In other news, when G and I got home last night, she immediately ran to squeeze and kiss the cats, the way she always does. Five seconds later, she yelled "MOMMMM, there's something wrong with Malcolm's eye!" I looked, and sure enough, his right eye was completely clouded over and all squinty like a pirate's. He'd been fine when we left that morning, and since he's not allowed outside, I couldn't imagine how he could have picked up some mysterious cat disease, so I figured he'd been fighting with Catherine and gotten scratched.
I told G, who was nearly frantic with worry, that if he wasn't better today we'd take him to the vet. By midnight, I already knew we'd be going. Instead of his usual adorable-but-aggravating behavior of following me everywhere and begging for attention, he was just crouching in corners and looking miserable, and he ran away every time I came near him. So, this morning we wrestled him into the carrier and went to the vet's office. Turns out he had injured his eye, but it wasn't a scratch, it was a blunt trauma that had irritated the space between the iris and cornea and developed into an infection. (I suspect him of getting drunk while we were out and bumping into walls. Hee.)
Anyway, the poor boy got a stain put in his eye that made his little nose turn dark green, a shot of anti-inflammatories in the butt, another shot of antibiotics in the shoulder, and a big glob of ointment dropped directly into his eyeball. When we finally got him home, he crawled under my bed and stayed there for hours in shock at the indignity of it all. I had to leave bowls of food and water in my bedroom so he could creep out for long enough to eat and drink. He finally ventured downstairs around 9 p.m., just in time for me to catch him, hold him down and administer more of the ointment and a dose of liquid antibiotic. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've singlehandedly squirted goo into a cat's eye. It beats trying to give medicine to a baby all to heck.
While we were at the vet's office, I had the doctor feel Malcolm's wonky back legs, and he said that he'd definitely been in an accident at some point because there were lots of "crepitations" in his left hip joint. If I were still in high school and forging excuse notes, I would totally use crepitations as my fake disease: Please excuse Vanessa's absence on [date]. She was suffering from a severe case of crepitations. Anyway, the vet said the only way to know exactly what's wrong is to have X-rays done, but since it's not causing him any pain and he gets around fine, it can wait until I'm ready. Which is good, because with everything else I've had to pay for lately, it was all I could do to find the cash to fund today's visit. I'd better start selling stuff on eBay in case we need to buy a pair of bionic kitty legs or something.