Fancy Feast®

I pop open the can, Roz rubs against my leg. She paces back and forth, eager, and lets out a “mrouw.”

“Mmm, Roz, it’s Salmon Feast in Gravy, your favorite.” It’s mine, too. I smell it and think how good it would taste over crackers—Carr’s® Table Water crackers to be specific. Two summers ago, my brother-in-law returned from a month working in France. He brought back several small tins of pâté as a gift. Those we ate over Carr’s® Table Water crackers. The tins resembled the Fancy Feast® cans of food we buy for Roz. The contents? Well, Fancy Feast® smells better. I haven’t eaten any yet.

Roz gets the good food. Tommy gets kibble. When they first diagnosed Roz with diabetes, the vet said Fancy Feast® is the best grocery store food for diabetic cats. She promised to make a medical-based recommendation in the future. That was in May. Still no recommendation.

We actually bailed on the vet. After Roz was diagnosed, I asked about the cost of treatment. Roz is a great cat, but we have limits to what we can spend. “You’ll pay for a new bottle of insulin every couple of months,” they said, “and maybe three glucose tests to zero in on her dose.”

Months later: “Bring her back next week, we’ll run a glucose curve, get some labs and adjust her dose by one IU. Then we’ll wait a week and do it again.” I’ve had this exact conversation five times. The price tag for a glucose curve and labs: $250. We put Roz in hospice care. That’s actually not true. But rather than tweak her dose every week and follow up with more medical tests and more tweaks, we just stopped returning to the vet. Roz is gaining back the weight she lost, she’s alert and she seems happy. She’s even fighting with Tommy again.

Having a diabetic cat isn’t quite the pain in the ass I expected. Days after her diagnosis, we left on a two-week vacation. We contemplated waiting until we returned home to start her treatment, but Roz was losing weight so fast, we didn’t think she’d last. We begged and pleaded for Susan’s father to come twice a day to shoot-up the cat.

Our pet situation has gotten hairy. For that vacation, my father-in-law came in to take care of the cats, a neighbor’s kid came in to feed and water Sheena the corn snake (Susan’s father wouldn’t do that), and King Tut, a bearded dragon, went and stayed with Sophie’s friend Molly. We’ve lost track of our purpose. The reason we got the cats and a snake is because they require minimal care. Every few days they get food and water and they’re happy until they run out. For us, freedom from responsibility.

We made a misguided purchase with King Tut. He needs care daily—optimally, twice a day. Someone needs to catch three or four live crickets in the Cricket Keeper® and release them in his tank. We’re also supposed to cut up fresh vegetables for him to eat, but we usually make do with the freeze-dried variety.

Comparatively Roz is no more trouble than that. As she eats her Fancy Feast® I grab the back of her neck and inject her insulin. In fact she waits for the shot so her meal isn’t disrupted. Sometimes she’ll complain, and sometimes she won’t, but she and I have come to an agreement that the shot is a small downside to dining on Salmon Feast in Gravy.

12 thoughts on “Fancy Feast®

  1. Our Bearded Dragon is Sven, the Bearded Dragon and Corn Snake that moved away from Home with younger daughter are Drakeo and Kris. We had a cat, Sophie-Anne and a dog Zeus (aka Big Dumb Dog) to round out the zoo, but a couple months ago a kitten was discovered in the engine compartment of older daughter’s co-worker’s car, having survived a 10 mile journey. So now we have a kitten too.
    I never claimed to be intelligent.😉

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  2. I cracked up at your sentence “Our pet situation has gotten hairy.” Sounds like it’s actually furry and scaly! 🐍🦎🐱 I’m a dog person. Although Selby is small so she has cat-like tendencies.

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  3. Minus the diabetes part, it sounds like you got a good kitty. At least a good personality. Ours not so much. Catelyn is the only one that wanted to keep the cat she found in the cold and after the cat hissed and bit her (a few times) the cat (litter box and food) have been moved to my room. I’m starting to think I am allergic to it – she sleeps on my pillows and my face is so red and itchy anymore. I have all these Benadryl creams and eye drops – and nowhere else to put the kitty. The kitty I can’t even get to the vet or anywhere else as I can’t get her in her carrier (or out of my room). We’re a dog house and the two aren’t mixing well. Something’s going to have to change, I just don’t know what or how. And I can slightly relate – although cat food makes me gag I do enjoy a Milkbone dog biscuit every now and again.

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    • Sometimes the stuff we do for our kids makes no sense. We’re pretty fortunate in the cat department. They’re both really chill and genuinely like to be around the family. My cat Tommy slept with me every night forever. He recently decided to switch to Eli. It makes me happy that he is giving Eli love, but I miss him when I go to bed. Despite my best efforts, I just can’t get into dogs.

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  4. Jeff!! I had a diabetic cat as well…she lived to be almost 19 (Hazel passed in March). I had to hire a nurse to come in every day during the week while I travel;ed for work to give her shots. Then poor Sean became the nurse when we moved in together. I have an unopened box of syringes and I think a FULL bottle of insulin. (Unless Sean did something with them). I need to triple check they are still in the house when I get home Thursday. I would be sooo happy to send them to you. I think we gave away all the food but I’ll check that too. I started giving her single source protein kibble and wet food that really helped. Many of the wet food has a mixture of stuff in it….she was allergic to anything with feathers so it had to be Rabbit. Also salmon and peas kibble. It took a village but I had her for a LONG time.

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    • Thanks for the offer, but our insulin and syringes are really inexpensive (under $10 each). It would probably cost almost as much to mail,. I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy it is with the cat, but going out of town causes some headaches. I currently have a coworker who will do it if she’s available, and she has a slack work schedule, so it works, but she’s the only one who can show up every morning to do it. Of course, we can always board the cat. How can a cat be allergic to birds. That would be like me being allergic to pizza.

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  5. Poor Roz! At least she gets Fancy Feast to compensate for having to get insulin shots. My mom had a Siamese that we inherited when she had a stroke and moved to an assisted living facility. She only ate Fancy Feast. My mom used to pet her while she ate, to encourage her to eat, but I drew the line there. That cat outlived Mom by several years. She lived to be 21 years old!

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