Monday, April 14, 2014

Meet Chandler and Abby

Well I went to the shelter to pick up Chandler to give him some out of a cage time since he still wasn't up for adoption, and while I was there I was introduced to Abby..

For a recap, Chandler was at the shelter with a very bad leg that the vet saw and wrapped up for a while and he had very high blood sugar levels and was deemed diabetic.  He was kept in one of the shelter's standard size cages for quite some time and he was becoming depressed.  I saw him earlier in the week and promised him that he would come home with me for a while to give him a break and to see if I could get him off insulin with a diet change.

Senior tabby kitty
Senior tabby cat's back leg with lots of flaky skin
Chandler's leg
Abby was recently turned into the shelter because her owners could not afford to treat her diabetes. Because they couldn't afford to, they didn't. Being an unregulated and untreated diabetic she would drink a lot and pee a lot, and peed around the house, so they kept her in a small cage for six months.  When she was turned into the shelter she was apparently covered in filth and she needed quite a bit of care to make her smell good. Because of her previous care she is also currently on clavamox (no idea why) and tresaderm (for bad ears). She also came to me with an excessive amount of matted fur. Being a short haired kitty, this was heartbreaking.

female tabby cat
three significant piles of matted fur
Abby's mats 
Chandler's BG reading was 59 at the shelter.  Anything under 100 is 'normal' and a reading that low is a bit concerning while on insulin.  With out insulin that number is 'normal' and not a worry, but when you are artificially bringing that number down, you risk having it go too low which is very very serious and can lead to long term problems (including death).  He was also starving. He ate while at the shelter, and then ate four cans of Fancy Feast that night. You should have seen him light up when I popped the top of the can. He was actually so hungry he tried to eat the can itself.

Chandler's leg is very thin, and he does not want to put much weight on it at all. Because it was wrapped up for so long, he has quite a bit of lose fur on it, and it comes out in clumps when I try to get the excess off. He doesn't much like it when I do, and he only lets me get a bit off at a time. His coat in general is in pretty poor shape, and I was able to take quite a bit off simply by patting him - all very heart breaking.  I do not know what they think is wrong with the leg, but I can't help but wonder if he has a little diabetic neuropathy going on.  He also felt the need to mark his territory once he got here.  He peed on Charlotte's favorite basket. I moved him to the litterbox figuring he didn't know where it was, and he stepped out of the box and peed on the wall.  He then walked over to the door and peed on that. He has since peed on the couch, on the wall and on one of the toys in the room. His first introduction with Abby didn't go well either. Chandler was still hungry and there was a food dish to protect. Since he is getting all the food he can handle and then some, things have gotten a bit easier between the two. It helps that when his stomach is full he just hunkers down on the couch and sleeps.

Senior tabby cat grooming
Chandler - I love his ear tufts
Because of his hunger, and the healing he needs to do with that leg, and my fear of his going hypoglycemic, I held off giving him insulin initially.  His blood glucose levels slowly started to rise, and he is currently on 1 unit of insulin but I am going to monitor him very closely.

Poor Abby is a whole different story.  Her BG readings were in the 300s.  The vet recommended 5 units of insulin BID, which is contrary to the general recommendation of starting with 'start low and go slow' protocols.  I gave her 1 unit and it dropped her blood sugar levels about 100 points over the course of the day. A nice decent drop, but it is still leaving her a bit high, so I gave her two units last night. A better dose might have been 1.5 but since she has been untreated for so long and she too has a limp, I wanted to see if we could knock a few points from her nadir.

Abby is also quite fearful.  Her trust has been broken and I have a feeling it was broken by a woman just because of the way she looks at me when I move too fast for her liking. She was also hungry when she got her and is eating quite a bit, but not nearly as much as Chandler. However she absolutely adores my husband, and will sit next to him and purr and let him pat her. He has not combed out her mats, nor tested her blood, nor given her antibiotics. I still have one mat I couldn't get off her with out making her growl, I am hopeful that she'll start working on it when she starts feeling better.  She too is limping on her hind leg, and I want to do some research on the best course of treatment for it.. I know that many people have given OTC supplements to help treat it.

matted fur on tabby cat.
Abby's remaining mat - that I know of
Tabby cat looking at a mirror
Abby really seems to like that mirror
I told the shelter that I'd take these two if they make sure I get some kittens soon.  I promised Chandler a few days to a week.. Abby is here at least until the 17th because she's on medication and I figure it is just easier to keep her here and do that. Considering they are eating 12 cans of Fancy Feast a day, they are going to be eating me out of house and home.. but that's OK.. I bet you they slow down soon..


  1. Oh bless you bless you bless you...these two needed an angel badly. I am so happy you are able to help Chandler and Abby. Fingers crossed on the peeing issue, and for good numbers soon.

  2. These poor kitties! They are definitely in need of TLC - I'm so glad you are there for them.

  3. Poor kitties. Sounds like they had a rough start to life. Hopefully the care and love they'll get from you and DH will help them.

  4. The vet is insane to suggest such an insulin dose!!! INSANE and incompetent.

  5. We're sure those two will feel better with your care. Chandler's hunger reminds of of how our angel Louie was after he became diabetic. Even regulated, he turned into a creature who would eat like s starving prisoner, and he is the reason our home pantry now has a barred door. We have since read that maybe he wasn't fully regulated after all, so we hope you can get Chandler and Abby both regulated and happy... even if they aren't thrilled with each other.

  6. I am SO glad you took both of these special kitties. Chandler's leg is heartbreaking to look at.

  7. This illustrates to me that both of these kitties would have been overlooked at the Shelter because prospective adopters would be like I can't deal with this much medical stuff! I can see it is taking your experience to really make a difference. YOU are an angel to both of these cats and I hope that this is their first step towards a forever home. It's heartbreaking. it does make me wonder about the vet orders too.

  8. Those are both heartbreakin gstories and I am glad you stepped in to help them. As a diabetic, I can imagine how awful they felt. They didn't receive proper care or food. Connie, you are an angel.

  9. we are so glad these two are getting a break and are in very capable and loving hands :)

  10. I'm glad you took these two home I'm sure with a bit of TLC they will be right as rain soon,cc Rachel

  11. So glad both of these precious souls are in good hands!

  12. Hope you get them both feeling better very soon!

  13. Thank goodness these two are with you. It sounds like they've not had happy lives to this point and deserve the love and attention you are providing (and the food too!)

  14. Connie, you are an ah-mazing purrson. You are an angel to these kitties. Their stories are just heartbreaking but you give them the love and care they so deserve. Thank you so much. Bless you.

  15. I don't know how you do it Connie, other than the fact that if there were not angels like you these babies would have no one. My blood boiled reading their stories, especially Abby's- the person who did that to her should be charged criminally with cruelty and neglect as well as publicly shamed! HISSSSS!!!


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