Source: Won from Goodreads FristReads and Bantam
Edition: Paperback, 299 pages
Genre: Nonfiction Memoir
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
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.
I was so excited to see that I won this book. I love animal stories and while I’ve read a few, they’ve always been about dogs. So this was my first cat book and I’m so glad it was. I’m trying not to gush my undying love for Homer but it’s pretty impossible because he’s just an amazing cat. Being fond of animals in general I believe that there is no such thing as “just another pet” so I’m never turned off to the idea of reading about someone else’s. I wasn’t even past the Forward and I already adored Homer, so by the end of the book I was practically wishing to meet him in person along with his sisters Vashti and Scarlett (who both remind me of my own cat).
Gwen did a wonderful job telling each story with fluidity that the time jumps in between them didn’t make the narrative feel disjointed. The style really helps to bring you closer to it in a way, you could really get a sense of the cats’ personalities and how much the three really impact Gwen’s life. Homer is down right amazing, and I want to tell you all the great things he did or how brave he is but I really don’t want to ruin the book for you. He’s a little cat with a very big personality, and I think he doesn’t really think of himself as little at all by the way he acts. As a plus there are plenty of pictures to look at. There is one at the beginning of each chapter and five or so in the epilogue section that she included in the re-released paperback of the book. They really help when picturing each one of the cats throughout the story. I must say that Vashti, Scarlett, and Homer are very beautiful cats too. They all have their own unique kind of regal air about them.
I ended up giving it 5 full stars because I was really touched by it. Also if you are a reader that can’t read books where the pets pass away then you’re in luck, Homer is still alive. So if you shed any tears they won’t be because of that. This wasn’t just a story about a blind cat, it is a story about Homer and the lessons he helped to teach in his loving and adventurous way. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys animals and touching stories.