The Transformation of Thomas: Year One

My Disciples,

We first met him nearly two years ago. He was a mere kitten when he suddenly appeared in the alley behind our house.

01- Thomas anniversary

He appeared.

Shortly after he appeared, he was lost. His guardians, who had done nothing to protect him from such a fate, canvassed the neighborhood with the kind of poster that is an all too familiar sight.

02- Thomas anniversary

He disappeared.

He was missing for one week, then two. His guardians brought home another kitten to replace him. Then, he suddenly reappeared. His guardians learned nothing from his absence. They continued to disregard his safety, and also the safety of the second kitten, and their adult cat, Domino.

03- Thomas anniversary

He returned.

He grew up outside, exposed to inclement weather, wild animals, and countless other dangers. His orange tabby brother, who was far more trustful than he, was swept up in The Capture and taken to a new, safe home. Unapproachable due to fear, he stayed behind. He and Domino struggled together, two neglected Limbo kitties taking comfort wherever they could find it.

04- Thomas anniversary

He struggled.

One night, his guardians left. Then Domino was taken away by a man he appeared to trust. The only family he knew was gone. Those who were supposed to love and protect him had abandoned him. He had been treated no better than the garbage they had left in a pile in the backyard, a pile he was now forced to live in.

05- Thomas anniversary

He was abandoned.

But his plight had not gone unnoticed. On July 1, 2012, his life changed forever when he walked into a strange, wire box to help himself to some tasty food. A door slammed shut behind him and he was suddenly swept up in The Capture and whisked away to The Promised Land. I was excited to greet him the next morning.

06- Thomas anniversary

He was swept up in The Capture.

In the early days following The Capture, he was filled with fear. He struggled with inner demons, acquired during his year of life in Limbo.

07- Thomas anniversary

He was gripped by fear.

He lashed out when handled. He bit and wounded one of the Guardians as he was being contained for a trip to The Bad Place.

08- Thomas anniversary

He lashed out.

He endured physical trials. Not only was he neutered at The Bad Place, he also had to have a broken tooth removed.

09- Thomas anniversary

He endured physical trials.

He constantly hid. He was afraid of all of us, both felines and humans. I sat with him to help him overcome his fear.

10- Thomas anniversary

He hid.

The Brothers followed My lead. They welcomed him warmly and made him feel at home. Well… there were a few hissy fits from Brother Oliver, but he got over it.

11- Thomas anniversary

He was warmly welcomed.

He began to let his guard down, and a silly side of him emerged.

12- Thomas with toys

His guard started to drop.

His True Spirit slowly began to shine through. There was an amazing little being underneath all that fear.

13- Thomas anniversary

His True Spirit began to shine through.

Slowly but surely, he began to trust.

14- Thomas anniversary

He began to trust.

The trust continued to develop until it began to transform into genuine affection. He began to love.

15- Thomas anniversary

He began to love.

His world was expanded to help him push his boundaries.

16- Thomas anniversary

His world expanded.

Barriers were removed to allow him to integrate fully with the rest of us. He cautiously explored his new world.

17- Thomas anniversary

He explored his new world.

In time, his confidence grew. His fear, though still present, began to noticeably subside.

18- Thomas anniversary

His confidence grew.

He began to assimilate. As he did so, he was recruited to undergo training.

19- Thomas anniversary

He began to assimilate.

He amazed us all with his resilience and strength. He also puzzled us at times.

20- Thomas anniversary

He amazed and puzzled us.

And now, exactly one year after he was swept up in The Capture, Thomas is truly one of us. As he looks out of the window in Kitty Valhalla he has a view across the alleyway and into the backyard in which he once lived. The garbage pile is still there. A year of sun, rain, wind and snow has turned the boxes and paper to tattered piles of mush. A thick coating of algae covers everything. It is an image of neglect and despair. As Thomas sits in the window, less than 100 feet separates him from that living hell in which he was abandoned, but this kitty has traveled miles from there.

21- Thomas anniversary

He is one of us.

Many of you have followed Thomas’s progress over the past year, and have expressed how much you love him. He is a remarkable kitty in his own right, but he is also a shining example of why we must continue to reach out to kitties stuck in Limbo or The Shadows. Abandonment, in any form, is not OK. Imagine if the Guardians had turned a blind eye to Thomas, or decided that food and water was all he required. Where would he be today? Assuming he was even still alive, WHO would he be today?

There are so many neglected or abandoned cats out there that it’s hard to feel like you can ever make a difference. But you can. You may not be able to single-handedly save them all, but Thomas’s story, and MY story for that matter, are shining examples of the kind of difference you can make. And believe Me, there is as much in it for you as there is for the kitties. When you take a cat from a place of fear, desperation, and despair and provide him with the safety and comfort he needs to fully be himself, you will see his True Spirit soar. When you see that, I guarantee your spirit will soar with him.

22- Thomas anniversary

So Sayeth Otis

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Filed under The Good Word

59 responses to “The Transformation of Thomas: Year One

  1. What a wonderful ending 🙂 He is so gorgeous and very lucky the others accepted him x

  2. There are tears in my eyes. What a year it has been for Thomas and for all of you. Your Guardians are a shining example for all of us!

  3. There are 4 of us cats here and we each have our own story of first being limbo kitties or shadow cats. Like Thomas and you, Leader Otis, we were lucky to find a home where we are loved and cared for….well, except for Hitch. He took a more paws on roll in choosing a furever home. But, we are always aware of those kitties that are not so lucky. Thank you, Leader Otis and thanks to the Guardians and the rest of the Cult. You’ll never know how many of the lost and frightened your writing has helped to saved.

    And, Thomas? Welcome home.

    Mistletoe & Hitch

  4. 2 cats

    Aww bless Thomas, I had forgotten how small he was when he 1st appeared on here

    • It’s almost hard to remember when he was that tiny, 2 cats. The Guardians wish they would have just scooped him up back then, but at the time his people seemed to care at least a little about him. They put up a lost poster when he went missing anyway. Still, I wish we could have saved him that year of Limbo torment. 😦

  5. Reblogged this on Knocked over by a feather and commented:
    I wanted to share one of my favorite blogs….

  6. Outstanding telling of a tail. The picture at the window says it all. Purring all the Limbo kitties hope and safety.

  7. Came here cuz of merbear. You are an angel, bless you.

  8. It is no mystery why I have six cats. 🙂

  9. mom just got choked up. THANK YOU for saving Thomas. We will never understand how some “people” can think of animals as disposible. Congrats Thomas on learning to trust. 🙂

  10. That was beautiful. I need to start reading these at home, because I catch up with the Otis blog at work and every time after I read a post, I want to leave work and go hug my Snickers the Cat Not the Candy. This one did just that to me. I think I’ve said it before, but I would give ANYTHING to be able to have a bigger home than my tiny apartment to be able to rescue at least 4 more cats.
    We love Thomas!

    • Thanks, Claudia! I know the Guardians wish they could rescue more too, but they want to make sure they can give every kitty they take in all the love and affection they deserve. Plus, they want to make sure they can afford all the food, toys, and visits to The Bad Place their kitties require! 🙂

  11. Wow, can’t believe it’s been a year already. Congrats, sweet Thomas!

  12. I, too, got choked up! Hee hee
    Having followed the blog since before July 1, 2012, I could be a day-by-day witness to Thomas’ story. I love him to pieces and I don’t even live in the same country as him! 🙂
    Leader Otis, please tell your guardians that I truly appreciate them and the sharing of the story as well…

  13. Happy husky woooos,


  14. What a beautiful ending to a tragic tale! It’s unbelievable to us how some people treat animals. Now we must go get tissues as our eyes seem to be leaking!

    • It is unbelievable, grandmasmad3ringcircus, but fortunately not EVERYONE treats animals that way. Your leaky eyes are an indication of how much you care about animals. Thank you! 🙂

  15. Excuse me while I wipe my eyes.. I have been following since pre-Thomas, but I too have fallen in love with him.. and adore the Guardians for all they have done for him (and the other kitties in limbo that visit..

    As someone active in rescue, it always warms my heart to see people treat kitties with such respect.. Thank you for sharing it and making it a little easier to do what I do.

    *slow blinks to Thomas*

  16. Thank you Leader Otis for sharing the Thomas story with us. I must go hug my little beasties now.

  17. Claudine E.

    Love, love, love! Story and photos belong in a book! ♥

  18. Beautifully written as always, Leader Otis. “There was an amazing little being underneath all that fear.” True of so many people too. Thank You, the Brothers, and your wonderful Guardians for allowing Thomas’s True Spirit to blossom.

  19. Chris

    What a touching posting. We often look at our kitties and a warm glow grows in our hearts by the sight of the little lives we’ve saved, both our current crop of companions, all the companions we’ve had in the past and all we’ll have in the future.

  20. Heather

    Has it really been a year? My goodness, I didn’t realize that. Thomas sure has come a long way and I’m very proud of him. I love it when it is his turn to blog! He is such a special cat!

    Still shocked they just left him in a garbage pile!!!! I wish animal welfare laws were tougher.

  21. We have been following the story of Thomas on your blog the past year as we are very sweet on him. We are so happy to have witnessed his transformation from your love, patience, care and kindness. You are awesome Guardians and wonderful people. Rock on Cult of Otis! PS: Our purrs to Leader Otis as well. And we love that last pic of Thomas… must be some of Mama’s moves…

  22. Batya Harlow

    Hallelujah and blessings on all involved. And purrs that Leader Otis is feeling better. ♥♥♥

  23. Thomas is lucky that the guardians took so much time and patience in loving him and taming him. He looks so happy with them now!

  24. I popped over from Mebear’s blog. lovely post and very encouraging and uplifting to read. 🙂

  25. Thank you leader Otis for sharing his wonderful story.

  26. He was so cute! Wow what a year it has been for him, I look forward to sharing his next one with him! (and you all of course!)

  27. Yea Thomas! And you were such a cute fluffy baby! I have a pawsome ginger foster brofur we saved from sure death when he stopped eating from depression when his owner surrendered him for needing too much attention…and he is 4-6 years old! Pawful to be abandoned but he is safe here and now looking for his own castle…paw pats for you Thomas, you are an inspiration. savvy

  28. YAY Thomas!!! We love a happy ending 🙂

  29. I know I’m late here, but wow! It’s been a year already? it seems like he just got there! We’re so glad your guardians rescued him, so glad he’s part of your family now! Hugs to all of you!

  30. Time flies when you are having fun! WE has been following since about the time that Thomas was swept up in the Capture. We too are rescue kitties. In fact, Sami, the middle child was a street cat at a furry young age. Thankfully someone broughted her to the Humane Society where she captured mom’s heart.

    Thank you for caring for the Limbo kitties efurry day. Your efforts are appreciated not only by the kitties but by effurry cat and bean who reads this blog. Mom says there is a special place over the Bridge for people and kitties like you (and us)

    Way to go Thomas, we is so happy you found your furever home!

    Sasha, Sami, & Saku

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