Title: Homer’s Odyssey, A Fearless Feline Tale or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonderful Cat
Author: Gwen Cooper
Publisher : Bantam, Reprint Edition (September 7, 2010)
Buy Links: Amazon • Barnes & Nobles
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The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and recently broken heart. Then Gwen’s veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned. It was love at first sight.
Everybody warned that Homer would always be an “underachiever.” But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease, survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center, and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night. But it was Homer’s unswerving loyalty, his infinite capacity for love, and his joy in the face of all obstacles that transformed Gwen’s life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized that Homer had taught her the most valuable lesson of all: Love isn’t something you see with your eyes.
I like cats and I like books. Usually a combination of both would mean one my big kittens “sleeping” on top of whatever book I’m currently reading. But once in a while, I hide in a corner and get to enjoy a read about cats (without the cats on top of the book).
An abandoned black kitten, sick with an eye infection was brought to the vet. The severity of the infection forced the vet to remove the kitten’s eyes permanently. Despite this handicap, they were able to find someone willing to adopt him. Adopted by the author, Gwen Cooper, the kitten was named Homer and brought to her home of two other cats, Scarlet and Vashti, and their story begins.
Gwen Cooper writes a sentimental and occasionally humorous story about her life with Homer, a blind cat, along with her two other cats. Although blind, and With a resolve that can compare with Odysseus trying to go back to Ithaca, Homer learns to see without sight and demonstrates his physical prowess to the amazement of all. He explores with a curiosity that makes you forget his handicap.
The charm that is Homer is his unrelenting will and giving spirit. Despite his handicaps, he doesn’t give up and in fact even does better than the other cats. He has this undying energy suitable for an Eveready battery mascot that Cooper narrates. He inspires friendship with out judgement, and to make connections with the heart.
There are times in Cooper’s writing that I found a little dragging and somewhat repetitive but I love her anecdotes about her cats. Yes, cats have their own personalities too. I loved how she was able to zoom in on each cat’s personalities, like a “meowmy” who know her kids well. (I understand her bewilderment with plastic wraps and cats. What is so great about plastic bags, really?). The difficulties of being a single (cat) parent and trying to find the right person to share that life with. There were moments that tugged at my heart, without being so overly dramatic.
Overall, this book was great read, for cat lovers and non cat lovers. Beyond the story of Homer and Gwen, it is a story about learning, of not giving up in the face of handicaps and seeing with the heart and not with the eyes.
Learn more about Gwen Cooper and her other books at her website.