Tucker is the subject of an experiment. Yesterday, he went to the veterinary hospital and had a device implanted in his body. He now has the power of ten cats, can crush bricks with his bare paws, can run faster than a cheetah. He has been rebuilt. He is better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster.
Well, not quite (though I think I may have spent that much on him by now.) Tucker has had a very slender needle put into his skin, with a cap glued to the shaved surface of a bit of his shoulder. This cap keeps the needle in place and contains a miniature recording device and transmitter. This device will record his glucose blood level every fifteen minutes. In addition, I have a glucometer which, along with operating by sampling blood on test-strips inserted into a slot in its bottom, can read the blood-sugar amounts that the recorder is storing as information. I need only hold the glucometer over the cap. The results will be an immense ‘curve’, similar to those I must perform every month on Tucker, but reading the amounts every quarter-hour, instead of hourly, and without drawing blood. These readings will be saved and retrieved later on for a comprehensive study of Tucker’s numbers.
I must use the glucometer to read his levels at least once every six hours to keep the numbers in the device recorded; otherwise, they will be lost. Therefore, I must do it at some point in the night (I almost always wake about an hour and a half after going to bed, so that isn’t a problem) and go home during my lunch break while the experiment continues. (Fortunately, the weekend begins tomorrow and lasts three days this time, due to a statutory holiday.)
Tucker seems not to be overly bothered by the implant. He licks at the cap now and then, but had not pulled or scratched at it. It is meant to remain in place for five to ten days, but they usually fall out (or are removed by feline activity) prior to that. If it is still in after a week, I can remove it myself or have the doctor do it.
This process will provide much more information on Tucker’s blood-glucose numbers, which is especially important now, as they seemed lately to be inconstant. The veterinary thinks my boy’s new kidney issues may be influencing his diabetes, so the wider range of recorded numbers will give us a bigger picture from which to judge his next step of treatment. Our veterinary hospital has not attempted to use this device before, so the staff there are learning about it as I am, and much of its future may depend on its success or failure with Tucker. The device is of course merely a tool; it is a recorder. But how it affects the cat while implanted, how easy it is read and maintain, all need to be considered. So far, Tucker is a cooperative subject. (And the doctor says that my boy has gained a fifth of a kilogram since his last visit, which is also good.)
On Saturday, I will have a day off and will then read his numbers hourly, for my own ‘curve’ on the roly poly. For now, I am reading them just a few times a day. I will also then be able to observe Tucker more fully over several hours.
The experiment continues…