Austin's Diary, The Austin Alone Chapters

Chapter 14, In Which Austin Adjusts

Austin has been a rock. He seems to sense that he has to take care of both parents now, in addition to Uncle Patrick, and he is taking special care of his dad. I am sure Eugene asked him to. I think this has been a great comfort to Paul, although sometimes he is reminded too much of Eugene.

Since Eugene's death, Austin has been demonstrating some of Gene's old habits. He will now sit in Paul's lap at every meal and steals food (meat even! Austin was a vegetarian!) from Paul's plate. Just like Gene. He will sleep curled up on Paul's right shoulder, and even slept with his head in Paul's cupped hand the other night, just like Gene. There are many, many little things that Austin has never done that he is now doing just like Gene.

Austin has lost a lot of weight since he lost his brother and hasn't been as active but he slowly seems to be getting more cheerful. We were considering getting a new sibling for him but now feel no rush. Someday the right cat will present itself and we will know. Until then, I think he is fine. We do need to get him back in for a glucose curve since he has lost weight and his diet has changed since Gene is gone. I am just so happy we have Austin still. He is a most loving and wondrous cat.


Took Austin to the vet this morning for a glucose curve as he has been losing weight and peeing more. I think he is still depressed over the loss of Eugene. This is the first time I have been in the vet's office since Gene died and it made me feel very sad. Then the vet tech who took Austin told me they still miss Gene and I nearly broke into tears.

I actually thought about adopting a new kitten today but then recovered my senses. I did bring home a flyer from the Humane Society with pictures of a number of black and white kittens but I just thought of Gene. It even seemed at one point that he was coming around the corner into the kitchen but of course this was just my imagination.


I thought that I had written about Austin snuggling to his dino since Gener has died, but I don't see the entry on that now. Perhaps I imagined it. Anyway, Austin has seemed so lonely and he often takes his little plush dinosaur and wraps himself around it, just like he used to wrap around Eugene. It makes me sad when I see that.

Austin continues to lose weight and is having a terrible time with his back legs. He can't even jump into my lap. We took him for a glucose curve and he wasn't too terrible, but we did up his insulin from 4 to 5 units a day. We need to get a new bottle of insulin, too. I try to replace it fairly often (although not monthly) and I discovered that his current bottle is 5 months old. Time for a new one, for sure.

Went and played with 3 kittens today that belong to some friends. I am still not ready yet, and as sad as Austin is, I don't think he wants to learn to deal with a new kitten. The time will come, just not now.

January 6, 1998
It was a sad Christmas without Eugene. Austin sat in the middle of the wrapping paper debris and looked lonely and lost. Even with the traditional catnip sent by Uncle John from his garden in Alabama, Austin did not roll around and play merrily among the papers as he did with Eugene in Christmases past. He even managed to looked pissed instead of bemused when, like each holiday season, we put a bow on his head.

On the other hand, Austin did wear a jaunty bow tie and looked most handsome!

Rebecca & Austin  

We went to New York City this last weekend for 3 days. My brother Patrick was also out of town, so Austin had to go to the vet for boarding. Austin was way overdue for a glucose curve, so another reason to go in to the clinic. We have been bad parents, even when new acquaintances make comments like, "Wow, your cat is so skinny!" Did we take Austin in for a checkup? No. Denial, I think. We are clinging so hard to Austin, knowing that without him, we would not be able to bear the loss of Eugene at all. Austin seems to know this, too. He works very hard trying to love all of us double so we don't miss the Big G so much. And Austin wants everyone to know that this is very hard work!

Anyway, Austin went to the vet, supposedly just for a day, but when my brother went to pick him up, the vet wouldn't let him go home. Dr. Candace thought Austin "just didn't look right." Sounds like all of us nervous parents, doesn't it? As an added bonus for staying 3 nights at the vet, Austin also got a toenail trim and a bath. He was most indignant when he came home, but quickly forgave us.

As a result of his clinic stay and extensive glucose checks, Austin is now back on twice daily insulin for the first time in almost a year, 5 units in the morning and 3 at night. I dread these insulin changes, especially big ones, worrying about hypoglycemic episodes. I also wonder what is going on that makes Austin require so much more insulin. His last glucose curve was in November and he only needed to increase by 1 unit a day. Austin looks fine right now, sitting in my lap, supervising the web page update. I am waiting for his little back legs to get stronger but I suspect he likes being carried up and down the stairs by all the household members!

Chapter 15, In Which Austin Considers a New Partner
January 9, 1998

Austin and I checked the email early yesterday morning and were surprised to find the following message:

Hi My name is Baby, and I'm a 4 yr old female calico. My Daddy and Mommy adopted me six weeks ago from the Delaware County SPCS, and have taken really good care of me. However, I haven't been feeling so good, so they took me to a nice Vet close to our home in Montgomery County PA. The Vet said I had a really nasty thing called Diabetes, and my blood sugar count was 500+. This really made Mom and Dad sad. You see, they have a problem. Mommy has to go to England for almost two months, and Daddy works long hours in his job. They won't be able to administer the treatment I need...even though this breaks their hearts. They have called almost every shelter and vet in the area to see if anyone they know can give me a nice place to live and give me the treatment I need. But although the people were sad, they couldn't help. Most actually suggested putting me to sleep as being the kindest thing. But this made Mommy and Daddy cry a lot. So I'm tiptapping on Daddy's PC to ask if anyone knows of ANYONE who will be able to take in a cute, cuddly, very friendly and lovable diabetic kitty....otherwise my only option is not a nice one :( If any of you wonderful people can help, please email my Mommy soon....she leaves this weekend. Thankyou all for listening...mieowwww! :) Baby, Tess and Greg Zangari

Of course, our first reaction was to just post the message to our Message Board, knowing that someone would be able to help. We were even sneaky and forwarded the message to our friend, Cindy, who is a known soft touch when it comes to cats in distress! For some reason, we also decided to forward the message to Paul at work and to get his opinion. Before we knew it, Paul shot a message back:

Rebecca -
Yes, we should take this cat!

Things are moving fast now. The new one is introduced on the Piebald Home Page.

So these chapters, Austin Alone, draw to a rapid close, and we begin The Sister Chapters !

Back to The Ailing Brothers Chapters

Back to The Eugene Chapters

Back to the beginning of Austin's Diary (The Austin Chapters!)

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