My cat Norman was diagnosed with diabetes last week. So far the injections have been going well. He’s not loving his new prescription food, but we’re working on it. All in all, we’re okay. The worst part has been, to my surprise, the reaction I have gotten from other people. As I told one woman, with tears in my eyes, that I feel so guilty that all those treats I’ve been giving him over the years might have caused this, she said, “Yeah, you’re probably right.” (She’s a die-hard vegan herself, in case you were wondering). She was raised outside of the U.S. and finds the whole idea of buying specialty pet food ridiculous. (They apparently only ever fed their dog table scraps in her native country). Another woman, while somewhat sympathetic, is a former cat owner herself, (14 years ago) but spent perhaps a little too much time telling me how nice it is to have her freedom to travel now, and how she doesn’t miss all the cat hair everywhere, and having to carry the litter from her car to her apartment. But the worst of all was when I told a friend, and her immediate response was, “You should just have him put to sleep” (!) and then proceeded to tell me in detail all the pets she’s had over the years and the numerous times she’s had to euthanize them. (I hardly think a cat being hit by a car, and then being told by the vet “there’s nothing we can do” to be the same situation I am in now). I am supposed to meet a friend in the coming week, and she herself was recently diagnosed as a borderline diabetic. Her response then was, “I ain’t taking no insulin!” I thought of not even telling her, but she knew I was concerned about Norman and that I had plans to take him to the vet so I’m sure she’ll ask me how he is. How do I answer her (likely) unsympathetic response? Or anyone else I may encounter? I guess I just want someone to tell me I’m a good pet parent and that Norman is lucky to have me here to take care of him. Thanks.