One More Shot

Category: Adoption Stories, Animal Lovers, Winter 2019 52 0

Diabetic senior cat Buddy Love finally found a home where he fits in

At 13 years old and diabetic, Buddy Love isn’t what most prospective pet adopters look for. The domestic shorthair cat requires twice-daily insulin shots after his meals of prescription food, plus twice-daily glucose checks from a prick to his ear or paw. Buddy had been adopted once before, only to be returned to San Diego Humane Society due to the care involved.

His health care routine didn’t seem like too much for Jillian Tyrrell, though. She saw Buddy on SDHS’s social media last summer. She immediately knew he’d be a great fit for her family, which already included two other senior cats and a diabetic Labrador named Grace, who also needs insulin shots. After Buddy Love underwent some extensive dental care, Tyrell was able to take him home.

“I felt like he might never be adopted,” says Tyrell, an in vitro diagnostician. “We were already on a schedule of giving injections and prescription food at regular feeding times, so it wouldn’t be a significant burden for us.”

Now Buddy gets his shots after meals alongside Grace in Tyrrell’s Hillcrest home. “He’s a good patient; he doesn’t run,” she says. He’s Tyrrell and her husband’s sixth pet. “We were thinking we had room for one more. For me it had to be a special-needs or older cat. I’d rather help an animal that really needs it.”

Cats can recover from diabetes with the kind of care Buddy is receiving. “It’s possible he’ll go into remission and may not need injections for the rest of his life,” she adds.

Buddy spends his days on a dining table and adjacent cat tree that Tyrrell’s other cats had previously claimed as their territory. Despite a sometimes rocky start, he now gets along well with the others. Occasionally he chooses predawn hours to jump up on Tyrrell’s bed and stick his nose in her face to show his appreciation. “He’s one of the sweetest cats we’ve ever had,” she says. “It feels great to open your heart to a pet that really needs help. There’s nothing wrong with these pets. Buddy’s not broken, he just needs a little extra care.”

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