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In the wake of all that’s happened in the last week, we were having a small crisis of our own.  Rex, our beloved black, ornery, possibly-American-Bombay cat, was ill.  Not just “he’s a little tired and sleeping off a mouse hangover” ill.  He had no vinegar in him to ward off Chloe, the tease.  Like not eating or drinking or meowing his piteous meows ill.

After a couple of days of this, I tried babying him.  I brought him his food which he kind of gummed down, even after trying tempting canned food.  He ate a scant tablespoon of food a day. He drank water daintily, unlike his usual snuffling gulps.  He laid on the couch, periodically wrapped in fleece blankets like a burrito, a la Ruby.  The biggest indicator that things weren’t well is that he stopped making noises.  He has a lot to say about everything.

The trouble is that Christmastime looms large in our minds.  Any extra funds have been allocated for presents and the like.  To spend money on Rex would mean that our family would not get presents this year.  Mom to the rescue!  She generously offered to cover the costs (me paying her back, of course) to at least get him checked out.

Keep in mind at this point, Rex has barely moved from the couch.  Sure, his strength would rally from time to time.  We would find him lying on the floor in the family room, next to a heating vent, or in the bathroom next to that heating vent.  At one point he curled up under the Christmas tree and looked, well, dead.  I was not fond of that particular resting place.  “Merry Christmas, kids!  Oh.  Here’s a dead cat.  Thanks, Santa!”

I heaved him up onto my shoulder and loaded him, a limp, fuzzy dishrag, into his carrier.  He went without protest.  The look on his face said it all.  We drove the short distance to the vet.  He protested loudly once we got inside.  He recognized the smell.  “Hey, this is where they cut off my manhood!  I’m not sticking around for part two!”

Rex sat uneasily on his towel, bungee lasso around his neck, very displeased.  He had no strength to jump off the shiny examination table, else he would have split right quick.  Getting his temperature taken was the most undignified part of the whole visit. He yowled and yanked at the leash with all the ferocity he could muster.  The vet unceremoniously examined Rex all over and, barring any blood tests, decided he must have some sort of hidden abscess.  We talked cost.  He had his tech give Rex a shot to bring down his 105-degree temperature and a shot of antibiotics, good for two weeks.  Rex was unhappy with those developments as well, but at least we don’t have to get him to ingest oral medications at home.  I recall wrestling his mouth open while one of us, swathed in a towel, holds his fists of fury at bay.  Good times.

The tech shunted Rex back into his carrier.  Somehow he ended up on his back, confused, but unable to turn over.  I swear it was pure stubbornness on his part.  “I won’t bend for anyone!”  At last, he was right side up and we hit the road.  He protested a couple of times in the car, lamenting his owner’s lack of love for him, perhaps.  Then we were home.  He sauntered out of the carrier.  He ate and drank.  Then he threw up on the kitchen floor after licking himself.  No good deed goes unpunished, as the saying goes.

As I type this, he’s lying on the floor with his head resting on my left  foot, basking in a random ray of sunshine.  I think he’s going to be alright.

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