M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, August 10, 2005  

The Weighting is the Hardest Part

It's been over a year and a half since Strat was diagnosed with diabetes. As I'm pretty sure I've explained before, the way we figured out something was wrong with him was by a considerable amount of weight loss over the course of several months. Ever since we got back from a vacation to find him overfed and looking like a giant, white tribble, picking him up took some effort. Fifteen pounds of cat can throw you off balance if you don't have your feet planted. And forget about scooping him up with one hand unless you had a free limb flung out in the opposite direction as a counterweight. The day I sat at my computer and picked him up off the floor without feeling it in my abs, I knew it was time to take him to the vet.

And you pretty much know the rest. A thousand shots and about two and a half cc's of insulin later, he's still doing great. He still horks up a puddle of half-digested Science Diet every once in a while, but even that's not a problem with Turtle around to clean up after him.

We bring him in to the vet for regular checkups every few months. In the spring, his weight was at 10.8 pounds. That was up a bit from the last time, but the vet really wanted him to be up around twelve pounds. I thought that might be a little tricky, since his appetite isn't what it once was, but I figured that if I upped his evening helping of soft food and/or tuna, he'd pork up rather nicely over the coming weeks.

Months passed. Strat ate his food, just as we wanted him to. Everything should have been going according to plan. But scooping him up off the floor was easier.

We got a little nervous. Where could his weight be going? Sure, the nightly yield from the catboxes was plenty substantial, but we had two growing cats using it as well. We couldn't figure out why he was wasting away again.

We made an appointment with the doctor for his checkup a little early. As she checked his various orifices, I explained that Strat's attitude and appetite both seemed fine (although the latter had been dropping off some), and I had no idea why he was losing weight. She said she'd take him into the back to draw some blood and put him on the scale, and they'd both return in a moment.

I stood in the exam room alone for what seemed like a long time, wondering what we were going to do to get Strat's weight back up. A tuna-only diet? Enforced bed-rest? Intravenous injections of baby fat?

The technician brought Strat back, and I braced myself to hear just how far below ten pounds he had dropped, and to start figuring out how we might finance, say, a kidney transplant.

"He's 11.6," the tech said.

"Pounds?" I said.

That explained the drop in appetite. Strat was approaching his ideal weight. We had to wait a couple of days for the lab work to come back to make sure that everything else was fine, and guess what? It was. Aside from diabetes, we've got one perfectly healthy fifteen-year-old cat.

I just wonder what happened to make him feel so much lighter.

Today's best search phrase: "Genitals and fur coats DVD." I hear the commentary track on that one is awesome.

posted by M. Giant 6:59 PM 7 comments


Glad to hear Strat is ok. Your boy looks so cute, though now I understand what Trash meant when she said that he's huge now.

By Blogger restlessly, at August 10, 2005 at 9:31 PM  

Hmm there's a poser. What on *earth* could it be?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 10, 2005 at 10:55 PM  

This was not a good morning for me--until I read this entry. You've changed my whole attitude for the day and I thank you so much.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 11, 2005 at 5:54 AM  

Ahhh, M. Tiny is so cute - and so BIG! I was re-reading the entry when he first arrived, and the difference in the pictures is unreal. Yea! for healthy babies and kitties.

By Anonymous Laura, at August 11, 2005 at 6:41 AM  

M.Small - Your progressive weight training program. Does wonders for your arms. Glad you kitty is ok.

By Anonymous Rula, at August 11, 2005 at 8:32 AM  

Yay, healthy kitty and big, healthy kid!

My husband and I were discussing a similar subject last night. We have a nine month old, and we were wandering around Har Mar without the benefit of a stroller. I always carry him on my right hip, and if I try on my left, my arm starts to shake like that last fall leaf. I need to start weight lifting just on the left.

By Anonymous Allison, at August 11, 2005 at 9:06 AM  

HOLY CRAP he's big!

Um, is it wrong to say he looks a little like a miniature Keifer Sutherland in that photo? Friendlier, of course.

(note to self: check prices on Hasbro "My First Hacksaw.")

By Blogger Febrifuge, at August 11, 2005 at 2:12 PM  

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