Bringing him in was out of the question, as he was in a great deal of distress and if his back was injured, I wasn't about to make it worse. She did not offer to come to me (heaven forbid) and gave me the number of another vet who did house calls (!!!!!). When I reached her, she was sympathetic but in Tennessee. More frantic calls to my vet. Her assessment was paralysis caused by a blood clot and heart trouble. Slimbo is 5 y/o. A very poor prognosis. She gave me yet another number for another vet who provides euthanasia at home. I call, nearly pass out myself from the cost, tell him to come and gird my loins with a quick shot of JD.
Slimbo and I wait, me stroking his soft head. I realize he's stopped panting and is purring mightily. He still can't walk and howls when I try to get him to stand. The vet arrives and takes a look at him. "This cat isn't paralyzed," he says. He takes out his stethoscope and checks his heart. Fit as a fiddle. He looks at his eyes. Bingo! Vertigo. Slimbo gets a pass, I put the vet in a bear hug and (almost) happily part with $110.
I now have to squirt a slurry of puréed cat food and water down his gullet, along with antibiotics twice a day. Not to mention the tripling of my wash loads... He seems to be feeling better, as he made it out of his makeshift bed, across the room and wedged himself behind the cat tree.
Either that or he heard me coming down the hall with his morning dose...