Also, he may have kitty herpes. Lovely.
On the bright side, he came back negative on a retest for FIV/feline leukemia, so thank Ganesh for that.
Now he's got more antibiotics and eye ointment so that he doesn't get eye ulcers in case it IS kitty herpes. The vet showed me how to apply the ointment, and handed me the tube.
"Ah," I said. "Hmm. Erythromyacin."
"Is that a problem?"
"Well, it causes me to die, but I'm sure I can just--"
"GIVE ME THAT."
(Okay, erythromyacin actually just causes me to turn red and itch and have difficulty breathing, but as my doctor once pointed out, that's one end of the spectrum that ends in death, so I should just avoid it.) So new meds were assigned, and I was told not to pet Ben's head for awhile.
I've also been told to give him the stinkiest food I can find, since he can't smell through the congestion, which is killing his appetite. So Ben is now getting canned mackerel, and the cheapest, stinkiest salmon available until this clears up--the distress it will cause at the other end is considered minor compared to actually making sure he gets fed.
It's a good thing I love you more than money, cat...