They checked him out and said he had a bacterial intestinal infection, which would explain his diarrhea, lack of appetite and general moodiness. BUT the infection might be a secondary symptom if he had eaten something that was causing an intestinal blockage, so they wanted to do x-rays. I said absolutely, please do be sure. They did so and said the good news was he had no blockage whatsoever and his current distress was entirely based on the infection (for which he was already on antibiotics to clear up). However, when they took the x-rays they randomly noticed his heart appeared to be grossly enlarged and slightly misshapen, which was a Very Bad Sign. But the only way to diagnose how horrible it was (fully treatable to 6 months to live at most) would be to do a sonogram and ECG, which they couldn't do until Thursday of this week when their specialist came in. I made the appointment and had a very quiet complete breakdown in the bathroom at work.
I've been keeping myself sane this week by googling and reassuring myself that they mentioned the ONLY way they noticed anything was the x-rays. His heart and lungs sounded perfectly healthy, his blood values were fantastic, there was NO other symptomology that would be present in the more immediate, deadly heart problems he could have. I dropped him off Thursday morning and spent the day frantically throwing myself into code as fast as possible so I had no time to think. Finally, around 5PM, my cell phone rings.
"Hi, this is Preston Road Animal Clinic, saying you can come pick up Rasslin'* and meet with the doctor?"
"Um... I can't come in until after 6 due to my work, I told you guys this when I made the appointment and when I dropped him off? You're open until 7, right?"
"Yeah, but the Doctor is leaving at 6... I know he REALLY wanted to discuss the results with you... let me see if it's okay."
She puts me on hold and I try not to scream. Docs don't usually want to URGENTLY discuss perfectly healthy results with you in person.
"Okay, he's in another meeting right now but he'll call you back in a few minutes and discuss the results over the phone, okay?"
Cue The Five Minutes That Lasted A Thousand Years.
Finally the vet calls back. Turns out the guy is actually the FOUNDER of the vet hospital, who has since moved on to specialize in ECGs, sonograms, and laporoscopy. So I guess I'm in good hands.
"Okay," he says, "I'll give you the overall first and then get into the extensive details."
"All right." I take a deep breath.
"So the main bullet point is, you have a perfectly healthy cat."
He seemed a bit taken aback at my response to good news. I explained that the vet who took the x-rays had said there was obviously heart disease of SOME kind so I was a bit skeptical. He laughed and said this was why he wanted to discuss it in person.
This short version? Raist is a perfectly healthy complete freak of medical nature who may end up in a vet journal.
The medium-long version: Raistlin's heart is actually normal sized and perfectly healthy. However, despite being in the normal weight range for a cat, he has managed to not only develop a bizarrely large fat layer in his chest cavity for no reason he can posit, it's also not smooth, as is normal for felines and canines, but "clumpy" almost like cellulite. The reason the call came so late was that when the vet got the ECG results back he had no idea what he was looking at and sent them to a colleague who specializes in pulmonology in general. He correctly identified it as the harmless fat that it was, but mentioned "I have NEVER heard of that in a CAT before. What the hell?!"
So yeah. His "grossly enlarged, misshapen" heart was actually a perfectly healthy heart surrounded by bizarre, never-before-seen, harmless fat wads. I just about had a hysterical laughing fit on the way to pick him up. Leave it to my cat to be a freak for the books and kill me with stress over it.
I'd be more upset over it, except they had to shave his entire chest and belly to do the tests. So now he's stomping around with a reverse tonsure, griping about how much he hates life and the carpet tickles, dammit. I figure that's revenge enough.
*The vets usually get that "Raist" rhymes with "Waist". The Assistants, however, universally seem to think his name is a homonym of a good ol' time in the WWF.
EDIT: Obviously, he is horribly traumatized by the whole experience.