Newton

Newters

I’ve mentioned him before, but I thought my dear baby should get a post of his own. Newton was a kitten that I got in middle school along with his brother Archibald (Archie) from the same litter. Archie is red and white, and named after the comic book character while Newton is named after the cookie, not Isaac. I like to make that clarification. Newton has always been my baby, sleeping under the covers with me, snuggling a lot, and all around following me around. When I was a junior in college, my mother called to tell me that Newty was very sick and she didn’t think he was going to make it. Through my tears i informed her that he needed to stay alive, and I would pay whatever I needed to to keep him with me. I think that if one does not have children, pets fill this gap and people are willing to do the unexpected for their pet. It turns out that Newton was diagnosed with diabetes, which is actually a very common disease for cats and dogs and is controlled with diet or insulin depending on the severity. Dogs usually have better glycemic control because they can be forced to exercise (ie taken for walks) as apposed to Newton who looks at me like I’m high when I ask him to move over an inch. The only thing that Newton will make any kind of effort for is turkey so I can just imagine myself running town the road with a piece of turkey trying to make him jog. So Newters (I have a lot of names for him) gets between four and eight units of insulin twice a day when he gets fed. People always ask what kind of supplies we have for him, and its a very interesting assortment of human and pet diabetic care. He uses Lantis insulin, which is a long acting insulin that is very common and I give it a lot in the hospital. We also have human needles but he has special diabetic pet food that has fewer carbs for him. We check his blood sugar, though not as much as humans do. I usually do it once in a while to keep an eye on where he’s at, but also if I think he’s way to high or low I check and act accordingly. We prick his ears instead of human fingers, becuase the pads of cats’ feet are too sensitive to use. The lancets (picky things) are human as well as the glucometer (the device that does the calculating). There is a special company that makes test strips for pets that are used with the human glucometer but are three times as expensive… of course. His diabetes is a very costly disease becuase he doesn’t have insurance to cover any of the supplies. Insulin is about $90 per bottle (lasting about 3 months), needles are $20 per 100, strips are $80 for 100 and the glucometer was around $120 through our vet. Spending all this money on a pet is strange for some people, but when it came down to my best friend I didn’t even need to think about it. He really is an amazing cat, and very attached to me. He acts more like a dog than any other cat I’ve seen before, and will come when his name is called. I’m not supposed to have him because my apartment is cat free, but its hard for my mom to be home every 12 hours exactly to care for him so Sweet Man and I relish the opportunity to be with him, even though it’s going to give me an ulcer due to stressing about when my landlord is going to stop by for a visit. If anyone has any questions about Newton or diabetic pets, feel free to ask!

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