Saturday, June 9, 2018

In the Beginning: Parker

Parker is my foster-cat. He came to stay with me in January, 2017. The orange boy was first seen behind a shopping mall here in town, searching rubbish bins for food. A rescue-group was called and, when its representative arrived, she met a friendly but hungry male cat, already neutered. Part of a rotisserie chicken that the lady had earlier purchased was sacrificed to the cat’s satisfaction, and he was taken to a foster-home. Not long after, it was discovered he had diabetes, so injections of insulin were begun.

The rescue-group, with which my own often co-operates, found it difficult to regulate Parker’s diabetes treatment. He lived in a shelter-home that the group owns and, though given loving care by the volunteers, received his shots from different people, and not always at the same time. As well, it was not possible always to guard him from sneaking food inappropriate for his condition. It was decided that Parker needed more routine, so I was asked to take him in, as I already had some experience with Tucker’s diabetes. Ironically, Parker receives a different kind of insulin than does the roly poly, and by means of a syringe, rather than a pen. This meant that I had some things to learn. Managing the injection by syringe took more than a few attempts, but I was soon practicing the procedure without worry.

With a controlled diet (helped by the fact that while I am absent or asleep, Parker is sequestered in the library) and regular times for his injections, we have been able to reduce his insulin dosage by almost half. Added to this amelioration has been his dental work, which removed most of his remaining teeth. I noticed a difference in his playing almost immediately following his surgery. He undoubtedly felt happier and more comfortable. Physically, the sturdy boy was set fair.

His integration with the other cats has been bumpy. Josie and Renn will allow him to lie near them on the bed or couch; Renn and Parker will sniff noses. Cammie likes to lunge at Parker, to startle him – but she does that with Tucker - and me, too, for that matter. That’s the princess’s version of fun. Tucker and Parker… Well, those two don’t get along. Initially, I thought it was the newcomer’s fault. But I have since revised my opinion. Ever since the two became embroiled in a couple of genuine battles, they have been wary of each other. While Parker will emit a high-pitched little cry if he comes too close to Tucker, the latter will hiss and growl. He also tries to swat Parker if he passes near.

Well, every family has its dramas. The two boys, both weighty, both diabetic, should have enough in common to make amends. Perhaps it is Tucker’s old fear of being relegated to last place in the household hierarchy. Parker is rather outside of that order so, while Tucker is still in some ways on the bottom rung, he can persuade himself that he is above Parker, as long as he maintains an hostility toward him.

But Parker is free to roam much of the time. He has his favourite spots – snoozing on the Track-ball, for instance, or in a corner of the sitting room – and he knows the schedule here at the cosy apartment, even reminding me of his evening insulin shot, though this may have more to do with the accompanying morsel of food he receives. He is the most playful of my cats, and loves his alone-time with me, much of which I spend rubbing his fuzzy head. He has lately taken to spending a little of bath-time with me, as well. Renn is ambivalent about that.

I wish that I could give Parker the full freedom of his home, instead of limiting it due to other cats’ (actually, other cat’s…) hostility. One day he may be adopted by someone special, someone who appreciates his condition, someone with no other felines, or perhaps one who will be Parker’s friend. Until then, he will stay here. And that’s fine with me.


  1. It looks like Parker also had a rough time of it before he came to you. I'm so glad you were able to foster him. Caring for a diabetic cat can be quite overwhelming, and you've done a fantastic job of getting his condition regulated. Thank you so much for sharing your cats' stories with us. I really enjoyed reading them.

  2. Parker looks like such a character in his photos. He does look very content with you - thank you for looking after this cool dude.

  3. I am so grateful to you...and for you in these cats lives. Truly meant.

  4. One of the things I love about cats is that they are so forgiving. Parker comes to you when it is time for his injection and accepts it.
    I had to medicate Flynn twice a day and towards the end he hated it and tried to hide, but once it was done I would give him a cuddle and tell him what a good boy he was, and he would always purr his forgiveness to me.

  5. may call him a foster John, but I suspect he's there for the long term. Lucky boy!


  6. How fortunate he was caught and taken care of, eventually, by you. You have put a lot of thought and love into his care. Love how despite all his past hardships Parker has a gusto for life! Even though he is the newbie to the pack, I hope they will tolerate him more in the future. He seems to be a kind of laid back guy so maybe being the new one doesn't bother him much?
    That last picture of him is adorable!

  7. Ooh, I just want to snuggle with Parker! There is that sadness that each cat isn't getting 100% of the house to roam, and yet it's really a human constraint more than a feline one. Angel is upstairs, Da Boyz are down, and the stress level is low now. That's a human thing!

  8. dood.....yur storee iz one we haz been with frum de get go; signin on ta blogger when we did..we N joyed reedin thiz storee az much az we N joyz callin ewe R friend; we due wish ewe N de cat father could get a long tho, but....we noe thiz iz knot all wayz de case....anyway, we hope ya stay rite wear ya R; N yur foster home bee comez yur reel home sum day ~~ ♥♥☺☺

  9. We hope Parker stays with you too. You’ve given him his health , happiness and the security of routine.
    That last photo! Goodness! Just want to reach through the screen, grab him and hold him close.

  10. Can you imagine coming across this big, handsome orange boy rummaging around in a dumpster for food? His good fortunate that the rescue lady came along - with chicken. He is so lucky to have you as his foster dad.