so. i ended up taking chaucer to the vet yesterday.
so, weirdly this is apparently the same vet that saw chaucer originally (8 or so months ago) when the woman found him.
anyway, the vet said: oh yeah, i remember he tested positive for FIV and i think his skin baldness is some sort of skin disease but we tested for parasites and worms and used steroids and allergy stuff and none of it helped so you need to do a biopsy and he is very itchy.
so, i said: what?! his medical papers CLEARLY say he is FIV negative, that two different vets at two different places concurred that his injuries were consistent with a burn from a caustic substance being poured on him, and how do you know he is itchy (since he never scratches that area and only licks it when he is doing his head to toe cleaning, or shortly after we put the flax oil on there).
and she said: well he licks it more than normal. and i was like, huh?
but, re: his cold--she didn't prescribe antibiotics--she listened to his lungs and took his temp and his temp was normal, and no abnormal lung sounds, i guess. she recommended just continuing the lysine, 500mg a day.
so then i called the woman from the shelter and she had previously told me to never go to a certain vet place in my area, and weirdly, the vet that i saw was from that other place. the woman from the shelter was like: if you want to get him retested for FIV or have a biopsy we could do that thru our vet, and cover the cost of that (altho they have apparently done two different FIV tests which were both negative, and a biopsy already). and she thinks that this doctor just basically wants to order tests (which is apparently why the woman who originally brought him there stopped taking him there), tests, tests.
and the shelter woman, alice, said, of course if you want to give him back you can.
and i said: i do not want to give my kitty back, of course. i just want to make sure he will be okay.
so, big sigh. i'm going to do the lysine another week, and see if he is better, plus continue the flax oil on his skin, vit e a few times a week, and maybe an antihistamine spray for the skin.
it's like this big kitty cat drama. who knew.
and it is hard to know who to trust, of course. on the one hand, i know how much the shelter woman has done and how much she cares about cats (it's really not just a shelter, but a huge rescue operation with many different cat care programs) but she is also pretty anti vet (in terms of thinking they do a lot of unnecessary things and sometimes dangerous things b/c that is what they are taught in vet school--which is not unlike how a lot of people feel about doctors). and then there is this vet, who we are taught to trust but really made me feel uncomfortable.
anyway, that's the story. more updates to come, i'm sure.