OTIS 2006 - 2012
A bit of sad news, Otis has died. It wasn't a long life, and not nearly as long as we had hoped but it was more than he was originally slated for. He was an orange cat, a redhead, a loving cat who could barely stand to be touched. Recently I had taken to yelling out the window at night when I was trying to get him to come in for the evening, "OTIS!! IT'S NIGHT TIME! YOU ARE NOT A FERAL CAT!!!! YOU LIVE HERE!! YOU HAVE A HOME!!!" He just wasn't sure. He was and he wasn't.
We had come across him in 2006 when we were checked out a new place we thought might be good for hiking (it wasn't). On the way back Omar flushed the tiniest little scrap of fur out of the underbrush. Covered in ticks and starving to death but still feisty and opinionated. Picking him up was like handling a handful of feathers, there just wasn't anything there but a little fur and some tiny bones.
As he filled out he was let into the rest of the house where he fell in love with Omar. Omar wasn't sure about this little thing glued to his side winding his way around and under him. Since Otis hadn't been weaned - we estimated his age to be four weeks since his eye color changed from blue to orange over the coming week - he decided that Omar's ears were for nursing on. Poor Omar, he looked very silly with wet ear fur sucked up into tuffs.
Otis eventually reached 10.5 lbs, a decent size for a cat but he never got over his terror. He preferred to be outside most of the time and would run away even if you passed nearby. At night, when he came in, he would gather up his courage and climb up in my lap for a cuddle until he couldn't stand to be touched anymore. Nearby was good but not touching. Lately he took to staying out overnight where we would find him sleeping on the front porch in a basket we put out. In for a bit of breakfast then back out again.
Last year he developed a problem with his hips though the vet couldn't find anything wrong. He had problems with jumping more than a short distance then landing with a little Omph! of pain and effort. He walked like he hurt all the time. He spent his days sleeping in quiet corners of the garden enjoying the shade and the heat. Then a few nights ago he didn't come in and he wasn't in his basket the next morning. Or in the afternoon.
We'll never know what happened in the end; just that he's gone.
He will be missed our funny redheaded cat.