My saga continues, this time with a somewhat happier situation..
Well, Jake's still going through his ordeal, and our 3 month old kitten Alley started coughing, so, since she was due for her final booster, we decided to bring her back to the vet, but to a NEW one (after the ridiculous boarding fee, I wanted to see if we could find one that was a little bit more reasonable).
My boyfriend brought Alley in on Friday and they took a look at her. He didn't mention Jake or his problems at all, and all of a sudden, the vet, from looking at Alley, started asking if she was exhibiting the same symptoms Jake has
(i.e. a loss of appetite, coughing, slight depression) and she noticed that Alley has a slight heart murmur - just like Jake does! After she mentioned this, my boyfriend told her all about Jake, and the vet said it's likely that they both have Feline Herpes, or a similar virus. Apparently it's extremely common in cats, especially those from rescue shelters, and stress and new environments can cause an outbreak.
She said we could treat the symptoms (which we opted to do), but there is no 'cure' and it will pretty much clear up on its own. She then gave some L-Lysine (no cost for some extra for Jake), and Alley will be back in this week for a checkup to get her final booster, if she's up to it.
That's it.. A simple virus that is ridiculously common in cats, and my other vet never even considered it.
I spent $1000 and tons of anxiety on something that should have cost at the most $100.
In any case, I've still got my eye on Jake, who's not eating what he should, and really doesn't like the taste of the L-Lysine. His cough and breathing does seem a little better, and I'm hoping that they'll both be back to their old ways in a couple of weeks or so. If Jake's eating doesn't pick up, back to the NEW vet he'll go for some solutions.
this has been a frustrating few weeks, but I'm glad that we have a possible answer that actually makes sense for once. I'll keep you posted on developments as they come, and thanks to this forum for letting me vent!