Sunday evening, French was unusually snuggly and wanting to stay inside and hang out on the couch. He cried a little when I was stroking his back, which made me wonder if he was okay. I started watching him and noticed that his back seemed a bit wonky, as if something had fallen on him or he'd been grabbed as he ran away from somebody. He was acting so oddly for him that I decided to take him to the vet the next day.
He went into the crate quietly and was mostly silent on the drive to the vets office. Dr. Hall took us back pretty quickly and he discovered a huge absess at the base of his spine. He took French to the back area where they shaved a patch just above his tail and drained about a cup of pus, blood and dead tissue. Poor baby - no wonder he was crying when I pet his back. He got a shot of antibiotic and a slather of neosporin and jumped back into his crate all by himself.
Now, a day later, he's feeling much more himself and is acting quite affectionate at the moment. It's not his usual behavior, but I think he feels grateful to us for taking care of him. He's hanging out in the house with us and the other cats - and playing a little too.
This is proof. He really IS feeling better!