Re thinking Raz's bladder still has 25% left in it: I think you may be right, and that what I'm feeling is a thick bag, but my paranoia about doing it all wrong is making me misinterpret what I'm feeling.
And thank you for the link re the various sets of muscles - very comprehensive!
Tue.Apr.19: It's getting very hard to express Raz. I feel like I had the knack and now I don't. I wonder if the Bethanochol is making my life difficult? I think I will take him off for a couple of days and see what happens. He is still off the Lactulose.
I was testing his tail this evening to see if the middle part 'belonged' to him yet, when I noticed that the long hairs at the end of his tail were definitely moving when I gently squeezed the middle part of tail. Yay!
On our walk around the garden this morning, when I saw him trying to spray I patted his rude bits with a paper towel - and sure enough, there really are a couple of drops of pee. Here's hoping ...
He is carrying his tail even higher off the ground, although he still holds it up and over to one side.
Raz can really run! Euclid caught a mouse (poor thing) and brought it onto the patio to play with it. He was having a great time, and Raz was watching him jealously. Euclid's attention was distracted by some birds arguing for a few seconds - and his mouse was heading down the path, firmly gripped by you-know-who.
I tried putting Raz in the litterbox when I saw him licking his butt, which is the signal a poo is on its way, but he was less than impressed, just fought to get out. He stomped back to his cat TV (smack in front of the see-through cat flap in the back door), growling and hissing. A few minutes later I heard him 'covering' something, and sure enough the poo was on the floor. I have a horrible feeling he is becoming un-trained. Tried again later, with the self-same result (sigh).
He had another acupuncture session this afternoon.
Raz can climb (a bit)! The cats were chasing each other in the garden, and one shot up the plum tree, and before he quite knew what he was doing, Raz was following, although he only got about 12 inches off the ground.
Wed.Apr.20: It was very, very hard to express him this morning, even harder this evening. What am I doing wrong? I'm so scared I'm going to damage him. I didn't give him any Bethanocol today either, but so far life isn't getting any easier.
He definitely had difficulty getting stool out today, and really doesn't want me to help. I think they actually are harder than they were a couple of days ago, so I've started him back on the Lactulose again. I tried again to persuade him to use the litterbox, but he didn't want to know. This evening he was sitting on the couch with his blanky and making bread like crazy on it with all four feet, and I noticed a poo starting to come. I think it was as a result of his hind legs working away. Surely this means he will get control back at some point, as it's clear the muscles are acutally working, although he doesn't have control of them yet.
Another milestone: I was messing with his rear end checking for poos coming, and he was growling and snarling, and the end of his tail was definitely switching back and forth!
Also, he actually managed to jump from the floor onto the highest stool in the kitchen this evening: he stood on the floor and made his "please pick me up and put me on it" noise, but I was doing something else and told him to wait; at which point he eyed the problem, shifted back and forth a bit as if he were going to try to climb up, but then jumped. Yay!
Thu.Apr.21: We went for the garden patrol this morning before expressing; I wanted to see if Raz was more successful at spraying with a fuller bladder - and he is! Only a couple of drops come out each time, but by the time he'd checked all the spray-spots his rear end was unmistakably damp.
However, expressing him this morning was incredibly difficult. We have an appt. with the Vet at 5pm this afternoon to discuss matters.
The Vet also had incredible difficulty expressing Raz (which made me feel less inept). He said he thinks the muscles are 'fighting back' and that it was a very good sign; I asked him about the bladder being spastic/spasmy and he said yes, it could be described so, but in Raz's case he didn't think this was a 'bad' thing. He also said he was very surprised (and pleased) that Raz's tail is alive and working, and that it was also an excellent sign. I asked him if it might be possible for a cat to have a functioning tail but non-functioning bladder and stool-voiding. He said in principle yes it was possible, it all depends on which nerves were damaged and to what extent - but he didn't think that was the case with Raz. He said it's still difficult to tell what the final outcome will be, but things are definitely looking very good. I also talked to him about the difficulty I have in expressing Raz three times a day, and he said that was an ideal, cats are individuals, and it was clear that twice a day was working just fine. The amount he had got out was about two teaspoons which he said really wasn't worth worrying about. He did say that he thought giving him extra water wasn't a bad idea, although of course it means more work getting it back out again. And he also told me to put him back on the Bethanocol asap. He also said that there was an awful lot of stool in the colon, and I should massage it out asap. But overall he was impressed and very pleased, and I got a job offer
Back at home, I settled down on the couch, draped with a towel, with toilet paper and latex gloves to hand, and started massaging Raz. This is normally something he loves (up to the point where I actually touch his butt), but he got cross almost immediately, and jumped down and stomped off back to his cat TV (the cat flap). I sat there for a few minutes looking at the wall and feeling rather low, then to my surprise I heard scraping noises coming from the litterbox. Yes, he was really in there, squatting and pushing, and produced a poo all by himself! Oh happy, happy day!!