and then over easter he became much worse - he limped and didn't want to leave his basket or climb the three steps up to the back door. he didn't caper and wasn't interested in treats.
so we took him to the lovely vet who confirmed what uncle google had hinted at - billy has hip dsyplasia and probably has had some level of pain all his life :( which accounts for a few things including his very awkward stance - his legs look like they were attached by a committee in a dark room and when he sits down his legs splay out in all directions.
so he is booked in for an xray under the anaesthetic next thursday and in the meantime has been gulping down some lovely drugs.
the involvement in his mood and demeanour is so marked that i feel terrible - he must have been in so much pain and we didn't know :(
within 24 hours he was this happy
and a kiss (i know i look like the dowager duchess of crap-on-toast but i had just got up and was unwashed and unhevelled - billy didn't care)