Title: Homer's Odyssey
Author: Gwen Cooper
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: Once in nine lives, something extraordinary happens...
The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a 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.
Everyone warned that Homer would always be an "underachiever," never as playful or independent as other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease and leapt five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz. He 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 inspired Gwen daily and transformed her life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized Homer had taught her the most important lesson of all: Love isn’t something you see with your eyes.
Homer’s Odyssey is the once-in-a-lifetime story of an extraordinary cat and his human companion. It celebrates the refusal to accept limits—on love, ability, or hope against overwhelming odds. By turns jubilant and moving, it’s a memoir for anybody who’s ever fallen completely and helplessly in love with a pet.
Pet memoirs are tricky. But Gwen Cooper handled it masterfully.
I was hesitant to pick this one up. It’s definitely not the sort of book I usually read. But it didn’t take me long to fall in love with Homer. I wanted to protect him from the world as badly as I wanted to show him everything in it.
It made my heart ache for my own cats – the ones I had recently chosen to give to better homes.
Homer is the most amazing cat I have ever known. And make no mistake – after reading this book, you will also feel as if you know him. He will be your cat as much as he is Gwen’s.
If you’re not a cat person, you will be once you read this. Especially once you read about how Homer was left alone with his kitty-mates for several days post 9/11 in NYC very close to ground zero. Those pages will forever be with me.
And while this is traditionally a spoiler-free review site, I will make one exception: at the end of the book, Homer is alive and well. This is not the sort of pet memoir that most expect.