I knew there was a problem on Sunday morning when Dr. Jones jumped into the broken side of our double sink in the bathroom and assumed a very familiar position with an intent look on his face. Yes, the cat peed—just a little bit—right in front of me. I took it as a sign that he was going to need a trip to the vet on Monday.
I had friends over to play A Game of Thrones that day, so I was busy most of the morning and early afternoon making food and tidying up. Jones didn't enter into the picture again until my friend Tara set her purse on the floor and I caught the cat trying to pee in/on it.
He just got worse throughout the day. I had to shoo him out of the game box and by the evening he was simply standing in the middle of the kitchen floor straining and peeing where he stood.
When I looked up his symptoms online, I realized that if he had a true blockage we could have an emergency on our hands. So rather than wait until my vet opened on Monday ($$), I went ahead and took him to the emergency vet clinic. ($$$$)
There he received a diagnosis of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is kind of a catch-all description but boils down to a lifetime of special dietary needs to prevent crystals and stones in the cat's urine. The vet told me that it is very common in neutered male cats but also in human women, so there's a good deal of research being conducted on it.
While I sat in the waiting room, the vet emptied Jones' bladder and gave him some pain medication that zombified him pretty thoroughly. I put him in a kennel overnight with water and a litterbox and I'm pretty sure he spent most of the night standing and staring blankly through the bars.
The next morning he was doing much better. He doesn't mind the kennel, so it's a good place to put him when I feed him his special canned food. I got a big bag of the dry form of the prescription food and switched all the cats over immediately. The vet warned me that I'd have to limit the portions to keep the cats from getting fat, but it's better to have them all eating the same thing than to have to worry about Jones getting into some food that will make his symptoms return.
So now Dr. Jones is on an anti-spasmodic twice a day for a week, the special food forever, and I have more pain medicine that he doesn't seem to need. He seems to be back to his old self already, which is a huge relief.
I asked my friend who'd given me Jones as a kitten if there was any chance he was still under warranty since he doesn't turn two until this Friday. Nope. No refunds, no returns. I guess I'll have to get him to pay me back in purrs and snuggles. I wonder if he'd be willing to take on a part-time job?