Almost forgot to post this post, but I just put the new-ish cat to bed, after he may very well have had a normal pee (!). I was absorbed in the latest Love & Rockets compilation and didn't notice quick enough to zip over to the box and listen carefully, but if my impression about when he got in the box is right, he must've produced the little ball of pee in about a regular time for a cat, and (if so) that would mean he couldn't have spurted for 7 minutes. Possibly couldn't have been spurting in little spurts at all! He proceeded to have some more smooshy "applesauce" poop, but, hey, this sure seems like a good sign.
Tomorrow I'm calling the vets to tell 'em what's been up the past several days, and I'm also calling the shelter woman, who left me a message Friday. Won't it be something if the little guy doesn't need that surgery? I'm way far from counting any chickens, but I feel hope.