July 3, 2011

Pretty Kitty B

Kitty B, for those who might not know, is our first "baby."  Chris adopted Kitty B from the animal shelter one July 5, 1998, exactly one year before the two of us laid eyes on each other.  He likes to joke (well, I *hope* he's joking) that he loves Kitty B more than me because he's known her longer.  Can't say that I blame him...she is so very pretty, and loves to snuggle at night.  She's a great cat.

Kitty B has suffered from diabetes for over three years now.  She takes insulin injections daily and, so far, has done pretty well with it.  She's somewhere between fourteen and fifteen years old, though, so I'm sure her age is making it harder and harder for her blood sugar to stay under control, which means we never know if the insulin is the right dosage or not.

Chris and I went away for a short trip to Florida this week.  We left Wednesday morning and planned to return on Saturday.  Late Thursday night, however, we got a call from our petsitter.  She hadn't seen Kitty B for several hours (not unusual at all!) but when she went looking for her at bedtime, she found Kitty B in our bathroom. She was unable to walk or eat, and was having seizures.  We figured out her blood sugar had plummeted (most likely because she was still getting the insulin injections, but probably not eating as much -- or at all -- since we'd been away from home) and she was having some kind of hypoglycemic attack...she was basically in a diabetic coma.  Unfortunately, if a cat's blood sugar is too low for too long, it can cause neurological damage.  We told our petsitter to find the corn syrup and rub it on her gums.  She did this for hours despite no improvement from Kitty B.  We left Jacksonville as soon as we got up on Friday morning.  Fortunately, our very good friends were able to go to our house, pick Kitty B up and take her to the vet.  I had called the vet so they knew to expect her and what was going on.  As soon as we got back in town, we went to the veterinary hospital. 

Kitty B is blind, and cannot walk or eat on her own yet.  Its been three days now, and she is still being fed through a syringe and kept on an IV to maintain fluids.  Her blood sugar has been perfect since she was brought in.  If not for our petsitter, she surely would have died.  She is now able to hold her head up and she certainly responds to our voices when we visit her.  We are able to hold her and cuddle her and comfort her as much as we want when we go over there.  She is not in any pain at all.

We are hoping to bring her home today, because there will be no vet on duty over the 4th of July weekend.  We will have to help her stay clean, feed her through a syringe, and keep her separated from the kids and other pets, but we're hoping that she will improve by being home.  Apparently it can take up to three weeks for a cat to fully recover so we plan to give her a full three weeks to see how/if she improves.  We cannot afford to keep her at the vet hospital all that time, so we are praying that God either heals her or takes her peacefully, without pain, so that we don't have to make any hard decisions. 

I know some people probably think, "Its just a cat.  What's the big deal?"  To those people, I say this:  Our pets are family to us.  Kitty B was with us for eight years before Andrew came along.  She is our baby, and she means the world to us.  We pray for her and care about her just as much as we love Andrew & Hannah.  She's our pretty princess!

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