Saturday, May 28, 2011

Peake in MD--Looking for a Home

January 22, 2011--On follow-up, we found that Peake had been rehomed sometime in 2011.


May 28, 2011--Here's what I know about Peake:

My mother recently passed away, leaving behind a 13 year old, neutered male cat that is diabetic. I've got him with me, but I am allergic to cats, so this is probably not a forever home for him. I suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and so it may become impossible to keep him at some point.

He was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago, but my Mom was too frail to really do anything about it. He's fine, seems healthy, but recent tests show he is still diabetic. The vet seems to think he can be treated into remission at some point, and we're going to work on that for now.

He's an indoor-only cat, weighs 16.5 lbs now and is a gentle giant. His name is Peake, and he is a handsome gray tabby with a gorgeous, thick coat. He is very talkative, loves to interact with people, pets and touches your face and arms, plays a lot and loves attention.

It would be great if you could help him find a home. I have been working with local rescue folks in Maryland, and we're hopeful, but it's hard to adopt out a senior cat with diabetes, of course.

Here's some pictures of him--he is quite a character.



Kitchen Cat's Cookbook!!

Announcing DCIN's Fall Fundraiser!!

Does your cat know the difference between filet mignon and filet of sole? Does she help you in the kitchen? Do you have a dish that leaves your family and friends pawing for more?

This year, DCIN’s special fundraising project is…Kitchen Cat's Cookbook! This digital cookbook on CD will showcase not only our prowess in the kitchen but also the good taste of our cats. After all, we all know that there is no more discriminating palate than that of a cat!

To make this project work, DCIN needs pictures of your gourmet cats helping with your favorite recipes. We also need to have the recipes for your best culinary delights.

Shown in this post are the types of photos you could snap.

So grab that digital camera, snap a picture or two of kitty helping in the kitchen or dining room, write up your best recipe, and send them in. We are going to need high resolution digital pictures only for this project). All cats, sweet or civie, with us or gone ahead, are welcome.

We need recipes in the following categories:
  • Appetizers
  • Beverages
  • Breads
  • Stuffing
  • Desserts
  • Grilling: Marinades and Dry Rubs
  • Main Courses
  • Rice and Pasta
  • Sauces and Salad Dressings
  • Soups and Salads
  • Vegetables

We also want to include a section on handy household tips.

While we would love to see your cat and his prowess in the culinary arts, a photograph is not a must to submit a recipe. After all, some cats do have a reputation to uphold; they can’t let their fellow felines know that they help with the household chores.

For those who do submit photos, please include:
  • Names of beans and cats pictured
  • Age of cat
  • Sweet or civie, with us or gone ahead
  • If sweet, insulin and dosage or whether “off the juice”
We will need a copyright release from the photographer (or whomever holds the copyright) for all photos. We will gladly give copyright credit in the cookbook. Please submit the following with any photos you submit:

I, ___________________, the photographer or copyright owner of the submitted photograph(s), give Diabetic Cats in Need the right to use this (these) photograph(s) in its copyrighted digital cookbook, tentatively titled Cooking with Cats. In developing its publication, DCIN may resize, crop, or add effects to this (these) image(s) as needed. The copyright credit on the photograph(s) in the cookbook should read as follows: ____________________________________________

If there is one or more persons in your photo(s), DCIN also work with you on a model release. We will not need a model release for the cats; we assume they are willingly helping DCIN with this project.

*** We will also be holding a contest for the Cover Cat . . . we will release those details later***

Please submit pictures, the copyright release, and recipes to MommaOfMuse (Mel) at inkedcat (remove space).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DCIN Ground Transport Instructions

You will have received a link to the run sheet for the cat’s transport. Because anyone with the link can access that document, please keep it confidential, as it has private information for the drivers. There is a link at the bottom of that page to a Google map showing the route and hand-off locations. Please print the run sheet and map to take with you in your vehicle.  You may certainly access the run sheet and map via your phone or other mobile device if you prefer, but remember to take appropriate precautions when using your phone or device while while in your vehicle.  DCIN strongly recommends that you only use your phone or device while stopped. 

We now have a Facebook group for ground transport runs.  You will be invited to join the group by one of the administrators once you commit to a run.  We will provide all transport information via FB posts, with a backup email also being sent out by the run moderator (generally the Ground Transport Coordinator, Amy Sikes).  Updates during the run will be posted on FB, sent out via email, and placed on the run sheet.

The transfer locations on the run sheet are generally set in stone by the time the run begins.  The run moderator will work with drivers as the run progresses and make changes to transfer spots only when necessary.  For example, a run in February 2015 was impeded by snow, and the two drivers involved agreed on a new transfer location that worked better based on that situation.  The schedule permits 15 (sometime 30) minutes to transfer the cat between vehicles, which is generally more than enough time to chat for a moment, transfer the kitty, and get on your way to the next transfer location.

The DCIN transports are moderated.  The name(s) and contact information for the transport moderator(s) is on the run sheet.  The moderator’s job is to monitor that the transport is on time and to address any timing or location problems that occur (see example above).  If you have any trouble with your leg that causes a delay in schedule or a detour, please post on FB or email/text/call the moderator so that she can adjust the plan and alert the future drivers.  Please also post on FB or email/text the moderator when you start and finish your legs.

The cat will always travel in a dedicated hard-sided carrier lined with puppy pads and a towel and:
  1. Extra puppy pads
  2. Water bowl and a bottle of water
  3. Food for the trip, paper plates, and a plastic spoon
  4. Paperwork, including (as applicable) rabies documentation, vet records, interstate health certificate, and adoption contract
  5. Extra food, if any
  6. Insulin, testing equipment, and diabetic supplies
  7. Bedding and toys
  8. A sheet, towel, or other covering for the carrier, which could be vital for cats fearful of the changing scenery and for those that verbalize in a vehicle
Please carry a clean-up kit with you in case the cat soils the carrier. In my cleanup kit, I carry latex gloves, paper towels, a towel (to replace the soiled one in the carrier), plastic bags to dispose of soiled items, a wetted washcloth sealed in a plastic bag, and a bottle of water.

Do NOT let the cat out of the carrier while the vehicle is in motion, even if you have another person in the car with you. A freaked out cat, especially one that you do not know, could cause an accident. If you let the cat out of the carrier during a stop, please do that only if someone is in the car with the cat, the windows are rolled all the way up, and the doors are closed and locked. There was recently an incident with a dog transport in which the dog bolted at a rest area and was never found.  We do NOT want that to happen with a DCIN kitty.

We do NOT give diabetic cats insulin the day of a transport because we do not want to deal with low numbers in the middle of a transport. 

If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Thank you for helping us get this precious cargo home!


(Updated 5/20/16)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rehoming Pumba and Timon, in Philly

May 21, 2011--Pumba, the black one, is the diabetic. Timon is a civie. Why do Pumba and Timon need a new home?
I'm not able to meet the needs of his care and balance that with my work and living situation. And I'm emotionally drained - in Nov 2007, my boyfriend at the time died suddenly of a heart attack at age 35. We were together 9 years and for the most part he and I raised them. I've done my best to maintain their care but frankly, its hard to be around them emotionally, I really just am not able to anymore. And I've put up with the allergies because I love them but its just too much, despite bathing them and combing them regularly. I've been thinking about this for over 2 years, but have finally come to terms with what I need to do.
These two boys do not have to be rehomed together, although doing so would be ideal. They are about 13-14 years old. Their Mom would like to find them a new home(s) by mid-June 2001 when she moves.
They can [move with me] for the short-term (a few weeks) but the man I will be living with is very allergic - despite going through allergy testing/shots a few years back. If possible I would like to limit the trauma of moving twice for them.
About Pumba. Black DSH; neutered; has claws; about 12.3 lbs and slim; indoor cat. He is the sweetest loving cat that deserves a great home where he can live out the rest of his days. Pumba is a lover, but when he gets bored, watch out he will just run around like a nutball. He slept in my bed at my feet until Dec 2008 when I decided I couldn't live with my allergies anymore and them sleeping with me was obviously making it worse. Now he usually sleeps on a chair in my office. He's very easy going at the vet although certainly does not like to ride in cars and will let you know it! He's a lapcat when he feels like it, but will usually just cuddle up next to or near you. Loves to be petted. Pumba gets along with Timon just fine, although Pumba likes to play and Timon most times can't be bothered. No idea about disposition with dogs or children. Pumba was diagnosed diabetic in August 2006. He had been peeing alot prior to the vet visit and crying at night as well as drinking lots of water. Was also very lethargic and just not himself. A vet visit confirmed the diagnosis. He has never had DKA and only one episode of hypo early in his diagnosis, when on 70/30. Pumba gets Lantus 1.5u in the morning 1u in the evening. He is accustomed to hometesting, but doesn't like it and at this point I rarely test because he's been so stable. My pet sitter tests when she cares for him and his pre-shots generally run 150 to 200. I know his sugars are high when he gets a glazed look on his face and doesn't really respond to his name quickly. Plus the litter tells all. Pumba eats Fancy Feast gourmet line (low carb) - only likes specific flavors - Chicken, Beef, Ocean Whitefish, Liver and Chicken, Beef and Liver, Salmon, appetite is great. Won't eat Wellness, low glycemic Merrick, or Feline's Pride. Pumba is developing cataracts but gets round just fine. He had eye infections in 2006 and 2007 and an infected tooth that was pulled 6/2008 and had a cleaning at the time. No behavior problems. Negative for FIV/FeLV in August 2006. All vaccines up to date as of 5/19/11. Is Pumba at risk for euthanasia? I hope not to have to go there. But I recognize the difficulty in rehoming older cats. I have been contacting local no kill shelters via the No Kill network but no one has room/no intake or the waiting lists have been really long. He is on one waiting list currently of 6 months. My petsitter and aunt who are vet techs have had the word out about them, but no luck yet. Posting at my vet. About Timon. Timon is a black/brown/white DSH. He was given to me by a friend who couldn't take care of him when he was young - around the same time as Pumba. He weighs around 12.6 lbs. Timon's health history has been unremarkable except for a bout of gastroenteritis in May 2007, where he was hospitalized and on tube feedings for a few days because he has stopped eating and had vomited so much. The cause was never found, but he recovered without incident. He had his teeth cleaned in 2008 and I think a tooth removed, and currently he will be going in for another cleaning because he has resorptive lesions but otherwise no major problems health wise. Awaiting senior labs to proceed with that. He's a shy cat at first, but once he gets to know you he loves to be loved and just likes being around you. He mostly keeps to himself but does like to sleep near you at night. He is vocal at the vet but is more bark than bite. He mostly growls while he's being examined. You just have to grab him firmly to get him out of the cage. He eats the same as Pumba and on the same feeding schedule (twice a day).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Elvis, a diabetic dachshund in Davenport, IA

May 18, 2011--It appears Elvis will be safe. I have seen emails between C2CDR and the owner of the site. Elvis has the offer of an experienced foster home, and there are offers of insulin and hometesting and other diabetic supplies for him. C2CDR is moving quickly to get Elvis situated so that he can start insulin. Quick control of BG levels is crucial for dogs because they can, and often do, go permanently blind from uncontrolled diabetes. ********************************************************************************* May 17, 2011--An email from Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue (C2CDR) that started on Sunday, May 15:
Hello, This is Elvis. He is a 6-year-old dachshund. He weighs 20lbs. He is great with other dogs, cats, and kids. He loves meeting new people and doesn't know a stranger. His owners just found out yesterday he has diabetes. His blood sugar was at 347. He is healthy otherwise but they do not feel comfortable giving him insulin shots. We need to find him a home asap! Please contact me if anyone can help. Such a sweet dog deserves a chance at life! He is located in Davenport, Iowa. Thanks, Chrissa Lowe Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue - Iowa chrissaandtravis (remove space)
I also have the email and phone number for another person on this email chain.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Splitzie at Home with Kathy

May 16, 2011--Welcome to our DCIN family, tuxie Splitzie and Mom Kathy. Kathy contacted DCIN ten days ago through the FDMB. Splitzie has been in Kathy's family for 14 years and was diagnosed diabetic six or seven months ago. But finances precluded treatment, and Kathy didn't know about DCIN. Kathy and I rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Kathy, being diabetic, had the testing supplies at home, which she used to confirm Splitzie's diabetes. DCIN send her testing supplies for Splitzie to call her own. Kathy has Lantus at home, so she and I arranged a vet visit to get Splitzie a prescription. Splitzie got her script on Thursday, May 12, and started insulin that night. Kathy and her Mom, who cared for Splitzie over the weekend, have become testing masters and show no anxiety about testing their darling girl and giving her insulin shots. It helps to have years of human diabetes treatment under your belt!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tiko's Cause in Brief

May 23, 2011--Donations from individuals for Tiko have reached $1,456. DCIN still has to raise $1,044 to pay off the loan for the ER visit. ********************************************************************** May 11, 2011, 11am-- Tiko in a Nutshell. On Friday, April 30, 2011, Carolynn and her vet rescued a happy and seemingly healthy 6 year-old diabetic cat from an owner-directed execution. Before going to the vet's office, Carolynn and Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN) agreed that the cat would receive DCIN assistance--insulin and blood glucose testing and other diabetic supplies. The cat's vet chart says the previous owners made him live outside when he starting have litterbox problems. Inappropriate elimination is common for an unregulated diabetic cat. Within minutes of Carolynn and her girls getting the cat home, he got a bath and a new name--Tiko. Carolynn, an experienced feline diabetic caregiver, gave insulin over the weekend and prepared Tiko for his previously scheduled dental on Monday. With his dental, Tiko had ELEVEN teeth extracted and came home on pain meds and antibiotics. On Wednesday, Tiko was inappetant and lethargic, and having difficulty breathing. Carolynn took him to the rescuing vet, and he has not been home since. For the breathing difficulty (over 80 respirations/minute), Tiko received a dexamethazone (steroid) shot. Tiko seemed better the next morning, but by afternoon was vomiting and was given Cerenia and IV fluids for that. On Friday, May 6, Tiko was not vomiting, was breathing OK, and his mouth looked good...but he was inappetant and depressed and had a mildly uncomfortable abdomen. IV fluids were continued. In the afternoon, his urine test showed significant ketones, a dangerous metabolic condition. The vet continued fluids and gave Tiko medication for nausea and to stimulate eating. On Saturday, Tiko looked worse. Carolynn and her vet, with DCIN's agreement, transferred him to the Farmington Valley ER Vet. When admitted, Tiko was not yet DKA, but he was acidotic, severely constipated and dehydrated, and having pain. He was treated for those symptoms, and the treating ER vet said the steroid shot, lack of adequate pain meds, and constipation caused stress which led Tiko into acidosis. Over the weekend, his potassium level fell and he became DKA and at serious risk for his life. On Monday morning, with Tiko eating a bit and his phosphorus levels improving, Carolynn transferred him back to the rescuing vet. However, that afternoon, still showing metabolic signs of DKA, Tiko also was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia. His treatment included blood transfusions. His condition was dire. But Tiko, his vet, and all those praying for him started to turn him around. By the evening of Tuesday, May 10, Tiko's hematocrit was on the rise and he was eating. The Toll on the Human Heart. A message from one of the hundreds of people following his journey on DCIN's Facebook page.
All my strength and love are his. It's so heartbreaking to see all that they go through and all that they give and get so very little in return. I hope and pray that he fights through... he has not had the love and home he was owed. I am trying to understand why so much innocence is lost in this world. Please hold on little Tiko please come back to us and let us try to give you the life you were meant to have....but if you can't and it is just too much I will try to understand and even though I have never met you Tiko I will carry you in my heart.
The Toll on Pocketbooks. The rescuing vet has given all her care without charge, including his dental procedure. DCIN charged $2,500 on its credit card for the ER care. Carolynn paid the remaining $780. The ER vet's office manager refused a rescue discount, which is normally 20%. DCIN isn't one of the "regulars." $2,500 is 13% of DCIN's annual budget. Ballpark, DCIN only spends $300 to $400 for each diabetic cat it helps each year. Over the Mother's Day weekend, DCIN's two managers (not a big rescue here) researched and applied to organizations for help with DCIN's costs. We were turned down by,, and A couple other organization did not respond. We are pursuing funding with the PETCO Foundation and the Onyx and Breezy Foundation. This page was written for those two organizations. Should those organizations wish to see more detail about Tiko, a detailed blog page is here, and DCIN's Facebook page during that period includes dozens of posts about Tiko. We have been fundraising for Tiko from individuals. Presently, we have raised $1,083.12 from about 100 donors. We also have a pledge of $350 from one of our regular contributors. We have been asking for crossposts to our Facebook page from other feline pages, such as Sparkle the Designer Cat (2195 followers). In the past week, we increased "fans" to our Facebook page by about 35% with that effort. One of DCIN's individual sponsors offered an interest-free loan for the difference between what DCIN has committed to and what it collects for Tiko. Because of this, DCIN will not have to pay exorbitant credit card interest rates. However, for this loan, DCIN has pledged 25% of its unrestricted donations, which will limit our ability to help other diabetic cats until the loan is satisfied. Most of the 2 to 3 diabetic cats DCIN takes into its financial assistance program each month are at risk of surrender to a shelter or a vet, or rehoming, because the owner is under- or un-employed (including in the military), disabled, elderly on a fixed income, or in some other way being slammed by the cost to care for his/her diabetic cat. We thank you, PETCO and Onyx and Breezy Foundations, for considering our appeal to not only help us help Tiko, but also to keep afloat our ability to help other diabetic cats.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Jamie on Diabetic Ketoacidosis

We lost our dear and gentle Jamie in 2009 to cancer and diabetes. Jamie and her cat Boots were long-time friends on the Feline Diabetes Message Board. Jamie will live forever in our hearts. I am copying here what she wrote about her own DKA episode. Thank you, Jamie, for one of your many legacies.
What does DKA Feel Like? WARNING: Reading this story may be upsetting.

The physical manifestations (and, to a lesser extent, the mental manifestations) of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, or DKA, as I have experienced and thus described, can be summed up very simply: suffering. Reading this story is reading about suffering. It's not all graphic; the bad bit begins and ends at the asterisks (***).

You may want to just skip over this if you're not in a good place at the moment. "Not in a good place" might include: your kitty is newly diagnosed with feline diabetes and you are feeling overwhelmed; you have a kitty who is currently experiencing ketosis or DKA; you have lost a kitty to DKA, especially if you've lost your kitty recently; your kitty's diabetes is not under good control, and you're stressing.

Please understand that in posting this story, I am not trying to cause or exacerbate pain, grief, or guilt on anyone's part. I only want people to be aware of the exceptional seriousness and danger of DKA, and how careful monitoring of our diabetic cats can help prevent suffering on their part. If, after reading this story, you find you need to talk, email me or send me a private message through the board. You may also want to visit the FDMB forums for Health, Community, and Grief where you can talk to others. Remember that everyone here understands the stress and worry that comes with having a beloved feline companion with diabetes. I tend to worry more about Boots' diabetes than I do my own.

Background: I am a diabetic human. I was diagnosed with type-I diabetes mellitus (also known as "insulin dependent" or "juvenile" diabetes) in June of 1999. I had just graduated from high school. Since my diagnosis, I have developed diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, on two occasions, one of which was mild, the other moderate. The following was written after the moderate episode. If you have a diabetic cat, I have written this to help you understand what DKA feels like, at least for a human, both physically and mentally. I hope that after reading this, you will appreciate the importance of insulin therapy and blood glucose monitoring. It is also my sincere hope that you will remember to test for blood or urine ketones whenever your kitty develops any symptoms of ketosis or is known to be at increased risk of developing DKA. Please see Further Reading at the end of this section to find links to more information about this potentially deadly complication of diabetes.

I woke up at 11:00 a.m., and I was weak. I had trouble standing when I got out of bed; I had to crawl to get up the stairs from my bedroom in the basement. My eyes itched and burned. Where the sides of my fingers rubbed one another, the skin felt like sandpaper. My lips and sinuses were so dry that they had cracked and bled while I slept. Thirsty, god, I was so thirsty. I crawled to the kitchen, where I drank a giant glass of water and then fought waves of nausea until I threw up. Still, I was thirsty. So much so that I drank more water immediately after I vomited. It too came back up.

I was peeing gallons. I felt like there was no fluid in me at all; like every single cell in my body was crying out for water!, but I was still peeing like crazy. It's hard to really comprehend how much fluid is in the human body until you try to pee it all out; it's a lot I checked my urine for ketones: positive for moderate to large amounts. I checked my blood sugar: 565. I gave myself 10 units of insulin. I drank a glass of water and threw up. I fell asleep on the couch at noon.

I meant to call Mom and tell her to come home and take me to the hospital, but I was so tired. My hearing aids were in my room. I knew if I went down the stairs, I’d be lucky if I could get back up them. I didn’t really mean to fall asleep, but I was too tired to stay awake. I'd only been up for an hour. I hadn't called Mom.

*** The fatigue of DKA is not something that many people in first-world countries will ever know first-hand. Be thankful. The fatigue of DKA lies beyond tired, or sluggish, or worn out; it's a state of severe dehydration combined with an inability to move muscles starved for energy. Everything happens in slow motion, and every movement is accompanied by an awful sort of soreness, as if you've spent the last few weeks doing hard physical labor without sufficient rest, without sufficient food, without sufficient water.

I must be covered in purple-black bruises; there is no good analogy for this sort of aching. You can almost feel how every movement you make inflicts hundreds of tiny injuries inside each muscle, making each subsequent motion more difficult and more painful. Every time you move your head, there is a nasty little whoomph!, similar to having a very bad hangover, but more intense. The inside of your mouth is not wet or even damp; it's tacky. You can't swallow. You are confronted with the dual problem of being terribly thirsty and terribly nauseated. The thirst wins, you drink; the nausea wins, you throw it all up, only now it's acidic and leaves a foul taste in your mouth. You need more water to rinse the taste out, then you're driven to drink again, and again your body rejects it in favor of eliminating a little more acid from your system.

Something very basic inside you says, "things are tearing up; I can feel them shutting down; this is how it feels to die slowly." The mental state of DKA is clouded, filmy, and viscous (think: glutinous, turbid, clotted). You can think, but it's hard to think quickly or stay focused. This is because most of your thoughts continuously come back to needs which are immediate and achingly basic: thirsty!; god, please don't let me vomit; I hurt, hurt all over; need to rest; so tired; so thirsty. You become a creature named i need.

Higher functions, problem-solving and logic, are employed for one thing: fending off the i need, because your basic state of being becomes about relieving physical suffering. The brief discomfort of things like insulin shots, BG tests, IVs, arterial sticks, and catheters are tiny flickers in your awareness. Your mind returns, relentlessly, to the same elements: thirsty, aching, hurting, lead-like body, sleep. It is my understanding that when DKA progresses to very severe metabolic dysfunction, the pain and thirst are so pressing and so bleak that loss of consciousness and diabetic coma are a blessed escape. Having experienced this "moderate" version of DKA, I do not doubt it. ***

I woke up at 2:00 p.m. and thought, have to get help. I hauled myself off the couch and clung to the wall as I made my way down the stairs. I got my hearing aids and couldn't make it back up the stairs on two feet, so I crawled part of the way. It took me 15 minutes to do what should have taken two. I checked my urine for ketones: positive for moderate to large amounts. I checked my blood sugar: 480. I gave myself 10 units of insulin. I drank a glass of water and threw up.

Call Mom. My mouth was so dry I couldn’t talk very well, and my mother knew something was wrong as soon as I tried to explain. She dropped everything at work and rushed home. She walked in the door, put her arm around me, and dragged me out to the car. More than once she threatened to call an ambulance if I couldn't make it. She took me to the ER. I drank a bottle of water on the way there. I threw up before we got there. Diagnosis: critical metabolic crisis secondary to diabetic ketoacidosis. Some relevant points: severe dehydration, hyperglycemia, electrolyte disturbance, metabolic acidosis...

In the ER, I begged for water even after the IV was running, and it was running wide-open: the pump was programmed to infuse fluid as fast as it was capable of running. I was still so thirsty. They let me drink water. I threw it all up. "We don't have any ICU beds open, we're calling other hospitals to see who can take her." The doctors weren't talking to me, because only part of me was listening. The rest of me was concerned with other matters: thirsty, aching, hurting, lead-like body, sleep.

I ended up in a helicopter, being flown to a hospital which had an ICU room open, but I don't really remember the helicopter ride or being admitted to the ICU. Mom tells me that one of the EMTs was very sweet and handsome. Yeah Mom, I need to think of finding a decent boyfriend. Thanks, but this one's first impression of me probably involves the words "frequent" and "vomiting."

In the ICU, I was given 2 IVs: fluid and insulin in one arm; fluid, electrolytes, and glucose in the other. I also got a urinary catheter and a series of nurses who poked at me every 15 minutes. No one sleeps in the ICU... except maybe coma patients. I was there for almost 18 hours, listed as "critical." However, after only 6 hours or so, I felt whole again. No more thirsty!, no more hurting, no more molasses in my head. I was moved to regular medical ward, where I stayed for another 2 days before being discharged from the hospital. I made a full recovery and sustained no lasting organ damage.

The DKA was my mostly my fault. I have an insulin pump, and I had changed the set (tubing and a little plastic cannula; it's very similar to an IV, but for insulin delivery, it is inserted into subcutaneous fat, rather than into a vein) at about 7:00 p.m. then went to bed without checking my blood sugar. Bad move. At some point that evening, the cannula became bent, which meant that I was not getting insulin all night. It also turned out that I had a very nasty infection brewing in my abdomen from recent surgery. Not getting insulin for 16 hours, bacterial infection, and the stress of surgery triggered ketogenesis, the first step toward developing DKA.

Since I slept through the stages of metabolic changes where ketosis is easily treatable, I wound up in a life-threatening situation. BG monitoring, and blood or urine ketone checks are the best methods for early detection of ketosis. The sooner ketosis is recognized and treated, the easier it is to reverse. As soon as full-blown DKA develops, you have a medical emergency.

If you see any signs of ketosis or DKA in your cat, call your vet immediately

Further Reading for DKA:
The FDMB's Ketone Page
Pet Diabetes Wiki: Ketoacidosis
Ketone Primer, from the FDMB archives
Precision Xtra meter for blood ketone testing.
Wikipedia: DKA (in humans) DKA is basically the same process in humans and cats..

Ebony Adopted by Jennifer

May 30, 2011--New pictures of the soon-to-be-broken Ms. Ebony.

It's hard work being broken

May 9, 2011--On April 22, 2011, Jennifer brought Ebony home. A local kill shelter contacted DCIN on April 15 about a diabetic cat at its shelter. This shelter has not in the past put diabetics on its adoption list. After efforts by DCIN with another cat, diabetic cats are now offered to rescues. If the diabetic cats are not "pulled," we fear they will be killed.

I copied Jennifer on my initial contact with the shelter. Jennifer had been looking to rescue another diabetic cat since her dear little man Tucker died.

On April 18, once we got some medical information on Ebony, Jennifer followed up on Ebony (I was out of town having surgery) and sent me an email that morning that she would be adopting Ebony that Friday.

On Friday:
Ebony is home, she's upstairs in the foster room chilling out. She was surrendered to [the shelter] on 11/26/10, was not adopted due to her crankiness. It wasn't until recently they realized her water bowl was constantly empty and checked for FD. Once confirmed FD they gave her all the food she wanted and her crankiness went away.

Lots of tears leaving, many of the shelter folks were very attached to her.

Ebony spent her first few days at Jennifer's in the foster room by herself. Early the next week, Jennifer spoke to Dawn Allen, the animal communicator:
From her past home Ebony does not know how to be happy. She was always hiding and frightened, felt scared all the time. She likes me and has a general good feeling about me and [my husband], that we're nice. She is concerned about the other cats and would like to not change anything right now. She is not ready to move in downstairs. She is afraid of men, but as mentioned, gets an okay feeling about [my husband].

She does not feel sick, Dawn did not understand how she was FD because she feels very healthy. I did tell Dawn that she's on insulin now and water intake is practically nothing since Friday.

DCIN paid for a "welcome to the vet" visit, and Ebony is healthy. Jennifer has had a difficult time testing Ebony's BG levels. Ebony has claws and teeth and at first said no very forcefully. With Lisa and Merlin's help, Jennifer got some Feliway diffusers for Ebony's room.

Then Bean decided that she wanted to stay upstairs with Ebony. They didn't interact; it was just a matter of being in the same space. Bean had become an ambassador from the herd of furries on the first floor.


Then on May 4, Ebony decided to join the herd.

Holy moly!! Someone jumped on the counter and is eating with the cats like she owns the place;)


Bean with Ebony--They were playing with the basement door together. They are always together :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mortimer at Home with Elizabeth

June 23, 2012--Mortimer is having trouble with inappropriate urination. DCIN sent him to the vet, who says it is stress related but doesn't want to start any medication just yet. DCIN sent Elizabeth some Rescue Remedy Pet (no alcohol) and Feliway to help with his anxiety.


December 23, 2011--From Elizabeth:
"Wishing you, your family, and the the sweet kitties out there a very Merry Christmas!!!

Thanks for all you and DCIN do!

Mortimer and his Family

(p.s. Morty is still OTJ and doing well!)

August 13, 2011--I just heard that Mortimer has been OTJ (Off the Juice or in remission) for almost a month. Congratulations Elizabeth and Mortimer!!


May 7, 2011--Mortimer owns Elizabeth. He's been OTJ for a couple of years, but recently Elizabeth noticed some clinical symptoms, tested him, and yes he's back to needing insulin. He previously was on PZI and Elizabeth posted on Diabetic Cat Care as emarie313.

This is a sucky economy, and there have been some personal issues that have driven Elizabeth to ask for help to care for Mortimer. How can your heart not go out to a cat named Mortimer?

DCIN will be providing Elizabeth testing supplies and insulin. I was organizing my insulin stock yesterday and found a vial of ProZinc. Lately, some things have just been falling into place.

We would like to get Mortimer vetted--a basic exam and bloodwork--to get a script for ProZinc. I am hoping that will be under $150. Fundraising is difficult right now because all of our resources are being put into Tiko. But I will put it out there that we would like to have Mortimer vetted.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

1-800-Pet-Meds Donations

DCIN recently joined the 1-800-Pet-Meds Donation Program and received its first shipment of products. This program provides: 1) A product donation including ear, tooth, coat care products, as well as flea and tick preventatives of either Frontline, Advantage, or K-0 Advantix. 2) 10% off any and all orders prescription or otherwise. 3) Shelter referral service. When any of our millions of customers in your area is looking for a pet we can provide them your shelter information. 4) We can mention you on (half a million visits per month) 5) Future product donations (semi-annually) The contact person for this program has encouraged me to share his info with anyone in rescue who can use a hand. Send an email to the following person with a brief blurb about your rescue/shelter. Your rescue/shelter will have to put a inconspicuous link to See the right column of this page, the link underneath the Facebook feed. Or, you can go through the link I just gave you to sign up. Anthony Planakis 1800PetMeds Healthy Pet Advocate Donation Coordinator 954-979-5995 Ext. 8068 or toll free 1-800-PetMeds(r) (1-800-738-6337) and ask to be transferred to Ext.8068

Kaylah (Rest Peacefully, Dear Girl) and Molly (Adopted)

May 9, 2011--From the rescue handling Kaylah and Molly:
I am sorry to say that Kaylah, the lovely Siamese who was set to be rehomed to lady in a PA, had to be put to sleep today. She had suffered two "events" in the past week. After an emergency room visit a week ago, Kaylah bounced back and appeared to be doing okay. She went for a checkup after that and was doing well. However, Saturday she started showing symptoms again and throwing up blood. After reviewing everything, the vet recommended that it would be in her best interest to be PTS and no long suffer. Kaylah was just buried on our property in a lovely wooded setting, with her person, Estacia, myself and my husband in attendance. She is at peace now and resting. I want to thank everyone who gave of their time cross posting and trying to help Kaylah in any way. We did have several folks offering to help us with her transport this coming weekend. Sadly, that will not be necessary. I am so proud of our rescue community and the way we all jump in to help a kitty in need! This was such an effort that saw no boundaries and no lack of enthusiasm and energy to help this young woman and her 3 kitties. The other two kitties are in an emergency foster home and safe. Please let anyone you have asked to help know what has happened so that they may discontinue their efforts. Rest in peace, lovely Kaylah...... The other two kitties, Molly and Kalley, have found placement. Thanks!!
***************************************************************************** May 4, 2011--
These cats need help immediately.
That's the message I got from someone who has been running into brick walls trying to place these two cats. The cats are currently near Charlotte, NC. We won't be getting the detailed information we normally get for adoptable cats, but if someone is seriously considering adopting one or both of them, DCIN will do its best to get whatever information is needed. These cats are the victims of divorce.
She has moved already and left cats with husband who does not want them.
Both cats are said to be very loving and sweet. They are both spayed, current on shots and 4 paw declawed. As you know, Siamese is diabetic. They are beautiful sweet kitties and need help right away!
The 8 YO Siamese female is Kaylah. She is diabetic and comes with a bottle of insulin and syringes. (DCIN can also get a fostre or adoptive home started with blood glucose testing equipment.) Her 10 YO roommate, Molly, is a black/white semi-long-hair. The rescue that has them says that transportation can be arranged. It would be nice if the cats could be placed together, but not required. The contact, for fostering or adoption, is Melba at melbatarlton (remove space).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fly Free, Sweet Potato

July 15, 2015--Sweet Potato's Mom came home today to find that he had died in his bed.

The ever loving and gentle Sweet Potato was a DCIN adoptee four years ago, after he was an owner surrender to a high-kill NC shelter and then a short-term foster with a local rescue. His new Mom fell in love with him and loved him more deeply every day. Sweet Potato joins his good friend Sammy (also orange but not diabetic) at the Bridge. Sammy's Mom and Dad lost lost him just four days earlier.


March 19, 2013--

Sweet Potato went to the vet yesterday because of black vomiting and black, tar-like poop. After $750 for diagnostic tests and treatment, he came home with the diagnosis of Pancreatitis. However, his Mom Jennifer and I suspect this is not the end of the problems as we have never heard of internal bleeding (which the black coloration would indicate) as a symptom of Pancreatitis. Please help DCIN help JJ with this bill. Sweet Potato is just one of the many diabetic cats Jennifer has adopted through DCIN. ~Venita

November 24, 2012--
Sweet Potato claims the kitty couch, a gift to all the kitties from their Auntie.


August 29, 2012--
Sweet Potato is a Big Boy!!
Perspective? This is a curtained window behind him.


August 7, 2011--


July 4, 2011--Spuds received his dental on June 24, receiving only the two expected extractions. Jennifer says the ulcer on his eye continues to improve.

Jenn sent me two new pictures of Spuds today.

Flat out Spuds

Spuds and Sam, hoping to make the DCIN cookbook


Spuds in the back, resting with Sammy (left) and Ebony (right)
June 18, 2011--Spuds had a follow-up visit with the vet for his eye this week. The ulcer is much improved, but still present, so he will be on eye drops for a bit longer.

Spuds' dental fundraising is going well. As of this morning, DCIN has collected $581 of the $892 minimum estimate we were given for his dental. Thank you so much to all these donors who have been so gracious in their contributions. Including one donor who contributed a large sum, not only to finish the fundraising for Tiko's DKA, but also to put the balance towards Spuds' dental.

We have $311 left to raise, and we hope we can accomplish that this weekend. Spuds' dental is scheduled for next Friday.

This is Spuds' Chip-in widget. Please help if you can.
This widget does not reflect all of the donations because some donations have not come through Chip-in. Some have come directly to PayPal without charging DCIN a fee. The instructions for doing that, to maximize you donation of Spuds, are here.

June 8, 2011--Spuds went to the vet yesterday. The good news is that his bloodwork is PERFECT!! He is a very healthy, happy little man. The not so bad news is that his eye has an ulcer. (Information about corneal ulcers.) He is on antibiotic drops and pain medication for that. He will have a re-check in a week.

The bad news is that Spuds needs to have a dental with two extractions, one a major molar that will require special procedures. And cost!! The estimate is $891.80.

Jennifer does so much to help the diabetic cats. Spuds, which she just adopted on May 29, is her 9th diabetic. She is a case worker for DCIN. Of the seven cats in her home, she adopted five as special needs. We can't let Jennifer handle this on her own. Can we?

Please help through Chip-in, if you can. **************************************************************************

June 3, 2011--
Spuds' coat is improving
A happy little man


May 19, 2011--Jennifer, one of our extraordinary diabetic cat Moms, and her husband Ron are opening their home and hearts to Sammy. We hope to have him home for Memorial Day. Welcome home Sammy!! Congrats Jennifer, Ron, Sammy, and the feline herd! We are especially happy for Sam, who will be getting a new brother.

May 18, 2011--From Rachel, May 17:
Sammy decided to cruise the house this morning while I was getting ready for work. He did fine with the cats and the older GSD, but found the dry Iams hairball on the top of the table (some of my guys are grazers). As soon as he stuck his nose in there I said "not for you!" and picked him up to take him upstairs to eat his own food (which I'd just put out). He grumped slightly but quit as soon as I scratched his head.

Sammy is a pretty easy going cat but he doesn't eat well for a day or two when there has been a change. The new adopter will need to expect that. However, he's adjusted to his bigger room and forays out into the house. He likes [my son's] bed and sleeps with him at night.

He's just an awesome cat.
On May 16, when I told Rachel I would like to find Sammy a furever home rather than moving him to another foster home, she said:
I want Sammy to have a forever home also. He was out exploring the house this morning and has met all 10 cats as well as the oldest dog. He seems like he would fit in well anywhere.

May 15, 2011--New pictures of Sammy with an update from Rachel:
Sammy is very social with other animals. He was unafraid of my older German shepherd and proceeded to pretty much disregard her as he mozied around looking at the house this weekend. I moved him out of the bathroom and into my son's bedroom Saturday. A few of the cats have gone in to visit and he seems to like them all. He's discovered the bed and the beanbag chair in front of the window. He didn't eat quite as much as usual this weekend, but its probably the change in environment. His appetite is looking up tonight. I snapped a couple of quick pics this evening. He is so mellow!! Quite a gem!
Rachel has agreed to foster Sammy one additional week. Folks, please. Rachel's rescue saved Sammy from certain death, with the understanding that DCIN would help find him a home ASAP. If you know anyone who would give Sammy a purrfect home, please send them the link to this page.


May 9 through 14, 2011--Rachel's update for these days are in the comments below.


May 8, 2011--Mother's Day update from Rachel:
Sammy was combo tested neg/neg yesterday. We pulled blood out of his hind leg and he didn't flinch at the needle at all. He's a very forgiving boy. He shows no signs of any illness from the shelter- no sniffles etc, so I believe he is very healthy except for his diabetes. He is eating well and comes to greet me at the door every day. I've spot checked him and he is consistently running about 250mg/dL..........wondering about bumping him up a little on his insulin to see if we can get him below 200?

I had a friend over yesterday and wanted to see how Sammy reacts to strangers. He does hold back and looks at strangers, but when he is picked up he relaxes right away and appreciates the attention. His urine and stool output are normal and he is using the box well.

May 6, 2011--New Pictures!! Rachel said to let you know
He is SUPER of the easiest cats I've ever had. Doesn't mind shots or ear sticks a bit.


May 5, 2011--Today's update from Rachel:
Sammy seemed more comnfortable with me so he got a bath last night too. He wasn't any trouble to bath although he seemed a tad grumpy on the way back to his room. However, I checked on him a half hour later and he was eating his canned food and happy again.

He really is a good boy. I added the toys you sent to the ones I'd already put in there and he was playing a little with me last night. I'm going to get him brushed out good today and try to get some better pics to post. He's really pretty. He's eating between 4-6 ounces per day of the fancy feast. His urine output is normal now, his stools are good, and he has not eliminated inappropriately again. I'll keep an eye on that but I suspect he only did it the first night because of all the transitioning.

I'll spot check him tonight when I get home but I didn't test again yesterday to give his ears a break. I'm giving one unit twice daily and wanted him to have a few days on the same dose before running a curve to see how long its lasting.


May 4, 2011--Rachel's update on Sammy. Three of the five Ps--purring, peeing, and pooping--are in place. Rachel has not yet observed the other two--playing and preening. It sounds like he is settling in well.
Sammy ate all of the canned food I put out for him yesterday morning (about 3 oz) with a little lysine mixed in. I took a reading when I got home (after he'd eaten) and he was at 291mg/dL. He had used his litter box, but had also peed on the tile in the corner near the toilet. He may just be upset about all the changes and I'm sure he can sense that there are other animals in the house, even though he can't see them. I'll keep an eye on it. I gave him one unit of the Prozinc and another 3 oz of the fancy feast pate that I bought yesterday. Then I let him snuggle in for the night.

Sammy got up and came to greet me when I went into his room this morning. He'd finished his canned food, and was purring up a storm. He's very very easy and compliant. Doesn't mind the ear stick at all and doesn't complain. He did have one larger pee ball in the litter box, one small stool in the box and one large stool in the tub (I have the litter pan in the tub to give him more floor space). Again, he is adjusting and may have missed the box on that one by accident. But at least he is peeing and pooping. I clean boxes twice a day so that the cats don't have dirty boxes-I can check how much he goes with each meal. His level was 258mg/dL this morning when I checked at 6am (12 hours after the initial one). I have one more unit is Prozinc and more food. He'd eaten about 1 oz of the food when I checked on his again at 7am.

All in all, he's a super sweet boy. I'll have more time tonight and will see if he'll play with me.

May 3, 2011--Sammy is Molly's Legacy. However, DCIN was unable to work with the Wake County NC shelter because its vet said that the shelter could not manage a diabetic cat and that Sammy should be killed. (Please don't get upset with the people I have been working with. Apparently, it is the shelter vet that needs some knowledge about the shelter care of diabetic cats, and we hope to work on that as time permits.)

The good news is that Sammy was pulled from the shelter before his "D-Day" by Marley's Cat Tales Rescue and is in foster with Rachel.

We are still gathering information on Sammy. He was born in September 2001 and is 10 years old. He was last vetted in February 2011; copies of the results of the bloodwork and stool sample are pending.

He weighs about 15 pounds, and Rachel says he is thin in the hips. She also says his coat is oily and that she will be bathing him soon.

We don't yet know when Sammy was diagnosed diabetic. He came to the shelter on 5U ProZinc, BID (twice/day). His last shot was Saturday morning (April 30) because he was left at the shelter without insulin. His owner gave the expense of caring for Sammy's diabetes as the reason for his surrender.

DCIN is happily supporting Sammy's diabetes and food costs while he is in foster with Rachel. Rachel has experience with diabetic cats, and will be hometesting Sammy. Rachel got a new vial of ProZinc today, and will be restarting Sammy on insulin tonight, possibly at .5 or 1U BID. She also is feeding him a low-carb, canned food diet.

Rachel tells me that Sammy is "laid back; a gentle soul." He is safely residing solo in Rachel's bathroom. He is picky with food right now, which is not uncommon with cats under stress of being

Sammy needs a new foster or permanent home ASAP. Marley's Cat Tales normally focuses on rescuing FIV+ cats, and would like to free up their foster home spot quickly. The foster/rescue coordinator at the shelter found this placement, and for that we thank her SO MUCH. In my discussions with the shelter and the rescue, they have referred to Rachel as "an interim foster." I was told that Marley's rescue would like DCIN to have a placement for Sammy within two weeks.