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This is what I meant, not rhinitis. Thanks, kaeli.
It's very common for cats to have developed a URI at a shelter.

One of my cats developed a couple of "kitty colds" - URIs - during her lifetime here, at home. (How, I don't know, & she didn't give it to the other cat, either.) Both times, she acted exactly as a person who had a lousy cold would act: lethargic & wanting to sleep a lot, was stuffed up - yet also had a drippy nose, & sneezed. Appetite dwindled & I syringe/force-fed her water every couple of hours & wet food (Hill's a/d) every few hours. She vegged out, feeling icky, for about a week, & then got better.
The swollen, tender joints part I can't answer. It's, for some reason, ringing a faint bell in the back of my head, but I can't put my finger on why. I can't even think if it has to do w/ felines or humans. If I miraculously come up w/ what I'm trying to remember, I'll tack on another post...

"Staccato signals of constant information..."
("The Boy in the Bubble") Paul Simon
Thanks, everyone, for your experiences with upper respiratory infections. I'm sorry for not responding earlier in the week, but the holiday season has stepped up the pace during my normal workday, and Christmas things have monopolized a lot of my time outside work, so I haven't had a chance to revisit this forum.
It appears that the joint swelling has had a further bad experience. He was X-rayed today, and it appears that some of the ligaments around his wrist have ripped, dislocating his wrist. The vet is a little puzzled as to the etiology; it's possible that the swelling became intense enough to make the tissue fragile, but he doesn't think it's due to a fall; he says that usually, that happens to cats who, say, fall out of windows, and Charlie simply hasn't been in a position where he could fall heavily.
The vet has him in a splint, and is going to X-ray him on Monday to check if the splint kept things in place over the weekend. If it didn't, an operation to fuse the joint will be strongly considered at that point; the little guy would walk with a limp for the rest of his life, but it would be a non-painful limp, which would be the point.

I must admit that while I would of course be willing to pay for this medical care had it happened at another time, I am nevertheless quite relieved that because this happened so quickly after his adoption, the ACS is covering all of the medical fees for all of his treatment to date!

Okay, anyone ever go through this ? sigh
This poor little guy.
P.S. Mary, I'll keep the powdered L-Lysine in mind.