Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All By Myself? No, as K2 and Hillary Note, It Takes A Village. And A Pussy.

Karen's topic du jour for those of us participating in "Diabetes Blog Week" was to write about our biggest supporter. Just one? Geez, that's really an exercize in futility, because there's no way I can name just one.

First, because I have 2 parents (a mother and a father), that alone would force me to choose just one parent, and it's not going to happen. Ditto with siblings. And grandparents.

When I became an adult with type 1 diabetes, I was supposed to be able to take care of myself without the need for outside support, but even then, I had my super pussy Phyllis who is remarkably well-versed (even for a cat) in supporting me when I lived all by myself. At this point, you can listen to the 1977 sappy song "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen for the proper effect, yes, Celine Dion did remake it, but I'm usually a sucker for the original version. Phyllis usually sleeps at the foot of the bed (except when I'm not home, in which case, it becomes HER bed), and she can usually sense if my blood sugar is dropping, and she has proven quite skillful (for a cat) at helping me in these situations, in much the way that service dogs also serve this function. For example, one night I was having a hypo, and because people with type 1 usually don't wake from hypos, Phyllis sensed something wasn't quite right -- maybe I breathed or snored differently, but whatever it was, she knew. So to fix things, she began making a pest of herself, first by walking on my head and meowing. Evidently, that wasn't enough, and I continued to sleep. So Phyllis jumped on top of my chest, and when that didn't wake me, she took out the claws and began to gently kneed me. At that point, and if memory serves me correctly, it was around 3:00 AM, I got up and grabbed my meter from the nightstand. Sure enough, it was 45 mg/dL. The pussy cat had fixed the situation, and all was well with the world. (Phyllis actually won a price for being the smartest CAT in Queens, NY, although she's the third-smartest animal in the borough of 2.5 million residents ... read her glowing story from the Queens Chronicle here).

These days, I have a partner who is perhaps my main supporter, which has alleviated the hefty responsibilities from Phyllis who is now kind of a senior citizen (for a cat, anyway). So Phyllis might do something to wake one of us, but her de facto responsibilities are not as demanding these days. But as Hillary Clinton, Kelly Kunik and others eloquently note, "It Takes A Village"!


Anonymous said...

Wow. That is an amazing story and Phyllis seems like an amazing cat. I'm glad she has been there for you

Scott K. Johnson said...

It takes a village for sure! And pets are pretty damn amazing, aren't they!

Rachel said...

what would the OC be without someone mentioning their feline today? :)

Crystal said...

Phyllis got a sibling? :-)
Animals are great support.

k2 said...

It's take a village- and more than one smart kitty or pup! PWDs seem to have the smartest pets on the planet! and Miss Phyllis is quite wonder puss~
Thanks for mentioning me - I'm honored!
Hugs to you Jojo & Phyllis!
Kelly K

Word Varification: Caraze, as is: That Phyllis is one caraze cat!

George said...

and I took the cop out and said my family. I am cheater. :)

Yay Phyllis. I want a kitty so bad!

Elizabeth Joy said...

Well great minds obviously think alike. And I thought I was being all unique and all...

Although I mentioned my own antique feline mostly because I'm scared of her. Sounds like Phyllis actually is deserving of your ode...I want to award her a medal. And trade.

Karen said...

Okay, okay, point taken - it should have been your biggest supporterS!!! Plural! LOL

Phyllis sounds like one awesome cat. I had a cat for a brief time (a stray we took in who died of kidney failure 4 months later) who would meow loudly until I woke up when I was low. I wonder how they just know what's going on with our blood sugar.