Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Story of Flash

Flash in his basket



Flash pre-feline diabetes in Aug 2009

Ying and Yang

Hi Amanda!

My cat pictures as promised!

A little bit of history...

Flash is 9, and Harley's son (she's 10). I knew Harley as a kitten and thought she was a very nice cat. She was in season around my birthday in 2001 and gave birth to four kittens. Three of the kittens were female. They had tabby faces and tabby tails with white bodies. Flash was the only black and white kitten and only male amongst them. I was with Harley during the birth and she was so laid back and so happy. She was so laid back that when Flash popped out, she 'forgot' to open the birth sack (left the task to me) I was going to take another kitten, but she was unfortunately killed by a dog before I could take her home.
Six weeks past and Kate (Harley's previous mommy) persuaded me to take Flash. He was an incredibly awkward little kitten and did naughty kitten things like they do, but he loved his mommy, I could turn him onto his back and he'd stay there and I could touch his stomach. Prior to that all of our cats would take off you hand if you touched their stomachs and we couldn't really pick them up and cuddle them, although they liked sitting on a lap.
So I took my kitten home, didn't know what to call my new baby. He used to run around the garden following me, running up and down trees in the process, and I heard that cats should have an S in their name, because that's the sound they respond to. So my baby became Flash. My awkward kitten turned into a really nice cat! He would wait at the bathroom door when I showered, followed me around and one morning I looked at him and realised that I was so in love with my kitten. Shortly after that morning he got knocked over by a car. His hind leg was broken in three places. The vet managed to fix his leg by putting a pin in it.
He went from being a very active cat, to not being so active. Our old man at the time was ill and we changed their food to vet food. Flash started picking up weight and one day we realised that he was fat (I think was about three at the time). And he gradually became more and more obese.
He spent most of his life being obese. We put our old cat (Rascal, Abyssinian/Burmese mix) down at the age of 17. Flash was the only child for about a year.
Harley's mommy was going to move back to Port Elizabeth in March of 2009 and couldn't take her with her. I said that I would take her. It was so funny that my cat, who used to meow at any strange, furry creature that tried to come in, cowered in the presence of this little female cat. She was very anti-Flash. They took a very long time to warm to each other. I think the truth is that she took very long to warm to him. He did try, but she wasn't having any of it! But in the middle of this year, we started catching them together, in the same space! We were all delighted and their antics became the highlight of our day!
At the start of 2010, Flash started loosing weight, his fur started looking very feathery and he felt oily. He started drinking large quantities of water and peed a lot. I knew that there was something wrong, but I hoped that it would pass. Harley developed a skin allergy and the three of us went to the vet, because I couldn't take the one and not the other.
Harley had eczema and got a shot. The vet said that Flash didn't feel right, that he felt podgy. She asked whether he drank a lot of water. She said that she would like to see him that Monday. My mom took him in. They tested his blood sugar, which was very high. It was supposed to be 4 or 5, but was 22. Blood was sent off to test how much damage there was to his liver and kidneys. The tests came back which indicated that his liver and kidneys were not damaged yet. She told me of the way forward which was a three day stay with her to start insulin treatment and the implications of all of this. To have his blood sugar stabilised was more money than I could get together and I was distraught. My brother (Leo) very kindly volunteered to pay for Flash's stay and said that he would help us. After he started his insulin treatment, he would come home and it would have to continue. The implication was that if I wanted to save my cat, I would have to inject him twice a day at around the same time.
Flash went on a major diet. The cats had regular meal times, which coincided with injections. The first week was terrible. But he improved gradually. He's now a reasonably healthy, glossy, ravenous creature, but at least he is alive!
Flash went from his first weigh in at 6.7 to 5.7kg's and he and Harley are almost friends!

Lily Upton

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