well, the doc thinks that patsy's problems started with her pancreas, as there was pain in that area earlier in the week when the first vet saw her, now not so - didn't even flinch this morning when the doc manipulated her abdomen. she was also basing this on the bloodwork patsy had done, which showed no liver or kidney problems, but did have raised white count levels (hope i'm recounting this correctly - i know she had raised levels of something?).
she also thinks patsy never really had a constipation problem, she just wasn't pooing because of the decreased appetite (in other words, nothing going in, nothing coming out, and because i have three cats, i couldn't really be certain when was the last time she pooed - i'm only certain about from thursday nite at around 9pm up to last nite at around 10pm, but it could have been earlier in the week). the poo she passed last nite passed the fecal test with flying colours, and was soft and moist, normal size, not hard & dry, which it should have been if she was constipated.
so, she has started her on a special diet: canned "recovery", canned "sensitive" and dry "gastroenteric", which she says should prevent future troubles - it's high protein, low fat. i'm also allowed to give her cooked meats (chicken, beef, fish, etc.).
i didn't know that about dry food - thank you so much sugarcatmom - i always thought dry food helped their teeth. i'll only give them small amounts of the dry and rely more heavily on the canned. the gastroenteric dry is really tiny - looks like kitten food.
anyway, mysteries solved. patsy's asthma is fine, she only gets it in june (she's an outdoor cat), and the shot that fixes it does the trick - she only ever needs the one (i know other cats need this shot a few times thru the year, right?).
thanks so much to everyone
for advice and support. you guys sure do know your stuff!
hugs from me and my patsy girl