The patient is not feeling well. Sometimes sick cats still run around, purr, and seem fine; cats are very skilled at masking pain and discomfort, which is why it often takes almost a second sense to know when they are sick. But Bertie's behavior is different: he's quiet, not meowing and howling in his chatty way. And he won't eat. The vet has me dosing him with Pepcid and an anti-nausea pill left over from Snicky's drug stash. But when I ask Bertie if he is a nice pussycat, he doesn't purr loudly in response, as he always, always does.
A little too skinny these days.
It's okay for a cat not to eat for a solid day, which can help them recover from whatever bug is messing up their system. But if it goes on any longer, we need to worry. And Bertie needs to fatten up; he lost a pound since December, which is a lot for a cat. He's bony under that fluffy double coat. He is 16, and has chronic renal failure, so he gets regular tests and weight monitoring. He gets an appetite stimulant pill and plenty of food whenever he wants any. Possum and Wendy are so jealous.
Rats. He just sniffed his brimming bowl of kibble and walked away. Possum watched in disbelief.
Sometimes when cats don't eat for a while, they can feel queasy from hunger and need syringe-feeding to get them back on track. Fortunately, Snalbert loves to be syringe-fed. When he was very ill with a strain of the calici virus, which arrived with Possum as a kitten, we did it for weeks, and my husband got very good at it. So good that when Snalbert was recovering, he would refuse his bowl and stare at my husband whenever he was hungry.
We'll try that tomorrow if he still won't eat, and call the vet, and have tests, and all the usual stuff. I am not ready to lose another cat so soon after Snicky. I'm just not. So this story had better have a happy ending, at least for now.