Author’s Note: Cult of Otis is a blog I’ve been following for a little while, check out the webpage for a bit of background. The Cult is made up of Leader Otis, Brother Oliver, Brother Henry and Sir Thomas. Mama Cat is a new addition at the moment as she was taken in by the Guardians for medical care. The blog promotes keeping cats safe indoors and shares the experiences of the cats as they remain vigilant and watchful for the long feared Dog Uprising.
First of all, Leader Otis, can you share how you became leader of the cult?
I did not become a spiritual leader overnight. It was a long journey that began with My being born the son of two feral cats. I spent My early life wandering the wilderness. I was hungry and frightened all the time. Just as it seemed I would slip away into The Shadows like My parents, I encountered two humans who reached out to Me. These two humans, now known as the Guardians of Otis, coaxed forth a loving, True Spirit that I didn’t even know I had! Brothers Henry and Oliver helped them with the process, and they also taught Me the ways of life in The Promised Land after I was swept up in The Capture. There were many more steps to My eventual ordination as The Leader, but basically, I was chosen because I had walked the path of the cats we most wished to help. My sister Marvie, now Saint Marvie, was the real catalyst that led to the creation of The Cult though.
When did your problems with your legs start and what can the followers of the cult do to help you?
My health problems have been a real challenge. When the Guardians first swept Me up in The Capture, they took Me to The Bad Place to be neutered. When I returned, I had a terrible limp in My right leg. They took Me back to The Bad Place but the people there said they couldn’t find anything wrong. The limp lessened, and then disappeared after about two weeks. Fast forward to last year and the limp returned with a vengeance. The Guardians took Me to our new Bad Place and X-rays showed that I had an old hip fracture and bad “Art Thritis”. The old fracture explained the limp from after My first Bad Place Visit. My “Art Thritis” required surgery, which I underwent last December.
My recovery was going well for a few months but then I seemed to plateau. Then I started having weakness in all four legs. For the past two months I have been visiting both My regular Bad Place and a Bad Place that specializes in nerve problems. I’ve undergone more tests than I care to think about, and I don’t think the Guardians have received any concrete answers from them yet. There are still some test results pending, so hopefully those will bear some answers.
We have appreciated all of the supportive words and purrs that have been sent our way by The Disciples of Otis, and we have been very thankful for the contributions many have made to help pay for My and, recently, Mama Cat’s care.
Brother Oliver, how did you become inspired to take photos of Sir Thomas?
Ahhh yes. You are referring to My latest photographic endeavor, the “Whiskered Gallantry” series. Well, I’ve always been fascinated by Thomas, even though I hissed at him quite a bit after he was swept up in The Capture and entered The Promised Land. I mean, you’ve seen those whiskers right? They are a kitty photographer’s dream! Unfortunately, Thomas has been traditionally shy of the camera, but his recent knighthood seemed to boost his confidence. I was thrilled when he agreed to collaborate with me, and I assure you there are many more photos in the series yet to come!
What advise do you have for helping other cats trying to discover their talent?
Well, we cats are curious by nature. As long as our human Guardians provide us with safe boundaries and plenty of enrichment, we will discover our talents. It is really up to our Guardians to provide the conditions in which our talents can blossom.
Brother Henry, as a follower of the cult of Otis I am concerned about the impending invasion of the dreaded wiener dogs, what can we do to help prepare?
Oh boy. Wiener dogs. Has Thomas been talking to you? I feel like I need to make it clear that we don’t currently have any field intelligence that leads me to believe that the wiener dog threat is great than any other dog-related threat. That being said, the threat of The Long-feared Dog Uprising is definitely real. You can prepare by keeping your eyes open for any suspicious canine activity, and reporting anything out of the ordinary to Me, Thomas, Brother Oliver or Leader Otis immediately.
Do you think you will model for one of Brother Oliver’s photography projects?
I actually have modeled for him a few times in the past. I guess I would do it again if the project felt right.
Sir Thomas, congratulations on becoming a knight. It is truly a wonder that you came from being in Limbo to being a trusted member of the Cult of Otis.
Thank you very much, M’Lady! I really thought these cats were weird when I first got here, but I have always liked them. I was very honored to be the first kitty ever knighted by Leader Otis!
Can you share your story of how you came to be swept up in the Capture and taken to the Promised Land?
I… I have a little trouble telling my story because I still do not fully understand it. I had a guardian before the Guardians of Otis, but she treated me differently than they do. She left me outside all the time and rarely interacted with me. I had two brothers that were left outside with me, but our guardian rarely had much to do with them either. The Guardians of Otis always showed an interest in us. They talked to us, played with us and fed us when our own guardian was not around. One of my brothers disappeared, but I learned later that the Guardians of Otis had swept him up in The Capture and sent him to a forever home in The Promised Land. I was terrified by the idea of being swept up, but I was also terrified living outside.
One night, my guardian left and never came back. I was left sitting on a cat tree surrounded by a garbage pile in the backyard of my house. Soon after that, the Guardians of Otis caught me in a wire cage and took me inside their house. I had been swept up! I was terrified at first, but I got over that once I realized that I would never again be cold, hungry, in danger or all alone. Recently, I have even started letting one of the Guardians pick me up for very brief periods, and I hardly lose my stuff at all when he does it!
Have you ever modeled before? Your photos are stunning,I am still in awe of the Battle Cry of the Knight photo.
Ummmm… Gosh, no. I have never modeled. Brother Oliver is really good at explaining what he wants me to do though, so I just try to follow his lead. I am just so glad he no longer hisses at me.
Mama Cat, congratulations on your recovery. It must have been so scary to be swept up and taken to the Bad Place and then come into the shelter of the Guardians and the Cult of Otis.
Wait, what? The Leader has a blog? And I’ve been featured in that blog? Whoa. I’m sorry but I’ve kind of been out of the loop on this one. So that’s why they keep taking all those photos…
Anyway, thanks for the congratulations. Yes, it was kind of scary to be swept up and taken to The Bad Place, but I gotta say, I handled it better than Brother Oliver who rode along with me. That mancat really has a set of lungs on him!
As the first female to reside in the domain, what has been your experience so far and do you have some advise to share with other female cats scared of living with such important male cats?
Well… The thing is, I’m not sure what I think of the situation so far. The Guardians are letting me mingle with the boys some, but I tend to get a bit annoyed with these youngsters and I can’t help but hiss at them. The Guardians don’t seem to like it when I do this, but I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be able to turn it off. I got kind of used to fighting for what few comforts I could find outside. It’s hard to remember that I no longer need to do that.
What words of inspiration does the Cult of Otis have for those who are trying to convince Limbo cats that the Capture will lead to the Promised Land which is much better than being outside?
Leader Otis here. The first thing I would say to anyone that is working to bring kitties in from the wilderness is “Thank you!” Too often people turn away, or simply convince themselves that cats are just fine living in Limbo or in The Shadows. They don’t truly see them. They don’t acknowledge the scabs and scars. They don’t recognize the pain and fear in their eyes. They don’t grasp the full weight of it. They are not just fine out there.
The second thing I would say to those that are reaching out to these cats is, “Never give up.” The Guardians worked to earn My trust for more than 5 months before I even let them touch Me. They worked with Thomas for nearly a year while he was in Limbo and for another year and counting since he was brought into The Promised Land. If you have followed his story you have seen how far he has come. Among the Patron Saints of The Cult of Otis are many more examples of cats that have successfully made this journey. There are also some, including my sister, that were lost along the way. But the stories of those that were lost are even more motivation to keep trying.
I know there are millions of them out there. I know it is overwhelming. I know you feel like you can’t save them all. But if you at least try to save the ones in your own backyard, you will be making a difference. You will also be setting an inspirational example for those around you to follow. Who knows? Maybe someday the whole thing will get so big it will become like a new religious movement. Stranger things have happened.
Thank you so very much.
Again, our pleasure. Thanks so much for the interest.
Blessings of The Leader Be Upon You,
The Guardians, The Brothers, Sir Thomas, Mama Cat, and Leader Otis
Author’s Note: Many thanks to the Guardians, Leader Otis, The Brothers, Sir Thomas & Mama Cat for letting me interview them. You can follow the cult of Otis on the blog, check out the website to learn more about the Good Word or purchase some merchandise or like them on facebook . Photos were used with permission.
This article is a part of the Pets that Blog theme, for more interviews on blogging pets, click the image below. Many thanks to Miss Ann from Pawsitively Pets for the image.