Sassy cats — It’s all about Mollie

This is Mollie’s iconic “wheels up” position!

After a health crisis a couple weeks back, Mollie was checked out by a specialist vet that is not at our usual veterinarian practice. It’s the time of covid-19. I couldn’t take her in. I had to drop her off with someone I never met. I had to trust that someone would be her advocate inside. I was disappointed at some things that happened but this post isn’t about that. I picked up Mollie the next day.

This is her opinion of hospitals!

She’s been diagnosed with diabetes with blood glucose well over 400. I’ve had two prior cats with it so I’m very familiar with the treatments. It’s not for the lighthearted as there are stressful times. Initially I got her numbers within range but last night she started to spike. Nothing had changed. No different food or conditions so I am working to get them back down. Insulin is an odd thing. You walk a tightrope. Too much will kill her and too little will slowly kill her. Injections and home testing are the easy part. It’s the frantic “OMG” moments that are debilitating (to the human!).

The cats were glad to see her. Kind of anyway. She smelled funny. They wanted to play with the big bandage on her paw where the IV had been. That didn’t make Mollie happy so she had to do some discipline.

Sasha was the most affected cat. There is something about Mollie that reminds her of her cat mom. Even when she first came, she wanted to nurse on her and sleep with her. She’s still like that except for the nursing part. Mollie made her wishes on that clear. It was something like “stay away from my multiple boobs or I’ll womp you good!”

This is pretty typical.

Sasha is a healer. She will lay next to Mollie with her paw touching her and purr. Mollie doesn’t mind this. Sasha does that when I don’t feel good too. I don’t know how she knows but she does. Maybe she was a shaman in another life.

Things happen for a reason. Sasha is one of those things. Her antics make us laugh when are hearts are in knots and she will jump (all 12+ lbs. of her) on your full bladder to make you feel good. Although she wouldn’t admit it, even Mollie was glad to see her.

The next week or so will be touch and go with Mollie but we’re hopeful. Right now she is not acting like a sick cat. We are enjoying her while she is here and hope we are strong enough to make the right decision if it comes to that.

Author’s note: The pictures here are not from this week. She’s lost the plume in her tail and a lot of fluff overall. She also lost weight and is looking like an older cat. I don’t know how that happened. Last fall she was a spitfire. She is still the alpha cat and calls the shots though.

 

112 thoughts on “Sassy cats — It’s all about Mollie

      • Well, I was always neurotic about my big Himalayans- the sweetest and best cats weโ€™ve ever had – the loss of each left me bereft. Not sure Iโ€™ll ever get over it and for sure never forget those big beautiful boys. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

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  1. Having a Sasha to balance out the anxiety is a blessing – both for you and Mollie.

    I’m following your experiences with aging cats with great attention. Theo is my only experience and now that he is 12, I’m starting to notice the signs that he has been slowing down (well, except for his prodigious appetite). The thought of having to give him regular medications paralyzes me. Hopefully it will never come to that.

    I share your concern about having the strength and grace to do the right thing when the time comes … and the wisdom to recognize it when it does.

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    • Giving the medicine can be the easy part if they are cooperative. Jake loved pill pockets but some of the other cats don’t eat them. For Mollie it’s about taking blood from a capillary in her ear. I’ve been doing it a week now and my hands are more steady and I’m quick. The injection is easy as she doesn’t seem to feel it. It’s very small and just under the skin. It is amazing what you can do when you have to. Your last sentence is a toughie. I kept Jake alive a year longer than I should have. It wasn’t a good experience for either of us. He developed a type of cat dementia and had night terrors so we were all (all cats and people) up every night for the last 6 months trying to sooth him. When Hazel was diagnosed with a terminal condition, they could have treated her and she would have lasted maybe another 3 months. I opted to end her suffering on the spot. It was easier. She would not have liked the hospital stay for treatments and I’m not convinced her quality of life would have been great. Somehow it’s an easier decision with a definitive diagnosis.

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  2. Oh my. That’s so hard. I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I think I told you years ago that Mac was diabetic, and I could not draw blood from him at all. In fact, even a very experienced tech had difficulty, but I was paying her to come to the house to do it maybe once a week. Because of that I couldn’t give him insulin. So the way we treated it was to drastically change his diet to Weruva chicken (only) and then check the blood. We kept the blood sugar down, at least enough, because of the diet change. But this was all because he was impossible to deal with. I really feel for you because diabetic cats add so much stress. xoxo

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    • Oh my! I can prick a capillary in the rim of the ear for blood. The new testing takes very little. Once stabilized I shouldn’t need to do it daily. I didn’t for Jake. You track their food intake and make judgments. If they don’t eat, that’s a problem. Mollie didn’t eat at the vet. She’s eating like a champ for me so far. I should look into Weruva. I called my normal vet today for diet suggestions but she hadn’t gotten the records yet.

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        • She’s not on prescription food now. The ER vet didn’t talk about diet at all and my vet doesn’t have the records yet. My vet usually says that eating is better than not eating. Every ding dang time I have tried a wet prescription food, the cat that it’s destined for doesn’t like it. Mollie eats a mix of wet and dry so I’m hoping that I will only have to change the dry because it is bad for diabetics.

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            • I just talked to her yesterday and she is not a big fan of the prescription diets. She carries them but many cats will not eat them. She wants Mollie off dry food completely. As for the wet, I’m going to try to introduce her to a flavor with lower carbs. She’s a Fancy Feast lover. She loves the gravy ones and they have a more carbs so maybe mixing at first will work.

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              • Wow I never had a vet that liked Fancy Feast, but I think itโ€™s a decent middle of the road food. And they like it. Whew. Weruva is amazing but expensive and they like it then donโ€™t then do lol. My old ladies like Sheba which is not something I wanted them on but I was desperate.

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                • The vet wants her to eat vet. However her numbers are still pinging very high so today I’m going to try to find a low glycemic food. Tiki Cat looks like it would fit the bill with 0 carbs but will she eat it or I’ll try the Weruva if I can find it. Halo seems to have good numbers too. Unfortunately my cat loves her gravy and that’s where the carbs are. I may cook a piece of plain chicken to cut the FF.

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                  • Oh, that sweet baby. I just heard from someone else that Tiki Cat is a good food to look into for another issue (urinary). I might try that, too. Also I heard there is a vet you can meet online with about nutrition. Apparently she doesn’t do the prescription diets, but finds the right food for your cat and her problems. I am intrigued about that for Felix. If you’re interested remind me because I am awaiting contact info.

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                    • I will. First day of Tiki Cat didn’t go well. She liked the broth but wouldn’t eat the real chicken. I’ve mixed half/half with her regular food. Maybe it will take a few days or maybe she won’t eat it.

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    • Thanks. To be honest, it’s stressful right now. Stabilizing her and establishing a routine is the hard part. I’m testing her twice a day now. I was testing her 3 times. Once she’s in control I’ll test her once a week. For my first diabetic cat (this is my third), people weren’t testing at home. That made it both expensive and you weren’t quite sure what her numbers were between tests. Much better these days.

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  3. I know from following my friend Carol’s cat issues through the years, that patience is one of the best remedies for both of you right now. Since you’ve nailed it with other cats with success and longevity, that will make it easier. Those are great shots of Mollie that you had tucked away – wheels up in the sunshine looks like a comfy pose and I’m glad Mollie isn’t afraid to show how she really feels. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck.

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    • It was the worst. Although the vet came highly recommended she did not impress on the phone. If anything she made me more crazy. Mollie is doing better at home but that’s not a shocker. Everyone does better at home.

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  4. My heart goes out to you dealing with this health issue. I had a diabetic cat once, and I completely understand what you mean about a “tightrope.” I also know what it’s like to trust strangers and leave your precious fur baby at the vet. It’s so hard. I got teary for you when I read about this, because I feel your pain. I’m glad you have Sasha there to try to help heal Mollie and also your anxiety. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ™

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    • This hasn’t been my best week for sure. At least I understand this illness and know where to go for support. There is a fabulous on-line forum for diabetic cats. There are specific groups based on insulin used. People are very kind with sharing experiences and suggestions. Vets just don’t have the time or maybe the resources to give you all the info you need. I learned more about which foods to feed and how to deal with fluctuations from the website. They also have videos on just about everything. Mollie has been good about letting me test her. I have to get the blood from an ear capillary and it doesn’t seem to bother her.

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    • I was giving 2 units and got a normal reading. That was mid cycle. Five hours later it was over 600 (from 149). I don’t know how that happened. We are now down to 300. One more test before I administer tonight. If it’s over 300, I’ll up it a half unit. If it’s 300 or lower I’ll stay at 2. I’ve never had a 600 reading for any cat before so I did get stressed. I know it takes close to a week for the cat to adjust. I was concerned about ketones with the high reading.

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      • Ernest was 600 when we first brought him in. No telling how long he had been that high. Two and three months later he was still 400 as we increased from one unit to 1-1/2 and now two. He’s never manifested hyperglycemia. From what you say I wouldn’t go above two, because that 149 was getting pretty low.

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        • That’s the dilemma. The swing was wild. I rechecked the glucometer settings. I’ve changed the injection site too. I was doing it in her scruff and she doesn’t have loose skin so I moved farther back. Ever have any issues with ketones? the vet was worried about that. I’ve never checked for them (urine test) and not sure Mollie is going to pee on command. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate knowing that maybe 600 isn’t a death sentence. Mollie is on Lantus. My old cat Jake was 350 when diagnosed. He didn’t do well on the pet insulins and we diddled around for a year before going to Lantus. He did great on it. He was stabilized for 9 years with no neuropathy. Tight control between 100-150. Died at 18.

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          • Was she at 149 six hours after the injection? If so, that sounds low at this stage of the game, and you should considering going down to 1/1/2 units or even one unit. Avoiding hypoglycemia is so much more important than hyperglycemia. Ernest is on Lantus; he started at one unit twice a day when he was at 600. He probably went up and down a lot–we weren’t measuring him at home. BTW did the vet give a dosage recommendation?

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            • Yes. The vet put her on 2 units. They had her 24 hours and started her on 1 unit and it wasn’t coming down. She was 149 6 hours after the second shot at home. (I think home makes a difference too.) My instructions were to test in the morning before feeding and injection. If over 500 to increase to 2-1/2 units. If under 300, to give 1 unit. Even though she was over 500, I was reluctant to increase this morning. I wanted to wait a couple of days first. Normally I wouldn’t be nervous except the vet kept talking about ketones. They did a urinalysis that was negative for ketones. I never worried about them before. Her behavior is normal (for her). She is not hiding but sleeping in her favorite places. She is not drinking as much as she was and she is eating good. Not agitated. She’s 7 lbs.!

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  5. If only everyone was issued a Sasha…
    All Paws crossed. Hoping it was just the stress of coming home ( and maybe being tired or noticing discomfort the vet pokes and prods now in a safe environment ) made her number spike. I know the distress of seeing coat texture change and altered plume fluff is such a big concern. Like you, I worry something is wonky hiding under this….adjusting their chemistry is so delicate and tricky.
    May not help much, but a daily thumbnail of plain (good quality) vanilla ice cream helps RC’s digestion issues.(that and cats grass). Talk about spoiled child: now demanding dessert before dinner! HAHA
    HUGS. Try to get some rest, too. Home is best.

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    • I haven’t had luck with dairy with any of the cats. My vet always wants me to feed them yogurt. Any yogurt but they stick their noses up. However cat grass. Three of them love it and Mollie is one. With this @#%$ thing, the garden center where I buy it has been closed for 6 weeks. The last ones are no more. They eat them down past the roots so nothing can rejuvenate. The timing of all this doesn’t work.

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  6. You’re a good cat mom so I know you’ll make the best decision for all concerned. Of course we are talking about cats here and they’re known to recover from just about everything when they are good and ready to do so. ๐Ÿค”

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  7. Itโ€™s hard enough coping with our aging kitties during โ€œnormalโ€ times, COVID-19 has definitely made it harder and more stressful. I hope the best for Mollie. Sheโ€™s in the best hands. This hereโ€”โ€œShe is still the alpha cat and calls the shots though.โ€โ€”nicely sums up our Maxine too. I always think that as long as they have some sass in them, theyโ€™re doing good.

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    • Yes indeed! Two weeks ago when she had a health crisis (I had to wait 10 days to get an appointment!) she didn’t care. I thought she was hiding to die but fortunately that turned around. I’m convinced that she has an underlying condition aside from diabetes that hasn’t been diagnosed. At this point though, getting her diabetes under control is on top of the list. I have two other meds to give her to soothe her GI system but I want her stabilized first. Too much chemicals going in and I don’t know what’s doing what. My cats only get sick weekends, holidays and pandemics. I can tick off the holidays that I’ve spent trying to get a vet — 4th of July, Labor Day, Good Friday and with Hazel we lost her on New Year’s Eve. On a normal Tuesday, no one gets sick.

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  8. Oh Kate, I just have got my fingers crossed, my prayers and thoughts going strong for you and Mollie and I have big hope. I know Mollie has the best with you so she has the best chance of having her numbers work out. And she has Sasha… whether she always likes it or not! The whole specialist vet thing during the virus is beyond tough. Timing is notoriously never good it seems. Sending hugs.

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    • Her test at noon today showed the numbers were down quite a bit. Not normal but down. It’s half way between shots so that’s usually the lowest. If her 6 p.m. numbers shoot up again, I’ll increase the insulin. It’s nerve wracking at the start but usually settles down quickly to a standard dose. Unfortunately the timing is bad. My nerves are easily wracked these days! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. I can’t envision how hard it would be to drop off my cat without being there for the examination, etc. Especially with a vet I’d never met. Plus it does sound like there’s something else going on that got lost in the diabetes diagnosis (but I wouldn’t be rushing her back to the vet right now either).

    You have had a tough week, Kate. So has Mollie. Hope you can both kick back and let Sasha entertain and nurture you while you do your best to keep Mollie’s blood sugars in range.

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    • There is good news and bad news. Initial stabilizing of blood glucose can be weird. It takes time but she scared me last night with her off the wall numbers. Today is settled a bit more but still not normal. I need patience and that is in short supply right now. My recommendation is to not get sick at this time. No one! Not pets or people!

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  10. We will absolutely pray for you and Mollie – I have no diabetes experience with animals OR humans but I suspect at first it might be a little difficult figuring timing, numbers, etc. It’s great you have experience but then again maybe every cat is different in some ways? Perhaps this will settle into a predictible routine for you and Mollie. I haven’t had to take Ted in for any reason but it would be very hard for me to just turn him over to someone – especially someone I don’t know – when it’s a medical issue especially. BUT having said that – we do what we HAVE to do for THEM. Very hard I’m sure. Sending hugs…….I know it’s not much but they are from my heart.

    Pam

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    • Hoping it will settle. Behaviorally she is not acting sick so I’m focusing on that. I have a vaccine apt coming up at the end of May for Morgan. She’s a very healthy fairly young cat. Maybe I’ll take her in or wait for the vets to be relaxed. In any case she would go to our normal vet who we both know. The place I took Mollie is a very large animal hospital and ER. Very large. I always worry that she could get forgotten. As it was, she didn’t get fed for 24 hours. Not good for a diabetic cat. Hugs are appreciated especially from someone who knows the heartbreak of a sick cat.

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      • Older cats need their meals on time. Routines are comforting – hard to explain why they are being “starved” for a reason at the vet to them.
        SIL who is a vet says the pet vaccines are good for months longer than they tell you, so maybe things will relax and you can go in with her. We’re looking at June with fingers crossed for Molly’s checkup. In this climate she needs her heartworm meds

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        • I am comforted by routine so I get it. They had me bring her in “fasted for 12 hours” by 9 a.m. for a possible scope. The doc didn’t see her until 4. They didn’t feed her until 6:30. That was 2-1/2 hours after they found out she was diabetic. I was more than pixxed. They wanted to keep her another night and I said no. I only hope they gave her fluids. Since we are all stuck here, it’s unlikely anyone will pick up something. Cats don’t go outside. I’m hoping by June life is a little different especially at the vet. This is not a good time to get sick — human or animal. Heartworm meds are critical for a dog. Hugs to your Molly and an extra dish of ice cream for RC. I bet I could get Sasha to eat that. She’s like Mikey. She’ll eat anything. I have a fear that she’s overweight and I’ll have to start watching her diet.

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  11. I will add Millie to my prayer list. I hope you can get her levels adjusted. My vet is the only one in my area still allowing people in with their pets. I think it is wrong the way most make you wait in the car. No one would make a parent send their child in to the pediatrician alone and I feel this is the same.

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    • I kind of understand. We have a lot of covid19 cases locally and it’s difficult to distance in the examining rooms. Still, this wasn’t routine in any way so I wish I could have had a face to face (with proper protection). If things worsen I wouldn’t want to her pass on by herself either and I’m struggling with that. I’ve been going to my current vet for over 30 years and I am hopeful that she’d make an exception for that. The guidelines they are following are from the state.

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  12. Good luck getting the blood sugar stabilized. Always tough at the start. And I’m so glad Sasha turned out to be such a healing presence. She got just the right home!

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    • It is tough at the start. I had a normal reading at noon and it spike to over 600 by dinnertime. WTH? Sasha has been a great distraction. I don’t know how people do it with only one pet. I would be even crazier than I am. Morgan changed when Hazel passed. They were great buddies. She seemed to become an adult overnight. I miss the old Morgan too but we all get worn down over time.

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        • Yes it was. I’ve never seen any cat’s numbers that high even initially. She’s 7 lbs. This morning she was down to 500. I’ve changed injection site and retested the monitor to make sure it was reading right. I’ll check after around noon (mid-cycle) and then again before the next feeding followed by the injection. Fingers crossed.

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  13. I would hate leaving my cat with a new vet. Heck, I don’t even like it when my current vet takes my babies out of the room! I’ve put off Tyler’s annual until things go back to normal. It is great you’ve had experience with diabetes. We’ve not walked that tightrope here and I would be nervous figuring that out for the first time. Our Trinity cared for Tyler when he needed looking after but he didn’t return the favor with her. They both knew when we were sick and acted different. We got lots of slobbered on “cry-n-carry” toys laid near us. Skeamer, didn’t care if we were sick. Typical only child ๐Ÿ™‚ Tyler has a birthday next week. I don’t know how the time passes so quickly.

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    • The only time I’m conscious of my cats’ ages is when I’m at the vet. I think of them as universally young until there is a crisis. Something changed with Mollie last fall and it wasn’t diabetes (she had tested negative for it) so I believe she has an underlying health issue that’s gone undiagnosed. Giving her to someone I don’t know at a place I don’t go to was very hard. All communication was over the phone and I wasn’t impressed. Maybe I need the body language and facial expressions to pick up innuendos. It wasn’t satisfying at all. She did fine the first day. (She came home Wednesday.) Last night her numbers were very high. I don’t want to take her back in so I’m doing what I know to do.

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