Sunday, 2 January 2011

Who knows what the year will bring?

Here is my calendar page for January. As you can see I have featured Marvin, my ginger and white cat.

The reason I didn't post this before was I wanted to tell you about Marv. He has been poorly for sometime with an inflammatory bowel disease, which we have got under control with steroids and hypoallergenic cat food. But when he went for a check-up the week before Christmas the vet was concerned about his weight loss. He was a very large cat, weighing well over a stone (14lbs) and I had to buy an extra large cat container to transport him! So I just thought he was looking leaner and healthier under his new food regime. However a blood test confirmed the vets fears that he has diabetes. So we were faced with a horrible dilemma - do we start to treat it, or let nature take its course?
Treatment for cats with diabetes is exactly the same as for humans, twice daily blood tests and insulin injections. Committing yourself to such a regime is not to be taken lightly, so we took a couple of days to make a decision and talk about it with friends and family who know our situation and the cat's personality. we took the sad decision to let nature take its course as I felt I could not commit myself to pinning the cat down four times a day, twice to take blood samples and twice to inject insulin.  My husband would find it difficult to help especially as he is in need of some care himself having had a stroke some while ago as well as not being physically robust. Also Marvin was named after the paranoid android in 'Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy' as he is of a highly paranoid nature. I have given up trying to get a collar on him, and treating him with a spot flea treatment is a nightmare.  He is also inclined to ''wet his pants' when he thinks he is going in the cat basket - and then runs whenever he sees me for the next couple of days! I cannot imagine having to go through the routine needed to treat him. We would all be nervous wrecks. Also I asked myself, what would happen if we wanted to go away, who would we find to go through this for us?  So I am writing all of this, because I feel so bad, Every time I look at poor ole Marv I have a little lump in my throat, and I want you to understand that I am not being unkind - am I? At the moment he is fine ( see the photo below)
Marvin expresses his opinion of New Year's TV
His coat is a bit scruffy as he has bad teeth and dribbles - (the vet doesn't want to treat them and they aren't effecting his eating). The vet couldn't predict how long it would be before his quality of life is affected, but at the moment you wouldn't know anything was wrong, I've had enough cats over the years to know you can tell when that moment has come.  So please excuse me my maudlin over my pet. I know he will continue to pop up in my posts frequently. Reading this thorough - only a pet lover could imagine why anyone keeps such a cat in the first place!
A page from my Marvin sketchbook when we first got him
Marvin came from the marvelous local Animals at Risk Shelter(no web site), which has accommodation for all sorts of unhousable cats as well finding cats' homes. The couple who run it are devoted, and when we visited there were lots of resident cats sunning themselves in an immaculate garden with not the tiniest 'whiff' of cat. The cats waiting for rehousing were in a very homely, light and airy out house, and 'Rusty' as he had been called just rolled over at Mr T's feet for his belly to be tickled, so that was that!
He had been brought in by the security guard from a local Iceland store. We think he must have been well fed because he was rather fat, but totally paranoid at being shut in.  He goes mad if he is in a room with the door shut so goodness knows what had happened to him. Which was why we re-named him.
My nephew made us smile when my sister overheard him telling a friend that his Auntie had a cat that had been rescued from Poland!! Well Iceland...Poland what's the difference!
Thank you for sticking with me through this, I feel better for getting off my chest and I sure you will understand why we are making the most of Marv while we've got him.