Friday, February 14, 2020

My Cyborg

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…


  1. Good God, this does all sound so sci-fi.

    Here's hoping all goes well with the experiment.

  2. We sure hope the accurate results leads to a really good outcome.

  3. This is quite fascinating. It's amazing, really, the advances being made in veterinary (and of course human) medicine. I hope the needle stays in for some days, long enough to really be of benefit.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you all, purrs to Tucker and Renn, and of course Cammie, Raleigh, Neville and Josie. Did "Derry" miss anyone? :-)

    P.S. Do you subscribe to posts from the Winn Feline Foundation?

    I've been getting their posts in my feed for some years now; most studies aren't relevant (at least yet), but there have been some very interesting study results, recommendations, etc. on relevant (to me) feline health topics. So I thought I'd pass it along in case it's of interest. Or maybe I've mentioned this site ages ago and can't remember. :-D

  4. catfather...ore shuld we call ewe termintorz !!! while we can sort get de hee beez frum thiz, we noe itz for de best, N how kewl oh both ewe N dad... ta test drive other vetz N catz can gain knowledge N hope full lee benny fit by it...we think they shuld name de dee vize afturr ewe...984 paws crossed N az all wayz, st francis' blessings ♥♥♥♥♥

    bee for we hit post commint...happee heartz day oh lovez two everee one ♥♥♥

  5. Tucker is so good to be a guinea pig. I hope the readings give a guidance to his future medication levels.

  6. Since I'm a retired nurse, I found the information about Tucker's implant fascinating. It sure makes getting a glucose curve a whole lot easier, especially for pet-parents that have a problem getting blood from their pet. With this device, Tucker does not have to have blood drawn frequently to get a curve, which I'm sure he appreciates. I'll look forward to hearing how things go.

  7. This gizmo seems like a terrific idea! Decisions can be made using the collected data. You are a trailblazer, Tucker...and dad!

  8. I have the best of hopes and expectations for the Roly Poly! Love all your little ones. And Tucker gets to be as you said, The Six Million Dollar Cat! Cant wait for the good results for you.

  9. That is a great idea for blood results.

  10. How awesome that Tucker won't have to get blood drawn for awhile. That benefits not only him but you too! It will be interesting to see the end results of this experiment. I thought it was wonderful how Tucker is not even bothered by it. Such a good boy! I really like that pic of him as the six million dollar cat!

  11. Good on you Tucker for not worrying too much about your new attatchment. I would be annoyed having to get up in the middle of the night to check it though.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  12. Ah! That sounds all very positive..
    Going in the right direction..Good
    on ya Tucker..! Bless!

    The Six Million Dollar Cat..will that
    be a film or a TV series! :o).

  13. Since I am reading this on Sun. morn, I hope Sat.
    readings went well. Glad to see Tucker was not
    upset with getting "stuck". Hope Renn is better, too.

  14. Goodness, Tucker is certainly a good cat. I can't imagine either of mine not finding a way to yank that out. I hope the information is useful in his treatment.

  15. Really interesting. I was wondering when they would do this for pets since they have the ones that people have now. We hope it helps keep him on track. Love your photo of him! Great!