Good neighbors and diabetic cats

I firmly believe that it’s important to be a good neighbor. I am always ready to volunteer to get a neighbor’s mail, water her plants or even feed her dog.

But I hesitated when a neighbor asked me to take care of her diabetic cat. First, of course, she asked my daughter, who is well known to be very capable of handling dogs, cats and horses, but Mary Elizabeth was going to be out of town.

I finally volunteered because I wanted to be helpful, and my neighbor looked desperate. “It’s simple to give him a shot,” she told me.

And I am doing it. I stick the slender needle into the medicine bottle and make sure the insulin goes exactly to the third black line in the morning and to the second black line at night. Then, I search for the cat. I pull up the skin around his neck and firmly insert the needle. And this fat, black cat doesn’t whimper or even jump a tiny bit.

It is easy. But I worry that the cat’s fur is so thick that the insulin has dribbled into the fur and never arrived under the skin. That the cat is still asleep one morning because of a diabetic coma. That the cat will be very ill by the time my neighbor returns.

I can’t believe I’m giving shots to a diabetic cat. And, if you read my last blog post, you know that I’m also feeding and talking to another neighbor’s parrot. Because pets are important. And good neighbors are very important.

–Joy

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