Release Me From This Cone of Silence ...

An alternative title to this post could well have been something along the lines of "My Cat and I Lead Oddly Similar Lives".

It all started for her about three days ago. A day like any other here in the desert ...

dusty

sunshiny skies,

furnace-like wind

warm breeze,

horns blaring

birds chirping as we

rushed like lunatics

enjoyed a leisurely morning preparing for another day in Doha.

The only thing that was different for kitty that morning was that after breakfast (ours, not hers - kitty was fasting) she got crated.  She doesn't mind her crate; most nights she sleeps in it, on a pink fluffy comfy pillow.  It is the perfect kitty cat dream machine.  I'm not sure if cats dream, but if they do, this would be the perfect place to do so. 

Then she got loaded into the car along with Kiddo, lunch bag and backpack.  Not kitty's most favorite thing in the world, car rides, but sunlight was filtering in through the holes on the side of her cage, and it was warm, and the car was humming along smoothly, and soon enough she was purring contentedly in the back seat, simply enjoying the ride.

Quite oblivious to the fact that I was about to drop her into the hands of individuals who would leave her dreamless, disconcerted and ill, in that particular order.  And I was doing so willingly (though not happily).  

Many scientists believe that cats do dream, or at the very least relive memories as they sleep.  

Many scientists believe that cats do dream, or at the very least relive memories as they sleep.  

She would be given anesthesia that would put her under for a few hours and blissfully erase any memory of the obligatory surgical slicing and tugging she was about to undergo.  (I wonder if it will forever erase any dreams she may have had of kittens bouncing about and scurrying excitedly around her.  Do cats dream? )

She would awaken from that surgery confused and weak.  Unsure of what atrocities she had endured, unsure of why she should be feeling such numbness and all the while feeling such discomfort, feeling so agonizingly wretched.

Then she would come home; be given food to eat and water to drink.  But she wouldn't feel like eating or drinking anything.  She would just want to sleep, to make the numbness/dull ache go away.  And then she would notice the cone that had been tied around her head.  A cone that was restricting her movement, annoying her, driving her mad.  And she would scratch and paw to no avail, and finally open her mouth to  

ROAR!

....

Meow!

.... squeak?????

How the hell did I get myself into this mess?

How the hell did I get myself into this mess?

Yes, at the end of the day, our kitty found herself battered, barren and silenced.  Through no choice of her own ... only because people did what had to be done; cats are subjected to spaying every hour of every day.  The vet said she likely lost her voice simply because she is a little more sensitive than the average kitten.  

I brought her back in for a check-up today.  The vet said she is doing fine; her sutures have taken, her wound is healing nicely.  But he gave her a course of antibiotics for her throat, just to be on the safe side.  He said he would remove the cone and the stitches in seven days.

This evening she managed a little meow; ever so slight, but we all heard it and cheered her on.  We keep on telling her the cone will come off soon, and she will get her roar back (which is kind of a lie, because her meow has actually never been much more than a squeak, but we're trying to motivate her, build up her self-confidence).  And she's seeming more sprite, not quite bouncing around, but moving a lot quicker than she has the last few days.  And she's cuddlier than ever.  Like we're her safe place.

And I'm struck by my own dissection of the last two or three years, the one that left me feeling oddly numb/bruised, listless, empty, confused, disoriented, frustrated.  The one that caught me unawares.  The one that silenced me.  And I think about the cone around me that I pawed at constantly, futilely.  The cone that friends and family told me would eventually come off.  The one that did in its own good time.

So I sit here tonight, gainfully unemployed, with my kitty as my muse.  

The cone that started to become undone when I handed in my resignation has finally and completely come off this week.  

With no cone, it's a lot easier to look around and see what's going on around me.  

At barely 4 lbs, surgery was hard ... but she's tougher than she looks.  You probably can't see the fiercely huge and ferocious fly she took on in this shot.

At barely 4 lbs, surgery was hard ... but she's tougher than she looks.  You probably can't see the fiercely huge and ferocious fly she took on in this shot.

I feel my voice returning too, just like they promised me it would.  It feels funny though, and I've been saving it this week ... almost like I'm afraid if I actually use it I'll lose it.  

Or maybe it's just because I have all the time in the world.

For now I'll focus on my kitty.  She needs some love.  And some inspiration.  I think I'll go remind her that the cone of silence will come off.  And that she will

ROAR

again!