DEAR ABBY: Yesterday I read in the Juneau (Alaska) Empire your list of symptoms for detecting diabetes. Had I seen it two months ago, I would have insisted that my daughter consult a doctor immediately. When she called last month from her home in New York, she complained of several symptoms you named for diabetes. She would have scored 13 on your scale, which indicated that a score of above five suggests possible diabetes.

My daughter eventually saw a doctor who said that had she waited a day longer, she might have fallen into a fatal coma! As bad as she felt, the doctor said she didn't feel nearly as sick as she was.Please warn your readers, Abby, that if they have the symptoms, even if they don't feel very sick, they may be in grave danger. - JOHN B. D'ARMAND, JUNEAU, ALASKA

DEAR JOHN d'ARMAND: Thank you for writing. Some readers have complained about the number of letters I use concerning diseases, but now that we know that early detection can save lives, I feel more or less vindicated.

Readers who want more information on diabetes, please contact the American Diabetes Association National Center, 1660 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314. The toll-free telephone number is (800) 232-3472.

DEAR ABBY: This is in response to the person who wrote that insulting "Cat's Prayer." That person obviously never had a cat, and it's probably just as well.

I am submitting a Cat's Prayer by someone who genuinely loves cats, so please, be a sweetie, and give the other side a chance to be heard:


Dear Human Companion, please keep in mind that we came to be together for our need for mutual companionship and affection. My affection is not born of blind obedience, yet in my own way, I am a most loving and companionable animal.

I ask that you show me proper respect and remember that I am a naturally clean being. Therefore, I expect you to feed me from a clean dish and to keep my water bowl clean and fresh. Naturally, if I share your home, I expect you to keep my litter box properly clean.

I wouldn't dream of soiling your possessions unless you provoke me beyond all reasonable limits by your own filthy habits. Although I may seem aloof and reserved, my love and affection is genuine. Understand that the ways of a dog are not my ways, and if you mistreat me, I will leave the first chance I get.

I will never be much of a pet, but if you meet me halfway, I will happily be a loving companion for life. - CAROLYN MOBLEY, HUNTSVILLE, ALA.

DEAR CAROLYN: The prayer is (for the most part) lovely, but for a cat to accuse its owner of having "filthy habits" is risky business.

However, if cats have nine lives, the author of that "prayer" can probably spare one.

DEAR ABBY: My son, "Barry," has a 7-year-old son out of wedlock. Barry is now engaged to marry a nice young woman whom he has known for three years.

Can Barry's son go to the small wedding and/or reception? He is close to his father and likes his future stepmother. I am concerned about etiquette and gossip.

Barry is 26 and has lived away from home for seven years. His bride is 23. I will also ask the bride for her opinion. - DEARBORN GRANNY

DEAR DEARBORN GRANNY: I think it's important that Barry's son attend the wedding. Since he is close to his father and likes his stepmother-to-be, I'm sure he will be very welcome. It's not a breach of etiquette, so forget the gossip. Thirty years ago it might have been a bombshell. Today it will hardly cause a ripple.

To get Abby's booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)