Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Homer's odyssey a fearless feline tale or how I learned about love and life with a blind wonder cat by Gwen Cooper

Gwen Cooper was not looking to add another cat to her family of two felines, but when she was introduced to a small black bundle of fur with no eyes it seemed as though it was meant to me.  Surrendered at only a few weeks old to the local vet clinic with an eye infection so bad the kindest thing to do was remove his eyes, Homer seemed destined to live a sad existence - but no one counted on the spirit of this small black cat and the devotion of his new owner.

Living through challenging times in her home town of Miami, Gwen survives the indignity of having to move back in with her parents while she struggles to change her career (all so she can support her brood), and all the cats survive having to move in with the dreaded enemy (insert here the word "dog").  As times moves forward steadily, the one constant in Gwen's life is the antics of Homer and the quiet dignity of Vashti and Scarlett - who were not much impressed by the appearance of a black whirlwind with no sense of decorum or common cat decency.

Moving to New York was another challenge for them all, and they seemed to make it with no problems - until 9/11 and the devastating after effects.  Throughout it all are the lessons Homer taught not only Gwen but also those around her.  A disability doesn't stop you living your life, sometimes it sucks but you can still make it work.  If things don't work out how you expect then try again until you (hopefully) get a different result.  And above all, that love makes a difference - even if it is a small one.

This was both a touching and memorable book.  Homer is larger than life as are the supporting cast around him.  Gwen is a fantastic voice for this story, which makes sense seeing as it is her story as much as Homer's.  At times you climb to the heights of excitement and joy, and at other times you are right there are she lives through some of the worst moments in her life.  Homer is amazing, but in her own way Gwen is equally amazing for the love and devotion she has shown to the cats in her life.

If you like this book then try:
  • A cat called Norton: the true story of an extraordinary cat and his imperfect human by Peter Gethers
  • A friend like Henry by Nuala Gardner
  • Every dog has a gift: true stories of dogs who bring hope & healing into our lives by Racehl McPherson with Deborah Mitchell
  • Making the rounds with Oscar by David Dosa
  • Talk to the tail: Adventures in cat ownership and beyond by Tom Cox

Reviewed by Brilla

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