Tag Archives: stray

My Final Message- originally posted 10-31-2013

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.

Goodbye.

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

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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.

After Otis-1

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.

After Otis-2

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.

After Otis-4

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

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

After Otis-9

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.

After Otis-1-2

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.

After Otis-11

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.

After Otis-7

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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Stella’s Miracle

People and fur people who are Disciples of The Leader Otis,

It’s Thomas.

Oh my gosh. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! Another Disciple of Otis has taken The Leader’s final message to heart and become The Miracle for a kitty in need! Disciple Rhiannon wrote to us with this wonderful story:

“A week ago, I was on my way home from a walk when a small black cat came running to me out of the yard of an empty house. I bent down to pet her, as I always do with cats I encounter on sidewalks, and I could feel every bone in her back. She didn’t have a collar. I set off again and she followed me. When a car drove by or a person appeared, she froze, so I gathered that she wasn’t used to being on the streets. It was getting dark, and I decided that if she followed me all the way to my house – two blocks from where she found me – I’d keep her safe overnight and take her to our town’s animal shelter in the morning.

I didn’t know how my Luna would react to a strange cat, so when we got to my house I put Stella (my name for the stray) in my garage and brought her food and water. She was so hungry and thirsty! I made a bed for her by lining a small desk drawer with a towel and left a lantern-type flashlight burning. I spent about 20 minutes with her, and although she didn’t mind being petted, she didn’t want to cuddle. I think at that point, what she needed more than human contact was a safe place to sleep with access to food and water. It made me feel good that I was able to give her all three.

When I checked on her later, she was sleeping in her desk-drawer bed.

In the morning I put her in Luna’s carrier and took her to our shelter. It’s small, so she’s been transferred to the Humane Society (no-kill) in Santa Rosa. She didn’t have a chip, so I’ve put CAT FOUND flyers around the neighborhood. I’m going to visit her before I leave on a 2-month trip to Britain at the end of this month, and if no one has claimed or adopted her by the time I get back, I may adopt her myself, if she and Luna can get along.

Stella's Poster

This is the poster Rhiannon made.

I wouldn’t have rescued Stella if it hadn’t been for the Teachings of Otis. I used to think that cats were fine outside, able to feed themselves and find water, etc. But Otis and your boys and Mama Cat have done a good job of educating me.

I thought you’d like to know that Otis’s spirit continues to work in mysterious ways, performing wonders, and probably enjoying the odd catnip banana.”

If Stella was lost, the posters Rhiannon hung may help reunite her with her family. If she was abandoned, like I once was, she now has the opportunity to find a loving, forever home in The Promised Land. She will not be doomed to live in The Shadows like so many of our feline brothers and sisters are.

Thank you, Rhiannon, for truly showing what it means to Be The Miracle!

In Otis’s Name,

Sir Thomas

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The Copycat

Disciples of Otis,

Brother Oliver here.

Yesterday Brother Henry came up to me with a big, silly grin on his face. When I asked him what was so amusing he said, “Brother Oliver, do you remember what Leader Otis used to do when He was first swept up in The Capture and came to live with us in The Promised Land?” Upon hearing that, I started to grin as well. I said, “If you are talking about what I think you are talking about, yes I do. He used to try to copy us! Like, if I was sitting on the couch, He would sit down next to me and place His body and paws in exactly the same position as mine.”

Otis and Oliver 2006

I remembered Leader Otis sitting next to me on the couch and trying to do exactly what I did.

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Abe Has Been Swept Up

Disciples of Otis,

Brother Oliver here.

A week after Olive was swept up in The Capture, Abe returned, and he was a living testament to why kitties should not be forced to live in The Shadows. Here is how Abe appeared back in December when the Guardians first started to work with him:

Abe in December

Here is Abe in late December.

When Abe returned this week, he looked very different. It was lankier, and his eyes looked haunted.

Abe on March 11

Here is what Abe looked like when he returned.

A closer look revealed the toll life in The Shadows was taking on this poor kitty. Abe’s head and neck was covered in wounds. Many of them were deep gashes that were clearly the result of fights with other cats. Patches of fur were missing around the wounds. This may have been due to ringworm or mange, or secondary to the wounds themselves.

Abe head wounds.

The world without walls is a harsh place. All kitties deserve a better life than this.

The Guardians did not want to see Abe spend even one more day in The Shadows. They set the same live trap they had used to capture Olive a week before and then waited. Abe took an immediate interest in the scent of food coming from the trap.

Abe smelling food

Abe took an immediate interest in the food in the trap.

Abe moved in closer to investigate. Like all cats, he was cautious, but he was also very hungry.

Abe inspecting trap.

Abe was wary, but the scent of food was irresistible. Note that the right side of his head is also riddled with scratch marks and missing patches of fur.

After several tense minutes, Abe entered the trap and was captured. He was taken to a nearby Bad Place that will transfer him to the same shelter that Olive, Jack, Theo, and several other Shadow Kitties from our neighborhood have gone.

Abe was frightened and angry in the trap, but he also showed signs that he was not completely unsocialized. He now at least has a chance for a life in The Promised Land, and I sincerely hope he can make that final leg of the journey. Even if he can’t, at the very least he will no longer be scared, alone, and suffering, while slowly wasting away in the world without walls.

All kitties deserve better than to be doomed to a prolonged, painful fade into The Shadows. It is up to all of us to bring as many of them as we can out of the darkness and into the light. Please continue to join me, Brother Henry, Sir Thomas, and the Guardians in our crusade to make sure all cats are happy, healthy, and safely confined.

In Otis’s Name,

Brother Oliver

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Olive Has Been Swept Up!

People and fur people who are Disciples of The Leader Otis,

It’s Thomas.

Earlier this week, the Guardians put out the same tricksy trap in which they captured me and they successfully swept Olive up in The Capture! He was a little afraid at first because he did not realize that his life had just changed for the better.

Olive in trap

Olive was a little scared in the tricksy trap, but he calmed down enough that he ate his food while he was in there.

The Guardians took Olive to a nearby Bad Place that is a drop off point for the local animal shelter. There he was scanned for a microchip, but none was found. Olive was very tolerant of the the poking, prodding, and handling at the bad place so the good people there were confident that he would find a good home. Oh, and the shelter he was being sent to does not have time or space limitations for adoptable kitties, so he will be in excellent hands.

So another kitty has been taken out of The Shadows and brought into the light of The Promised Land. Now, we are all hoping that Abe will start to come back regularly again so he can soon follow in Olive’s footsteps. The Guardians will do all in their power to ensure that he does.

In Otis’s Name,

Thomas Out

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Abe and Olive

Disciples of Otis,

Brother Oliver here.

First off, let me just say that Brother Henry is still recovering from his mouth surgery. He’s had several “ouchy” moments in recent days which we are all hoping is just because he is not yet healed, and not because his original problem is still bothering him. It’s too soon to tell at this point, but please keep him in your thoughts and purrs. Now, on to today’s business.

Limbo kitty Abe was making steady progress toward trusting the Guardians. They set up a little lean-to Toastitron on the front porch to keep him close, and he was using it all the time.

Abe waiting for food

This photo was taken before the Toastinator was added, but this is what Abe’s lean-to Toastitron looks like.

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