I was finally able to get Luball spayed on Wednesday, and let me tell you, had I known how horrible it was going to be on her, I don't think I would have done it. Now I am a HUGE proponent of spay/neuter programs, and have even done some volunteer work helping to get feral cats fixed so they won't be able to reproduce in the wild. But that was all in the US where vet care is usually pretty good. Anyway, I dropped Luball off Wednesday morning at around 10:30am and picked her up at 4:30pm. She was essentially catatonic and stayed that way the rest of the evening. At one point, I was holding her, trying to keep her warm as she had developed a chill, and she peed herself (and all over me too), and she didn't even react. I was convinced that she was going into shock and that she might die on me. It was really a rough night; I didn't get much sleep. She was a little better the next day, although she refused to eat or drink anything (including canned catfood and kefir) until late Friday afternoon. She's definitely doing better, but the whole thing was hell on her - I've gotten numerous cats spayed over the course of my life, and I've never had one react like this.
UPDATE (31 Mar 08) - Luball was doing fine, and had finally gotten her appetite back, and was even running about playing with the other cats like everything was normal. Then last night she ripped her stitches out, leaving a giant gaping hole in her belly. On the plus side, she didn't seem to notice this, and it wasn't causing her any visible discomfort. However, a giant gaping hole into one's guts is never good for one's future health, so I took her back to the vet this morning to get stitched back up. I'll pick her up this afternoon, and I'll let you know how she does. Thanks for the well wishes!
UPDATE (01 Apr 08) - Luball seems to be doing well again. They didn't completely sedate her when they stitched her up, they just used local anesthetic, so she didn't have a bad reaction to that. The initial dressing, which she had ripped off as soon as she regained full consciousness, was of gauze; this time they gave her one of a thick fabric, which she hasn't eaten through yet. She's still sluggish and hasn't started playing again, but she doesn't seem to be in pain or anything, which is good.