Sunday, January 12, 2014

Simon Becomes Shiraz

~by Cindy, Shiraz's Certain Human

It really doesn’t matter what happened up until that point.

Maybe he lived in a barn, where he had to fend for himself...

Maybe he was somebody’s neglected or – even worse – abused pet...

Maybe he was thrown away as a kitten, but managed to survive...

MAYbe, he was a feline warrior, back from saving the world only to find nobody cared...

MAYBE, he was an ancient deity, returned to an earthly body...


Thursday, September 12, 2013

We Don't Know You

~by Venita, DCIN's founder and director

We don't know you. No we don't.

You have written to us on Facebook or through email, asking that DCIN give you money or supplies to care for your diabetic cat.

We would like to help keep Fluffy healthy, but we don't know you. We try to find out about you and Fluffy. We search Facebook and Google to learn about you. We look to see whether you and Fluffy are on an Internet forum for diabetic cats. We ask you questions. We evaluate your answers--both content and tone.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My heart aches, but maybe that's okay

All my life I've always known that I wanted to work with animals.  I used to tell everyone that I was going to be a vet some day, but life is what is and things don't always work out how you plan.  So here I am in rescue and sometimes I think it's good that I'm not a vet, what would I do each time I had to help someone's beloved furry cross to the other side.  I feel so helpless now if I'm at the clinic and someone comes out with a leash and collar in hand and red swollen eyes.

You'd think rescue would be easier.  Through DCIN I get to help people keep their beloved kitty when they thought because of finances they had no choice but to let them go.  I also get to help bring a new love into someone's life.  If I'm lucky I get follow up emails and photos and hear wonderful stories about how well things are going.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Compassion seems to be in short supply

By Jennifer Jasensky: Director of Case Management, Diabetic Cats in Need

I love my work with DCIN but what people don't know is we are very short staffed and on balance we get about one new case a week. Some weeks it can be three, other weeks none but it averages to about four per month. Recently, those numbers are increasing and it's almost ten new clients a month at times. Add these cases to the already existing number of clients, the fundraising, the transport coordination, and the fact that we are all volunteers and have jobs and family outside of DCIN, you might be able to imagine just how overwhelmed we can be at times. Did I mention we are short staffed too?
CH kitty Lilly Grace "walking" up to her
bed because of someone else's 
compassion to build her that ramp

To address this issue we had to make some changes.  Most significantly, we had to modify how we promote cats in need of rehoming. Instead of taking the information and posting it ourselves with questions and applications coming to a case manager, we now request that people post their own kitties and from there we'll share the story. The adoption is theirs to work out.  This helps DCIN because case managers can concentrate on our extensive number of financial assistance cases and not field questions on adoptable kitties.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friendships online and offline ...

Taking time to enjoy the day
I'm not new to the internet, but in 2006 I was new to internet forums and all that would follow.  I joined the FDMB because I had two diabetic cats and I needed help learning how to test their sugars.  What I got was a lot more.  The FDMB like so many other forums is filled with passionate people who care deeply for diabetic cats and their caretakers.  That passion can lead to joy and heartache, celebrations and arguments, but through it all bonds are formed.

For me it led me to DCIN but also brought me some of my closest friends.  Some I've met in person and some I've never seen but have talked to so often and opened up so much to them that even without seeing their face I can see their love and their kindness.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Moving from Treatment to Burnout

Feline diabetes is scary when you're new to the dance. Very scary. That fear can lead to some awful decisions.

When can we play?
Fluffy has been your beloved kitty for eight years, you may have adorable stories about how you found each other and how cute she is when she's stalking her favorite shoe lace. She may even be the only set of ears for you to tell your inner most secrets to and the only set of eyes that look upon with you with only love. But once she starts getting sick and the diagnosis comes in all of that disappears and you are left with a lump in your throat and butterflies in your stomach.

You listen to the vet explain insulin and blood sugar and hear about all these changes but you can't comprehend it right now, your brain just stopped when you heard shots twice a day and new food. You may go into that fight or flight feeling you sometimes get. You choose to fight and move quickly to the internet, your friends, family, and even coworkers. You're surprised at how many people tell you to put Fluffy down. She's a cat, she doesn't want shots every day, she's replaceable, there will always be another. Wow, did your trusted companions just tell you to put Fluffy down?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vet Bashing—Not Really Productive

By Venita Wood, Diabetic Cats in Need's Founder and Director

In the online world of feline diabetes care, DCIN Case Managers often, way too often, see experienced caregivers on Facebook and forums bashing a newly diagnosed diabetic cat’s veterinarian for the recommended/prescribed protocol. For example, the cat’s vet:
  • Prescribed an inappropriate insulin.
  • Wants the cat to come to the office once a week for a month or so for a dose-adjusting blood glucose (BG) curve.
  • Did not explain to the caregiver that he could test the cat’s blood glucose levels at home.
  • Recommends an inappropriate diet, usually a prescription diabetic diet, and sometime a prescription dry food.
I understand those criticisms. But I also have learned from being a DCIN Team Member and observing interactions on various Internet sites that those kinds of comments, especially when delivered with the gusto that some use to deliver them (“Your vet is an idiot”) don’t necessarily improve the situation for a diabetic cat or its caregiver.