I Love My Four Indoor Cats

Frodo helping Sparklea write in her diary

Frodo helping Sparklea write in her diary
Frodo helping Sparklea write in her diary | Source

I Love My Four Indoor Cats


I have two grown children and six grandchildren whom I love with all my heart. However four more "kids" now reside with my husband and I. Each one has four legs.

All this happened unexpectedly. In 2002, during my lunch hour, I passed a pet store at the mall. Inside the window were several kittens in a cage. I have no idea what came over me. I walked in, picked up a gray tabby kitten, and purchased him on the spot. After buying a litter box and food, the clerk said she would keep the kitten for me, and I could pick him up after work.

I drove into the garage, and my husband, Dave, came to the car window. "Frodo" was sitting on my shoulder, meowing and purring. He had Dave at 'meow."

Several months later, I passed the pet store again. This time I brought home "Galadriel," a tortoise shell kitten who has since mushroomed to about fourteen pounds.

Dave and I totally agreed no more cats. We were a family of four, and that was enough.

Fast forward to Independence Day 2006. My husband and I took a day trip to a mall in Elmira, New York. When we got out of the truck, we heard a pitiful "meow" in the parking lot. We notified Security, and we finally located a tiny black and white kitten sitting on the front axel of one of the cars. Dave and I both crawled under the car to retrieve the frightened feline. Neither of us cared how silly we looked.

We took the kitten to a pet store nearby, and it lapped up the milk, ate the cat food, and slept on my lap all the way home. Although he is a little skittish, "Sylvester" has turned into a gorgeous sleek silky grownup.

In September, 2007, a long haired gray and white cat jumped into my husband's truck when he stopped at a gas station. She got on her hind legs, put her front paws on his shoulder and rubbed in his face with her melodic purr.

Guess what? "Martha" is our most mischievous cat to date.

We don't own these cats. They own us. To say we jump through hoops for them is probably an understatement. For example, Frodo has to have fresh shaved turkey for his "dessert" each day...a habit my husband started. He only likes it from one particular deli in our area.

Galadriel has to have her "Griller's Blend" dry food. Martha and Sylvester will only eat "Temptations."

We cover our furniture with clean towels. The cats love sleeping on clean bedding. We buy them new pet beds as often as we can. We found cat litter that has a pine scent with no powder. We scoop out the box at least four times a day and use cat litter deodorizer. We have never had an odor problem.

We keep them inside at all times, because our residential street has alot of traffic. Frodo and Galadriel love the harness, so we are able to take them for walks. All four cats love the new sill we just had put in our front living room window.

Yes, it's alot of work, but we would not have it any other way. It is wonderful to come home and be greeted by four purring cats who love and trust us unconditionally. Each night we crash for a couple hours in front of the television and enjoy our dinner. All our "children" join us. Martha sleeps on the back of the big chair where Dave sits. Sylvester and Frodo curl up on their cat shelves, and Galadriel settles in her fleece.

After dinner, Frodo jumps on my lap. He loves to be cradled in my arms. He purrs, shuts his eyes tight and falls asleep. The expression on his face is priceless.

Since these cats have become a part of our lives, my granddaughter brought us a yellow tabby she found in the country. We kept her for two days until we found a woman who loves and places cats. She keeps them in a beautiful building and takes wonderful care of them until she finds them a good home. I wept when my husband and I delivered the cat to her. I could not believe how very attached I became to that animal in such a short time.

So many times someone will say, "Animals are so much work. I don't need a cat." That is correct. However they need us. The rewards definitely outweigh the work involved.

Sincerely, Sparklea


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Comments 11 comments

christin53 profile image

christin53 4 years ago from UK

I love cats and I have to agree with you we don't own cats they own us :)


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

Aw, this is very sweet. I miss my Felix who died recently after giving me so much love for 15 years.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

christin53 and wetnosedogs THANK YOU for visiting this hub page. Christin53, I never saw this response so I apologize...somehow I missed it.

wetnosedogs my condolences for the loss of Felix. It is devastating to lose an animal. God bless, and I know another pet will come into your life. Remember, we don't need them, they need us. Blessings Sparklea :)


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

Sparklea,

Thanks for your wonderful comment. My three dogs are helping me with Felix gone. They miss him too. We support each other with this wide gap. I have cats that visit the front yard where the dogs don't go. They like the shade and bugs(I'm sure the cats find something-LOL), but no way do they want to be caught. I can understand their want of freedom.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

It is so sad to see an animal miss another animal. So glad your other 3 dogs have you to support and comfort them. Animals just wrap a ribbon around my heart. God bless, Sparklea :)


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I loved reading about how you rescued your four cats, Sparklea! They sound like wonderful members of your family. I''m glad that they came to live with you and found such a good home.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you AliciaC they are spoiled, mischievous, but wonderful, loving angels. When they are sleeping, they look so peaceful, and trusting of we who are caring for them. I totally believe animals are capable of loving.

I can instantly fall in love at the sight of an animal. A weakness perhaps, but I just love God's creatures. I so appreciate your comments. Sincerely and God bless, Sparklea :)


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Dear Sparklea;

This comment I'm leaving is in response to your ' Hot Question ', about your cat, and diabetes, and how you are worried - I cannot post my reply there, because it is too long, and this seemed the next appropriate place to reply to your question, so shall do so. : )

Romeo's Quill


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Hi Sparklea,

My mum has a cat, and has recently been getting really thirsty, so she might need to be taken to the Vet ( the cat, not the mum : ), to see what the problem is - could be early onset of diabetes, as she does spoil her rotten.

Obviously, it would help if your cat saw the veterinary surgeon ( I know-they are expensive), but in the meantime, I've scouted around for basic information which has been compiled, and some of it may be useful. I'm certainly not an MD, so I hope it is of some use - there is lots of information out there, on a couple of trusty websites.

Diabetes in cats - what is diabetes mellitus in cats?

It is estimated that approximately 1 in 500 cats develops diabetes. So you're not alone if you have a diabetic cat.

Glucose metabolism in non-diabetic cats

Food is broken down into components that can be used by the body. Conversion of carbohydrates (starches) produces sugars, including glucose. Once absorbed from the intestines, glucose goes into the blood and provides energy to the cells of the body.

The intake of glucose into most cells is dependent upon the presence of the hormone insulin. Insulin is produced by a special gland situated near the intestines called the pancreas.

Diabetes mellitus - What is it??

A lack of available insulin can result in diabetes mellitus or “sugar diabetes”.

Causes of diabetes in cats:

• The pancreas of diabetic cats producing insufficient insulin

• Failure of the body cells to respond to insulin

Results of diabetes in cats:

• An inability of the cells to absorb enough glucose

• Overly high glucose levels in the blood

Diabetes mellitus - are all cats susceptible to it?

Cats of all ages, sexes and breeds are susceptible to cat diabetes mellitus.

Older cats are more prone to develop cat diabetes. Most commonly affected are castrated male cats.

In the UK and Australia, Burmese cats have been reported to have a higher incidence of diabetes mellitus.

Feeding your diabetic cat

The daily dose of insulin is adjusted to match your diabetic cat's daily energy requirements. So, your cat's diet and activity level are critical.

Diabetic cats must be fed regularly. Your cat should always be fed the same amount of food at the same time every day.

Some cats prefer eating small amounts throughout the day. If this is your cat’s habit, your veterinarian probably will not try to change it.

The ideal diet for a diabetic cat

Diabetic cats should be fed a diet containing a high quality, highly digestible protein and restricted fat. Read more about prescription diets.

If your cat is overweight, your veterinarian will advise a weight management programme to help reduce its weight gradually. Weight loss will make your cat’s diabetes easier to manage. Read more about obesity in diabetic cats.

If your cat is underweight, your veterinarian will advise you on a diet to help your cat regain its normal weight.

Obesity in diabetic cats

Diabetics are most effectively stabilized when they are at their ideal body weight.

Cats that are very overweight (obese) may have “insulin resistance” meaning that insulin therapy is less effective and higher doses are required.

Weight loss should be gradual. Overweight cats should be fed two-thirds of the recommended daily allowance of a suitable diet until they have reached their ideal body weight. Your veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse will help you calculate the ideal body weight and food requirements for your cat and monitor its weight loss.

Monitoring your diabetic cat

Changes in insulin requirements

It is not unusual for your cat’s insulin requirements to change even after a long period of stability. This is most commonly due to:

• weight loss or gain

• changes in your cat’s activity levels

• the presence of other diseases

• other treatments

This is why it is important to continue to monitor your diabetic cat's progress - even after months or years of treatment - and consult your veterinarian if there are sudden changes or if anything unusual happens

Testing urine and blood samples

You may be asked by your veterinary surgeon to regularly check the glucose (and ketone) concentrations in urine or blood samples. This gives an additional indication of how your cat is doing. Based on these results your veterinarian might decide to do a serial blood glucose curve to determine a new insulin dosage.

You should not change the dose of insulin without first consulting your veterinarian.

Monitoring glucose and ketones in the urine

You may be asked by your veterinarian to monitor your diabetic cat by regularly testing urine samples from your cat.

What you need

1. A clean plastic litter box

2. Clean syringes at least 5ml in size.

3. Polystyrene balls, aquarium sand or shredded plastic bags.

4. Urine dipsticks provided by or recommended by your veterinary surgeon.

5. A place to record the results.

Collecting urine

1. In the clean litter box place some aquarium sand, polystyrene balls or shredded plastic bags.

2. Do not allow your cat access outside or to another litter box until it has urinated in the clean box.

3. Collect the urine with the clean syringe.

Testing urine using urine dipsticks

1. Follow the instructions for the dipsticks you are using, particularly for the time to read the results.

2. Place the dipstick in the container with the urine and soak the test pads.

3. Remove the dipstick and tap dry.

4. Read the result after the time specified on the stick bottle (usually 1 minute).

5. Hold the stick against the chart on the dipstick container to compare colours.

6. Record the results including time of collection and times of insulin injections given for that day

Monitoring glucose and ketones in the urine

A stable diabetic cat has a blood glucose range below the renal threshold for most of a 24 hour period.

Your veterinary surgeon may ask if you are prepared to monitor blood glucose levels at home.

This can be done in two ways and your veterinary surgeon will discuss the best option with you.

1. Blood test strips similar to those used for testing urine can be used, or

2. A handheld glucometer, can be used. Although not essential, handheld glucometers are easy to use and well worth the investment. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on what model best suits you and your cat’s needs.

3.

Collecting and testing a blood sample

During home monitoring, blood is usually collected from the earflap (pinna) of your cat.

1. Make sure that your cat’s ear is warm. If not, hold it between your hands for about one minute.Warming the earflap makes collecting a drop of blood easier.

2. Quickly prick a clean, hairless part of the ear with a sterile hypodermic needle or lancet.

3. A small drop of blood will appear. Collect the drop onto the glucose test strip.

4. Gently but firmly press some cotton wool onto your cat’s ear until it stops bleeding.

5. Use the test strip or insert the sample into the glucometer as instructed

6.

Blood glucose test strips

Blood glucose strips are used to measure blood glucose concentration. A drop of blood is placed on the pad at the end of the strip. After the specified amount of time the pad is wiped and the colour is checked against the chart on the container. Read the instructions provided before use.

Using a glucometer

A drop of blood is placed on the provided strips, the strip is then inserted into the glucometer, and the blood glucose concentration is shown. Read the instructions provided before use.

Prescription diets

Complete prescription diets for diabetic cats are available from your veterinary surgeon. Your veterinarian or veterinary nurse nurse will advise you on the correct type of diet to meet your cat’s specific needs.

Many cats simply refuse to eat a different food. If your diabetic cat will not eat the diet prescribed, your veterinarian will advise you on another suitable diet.

Emergency situations in diabetic cats

In diabetic cats, the following emergency situations may arise:

1. Hypoglycaemia - unduly low blood sugar

2. Diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycaemic hyperosmotic non-ketotic (HHNK) syndrome - caused by extremely high blood sugar

It is important to be prepared for the above situations if you own a di


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

CONTINUED......

It is important to be prepared for the above situations if you own a diabetic cat.

CONTACT YOUR VETERINARY SURGEON IMMEDIATELY for possible adjustment of the insulin dose or treatment of additional medical problems if your diabetic cat shows any of these signs:

• Excessive drinking for more than 3 days

• Excessive urination or inappropriate urination in the house for more than 3 days

• Reduction in or loss of appetite

• Weakness, seizures or severe depression

• Behavioural change, muscle twitching or anxiety

• Constipation, vomiting or diarrhoea

• Signs of a bladder infection (passing frequent small amounts of urine, straining to urinate, blood in the urine)

• Swelling of the head or neck.

Yours Sincerely,

R.Q.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Dear Romeos Quill:

I am OVERWHELMED with gratitude at the time you took from, I am sure, a busy schedule, to respond to my question regarding my concerns about our cat, Frodo.

The information you shared is most valuable and very much appreciated!

Frodo is being closely followed by our veterinary surgeon. We took him for an appointment because he was losing weight. After blood work and x-rays he was diagnosed with diabetes.

The vet started him on 1 unit of insulin twice a day. My husband is up very early for work, so he gives Frodo his first shot around 3:30 a.m. I give Frodo his second shot between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m.

The day he was diagnosed his glucose was 445 and his weight was only 8.3 pounds. I am to take him to the vet once a week to be weighed and have his glucose checked. One week later his glucose was still high - 441 and his weight was only 8.4 pounds.

So he raised the insulin to 2 units twice a day.

Last Friday I took him in and was astounded that his glucose was HIGHER - 455! and he had lost more weight - 7.6 pounds! So Frodo is now on THREE units of insulin twice a day - to return this coming Friday for another glucose and weight check. The vet said that we are still trying to get his diabetes under control.

I was so upset today because the cat is hungry ALL the time, and he is drinking and urinating a lot. (He IS using the cat box). That is why I posted the question, hoping for some feedback - and I SO appreciate your comments, information and advice! The cat also vomited twice over the weekend.

All this being said, I do think it would be a good idea for your mum to take her cat to the vet.

I so appreciate your information about feeding a diabetic cat.

This is our problem right now, as Frodo acts like he is starving. He teases me all day long.

We are trying to get on a regular feeding regimen but it is hard with him acting so hungry all the time. When we do feed him he eats everything.

I am going to call the vet tomorrow and tell them everything I just shared with you above.

I have been recording the dates and times we give Frodo his insulin shots on my I phone to keep track of his injections and we try, as much as possible to feed him at regular intervals.

Like you mention- Frodo is a male who has been castrated, so he is a candidate for diabetes. He is also eleven years old.

Thank you also for explaining more about this disease. Words cannot express the time you took to share all this with me.

This week is my two year anniversary on Hub Pages, and I am so grateful for the many wonderful writers I have met being a part of this writing community. God bless you real good, and THANK YOU from my heart. Please let me know how your mum's cat makes out, and I will add her to my prayer list. Blessings always, Sparklea :)

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