We woke him up with skritches behind the ear, around his face and under his chin; he was a little groggy at first, but quickly woke up when he realized it was laurie_robey and me. It was very clear that he recognized us and was very happy to see us -- he perked up and pressed his head into the skritching, and came forward to the front of his cage, stretching out in a way he only does when he's comfortable and feels safe.
We stayed there for 20-30 minutes, giving him all kinds of pettin' and skritchin' and attention, and talked to the various vets and assistants about his condition, and the peculiarities of Buddha's history and medical requirements. He is doing quite well; he still has a bit of blood in his urine, which requires watching, but the vet said that compared to many other cats he's had to treat Buddha was doing very well for his stage of recovery. He also complimented Buddha on his sweet nature and described him as "a champ". :)
Buddha had not shown any interest in the food they were giving him, so we advised them on types we have given him in the past that he would be more likely to respond to. They had some of his favored brand ("Wellness") on hand, so they're going to try giving him some of that if he continues not to eat their standard "hospital food".
By the time we left, Buddha was perked up, purring, and alert. He was clearly relieved to see us, as his prior loss of owner (however it went down) has left him with a persistent worry of abandonment. I think he was a little bummed to see us leave, but hopefully the fact that we came to visit reassured him that he wasn't just being handed off to these big, scary strangers with their pointy metal implements. He was definitely more at ease and able to move more comfortably than he was when we dropped him off Friday morning. At this point, it looks like he'll probably come home Monday, but we'll go back and visit him tomorrow in any case.
FWIW, the visit was the highlight of our day, too. :) We miss the lil' guy!