Disciples of The Leader Otis,
Brother Henry here. I apologize that Brother Oliver and I haven’t had a chance to respond directly to all of your wonderful, supportive comments in the past few days. Please know that we are reading them, and we appreciate every one. You are all amazing!
As I was going through the comments yesterday though, I came across one that really puzzled Me. The person that wrote it called themselves “Anonymous”, and they seemed to be very mad at us for trying to raise funds to help Leader Otis. They also implied that they were speaking for a silent group of others that felt the same. Here is what the comment said:
“In a world where there are hundreds and hundreds of animal non-profits in need of financial assistance it seems particularly appalling to beg for money on the internet for your own personal pet to have surgery, especially when you are keeping the extra money to “support ongoing Cult of Otis efforts”. Cult of Otis is a blog not an animal rescue. I am sharing this because I know there are other readers who feel this way as well but haven’t said so. Put it on your credit card like the rest of us.”
I was so upset I had to call Brother Oliver over and tell him about it. He was as baffled as I was.
When I read the comment to Brother Oliver he said, “Well, they’re right. There really are hundreds and hundreds of animal non-profits in need of financial assistance, you know, like the one our Guardian goes and works for every single day. Actually, I think our other Guardian worked there for awhile too, but now she teaches underprivileged children about nature or something like that.”
I thought about that for a moment and then I asked, “But why is this person upset that we are giving people the option to help pay off Leader Otis’s surgery? People seem to really care about Leader Otis, and they seem to enjoy reading about all of our lives here on the blog. Is it somehow insulting to give them the choice to chip in?”
Brother Oliver said, “I don’t know if that’s what they’re mad about. It seems like they think that the money would have otherwise gone to a non-profit like the one the Guardian works for. They seem to think that since Cult of Otis is simply a blog, that maybe we don’t help animals enough, or contribute enough to the world to make us worthy of asking for help for ourselves. Hmm… they also seemed upset that if we raised any money beyond what the surgery cost that we would use it for other Cult business. Maybe they think we will spend it on diamond encrusted collars instead of things like food and catnip for Limbo kitties, electricity for Toastitrons and upkeep of the Cult of Otis website. I’m totally guessing here, but maybe it’s something like that. You know, maybe we should ask Thomas what he thinks. He’s not quite as involved in The Cult as we are, and he might have a good perspective.”
I agreed with Brother Oliver, so we headed upstairs to talk to Thomas. He was resting on the Sacred White Cloud of Eternal Comfiness. I approached him cautiously to wake him up because he is still a bit jumpy from his time in Limbo.
Brother Oliver and I recited the comment to Thomas. He listened attentively as we did so. Afterward, Brother Oliver said, “So, Thomas, what do you think?” Thomas thought for a moment, and then he stuck his tongue out and went, “THHHHHHHHHPT”.
I was puzzled by Thomas’s response, so I asked him what he meant. He said, “I think this person seems very angry. Kind of like I was when the Guardians first rescued me from a garbage pile and brought me inside. And probably like leader Otis was at first when they rescued him from the wilderness as well.”
At this point Brother Oliver chimed in and said, “Yeah, a lot of the 22 other cats that the Guardians helped at our old house got angry at first too. Many of them found happy homes though, and a lot of them are now Patron Saints.” Then Brother Oliver chuckled and said, “Brother Henry, remember Snowshoe?”
I did remember Snowshoe. How could I forget. I also said that I remembered Jack, Franklin, and a bunch of different Limbo Kitties that the Guardians helped. Thomas said, “Wow… even though Cult of Otis isn’t an officially recognized cat rescue, you guys sure seem to rescue and help a lot of cats.” Brother Oliver replied, “Yeah, and even though we get up to a lot of silliness, our overall goal is to make the world a safer, better place for all of felinekind. The Guardians always try to lead others by example, and I have even overheard them saying that some people who read the blog or visited the website began to keep their cats safely confined or gave them more enrichment because of what they learned.”
Thomas said, “Hmmm. So you and the Guardians have helped many cats directly, encouraged other people to help cats, and entertained people along the way? Do people have to pay you guys for this?” I said, “No. We do it because it is who we are and what we love.”
Thomas seemed to become even more puzzled after that. He said, “Well then, why is someone out there so angry with you for asking for help with the cost of Leader Otis’s surgery?”
I said, “I don’t know Thomas, I really don’t.” Brother Oliver added, “I don’t think we should judge them too harshly though. Usually, when someone is angry, they are hurting inside. Thomas, you mentioned that you were angry after being rescued from the trash pile. Maybe this person has anger for reasons that don’t even relate to us. I think we should try to be compassionate to them just like we would be to a kitty in need.”
Thomas and I both thought about this for a moment and then agreed wholeheartedly with Brother Oliver. Brother Oliver and I then decided to go back downstairs and let Thomas get back to his nap. As we were leaving though, Thomas asked, “By the way, how did the Guardians pay for Leader Otis’s surgery?” Brother Oliver answered, “They put it on their credit card.”
So Says Brother Henry