My Expensive Free Cat

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by gweeb, May 14, 2017.

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  1. gweeb

    gweeb New Member

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    May 14, 2017
    Hi there!

    I recently got a cat from Craigslist, the owners were giving her away for free on the basis that their daughter was allergic. When I went to go pick her up she was so skinny that I figured something must be up, I thought that maybe she was older than they had told me (five) or something simple butt after I took her to the vet for a check up and some blood work they informed me that she had diabetes. So today I learned how to give a cat insulin shots (something I never thought I'd have to do).

    Her name is Ruby, she's very sweet and affectionate and extremely patient which makes everything so much easier. I haven't even had her for a week yet but I think we'll be best friends before long.
     

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  2. KattyKay

    KattyKay Member

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    Mar 30, 2017
    I love the name! She is a beautiful cat. Ruby is lucky to have you!!
     
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  3. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Ruby and her mum!
    I have to wonder if the previous owner's knew she was diabetic, if so they should've just been honest. On the other hand, maybe they thought she just ate, drank, and urinated a lot. Regardless, glad you are starting care for her! :bighug:. She's adorable :cat:. So saying you are probably overwhelmed is an understatement but we all understand!
    Are you planning to home test her BG (blood glucose)? It's the best tool in our FD (feline diabetes) kitty toolbelt. We wouldn't blindly administer insulin to a human baby/infant without daily testing ;). A lot of us use a human glucometer due to it being more budget friendly. Relion Confirm / Micro (walmart brand) is popular. If your Vet is supportive of home testing they may push the AlphaTrak 2 pet meter. The test strips are pricey though; about $1/strip versus ReliOn about $0.35/strip. We can help you get started if you are interested. This is the Spreadsheet template those of us who home test use, just need Google account: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    Setting up your Signature will help those of us with bad memories and give an "at-a-glance" situation of important notes about Ruby: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/editing-your-signature-profile-and-preferences.130340/

    Prescription diets are also unnecessary, majority of us feed Friskies pate (non-indoor formula though) and Fancy Feast classics (pate). Ideally, you want to stick with foods that are <10% carb content. This is a food chart compiled by a Vet that checks in here sometimes, Dr. Lisa Pierson's Food Chart.

    Lastly, I like to give this to new members, better to be prepared: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/

    Feel free to ask any questions! This is a support group for Ruby and YOU :)
     
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  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Thank you for not giving up on her when you found out. Clearly the family knew....


    Diabetes is very treatable and We are here to help!
     
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  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    PS... She is just gorgeous
     
  6. gweeb

    gweeb New Member

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    May 14, 2017
    Thank you everybody!

    The vet said that they would try and get me started with home testing soon, but they did mention that it was going to be the more expensive part of the deal. I was wondering the family knew, but I'm guessing they were just negligent, her litter is the scented kind so you can't smell anything and they mentioned that they hadn't taken her to the vet since she had her final vaccinations as a kitten.

    I will look into getting a cheaper glucometer for her and starting on the testing ASAP. It's a little overwhelming and I'm still processing everything so if costs start to add up or the stress gets too much I will have to consider giving her up as I want the best for her and right now I am not 100% sure if I'm the place to provide the care she needs.

    Thank-you so much for the advice, I will get on the signature right away!
     
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  7. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Welcome, Ruby is sooo cute!!! Sounds like she's a lucky girl to have landed with you. Come over to the Health Forum and tell us more about sweet Ruby. We can help with lots of money and time saving tips.
     
  8. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    The most expensive part is the upfront cost of insulin. Once you are testing at home you won't have to bring her to the vet for curves or tests.

    The monitor most on here use is the relion micro or confirm from Walmart. $15

    100 test strips $35

    28 gauge lancets 100 count $4

    Neosporin ointment $5
     
  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I see you are feeding the perscription stuff.... Not needed. Most of us feed fancy feast classic or Friskies pate. If you want dry too, Youngagainpetfood.com young again zero, or Dr elsley's clean protein.
     
  10. gweeb

    gweeb New Member

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    May 14, 2017
    They did say it wasn't necessary but I thought I'd give it a go anyway and see how she likes it. Supposedly I can return it if she doesn't although my roommate's cat was very enthusiastic about it and ripped open the bottom of the bag so that's probably out of the question now. :p
     
  11. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    The perscription dry is about 16% carb. Ideally diabetic cats should eat food less than 10 %. All of the fancy feast classic and Friskies pate are less than 10... Young Again Zero carb dry is 1%, and dr elseys is around 4%.
     
  12. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Ruby is beautiful, definitely underweight as she looks like a large breed cat.

    Once you have all your start up supplies, the test strips will be the thing you buy the most, besides food.

    Most use this pharmacy. A box of 5 pens is most economical and will last for months and depending on dose can last a year if cared for properly.

    https://rxcanada4less.com/index.html

    Stick around here and you will get tips and advice on everything diabetes. There are many cost savings ideas here. This is a place you want to visit regularly to help Ruby.
     
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  13. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Kudos to you for taking in this lovely kitty and wanting to help her get well. There's a lot of help and support here for you. :)
     
  14. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Looks like Ruby is going to be on Caninsulin, is that cheaper form Canada too? :woot:
     
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  15. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Marco was a shelter cat. Supposedly didn't get along with son who moved backed home. Forgot to mention he had been terrorized with a spray bottle. He still hides in the basement if we spray our plants. Thankfully he's in good health. I wonder how sick Ruby would have gotten before action was taken. "Maybe it's a virus". Or you could always get another free cat. "What? I have to pay for neutering? Do they live for more than five years?" You're in the right place now Ruby, stick with us and you'll be a real cat again in no time at all.
     
  16. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Forgot to ask. If you're from Canada do you know Bob? He has a canoe. (check my profile)
     
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  17. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Home testing saves you money by eliminating unnecessary trips to the vet just for testing. It can also save Ruby's life by reducing the chance of becoming hypoglycemic.

    I also have an expensive free cat. When I adopted Chloe they thought she had a URI because her eye was a little runny. Turns out it was a very expensive eye infection that needed a specialist to treat. The good news is she still has both eyes and I do not regret spending the money for treating her.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  18. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Hi Gweeb's Mom, we haven't heard from you since Sunday. Everything okay? When I made the crack about "Being Canadian, check my profile" it partly refers to the tremendous and sometimes intimidating amount of information to be found here. One small thing, if you click on my photo/avatar you can then click on profile and find out anything people have chosen to be made public, it's not snooping. So I know you don't know Bob from Canada, I'm Canadian and so are a lot of people here. You'll also notice almost everyone here is at least 30 years old. I think because we're "older" we don't take crap from veterinarians that don't know what they're talking about and there are a lot of them, especially vets who advise against getting any kind of meter and are dead-set against home testing. Another thing I often don't consider is that it can be very hard taking advice from people you don't know when you're vet says otherwise. On some matters you'll just have to trust us. Veterinarians are smart but they often don't get educated in the really odd-ball things that make a cat sick. If you look there are even forums for the different kinds of insulin and charts to convert metric to U.S. based meters. The money/your frayed nerves/words you don't know the meaning of.... Nobody here will EVER ask you how you could "Not know that". There is no such thing as a stupid question and we've all made mistakes. Noah is our second diabetic cat and I clearly remember standing in the vet's office hardly believing what I was hearing about our first. It's a lot to take in and it can be quite intimidating. Now I can inject Noah in the dark. Stay away from Facebook pages about diabetic cats. This place is about one thing only and if you stick with us your words will come true, "I haven't even had her for a week yet but I think we'll be best friends before long". It's never as bad as it seems. You know this already but you did the right thing. Gweeb has just as much right to a healthy life as any other animal.
     
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  19. gweeb

    gweeb New Member

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    May 14, 2017
    Everything is good, I've just never been very good about being active on forums, so if you don't hear from me for awhile I'll likely still be around but I'm more of a lurker than an active poster. While I appreciate you saying that "you'll just have to trust us" you must admit that taking advice from strangers on the internet without doing any research is ill-advised under any circumstance. That said, I've done some research on a few of these things and you do know what you're talking about, so I'll end up doing most of this stuff anyway. My vet has been really good so far and it all lines up with what you're telling me, while I understand the scepticism toward veterinarians, I think mine's alright. Speaking of vets, mine called today to say that Ruby also has a UTI so that's another exciting development.

    I am Canadian although I live on the West coast so we probably don't know the same Bob. :)
     
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  20. gweeb

    gweeb New Member

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    May 14, 2017
    I would like to start testing Ruby's BG as soon as possible but unfortunately due to how quickly this all happened I don't have any money right now (not even for Wal-Mart brands) so it will have to wait for a week or two. I don't like to put it off like that but I've already had to dip into my very small savings account in order to cover the initial costs.
     
  21. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Canadian eh? Can't trust em with that maple syrup and that funny flag. You know Bob, works at Timmys?
    You're an Angel for taking Gweeb into your home and your heart. It's an old story here but two of our cats were rescued/stolen/saved from idiotic neighbors. They were not being looked for. One was about to be run over when he ran across the street to say hi to me AND our dog, fearless and not street-smart. The second sat at our back door in the rain. Don't worry about going to Wal-Mart, it doesn't have to be expensive to work, food included. Now watch this, colour, favourite, double double. Only a Canadian spells like that or knows what a Timmys double double is. And it PYJAMAS, not pajamas! Sheesh!
     
  22. Supurrkitten

    Supurrkitten Member

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    May 7, 2017
    HI Ruby's new parent. DON'T GET OVERWHELMED! IT GETS BETTER. SHE LOOKS AWESOME, KEEP HER.

    That said. I get it. it is overwhelming. I was just last night, but finding out about how non prescription food is actually better for her and cheaper is a godsend. Finding out that the human glucometer allows this forum to support you and gets number on track is awesome too. I get the expense. I had to delay my house payment this month since my cat was diagnosed. I should be a more financially responsible person, but I am not and well this came first. I can pay a late fee. No judgement on when and what you do. We all have different levels of crazy cat person. Your first step was an awesome one. Keep being Ruby's angel in whatever way you can be.
     
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  23. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Local emergency clinic, big lobby, many coffee tables. Reading material? Payment plan options! Thanks for making us feel welcome.
    Gweeb's mom (we have to stop calling you that). Do not panic and worry about money. Easy to say right? If you panic Gweeb will pick up on that, cat's know when something's not right. The money? As stupid as it sounds now things will work out. I don't think we'll laugh about this one day. Credit card companies, on the phone, can often make judgement calls on the spot. Act sad, don't cry. They make money off of you so they OWE YOU, not the other way around. And now you'll find out who your real friends are and what families are for.
     
  24. Phoebes

    Phoebes Well-Known Member

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    Jan 16, 2017
    Awee she's beautiful, thank you for rescuing her. It was meant to be. Welcome to you both :) head bumps:cat:
     
  25. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

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    May 9, 2017
    Your story both breaks my heart and restored faith in humanity. I always wonder what ever happens to those animals listed on Craigslist, that need a home, but there's no room at the inn. My personal rescue is full. (likely 1 or two over the limit of full, but when the word spreads around the neighborhood that there's a warm meal and a soft bed... They just show up.)
    Bless you for taking in an older cat, and handling the news of diabetes like a champ. I'm new to this as well. But the people here are experienced. And that is a wonderful reassurance when things can be so hectic. There's a lot of remission stories in here too, so that's also nice!
    Your kitty is beautiful, by the way!
    Welcome!
     
  26. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    I wish I had remembered this sooner. I use an Aviva Accuchek meter. Right now, Canada only, they have some promotion on. The meter is free, batteries included; you only have to pay for the lancets and the strips. The strips are always the most expensive part. In Ontario meters are free so I don't see what the big deal is. Anyway, if you can do that all you need is syringes (cheap) and insulin and maybe your vet will be kind enough to let you pay for that later. Go to the Aviva homepage, there's some small survey, then print the form and take it to any drugstore. Then you'll have to tell a fib because this promotion is not for cats. Your doctor says you're borderline diabetic and wants you to start testing yourself at home, you forgot which type of diabetes you might have (probably the most common, scratch your head, look puzzled), you do not want the Nano meter, you want the bigger one because that's what your friend has and loves it. There, all done and best of all no government forms. This is not the meter most people would recommend but it's accurate, it only needs a really tiny amount of blood and at least it's a start. Okay, here comes the Grandfatherly advice. Like I said before most people here are at least 30, I'll be 60 this month. When I was your age (DON'T ROLL YOUR EYES) I had cats too and everything was just peachy, staying out late, parties, cheap bud. See, I'm not your Grandpa. The point is this will change everything about your lifestyle and I think that's why there are so few young people here. The truth is I was busy having a great time, staying out all night, sleeping on sofas, working extra jobs like delivering pizza etc. Now you have a little ball and chain and most, not all, of your life has to be modified. Make sense? And I said modified, not changed completely. It can be really hard getting stuck with a problem you never asked for but remember this; give Ruby a chance and you'll NEVER regret it, everyone here is waiting to help you, we all started somewhere, just like you. When I was about 25 someone gave me two kittens in a box. They ate the worst food, were never on time for their shots because I was always broke, stayed out all night long. BJ lived to 17, Leroy lived to 23! Like you said before we're just a bunch of strangers and maybe it seems odd we're so eager to help. Well, no one here has asked for your photo or asked creepy questions right? This is just what we do. I'm trying to undo past mistakes. I had cats that got run over by a car or just disappeared. Maybe if I try hard enough I can make up for that stupidity. Sorry for calling you Gweeb's mom. The cat is Ruby, what do you want us to call you?
     
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  27. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Yes, me again. Did that make any sense? The truth is that when I was 25 I was more like a 12 year old boy on the inside, aren't most guys that age like that? No girlfriend, a house full of hippies, party 24/7. You have guts, a word that never goes out of use, because if that was me I would have just bailed out and brought the cat back to a shelter. I know that would have made me an ***hole but I'm not that person anymore. We're not smarter than you, we've just been through this and we know it's hard. Noah is our second diabetic cat. He was diagnosed about a year after Nigel, Noah's brother and our first diabetic cat, had died an awful death and when I found out I think I was beyond crying. So I've got lots of time, people here are smart and want to help and you're an Angel. I'm probably repeating myself now so I'll let it go at that.
     
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  28. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

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    May 9, 2017
    This isn't my thread, but I'm still very new to all of this (and yes somewhere over 30 - Not that of admit to publicly, of course).
    Thank you Dickson, for saying all you have and being here to help!
     
  29. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Nobody owns a thread. If you think I'm helpful you haven't talked to people here that are smarter than some of the vets I've met. And thank you!
     
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  30. gweeb

    gweeb New Member

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    May 14, 2017
    I'm Gina, by the way. Gweeb is just a really weird play on my last name that I use sometimes for online names.
     
  31. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Hi Gina, I promise to stop nagging you.
     
  32. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    I inherited Smokey who was already diabetic for years. Long story here so fast forward. I got Smokey from another state with no direction on his insulin or even how much. When I got home with him and saw my vet the instructions were test if acting funny or bring him in right away. And bring him in once a month for glucose test. I changed from Prozinc to Vetsulin because of cost. Dose was up to 5u twice a day, vet said there wasn't anything else to do. He was at max dose and they said they can't give anymore. One associate said stop the dry food, so I just stopped giving it to him. And I started lurking the internet for help. Like you I was 'how can I listen to people who are not vets, people I never met or talked to' I read through a lot of posts here and the informational stickies here for days. I decided this forum was legit. I finally posted my intro one night and as it happened Smokey was in a pretty bad hypo and I did not know it. This group of knowledgeable people stayed up into the wee hours and talked me through it. Being new to this and after hours for the vet, this group got us through the night. Smokey probably would not have made it. I can understand your skepticism, although I must say continue to be active here. It really is the best place for Ruby. Because of this site and my willingness to find alternatives, my vet has expanded his knowledge and the way he treats FD.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  33. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Having a vet who is willing to break the rules helps. Ours did and it saved Nigel's life. The book isn't always right. Someone could be a wiener and sue their vet if it didn't work out, that's sad.
     
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