On Monday Pepper the cat started throwing up his (mainly undigested) food after each meal. He didn't look or act like he was sick, but that night shortly after I went to bed Pepper let out with several scary blood-curdling howls. Even though he settled down after I got up and spent some time petting him, I figured I should get him checked out. Yesterday I made an appointment to take him to the vet.
A couple of hours before the appointment I got out the cat carrier and set it on the floor in the kitchen. Pepper had been lethargic all morning, but when it was time to put him in the carrier he suddenly had enough energy to put up a fuss and stick his paws out in four different directions. Hubby Tony helped me get him in. As soon as the door was latched Pepper launched into his "please let me out of here" yowl, which lasted through the three-mile drive to the vet's office.
The vet tech came in and took his history, then we waited a few minutes for the vet to arrive. She poked and prodded Pepper, asked a couple of questions, then decided we should leave him there for some diagnostic work. Several hours later we received a call from the office. Pepper's blood was normal, but the x-rays showed a lot of gas in his stomach. The official diagnosis was gastroenteritis. Best the vet could figure out is that Pepper had been munching on my houseplants...particularly the flopping shoots of the asparagus fern in the bathroom. (Before we picked Pepper up I trimmed the plant back so he can't reach it.)
Pepper now has a shaved spot on his neck from where they took his blood, and his chest hair looks tousled from the antiseptic they used. The vet sent us home with antibiotic liquid, anti-nausea pills, and easy-to-digest food that Pepper's supposed to eat for the next few days. He's a typical finicky cat who doesn't do medicine well, but I'm hoping this round will go better than our previous attempts.