We are back home from another round of vet visits. Last night, I wasn't sure if I needed to take Tenzing to the vet again, but this morning, after a rough night for everyone concerned, I was sure. He's normally grateful when I (finally!) go to bed each night, and sleeps contentedly on my knees, but last night was different. Through the night last night, he woke me every 1.5 - 2 hours, needing to be held and comforted.
This wasn't Tenzing.
I called the vet at 7am, right when they opened, and they agreed to set up an appointment for him at 11:30. I offered to bring him by two hours earlier so we could get him situated in a kennel with special litter, to try to get a urine sample for him.
I got a call about an hour later: "We need to run more tests." I agreed to the cost. It was comforting to know that my spidey-sense wasn't haywire; something was really wrong.
It's the urinary tract infection with a vengeance. Poor little guy. His bladder is swollen and he has radiopaque crystals in it, but as the vet noted, for a 12-year-old cat, he's amazingly healthy overall. His blood work is spot on, and there's nothing else in his little body that warrants worry. He even commented that for a cat who eats dry cat food, he's amazingly well hydrated. (I mentioned his water fetish, and getting him the water fountain.)
We'll do an immediate diet change, of course. If I hadn't already gotten the free-flowing water fountain, we'd need it now. He'll start a diet formulated to help form fewer crystals, and if I can somehow find a way to convince him to eat wet cat food, all the better.
It wasn't a cheap vet visit, and I have to give him more pills, but I'm relieved to know there's no immediate danger of losing him. I would have coped if that were the case, but not having to do that now ... or any time in the next year or so ... would be a very good thing for me.
In hindsight, I should take his reaction as a compliment: when he was in pain, he came to me and wanted me to hold him, comfort him, and make him feel better. Kitty trust, indeed.