It’s Good to be Back

My Disciples,

I can’t describe to you how good it feels to be writing this today.  It was a long road to recovery, and there were many times I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I took things one day at a time.  Brothers Henry and Oliver were amazing sources of support during My recovery, and the visits, counseling and coaching I received from friends were all extremely helpful to the process.  Two nights ago though, I had two major breakthroughs that really helped Me see things in a different light.  The first came as I was looking through some old photos.

At first, I was looking at photos from my days wandering alone in the wilderness.  I found one of Me crouched in a bush, and I recognized it as the spot I used to sit and wait beneath the bird bath hoping that I would be able to catch a meal to fill My empty belly.  Even though those who would become the Guardians of Otis were feeding Me by the time this photo was taken, I was still hungry all the time.  I found out much later that this was because I had something in my belly called “pear sites” that were somehow stealing some of My food.  Apparently cats that wander outside often have these “pear sites” in them.

Otis hiding in a bush and looking up.

I used to hide in this bush underneath the bird bath. I was so hungry all the time because of My "pear sites".

I became very sad when I looked at the photo of Me sitting in that bush.  I remembered all of My fear, all of My hunger and the constant loneliness that I felt.  I thought of all the kitties that sill feel like this every single day and how no one seemed to care about helping them.  I started to think about the prescription bottles again, and how they had made it so I didn’t have to feel any of this pain.  Then, I looked at another set of photos and all thoughts of the prescription bottles disappeared.  One image showed one of the Guardians petting Me.  It was the very first time she had ever done that.  More to the point, it was the first time in the five months since we had met that I had LET her do that.  I didn’t know it until that moment, but it was everything I had ever wanted.  For the first time in My life, I felt loved.

Otis getting pet for the first time.

This is the first time that one of the Guardians pet Me. It felt so wonderful, like everything was going to be all right.

For a moment, I stared at the picture in disbelief.  I remembered how scared, sad and lonely I had felt before then, and then I remembered how the bad feelings had all just melted away.  At the time, I didn’t think something like that was possible.  I thought I would be lost in the wilderness forever.  Then I realized that My life really HAD gotten better despite My fear and doubt.  I didn’t think things could change for Me, but they did.  With that realization a new seed of hope was planted inside of Me.  I had started using the prescription bottles because I had lost hope that I could make a difference for my feline brothers and sisters still wandering in the wilderness and in Limbo.  I was back to thinking that things couldn’t change.  My own past proves differently.

Now I was starting to get excited.  I looked at the next image and again found inspiration.  It showed the first time that Brother Henry and I had ever met without a pane of glass separating us.  You see, after the Guardians swept Me up in The Capture, I lived for a short while in My Outdoor Domain.  It was a large, secure enclosure with a plastic, heated house (that I REFUSED to call a “dog house”) in which I slept.  I was still too afraid to enter what would become My Indoor Domain, but I could look inside through panes of glass in the door.  Brother’s Henry and Oliver would sit on the other side of the glass and we would look at each other and sometimes play games.  Well, I would try to play games.  They pretty much just looked at Me.  At any rate, after a few weeks I heard the Guardians say something about My pear sites being all gone.  They then opened the door and, well, the picture below shows how our first meeting went.

Otis meets Brother Henry for the first time.

I think Brother Henry was pretty impressed right from the start. Well...maybe not.

I knew right away that Brother Henry and I were going to be great friends.  He was a little less certain.  After looking at the photo of Brother Henry’s and My first meeting, I knew what the next photo in the album would be.  It showed the first time that I met Brother Oliver!

Otis meets Brother Oliver for the first time.

Like Brother Henry, Brother Oliver was uncertain about Me the first time we met. I won them both over in time.

Now, I want to stress that neither of The Brothers were particularly happy to meet Me.  It was many months, in fact, after these photo were taken before The Brothers finally accepted Me for the powerful kitty I am.  But I persisted, and I eventually won them over with a feat of skill and bravery.  Brother Oliver even wrote a poem about the event that gained their favor.  Seeing the photos of My first meeting with The Brothers reminded Me that it sometimes takes awhile for others to come around and see things your way.  It reminded Me that I should keep trying and never lose hope.  Things can and do change.

So, the photos were the first major breakthrough I had the other night, but there was a second.  Ever since the night I played with so many prescription bottles that I passed out, The Brothers have been maintaining The Blog of Otis for Me.  I decided to check out their work after looking at the photos, but when I turned on the computer monitor (well, actually I had the Guardians turn it on for Me) the screen that came up was the one for managing and responding to blog comments.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading!  I was so touched by the outpouring of concern and love both for Me and for kitties in general that, before I even realized what I was doing, I began to purr loudly for the first time since My recovery began.

My Disciples, your support was the final, crucial piece in My recovery process.  You have shown Me that My efforts are not in vain, that one kitty can make a difference and many humans really do care about kitty safety and general well-being.  I feel re-energized and ready to take on the non-believers among us.  I have been to top of the cardboard scratch-mountain and I am back to spread The Good Word to all who will listen!  I thank you for your support and kind words, My Disciples, and I hope that you will continue to travel with Me on this journey to bring all kitties into The Promised Land.

So Sayeth Otis

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Filed under Daily Life, The Good Word

13 responses to “It’s Good to be Back

  1. Dear, Otis,
    I have been purring continually for your recovery. I have missed you dearly…all of your readers have.
    Did you know that humans even read your words of wisdom?
    But I don’t think they quiet understand you as us felines so.
    I love the photos.
    I dream of you every night.
    meoooow. puuuuurr. grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  2. Otis, I am overjoyed to hear about your recovery. Congratulations on all of the hard work you’ve done to reach this point. It’s very painful to go back in time and examine all the feelings and events that brought you to where you are today. I applaud you for that.

    Please just remember that recovery is a lifelong process. You must always be vigilant and know that the temptation to use prescription bottles will never completely go away. And also be aware that catnip might be a trigger for your prescription bottle use – it will be best to stay away from all mind-altering substances for the rest of your life.

    I know it will be difficult but you can do it!

  3. If I weren’t a bear, I’d purr along with you. Well done! Congratulations to everyone.

  4. Glad to have you back Otis and congrats on your recovery! Keep on preaching the good word!

  5. Chris

    So good to hear of your recovery, Otis. Brothers Henry and Oliver did a wonderful job of covering for you. You have a lot of followers of your message even if it seems discouraging at time. Almost everyone I know helps and/or rescues stray kitties (and even dogs if you can imagine!).

    • Thanks Chris! I’m so happy to hear that there are more humans out there rescuing My feline brothers and sisters. And I guess it’s good that they are helping dogs too…even though they scare Me very badly.

  6. This is why we love you, Dear Leader. We follow you willingly and with joyful hearts.

    • Awwww….thanks so much nadbugs. I will try to resist the sadness that fueled My prescription bottle addiction so I can be a more effective Leader. You and all of My Disciples have made Me feel so much better.

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