There are many things I’ve learned from my cats. Lately, however, I have been thinking about the boys’ diabetes, and Cammie’s illnesses, and the treatments thereof.
Ideally, the boys’ blood-sugar numbers should be below ten at their lowest. Tucker’s has come close, though we will see if it has remained so after his next curve this weekend. Parker’s has not fallen below 12.8 during managed care. But diabetes is a tricky condition. Not long after Parker arrived at my residence, his number one early morning was five. I certainly couldn’t give him insulin when he was that low. Since then, his numbers have been the norm for the time of day. Not long ago, Tucker started a ‘curve’ day at ten; even without insulin, it dropped to almost eight before climbing again. In his case, as well, his numbers have been normal thereafter.
Certainly, there are many, many cases of diabetes being managed better than I have been able to do with the boys. But right now, with the doses they are receiving, their numbers are good. Their doctors are satisfied with the situation, and the cats themselves are otherwise healthy.
Then there is Cammie. She has been sick two or three times with vomiting. I have been able to remedy the problem in each case so far. She has coped with head sores that seem to defy definition, and now she has the start of kidney failure. I have tried to feed her kidney-friendly food, but she will have none of it, literally. I have attempted other foods and they either arouse indifference or cause stomach upset. The only soft-food she will consent to eat are three flavours of Fancy Feast, and even then, not all the time.
This has led me to philosophise. There are some ends that no means will achieve. This is not to say that I will cease trying to improve the beasts’ lives. I will continue to offer Cammie new and better foods. But the mornings when she eats little worry me only if they are not compensated by hungry evenings. I will continue to think up ways to encourage her to drink water. I will consider different doses for the boys’ diabetes but not at the cost of destabilizing a satisfactory equilibrium. My cats’ health will always prey upon my mind. But we do the best we can, man and beast, and more than that cannot occur.
One cannot agonise over not reaching zero by dividing by half. Perfection cannot be achieved, and there is no sense in worrying about such a fact. Sometimes the best place on a see-saw is a little distance from either end. This is different than not trying. If one ceases to try, then one commits a disservice to those in one’s care. If one tries, and achieves health and contentment to the best of one’s ability, then that is good. It may never be good enough, but it will astonish how much happiness comes from good.