Tuesday night, all seems well - I'm a little worried that Mite hasn't been eating as much the last few weeks and may have lost many pounds, but am still hopeful that time will increase comfort and he'll get back to normal. And he's curled up on me and purring as sweet and apparently healthy as ever.
Wednesday night, I get home from work and nap immediately. I wake up a couple hours later and find Mite curled up on my legs. His usual sweet self... except I turn around so that he's curled up next to my head and pet him and he doesn't purr. And his breathing sounds funny. Still tired, and thinking he's just in a mood, I doze some more... he wakes me up a bit later as he wanders off to hack up ... well, I've never seen a cat make this substance before. It's white and pourous, mostly liquid, like foamy liquid. I'd think he had eaten laundry soap or something, but I've not unpacked any cleaning supplies. There's literally nothing in the apartment for him to get at except possibly tape or maybe styrofoam.
Thinking perhaps he's just weak, I go to the store and get some cans of mushy catfood, a can of tuna, and some ice cream. He won't eat any of those things. His breathing is worse and he goes to hide in the litter box a while. It's very late so I look up some vets and open the cat carrier in the middle of the living room, and close the bedrooms.
Thursday morning, I wake up to find he's crawled into the cat carrier on his own. His breathing is terrible. I wait for traffic to work down while considering whether to go to the cat specialist on the other side of town, or just the nearest vet (right here on the island). He gets up and he's wobbling and can't even climb into the cat bed (a whole 2 inches off the floor) without falling down. Aie.
I just can't even think what to tell the vet could have caused it. It's like he aged 5 years overnight. I can't see anything he might have eaten.
The big things that changed in the new environment:
* different tap water
* windows are open instead of closed (but screened and on the second floor, so I tend to rule out external cat influence)
* changed cat litter from Tidy Cat to the better clumping Arm and Hammer (perhaps he ate some? licked it off his paws?)
* the heat - he lived 10 years in a highly controlled environment but Seattle collectively fails to believe in central air/heat and so it's been rather hot in here during the days