Oh Dog! I have a VERY special guest today! Otis went from feral kitten to a leader among cats and a blogger with a mission. He has a wonderful story to tell, so put your paws together and help me welcome Leader Otis!!!!
Rumpy: Oh Dog! Thanks so much for being my guest today! How about we start with you telling us about you!
Leader Otis: The details of My early life are a bit of a blur. My parents were two feral cats living under the house of an elderly cat hoarder in Edmonds, WA.
Rumpy: Oh Dog! That doesn’t sound like a very good life.
Leader Otis: When I was about four months old, I wandered into a nearby backyard and encountered two humans that seemed to take an interest in Me. Having had very little interaction with humans up to that point, I didn’t trust these two at first, but one day something changed. As I was walking through their yard, I looked up to see the humans looking out the window at Me. I froze, locking My gaze on the one with longer hair. She returned My stare and performed a very slow, calm and deliberate blink with her eyes. I was fascinated! We kitties express calm and relaxation with the slow blink. Could it be that this human knew non-verbal cat language?
Rumpy: Oh Dog! Was this your calling?
Leader Otis: I approached the window and sat down below it, staring up into her eyes. She repeated the gesture. Almost involuntarily, I returned the blink and then, bewildered, I wandered off across the street. In the days that followed, the humans seemed to be outside whenever I entered their yard. They were always talking to Me and offering Me food. After about five months of this, the humans started calling Me “Otis”, which I accepted as My name.
Rumpy: Well I can see why. They had food!!!
Leader Otis: I also decided that it would now be safe to let them touch Me. Once I had made physical contact and marked them with scent from My cheek glands, I claimed the humans as My own and dubbed them “Guardians of Otis”.
Rumpy: What an honor!!!
Leader Otis: They then swept Me up in The Capture and took Me into The Promised Land. Well, actually, they first drove Me to The Bad Place where they removed My testicles. I must admit that was a bit of a shock, but now I’m much happier without them.
Leader Otis: There is much more to this story, and all will be told in time. The most important thing to know is that after The Capture, I was introduced to Brothers Henry and Oliver. We lived together in The Promised Land and watched the Guardians of Otis help more than 23 cats from the cat hoarder’s house over the following four years. We saw much suffering and loss among those kitties and we decided that we needed to do something about it.
As I had lived in the wilderness for the early part of My life and had a firsthand understanding of what uncontained kitties go through, I became the natural choice for The Leader of this new movement. Brothers Henry and Oliver agreed to act as My high priests to help Me spread The Good Word about keeping kitties safe, healthy and happy, and The Cult of Otis was born.
Rumpy: An impressive and worthy undertaking! So, tell us about these ‘Guardians of Otis.’
Leader Otis: Hmmmm…this is a tough one. The obvious answer is that they have thumbs and are able to open cans of food for me, but I guess what I like best about My humans is that they are trying their hardest to do My bidding and help kitties in any way they can. My only complaint about My humans is that they sometimes don’t understand what I am telling them to do. I mean, I know they would never defy My wishes, so when I tell them, “Give Me treats now!”, and they don’t comply, I can only assume they don’t understand what I am saying.
Rumpy: It is difficult to train humans. *sigh* And speaking of treats, what are your favorites?
Leader Otis: I’ve met very few treats that I don’t like, but My all-time favorite is Liv-A-Littles freeze-dried chicken treats. I’m drooling just thinking about them!
Rumpy: I think I’d love them! Well, tell us about your use of social media.
Leader Otis: Well, I don’t use the full range of kitty social media. We cats send social signals with body posture, vocalizations and scent marking. One of the ways we scent mark is by spraying concentrated urine on things to claim them as our own. I used this form of social media when I was alone in the wilderness, but I haven’t felt the need to use it since I was brought into The Promised Land.
Wait, were you talking about human forms of social media? If that’s the case, I do have a Cult of Otis Facebook page and a Twitter account. I’ve barely used Twitter though both because it cuts into My nap time and also because the postings are called “Tweets”. Bird’s tweet, not cats. Brother Oliver keeps telling Me I should get over that and use Twitter though. We’ll see.
Rumpy: I agree with Brother Oliver. You’d find there are many that would follow you on Twitter. And let’s not forget your blog! Now I have one last question for fun. If you was a dinosaur, what kind would you be?
Leader Otis: I’m not sure if there ever was such a thing, but I think I would be a Tabbysaurus!
Rumpy: And I’m sure you’d be an amazing one at that! Well thank you so much for being my guest today, and thank you for what you’re doing to help cats! You ROCK!
And friends, you can find out about the work of the Cult of Otis at the Cult of Otis blog.