One Year After Otis

Disciples of Otis,

Brother Oliver here.

I was there when it happened. I witnessed it. But I still can’t wrap my mind around it. And now a full year has passed since that day. The day we lost Him. I still remember when He was a kitten in The Shadows. Afraid. Alone. Hopeless. Hiding in a bush by a birdbath waiting for a meal He had only the slimmest chance of catching.

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I remember when He was in The Shadows.

I remember the change that came over Him, the hope the entered His eyes when He realized those that would become The Guardians of Otis had truly seen Him.

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I remember the change when He realized He had been truly seen.

I remember the overpowering sense of relief He projected as He felt the first, loving touch. His isolation was at last broken, and the light that shined out from within Him forever banished The Shadows from His life.

After Otis-3

A loving touch brought out His inner light, forever banishing The Shadows.

He embraced His new, safe life, and all of the joys it held.

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He embraced the life of a safe, well-loved kitty.

And He embraced us, His two loyal priests. And we embraced Him back.

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He embraced us, and we embraced Him.

But He never lost sight of the fact that other kitties were still stuck in The Shadows from which He had escaped. He reached out to them. He gave them hope.

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He reached out to those still in The Shadows and gave them hope.

And when former Shadow Cats were brought into the light, He helped them lose their fear and embrace their new life as He had.

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He helped those who were transitioning from The Shadows to a life in the light.

I’ll admit that none of us has been the same without Him. The stories are harder to tell without His guidance. The Good Word is harder to spread with a heavy heart.

After Otis-6

We have had difficulty finding our way without Him.

I have heard the bigger Guardian refer to Leader Otis as a muse. A being that enters your life and inspires creativity that you didn’t even know existed within you. I think he’s right. There was something very unique about The Leader that I never could explain. He was an overwhelming presence. A force to be reckoned with. He changed us all forever.

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No one could withstand the influence of The Leader.

It may sound crazy to attribute so much power to one cat, but I assure you it is the truth. I lived with Him. I experienced it firsthand, as did Brother Henry, Sir Thomas, Mama Cat, and the Guardians. He really, truly was that special.

Although The Leader is gone, His Teachings are as important as ever.  Millions of cats are still out there in The Shadows. They are all waiting for someone to do as The Leader asked in His final message. They are waiting for someone to Be The Miracle.

Please join us today in honoring Leader Otis by spreading His Final Message. Click on the link and share the message on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media sites in which you participate. Email it to friends or anyone who you feel might be touched by it. Let His words be heard far and wide, and let us all aspire to make the world a place in which all domestic cats are happy, healthy, and safely confined.

In Otis’s Name,

Brother Oliver

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62 Comments

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62 responses to “One Year After Otis

  1. *reaching for tissue…sobbing quietly*. We have never ever forgotten Leader Otis and his final message gave us the push we needed to bring Sage into our home along with Savannah. And we try to be the miracle everyday in different ways. We won’t give up on trying to bring cats into the promised land. Please read SPT blog post from Monday and see the incredible first Cat Town Cafe & Adoption Center….the key word is adoption center…two were adopted together the second day open. Most other cat cafes opening around the USA ARE NOT SET UP AS ADOPTION CENTERS. The one in Oakland Ca is a miracle.

    • Thanks for both the support and the great example of Being the Miracle, Savannah. Also, thanks for spreading the word about great organizations and businesses that are making a positive difference in the lives of kitties in need! – Brother Oliver

  2. SO much love to you and Henry and Thomas and the Guardians today. It does not seem possible that a year has passed. The grief is still heavy for me; I cannot imagine how it must be for you. Thinking of you and sending strength and courage to get through today. I said it a year ago and I’ll say it again now: thank you. Thank you for sharing him with all of us, even when it was sad and hard at the end. It was a great and generous gift and one that I will never, ever forget.

    • Thank you Christine. We don’t really know what to do with ourselves today. Your kind words help though, and please know that we are still thinking of you and sending purrs of support as you continue down the same road of grief that we have been traveling for the past 365 days. -Brother Oliver

  3. We think about all of you often….it is so hard to lose someone you love, and we think harder when they have so much influence. Leader Otis will NOT be forgotten and his message about those in the Shadows will continue to be spread…..

  4. smseattle

    Thank you, Brother Oliver, for this post. I shared the Last Message on Facebook.

  5. emilykarn

    *Leaky eyes!*
    Leader Otis left His Pawprints on Out hearts and the World.
    Because of him my friends three former free-ranging cats now have their Own Outdoor Place where they are safely confined.

  6. Sadness for the loss of Leader Otis but joy in the thoughts about all the kitties who are now safe because of his message.

  7. Ditto what Christine said. We still think about the Leader every day and you all have been in our hearts and minds leading up to this sad anniversary. We also miss The Leader, but it has to be so much more difficult for all of you as you spent every wonderful day with him. We’ll continue to help you spread the Good Word and celebrate his life every day as we look at our little Otis, who came into our lives just shortly after The Leader crossed the Rainbow Bridge a year ago. Much love always, Linda, David, Lola, Griffon, Luna, and little Otis. XO

    • Thank you so much, Linda, David, Lola, Griffon, Luna, and little Otis. It warms our hearts to know that The Leader has a little namesake out there enjoying a safe, well-loved life! – Brother Oliver

  8. Wow. It’s been a whole year already. I hope you are all doing okay on this sad day.

  9. Otis WAS special, and one of the ways in which he was special lay in showing us that ALL cats are special; indeed all animals are special and deserve our respect and compassion. (Yes, Sir Thomas, even wiener dogs.) Thank you, Guardians, for bringing him out of The Shadows and giving him the love that allowed his light to shine, and thank you, Brothers, for embracing him (often literally). And thank you for continuing to spreading his light even though your hearts are heavy, so that beloved Otis can continue to make the world a safer, better place, one kitty at a time.

  10. edithchase

    Thinking of you on this sad anniversary. The Cult of Otis is the reason I keep my kitties inside even though they would like to be out sometimes. Thank you, I will spread The Message.

  11. We accepted the Leader’s challenge and brought Tiger into our life last February. A friend had tried to bring Tiger into their home, but the resident cat in the home did not appreciate this intrusion into her domain, but Tiger was well fed as he lived in limbo behind her home. When our friend moved, we were accepted Tiger into our home, and he accepted us and our Siberian Husky, Skye. He and Skye jointly rule our home and seem to enjoy each others company in a reserved way. I think both of them have a mutual concern about the LFWDU. Our blessings to the Otis and his extended family as we all accept his mission.

    • Thank you so much Larry! It really does make us feel better to know that The Leader’s message has been heard and is being followed by others! It also helps Sir Thomas to know that others are concerned about the LFWDU. 🙂 – Brother Oliver

  12. sandy921

    Some animals are extra special – Leader Otis may not have had enough time here on Earth, but he had a message that will resonate for a very long time through the Guardians, Brothers Henry and Oliver, Sir Thomas, and us Cult followers. He clearly touched many lives and helped bring cats into the light. Thanks you for sharing Leader Otis’ light with us.

  13. I can’t believe it’s been a year. It seems so fresh, so difficult. I think his is a harder loss for a lot of us because of his influence and his message. I hope you all feel especially surrounded by our love and caring and appreciation for your work today, on such a hard day as well as every other day. Hugs and purrs and love to you all.

  14. We see you Otis. We see.
    The Realm pawses in Memorial Purrs.
    And all stretch to continue his mission as he would wish

  15. Nijinsky Cat

    Otis is Love and Hope.

  16. Batya Harlow

    The sadness I feel on this anniversary is beyond my ability to express in words. The passing of Otis left a huge hole in my heart, but knowing that his work on behalf of less fortunate cats continues is a blessing. Sending love to all the members of Otis’s family. Batya, Trout, Kismet, and new kitty Maisie. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    • Thank you so much Batya, Trout, Kismet, and Maisie. We still can’t believe he is gone, but we owe him an immense debt of gratitude for all that he brought to our lives. – Brother Oliver

  17. mistletoeandhitch

    How can forever pass in the blink of an eye? We believe that some of us shine a little brighter. The Leader, Otis, was one of those. Just look at the number of people he touched by sparking the light that began this blog. The spark that lives on here and spread, like a spark swept up by the wind, to “Savannah’s Paw Tracks”, where they heard the Leader’s message and strive everyday to “be the miracle “. That same spark was caught by everyone that comments here and the scores of others who read the message and start to understand the mission. Leader Otis has changed the lives of many cats who hid in the shadows and the change continues. Because of the Leader someone leaving work or a shop hears a faint meow and instead of continuing on, ignoring that tiny sound, they stop, look around to find one in need and they rescue that soul or contact those that can. Because of the Leader’s teachings, they are the miracle.

    • Thanks so much, M and H. It does help to know that others out there are taking the lessons of The Leader’s life to heart and “Being the Miracle”. It honors his memory in the best way possible. – Brother Oliver

  18. Yow Brothers Oliver n Henry n Sir Thomas n deer Guardee-anz: Me n Mum are reedin yer post wif leeky eyez…we missez Leader Otis turriblee so we nose it must bee bery bery hard fer all of ya! Leader otis touched so many 2 n 4 leggedz n he still doez….
    Mum iz takin care of Braveheart n Greyboy n eben Juno what haz a home butt getz locked out latelee…
    mum iz also helpin wif da feral riverkatz n so many are comin in frum da Shadowz n beein fixed n ‘dopted into propurr homez….
    Eben Miss Sheila what iz me show-furr to da Vet’z haz taken in another little kitty frum da Shadowz so she haz 7 kittehz once again….
    We will soldier on…long live Leader Otis in our heartz n mindz…
    Wif lub, Nylablue n Sherriellen Mum too x0x0x0x0

    • Thanks so much Nylablue and Sherriellen, both for the kind words and for all that you are doing to help those in The Shadows! Leader Otis would be so proud of you both!. – Brother Oliver

      • We do what we can deespite Mum’z not so guud health n mine too Brother Oliver…
        Dere are so many Shadow kittehz here…so many lookin fer homez on da Interwebbernetz KIJIJI site…(iz like Craigslist). Mum wurriez all dem kittehz what not get homez will be dumped or ‘bandoned. So we iz vigilante to watch fer any wee kittz n we getz dem to Sheltur what iz ‘no-kill’ here…
        We will carry on….in memoree of Leader Otis ALLWAYZ!!!
        Yerz faithfullee, Nylablue n Sherriellen Mum too x0x0

  19. Brother Oliver, the Leader will live in my heart forever. Thank you for this beautiful message. Hugs and love to you all!

  20. A whole year and, now, a very sad day. But, inspiration, too. We hold Otis’ message close. A “heart” kitty. Thanks for all you do to continue spreading the message.

    Hugs and purrs,

    Lizzie, Max & Tuck

  21. Heather

    Oh my, the photo of the leader and Mama Cat, it just got to me. The photo of the brothers with Otis, phew that was hard. The photo of Thomas with Otis, I remember that story like it was yesterday. At a loss for words. Thinking of you all today and missing leader Otis!

  22. lzaccardi

    One year. I’m sure that some days feel like an eternity, and then a glance at the calendar or the weather outside and the stark realization dawns that days have evolved to months, and now a year has got behind us…all of you have been so brave and strong to continue to connect with members of the Cult, despite the heaviness in your hearts. This fact is a wonderful tribute to the beautiful soul that is Otis. It proves just how special he is: his example was so clear that you carry on his essence and ensure that his soul is alive in all of us, so that we can help all the shadow kitties find a source of love and comfort. As long as I am able, I will rescue and assist kitties in finding their Mecca. I am a devoted disciple. I’m wishing each of you some peace with your beautiful memories. It is very difficult, I know. Thank you for sharing with us your grief. Together, we can find a way to spread the Good Word.
    Peace to everyone at the Cult.

  23. Leader Otis was one of a kind and his message will live on. Purrs to all of you as you remember him this day.

  24. The Kid Sage

    We all love, miss and remember Otis. He inspires us daily. Especially me, since I would not have found my furrever home without him.

  25. Jenn

    I sobbed in memory of The Leader. I sobbed in memory of my departed cats Ragamuffin and Lola, my first two girls, who were also Shadow cats, and for my Pava and Oynx, not Shadow cats but who nonetheless found themselves on the streets in need of help, all of whom are now departed. Thank you for honoring your dear Otis by continuing to spread The Good Word so that all cats my enjoy a life in The Promised Land. Sob.

  26. Jenn

    Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.

  27. I can’t believe it has been a year! A brilliant tribute, for a truly special friend!!

  28. Lots of Noodle tears…

    Noodle and crew

  29. Thank you for keeping his work alive. Hard to believe its been a year 😦

  30. Pingback: One Year After Otis | Catgurl40's Blog

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