How old was Missy when he came into your life?
My Missy was about 8 weeks old when Raul brought him home to me.
It was sometime in June of 1993 that I was home in our apartment in beautiful Oceanside, California when Raul came home with a huge surprise for me. It was Missy!! My beautiful little Miss Moo!! Raul was always surprising me with flowers but Missy was my best surprise ever. He had gone to the store this one evening to pick something up and that is where he noticed Missy sitting in a box outside the grocery store. There was an older woman who looked pretty raggedy, sort of homeless like and she had 6 kittens that she was trying to give away.
There were many people around holding the kittens, except for Missy. He heard the woman say that the kittens had not been to a veterinarian yet and they had not had their shots. Raul’s first impression of these tiny little kittens was that of them possibly being born outside or something because of their appearance. He noticed when peering into the box that Missy had fat feet. He in fact had 6 toes on all four paws. He asked the woman what was wrong with Missy and she replied to him that he could have been the runt of the litter. I later found out that Missy was a Polydactyl.
He continued to go into the store and pick up a bouquet of flowers and when he returned back outside he saw that Missy was the only kitten left in the box. Raul saw people walking by, staring and making comments about Missy’s appearance so he decided to take him home. He didn’t have the heart to leave him with the raggedy old woman and not knowing what would become of him. He was
absolutely beautiful with long black fur and his little fat bear paws.
Nine years passed and we found out that Missy had feline diabetes. We had no idea what that was, how to manage this disease, thinking that a shot a day and everything would be fine. That was far from the truth. I began researching feline diabetes and we immediately started home testing to make sure that his blood glucose didn’t fall into the danger zone. Missy was such a trooper with
the testing, the shots, hospitalization, everything.
Six years later he was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure; CRF, which is the deterioration of the kidneys. Missy was my “Brave Little Toaster” and he fought CRF for 3 year. He was such a good boy and my inspiration to write a book on his life.
In the end, it wasn’t his diabetes that failed him, it was the CRF and the diabetic nueropathy; loss of muscle mass, that comes along with it He had a difficult time getting up sometimes and his eating started to slow down. We looked into each others eyes and talked and I asked him if he was ready to become whole again at The Rainbow Bridge and he winked at me. Missy’s doctor came to our home and his passing was very peaceful as I held him in my arms as we peered into one anothers eyes. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, to let him go.
It is because of my baby boy that I, we, wanted to give back to other forgotten & unwanted animals the way he was unwanted, but so very much wanted by me!! Missy, my inspiration for writing a book on his life as a diabetic and starting our non profit organization, Missy’s Friends in his memory and his honor.
*Where did his name come from?
I thought Missy was a girl when he first came home to me. I actually called him Lil Miss. It wasn’t until about 4 months later when I had noticed that he had a little private and off to the vet we went. The doctor said his private took some time coming down. So Missy’s name stayed.
When did you realize he might have diabetes?
I noticed that Missy had peed right outside the litter box a few times and that wasn’t like him so I took him to the vet for a checkup.
What is CRF?
CRF stands for Chronic Renal Failure. CRF happens as a result of the kidneys not being able to filter waste products from the blood causing the body to actually poison itself. Increased thirst (polydipsia) and excessive urination (polyuria) are clinical signs of CRF. As the condition progresses, your cat may experience loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, poor hair coat and emaciation.
How did you help maintain his blood sugar levels?
We learned from the vet how to test Missy’s blood sugar by using a glucose meter. I was always afraid to test him for my fear of blood and Raul was the only one who gave Missy’s his shots because I hated needles. One day Raul didn’t give Missy his shot and I knew I had to. I was so afraid that I would hurt him or even worse, kill him but after a very long time sitting with him and trying my hardest to not fear my worst fear, we did it together. Missy was such a good boy waiting for me, he was so patient.
What would you like to say to people who are worried their cats may have diabetes?
Diabetes is not a death sentence but it is also not an easy disease to not take care of. The biggest downfall is that people don’t home test their cats before giving them insulin. That can kill your cat right if you administer too much insulin causing him to go into a hypo fit. Hypoglycemia is when the blood sugar falls below the normal which can cause seizures and sometimes death.
What are some tips you would give to guardians of cats that already have diabetes?
Don’t allow your vet to give you instructions to go home and give 2 units of insulin twice a day. Learn to test your kitty’s blood because if you do not, you are placing a death sentence on him.
Does Missy’s Forgotten & Unwanted Feline & Canine Friends take donations?
Missy’s Forgotten & Unwanted Feline & Canine Friends is our legal IRS name although we DBA (do business as) Missy’s Friends and yes, we do take donations. Every donation goes toward the wellbeing and medical care of animals in need. Only recently we have gotten into rescuing and fostering with a dog named Kelly.
How can people donate?
Do you have any auctions coming up?
We are hosting one for Kelly, an EPI dog at Cosi’s restaurant in my town. Paws for Causes is holding one currently now to raise funds as Kelly’s previous owner surrendered her over to Missy’s Friends.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Missy was the love of my life and after he left me on September 19, 2011 my heart broke and it hasn’t fully healed. 2 weeks after he left me I started Missy’s Friends and became legal with the IRS and a 501©(3) non profit organization. Because of Missy’s diabetes, he has taught me so much and because of him I have been abe to help 3 diabetic kitties by getting them into remission and 1 diabetic on a better road to regulation with home testing and a no carb diet.
If there is anything else you would like to add?
It is because of my Missy that I have been able to give back and help so many kitties and doggies in need. He is a true angel!!
This article is dedication to the loving memory of Missy. Fly free sweet angel.