A couple days ago Domino stopped by to enjoy a snack provided by the Guardians of Otis. He was not alone. Tagging along with him was a half-grown orange tabby who Domino said was a new adopted brother of his. He said his guardians had adopted another younger brother for him as well, but that kitty was too shy to come visit.
I was very disappointed that Domino’s guardians had adopted more cats that they were forcing to live in Limbo, but I thought I should introduce Myself and try to get to know My new neighbor. I said, “Hello My child. I am Leader Otis. I am here to help you.”
The young tabby stared at Me as I imparted My greeting, and then he did something I did not expect. His face crinkled up in a grimace of fear and anger and he hissed at Me!
Brother Oliver, who was on security detail nearby, responded immediately. He shouted, “Hey little man! That’s no way to talk to The Leader! He only wants to help you and make sure you are kept safe!”
The little ginger cat responded to Brother Oliver with the same hostility that he had shown Me. He opened his mouth and directed a loud hiss at My trusted High Priest!
As Brother Oliver moved to put himself between Me and the belligerent youngster, I heard a commanding voice behind us say, “Are you sure you want to be talking like that to The Leader little man?” It was Brother Henry. He had been listening to Brother Oliver’s and My exchange with the tabby cat from just inside the door. He now strode confidently out into My Outdoor Domain, the intensity of his gaze backed up by 17 pounds of tabby fury. The little ginger kitty immediately backed down and moved away from the enclosure. He found some food that had been left on the sidewalk by the Guardians and he nervously began to eat it.
I told Brothers Henry and Oliver that the situation seemed to be under control and that they could stand down. They retreated to the nearby deck where Brother Henry proceeded to debrief Brother Oliver about what had just occurred. I stayed where I was, watching the orange kitty as he ate. He reminded me of someone, and I was trying to figure out who it was.
Finally, it came to Me. He reminded Me of Myself! Only four short years ago, when I was about the same age as this orange tabby, I was wandering alone in the wilderness. I was afraid of My own shadow and I had a tendency to hiss at everyone that came near Me. I felt too vulnerable to take the time to find out whether they were friend or foe. The Brothers and the Guardians changed all that. They earned My trust and brought Me into The Promised Land.
The only difference between Me and this little tabby though is that I had no guardians before those who became the Guardians of Otis found Me. This poor little kitty before Me was living a life of fear even though he has guardians that are supposed to protect him from harm. To Me, that actually seemed like a sadder situation than having no guardians at all. I was so lost in My thoughts that I never even thought to ask Domino what his new little brother’s name was, but based on our first meeting I believe I shall call him “Hissy”. I hold no grudges against him for hissing at Me though. In his position I know I would have done the same thing. Some day I hope he will be brave enough to trust Me and tell Me his real name. On that day, he shall be Hissy no more.
So Sayeth Otis