Category Archives: Patron Saints

True Faces of the Saints: St. Starvin’ Marvin

My Disciples,

Today I bring you the true face of Saint Starvin’ Marvin, Patron Saint of the Hungry for the Cult of Otis.  May he watch over all hungry kitties that are struggling to find enough to eat.

So Sayeth Otis

 

Saint Starvin' Marvin:  Patron Saint of the Hungry card.

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St. Starvin’ Marvin- Patron Saint of the Hungry

Starvin’ Marvin was a young, skinny, feral tom that could not seem to get enough to eat. He likely had a heavy parasite load and was always hungry. He would take the biggest bites of food that he possibly could and then struggle to chew it and swallow it as fast as he could. He came regularly to Otis’s yard for several weeks but was never captured. Eventually he stopped coming and was never seen again.

Saint Starvin’ Marvin watches over cats that are struggling to find food. He also supports people who provide these cats food in a responsible way that does not begin to cause problems with wildlife, in conjunction with attempting to capture the cats and bring them in from the shadows.

Starvin' Marvin

The true Starvin' Marvin looks up from a meal provided by the Guardians of Otis.

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True Faces of the Saints: St. Spot

My Disciples,

Today I bring you the true face of Saint Spot, Patron Saint of the Compassionate Act for the Cult of Otis.  May his story bring comfort and strength to all who wish to help end the silent suffering of My feline brothers and sisters that are lost in the shadows.

 

Saint Spot:  Patron Saint of the Compassionate Act card.

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St. Spot- Patron Saint of the Compassionate Act

Spot was a young, unaltered tom that was likely a second or third generation feral. He was completely terrified of people but could not survive without the food that they offered. If left completely to his own devices he likely would have died of starvation, disease, being hit by a car or some other very unpleasant event. If he had been trapped, neutered and returned he would have had to suffer the terror of capture, the fear associated with being in an unfamiliar, human-dominated environment, the trauma and disorientation of being anesthetized, the confusion of waking up with post-surgery pain, and the shock of being released back out into the world before his surgery site had even healed. Once again abandoned in a world with no protection he would have then suffered the same fate (death by disease, starvation, being hit by a car, or other) that he would have before all of this was done to him. His ability to reproduce would have been eliminated, but his ability to suffer the pain and anguish of his shadowy existence would have still been intact. This was not to be his fate. Spot was captured, taken to a shelter and humanely euthanized. Both his reproductive potential and his potential for suffering were eliminated by a compassionate act.

Saint Spot reminds those that are working to end the tragedy of feral cats that humane euthanasia really is a compassionate course of action for these suffering souls. While we may be able to rationalize releasing cats by saying things like, “anything is better than death…,” this is not necessarily true. All cats will eventually die. Feral cats will most likely die a prolonged or gruesome death that we would never wish on any animal. If they have been trapped, altered and returned, they will likely not go into a trap again. This means that if they are seen to be suffering at some point in the future, you will not have the opportunity to make sure that the suffering does not go on any longer than it has to. But more likely than not, you won’t see their suffering. Like most ferals, they will die alone. If you make the compassionate choice when the animal is first captured, you can ensure that their life ends with dignity, and without prolonged suffering. Saint Spot attempts to give people the strength to make that compassionate, selfless choice in spite of the emotional pain they may feel as a result.

A spotted gray tabby sits among green plants.

The true face of Spot.

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True Faces of the Saints: St. Snowshoe

My Disciples,

Today I bring you the true face of Saint Snowshoe, Patron Saint of the Neglected for the Cult of Otis.  May his story help raise awareness of the plight of neglected kitties everywhere.

So Sayeth Otis

 

Saint Snowshoe:  Patron Saint of the Neglected card.

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St. Snowshoe- Patron Saint of the Neglected

Snowshoe was a cat that was under someone’s guardianship that was not doing a very good job keeping him safe. He showed up in Otis’s yard wearing a small dog collar with no identification. He climbed a tree and then began crying because he did not know how to get back down. One of Otis’s guardians climbed the tree and rescued Snowshoe who clung gratefully to his rescuer’s shoulder on the way back down to the ground. A note was then attached to Snowshoe’s collar that said, “Please keep your cat inside. We just rescued him from a tree and it is not safe outside for him.” Two weeks later Snowshoe showed up again. The note was still attached to his collar. Otis’s guardians took Snowshoe to the shelter where he was scanned for a microchip to try to identify who his guardian was. He had none. His dog collar was removed and replaced with an appropriate cat collar. He was then adopted out to a new, loving family.

Saint Snowshoe watches over cats that are being ignored or neglected by their guardians and allowed to roam free outdoors. He especially watches over those that find themselves trapped up in a tree without the courage to come down. He tries to steer tree climbers to yards in which caring people can be found to help them. He also gives people the strength to take cats in to the shelter if they have collars with no identification on them and they appear to be abandoned or neglected.

A tabby cat with a white nose and bib wearing a small dog collar.

The real Snowshoe after he was rescued from a tree by the Guardians of Otis.

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True Faces of the Saints: St. Shadow

My Disciples,

Today I bring you the true face of Saint Shadow, Patron Saint of the Shadow Cats for the Cult of Otis.  May he watch over all feral cats and those that work to end their suffering.

So Sayeth Otis

 

Saint Shadow: Patron Saint of the Shadow Cats card.

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St. Shadow- Patron Saint of Shadow Cats

As his name suggests, Shadow was usually only seen as a dark figure retreating from the gaze of humans. Like all feral cats, he lived in the shadowy world between wildness and domesticity, doomed to exist in the former but longing for the latter. His life consisted of terrified moments with only brief respite as he rapidly devoured human-supplied food. When he did meet the gaze of a human, there was a moment’s pause in which his painful, torn-between-worlds experience was clearly visible on his face, and then he would run. He would approach no trap, nor would he trust any human hand. A human choice sometime in the past banished him to a lifetime in the shadows.

Shadow watches over all cats that are living in the shadows. He attempts to give them courage to accept the help of those that are attempting to bring them to the light. He also gives courage to all those that attempt to bring feral cats in from the wilderness, shining light on their plight and ensuring that they do not have to suffer any longer than is absolutely necessary.

A long-haired, black cat pauses over a dish of food.

The true face of Shadow as he was partaking of food left out by the Guardians.

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True Faces of the Saints: St. Pumpkin

My Disciples,

Today I bring you the true face of Saint Pumpkin, Patron Saint of the Disappeared for the Cult of Otis.  May her story serve as a reminder of the risks associated with allowing kitties to have unfettered access to the unprotected out-of-doors.

So Sayeth Otis

 

Saint Pumpkin:  Patron Saint of the Disappeard card.

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St. Pumpkin- Patron Saint of the Disappeared

Pumpkin was a petite, light-gray tabby with a bulls-eye pattern. Her story is similar to that of many feral, stray or otherwise outdoor cats. One day she was around, the next she was gone, never to be seen again. Her fate is unknown. She simply disappeared.

Saint Pumpkin gives strength to those who are feeling torn about not letting their cats have unfettered access to the unprotected out-of-doors. She is a reminder of what very commonly happens with uncontained cats. She attempts to comfort the families of cats who have disappeared, while at the same time making sure that they do not forget their pain so they do not make the same mistake with cats under their guardianship in the future.

Pumpkin, a light gray marbled tabby.

The true face of Pumpkin as she pauses next to a bowl of food left out by the Guardians of Otis.

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True Faces of the Saints: St. Mr. Man

My Disciples,

Today I bring you the true face of Saint Mr. Man:  Patron Saint of the FIV Positive for the Cult of Otis.  May he watch over all of My feline brothers and sisters out there that are living with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

So Sayeth Otis

 

Saint Mr. Man:  Patron Saint of the FIV Positive card.

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St. Mr. Man- Patron Saint of the FIV Positive

Mr. Man was a large, unaltered tom that was constantly fighting with other cats. He was also constantly showing signs of illness, and his health was slowly deteriorating. Fortunately, he entered a live trap and was captured. Completely feral, in poor health and FIV positive, Mr. Man’s suffering was ended through humane euthanasia.

Saint Mr. Man watches over cats who are living with FIV. If they are feral, he attempts to give them the courage to enter a trap so they can find release from their suffering as well as eliminate the chance that they will spread the disease to others. For FIV positive cats with guardians, Saint Mr. Man attempts to help these animals stave off infections and stay in good health.

Mr. Man- A gray, tiger-striped tabby with nicks in his ears and one eye partially shut and infected.

The true face of Mr. Man. The effects of his illness and fighting are clearly visible.

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True Faces of the Saints: St. Marvie

My Disciples,

Today I bring you the true face of Saint Marvie:  Patron Saint of Forgiveness for the Cult of Otis.  She was my sister, and her story, more than any other, is very difficult for the Guardians and Me.  In fact, the pain we felt over her loss is directly responsible for the creation of the Cult of Otis.  Please read and share her story so that it may help other kitties that are lost in the wilderness.

So Sayeth Otis

Saint Marvie:  Patron Saint of Forgiveness card.

Spread the image of Saint Marvie so that others may know her and learn from her story.

St. Marvie- Patron Saint of Forgiveness

Marvie was believed to have been Otis’s sister. That knowledge makes her story an even more difficult one to tell. At some point in Marvie’s first or second year of life, she was live-trapped, spayed, the tip of her right ear was cut off and she was abandoned back into the outdoors. It is questionable whether or not the person responsible for this even provided food for her after the fact as Marvie was frequently spotted in Otis’s backyard, hungry and in need of a meal. Understandably, she was extremely distrustful of people and would not go near a live trap. Eventually, when the rest of Otis’s flock had either been captured or disappeared, Marvie began to warm to the Guardians of Otis. Through 6 months of patient work, she progressed all the way to the point where she would allow herself to be pet for short periods of time. Just as it looked as if she would be able to make the transition to living indoors with Otis and his family, she disappeared. She reappeared a week later with signs of a severe respiratory infection. In her weakened state she was again terrified of people and could not be approached or captured to accept aid. She slowly wasted away for 5 days until she was weak enough to be captured. By then the only help that she could be given was a humane release from her suffering.

Saint Marvie’s eventual trust of the Guardians of Otis demonstrated the enormous capacity she had for forgiveness. She had been badly betrayed by humans in her past, but in time she was able to face her fears and lower her guard enough to make a connection with people who cared deeply about her. It is very likely that, had she been worked with earlier in her life when she was first trapped, Marvie could have made the transition to life in a loving family just as Otis had. Even in spite of the pain of her past, she was well on her way to making that transition when disease took her. Saint Marvie watches over cats who have been wrongly identified as ferals and trapped, altered and released. She tries to give them the courage to face their fears and seek out humans who will recognize their plight and bring them in from the shadows. She also gives strength and patience to humans that are trying to reach these cats, and she attempts to give them comfort if they are unable to reach them or if they lose them.

Marvie, a medium-haired gray tabby sits in a box and faces the camera.  Her right ear is missing about a half-inch at the tip.

The true face of Marvie. Her right ear tip has been cut off, indicating that someone trapped her, spayed her and put her back out in the wilderness.

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