Disciples of Otis,
Brother Oliver here. Yesterday afternoon I was once again allowed to visit Leader Otis with one of the Guardians present. The visit started out in a routine fashion with the Guardian removing Leader Otis’s sound amplifying device and giving Him some of that clear liquid medicine from a syringe. Then, the Guardian started cleaning The Leader’s litter box, and I walked over to see if He was in any condition to communicate. As I approached The Leader, Brother Henry popped his head up over the gate and said, “Agent O! Have you cleared this room!?”
Brother Henry only calls me “Agent O” when I am on security duty. I wasn’t aware at the time that I was supposed to be on duty, but I instinctively snapped to attention and said, “No sir! Not yet sir! I am just now inspecting The Leader’s immediate surroundings!” Brother Henry said, “Good thinking Agent O! Once you’re sure the Leader is not in imminent danger, I want you to thoroughly inspect that room! I’ll be out here patrolling in case any agents of the Long-feared Dog Uprising decide to launch an attack while Leader Otis is incapacitated! Now get to it Agent O! The Leader is counting on us!” I got out one last, “Sir! Yes Sir!” and then Brother Henry was off on his patrol.
I turned and looked into the room. The first thing I noticed was a food bowl that I had never seen before. It was wider and shallower than any of our normal food bowls. I moved in closer to inspect it. Hmmmmm… it looked a little suspicious to me.
All of our other food bowls are narrower, deeper and made of ceramic. Why would the Guardians suddenly decide to use a wider, shallower bowl to feed Leader Otis? Maybe the Guardians hadn’t put the bowl here at all. Maybe it was part of some nefarious scheme of the LFDU! I looked back over my shoulder to see if Leader Otis was still resting comfortably. He was.
Well, there was only one thing I could do to be sure that this bowl did not pose a threat to Leader Otis. I would have to put my own life on the line by eating the food to see if anything bad would happen. As I closed my eyes and began to eat, I thought I could hear something strange in between crunches. It almost sounded like someone saying, “Ma fud.” with a bad slur.
Determined to eat my way to the bottom of the bowl to make sure there were no booby traps hiding under the kibble, I redoubled my chewing efforts. Again I thought I heard a voice through the crunches. Again it sounded like someone with a bad slur saying “ma fud!”, but this time it sounded closer and more insistent.
Suddenly, I heard, “MA FUD!” directly in my left ear. I felt an impact on my left side and I was shoved away from the bowl. My first thought was that the bowl had indeed been booby trapped by the LFDU, but when I looked back at the bowl I realized it had been Leader Otis who pushed me out of the way.
I was shocked that The Leader had gotten up and pushed me away from the food bowl. I mean, He used to do that to me all the time, but He hadn’t done it since He started hurting from His Art Thritis. At this point I realized that the slurred voice I was hearing was his. He was trying to say “My food.”, but the medicine the Guardian gave Him was affecting His speech. I told Him that I hadn’t quite finished clearing the bowl to make sure it was safe, but He just laid down next to it with a stern look on His face and repeated, “MA FUD!”
I decided it was no use arguing with The Leader when He was in this state. Besides, there were still plenty of other things in the room that I still needed to inspect. I decided to check out the litter box first. The first thing I noticed was that the box was new. It was small and short, and it didn’t have a top on it like our Potty Pod 3000’s. It seemed harmless enough, but how could I be sure unless I tried it out? I decided to literally take one for the team.
As I was finishing up my thorough inspection of the litter box. I heard Leader Otis laughing quietly. I then heard Him say, “Kibblesh fael crunshee…” I turned around to find Him laying on His side with His paw in the bowl.
I continued my inspection and noticed a strange object plugged into a wall socket. At first I was alarmed. Was this some kind of device that would spray out an incapacitating vapor? When I looked closer though, I recognized the object as one that the Guardians often plug in when we kitties are feeling stressed. I remembered that we had them all over the house when Thomas was first brought inside. As I stood in front of it now, I felt a sense of calm wash over me.
Just as the calmness started to really take hold, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I immediately pounced on the unidentified object and began to repeatedly bite, scratch, sniff and lick it. Fortunately, it turned out to be a catnip fish.
As the catnip started to hit me I felt my consciousness begin to expand. I suddenly knew this room was safe. Everything was fine. In fact, everything was great! I was suddenly snapped back into the present moment when I heard a voice nearby say, “Bruthahr Olifffar… thas maffish!” I looked up to find Leader Otis laying nearby and staring at me.
Fortunately, Leader Otis was leaning up against the nice, warm glow ball that the Guardians had put in His room. I already knew it to be safe because it used to be upstairs under our cat tree. The warmth from the ball made Leader Otis sleepy, and He drifted off before He had a chance to grab the fish. Frankly, I’m not sure if He could have handled the catnip on top of whatever else He had on board.
At that point the Guardian picked Leader Otis up, put His high-tech listening device back on His head and placed Him in His basket. I then departed with the Guardian and sought out Brother Henry so I could give him a full, unbiased account of my heroically successful mission.
So Sayeth Agent O