If my husband doesn’t do it, I stab our tuxedo cat twice a day, everyday. He’s sick. He has the ‘betes. (Thanks, Wilford Brimley parody video.) Not everyone would sign up to give their cat insulin shots, but according to our vet, “It’s actually pretty common.” So, we signed up.
With my low vision, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to administer the insulin. I filmed a vet tech showing me how to give the shots on my iPad, a handy tutorial to reference as needed. I figured it out. Between prep and palpation and patience, I treat my cat. I ignore the queasy feelings and go for it. Ultimately, the decision to medicate rested with my husband, who adopted the cat before I was in the picture. I love my husband so the cat gets those shots.
He’s starting to get old, but he’s our pet. As long as he’s eating and drinking and using the litter box and rolling around in the backyard, we will medicate because we took on the responsibility of owning a pet.
The problem is when the cat has always been surly and there’s no clear indication he’s not feeling great. It’s like monitoring a teenager: is that attitude or ailment? Flash forward to the cat at the kennel, ending up dehydrated from stress. He’s now at the vet hooked up to an IV and undergoing blood work. We can afford the cost now, but for what outcome, what quality of life? Our cat is playing out a dilemma usually faced when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Comfort over cure.
With another kennel trip booked soon, we asked the employees if they file things like advanced directives for pets. You know you’re serious about your cat when you’re talking about DNRs.
Hold up. I’m hearing someone out there saying, “But he’s just a cat!”
Easy to say from the couch. But decisions about a pet’s medical treatment are financially and emotionally tough. He’s not just a cat to us. At what point do you pull the kitty support plug though?
Are you a pet owner? How do you deal with an ongoing pet illness?