Well, he was only part of our family for 13 short days, but today we had to let Lionel go.
I took him to the emergency vet last Wednesday when he started stumbling around and refusing to eat. Our vet had been working on a diagnosis since then, and giving him appetite stimulants. They were treating him for various possibilities including toxoplasmosis, or even a stroke. They did rule out FIP, but are still waiting for the toxo blood test results.
Today sweet Lionel took a rapid turn for the worse and developed a syndrome wherein his legs were all stiff and straight (but not totally aralysed; you could bend them and he could sense pain in them.) By the time we got to the clinic, he was in bad shape and the vet was concerned he would soon asphyxiate as the paralysis increased. He was already in an oxygen tent, and they were unable to deliver medication adequately to him, and of course he was not eating. There was really nothing left to do but let Lionel go.
So Gordon and I told him that we loved him, and that his former guardians did too, and Dr. Ashley put him peacefully to sleep.
It's extra-tough because he was just a young cat, only four years old, and so handsome and sweet. Already I knew he was a sensitive soul. He had a tough start to life as a feral (or semi-feral.) He was neutered as part of a local feral program, which is why his ear was notched.
He was very bonded to his friend Missy, who is no doubt missing him greatly.
I went and gave her a cuddle when we got back from the vet, and told her what had happened. I did ask the vet if Missy was at risk from anything, particularly if it was toxoplasmosis, but she said no.
I am hoping Missy will form a friendship with our other new barn cat, Redford, who seems to need a feline friend and is a very sweet and accepting little guy.
Godspeed, Lionel. You were very loved in your all-too-brief life and you'll be sorely missed.