Vet Tails Excerpt – Cranky Frankie, Our Clinic Cat

As vets we so often see animals that are in need of a good home and this was the case with a black cat with attitude! He was uplifted by the local SPCA after they had tried to catch him for three months since the local residents had seen him with a large wound to his face, the wound wasn’t healing and no one appeared to own him. He was brought into us for care and we surgically repaired his wound and treated him in our hyperbaric oxygen chamber to help it to heal. Once mended, this kitty was put up for adoption at the SPCA but a new home was not forthcoming since he had the unfortunate habit of swiping out at some people unpredictably.


Feeling sorry for this fellow given that he had had a rough life, our fabulous staff decided that we would adopt him as our clinic cat and we named him Frank. His name took on a variety of adaptations as we learned more about our new pet. When he came to us he was quite skinny and had a dull, dry and flaky coat, earning him the name “Manky Frankie”. His coat and body condition improved in leaps and bounds after a couple of weeks with his new diet which included some raw meat and omega three fatty acid supplements.


Frank fitted in relatively well, however being an older fellow – we estimated that he was around sixteen years old – who had been through a lot in his life, he had some unfortunate habits that we unsuccessfully attempted to “unteach” him, such as his occasional toileting in inappropriate places earning him the name “Skanky Frankie”. He was known to do this in front of our clients and even some of our patients like poor little Theo the cat who had a blocked bladder and as he sat in reception waiting to see a vet Frank stepped up to his carry cage and peed on it!


His grumpiness, when asked to move from the reception desk and/or my consultation room had us refer to him as “Cranky Frankie”. Finally he had a “dirty old man” streak, doing various inappropriate things with his Frankie Blanky and his toy dog  – “W__ky Frankie”!!!


Soon after Frankie arrived we noticed that he drank a lot of water and peed more than usual for a cat. He also had quite a ravenous appetite but wasn’t gaining much weight despite the good diet we fed him. We ran some tests and diagnosed diabetes mellitus, a disease also occurring in humans where the cells in the body are unable to take up glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream either because they are resistant to insulin (the hormone which helps glucose uptake) – Type two diabetes –  or the body is not producing enough insulin (from the pancreas) – Type one diabetes.


Frankie needed to have regular insulin injections to help regulate his blood sugar levels and preserve his quality of life and we did our best to give him a loving home for as long as we could but one day Frankie suffered a severe stroke and we put him to sleep. With all his quirks and the rough life that he had led, we believed that that there would have been a special place for him in kitty heaven and hopefully he would be a good boy!