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:
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:
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