Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Petco Foundation Grant--Cricket

Cricket--From Honey Badger Back to Baby

Baby-Cricket at intake.
Sick, hostile, matted.
I saw a scraggly looking, tail-less tortie on Diabetic Cats in Need’s Facebook page in dire need of foster care because of her diabetes. An elderly widower found her in the summer abandoned at a campground and took her home, naming her Baby. His daughter contacted DCIN because he was unable to handle her when she became diabetic, causing her to go from sweet to hostile.

A widow myself and lover of special-needs cats, my heart went out to them. A DCIN volunteer helped transport Baby across Massachusetts to me. I renamed her Cricket because I already had a Baby of my own. Cricket was so ferocious I wondered how she’d ever come to be named Baby. Her blood sugar numbers were sky high so we began our fight to conquer them. "Fight" being the operative word. To test her sugar, I’d have to toss a towel over her and grab my growling, hissing little foster full of sugar and torti-tude, and try not to get bitten. Still, she sent me twice to the Emergency Room, so I nicknamed her Honey Badger.

Ironically, the very day I got Cricket, my own elderly Baby became suddenly ill. Despite our best efforts at the hospital, she died. I will always believe that this new ‘Baby’ came to me for a special reason. My work to control her diabetes and make her well allowed me to save one of the Babys. I had no experience with diabetes and made a grave error on my first insulin administration, accidentally overdosing her. My DCIN caseworker talked me off the ledge as I sobbed over delivering yet another Baby to the emergency vet. Despite my mistake, Cricket took it in stride, as I guess any Honey Badger would, and DCIN insisted on paying the vet bill, assuring me that everyone makes mistakes.

A Cricket-Mom lovefest.
For three months I wrestled with insulin doses, doing frequent blood sugar tests, and following strict protocol from my advisor—low-carb wet food only and adherence to the dosing ranges she set. My DCIN caseworker and I became good friends as we discussed Cricket and she told me she “knew” Cricket would one day be insulin-free and sleeping on my bed. I told her she was delusional. In only three months, Cricket sank to normal numbers and into remission, and remains insulin free today, 18 months later.

I love my Mom's bed now.
Little Cricket will still smack down my much bigger boy cats, who accepted her as their fearless leader immediately. I wrote her former owner to assure him his ‘Baby’ was well now. I could not save my own Baby, but I saved his, and with an official adoption, she became mine. She now sleeps on the bed and gives me kisses, which I accept without fear because Honey Badger has become a Baby again.

DCIN helps diabetic cats whose owners are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary care—or who have abandoned them altogether—by finding them loving homes. I am proud of their many success stories, including Cricket!

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