Meet Aztec, a diabetic cat who has taught his owner more about life than anyone could have imagined. Aztec's 19 years have been filled with joy and challenges, including a life-altering diagnosis of diabetes. But how did a cat end up with such a human-like condition? And what does caring for a special needs cat entail?
From high-maintenance medical needs to deep, emotional connections, Aztec's story is a fascinating exploration of the bond between humans and their pets.
In this article, we'll take you through the surprising discovery of Aztec's condition, the adjustments that had to be made, and the incredible relationship that developed from it.
Whether you're a seasoned pet owner or someone considering adopting a pet with special needs, this story will touch your heart and inspire you. Join us as we uncover what it really means to be a companion to a special needs cat like Aztec.
A Special Birthday and a Life-Changing Diagnosis
Meet Aztec, a beloved pet that's about to turn 19 on May 5th. For most of his life, he's been a typical cat, enjoying playtime and snuggles. But in 2003, everything changed.
The Start of a New Journey
Aztec's owner noticed some changes in his behavior, which led to a vet visit. The diagnosis? Diabetes. It came with chronic renal insufficiency and other health conditions. But it was the diabetes that altered everything.
From Low to High Maintenance
Before the diagnosis, taking care of Aztec was simple: feed him, play with him, love him. After the diagnosis, everything became complicated. Insulin shots every 12 hours.
Constant testing. Worries over food. Frequent vet visits. Tears. The routine became demanding, draining, and overwhelming.
A Bond Like No Other
Yet, out of this whirlwind of medical care emerged something beautiful. Aztec's owner developed a connection with him that went beyond anything they'd experienced before. The challenges brought them closer together. Their bond grew stronger, deeper, and more loving.
Understanding Special Needs: Aztec's Story
Aztec's transformation into a special needs cat was a slow and mysterious process. Here's how it all unfolded, leading to a life-altering revelation.
Unusual Signs: The Beginning of a Mystery
The first clue was subtle. The water bowl needed refilling more often. It was winter, and the air was dry. Could it be just evaporation?
The answer seemed less simple when I noticed bigger and heavier bags of litter each day. Something wasn't right, and it was time to seek professional help.
A Surprising Diagnosis: Diabetes
A visit to the vet brought shocking news: Aztec had diabetes. The vet explained that the dry food Aztec had eaten for the first 10 years of his life had caused his pancreas to "burn out."
I was about to learn how to manage this unexpected turn in our lives.
The Impact of Diet: A Key Factor
Cats are meant to eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. But commercial dry food, often rich in carbohydrates, had led Aztec's body to produce more insulin than it should.
This resulted in excessive weight gain, insulin-resistant cells, and an exhausted pancreas. I only understood the full picture later on.
A Daily Commitment: Life with a Diabetic Cat
For some cats, a proper diet can reverse diabetes. Sadly, this wasn't the case for Aztec. Now, every single day, even on weekends or when I'm ill, I wake up at 5 am to give him his injection.
Aztec's sheds light on the importance of proper nutrition and the unforeseen challenges that may arise in pet care. It's a reminder that the choices we make for our pets can have lasting impacts and that embracing those challenges can lead to a stronger bond and a deeper understanding of those we love.
Special Care for Aztec: A Comprehensive Guide
Caring for Aztec, a special needs cat, is a profound journey. From daily insulin shots to specialized diets, here's an in-depth look at how we handle Aztec's medical needs, and the transformative bond we share.
Managing Diabetes: Routine and Diet
Aztec requires a unit of Levemir insulin every 12 hours. To ensure accuracy, I test his blood sugar with a human glucometer. It's a small prick to the edge of his ear.
His diet consists of low-carb wet food, specifically commercial raw meals, and high-quality canned food. This low-protein kidney diet is essential.
Contrary to popular belief, such diets are harmful rather than helpful for cats, particularly when they are older or sick. Aztec needs protein.
Holistic Approaches: Beyond Standard Care
Beyond diet and insulin, Aztec's care includes acupuncture, osteopathy, and various supplements. From CoQ10 and taurine to B12 injections and probiotics, each helps with his renal issues.
Adequan aids with arthritis, while flower essences and homeopathic remedies are also employed.
Regular Vet Visits: Building Trust
Frequent vet visits are part of Aztec's routine, at least every 6 months to his regular vet, and often to his holistic vet. Over time, he's become more relaxed about going, sometimes purring and showing affection towards the vet.
The Special Bond: Love and Sacrifice
Being Aztec's primary caregiver is rewarding yet challenging. There's a level of devotion that transcends normal pet care. It affects social life, as it requires being home at certain times and extensive preparations for any travel. The worry is constant.
Yet, the bond formed is incomparable. Through caring for Aztec, I've learned about nutrition, behavior, and health conditions.
More importantly, I've become more compassionate and tolerant. While wishing for Aztec's complete recovery, the unique journey and bond we share are irreplaceable and enriching.
Embracing the challenge of caring for a special needs cat like Aztec can transform both the pet and owner.
The experience brings insight, compassion, and a connection that's unparalleled. This story is not just about special care but about love, growth, and an unforgettable partnership.
Written by sugarcatmom
Sugarcatmom is a TCS member who shares with us the story of Aztec, a beautiful senior cat with diabetes.
Note: We may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page.