When I first got Bixy (who'd been brought in as a stray and repaired by the vet after a road traffic accident) he said to me "You'll like him - he's quite a character, this one". And so it has proved this weekend. He's been in and out of trouble in various ways.
Friday night he started vomiting up small amounts of water and managed to keep me awake most of the night in the process. By morning he seemed fine again and his temperature remained down. He had started drinking again for himself and took his food from the syringe quite nicely (for him) and settled down for the day. By the time I got home again it was a different story - there was a pool of diarrhea in the litter-tray, he'd brought up most of his food and the water he had drunk. On the other hand he was wandering round all friendly, rubbing up against things and trying to persuade me to let him go out in the garden with the other cats. No. Let's be honest, demanding to be let out and geting very cross (lots of tail-swishing and a bit of stomping) when I told him it was no go.
Thought I'd better ring the emergency vet, a very nice man with a reassuring Scots accent (why is a Scots accent so reassuring in a vet I wonder?) who thought it sounded like an emergency and told me to bring him in (to another branch of my usual vet practice). So into cage and car with Bixy who has a fine tenor voice with a range of at least three and a half octaves which he made the most of all the way there - nothing unusual there except he did sound extraordinarily healthy for a cat needing emergency treatment. The vet said his temperature was normal and he seemed pretty alert (a vet understatement for downright bolshie) but he seemed slightly dehydrated so for safety he should be kept in on a drip, probably for the rest of the weekend.
He rang later to say he settled down comfortably.
After a peaceful night in the Wyman household (myself and the other three felines were completely exhausted so it could hardly have been otherwise) I got up and settled down to wait for news. Unfortunately I also decided to get more information by googling in "pancreatitis+cat" and "hepatic lipidosis+cat" and I expect you can guess the rest. Remember those old medical books you had at home when you were a kid - the ones you opened feeling healthy but curious and ten minutes later you realised you had a whole battalion of incurable diseases? Well it was like that - I started imagining all the things that could have happened or might (he doesn't actually have lipidosis, though there is a risk).
By the time the vet rang I'd got myself into a right old state. And when he began with "We've had a few problems..." I composed myself for bad news: "He's obviously quite distraught at being in a cage and he keeps pulling the drip out... most cats are much quieter, probably because by the time they need a drip they feel really ill and he by contrast is very alert" Then on a more positive note: "He is well hydrated now and will drink water on his own. We gave him something to stop him being sick and I'll give him a dose of antibiotics shortly. We force-fed him last night and he kept his food down without any problems, and though he's had some diarrhea this morning this could be because of the antibiotics. We think, given that we aren't able to get him to keep the drip in, he'll be better off at home".
I didn't ask how soon they wanted me to come and pick him up. I didn't need to. I know Bixy well. He's the most stubborn cat I've ever had. And big and strong with it. When he doesn't want something that's that. He'd probably been yowling, loudly and continuously (even the most patient vet has been known to tell him to shut up and it is embarrassing to be in a waiting room with him) He had probably made innumerable attempts to get out of the cage, flinging himself against the door, trying to chew through the wire, upending his litter tray, dish and anything else in sight.
When I got there I could hear him before they even opened the door. He was singing like a drunken tenor on a Saturday night. They had him in his carrying-cage ready, plus all the things he'd be going home with - syringes and a plentiful supply of special catfood, with full instructions. Even the bill was ready (my credit card is much heavier than it was before). They were very apologetic and had obviously tried really hard with him: the drip had been reinserted several times but each time he had managed to chew it out, and they apologised about the bruising on both legs where they had inserted drips. The nurse had tried to clean up his rear end and had mostly managed it "but he didn't like it so in the end I had to do the best I could ... it's not too bad actually". I asked if he was still using the litter tray: apparently he scratched it all up, tray, litter bedding and everything into the corner of his cage. They told me to ring up if I was worried about anything no matter how trivial, and reassured me he would all right till I saw my own vet the next day.
So now he's lying on the bed, looking fairly comfortable. His best friend Pepper was glad to see him back and Bixy has given him a very comforting head-licking. He's had some more food and has kept it down. The diahrrea seems to have settled down for the moment. So now once again it's a case of fingers crossed...