A funny thing happened tonight.
Mozz was sitting outside on the balcony licking himself and I noticed him tumble backwards accidentally. My first reaction was, ‘Hypo!’ so I jumped up from the couch and let him in.
Then I remembered that Mozz only had hypo attacks after a dose of insulin. He been insulin free for some weeks now. So I figured it must have been a fluke that he tipped over while washing himself. Particularly after I went over to him and saw his eyes were very bright and he was acting quite playful.
I walked into the kitchen to check the state of the cat food bowls. Both the dry food and the wet cat food bowls still had food in them. I looked more closely at the wet cat food to check for tiny desert flies that swarm over open food here in Dubai. If there are any flies Mozz will not eat the cat food as he assumes it has gone bad. This can be frustrating because these little flies are very quick to find open food. However, there were no flies that I could see so I figured his food supply was plentiful and that he should not have been hungry.
From the kitchen I watched him playfully dash into the bathroom. On rounding the corner at full speed on the ceramic tiles, his back legs slipped out from under him for second before he continued his dash towards the fluffy bathroom mat that he likes to roll on.
My alarm bells went right off then despite everything. ‘Blood sugar testing time!’
Richard measured him and he gave a reading of 3.5 which is the lowest reading he has ever given while not on insulin by some way. He was low alright, although not technically in hypo (hypo is below 3).
‘There’s something wrong with the food that is out. He won’t eat it.’ I gave him some fresh food in a clean bowl (his favourite fish kind with shrimp jelly this time, just to make sure he ate it.)
While I was doing this I remembered earlier in the evening he had followed Richard around, rubbing is head on Richard’s feet, and appearing to want something. Our first thought was, ‘He’s hungry!’ but then we checked the food supply and it looked okay. ‘Hmmm, maybe he’s just being playful and wants attention’ we decided. (He has been extra playful and loving the past few weeks.)
So he had been hungry.
He gobbled up half the serve of fish and shrimp jell – which is a lot – and settled down. Half an hour later he gobbled up the rest. He’s fine now.
I guess once a diabetic – always a diabetic. They had told us this but this is the first time we had seen Mozz exhibit symptoms of hypo since he became insulin free. So I guess we hadn’t really had to acknowledge it before now.
After note: Cats, unlike dogs, do not have the digestive ability to process carrion (rotten meat). It will give them food poisoning, just like it does to humans. Food poisoning in the wild can easily lead to dehydration and death for a cat.
To protect themselves from food poisoning cats will refuse to eat anything but fresh meat, that is meat that smells like meat that they have freshly killed themselves.So when cats refuse to eat food that has been left out in the open for a while (even an hour or two), food that has flies on it, or even meat that has been defrosted in the microwave (and thus smells ‘off’) it is the cat protecting itself from food poisoning, rather than being impossibly fussy as we sometimes assume.