Homer's Odyssey

Homer’s Odyssey is about this blind cat and his extraordinary life, and it’s a wonderful, quick and easy, reading book.

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Don’t cringe, this book from high school English is not about to haunt you again! Here’s this story…

My family and I love Barnes & Noble. Despite the fact that the successful chain of book stores may have contributed to the closing of our downtown bookstore that is like 100 years old, we find pleasure in B&N’s huge selection (oh, and the Starbucks coffee for me!).

At a recent trip to B&N, I passed by the clearance table and found this book called, you guessed it, Homer’s Odyssey (written by Gwen Cooper, published by Delacorte Press, 2009). Who can resist a feline on the front cover? The subtitle is quite descriptive: A fearless feline tale, or how I learned about love and life with a blind wonder cat! The book is about this blind cat and his extraordinary life, and it’s a wonderful, quick and easy, reading book (great for planes and hotels!). Now I’m reading it to my daughter. I wanted to give it a review, so thanks for indulging me!

Homer is found just a few weeks old as a stray, and his eyes were so infected that he needed a bilateral enucleation (both eyes removed surgically). By the way, the kitten was found and medically nurtured by Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA, a monthly contributor to Veterinary Practice News. Small world! Homer was then adopted by Gwen Cooper, the author of this book. There are amazing things about this feline, from having the courage (or lack of fear) to investigate everything around him, adapt to situations that would terrify most cats (and typically does terrify Gwen’s other two cats!), and his overwhelming love of people. All of that would be amazing all by itself, but this book goes further.

As the story unfolds, Gwen does a great job of “talking” as one of the cats, that for us cat lovers makes us grin because she is so reading their minds! She also takes you on the journey of her life unfolding at this time, from moving back into her parents’ house, to reworking her career, and eventually finding the man she will marry (who, of course, had to be approved by Homer first).

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She has a way of explaining how Homer both affects and is effected by the journey of this human. By the way, Gwen who always wanted to be a writer, is spectacular in this book. It is very well written and not just a checklist of Homer’s traits and incidents.

Probaly the best part of this book is the soul-searching that Gwen shares with us, about how honored she is to have Homer in her life. The book explores her feelings, from being the overprotective mommy, to the daughter stepping back home to live with her parents, through the tragedy of 9/11 and the fear of losing her felines, to the career woman who is carving out her place in the world and the young woman looking for love. From the book:

It was Homer, I realized, who had brought me most of the insights I’d acquired about relationships over the past few years. It was Homer who had taught me that the love of one person who believed in you—and who you believed in—could inspire you to attempt even the most improbable things.

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