It's raining in the desert tonight. And when I got home, Creamsicle, the cat who looks most like Bozo, was waiting for me, up on the 2nd floor.
Bozo (Waffles) was a very good boy. He came out of the carrier, gentle but curious. He even went into the sink, much like Beatrice did on Monday night. Eventually he let me just pet him. He behaved very well for the vet tech, letting her take his temperature (fever of 104), get his weight (10pounds-- he should have been twice that, really), and such. The tech offered him some treats, which he quickly and hungrily went for, but couldn't seem to eat. She brought him some a/d wet food, though, and that he gobbled down. Then he just let me pet him, sweet boy.
The vet, the same one I saw on Monday, looked him over. Bozo's skin was yellowish, a sign that his liver was failing. Most pressingly, he wouldn't let the vet look in his mouth-- the only time he growled or swatted. The vet tech returned and burritoed Bozo so the vet could look at him. The vet also made me look. Most of the inside of his mouth was black, and what wasn't, was an angry red. Clearly an infection was raging through his mouth, making it impossible for him to eat. He was also very dehydrated, on top of everything else.
The vet took him away to give him sub-q fluids, with the plan that we would treat the mouth infection with antibiotics and pain killers; essentially we'd treat the symptoms and hope for the best. The liver problem could have been because Bozo hadn't eaten in so long.
But then the vet came back to ask if I wanted him tested for FeLV and FIV. I sort of didn't because I knew that if he were positive for either the vet would suggest putting him down. But knowing, by the same token, would give us a better idea about the liver and a prognosis for beating the infection in Bozo's mouth. So I said yes.
I then called my parents. My mom is Bozo's sponsor, and besides, I needed the support. The vet came back after a while to tell me that Bozo was positive for both FIV and FeLV and so his prognosis was very poor. I asked if that meant (to be specific) that he was suggestion... and I trailed off, unable to finish. The vet finished for me, and we agreed, through my tears, that the best thing for the poor baby, was to put him to sleep.
Eventually they brought Bozo back to me, wrapped in a towel. They'd already put a tube in his front leg. They let me stay with him for a long while, just petting him and telling him that he was loved and that I'd remember him. Then the vet returned, explained what would happen in far more detail than I needed, and gave him the shot. After a few seconds, Bozo put his head down and it was over.
There were many tears and a few comforting phone calls in the middle, as well as a call to the neighbor-lady to tell her what was going on, but now I am home and the skies are rumbling thunder, and I need to go hug my cats.