We’re up early for the weekend. My husband has some errands to run, ones that are better done in the morning. But before he does, he wants to give our cat his insulin.
This is only the second day we’re doing this, pricking the cat’s ear with a lancet and getting a tiny drop of blood for the glucometer. Checking his sugar and writing down the number so I can email the data to the vet later. And then giving the injection.
But none of this happens on an empty stomach. So my husband feeds the cat before he jumps into the shower.
Afterwards, my husband walks over to the supplies and begins to get them ready. Our cat follows him and sits down nearby. He makes eye contact and meows.
As though he’s asking for the insulin.
“I can’t believe it,” I say. “He’s taking to it already.”
“It probably makes him feel better,” my husband says. “So he’s starting to ask for it.”
And I nod. Because this cat is a really smart cat. I’ve known a lot of cats over the years, and this is the smartest one. He’s like a little kid.
And it’s not a fluke, this quick adjustment to blood sugar testing and insulin. The nightly dose is also quick and painless. The next morning, the cat actually lies down once the glucometer beeps to indicate a successful reading. Pavlov’s dog salivated at the ring of the bell. Our cat lies down at the beep of the glucometer. He automatically assumes a position that makes it easier for him to get his insulin shot.
It’s a welcome surprise. When our cat first got diagnosed with diabetes, we worried about how hard it would be to test his sugars and give him insulin. Would we torture our cat by doing so? Would he bite us, wriggle, yowl?
And honestly, he did resist us the first time. He struggled throughout the process — and I struggled not to cry, feeling like a big old jerk for putting him through the stress.
But it didn’t last. He quickly got with the program. And now he seems eager for the treatment.
It’s inspirational. If my cat can adjust so quickly to the new normal, then so can I.
“Are you talking about insulin or something else?” you might be asking yourself. The answer to this question is “yes.” No “or” about it.
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