I’d rather have a UFO in the house…

It was mentioned, briefly, in another post that Oliver has been taking some medical leave lately. That’s because he has an FUO: Fever of Unknown Origin. It is driving me crazy.

In the middle of December, Oli was just not himself. He was spending all day upstairs, sleeping on the couch. He wasn’t coming to bed at night to snuggle. He was eating, but he wasn’t hounding me for breakfast in the morning. It was this last symptom that was sneaky – if one of my boys doesn’t eat we practically break out the sirens and rush them to the doctor. But he WAS eating.

After five days, though, I called the doctor. I explained his complete lack of anything tangible being wrong. To my surprise, they took this very seriously. I now know this is called ADR – Ain’t Doin’ Right – and an owners concern is enough for vets to know something is wrong. They made an appointment for me the next day. It was good…because the next morning Oliver was limping. I really, really, REALLY hate that limp.

The limp is because of a fever. Just like when you have the flu and you are all full of aches. He had a small fever, the doctor thought maybe he had an abscess from Kittens thundering, so she gave him a shot and we went home. The next day he was worse and we rushed back in. His fever was MUCH higher. There were a couple of theories but the most likely causes were all treated with antibiotics. So he received another shot and pills to take home. This did the trick.

We’ll interrupt this story to tell you that I had a complete breakdown at the doctor’s office. When they took Oli to the back I had two seconds to think about it and realized I was in the room where Poco was put to sleep last February. Visions of my dead cat floated in front of me. Tears. Me frantically trying not to break into tears. MORE tears from the frustration of not being able to stop the tears. Luckily, Dr. Tiff is a friend of mine and she gets what was going on. And still gets that I’ll be crying whenever she leaves me alone (turns out, any of their three exam rooms have the same effect).

Back to the story. Oli and I went home with his drugs and he was all better. For ten days. The day after he stopped his antibiotics, the fever was back. That stupid limp was back.

This time, Dr. Tiff spent a whole afternoon running tests to rule out causes for the fever. Some scary words were used…Felv…HIV…menigitis. Aaaaand nothing. He has nothing. All of his levels came back normal – and not just within the normal range but completely, utterly, not even on the high end of normal. He is my perfect little bunny-boy, just with a fever. So we went home with antibiotics and a steroid and he had a couple of shots of stuff for the pain.

It did the trick. For ten days. Enter the limp.

Since there’s nothing left to test for, we no longer go to the doctor’s office. Dr. Tiff and I consulted over the phone. “Lets just get extreme,” I said. “How about three months of steroids?” Being a doctor, she’s a little bit more sensible than that, but we did set up a program of more antibiotics and a stepped down program for steroids. It worked. For 18 days.

Last Thursday the limp was back. I tortured Oliver with a thermometer and confirmed his temperature, while not yet feverish, was climbing. We had a major conference for work this week so I called an asked for more antibiotics – I just didn’t have time for him to be sick. We also didn’t step him down on the steroids.

Today is his last day of antibiotics. He’s so playful right now. I’m pretty sure the steroid make him feel like Superman. But tomorrow he’ll only take one pill. Will the limp – that stupid, hateful limp – be back?

So, this post isn’t funny at all. To make up for that, how about a cute picture? Oliver loves to be in the linen closet. At my old house, the linen closet door was pretty much never closed. Here, The Boy doesn’t really like have his sheets pre-haired. But…when The Girl’s baby is sick, and Oliver swears that only laying in the linen closet will make him feel better, well…the door gets opened while The Boy is downstairs watching TV. The Boy, being the good guy that he is, didn’t complain.

"The only reliable treatment for fever is a dark closet and a clean sheet."

8 responses to “I’d rather have a UFO in the house…

  1. Bless poor Oliver I hope his limp gets sorted soon.
    My boy cat Roarke had a similar problem from a fight/mad dash away from evil cat next door over a pile of broken bricks. The vet finally found a lump under his shoulder/leg which was an abscess. After draining it (I even rigged up a cute cat sling for him) he was completely better. Before then he’d kept having the limp clear up – come back – clear up etc. I don’t know if that’s any help but she said it had been missed as he had thickening of the joints and it was in a weird position.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. The limp came back yesterday – and he’s not even done with antibiotics yet – so we’ll be talking to the doctor again. I’ll ask if his x-rays would have picked up an abcess.

  2. poor Oli, and poor you for having all this worry! I’ll be thinking good thoughts!

  3. Now, I’m all about sympathy for the Cat Mama that has to fret about this mystery ailment…but are you 100% convinced he hasn’t learned to fain it so he can get back in the linen closet, garner extra love and be given additional kibble?? I know my three have learned that appearing woebegone in any way is a sure-fire “sure, you can sit where I never let you sit” getter…

    • Well, I’ll tell you a secret…if The Boy isn’t around, the cat doesn’t have to beg too hard to get in the closet anyway. I’ve just decided not to use that sheet he lays on. And limping gets him a thermometer and pills, too. I know he loves the closet, but…

  4. Poor sweet baby. Wishing him a good diagnosis and a speedy recovery!

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