The following night, June 15, I was actually able to scruff him and get him into a carrier. Brought him home and put him in a big elevated cage in my bedroom. Covered him so he'd feel safe (er) and left food, water, and litter. Then I was able to see that yes, there was something wrong with his mouth, or jaw, or chin. He was drooling, and the chin looked swollen. But he ate! "As long as they eat..."
Spoke with Dr. Chris and she recommended a couple of homeopathic remedies. She's a vet, but has come to use homeopathy almost exclusively. He was better the next morning...not so much drool, and some question as to the swelling. Maybe just a big chin.
Next step, June 17, yesterday, he saw Dr. Reed. She was not having the humans enter the clinic, and there was no one to help hold Perry. Fortunately he's the kind of "feral" who withdraws rather than lashing out. The good doctor did a pretty good exam, heart & lungs fine, got some acupuncture needles into him (and out of him) and saw that he had a wound under his chin but no other injuries. The wound might have been a burst abcess or something else. He'd live. No pus. He got a shot of long-lasting antibiotic, and home we went! Dr. Reed had left him in his small carrier and took the top half off to do the exam and treatments. (I'd put it into his cage, and since it was smaller than the cage, he went into it to feel safer) I took the top off again when he got home, and covered him with a towel. He was dehydrated, and I carried him into the bathroom, closed the door, and got fluids into him, under the skin, with a shot of B-12 in the line. He let me!! He's so sweet!!
I worked with our homeopath, who recommended remedies for her. She was as I said, quite dehydrated, and stayed so despite being given fluids every day. She also remained lethargic. So I brought her in for x-rays ("rads" now, for radiographs), and blood work. The blood work showed a lot of values "off", but again nothing to indicate imminent demise. Negative for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses. The vet said that she did look terminal, but he had no idea why. The other vet looked at all the reports and pictures after she died, yesterday, and she was also mystified.
The reason I'm posting this is to illustrate that there are always mysteries. A nurse friend with long-time intensive care experience reminds us of this: Many who are thought to be dying recover, and many who are thought to be viable, die.
Perry was loved, warm, and safe in her last days.