Disciples of Otis,
Brother Oliver here.
This morning I was feeling very sad and missing Leader Otis. It has been 5 months since we lost Him, but I am still having trouble accepting it. I’m ashamed to say that this morning I was so full of despair that I turned to the catnip banana for comfort.
As longtime Disciples of Otis are well aware, The Leader struggled with catnip bananaddiction throughout His life. Brother Henry and I staged many interventions over the years to try to help The Leader kick the habit. So yes, I was a little ashamed to be turning to the banana for comfort, but I could think of no other way to find solace in the moment.
But as I leaned in to sniff deeply of the potent nananip, I encountered a smell I didn’t expect. Yes, the nip fumes were there, and they were strong, but far stronger was the smell of Leader Otis Himself!
Instead of becoming nip-drunk and sinking even deeper into despair, I felt a surge of power, as if The Spirit of The Leader was giving me strength to combat my sadness. I was moved by The Spirit, and I began kicking the banana relentlessly with my hind feet.
As I kicked and kicked at the banana, my feeling of despair was draining away and being replaced by a feeling of strength. I eventually kicked so hard that the banana was dislodged from my forepaws and went flying across the room. It carried the remainder of my despair with it.
As I got up and headed off for a drink of water, I reflected on what had just happened. Had I really smelled The Leader? Possibly. After all, I’m sure he had been in contact with that banana while he was still alive. Had I really felt his presence helping me fight the urge to fall into despair? I couldn’t answer that question. I had definitely felt something, but whether it was my own memory of The Leader or some current manifestation of His spirit I will never know.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Whether as a real presence or a memory, Leader Otis gave me strength. I will do my best to use that strength to combat my feelings of despair, and to carry on with The Leader’s crusade to ensure that all kitties are happy, healthy, and safely confined. And I hope that all of you will continue to all that you can to assist Brother Henry, Sir Thomas, and me in making Leader Otis’s vision a reality.
In Otis’s Name