Disciples of The Leader Otis,
Brother Henry here. A few days ago, Brother Oliver introduced you to Bessie, a new Limbo kitty that recently appeared in our neighborhood. Well, I’m sad to say that we also have a new Shadow kitty in our midst. Shadow cats are feral, stray or abandoned kitties. These cats have either been separated from, or abandoned by, their human guardians, or they never had them to begin with. Both Leader Otis and Thomas were Shadow cats right before they were swept up in The Capture by the Guardians.
The Shadow cat that has appeared in our neighborhood is an orange tabby that the Guardians have named Theo. He has been showing up daily to accept food that the Guardians leave out for him.
There are several reasons the Guardians believe Theo to be a Shadow cat rather than a Limbo kitty. First of all, he is terrified of his own shadow right now. This is probably because he is starving and in complete survival mode. One look at his midsection tells me that he hasn’t been having regular meals in recent days.
Another thing that leads the Guardians to believe that Theo is a Shadow cat is that he still has… well… he has… ummmm… just take a look at this photo of him scratching and you should be able to see them for yourself.
While it’s unfortunately true that some guardians still don’t neuter their cats, it’s also been the Guardians of Otis’s experience that balls and abandonment often seem to go together. Maybe it is an indication of the overall lack of care given to the cat or something. I’m not sure.
The one good thing I have noticed is that as the Guardians take care of Theo’s basic need for food, he seems to be letting his guard down a little bit. He has started to make eye contact with them rather than immediately running away, and I even looked out the window and saw him rolling around in some catnip after a meal.
I remember the Guardians going through this same kind of process with Leader Otis and countless other Shadow cats. It took more than 5 months to convince Leader Otis that he really should trust them. I hope it takes much less time with Theo. For now though, Theo continues to live in the shadows. From what I can tell, he sleeps in a hole underneath the house next door. I wonder if the neighbors even know he is down there.
Shadow cats like Theo are everywhere, but they often go completely unnoticed. I think I might know at least part of the reason why. In all of my research to counter the threat of the Long-feared Dog Uprising, I have learned something interesting. Apparently most cities have laws against allowing dogs to roam free and unsupervised. So when a dog shows up in someone’s backyard, it is immediately assumed that the dog is lost and in need of help. Obviously though, we cats are treated differently.
For some reason many humans find it acceptable for cats to be less protected than their canine counterparts. So when these people become kitty guardians, they simply open the door and let the kitties wander. Cats like Theo, that are truly in need of help, end up just blending in with the overwhelming number of indoor/outdoor kitties out there. Most people who see kitties like him will just assume he’s a neighbor’s cat, and then go on with their day.
So if you need another reason to keep your cats safely confined, consider kitties like Theo. If all kitties with guardians were safely confined, then we could easily identify those kitties who have been lost, abandoned, or are otherwise living in the shadows. Once identified, we could work together to bring those kitties to the light.
So Says Brother Henry (with some input and encouragement from Leader Otis),