From the desk of Pope Memorial Humane Society’s shelter manager Theresa Gargan,

You might be surprised at how prevalent diabetes has become in cats. When I first began working at the shelter over a decade ago, we may have had one or two diabetic cats over the course of a year. That number has doubled in the past few years. There is no clear cut reason as to why, but it seems elderly and overweight cats are more likely to have problems responding to their bodies’ insulin.

If treated early, and with the help of a high protein/low carbohydrate diet and insulin, many cats can live long, happy lives. Some will even go into remission and not need insulin therapy at all. The key to lowering your kitty's risk of suffering from diabetes is a good diet and exercise.

My cat pick of the week is one of our diabetic residents. Kush is a 10-year old, handsome tabby cat with a down to earth attitude and plenty of love to share. He came to us with neuropathy in his hind legs which caused him to walk on his hocks, a result of his condition.

After a change to a diabetic diet Kush has been able to forego his insulin injections and is even walking much better. His favorite pastime is stretching out on a “kushy” bed while he poses for glamour shots. Give us a call if you would like to learn more about or make an appointment to visit with this special boy.

We still have many small animals available for adoption. Remember these are the pets you don't have to take out for walks on cold winter days. Quasi and Iago are two-year old fancy rats. They are smart boys who love their treats, and take great pride in reorganizing their huts with whatever is handy. If a quiet, industrious companion is what you want, these brothers might be perfect for you.

We at the shelter would like to take this time to say farewell to a very special friend. Marian “Bobs” McAleenan has been a loyal supporter of our organization since it's inception. She served on our Board of Directors and as a volunteer in too many ways to mention. We will truly miss her keen sense of humor, can-do attitude and love for all animals. Godspeed Bobs.

Wish list: bleach, paper towels, Temptation Cat Treats, scrubby sponges, canned cat food (chicken pate formula) and garbage bags. Thank you.