I think he's reinjured a tail injury he got in the spring. X-rays showed some kind of lesion at the base of his tail - the vet said it looked like the kind of injury that happens when a cat has its tail pulled, or if the tail had gotten stuck somewhere and he pulled really hard to free himself.
I've been feeding him for about 5 years. He's gone all day but comes to eat dinner and sleep before disappearing in the wee hours. He has a house, a bed, and a heated pad in my screened-in porch. He'll come in for a bit when it's really cold, but he panics if he can't go back out.
A few days ago, he started kneading constantly on his bed. I didn't think much of it at the time. He's always loved kneading, and it was cold, so I thought he was just enjoying the warmth from the heated pad. Then a couple of nights ago, there were big poo streaks in his bed. When this happened in the spring, I thought maybe he had lost control of his bowels, but the vet said given the location of his injury, it was likely that peeing and pooping were uncomfortable positions for him. And of course he can't lift his tail...But he'd been clean until a couple of days ago.
So it wasn't until then that it dawned on me that he might be kneading to comfort himself.
He's super sweet but really freaks out when he feels confined. And I can't risk trying to get him into a carrier, because I'm afraid I'll worsen the injury.
So it has to be the mobile vet. Last time, he got metacam. The vet was very sensitive to my concerns, but there aren't many pain management options for stray kitties. I'm not sure which is the lesser of the two evils: metacam or aspirin.
Stryker, my vet recommended 1/4 tablet low-dose aspirin for Celia for her arthritis, then another 3 days later if there weren't any adverse effects and if it seemed to benefit her. And then to stretch it out so that I could give as little as possible but still provide some relief - every 5-7 days. I actually only gave her the one, because she seemed much better. Buprenorphine and other opioids aren't possible because of her constipation issues.