Friday, March 22, 2013

So, I got this email..

     We have a 13 year old cat that has been with us for a month or so and started drinking all of her water and peeing a lot.  We sent her to {redacted name of vet} and she is diabetic and has a UTI so I need a wonderful foster home for her :-)  Know anyone that may be interested.....?  :-)  She is going to be starting on 1 unit twice a day and as you probably know he recommends feeding her a high protein wet food such as fancy feast classics.  Let me know...

well duh.

So I went and got her after work.

She is interesting.  I introduced myself to her and she started purring.  I asked her if I could pick her up and I got the distinct impression she was against that.  I decided to leave her be while I got up to date in her information and checked on supplies (as well as a few kitties* in particular)  but shortly after I shut the cage door the shelter worker came in and picked her right up and stuffed her in a carrier... and stuffed is the correct term because she was totally unhappy at being held.

Her official name is "Bandit".. yeah, that doesn't work for me, and she doesn't much seem to like it, so I'm calling her Esmay. 
The shelter didn't have enough food nor enough testing supplies so I brought her home and cleaned up the room from Fluffy and left her in her carrier while I did it. When I did open the carrier she SHOT right out and started patrolling the room, walked around with purpose. She then went behind the couch and sat there. My husband had come in and we were having a conversation and I was about to leave and go get supplies at Walmart when she decided to come out and check out the room again. Gave it another quick once around and back behind the couch.

Went to Walmart, picked up a meter, strips and some Fancy Feast Classics as recommended by said vet as the new recommended foods.. I laughed and laughed because I've been using those for diabetics for ten years. I picked up my preferred Turkey and Giblets - even found a coupon on the shelf.

When I got home she was sitting on the couch, and was very happy to see me. She let me love on her, and gave me head butts. She is a very sweet kitty.. I feel so bad for her (more on her story in a minute) I was able to draw a little blood and was able to test her, and low and behold her blood sugar level was 53! I am guessing she was never diabetic and said vet (mentioned in yesterdays post) simply decided she was diabetic and that caused her urinary issues - it is very common. Diabetic cats often spill glucose into the urine and it feeds the bacteria causing a UTI. I got the vet paperwork including a blood panel they did on her, and I didn't see a fructosamine - which gives an average blood sugar level for the past few weeks. I know full well that a cat who is ill can have elevated blood sugar levels (I got very high blood sugar readings off Ollie once when he was feeling miserable) and I don't doubt the stress on her over the past few months (more on that in a bit) along with the species inappropriate food (dry) that often causes feline urine PH to dip too low ( hers was 6.5 instead of the 7.5 - 7.0 range it should be) and become alkaline instead of acidic which caused the urinary issues which caused her more stress, which made her throw more glucose and thus her reading at the vet of blood sugar levels in the 350s.

She was diagnosed at the vet on the 18th. She has been on antibiotics since then as well as a change in diet to a high protein low plant based diet and thus the better blood sugar levels. Might she actually be diabetic and giving her the right food put her into remission - absolutely. But reading over her history, I'm thinking that isn't the case. But I do not presume to assume that I am right in this and I will be watching her very carefully over the next few days.

Poor Esmay was surrendered to the shelter at the beginning of 2013 because her owner is ill. Just like poor Pumpkin, she was separated from her owner due to an illness. She is very fortunate to have ended up in a shelter with a high adoption rate and the willingness to treat a 13 yr old cat for diabetes - a diagnosis that makes all too many people run for the hills. There are soooo many cats out there right now that are diabetic that desperately need homes and finding a person who is willing to take on the challenge of testing and injecting a cat twice a day every day is hard.

So a thirteen year old kitty surrendered to the shelter. She was adopted out as a companion for another kitty. The new owner had her about a week before returning her because they did not get along. How sad is that.. a thirteen year old kitty given a week :( She got sick with upper respiratory issues and was on medication before being adopted.. so she lost her home, went to a strange place with lots of other animals, and noises and smells and weird people coming in and out, and she got sick and was medicated, then more people and then put in a carrier and brought to another house where there was another kitty and they didn't get along so another carrier and back to the shelter.. you get the point. Thirteen.. according to the charts that is about 70 years old..

not to mention her poor ear with a hematoma on it..

*Lucy was not at the shelter but had been moved to a satellite adoption center and I was told she is doing very well. Fluffy is still at the shelter and is on the adoption floor. Sadly she is in a cage instead of one of the adoption rooms, but considering her limp I am not surprised. I'm going to do a write up for her in hopes to generate a little more interest in her. I do love her dearly. I was telling my husband about my seeing her and he asked if I wanted to adopt her.. of course I do, but we are so not the right fit for her. We are a two level house with hard wood floors and rambunctious kitties.. I could not give her what she needs

Update: I tested her this morning and her blood sugar level was 59. I was a little concerned that maybe the meter wasn't working properly. I went upstairs to find a bottle of test solution (which gives a standard BG reading) while looking for it I also came across another meter I had so I decided to test that one and the new one with the solution. While they did not give the exact same reading - which is pretty standard - it was close enough that I am no longer concerned about Esmay being diabetic. I was able to trim most of her back claws. I found a wetish discharge in her hematoma ear which was pretty gross. I combed her because her short hair felt a bit matted and she is apparently having grooming issues due to being overweight as she had some dandruff and excess fur which felt a bit like matted fur, but there were no mats. She is REALLY sweet, but very much a tortie (even with her white locket) she does NOT want to be on your lap, she does NOT want you to decide where she is going to be thank you very much. I could do pretty much what ever I wanted to her as long as I didn't hold her down nor move her around. I so do love a kitty with an attitude. :)


  1. I see you have gotten your very own tortie Tutu! LOL.

  2. LOL @ The Furries.

    Good thing you're such an experienced cat person/foster and know to check these things. I don't think much of the vet, but who knows.....I don't think much of any vet I've yet had, frankly.

    Esmay makes me think of Annie--so loving with humans, but definitely on her own terms, and oh, no, forget about picking her up and cuddling her or having her on your lap. LOL.

  3. Anonymous8:48 AM

    I love torties, Esmay is lovely. My poor little foster is 14 and declining - how sad to be neglected in your old age and then dumped at a crazy busy shelter full of stressed animals when you are debilitated and too much work.... At least at my house she is warm and quiet.

  4. OMG, I am thankful you are willing to take care of this girl (I like your name much better than Bandit). How tragic and sad for her. Perhaps she will eventually go into remission, despite her condition. She is lovely.

  5. YEAH!!! We are glad she is safe with you....and hope a great family will step up and give her the FOREVER home she needs. :) Whaet a story.... glad the shelter is giving her a chance - and that her medical needs may not be as "bad" as predicted. :)

  6. Oh yes, Esmay does sound like a typical tortie! I am sure she has all of Binga's tips from the other day etched into her DNA. Even though her situation is sad, she is still lucky to be at this particular shelter, and to have you fostering her.

  7. Esmay is gorgeous. Gotta love a senior kitten bringing the attitude.

  8. Your experience really is extensive, Connie! I know who to come to :)

  9. So sweet You are just the person she needs,xx Rachel

  10. Hugs to Esmay (or rather let her know that I offer hugs but will refrain from grabbing her as is her wish)

    Senior tortie... my heart explodes.

  11. Wow, thanks for saving this kitty, good thing you checked her levels before giving more insulin. 53, 59 seems really low. You saved her life in more ways than one:)

  12. Glad you renamed this kitty. Bandit was so inappropriate. Also glad she is not diabetic. She's very lucky to be in your care. Purrs and hugs from the kittes at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette


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