We were certainly happy to see Parker and Piper again after we got home from the trip to Denmark, but the happy reunion quickly turned into a shock.
Since about three months ago, Piper started to sometimes excrete urine which was orange in colour. Fearing that it was a sign that something was wrong with his kidney, we took him to the vet, whose diagnosis was that Piper was healthy and so was his kidney. He told us to monitor the situation and Piper's peeing behaviour, and bring him back for further tests if his condition worsened. The orange urine, though not frequent, persisted, but Piper was otherwise healthy and active and did not look to be in pain.
When I scooped the poop yesterday, however, I was shocked to see a lump of brownish sand. So the problem seemed to have intensified. I called the vet to make an appointment. He asked me to try to bring some urine sample. Collecting urine from cats is, normally, not an easy thing to do, but as Piper, being a pedantic cat, has the habit of coming for a pee after I have cleaned the litter box, that habit makes the task much easier to carry out. Without much difficulty, then, I managed to collect a little sample yesterday evening. There was unmistakably blood in the urine.
At the veterinary hospital today, I was told that there are normally three causes for the problem - stone in the kidney or bladder, infection and stress. It is possible that not having been with us for almost two weeks has given him the stress, but that does not explain the onset of the orange urine about three months ago. X-ray, ultrasound and urine tests were then carried out for the other two causes. No stones were spotted in the kidney and the bladder, but the alkaline content of the cat's urine was high (pH 7), suggesting possible urinary tract infection. So no surgery is deemed necessary at the moment, but Piper has to be on antibiotics. Hopefully that would do the trick.
Piper has always been a weaker cat than his brother Parker. In fact, he was still on antibiotics because of sneezing when he was given to us while still a few weeks old. I always suspect that his blindness and frailty had to do with the dirty environment in which he was born. He and Parker were found by a volunteer in a garbage can when they were babies.
I hope and pray that Piper will pull himself together and get through this one unscathed.