When the boys and I lived at our lake home, when I first moved to Minnesota, we'd been there for a couple of years and we started seeing a cat hanging out across the street. There were fields across from us, so it was more than likely a stray. Against my ex's wishes, because I knew he was all talk, we let the cat into the house. We put up some signs and called around. I ended up taking the cat to the vet and it turned out he was probably a couple of years old and had been neutered. He was someone's cat, but no one ever claimed him.
We named him Simba, because at the time, The Lion King was a favorite in our house and he became my oldest son's cat. He was just the coolest cat. He acts more like a Labrador Retriever than a cat. He loves to be hugged and kissed. You know how lions bump their heads up against other lions in the wilderness (at least they do on tv), he does the same thing to us. He's just so laid back.
We moved from our lake house to a house out in the country and after we had been there for a year, the kids and I had driven down to Chicago for a week. Well, our house flooded. Not too long after that, Simba had a major bladder infection and we almost lost him. The vet tech said she'd never seen anything so bad and if he had been a human, he'd have been on dialysis. He rebounded, but he was never the same health wise.
My friend Becky kept him for over 6 months after we moved from Minnesota. Last December we flew both of our cats, Simba and Pearl out to live with us here. For future reference, something like that costs over $600! We were so happy to have them here with us. We've never been without a cat or a dog in the home.
Simba and Pearl had been without us for almost a year. They adjusted pretty well to their new surroundings. I think they were just happy to be back with me and the boys. On a side note, Pearl is 16 yrs old and we think Simba is probably 11? Maybe 12?
Well, not too long ago, Simba just started not doing so well. He was constipated all of the time. He also had some sores around his neck. He didn't seem like he was interested in taking care of himself. The boys and I had gone over to VA for my mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago, and when we got back, he had gunk all around his eyes. I knew he had to see a vet.
Honestly, I thought they'd give him an enema to loosen up his stool and off we'd go. Oh, how naive I am. The vet came in and took a look at him. She started telling me what she thought they should do and how we might be able to proceed. I had a feeling it was going to cost me about $350, and they'd end up telling me he had a virus or something that would be fixed with an antibiotic. When she took him to get some tests done, she had her vet tech come back and get the towel that had been in the cat carrier. Simba has an aversion to the car so he pees immediately when he's put into a kennel. He's always done this since we got him.
She came back and told me he had Type 2 Diabetes. Well, ok. I have no idea what that means. She went on to explain about the shots, the testing, the monitoring, food changes, etc. She also said she'd need to give him a shot of antibiotics for the sores on his neck and yucky eyes. They needed to do blood work and test his urine. Oh, and they had medication and the dispenser for the needles. That's when she asked me if I wanted her to continue with everything.
Sigh...what was I supposed to do? He has Diabetes. It's something that's manageable. How can I say no to that? The medication isn't cheap at about $100/mo if I'm lucky and his dosage doesn't need to be raised too much. Do I have my financial limit? Unfortunately, yes I do. As a single mom on a limited income and no child support, I can only spend so much. I told her to do what she needed to. I had no idea that mean a $550 bill to walk out with my cat and his medication. I couldn't even speak to the receptionist because I was in such shock.
I started out giving Simba his first shot that night. Buddy came in and held his head as I gave my very first shot. I had no clue how thick cat skin is! I couldn't get the needle to go in at first. I've never given shots before so I thought it would be like butter. It wasn't. Simba did awesome though. I've been giving it to him twice a day for a week. He gets soft food and as soon as he's done he gets a shot. He just lays there while I "pet" him. lol Sometimes he leaves the room before I give him his shot. I just sit on the floor, call him over and he lays down in front of me. Thankful I don't have some spazzy cat that I have to give the shots to.
One thing I'm so thankful for is having such mellow, lovey dovey cats.
Next week I have to take Simba back to the vet so he can be monitored throughout the day to see if his meds are where they need to be. Thankfully the vet understands my financial position. She just continues to say, "you do what you can." Turns out she's a single mom, too. Instead of going back in a week later (I was out of cashola) we're going back next week after pay day. I actually increased his dosage to 2 units. I also went out and bought him grain free hard food that's holistic. The lady at the pet store said he needed a low protein diet, as well as grain free. The bag I bought...twice as expensive as the Cat Chow they've always eaten and is 1/4 the size of the bag we've always had. They aren't fans of new or "fancy" food. They're not handling that change well. Hoping I find something they'll both like because the cats eat together. The vet said cats don't do well with carbs and that's one way they end up with diabetes.