Well, my poor little kitty kept getting worse. Every day he would chew more of his fur off, and finally was starting to make his skin raw on the back of one hind leg. Last week I found a mite biting him and it left a big red bump (yeah, a bird mite, I took it to the vet to ID it, and this is super weird that it would be on a cat anyway, and before you jump to conclusions I'd like to point out the chickens are pretty darn clean, and Olin really doesn't go anywhere near them anyway...) The vet and I agree that Olin is allergic to things that bite (he is more closely matching the pics in the book now with more fur missing), which could be a number of different creepy crawlies.
On Friday, I gave Olin a bath. That was not a lot of fun, but in the grand scheme of things, could have been worse. He's on Prednisone for a week. I don't exactly love that he's on it, and neither does the vet, but... desperate times and desperate measures, had to stop the itching. He's supposed to stay inside for a few days. This is perhaps the hardest part. Olin likes to be in when he wants to be in, but he's used to being allowed out. He vents his frustration by spraying in the house. OMG this drives me insane. I should forget getting anything done and follow him around with a bottle of Nature's Miracle. Cripes. I love the boy kitties but they both do this and it's repulsive. Does anyone else have a cat that sprays when upset? Indoor life would probably be good for Olin, considering his allergies and propensity for getting beat up, but I don't know if he would ever learn to deal with it and stop abusing the vertical surfaces. Gross.
Anyway, he's definitely less itchy-looking in the last 24 hours. I'm going to try to keep him indoors through Monday morning (oh my) and verify that his itching stops. If it resumes when he goes out, then the allergy-causing thing is outdoors (though with him being on Prednisone I would think he would stay itch-free outdoors right now anyway?? Sometimes the reasons given to me don't necessarily make a whole lot of sense. So, we'll see how this goes. He can't stay on Prednisone, nor can he stay indoors permanently here, because that means keeping the dog door closed, and that defeats the purpose of the dog door.
Oh, Prednisone seems to make him extra sleepy. He konked out on my bed for about 14 hours straight last night and today. He's so cute when he's sleeping and not abusing the furniture.