Don't worry, this picture here does not show him dead on the polished wooden floor, in fact he's actually upside down in happiness following a large meal and subsequent pat, a couple of months ago. But I had you going, didn't I?
I knew something was wrong the minute I walked through the front door last night. I was pleased at arriving home early because I wanted to do some sewing ahead of the Shirt and Skirt Market coming up on Sunday - but then when I saw him I knew those plans were out the window.
First of all, I heard a thump. When he poked his head out through the doorway of the Amateur Actress' room, I realised it was the sound of him jumping off the bed. Now, this is unusual. Fathead is not usually asleep at this time of day, he is usually waiting outside for one of us to return home, so that he can loudly demand food.
Then it was obvious what was wrong. He emerged from the room and limped heavily down the corridor towards the Place of Fat Chompies (his favourite treat) - which is normal, as he usually gets one when we get home. The limping however, not normal. Not normal at all.
He wouldn't put any weight on his left front paw, though when I palpated it gently he didn't seem to object, or to have any particular place that was sore. I thought it might just be pins and needles but after ten minutes he was still limping. And he didn't want any dinner, which is Front Page News. If he had a bottom lip, he'd have been sticking it out in misery.
On closer examination I found a bump on his head with all the fur and skin missing, and his front and back claws were all shredded, as if he'd scrambled to grab onto something in a hurry. So off to the vet we went.
My god, the trip there was the worst part. When Fatpuss saw the cat cage he limped away from it as fast as his fat little legs would carry him, because he hates the cage. He knows it means going in the car, which he abhors, and in turn it signifies going to the vet, which is even worse - about the most horrific thing that Fatpuss could ever imagine, except for dieting.
After tut-tutting about his weight (yes, we know...) the vet examined him. Fatpuss suffered the indignity, fuming silently, and then slunk off the table and under the chair. She diagnosed either a minor run-in with a car - hence the shredded claws - or a fight with another cat a few days earlier which could have formed the beginnings of an abcess under his elbow. It's hard to tell, I suppose, when your patient can't talk.
So the Fathead got a pain relief injection, a penicillin shot, a course of antibiotics, and another appointment for tonight. If he's not better, she said, we'll need to x-ray that fat little arm of his. (Okay, that's not exactly what she said, but I could tell she was thinking it).
And then - the mortification - she booked him in for Cat Weightwatchers! Fatpuss was absolutely flabbergasted. And he's got a lot of flabber to be gasted about, let me tell you. He stared at me, open-mouthed in shock.
This contradicts all of the Fathead's weight management philosophies. He strongly believes that weight management is not about how much you weigh, it's about how your clothes fit. And his collar fits just fine, after all, so therefore what weight could possible need managing? He shot me a wounded look and turned his back to me. I said Fatpuss, what can I do? It was the vet!
He'd have given me the silent treatment all the way home, except of course we were in the cage, in the car, and so that meant he howled like I was slowly cutting him into a thousand little pieces, all the way home. It's amazing how long a car journey can take when the passenger is being loudly and brutally murdered in the most sadistic of fashions.
Deposited on his blanket in the sitting room, Fatpuss mournfully went off to sleep.
This morning he's still ginger on his paw, but he ate a healthy breakfast, so I have hopes he is improving. Of course, he has to die again twice tonight - once on the way to the vet, and once on the way home from there - so we'll see how he holds up through that.
I'll keep you posted.