm hoping you're wanting more information on Grendel and maybe a bit on Freya, because there's a lot to tell.
First of all, Grendel is doing GREAT, He's a happy boy, and has adjusted well to our family. In fact, he's become a bit of a diva, shouting everywhere he goes, at all hours of the day and night. We adore him. He and Dan are especially close, and it makes me happy to see the love between them. Grendel follows Dan wherever he goes and likes to interrupt his computer games by jumping on his desk and sticking his butt in Dan's face. His presence always makes Dan's face light up. His leg? Like nothing ever happened. Not even a limp.
Favorite food? Pretty much anything we give him. He's still got a ferocious appetite. But cover your Ranch dressing. If he smells it, he'll seek it out and lick it up. He's over catnip. His thing now is Honeysuckle. He doesn't care about laser pointers, and his favorite toy is a pink insect on a string I call Mr. Bug. Dan puts one end under his shoe, and walks around the kitchen table with it. "Oh, no! It's chasing me! Save me Grendel! Save me from the spider-thingy."
The vet gave him the birthdate of September 15th, and he'll be three next month. I bought new Honeysuckle, chicken Squeezables and low-sodium tuna. I'm going to get him a new toy. Mostly likely something on a string. We are a happy family of two adults and two cats.
Except for one thing. Freya has diabetes. We found out last week. I had small reaction to the news, but I know why. I'd already done my crying when I didn't know what was wrong. Finding out she had diabetes was almost a relief. I knew then that she was treatable, and I wasn't going to lose her.
I'm mad at myself for not noticing the massive weight loss. A whole kilogram since her spring visit, and now it's obvious. It was her increased appetite that tipped me off. Freya eats, but was never food motivated. She usually just licks the gravy off her wet food, eats only a bit...maybe a bite or so of kibble. Suddenly her appetite matched Grendel's and she started asking for more. Her water intake increased as well.
So here's what we're learning. Her first visit was expensive, but we expected that. About $500 CDN. There will be more visits, and they're called 'curves'. They will be used to determine how much insulin she'll need.
Her insulin isn't expensive, not at her doses. For a human, it must be awful, pricey, and stressful. It's the exact same stuff, but she's currently at one milligram, twice daily. Her insulin will last us about six months or so.
Giving her the shots are hard. We don't like giving her needles, but we've got experience because of Spartacus. It should be easy, but her needles are not the same as his were. His was a single needle, not a syringe, just stick it in, and let the saline drip in. Spartacus sat quietly, knowing he'd feel better when we pulled the needle out
Her needles are smaller, and Dan keeps pressing the plunger by accident before he gets the needle in her skin. The really hard part is because she's clearly uncomfortable. I think I've been pinching her skin too hard when I go in, and there's no fat left to ease the prick of the jab. It's such a small dose, sometimes I worry that we're screwing it up, and not getting it in her system.
I worry about other factors, like general pain. Since her diagnoses, she doesn't like to be pet. I worry that she's in pain. I knew arthritis was a thing for senior cats, so we've been putting towels in the dryer, just for her. I hope it helps.
Her food is the expensive part. A six pound bag of Purina dietary kibble is about five dollars less than the massive bag of Meow Mix. One can of wet food of about 156 grams is over three dollars.
Most people who know me know that I trust my vets and I usually follow their instructions to the letter and spare no expense. I've been asking for opinions on Facebook about food. I read the ingredients on those expensive cans, and they don't look that great.
And it's not that I don't trust my vet. I do, but I'm conflicted. I'm finding she likes to run all kinds of extra tests and adds costs, and suggests unnecessary visits. My Yelp review says that I feel like my cats are more than dollar signs to them. I don't feel that way anymore. I often feel like maybe she's being pressured to milk us.
So I followed the advice of people who make their own cat food and have had diabetic cats. (Thanks especially to Carrie Ganie.) Today I made my own cat food. I used chicken breast, brown rice and cat grass from my own garden. ( no pesticides, ever.) I finally used the meat grinder I asked for and received for Christmas a few years back. Both cats are enjoying it. It's probably still expensive, ( I haven't done the math.) but it's not Three-bucks-a-can expensive.
As a former meatcutter I can add some important information about chicken. I made certain to avoid a product called 'Seasoned Chicken'. You may have seen footage of butchers putting long needles into chicken meat and plumping it up. That's a brine. Literally just salt water. It's used to make the chicken 'taste better', look better, and add to the weight. It's harmless unless you are watching your dollars and your salt intake. I don't buy it for us and I sure as hell won't buy it for my cats. Check your labels. If they are brining the chicken, they legally have to tell you, but they will call it 'seasoned'.
Sorry I haven't written much in the blog. Honestly, it comes down to time, sensitive topics, and how I'm still trying to learn how to load photos from my phone. Still struggling with that. Literally, this was the only useful photo I could find. I'll update if I figure it out. For all photos I've taken recently, see my Instagram under Donna Milward.
And for the readers waiting for my next book: Sorry for the wait. I'm re-writing a battle scene, and David will need to edit that too.