It's too long to really put in tweets, so I wanted to let everyone have the full update on what's up with our Tenzing-kitty: the preliminary results are that he has an enlarged heart. How enlarged, I don't know yet, but quick searching after I took him into the vet's indicated the three most likely conditions were an enlarged heart, actual heart failure, or thrown blood clots. None good, and two potentially immediately fatal.
I spoke with the vet tech I trust, and he said that he doesn't expect me to get called in for a doom-and-gloom talk. He believes, based on what they've seen in the full day that Tenzing has stayed with them, that Tenzing can live a happy and comfortable life with medication. He is 11, after all, so he's not really a spring kitty any more.
Needless to say, my heart has been in my throat ever since I took The Loud Sir, as Crystal calls him, to the vet's. Someone said it well on twitter: after you spend years with them, you know your kitty-kids (or puppy-kids) and you know when something's wrong. Tenzing has been a close -- and QUITE yowly -- companion since Jeff's accident; he has cuddled with me more than I ever remember cuddling with me in years. Yesterday, my gut instinct was screaming at me that Tenzing was ill, hurt, in danger; when I gathered him up in my arms and he just lay there, trusting but not okay, my heart twisted and thudded in my chest. I didn't care if the vet techs rolled their eyes and told me nothing was wrong; I needed to hear that from someone qualified to provide him medical care.
(Update, since I was asked: at 6:45 yesterday morning, Tenzing let out two piercing meows that were typically the "my brother won't play with me" annoyed meows. He wasn't visible to me at the time, and I was getting ready to go to work, so I walked by him to rub his ears and chuckle at him. When I found him, he was lying down on the floor, mouth fully open, breathing quickly and shallowly. He seemed distressed and scared. I leave for work at 6:50, and had to make an immediate judgment call. The behavior seemed odd, wrong, and scary, so I put him in the car and drove to the vet's, which opened at 7am. The vet tech says he has been fine ever since, but Loud Sir has been very displeased at being handled by strangers.)
We will get full blood work back tomorrow. We're hoping for no more surprises. We're hoping to send the quilty kitty home tomorrow, after the blood work; he needs to stay one more night thanks to the sedation he needed this morning. Someone, it seems, did not want to be x-rayed.
Stubborn's a good sign, though. Stubborn cats are survivors, and right now, I need him to be stubborn. It's funny to think how yes, they depend on me for food and water, but I wonder if they ever have any idea of how much their human caretakers need them, too.
...and my absolute favorite photo: