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My "Hobie" Hobie is a shorthaired orange tabby - male and neutered. He is 13 now and was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 9. I give him 11 units of Humulin UltraLente insulin every morning. I feed Hobie Science Diet Maintenance Light. Unfortunately he is a big boy. He currently weighs in at 24 pounds. I've tried diets but he just doesn't seem to lose weight. The vet is actually ok with his weight as he seems to be in very good health in every other aspect.

I do home bg monitoring but only when I suspect he is having a problem. I've gotten very good over the last four years at "eyeballing" his glucose level. When he is uncomfortable his entire personality changes and I can pretty much tell whether he is high or low. Thankfully, it's not much of a concern. But when I do check I use a glucose monitor and prick his ear for the blood sample. He doesn't mind. I'm very grateful that he is such an easy going guy. I have other kitties and I can't imagine having to do blood tests on any of them. They just don't have the same personality.

He still drinks a ton of water which tells me he is not in control but his levels are reasonable and I'm beginning to wonder (as is the vet) if drinking lots of water isn't just more of a habit for him now (he wasn't in control for the first year +). I don't give him any supplements.

I've been fairly lucky with the management of his diabetes. The first year I had an incident where his blood glucose level dropped extremely low (at night) and when I woke the following morning he had fallen asleep in his water bowl. I ran him to the vet where he remained for a week on iv dextrose. It was extremely scary but he came out of it just fine.

Hobie does have some hind leg weakness and he also has cataracts but not severe by any means. My only concern is that he has begun meowing (loudly of course) starting about 3am or so. This has been going on for approx 3 weeks. I've gotten up and actually tested his blood level at the time and it is fine so I'm a little confused. He doesn't appear to be uncomfortable but rather just wants out of the house. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California and can't allow him out past dark due to the coyotes and raccoons that roam around at that time. I've found that if I go get him and bring him to bed with me he quiets down immediately. I don't know how long I'll be able to continue getting up every night so I will probably be taking him to the vet in the near future for overnight monitoring just to make sure I'm not missing something.

Other than this, he gets around just fine and enjoys life completely. He is not hampered by his diabetes. He still plays with the other cats and catches the occasional mouse. He is spoiled, that's for sure. He has his own large coffee mug of water on the coffee table that is his and his alone. We fill this mug with fresh water a number of times during the day. He doesn't mind his injections - as a matter of fact, he gets excited when he sees the syringe. I have a box of cheap, grocery store style cat food (candy I like to call it) and I give him a few kernels of his candy with each injection. Actually I set the kernels down first and as he's attempting to eat them I give him his injection.  He never even notices.

He is a very happy boy and even though it was stressful (and expensive) in the beginning, it has certainly been worth it for me. I think he'd would say it's been worth it for him as well. I've learned a lot over the last four years and I'm grateful that Hobie has been such a trooper. He's taught me a lot about selflessness (even when he isn't feeling well, he still cleans and takes care of his brothers). He's definitely my little hero!

-- Contributed by Jennifer

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Contributed December 2001
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