Hodge's urinary tract health didn't last long, little more than a week. By Wednesday or Thursday—the days are blurring—he was alternating his time among visiting the litter box, squatting on the carpet, and yowling aimlessly. Even L.'s story of another cat's threatened penis amputation failed to impress him.
Back to the clinic we went, where he was greeted by two veterinarians—one to hold, one to palpate. Palpate they did, taking turns, but he wasn't going to give up a drop of urine if he could help it.
"Come on, Hodge, it would help if you'd get excited and pee all over the table," one of the veterinarians said, aiming his urination tool in my direction. Wisely, he stayed too tense to piddle.
Of course, he didn't take this treatment lying down or quietly. He flailed strategically with his formidable back claws, and both women danced around them while struggling to retain their grips. From the back of his throat a deep growl emanated that needed only more volume to impress. One veterinarian chided him brusquely. "You have no cause to take that attitude and to talk like that," she admonished. I thought, "You're not the one whose tender bladder is being squeezed mercilessly."
They mentioned the possibility of an x-ray for bladder stones if the crystal test proved negative. He gets better medical care than I do.
When I called on Saturday and mentioned my name, the girl at the front desk blurted, "Hodge is ready to be picked up!" which of course means, "I'm ready for that Hodge to go home!" She talked to one of the veterinarians, and we agreed he could have an extended stay until Monday night. During his stay he had presented them with no symptoms—not one. It is for me only that he leaves countless mini-puddles everywhere.
Despite temptation, Monday night I picked Hodge up. Dr. W. advised me to feed him canned food only and suggested that his urinary woes might be due to the frequent dramatic shifts in barometric pressure; apparently veterinarians see clusters of this type of case during iffy weather. It's just another way in which this winter has been unkind to me. Dr. W. said something about the "life of an indoor cat," and I replied Hodge may someday be an outdoor cat.
It looks like there is not much I can do except invest in paper towels, Cat Odor-Off, and some other kind of canned food.
Dr. W. related that Hodge was stowed near a kitten in for neutering. When the doctor went back to check on the kitten, Hodge snarled at him. The kitten, obviously a weak-minded, easily influenced type, also began to snarl at the doctor. I'm told it is probably now conditioned to snarl at the sight of Dr. W. for the rest of its life.
That's my cat—leading the next generation of juvenile delinquents.