Elizabeth Ashworth and Clwyd...
The first time I saw Clwyd he was at the bottom of a cardboard box, under a furry pile of his brothers and sisters. I’d wanted a tabby tom for a while and when a friend who runs Blackburn Cat Rescue here in Lancashire in the UK told me that a stray she’d taken in had given birth to kittens, I said I would give him a forever home.
|Clwyd & Elizabeth|
“He will get better,” the veterinary nurse assured me as she handed me a needle and a plastic ‘cat’ for me to practise on. She showed me how to pull back the plunger, put it into the vial of insulin and draw out the units. Then I had to push the needle into the fake cat and ease the insulin in. It seemed easy, but plastic cats don’t wriggle and squirm.
Once she thought I’d mastered the technique she brought out Clwyd and I gave him an injection of distilled water into the scruff of his neck. My hands were shaking but I managed it. Then I was handed a bag of needles, insulin, and glucose in case his blood sugar became too low – I was to rub it onto his gums if he seemed ‘drunk’ and disorientated.
The first time I injected him on my own, I cried it was so traumatic. But gradually I became more adept; he became more co-operative; and he began to put on weight again and thrive.
I’ve been treating Clwyd’s diabetes for over four years now. At 17 years old he’s becoming a bit deaf and a bit daft, but he’s still full of life. The injections are part of our daily routine and although he’s had a couple of ‘hypo’ attacks I know the signs now so I can take fast action and hand feed him until he comes around. It does mean I have to watch him carefully, but he is allowed outside. He likes the garden and the sunshine - although he still can’t understand why I refuse to ‘turn off’ the rain.
I sometimes wonder if Clwyd realises that the injections keep him well, because he never struggles now and he loves the cuddles we have when it’s injection time. I would say to anyone who discovers that their cat is diabetic that it isn’t difficult to treat, and that the close and loving bond you have with your cat will intensify. Any pet deserves the best of health care and I hope that funds can be raised for Miss Mousie’s treatment.