Earlier this morning as I was sitting down to begin grading final reports for the undergraduate and graduate courses I’ve been teaching this semester, I was immediately interrupted by probably the most horrifying sound I’ve ever had the misfortune of hearing.
Elliot was quite literally screaming.
I have no idea what happened. A moment before sitting down, as I readied my workspace for the long haul with coffee and some snacks, I looked over and watched as he comfortably stretched in the sun, seemingly enjoying the breeze that was coming through the open window. He looked content.
And then screaming.
This was like no yowl that I’ve ever heard from him. It was deep, guttural, and sustained. In fact, I wouldn’t have thought that he’d have had the lung capacity to sustain such a long cry. Even worse, his body appeared to be completely tensed up and his jaw was wide open. He was clearly in intense pain.
I carefully picked him up and set him on the counter. He continued to wail and act as if his entire body was in terrible pain. It was unbelievably awful to watch. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless.
I called the vet. While explaining what was going on to the vet, Elliot continued to wail and then proceeded to vomit everywhere. And it seemed like it hurt, a lot. Hearing the commotion and my play by play, the vet had me immediately bring him to the office for fear that he was suffering from an embolism or some other rather severe and potentially deadly issue.
Vomiting must have taken a lot out of him because Elliot put up no fuss when I loaded him into his carrier. He barely made a sound in the cab on the way to the vet. And when I arrived he didn’t even fight the pokes and prods he received by the vets. For safety, they asked that I leave him there for a few hours for observation. They took blood to test for any sort of cardiac issue and gave him a more thorough exam to ensure there wasn’t any physical abnormality that might explain the pain he was going through.
So what’s the problem? Well, I’m not exactly sure. The vet discovered that he has an ear infection in his left ear (so now I have drops). Additionally, she noticed that he seems to be experiencing pain around his spine near his hips. Whether or not this is a pulled muscle due to the violent bout of vomiting earlier in the day, or if this is the source of the problem remains to be seen. Regardless, they pumped him full of painkillers and sent me home with several days worth.
The good news is that Elliot is home and seemingly comfortable. The bad news is that I don’t really know what the problem is.