My Final Message

My Disciples,

If you are reading this, I have departed. Let us first just acknowledge the weight of that. Our journey together was not nearly as long as I hoped it would be, but please know that it has been an honor to have met so many wonderful people, furred and non-furred, and to have shared the trials and triumphs of My life with you.

Otis Honored

It has been an honor.

I know that during My long convalescence many of you were hoping and praying for a miracle to happen that would save My life, and it may seem like that miracle didn’t happen. But I need you to understand something. That miracle did happen. It did happen, and it did save My life, but it happened at the beginning, not the end.

Otis in the wilderness

The miracle happened at the beginning, not the end.

The miracle that saved My life happened seven years ago when two humans looked out into their yard and saw a desperate, starving kitten looking back at them.  They didn’t know who I was or where I had come from. They didn’t know what potential lay within Me, or the cat that I could become. They only knew that I needed their help. The miracle happened when they made the choice to rescue Me.

Otis's miracle

This was the miracle.

Had the Guardians not made that one, simple choice, I might have slipped into The Shadows forever. I would not have experienced seven blissful years filled with love and happiness in their care. I would never have met The Brothers, or Thomas, or Mama Cat. You would not know Me, or even know that I ever existed. There would be no Cult of Otis because there would be no Otis. In My darkest hour I needed a miracle and I got it, and the life I lived afterward was better than I could have ever imagined.

Otis living the good life

I loved my life.

As all lives must, My life has come to an end. I know that, due to My young age, My end may seem tragically premature, but a life should be judged by its quality, not its length. I had a rich, full life, and all of you helped make it even more so. For that you have My everlasting gratitude.

Otis thanks

Thank you all for enriching My life.

But now I must finally say it, My Disciples, the hardest word of all.


Although My spirit has departed, a part of Me will remain. When you look out into the world without walls and see a cat in need looking back at you, I will be there by your side. You will feel My soft breath on your cheek and My purrs of encouragement in your ear. Listen closely, and through the purrs you will hear My final commandment come to you in a whisper.

Be the miracle.

So Sayeth Otis


Filed under Daily Life, The Good Word

98 responses to “My Final Message

  1. All my sincerest condolences… Otis lived happy wth you, as you gave him all the best you managed to find.
    Now he will rest in peace in Cat’s heaven, joining his mates and waiting for his friends.
    I wish you a lot of bravery to overcome this tragical moment.

  2. You are right, Leader — that was a wonderful miracle, followed by wonderful years. Thank you for your last message. ❤

  3. lkoch52

    Oh Otis. I think I’ve cried as much or more than I have saying goodbye to all my former fur companions. You will be sorely missed, but I look forward to continuing the journey with your Guardians and the members of Your Inner Circle. And ever time I look at my 3 little miracles, I’ll think of you and smile. And I’ll always look for those less fortunate to help bring them out if the Shadows. Goodbye, sweet boy!

  4. Karen Lucas

    Oh, goodbye Otis. I think your humans are thinking you were the miracle when you chose them to rescue you. Our kitties always fill our hearts with so much love that it makes us miss you terribly when you have to go ahead of us to the Bridge. You will always be the miracle.

  5. Dearly beloved Otis of the great green eyes and the square paws, your final message, like all your Teachings, will resonate for years to come, and many miracles will be done in your name. “Our echoes roll from soul to soul, and grow forever and forever.” — Tennyson

  6. Fjola Melody

    You will be missed, O Leader! I shudder to think what could have been, with your condition, out on the mean streets. You’re the luckiest little kitten I know, for sure. Onwards and upwards, and your message will be heard! Our Sir John A MacKittie was rescued in the same way, and he and his Brothers Harper and Deef live within the Promised Land up here in Canada. Your Guardians are doing wonderful things to help spread Your word. Keep up the amazing work, and blessings to them during this tough time.

  7. Such an eloquent post — a universal post of love and gratitude. I hope you don’t mind if I reblog.

  8. Reblogged this on Travel. Garden. Eat. and commented:
    For those of you who have followed Otis and his Guardians, or anyone who has ever loved a companion animal as a member of their family, I am sharing this beautifully eloquent post that reminds us why we love them so. For those who have welcomed a senior or infirm companion to the family, oftentimes the tenure with the family is relatively brief – -but as wisely stated by Abraham Lincoln, it is the life in your years, rather than the years in your life, that count. Peace to Otis and his family.

  9. Joseline

    A lovely message, God speed to the Rainbow Bridge !

  10. mistletoeandhitch

    Thank you, Leader Otis. You touched the hearts of many and in doing so, changed the world. We will never forget you.

  11. This is so so sad!!! such a lovely message xxx

  12. Otis your final message has been heard and understood. Thank you for all of those beautiful words. You are indeed such a lucky boy and your miracle as did so many others occurred as you said from the beginning and your life was a well lived one with much love and happiness, given and taken. You are an inspiration and that you will continue to be. Healing purrs to your family.

  13. I, Savannah, was also brought to my Promised Land because Dad Peter and Mom Linda saw a depressed and terrified adult cat in a shelter that had been passed over for a whole year…no one wanted Me. Until they brought me home, then I was not in limbo and never will be again. The Cult of Otis and Leader Otis changed the mission Mom and I started my blog with. For as long as I live, I will never stop working to be the miracle for as many cats as I can. You, Leader Otis, are still alive within me.

  14. This was absolutely beautiful. ❤

  15. we know you message will continue on with the Guardians, Brothers and Mama Cat.


    What a simply emotional and moving post.

  17. Dear Dear Otis.. you are right.. you had 2,500 miracles, give or take.. each day was a blessing..

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  19. marissaesmith

    Thank you Leader Otis and the Guardians for your continued inspiring messages. I know it has to be difficult during this emotional time but thank you for keeping us all updated on Otis. You are all a blessing!

  20. Denise Goldstein

    beautiful words of wisdom Otis. you will not be forgotten. sweet, sweet boy.

  21. I hope there still will be a Cult of Otis, written by Oliver, Henry or even Mama Cat.

  22. Oh Otis – sniffles. I’m so sorry. I’m so glad that I met you and had you in my life. You are a great bud and will not be forgotten. XOXO – Bacon

  23. Godspeed little mate,


  24. God bless you on your journey over the Bridge Otis….we did not know you but wish we had – you were a wise soul…..and a beautiful boy….no doubt your humans were as enriched by YOU as your life was by them. This is the way it SHOULD be……

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  25. my eyes are wet at saying goodbye, but my heart is glad for the life you lived. Be Peace Otis. You have always deserved it.

    • We are so sad, but so inspired by this. Goodbye Otis. You have enriched us more than you and your Guardians will ever know. The strength and wisdom you have shown are a light to us all.

      Now last night there was the most incredible display of aurora borealis above our kingdom.We believe they are the tails of those who have gone before, playing and reassuring those left behind. The Shadows shine brightly. We know you are safe and All Will Be Well.

      Godspeed, and we purr for the Guardians.

  26. That last comment was from Punapippuri and family, Finland. xxx

  27. Otis, we have felt graced by your friendship. You were sent with a purpose, inspiring many. Your soft words of guidance shall be remembered

  28. Awww Otis, such a beautiful moving message. It is hard to say goodbye, very hard, but you know that we will not forget you.
    Lots of purrs

  29. You have lived a beautiful life, you will not be forgotten, nor will your work. Hugs and purrs to your family.

  30. lynn

    You you will be missed. I have not been following your blog for long but I have been touched by your child. I trust the guardian’s will continue their work and continue to rescue others who need their hero.

  31. Leader Otis, even from beyond, you still speak words of wisdom. We’re thankful that we had the chance to know you. We will never forget you.

  32. What a special boy you are Otis, neither you nor your message will be forgotten!!! Sending lots of love to the Guardians, the Brothers, Thomas and Mama Cat.

  33. There are so many cats (and dogs) that need the miracle of being rescued thank you for your final words. Sending purrs of comfort to the Guardians, The Brothers, Thomas and Mama Cat

  34. Linda Mack

    What a moving message. I am sure you will continue saving other kitties, even though you have departed. You have been such an inspiration to all.

  35. Leader Otis, we promise to keep the faith and be vigilant.

  36. Lia

    So wise as always Leader Otis. Your message has been received and passed on and will continue on even though you now Lead from the Bridge.
    I have rung the Bridge chimes to help guide you home. They hang and chime in honor of all kitties – limbo, shadow or beloved. Rest well.

  37. Thanks so much Otis.
    We do a monthly post about a different shelter and how important the choice to help rather than turn away is. I would not be presumptuous and copy your words but I will speak of your message and add a link
    Timmy Tomcat and Dad

  38. This is extraordinary. Your words will stay with me forever. I aspire to be like the Guardians, who have been a miracle to so many kitties in need. You have taught them well, Otis. We love you dearly and will cherish your memory always. Thank you for this beautiful goodbye.

  39. Reblogged this on this clever camera and commented:
    An extraordinary goodbye.

  40. Your story is one of a miracle…many miracles. I will try to be a cat you would be proud of. You are a shining example of what cats are really like when they are loved and cared for by peoples. Purrs and head butts to your Guardians.

  41. Pickles would like to say thankyou OTIS for starting people on the path to rescue..she is my most serious rescue..almost died and all because of hoarding..your message like you will live on. Such sadness and yet you bought such Bev and all my rescues xx

  42. Reblogged this on Teddy Here and commented:
    my peoples,
    it is a sad day. my friend, Leader Otis, has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. He left a message for his friends, the furry ones and the peoples and I am reblogging it here. He was a wonderful champion of Limbo and Shadow cats and taught his Guardians well. we will all miss him…especially his people, the Guardians, and his brothers, Oliver and Henry, his knight, Thomas, and MamaCat.

  43. Rest in peace, Leader Otis.

  44. Nijinsky Cat

    Well spoken for all kitties and creatures in our midst. xo prrrrs

  45. pr1ncessjalapena

    Thank you for this. I know that Otis will be missed. ❤

  46. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. My condolences to your guardians, your cat mates, and all of us who got to share however briefly the wonderful spirit that shone through the words and photos shared here.

  47. We lost four cats in three years, all eight years old or younger. I sometimes feel I should have done something different, that they should not have left so early but I know while they were here they had a good life, a life they may not have had at all if my wife and I did not rescue them.

  48. I’m sorry that you didn’t have more years with Otis. There was quality in those years.

  49. Reblogged this on Run4joy59's Blog and commented:
    Be the miracle in a lonely, abandoned, frightened cat’s life…bring that kitty into your home the way the Guardians did with Otis. Give him all the love that he longed for when he was fending for himself out there in the cruel world. Any pet that you rescue will repay you with unconditional love for the rest of his life.
    Do what you can with what you have. Share your life with a furry friend. You’ll never regret it.
    This is Otis’s good-bye and call to action for all who have followed his journey…a journey that ended much too soon, but that provided him with the miracle of love.

  50. I am so sad you had to leave this earth with such a short life. It is good to know your life was rich with love and care. Thanks to your guardians we got to know a little bit about you. My heart goes to them at this time as their hearts are breaking with loss. Sending virtual hugs your way and my condolences.

  51. Nanci

    What a beautiful post, the spirit of Otis will indeed live on…

  52. Kris

    Otis, teaching us all again. I’m so glad he had the Guardians and Oliver and the others at the end. A tragedy would be if he spent his last days alone, cold, hungry, helpless and in pain. I wish you all the best.

  53. Chris, Monster, Buggy, Bunk and Calico (and a wiener dog)

    We’re so blessed to have known you, Otis. We’re so thankful you were captured by your wonderful Guardians who provided you with such a wonderful life and merciful passing. We purr one day all kitties are as blessed as you as well as all wiener dogs and their cousins but Sir Thomas doesn’t need to know that part.

  54. That mustv,e hard to write this and my thoughts are with you at this moment . You are very brave , take the time to grieve and then remember the wonderful times you had since the day you found eachother xx

  55. Saint Otis: Patron Saint of Joy

  56. Susan, Shadow and Joey

    He’ll be back – not in the same body but he’ll be back.

  57. Condolences to all of Otis’s family. He truly did live and die surrounded by love.

  58. This isn’t a farewell Otis, it’s a promise that you’ll live on through all of us helping Shadow or Limbo kitties find Guardians who will shelter them from the Long Feared Dog Uprising.

    I still remember the day that Smokey Jones, the loving runt of the litter who became my constant companion, went on the same journey that you just made. She was an amazing cat, so gentle, loving and kitten like around me, but an absolutely battle kitty if any neighbouring cats tried to invade our house. Just as I will never forget and will always love her, I know your Guardians and the many kitties and their Guardians who follow your words of wisdom will feel the same for you.

  59. Beautifully put, beautifully written and straight to my heart. Bless your family Otis, and I know they will be bereft without your loving spirit there. yes, you got it right, a miracle did happen – and yes you have had a wonderful life – and YES will will miss you very VERY much.

  60. I made it to the final word before the waterworks turned on full force. Beautifully stated. Eloquent, sincere, so endearing. Thank you so so much for your inspiration. Love and purrs to all.

  61. Batya Harlow

    All my cats have been rescued ferals. Brindle and Misha have passed on. Brothers Trout and Kismet, 10 years old, are the joy of my life. I will always have rescued cats in my life. I will miss your wise words and gentle humor, dear Otis. I hope your blog will continue.

  62. Dear Leader Otis, I’ll give my rescued kitties extra cuddles tonight, and I’ll remember your message every time I help all the Shadow cats that I can’t rescue. Your beautiful final message will always inspire me. I’ll never forget your face, with your gorgeous jade green eyes. You have made an extraordinary difference! Love and peace to your Guardians and feline family …

  63. Thank you, Otis, for all that you are. I’m sorry I never met you, but in a way, I have, through my rescue kitties. I only hope I helped them find the joy your Gardiands helped you find! I remember each one, & though we never met, my eyes are filled with tears, remembering my loss at =their= passings…& smiles, the smiles they gave me! I know you are now in safe Hands, so I’m supremely happy for you. I’ll only give cyberhugs (all I HAVE to give) to those left behind whom I KNOW are happy they knew you, yet sad to be apart from you.

    Your post was utterly beautiful & deeply moving. Thank you for being, Sweet Soul!

  64. Anita

    Thank you for posting Otis’s message. My life has been blessed by Leader’s Otis’s encouragement, wisdom on kitty care, and admonishment to keep all kitties healthy and SAFE. I have two rescue cats that are(thankfully) still with me and blessing my life. I encourage everyone to adopt a “lost kitty’ and experience the joy of being its loving guardian.
    I hope brothers Henry and Oliver plus Thomas and Mamma Cat are coping with Otis’s absence. We all miss him.

  65. Nan

    Wow. Thank You for giving me faith! Love to all of those You left behind.

  66. You have typist in tears, what a beautiful message! Big hugs to you wherever you are!

  67. A beautiful and moving post. Goodbye Dear Leader. I’m reblogging this on my site.

  68. emilykarn

    Reblogged this on emilykarn and commented:
    Goodbye Dear Leader Otis. A beautiful and moving post.

  69. Thank you for sharing the wisdom, compassion and guidance of Leader Otis. He will be greatly missed, but His inspiration will continue. I hear his voice whenever I see a Lost Cat poster or feed a Limbo kitty or cuddle my own indoor-only kitties.

  70. RIP sweet Otis. Head bonks and purrs of comfort to mewr family.

  71. A touching tribute to Otis. My condolences to you.

  72. Thank you Leader Otis for your final message!!! You were a great Leader & speaker on behalf of Shadow & Limbo Kitties everywhere. Your spirit is here with Nylablue & in the ferals I feed & in my heart…and shall remain so until I take my last breath too….
    To the Guardians: May the Creator of your understanding bless you & keep you safe always & may your memories comfort you during this time of transition.
    Your friends in Canada, Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue xoxo

  73. Heather

    I love you Otis and I promise to follow your last command with all my heart. I’ll be thinking of your family, both feline and human, and keeping them in my prayers.

  74. Sandy

    But I still miss you Leader Otis. Thank you for your Final Message and I will do my best to help any limbo or shadow kitty that comes my way. And thank you to the Guardians who helped translate your message and shared their love and support for you. I am in awe of what you and your family has done. When I was young, my mom would tell me not to say goodbye to my grandmother, only see you later. See you later, Leader Otis.

  75. We were rescued by one of our guardians the same time you were Otis…we are very sad to see you go, but we are happy that we got to know you. You were a wonderful leader with an everlasting legacy! Thanks for sharing your life with us…our purrs go out to your Guardians and your disciples in this sad time…your friends, Romeo & Juliet and Becca & Steve

  76. We love you Leader Otis. You are indeed such a special kitty. We are so happy you were taken in and cared for and loved by such wonderful Guardians. We are so happy for the time you had with them and for how you led the Brothers and for all your important messages. Thank you for helping so many kitties.

    “You’re in the arms of the Angel, May you find some comfort here.”

    Be Well Sweet Leader Otis

  77. Susan M

    RIP, beautiful Leader Otis. Thank you for giving us a final message. I would like to learn to see as you did. Thank you to the Guardians and your brothers and Mama Cat for giving you a loving home.

  78. My condolesces on the loss of such a wonderful partner – but wonderful words to make you see the happiness of his life 🙂

  79. Angel Otis, you will be missed by all. You were, and will always be, a special boy who delivered an important message to all. We will carry on your crusade!!!! We love you very much.

    “Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there.” ~Isla Paschal Richardson

  80. Does this mean we won’t be hearing form any of you? Ever again? 😦

  81. This is so, so sad to hear. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss. Otis’ memory will live on through this blog, and I hope that many people take his message to heart to “Be the Miracle.” All my love to your entire “pride.”

  82. Dear sweet Leader Otis.. I now believe your message was carried out before your passing with the little stray I found, little Max. He was swept up into Capture and found his forever home with a very nice lady who takes in other FIV+ cats. I solemnly promise to do what I can to spread the good word. Please look after the guardians and the rest of the cult from the rainbow bridge. I know you are telling those who never got forever homes that they will find peace. ~ Chris and her muses Bubby, Buggy, Miss Bitty & little boo too. =^..^=

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  93. Jenn

    Just re-reading this because I’ve recommended the Cult to yet another friend. This entry is so beautiful and makes me sob every time I read it. Thank you for being the Miracle guardians!

  94. Such a beautiful kitty, & gone too soon, but so glad he had the best life ever while here..& he was safe! I wish all the Shadow Cats could be so lucky to find…& accept a loving safe home to live in like Otis did. Bless them all with a guardian angel to protect them until they do! Rest in Peace Otis. ❤

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