Took Fat Cat to the vet today to have his vision checked. He hasn't been coming downstairs at night to sleep with us like he usually does, and he's been wandering around the house, making this pitiful meowing sound. Then he sits and stares off into space. He's also not jumping on the furniture like he used to, and he's been spending most of his time under my computer desk, between my feet.
We also think he's losing his hearing, since he doesn't come when he's called either (not that he always came when he was called before). The vet had his assistant bang a couple of metal food dishes together and Fat Cat didn't even flinch or turn toward her at the sound. And when he was put down on the floor in the exam room, he didn't want to move from where he was set down. When he finally did move, he walked slower than normal and almost walked into the walls and the cabinet (his whiskers stopped him in time to keep him from bumping his nose).
So it looks like we won't be re-arranging furniture or moving the cat dishes or the litter box from now on. Fat Cat can navigate the house right now because nothing has changed in it since he started losing his sight (and I think this has been happening gradually for about 6 months or so, now that I look back his actions over that time).
In the time since we've had Marty, Fat Cat has gone from 14 lbs to 11 lbs, so he's not such a Fat Cat anymore (I've been calling him our not-so-Fat-Cat). We've started feeding him canned cat food since he doesn't seem to be getting enough calories from the weight and hairball control Iams we've been feeding both the cats. The vet said that at Fat Cat's age (he's 10 or 11 years old), it's not unusual for an in-bred cat to lose hearing and eyesight. He did say that we should keep an eye on him to see if he has any unusual head twitches, or starts walking in circles (like he's being pulled to one side instead of walking in a straight line). I guess those are either signs of a stroke or brain damage (which he doesn't have right now, thank maude).
He's still eating pretty good, and drinking plenty of water, and using the litter box, so that's all good. And he still likes catnip, and was just playing with the catnip twitter bird that I got for him and Marty with our Pounce treat points (hey, if I'm buying them treats anyway, and the points will get them a free toy, why not?).