Finally got Orange Cat to the vet this morning. I'd noticed a small bald spot at the base of his tail a little over a week ago. It looked like he'd gotten some hair ripped out in a scuffle with one of the other cats, a little red but not bad, so I decided to just keep an eye on it. It seemed to get better, but after a few days I noticed a bald spot with red skin starting to show up on the opposite side. I was super glad for the appointment because this morning it looked decidedly worse and had spread along his tail. When the tech touched it, apparently something burst because her hand came away smeared with disgustingness. The vet's verdict is that he got bit on the butt during a fight, the bite got infected, and the infection is moving down his tail :( We couldn't tell how much damage had been done until they shaved the first few inches of his tail, and seeing it now just makes me feel sick. The poor thing has oozing sores just all over the area. The vet says he should be fine soon with some heavy abx, a cone of shame, some isolation, and warm compresses. He also has some heavy painkillers, which is always good for a laugh. Cats are so stoic! To an insane, counter-productive extent. He's shown 0 signs of pain or distress until the tech started poking at him. Ugh. Trying not to feel too awful for not having realized how bad it was because that's kind of a cat's specialty.