How my cats regained voices after a flu bout

Rasha al Raisi – Coming back home after a holiday is always rewarding. My family of humans and felines are happy to see me and I’m to see them. But while my family’s enthusiasm starts dimming and everything is back to business, my cats’ enthusiasm keeps going for almost a week. I keep being followed by them around the house and everyone fights to get my attention.
The old fight over who sleeps on my bed is revived, after months of them being locked out of my room. But returning back this time was different. To start with, we had a new kitten that was added to my indoor lot while I was away. The kitten’s name is Ghurab (i.e. crow because she cawed instead of meowing). When she came to our garden she was only a month old with a bad eye infection. It turned out to be a nasty virus that affected her cornea. The eye couldn’t be saved and she had to stay indoors for a couple of weeks till she recuperated.
Of course, that was the plan that I kept drilling to my brother: two weeks and she’s out! Knowing my brother’s fondness of kittens, I drilled the same sentence to my mom. While I was away and whenever I spoke to mom, I could sense that the black, one eyed kitten was getting under their skin. She was obedient and a charmer, following my mother everywhere and doing what she was told. The day I heard my mom say that she changed her name to Hamamu (i.e. pigeon), I knew that she’s staying in for good.
Of course, Hamamu worked her charms on me too. She kept watching me from a distance for a couple of days, before deciding that she likes me and she doesn’t mind rewarding me with an everlasting friendship. She’d even fought for a sleeping spot in my room and occupied the chair.
My other surprise was my outdoor cats. When entering the garden, I was shocked to see many new ones that I didn’t recognise and old ones that I couldn’t recall their names! What made it worst was that almost everyone was down with the flu — coughing, sneezing and with strained voices — that even made it worst for me. I usually recognise my strays by their voices and now I couldn’t. I felt like an amnesiac surrounded by people who looked familiar but with names that never came to mind. I asked for my brother’s help but he shrugged his shoulders, pointing out that I’m the only person who can tell the cats apart and give them names. He and mom just fed them when I was away.
I knew at once that the only way to solve this dilemma was to get my cats voices back. I texted my best friend (the vet of course! He’ll be happy to know that he was the first person to receive a text from me after landing!). I asked about the dosage needed to treat almost 20 cats with variant stages of cat flu. Within a few days of administrating the dosage and spending time with my cats, the voices came back and with it my ability to remember their names.
The whole experience was fascinating. I always knew that I’m an audio person when it comes to learning, but I never knew that it also applied to other aspects of life. As for the new kittens, they remain nameless except for two: Lulu the friendly, rice eating kitten (obviously dumped in our garden by someone) and Siberia the only grey kitten in Kitzania.
Rasha al Raisi is a certified skills trainer and the author of: The World According to Bahja.
rashabooks@yahoo.com