Earlier this year, our cat Peter was diagnosed with diabetes. Lethargic, thirsty, peeing everywhere — the diagnosis was a no-brainer. The treatment, however, was not. Remember Bill, the wonderful, hilarious vet who removed a growth off our dog’s leg and kept it in a jar? Well, we got to know Bill a whole lot better last spring, because Peter turned out to be insulin-resistant. We upped the dose, and upped the dose, and upped the dose… Eventually we switched to a different type of insulin (human insulin, believe it or not — we’ve always suspected that Peter thought he was one of us, and now we know for sure 😉 ) and that finally did the trick. Upping the dose is nerve-wracking because too much insulin can lead to coma, brain damage and death. Whereas too little insulin merely leads to lethargy and thirst and peeing on the floor.
I have to confess. I am a cat lover, and I particularly love our goofball Peter, but I do have limits. I don’t mind the injections as much as I mind the outrageously stinky and copious poop that is the result of the special expensive high-fiber diabetic cat food, which our other cat has to eat too, since we can’t prevent them from eating out of each other’s bowls. And I mind having to keep track of and remembering to give the injections. And I mind the pee on the floor which hasn’t completely stopped even though his blood sugar is pretty normal now.
I have to confess. It has occurred to me that I could secretly give him a giant overdose and be done with it. Our household is chaotic enough even without a diabetic cat to keep track of. He’s gotta be at least sixteen years old. He’s had a fun life.
Wednesday morning I gave him his shot, only to discover that my husband had already given him his shot an hour earlier. Coma! Brain damage! Death! It was 8:30 a.m., and Bill the vet doesn’t open for business until noon on Wednesdays. I had to take him to the 24-hour emergency animal clinic clear on the other side of town instead.
To make a long, frustrating story short: the emergency clinic sucked. I transferred him back to Bill right at noon, yep, I trekked out almost all the way to Ypsilanti twice in one morning just for a stupid cat, but not before the emergency clinic managed to rack up $130 in fees, for three hours of keeping him “under observation” and giving him a few glucose tests at $23 a pop (Bill charges $8 for the same thing). Plus, they were rude. I dunno, maybe I’m just used to the star treatment we get at Bill’s, where they luuuuurve Peter. But did they really need to make me wait 20 minutes in the empty waiting room even after I’d called ahead to let them know I was coming to pick him up? Did they reallyneed to make me pay in advance? Did they really need to ignore my 4yo, who just wanted to show off his cool toy truck? The one good thing that happened at the clinic was that the rectal thermometer had a, um, laxative effect on Peter. Remember what I said about stinky and copious? Right there on the table. Ha ha.
Bill kept him for four hours and the total bill was $16 — for the two glucose tests.
Not only that, but he gave me a bunch of these as well: