What You Need to Know About Feline Diabetes

On computer desk

 

When my first cat, Monkeyface, was diagnosed with feline diabetes, I was devastated.  I had waited too long to take him to the vet, thinking it was just old age.  He was 11 years old, and that is pretty old for a Maine Coon.  They can get to be 45″ long and weigh up to 30 pounds, and their small hearts have to work pretty hard to pump the blood through their big bodies.  They tend to succumb to heart failure.

Monkeyface was 20 pounds when he was healthy.  His fur was full and beautiful and his eyes were bright. When I finally figured out that he was sick, his bright eyes were dull, his luxurious coat had lost is sheen, and instead of being the big, healthy cat that I knew, he had lost so much weight that he became a shell of his former self … he was sick. I took him to the vet.

When he was finally diagnosed with feline diabetes, it was too late and I had to put him down.  That was thirteen years ago and to this day,  I still feel guilty.  After all of the love and companionship he gave to me  I failed him so miserably.  If I had only known the signs of the disease, I might have given him more time.

The symptoms which Monkey displayed were constant thirst; change in eating habits, either eating less; weight loss; fur losing luster; and lethargy.  Some other symptoms that Monkeyface didn’t have are UTI, eating more than usual, sweet smelling breath, increased urination, and urinating outside the litter box.

The exact causes of feline diabetes are not known, but it is more likely that overweight and /or older cats are susceptible to it.   Some other conditions that may lead to diabetes are hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis and/or abnormal protein deposits on the pancreas.

Feline diabetes is all about the insulin, a hormone that helps move sugar from bloodstream into the cat’s cells.  As with humans, there are 2 types of feline diabetes. Type 1 is brought on by a lack of insulin and is most uncommon and rarely treatable. Type 2 occurs when the cat produces the hormone, but the cells become resistant to the insulin put out by the body. This type is treatment if caught in time.

Feline diabetes does not have to be a death sentence.  In some cases, shots are used to balance out the insulin and in some rare cases pills might work.  If your cat starts to show signs of feline diabetes, take him to the vet immediately and you may save his life.

Our thanks go out to:

ASPCA

Web MD

Cat

The 12 Days of Christmas

 

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The 12 Days of Christmas begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. The earliest version of song appeared in 1780 in a children’s book and it is thought to be French in origin. Some say it was a game in which players’ would test their memories by singing the song. If they couldn’t remember the words, they would have to give up something, like a piece of candy, etc.

Here is Harry’s version of The 12 Days of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an ornament in a Christmas tree

1st day

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

2nd Day

On the third day of Christmas my true gave to me three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

3rd Day

On the fourth day of Christmas my true gave to me four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 4

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 5

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 6

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 7

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 8

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 9

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten tunnel toys, nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 10

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven jingle balls, ten tunnel toys, nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 11

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve running wheels, eleven jingle balls, ten tunnel toys, nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 12

Thanks to our friends at:

 

www.vox.com

What Are Harry’s Resolutions For 2020

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It’s that time of year where everyone makes unnecessary demands on themselves, just to try to make others happy. Okay, last year I decided to make some changes of my own. It didn’t quite happen, so I will try again this year.

I’ve listed my resolutions below.

  1. I will cut down the number of trips to the Magic Cupboard (where my treats can be found).
  2. I will stop laying around like an old slug all the time.
  3. I will quit expecting everybody to do my bidding.
  4. I will quit procrastinating.

When do I have to change?  Now? I can’t.  I’m busy laying around the fireplace, getting my guardian to get me treats (and anything else I need).

Oh, heck. Who needs to change?  I’m purrfect as I am.

 

Monkeyface, the Story of a Cat or a King

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Monkeyface

As you may be aware, my first cat was a Maine Coon named Monkeyface. He was my muse, confidant and closest friend. About ten years ago, I wrote this story of his life as he might have told it.

It wasn’t until years later that I decided to write a book called Harry the Wonder Cat. Of course, nothing would do but to have the main feline character based on my wonderful Monkeyface. Now, the book has become a series and Monkeyface still has the starring role.

 

I’ve heard people say that cats have nine lives. I’m here to tell you about the two of mine. While totally different, they were both equally filled with love and excitement. Of course, both of my moms quickly learned who was the boss.

Let me start from the beginning. It was on a warm spring day in May that I took my first breath in this world. My three siblings and I found ourselves in front of my first mom’s house. We all met Momma Kym, who took us into her big house. Mom then put us in a small portable room, which she called a cooler. It had a soft pad on the floor, which was warm and kept us nice and cozy. The room was a little cramped for the four of us but it would do. Soon Momma Kym moved two of my siblings out of the cooler My sister and I had a lot more room to stretch out comfortably .

Because the room was portable, Momma Kym took us everywhere she went. She fed us every three hours and took care of our every need. This went on for days. We came to think of the cooler as our own little paradise. Mom never tired of fulfilling our demands. She was my first servant and as such, Momma Kym was excellent. She served with such tenderness, love and loyalty; I knew I had chosen well.

One day Mom took us from our sanctuary. Our world now enlarged a hundred-fold and was quite scary at first. We were put in with other kittens and they were huge and some were even bullies. I quickly acquired an attitude of self-importance. This was easy to do. Why, I already had Momma Kym and the rest of the humans around wrapped around my little paw. Soon the others came to fear, respect, and yes, even idolize me. Life was indeed good!

This adoration went on for two years, growing stronger everyday. No one could resist my charm. Everybody who came into my life loved me, especially Momma Kym. She often showed her devotion by picking me up and kissing me all over while telling me that I was her baby. Imagine me a baby! Humph!! This degraded me beyond belief, especially in front of the others, so I would turn my head and push her away. But, I’ll tell you a secret…I really did love it.

My favorite sport was hunting. I especially liked to hunt gophers. I don’t know, there was something about the chase. It was thrilling beyond compare. My comrades said that I was the best hunter, with the exception of one time, when the gopher actually had the audacity to bite me before I had the chance to hunt him down. Talk about embarrassing. I came home to Momma Kym with my tail between my legs. Off to the vet we went. They fixed me up, good as new. Soon, I was out searching for more excitement.

One day, while I was out chasing gophers, I wandered off too far. When I realized that my prey had escaped my grasp, I noticed that I was in a field across the street from home. I sauntered back toward the road and heard a car coming. Well, I wasn’t afraid of a car. After all, I could run faster than any of the other cats. I can surely outrun a car. I took a running start. Faster and faster I went. Catching a glimpse of the car speeding toward me, I picked up the pace, almost making it to the other side in time. Almost. I felt the pain in my hind leg and I realized the huge mechanical monster had hit me. I could not make it home, so I limped to safety under a tree where Momma Kym found me. We made another trip to the vet.

Then one day, a lady came into the office. She called my name and I cuddled up on her lap, purring happily. I heard Mom call her Denise. Mom then asked me if I would like to go home with her. Well, this lady seemed nice enough and knew how to scratch behind my ears. I liked that. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad.

So began my second life. Now this life was different than my first. Momma Denise didn’t let me out to hunt. There were too many cars around my new home. Instead, she bought me toy mice to pounce on and balls to chase. This was almost as fun as the real thing. I learned to love my new life as much as I did my old. I was the only cat in the house, which made me king with no competition. Momma Denise gave me as much love and attention as Momma Kym. In my first life, I was the “Big Cheese”, idolized and adored by all of the other cats, mascot of the office and the love of Momma Kym’s life.

Whereas with Momma Denise, I wormed my way into her heart with my silly antics the very first day. She also picked me up and made over me just like Momma Kym used to do, but the boys weren’t around to make fun of me, so it was okay.

Every morning I woke Momma Denise up by softly trilling (a Maine Coon’s way of meowing) as I jumped on the bed. I would lay on her head and knead her hair. If that didn’t wake her, I would add a nibble on her earlobe. If she wasn’t awake by then, I would go to Plan B, pouncing on her feet usually did the trick. I would act as if they were gophers and get some hunting practice. By the time I was through, Momma Denise was awake and laughing. Then I could expect breakfast.

I loved it when Mom went away for a long time because she would always bring some new toy home to me. Once, after being away for one whole day, she brought three balls and a new mouse to play with. These were all very nice, but my favorite toy was the paper bag that she dropped on the floor especially for me. I loved to explore it, climbing into it and hiding from Mom. Then I would spring out at her feet as she walked by the bag. She laughed and I would rub up against her, showing her that I really loved her.

Momma Denise often called me her muse. I don’t know what that means, but I do know that I inspire her. You see, she is a writer. Mom works all hours on her stories. While she sits pounding away at the keyboard, I would sit in the windowsill, watching her. Every time she hits a hard spot, Mom would stop, lean back and stare at me. Then came the time to do my job. I would jump from my throne and into her lap so that she could pet me. Then she would get going again, telling me that I had inspired her, once again.

In both of my lives, I was lucky. While other cats had people who owned them, I had moms whom served me, and served me well. It’s a cat’s world after all.

How to Handle Your Cat’s Holiday Stresses

This is the time of year when people are hustling and bustling, and celebrating the holidays with friends and family. There’s all the shopping for presents, going to parties and unexpected guests dropping by that keeps us busy. Sometimes, too busy to take notice of how all of these changes are affecting your cats. 

Most people celebrate by putting up a Christmas tree and decorating their house. All of these shiny decorations and ornaments on a tree full of lights are beautiful to look at, but they can pose a danger to your cat.

Most cats are drawn to things that sparkle, strings or ribbons and let’s not forget the wires from the lights on the tree. You need to make the holidays safe for your cat by thinking about what tempts them. If it is harmful to them, leave it out when decorating.  If you take these precautions when decking out your tree, and keep in mind what you cats like to get into and keep them out of his reach, your cat will remain safe and you won’t have the stress of watching them every minute. 

Which brings me around to feline stress. Did you know that cats can feel your stress? Of course, if you think about it, they sense when you’re upset, sick or in a happy mood, so why wouldn’t they feel your stress? So when your life is scattered all topsy turvy, chances are theirs is, too. Like us, they have ways of showing that they are stressed out. The two most obvious ways are eating or urinating irregularly. Feline stress can lead to illnesses, so beware of strange behaviors and contact your vet as soon as you notice them.

When guests come around, let them know that the cat needs to set the rules. If he wants attention, he will come to them. When he has had enough, let him go his own way. This should be how you handle any visitation anytime of the year, but the cat will be even more sensitive to over-attentive guests due to the changes that the holidays bring. 

Just the other day, a friend came over to visit and began to pet my cat. Mimi, who is the sweetest cat in the world, was loving it but all of the sudden she turned and hissed at my friend. This is not the norm for her, but she may have been a bit stressed from having someone that she doesn’t see everyday make over her. My friend wasn’t holding her against her will. Mimi was free to walk away at any point, but she didn’t know what to do with the attention, so she did what cats do … she hissed.

Provide a safe place away from all of the noise. This gives the cat a place to retreat to. Trust me … he’ll be better off in his own little space away from the attention that he doesn’t want. He’ll come out if and when he feels comfortable with all the goings-on.

Holidays are all about love, so spread it over your cat. I almost never give my cats treats, but around this time of the year, I put a few healthy ones in with their food. They don’t know that they’re the boring, healthy ones; they just know that they have been given something different. I also give them lots of new cat toys. This takes care of two issues: it makes them feel special (which we all know they are), and it draws their attention to the right toys instead of playing with that ornament the Aunt Mable gave you.  Take the time to cuddle with them. It will not only be good for the cat, but it will sooth your holiday stress as well. 

Finally, keep the normal routine. When it’s time to eat, feed them, regardless of your friends in the other room. Take a few minutes each day to play with them.

Make this holiday safe and stress free for both you and your cat.

Our thanks to:

Catster

Conscious Cat

The World’s Best Cat Litter