Before The Cult of Otis

My Disciples,

Although The Brothers and I did not officially form The Cult of Otis until 2010, we had already been advocating for keeping kitties happy, healthy and safely confined for many years. In fact, I first commanded the Guardians to spread The Good Word about catios (also known as cat enclosures) way back in November of 2006. That was only one month after I was swept up in The Capture! They had some success getting the message out, and Brother Henry and I even appeared in a local newspaper.

Less than a year later, our story of kitty safety went national with a four page article in the May 2007 issue of Cat Fancy Magazine. The article is not available online, but here is a photo of Brother Oliver in My old Outdoor Domain that appeared on page 36 of that issue:

Oliver assesses the enclosure

This photo appeared on page 36 of the May 2007 issue of Cat Fancy Magazine. Brother Oliver still brags about it.

Now, I was thrilled that the concept of keeping kitties safely confined was getting so much publicity, but I didn’t understand why Brother Oliver got to hog the national spotlight. I mean, that Outdoor Domain would not have existed had the Guardians not needed a way to slowly transition Me to an indoor life. Ok, ok… so Brother Henry and Oliver both constantly remind Me that the Guardians were planning to build the catio long before I showed up, but I know for a fact that they put the project on the fast track once they knew I needed help. So I think it would have been more fitting if Cat Fancy had used a different photo that the Guardians submitted to them. Specifically, this one:

Otis stretching in enclosure

See what I mean? This would have been a much better photo to appear in Cat Fancy.

Yeah, I worked it pretty hard for that photo. I wanted to capture the essence of how it is possible for the son of two feral cats to be perfectly happy with being safely confined. My sleek-looking stretch and defiant expression was meant to send a message to all those naysayers who think cats that have been allowed outdoors can never successfully transition to a life within safe boundaries. I thought I had nailed it, but then they went and put that photo of Brother Oliver, who has always been a happy house cat, in the magazine.

Oh well. Even though I feel that the photo editor made a HUGE mistake, I am still glad that the article was written and The Good Word was spread. The message was still important to get out there, even with sub-standard visual aids.

So Sayeth Otis

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Filed under Daily Life

20 responses to “Before The Cult of Otis

  1. Batya

    Looking mighty svelte, Leader Otis. Three cheers for catios!

  2. I love the catio! My neighbor Fred would love it too — he has houses with A/C, beds etc for his cats in the backyard….amazing!

    • Wow! Fred sounds like a real friend of the kitties Saymber. 🙂

      • Oh he is, oh my gosh. He has a little kitty screened in porch that’s connected to his garage they can go in too. He puts out cushions and blankets and lots of water. He is the same one I mentioned a while back that I had to have come out because a stray dog had killed his favorite cat. Oh we both cried. He has a little special cemetary for those who pass too. He’s amazing.

  3. Leader Otis, we are planning a catio for our future house. I would love to see more photos of Your current Outdoor Domain. Especially if You are in them. 🙂

    • My current Outdoor Domain is much more modest than My old one, Christine, but the Guardians are planning to expand it when finances allow. You can see photos of the current outdoor domain in a blog post from a year or two ago here.

      If you want to see details of My old Outdoor Domain, they can be found on the Cult of Otis website. 🙂

  4. Perhaps they were afraid you were so elegant and posh looking that someone might wish to catnap you?
    Lovely retreat, that catio.

  5. well no disrespect for Brother Oliver, but your stretch Leader Otis is beyond a doubt totally pawsome! I don’t know if I would use a catio, but Mom would really like to try. Unfortunately, we are moving from our own home to a leased home and so no longer have control over what we can to…sigh…touch life changes…paw pats, Savannah

    • Both of the houses in which I have lived have been rentals. The Guardians built both of My Outdoor Domains so they could be easily removed if we ever move out. Many landlords will allow catios as long as they are non-permanent structures.

  6. Have you seen the catio the kitties (13 of them) have at Katnip Lounge? It’s amazing. I don’t have a catio but I do have a balcony. I watch the birds and cars and people and take sunnaps.

  7. Well Otis I guess there is no accounting for taste…some of these editors have no clue what they are doing 😉

    I think your catio is fantastic, our mum would love to figure a way for us to have one but sadly our back deck access does not lend itself to an enclosure…it might have to be a second story rooftop-catio kind of affair but it is still in the “dream” stages.

  8. Peja’ here: Our mom and dad made our catio from a 10′ X 10′ chain link dog kennel with a secure roof. It’s on our cement patio and we can come and go as we please, night or day. We love it. Mom says it’s secure and easy to clean, and of course it’s filled with soft beds, kitty-safe plants, and kitty toys. She said it would be easy to dissemble too, but she’d probably only do that to make it bigger. We spend lots of time out there in the sunshine, soaking up the rays.

  9. I am learning so much from you!!!

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