Either He Will Or He Won’t…..

I’ve been away from here for awhile.  A lot has happened since I was last here.  Our house got severe water damage due to a ice dam build up on the roof in a few places, which resulted in a demolition of part of our ceilings and walls. They had to bring in industrial strength fans (all during single-digit temps in February) that had to blow the bare wood structure dry, before replacing the insulation and re-plastering the ceilings and walls.

Since we had half of one of our bathrooms torn up, we decided to do a little remodeling, which is coming up on Monday. They will begin renovations on our bathroom, then they will rebuild my pantry off the kitchen and then paint all the rooms that were affected. Needless to say, I’ve been under a bit of stress. (understatement of the century).

Then about 3 weeks ago, I got some terrible news. One of my 10 year old cats was diagnosed with diabetes, which required me to learn how to give him insulin injections twice a day. His blood sugar is coming down but is not where it needs to be yet. His highest numbers were 551 in the beginning. (normal is 60-150). His sugar is now about 233 as of last check a couple days ago. We are getting there but it’s slow going. His back legs are very weak due to neuropathy so he is not walking well. They tell me that his legs may improve once we get his sugar regulated. I am doing well with giving the shots. I was terrified at first but it’s not that bad. Thankfully, he is a mellow cat. Thankfully, it is not his brother, Micah, who would not accept the shots as gracefully as Tory.

Getting the boys to alter their usual diet has been difficult. We are still working on that. I have learned that canned food is much better for a diabetic cat than dry food or treats because the carb content is low in canned food. So I bought a bunch of different kinds of canned food to offer them, hoping that we might find one or two that they really like. The plan was to eliminate as much of the dry food and treats as possible. Unfortunately, you cannot reason with a cat, or explain to a cat why they cannot have as many treats as they are used to. I have tried. They just stare at me with disdain, their eyes boring into mine. They are telling me that this new diet thing is unacceptable. They are having none of it. They want their morning treats. They want their afternoon treats, and evening treats.

I try to hold out, and withhold the carb-laden treats. I do leave some dry food out for them because we don’t want to starve them, and a diabetic cat should not go a long time without eating anything or it could adversely affect their liver as well as bring on hypoglycemia. I know they nibble at the dry food throughout the day but do not consume mass quantities so I figure it’s safe to leave it out.

But back to the canned food. I have probably opened about 50 cans of food in the past couple weeks. I think to myself, “this will be the one they love” and “they will eat this because it smells so nasty”.  I prepare the plates and even heat it in the microwave for a few seconds to bring out the flavor. I bring the plates to the dining room and place them on the floor as I call the cats. I say “oh look at this great stuff! It smells so stinky, you will love it!!”…..all while the anxiety rises up and threatens to choke me with fear….waiting for those crucial few first seconds to see if they will indeed start slurping up the stinky canned cat food.

I hold my breath. They saunter over to the dishes, sniffing with aloof indifference. Micah walks in a circle around his dish. Tory continues to sniff. And…..then….they both begin to eat. I finally exhale, but quietly, for fear of disturbing the air around them as they consume the good, low carb canned food that is so vital to Tory’s health. I sit and stare at them, willing them silently to KEEP EATING….PLEASE.  And after only a few short minutes, they lick their chops and stand there….and then walk away.

My heart sinks. They only ate a small portion. This is not unusual for them. They rarely eat enough canned food to keep a bird alive. They are used to filling up on dry food or treats. I know, it’s my fault. I feel enough guilt to fill a football stadium. I wish I had never brought a bag of treats into this house. Trust me, I know I screwed up when I bought that first bag of treats home when they were kittens. Anyway, enough of my guilt. It’s too late to undo the damage. So I am trying hard to change things. As anyone with cats knows…..changing things in midstream is nearly impossible.

So anyway….as I watch the cats walk away from barely touched plates of food, my anxiety rises. My heart drops. My stomach churns. I feel depressed. I feel sick. I feel shaky with fear. Tory needs food in his system before I can give him his insulin. I wrack my brain trying to figure out what to do. So I do what I know will work. I reach over and grab the bag of treats and take out just a few. I hand them down to him as he gobbles them up like a starving feral feline. And I hang my head in defeat.

I know that I have done irreparable harm to this cat and I feel horrible. He is a sweet boy, they are both sweet boys. They are brothers and they are beautiful and they are like my own children. I guess it’s a good thing I never had real children, I would probably have given them cookies and cake for dinner. I’m such an idiot. All I wanted was to make them happy and give them something tasty to enjoy. Little did I know that I was harming them.

Now I am trying to make amends and halt the damage. I am trying to get Tory back into a healthy realm and trying hard to make changes to their diet. It is slow going. Some days are better than others. Some days they eat the food and some days they don’t. Some days they are hungrier than others.

What I am learning through this process is this. What’s done is done. I have to live with what I’ve done. I am in control now and I have to get this figured out. But there is one thing I cannot do. I cannot force these cats to eat the canned food. I cannot force them to do exactly what I want. They are cats. Cats are the most stubborn creatures on this earth, besides humans. Cats will do what they want, when they want. They will not do what you want them to do, unless THEY want to do it. And they will not eat canned food just because you set it in front of them. Even if they are hungry. They want what they want. And therein lies the rub. We are at a stand off. Cats on one end of the spectrum, me on the other.

I have come to this conclusion: either he will or he won’t. Either he will eat the food or he won’t. Either he will cooperate with me or he won’t. He is a cat. And there is not a damn thing I can do to change it. I can offer him 15 different canned foods in a day, and if he doesn’t feel like eating any of them, he won’t. When I realize this fact, it is liberating. I feel the fear and the anxiety leave me. It doesn’t mean I don’t care anymore. It means that I realize that ultimately I have no control here. He is the one that will choose to eat the good stuff or not. I will continue to offer it to him, several times a day. I probably scrape more food into the waste can than he is eating. But I will keep buying it and keep serving it. But it’s up to him to start slurping it up. I cannot force him. And that gives me a little peace.

It is my fervent hope that somehow I can persuade these boys to develop a taste for the good stuff, and forget about the bad stuff. Actually, we have drastically reduced the amount of treats consumed and that makes me feel good. They are not thrilled but it’s a start. I am hoping that we can get to a place of more healthy eating and lower blood glucose levels. It breaks my heart that this has happened, but we are working toward getting better…..all of us.



About teeks55

I'm a sleep deprived antique dealer with fibromyalgia, RA, diabetes & more. Love hubby, cats, books & humor! Avid tea drinker. Poker player. Pain fighter.
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11 Responses to Either He Will Or He Won’t…..

  1. Hiya! I hope this helps — I had a diabetic cat who would not eat wet food. Ever. She had special diabetic cat food from the vet, which the other cat would eat. The other cat used to make me open a can of food, lick the gravy off, and walk away. Then, a half hour later he would be back, meowing for me to open another can. Meanwhile, the diabetic cat, who should’ve been eating the wet food, could not have been less interested. I had to give up as well. Luckily, in her case, the timing of the insulin mattered more than the food and she lived for many more years with the diabetes. Eventually she didn’t even notice the shots.
    I tried to give them the best quality food (vet-approved, organic, etc.) But I know what you mean…you can’t just hand the cat a diabetes “healthy lifestyle” education pamphlet.

    • teeks55 says:

      Thank you for the comment, I appreciate it! You made me laugh, too. It’ not easy being owned by two stubborn cats!

    • teeks55 says:

      I see that you have some ailments that I also had/have….or sort of. I had Graves hyperthyroidism in my twenties (I’m 58 now), was treated w/ radioactive iodine….also fibro, carpel tunnel, tendinitis, and now osteoarthritis, sjogrens, eye problems, high blood pressure, and on, and on, yada yada.

      • Ha, I know, I saw you on someone else’s blogroll, looked at your blog, and thought, “Hey, this looks familiar, I must follow her.” LOL. Good point about being owned by the cats. People are so frequently deluded into thinking they are the cat owners, when really cats just allow us to live with them and buy their food.

  2. vicbriggs says:

    Hope they will get better. Change is always difficult, but I am sure it will be worth it in the end.

  3. tlohuis says:

    My God, woman, that is a lot for anyone to handle, but if anyone can do it, I know it’s you. With your cats I do understand. My little dog, Molly, isn’t diabetic, but she gets bladder stones and we know when this is happening because she will just start peeing all over the floor and she’s in and out and in and out every few minutes and if no one is here to let her out she can’t hold it. We had to change her food, too. We were feeding her the Eukanuba dry dog food that was recommended when my mom bought me this 700.00 dog. She’s a Bichon and they can only eat certain things and certain treats. Once we found out about the bladder stones, we had to change her food to a prescription dry dog food of which she did not like at all, at first, and we had to give her less than she was used to getting and she can no longer have any treats ever again. After she was on that prescription dog food for I think it was a month, we took her back, they re-x-rayed her and thankfully the stones are gone. That’s when we got the news that she now had to be on this other prescription dry dog food to prevent the stones from coming back, because if they come back and don’t go away with the food, then she’ll have to have surgery. Well, the poor little thing acts like she’s just starving. She cries and cries and just sits at her dish waiting for more food or she’ll walk over to my dresser where the ceramic dog treat container sits and beg for treats. It’s so sad to watch our pets like this. Not very often, but every once in a great while we just break down and give her just a little bit more food.
    Sounds like Tory’s glucose levels are coming down nicely, maybe not fast enough, but it is happening. Hopefully, the boys will break down and start eating the food you must give them to keep them healthy. It’s so hard to just all of a sudden change their food and not be able to give them any treats and they just look at us with those sad eyes. Great big hugs for all of you.
    I’m so sorry to hear about your house. You are really being tested right now and I’m sure you are getting very frustrated, but when the house is all done you’ll be happy with all the new stuff you get, but I do understand you are really having a rough time over there, but everything will all be better soon, my dear friend. Just hang in there. You’re a true warrior, girl. About to fall asleep since it’s only 3:20 a.m. now. I was getting ready to take my meds and attempt to go to sleep when I saw your post show up in my email and had to read it and then I had to respond by writing a short novel. Goodnight for now. Take care.
    Peace and HUGS,
    Wild Thang

    • teeks55 says:

      Thanks Wild Thang….I appreciate your love & support. xoxoxxo We are getting things ready for the big reno starting tomorrow at 8am. (I am not a morning person, I think you know that lol) Anyway, here we go! I will cope with this somehow. My body is ridiculously pain-filled but I don’t have time to think about it. I just keep popping pills and try to keep going. Every morning I wake up and this blanket of dread and anxiety just washes over me. I really could use some extra xanax for this but if I took anything else that causes drowsiness I would be on the floor. lol Thanks again for responding to my post. I’ve missed you and am glad to hear that you are keeping your head above water….I’m proud of you. xoxoxo

  4. tlohuis says:

    You know Wild Thang is always here. I’m not a morning person either, but these therapists always make me have the early appointments to make me get up out of bed. Aren’t they real funny. I say how about 3:00 p.m and they say no dice. LOL in fact I have to get up early tomorrow for an appointment and I’ve been awake until 5:00 a.m. lately. Seems to be my new time to sleep. Geeezzzzzzzzz……………………I’ve been in a lot of pain, myself, lately. Oh man, it’s been so bad I’m just about ready to veer off the path again. I don’t know how much more I can take, so I know what you mean, girl. Sometimes being on the floor really isn’t that bad. LMAO I’ve missed you too. You always put a smile on my face and make me LOL I’m treading water at this point and getting tired. This pain is just about to drive me bat shit crazy. I hope Mr. Tory continues to get a little better each day and he will because he has such a good mommy taking care of him. Just think how nice it will be when the reno is all over and done. Shit, I didn’t realize how late it is. I better try to get to sleep. Ha Ha………….Take care, girlfriend and I hope to hear from you soon. don’t be a stranger. Goodnight.
    Peace and hugs,
    Wild Thang:)

  5. tlohuis says:

    Julie, where are you……………………………………………………? I miss hearing from you and it’s sure been awhile. Did you get your house all fixed up. Torey doing better? Just hadn’t heard a peep out of you in forever and thought I would stop by to see what you’ve been up to and I see you’ve been up to nothing. LOL I hope everything is okay. Take care and when you find a minute, please drop me a line just so I know you are doing “okay.”
    Peace and Hugs,
    Wild Thang:)

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