So just about the time little Leo was doing poorly, Lizzie became ill, too. She had a couple of days in December where she stopped eating and started vomiting. These are alarming signs, especially from a cat who has been robustly healthy and very much a cat's cat, and certainly signs that should be treated immediately.
Our regular vet is a housecall vet, but this kind of issue needs a visit to a vet facility bc, at the very least, an x-ray will likely be required, possibly an ultrasound as well. We had an appointment to bring her in around mid-day, but, early that morning, we decided not to wait any longer and brought her into the emergency vet at Animal Emergency and Referral Associates in Fairfield, NJ. Several of our pets have been there before, either for emergency reasons or to see the specialists there. If she needed surgery to remove something or some kind of tricky treatment, we wanted her treated there.
We were especially concerned about surgery to remove an obstruction bc we thought she might have eaten a chicken feather. Lizzie loves cat toys that have feathers attached to them. Since we have chickens, Kevin gave her a couple of feathers that Sandy had dropped since she was molting at the time. She went bonkers over them and first started showing symptoms the same day she got the feathers.
The ER vet thought the x-ray might miss a feather. I later showed an actual chicken feather to the Internal Medicine vet, who thought it would have been noticeable on the x-ray. The feathers on the toys were different from Sandy's feathers in that the former were softer, lighter, more pliable. Sandy's feather looked and felt stiff, like a small quill feather for writing.
Lizzie stayed overnight for observation, tests, fluids and some hand feeding. She was eating on her own the next day and, since there was no identifiable problem, she came home. She's been doing very well since then.
We have no idea what the problem was, which I find a bit disconcerting. I like to have as much information as possible wrt our pets' illnesses so that we can make the most informed decisions wrt their care. I also like to know if it's a one-off thing or if it might recur. In this case, it looks like we won't know what caused her to get sick. I'll surely take a healthy kitty, if I have to choose between that and an answer, and hope it was just a bug or something like that.
Despite the funny looking eyes, here's Lizzie feeling better and hanging around at the top of the stairs, as is her wont. She particularly enjoys sitting about two steps down and staring at the gap in the trim left behind by some contractors who ditched us toward the end of the project. I think she hears things from there and is lying in wait for The Thing That Lives in The Wall. I think there was something(s) living there at one point, although I think they moved on when the roof was replaced and sealed up tight last year. But kitties have long memories for these kinds of things and, actually, I trust a cat's judgement wrt these matters over mine.