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27/02/2013 / katnewman

Morals, emotions, priorities – life with a diabetic cat

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I respect everybody’s right to an opinion, so long as they respect my right not to have to listen to them if I don’t want to!

There was so much to deal with when Harry was first diagnosed, and what was least helpful were the opinions of people who believed I should have him put down, rather than treat him. I remember being told ‘its all about priorities’ by someone. I strongly believe that he, as a helpless animal and a fellow soul, has the right to the best life possible. I did not get a cat just to ditch him at the first sign of trouble. He has been my loyal and loving companion for nearly 14 years now and so if he has become a little more high maintenance lately then so what.

That said, I do recognise that some people just couldn’t commit to taking care of a diabetic pet. Naively, I assumed there would be a special place with cats homes or the RSPCA for these poor unfortunates, but my vet and his secretary dissolved me of this notion very quickly! Apparently people do just have their animals put to sleep in these circumstances. I do find this rather upsetting, because for the want of a bit more attention diabetic pets can go on to live many more years, but then if a person is not committed to their treatment then in the long run I guess its kinder to the animal. I am very lucky also, in that my neighbour is a sterling lady and is happy to do the injections and tests when I am not here. She was also stunned at how much easier that first injection was than initially thought!

All I can say to you, is follow your heart and do what is best for your animal. Surround yourself with supportive people and blot out the negativity. There’s no margin for half-measures here and its bluddy traumatic whatever you decide. Harry will always be a worry to me now, the slightest infection or tummy upset could have him spiralling downwards – he has just had one that involved blood and allsorts – and I am very aware that whenever the end comes, it will most likely have to involve that decision that we as pet owners hate to have to make. Hopefully that’s a long way off.

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