More Romeo drama, even. The poor boy just cannot get a break this year. As it turns out, he probably has a bladder infection now. We caught it early - that is, I suppose, one benefit to letting him "hide out" in our bedroom at night to keep him away from his nemesis, Bit, and that is that we hear how many times he uses the litter box. And when he is in the litter box every twenty minutes, scratching away, I tend to investigate.
I almost had a pet cat die when I was a child because we didn't catch the infection early - he was partially an outdoor cat and usually did his business outside. And Jeff used to work at a vet's office, so we both were very motivated to get him to the vet as soon as we realized that there was a problem.. which unfortunately was the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. Most of you will probably be able to identify with this - most vet's offices do not appear to be open on Sunday at ALL, including ours.
After some fast and furious internet searching, we did find a cat clinic that was open on Sunday, but it didn't open until 9:00 AM. When Romeo started biting at himself in pain, we decided that it couldn't wait that long (it probably could have, in hindsight, but better safe than sorry.) Jeff took him to the emergency vet at 5:00 in the morning. I stayed home, but only because someone was going to have to take care of Argos shortly, and as we have learned from hard-won experience, sometimes the wait at an emergency vet's office can be long, just like the human ER.
They found that his urinary troubles were probably only caused by stress, gave us some pain killers for him, and sent him home. They said that if he wasn't back to normal in a day, to take him back to a vet.
Well, this morning, he was still having trouble. So Jeff took him to our regular vet's office as soon as they opened. THEY found traces of infection, so gave us some antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory to give him.
We haven't seen much of a change yet, but the drugs haven't even been in his system for 24 hours. So please keep your fingers crossed for us... poor Romeo really needs to have a nice, calm week, and I'm sure that the pain of a bladder infection is NOT helping.
Oh, and the vet said that stress would not help with the situation, even if it was ultimately an infection. So what could Romeo possibly be stressed out about? Well, let's see...
For six years, he was in a home. This year, suddenly, there is a human baby, which wails loudly all hours of night and day, and suddenly no one seems to have time for him anymore. Overnight, he goes from "favored" status to "mere pet" status, and he doesn't like it.
He tries to show how upset he is by not using his litter box. Instead of taking the hint and starting to adore him again, this only makes the humans yell at him, and is the cause of much shouting and tears. And then they pack him up and take him somewhere... and abandon him. At this place, there are dozens, hundreds of other animals, dozens of unknown humans, and he is forced to stay in a cage. All around him he can smell these strange animals, and can smell their fear. He doesn't stay in the shelter for terribly long before being packed off to a PETCO, where by day he is put into an enclosure with other cats, and at night has to go back into a cage that is too small for him.
He gets sick, and suddenly the humans want to start forcing him to take medicine every day.
Two people come and put him in a carrier and drive him clear across town to take him to a house that smells like other cats and dogs. He does get his own room for awhile, but then he's forced to share a litter box with these strange cats. One particular cat really has it in for him, and attacks him every chance she gets.
Oh, and his food is changed, and then lessened as he is forced into a diet.
Yeah, I think Romeo has had a craptastic year. If only he could know that this really is a "soft place to land" if we can just get him past that initial hump.
To end this post on a more positive note, I do think he's feeling a bit better tonight. He isn't in the litter box constantly, for one, and he seemed brighter and more alert when I went in to see him when I got home from work. Last night, I could tell he didn't feel well, because he really only reacted to us if we had something that he wanted, like food. He didn't even sleep in the bed with us, like he usually does. So I'm cautiously allowing myself to think that he's improving.
No pictures today. It just seems wrong to take pictures of him when he's feeling poorly, and as this post is about him and not the others, posting pictures of them seems inappropriate as well. So... more to come later!