A Puzzling Comment

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!

Henry at computer

Thank you all so much. We are reading your comments and appreciate them all!

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.

Henry and Oliver at computer

I was so upset by the comment that I called Brother Oliver over to tell him about it.

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.

Henry, Oliver and Thomas in valhalla 1

We decided to go upstairs and get Thomas’s take on the puzzling comment.

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”.

Henry, Oliver and Thomas in valhalla 2

When we asked Thomas what he thought about the comment, he stuck his tongue out and made a raspberry sound.

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?”

Henry, Oliver and Thomas in valhalla 3

Brother Oliver chuckled as he asked me if I remembered 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?”

Henry, Oliver and Thomas in valhalla 4

Thomas wondered why someone out there was so angry with us for asking for help.

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

Operation Hipster

Visit the official Operation Hipster website to support Leader Otis!


Filed under Daily Life, The Good Word

61 responses to “A Puzzling Comment

  1. WEll, we have an opiniion and a suggestion. First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a little help with the surgery. Most people do it because they want to help that cat. That person that left that comment is not an animal person so who wants his money anyway. I know how it is to get help for your cats. We have a very large family and our Mom has to ask for money every now and then. She hates doing it but on the other side, she hates for the cat to suffer without the surgery.
    Now, my suggestion is to put your Chip-in on your side bar instead of as a page of its own. I think you would get more money. Take care. Hope the Boss is doing all right.

  2. marissaesmith

    Bravo! Well stated. I wholeheartedly donated to help pay for the surgery because I wanted to and your blog has given me entertainment and valuable knowledge. Thank You for your efforts and helping the feline kind!

  3. We love the Leader and the Brothers and Thomas and the blog and we chipped in as a way to say thank you to the Guardians for all that they do. They are two of the most genuine, caring, compassionate people I have ever come across and regular readers know and love them for it.

  4. 2 cats

    I am not angry that you have asked for money to help Otis but I am puzzled why the surgery is not covered by pet insurance? does America not do pet insurance or something??

    • Unfortunately, the pet insurance that I have looked into is very expensive and doesn’t cover a lot of things – like surgery from an old injury or ongoing prescriptions. I decided I was better off putting $40 in a savings account than putting it into insurance.

  5. It sometimes helps to get your facts right before leaving an anonymous comment like that 😉

  6. Stephanie's Mom

    First of all, best wishes to Leader Otis for a speedy recovery. Secondly, you are very lucky to have Guardians who are compassionate and dedicated to Limbo kitties, underprivileged children, and orphaned/injured wildlife. Celebrate!
    To those who do not like the Guardian’s request for donations: don’t donate. That is all.

  7. I agree with Christine. It’s a way for us to be able to thank them for all they do to try and keep felines safe everywhere. And to be sure that Leader Otis is healthy and happy so he and the Brothers can continue to help others see the light. At first, my own husband felt it was cruel to keep kitties from going outdoors, because he thought it would make them happier. Through reading the blog, I haven’t heard him say that in a long time, and in fact, he’s going out of his way to make a safe haven for our guys in our new house so they can enjoy the outdoors safely. Thank you for that.

    I’m sure some people can’t afford to chip in, or wish they were able to do the same to help them pay for their animals health bills. I know we’ve personally spent thousands of dollars that we didn’t have on our guys because we love them and hope to keep them with us for as long as they are happy and have a high quality of life. But I don’t begrudge the guardians asking for one minute, and I’m thankful that we were in a position to help.

    Thank you for all you do every day to help other animals in need. You speak for all of us, and we’ll always be there to support you in any way we can.

    Love, Linda, David, Lola, Griffon and Luna

    • Thanks so much Linda and family. Your story really gives us a lot of encouragement that The Good Word is being heard. There is nothing we love more than to hear that we have helped make a kitty’s life better and safer. And thanks so much also for you support.

      – Brother Henry

  8. Just so you guys know. Me giving to Otis did not take away any funds that I give regularly to other animal shelters and the US Humane Society. It was just extra money that I thought could be put to good use to help Otis and his Guardians. It is quite okay to ask for money, it is something different to expect it or demand it. I think the Guardians use so much money to help kitties, it doesn’t hurt to help them out a little bit right? Love, Becca, Steve, Romeo & Juliet

  9. I find myself annoyed by this anonymous. I don’t know who they speak for but it’s not for us. Asking for help is a smart thing to do. That was my first thought when I read about the chip-in for Leader Otis. You simply said it was there. You didn’t hit anyone over the head with it. So someone got their panties in a twist. Well seems to me the reason they didn’t post their name is because they know most of your readers support you and know a little about all the work you do for cats. Please know that most of those who read about Leader Otis and his Cult support and enjoy everything you do. It hurts when someone judges you cruelly and I wish I could erase that pain. Thank you for everything you do for all the Limbo Kitties, for giving them a warm place in the winter and food when they are hungry. Thank you for bringing Thomas into your home and working with him so he can learn to show his real self. Thank you for your kind words to me when I was wondering if keeping my cats confined was wrong. Finally thank you for the smiles we all get when reading the thoughts of Leader Otis, Brothers Henry and Oliver and now young Thomas. How much does a smile cost anyway? Whatever it is, we owe you.

    Don’t let the haters get you down.

    Purrs to you,
    Mistletoe, Hitch and their huMom, Dorothy

    • Thanks so much Dorothy, M and H. we were definitely upset by the thought that we might have offended our readers and supporters by launching Operation Hipster. The support shown in comments today by you and so many others makes all of us feel a lot better. And you owe us nothing. There is just as much value in that smile to us as there is to you 🙂

  10. Sometimes folks need loving wishes AND something a little more concrete, like money. I’m all for helping out for Otis’ (and many other pets) medical costs and it in no way deters from my “regular” donations to charity, pet or human. What goes around comes around, both good and bad, so why not spread the good instead?

    Also, it’s so easy to hide behind “Anonymous”. Man up.

  11. I have noticed Anonymous in my comments and other blogs lately…not nasty like this. Who the fudge is this Anonymous?? I agree with everyone else, I have purchased stuff at auctions helping raise money for other pets and for bloggers who have had peep medical emergencies nd I have given money outright to help. That is the wonder of this paw blog community. I also repeat Katnip Lounge, “man up”…identify yourself so Leader Otis and the Guardians can address your anger directly. Paw pats, Savannah (SPT). =^^= (:

    • Thanks Savannah! It would definitely be nice to talk to Anonymous and see why they are so upset. It can’t be fun to be angry like that. If we could help lessen that anger somehow the world would be a better place. Maybe he or she really needs a nice soft paw pat…

      – Brother Henry

  12. Who would not want to help cult leader Otis?

  13. we agree with Katnip Lounge….it is all well and good to be “anonymous” and leave messages like that. Don’t like it, then don’t read our blogs. We don’t see anything wrong with asking for help. Just asking doesn’t mean people HAVE to help – but it gives them the option if they want to. And it doesn’t take away the good you (or the rest of us) do for non-profits. sheesh…..
    PS – hope Leader Otis is feeling a little better, and we are glad Brother Thomas was able to help you guys out 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the supportive comments Random Felines. Because Leader Otis is still on his pain medicine, I’m not sure He is feeling much of anything yet. He seems to be in pretty good spirits though, and I think He is getting a little stronger each day. 🙂

      – Brother Henry

  14. Criticizing under the veil of anonymity lacks a certain commitment don’t you think? If these are your convictions, stand by them and say who you are.otherwise it just seems mean spirited.

    • Thanks Cat’s Cats. According to Thomas, fear and anger seem to go paw in paw. When cornered, a very scared cat may lash out and then run away to hide. Maybe this person feel like a cornered cat for some reason.

      – Brother Henry

  15. When I saw the plea for help I was surprised – but not offended. If I had extra money I would have sent some in because I know what it’s like to put your cats first while working for a nonprofit. Obviously, some people are just looking for things to be angry about.

    Obi says he agrees with Thomas: Thppppppppth!

  16. Batya

    I’m so mad I could just spit. Anonymous NEVER speaks for me. I think that was a really hateful thing he or she wrote. If the Blog of Otis were a book–make that books–about Otis and the Gang, I would definitely buy them. Donating for Otis’s surgery, though it was only a small amount because I’ve been unemployed for 6 months, seemed like a way to give back and support the Guardians for all they have done for cats. They’ve obviously spent a great deal of their own money over the years helping less-loved kitties. If they did nothing to help countless cats, they would have no doubt had sufficient funds now. And Anonymous, please notice that the Guardians did this AFTER the surgery. They could have posted the request and made Otis’s surgery conditional on getting contributions. That would raise money from guilt. Reading the Blog is a daily pleasure for me, and it’s free. The time and talent alone deserve support. But mostly it’s the way the Guardians help all the cats in their neighborhood, and with the wisdom in the blog, cats in the world beyond their neighborhood, that made me want to help now. Perhaps Anonymous only helps when it’s tax deductible. Karma is powerful. Blessings on all chez Otis!

    • Otis and other cult members, I applaud your handling of this situation. I agree Anonymous and people like him or her are hurting. I personally see nothing wrong with what you are doing, as your readers are adults and can decide for themselves what they want to do with their money. Would anonymous try to take away a person’s right to use their money as they wish?

      PS: if you get curious enough, you can check the IP address from where those Anonymous posts originate.

      • Many thanks for the support my canine friend. Although I am a cat, I don’t think I will let my curiosity get the better of me in this case. I’ve heard it can turn out badly!

        – Brother Henry

    • We can’t thank you enough for the kind words and support Batya. Much love from all of us here at Cult of Otis.

      – Brother Henry

  17. catlady

    Vet expenses are getting more and more costly and it can become difficult when one has multple pets [I have 6 indoor kitties]. If a little chip-in can help someone with a major bill, I’m happy to do it!

  18. We were happy to chip in towards Leader Otis’ surgery. We also support a local animal rescue and give to other rescues in need. In addition, every kitty that’s ever lived at our house has been a rescue. We’ve never turned away a kitty in need along with occasionally helping friends and family with their kitty vet bills. Any limbo or lost kitties we see we help. In addition to all of this, we have several friends and family members who are, like us, their own small “rescue organizations.” There are a lot of us out there.

  19. RC Cat:(Standing very tall and regally) “Friends help friends. We would be greatly disturbed if friends did not seek assistance when needed. What kind of world would that be?” (Furriously sending soothing soft cheek pats)
    (And from staff: “Just delete. Hard to erase from your mind, but try. It’s one very angry person – for who know what reason – possibly just a troll hoping to start trouble. This is the community of Otis – we are all here because we want to be. Long time readers understand how much good is done here. We echo RC’s wise comments and send warmest wishes for successful recovery – and long live Cult of Otis!”)

  20. Karen

    Leader Otis, Brothers Oliver, Henry, Thomas and the Guardians..

    What an insensitive jerk! Pardon my language.. Just as someone else said, if you stand by your beliefs and convictions then don’t hide behind anonymous.

    The Guardians certainly stand behind their convictions and beliefs by helping all the limbo kitties to eat and stay warm and help find homes for lots of kitties that have been left or turned out by their so called Guardians! This blog is a testament to their efforts to help these fur animals in any way they can! That is why I gave and I would do it again and it doesn’t detract from any other donation I may make to my local organizations either.

    Keep on Cult of Otis!! You do great work and are commended for every effort you do on behalf of all the less fortunate kitties who cross your path!

    Sending healing thoughts to Otis, I hope he staying comfortable…..and high he he!!

    • Thanks so much Karen! We will definitely keep doing what we can to make the world a better, safer place for all of felinekind. And thank you for your amazingly generous support. Did you receive our email message about the Patron Saint? 🙂

      – Brother Henry

  21. Jeez, it’s not like you forced us to make donations. Like the Random Felnes said, just asking doesn’t mean people have to donate. Sheesh! This is what’s so great about the animal blogging community…we help each other out as well as those rescue groups and shelters that need it.

    But we’re impressed to know you are taking the high road on this. We hope the Leader is doing okay.

    • Thanks for the support Island Cats. The Leader is doing very well considering how recent the surgery was. He sleeps a lot though because of the medication the Guardians are giving Him. I can’t wait to see Him up and around.

      – Brother Henry

  22. Katie Renee

    That was one of the kindest and most respectful rebuttals I’ve ever read. 🙂

    Many well wishes for Otis and your entire family, and thank you for what you do.

  23. Sometimes peoples are just weird. It seems most of them are of the family Anonymous. My Mama has told me not to be too concerned about they say and to remember them in my prayers because they are sad angry people.
    We are happy to hear that the Leader is recovering at home and look forward to hearing what he has to say about this experience.

    • Your mama sounds very wise, Teddy. 🙂
      We are all looking forward to when Leader Otis is well enough to return to blogging. Brother Oliver and I are getting tired from typing!

      – Brother Henry

  24. Dear Anonymous … now that you have more information about these wonderful cats and their staff/guardians, the truly honourable thing to do would be to respond to this post in kind.
    That’s the question though isn’t it?

  25. You know, if that anonymous person doesnt think you deserve the help, or need the help or whatever they think, there is one very easy thing they can do. They can not make a donation. How hard is that? But to take the time to berate you and complain is about the most ridiculous thing ever. I’ve seen lots of people, people who don’t rescue, or even do as much as your guardians do, ask for help when they need it. Sometimes I wonder if they really need the help or have other questions, and you know what I do? I don’t give… Sometimes I don’t have the money. And you know what I do? I don’t give. I don’t berate those who do have the money and the inclination to help just because I’m not going to or cant..
    I would like to tell this anonymous person to shut up… but as you say, we don’t know what they are going through, so I wont.
    I will tell you that while I have no extra money to send to help you, I fully support your asking. I honestly, seriously hope you get every penny of the surgery covered.
    Here’s how I see it, and I know I’m going on and on… But this was an expensive surgery. A lot of people would not be able to afford it, and so would not get this surgery for their cat. And that cat would continue to suffer horribly. There is no question that Otis was suffering. Anyone watching that video of him walking can see that. So the fact that you were willing to get him this expensive surgery is wonderful to me. A lot of people giving a little each can make a HUGE difference in a cat’s life, and no one person is overburdened with this expensive surgery. And that makes everyone happy!
    Give Otis a snuggle for me, hope he’s feeling better every day!

  26. I’m glad you put up a link to allow those of us who wished to, to help with Otis’ expense. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. I’m glad Otis’ recovery is coming along nicely and look forward to many more blog posts – I really enjoy your blog, and appreciate the work you do for the cats that you have and can help. You are an inspiration – you, the humans behind the Cult.

  27. sqeekchair

    Pulitzer-Felineous prize worthy response to unworthy pitiable commentary made by an internet troll who speaks for NO ONE. Cat-nip to you, Brothers Otis, Henry, and Oliver. Animal Planet should host your own show..
    Much feline love to all the brothers.

  28. Hi – We finally found where all the fuss was about. We aren’t taking sides, ezactly. But we do figure that kittehs can ask fer help now and then, but rescue sites are good too. We espect both are good reasons to help, but we stay kinna local so it doesn’t matter either way purrsonally.


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