I'd like to introduce you to our "boys" as we call them, Oliver James and Jack Nicholas Remkus - Sullivan. They are pictured here snuggling in the sun on our Simply Squared Quilt. Oliver is 7 years old and a few months and Jack is almost 6. My how time flies I remember taking Ollie home from the shelter in 2002 in Albany, and I'll never forget the day I picked Jack out of a laundry sac in front of our building in Brooklyn. (He was born in our apartment building and the owners of his parents were desperately looking for homes for the kittens).
We always try to feed our cats a mix of wet and dry food, and as in many multi cat households, we could never tell who was eating what, and both Ollie and Jack got pretty heavy. Recently we put them on a diet and Oliver responded very well and lost a ton of weight, but Jack didn't and that had us a little worried. Then last week Oliver developed a large swollen cheek, and we rushed him to the vet. It seems he had an abcess, common in diabetic cats. Wait, did he just say "diabetic cat"? ***gulp****
Yes it seems Ollie is diabetic. Which explains his weight loss and also his thirst. Lately he's been obsessed with water - drinking out of glasses on the coffee table, the sinks, tubs, wherever he can find drips of water we find him. The vet tested his blood before knocking him out to extract the infected tooth and his glucose tested very high. After sending out for tests to confirm it he positively diagnosed Ollie with diabetes. We started a special diet feeding them both wet food every 12 hours, and after three days of that we started insulin injections at home. Surprisingly it's really not all that bad. I find it easier to give him a shot then a pill by a long shot, as he really doesn't seem to notice the needles at all.
Why am I writing to tell you this story? Well I find that many quilter's share a love for fabric as well as a love of cats. So I'm writing to give you the advice I wish someone had given me a few years ago before Ollie was on his way to diabetes. DON'T LET YOUR CATS BE OVERWEIGHT! Skinny cats don't get diabetes. If you're cat seems to be gaining weight head to the vet and get a plan together. It is possible to get them to loose weight on a prescription or high protein diet before they require shots 2x per day.
I'll keep you posted on Ollie's condition as we go. The good news is that diabetes in cats is treatable. We're lucky to have caught it when we did and to have a great local vet to work with. We found the website www.felinediabetes.com to be very helpful in getting us started, although the shots really aren't as scary as they make them out to be on the message boards here.
Today Ollie spent the afternoon hanging by the side of my lap top monitor as a I wrote the latest
Newsletter. He periodically gave me kisses, his way of begging for food, and otherwise laid there very peaceful and quiet somehow without sending every piece of paper on my desk flying, a modern day miracle in our house for sure. Here's a photo of him this afternoon:
Are you reading this blog with your cat? If so we'd love to hear from you! Say hi and tell us your cat's or dog's name in the comments section below, send us a pic if you can. Ollie tells me he's excited to meet some friends in cyberspace :) and I'm betting that lots of our readers are Quilter's with cats or dogs too.
-Ingrid & Ollie