That bauble hanging from Cy’s ear is not a fashionable accessory of Cat Couture. No, it’s the result of a bit of unpleasantness we’ve been dealing with lately.
It all began quite innocuously. A couple weeks ago, I noticed that one of Cy’s ears had become kind of crumpled. I examined it and perceived no obvious injury; no blood, no scabs, and his behavior seemed unaffected. So I thought it was probably the result of Cy sticking his nose somewhere it didn’t belong (as cats are often wont to do). After all, plenty of cats that make it to old age do so with an assortment of dings and losses to their ears. Less than a week ago, though, a couple of things changed. First, the ear seemed to crumple and fall over even more. Shortly thereafter, Cy became withdrawn. Within a day or two, he was spending all his time in a secluded corner of the sun porch, coming out only for brief trips to the litter box or fleeting stops at the food bowl. If I visited him and pet him, he was happy to see me and would purr; he seemed to be sequestering himself more out of instinct than choice.
The situation had deteriorated precipitously, within only a few days’ time, so I made an appointment for him at the vet. It was quickly determined that Cy had a substantial hematoma in his ear and surgery would be necessary. If you look up the word ‘hematoma’ you may find it to be a fancy word for ‘bruise.’ The doctor explained it this way: Cy had indeed sustained some sort of injury to his ear. It could have been through something so mundane as scratching his ear, or through some bit of feline mischief; we’ll never know for sure. The result was a buildup of blood and other fluids in a concentrated area, and it was clearly causing Cy a substantial amount of discomfort. Three hours after I walked in the door with Cy, surgery commenced.
Cy remained at the vet overnight. We picked him up and brought him home the following evening – which was last night as a write this. His transformation in so short a time was remarkable. From the moment he stepped out of his kitty carrier onto the living room floor, he was energetic and engaged to an extent I hadn’t seen in a while, which was wonderful to see. At this moment, he is curled up on the couch, sleeping except for periodic trips over to my side of the couch for a bit of conversation and affection.
Oh, back to that odd looking ear you can see in the photo – that’s actually a plastic disk that’s stitched to his ear, presumably to keep it opened up in an uncrumpled position during the healing process. We have to take him back to the vet in 3 weeks to get his stitches out, and if his ear does indeed end up less than perfectly shaped – well, I guess we’ll take that as a battle scar common to many other felines. At this point, we’re just delighted to have our boy Cy back home, on the mend and feeling better. In that context, I have to say that the aesthetics of ear shape are quite overrated.