roberta gregory and her cat

roberta gregory and her cat

Bitchy Bytch | Roberta Gregory | Roberta Gregory’s diabetic cat! | Women in comics

Oh no! Roberta Gregory’s cat has diabetes! That is so wrong!

He does! The vets tested his urine a few years ago and it was very high sugar content. I have learned that a lot of cats are diabetic and even some friends have had cats they need to give insulin shots to. One of the theories is that the dry food is so high in carbohydrates, that it gives them diabetes. Like a human eating a junk food diet all the time. When you look at the labels, they are full of corn and soy and things that wild cats would never eat. Not a scrap of mousie in the whole bag!

I have discovered web sites to support people with diabetic cats, such as felinediabetes.com. These cat owners go to great lengths to give their cats blood tests for glucose levels, then to determine how much insulin to give in a shot twice a day. I just can NOT test Pushkin, he bites and scratches ferociously. Even the vets at the animal hospital are afraid to get blood samples from him. He has to be put under with anesthesia, and that is more stressful than having his blood sugar be high.

I give him two shots a day of two units of insulin, try to watch his diet and hope for the best. He seems fine, he always seemed a bit moody, so it is hard to tell just how he is feeling, but he used to vomit all the time and have bloody diarrhea and he has been much better, so I hope he is staying stable. His vet bills were just ferocious. Now it is not so bad, he hasn’t had to go to the vet for several months. He is on medication and he needs special food, $15 for a small sack, and the insulin and hypos. If I go away for more than a few days I have to hire a pet sitter to give him his shots and medication.

I got the idea of doing a benefit comic book for his bills, Real Cat Toons, when I had racked up over $700 in bills at one particularly bad stretch. I tried to keep track of his expenses and the number of comics sold, and have a bit of a blog so people could keep track and know I was not just spending the money on booze or something, but over the summer I misplaced my envelope full of vet and pharmacy (you folks call it the chemist, I recall!) receipts, so I have had to start collecting them all over again. I still do have my running tally of the books sold, which has dropped off quite a bit. Bookkeeping is not my strong point. If I was trying to be a legitimate charity I would probably be shut down months ago. I am going to start the ledger over again and try to be more careful where I keep the pharmacy bills.

But Real Cat Toons is still a really wonderful cat comic, with a lot of the stories from Naughty Bits and new pages and such, and suitable for all ages. I recommend it! I would like to do a much nicer version, with many new stories and larger pages. One of my projects to hopefully start this year are biographical stories about real cats. It sounds like I am just shamelessly trying to make a buck (who ME?) by cashing in on cats, but I really do like cats. I teach an art workshop sometimes on How To Draw Cats, with a cute little booklet showing tips on observing and drawing cats, and I would like to turn THAT into a book, too! It would be fun to tour with the book, and give weekend workshops on how to draw cats, aimed at people who would LIKE to draw but don’t think they can.

Bitchy Bytch | Roberta Gregory | Roberta Gregory’s diabetic cat! | Women in comics


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